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This entry was published on 2021-08-13
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SECTION 1846
Seizure and forfeiture of cigarettes
Tax (TAX) CHAPTER 60, ARTICLE 37, PART 6
§ 1846. Seizure and forfeiture of cigarettes.--(a) Whenever a police
officer designated in section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law or a
peace officer designated in subdivision four of section 2.10 of such
law, acting pursuant to his or her special duties, shall discover any
cigarettes subject to tax provided by article twenty of this chapter or
by chapter thirteen of title eleven of the administrative code of the
city of New York, and upon which the tax has not been paid or the stamps
not affixed as required by such article or such chapter thirteen, they
are hereby authorized and empowered forthwith to seize and take
possession of such cigarettes, together with any vending machine or
receptacle in which they are held for sale. Such cigarettes, vending
machine or receptacle seized by a police officer or such peace officer
shall be turned over to the commissioner. Such seized cigarettes,
vending machine or receptacle, not including money contained in such
vending machine or receptacle, shall be forfeited to the state. The
commissioner may, within a reasonable time thereafter, upon publication
of a notice to such effect for at least five successive days, before the
day of sale, in a newspaper published or circulated in the county where
the seizure was made, sell such forfeited vending machines or
receptacles at public sale and pay the proceeds into the state treasury
to the credit of the general fund. Notwithstanding any other provision
of this section, the commissioner may enter into an agreement with any
city of this state which is authorized to impose a tax similar to that
imposed by article twenty of this chapter to provide for the disposition
between the state and any such city of the proceeds from any such sale.
All cigarettes forfeited to the state shall be destroyed or used for law
enforcement purposes, except that cigarettes that violate, or are
suspected of violating, federal trademark laws or import laws shall not
be used for law enforcement purposes. If the commissioner determines the
cigarettes may not be used for law enforcement purposes, the
commissioner must, within a reasonable time after the forfeiture of such
cigarettes, upon publication in the state registry, destroy such
forfeited cigarettes. The commissioner may, prior to any destruction of
cigarettes, permit the true holder of the trademark rights in the
cigarettes to inspect such forfeited cigarettes in order to assist in
any investigation regarding such cigarettes.

(a-1) Whenever a police officer designated in section 1.20 of the
criminal procedure law or a peace officer designated in subdivision four
of section 2.10 of such law, acting pursuant to his or her special
duties, shall discover any cigarettes which have been stamped in
violation of section four hundred eighty-b of this chapter, such officer
is hereby authorized and empowered forthwith to seize and take
possession of such cigarettes, and such cigarettes shall be subject to a
forfeiture action pursuant to the procedures provided for in article
thirteen-A of the civil practice law and rules, as if such article
specifically provided for forfeiture of cigarettes seized pursuant to
this section as a preconviction forfeiture crime. Subdivisions (b), (c)
and (d) of this section shall not apply to cigarettes seized pursuant to
this subdivision.

(b) In the alternative, the tax commission, on reasonable notice by
mail or otherwise, may permit the person from whom said cigarettes were
seized to redeem the said cigarettes, and any vending machine or
receptacle seized therewith, by the payment of the tax due, plus a
penalty of fifty per centum thereof, plus interest on the amount of tax
due for each month or fraction thereof after such tax became due
(determined without regard to any extension of time for filing or
paying) at the rate applicable under subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a)
of subdivision one of section four hundred eighty-one of this chapter
and the costs incurred in such proceeding, which total payment shall not
be less than five dollars; provided, however, that such seizure and sale
or redemption shall not be deemed to relieve any person from fine or
imprisonment provided for in this article for violation of any provision
of article twenty of this chapter.

(c) In the alternative, the tax commission may dispose of any
cigarettes seized pursuant to this section, except those that violate,
or are suspected of violating, federal trademark laws or import laws, by
transferring them to the department of corrections and community
supervision for sale to or use by incarcerated individuals in such
institutions.

(d) Cigarettes seized pursuant to a violation of section four hundred
seventy-three-b of this chapter shall be destroyed. The department may
also seize and destroy any vending machine or receptacle in which
cigarettes stamped in violation of section four hundred seventy-three-b
of this chapter are held for sale.