The petitions process referenced below pertains to any asset identified within the Public Notices of Forfeiture for ATF, DEA, FBI, USAO and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The petition process for assets identified within the Public Notices of Forfeiture for IRS and USSS are specified within that agency’s Public Notices of Forfeiture.
The government may consider granting petitions for remission or mitigation which pardons all or part of the property from the forfeiture.
- What to File: You may file both a claim (see Claims section) and a Petition for Remission or Mitigation (Petition). If you file only a petition, and no one else files a claim, your petition will be decided by the seizing agency.
- To File a Petition: The petition can be filed online or in writing and sent to the official address provided in the notice of seizure within thirty (30) days of the last date of publication on the forfeiture.gov website, or the deadline set forth in the personal notice letter. If no address is provided in the notice, then the petition should be sent to the appropriate agency address listed below. A petition need not be made in any particular form. For USPIS, see 39 C.F.R. § 233.7Opens in new window. For all other agencies, see 28 C.F.R. § 9.3(a)Opens in new window.
- Petition Requirements: The petition must include a description of your interest in the property supported by documentation and any facts you believe justify the return of the property and be signed under oath, subject to the penalty of perjury or meet the requirements of an unsworn statement under penalty of perjury. See 28 U.S.C. § 1746Opens in new window.
- Petition Forms: A petition need not be made in any particular form but a standard petition form and the link to file the petition online are available to the right.
- Supporting Evidence: Although not required, you may submit supporting evidence (for example, title paperwork or bank records showing your interest in the seized property) to substantiate your petition.
- No Attorney Required: You do not need an attorney to file a petition. You may, however, hire an attorney to represent you in filing a petition.
- Petition Granting Authority: The authority to grant remission or mitigation in administrative forfeiture cases is given to the federal agency that seized the property. The ruling official in judicial forfeiture cases is the Chief, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, Criminal Division, Department of Justice. For USPIS, see 39 C.F.R. § 233.9(d)Opens in new window. For all other agencies, see 28 C.F.R. § 9.1Opens in new window.
- Petition Regulations: When the seizing agency is USPIS, the regulations governing the petition process are set forth in 39 C.F.R. § 233.9Opens in new window. For other seizing agencies, the regulations governing the petition process are set forth in 28 C.F.R. Part 9Opens in new window.
- Penalties for Filing False or Frivolous Petitions: A petition containing false information may subject the petitioner to criminal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 1001Opens in new window and 18 U.S.C. § 1621Opens in new window.
- Online Petition Exclusions: If you cannot find the desired assets online, you must file your petition in writing. For more details regarding what assets can be petitioned online, please see Frequently Asked Questions.
- Online Petition Changes: You cannot make changes online. They must be made in writing and sent to the address below.
FBI Petitions should be submitted to the local FBI Field Office, Attention: Forfeiture Paralegal Specialist. The FBI field office locations and telephone numbers can be found at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field.
ATF Forfeiture Counsel Asset Forfeiture & Seized Property Division 99 New York Avenue, NE Mail Stop 3N 600 Washington, DC 20226
DEA Forfeiture Counsel Asset Forfeiture Section 8701 Morrissette Drive Springfield, VA 22152
CBP CBP locations are included in their Public Notices on this site.
USSS USSS locations are included in their Public Notices on this site.
IRS Petitions should be submitted to the local IRS Field Office. The IRS Criminal Investigation field office locations and telephone numbers can be found at www.forfeiture.gov/irs-ci-offices.htm
For Regular Mail:
US Postal Inspection Service
Asset Forfeiture Unit
PO Box 91100
Washington, DC 20090-1100
For Commercial Delivery: US Postal Inspection Service Asset Forfeiture Unit Criminal Investigations 900 Brentwood Road, NE, Suite 2187 Washington, DC 20066-6096