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8.—(1) Where in England and Wales or Northern Ireland any equipment has been seized and detained by an officer of an enforcement authority pursuant to paragraph 4, an officer of that authority may apply to a justice of the peace acting for the petty sessions area in which the equipment was seized (referred to below in this paragraph as the relevant petty sessions area) to initiate proceedings for forfeiture of the equipment under this paragraph.
(2) An application under this paragraph must be made within the period of six months beginning with the date on which the equipment to which it relates was seized.
(3) A justice of the peace to whom an application under this paragraph is made may issue a summons to any person appearing to him to be the owner of or otherwise interested in any equipment to which the application relates requiring him to appear on a day specified in the summons before a magistrates' court acting for the relevant petty sessions area to show cause why the equipment should not be forfeited.
(4) In addition to the person summoned, any other person claiming to be the owner of or otherwise interested in any equipment to which an application under this paragraph relates shall be entitled to appear before the court on the day specified in the summons to show cause why it should not be forfeited.
(5) Where any equipment is brought before a magistrates' court in proceedings under this paragraph the court can only order forfeiture to the enforcement authority if—
(a)the court is satisfied that the equipment contravenes the relevant provision;
(b)any person summoned under subparagraph (3) appears before the court, or service of the summons is proved; and
(c)the court is satisfied that there is no good reason why it should not order forfeiture.
(6) Where in any proceedings under this paragraph an order is made for the forfeiture of any equipment, any person who appeared, or who was entitled to appear, to show cause against the making of the order may appeal to the Crown Court.
(7) No order for the forfeiture of any equipment made under this paragraph shall take effect—
(a)until the end of the period of twenty-one days after the day on which the order is made; or
(b)if appeal proceedings are brought in respect of the order within that period (whether by way of appeal to the Crown Court or by way of case stated for the opinion of the High Court), until the conclusion of those proceedings.
(8) If a magistrates' court does not order forfeiture of any equipment brought before it in proceedings under this paragraph the court may if it thinks fit order the person on whose application the proceedings were initiated to pay such costs as the court thinks reasonable to any person who has appeared before the court to show cause why the equipment should not be forfeited; and costs ordered to be paid under this subparagraph shall be enforceable as a civil debt.
(9) Any equipment ordered to be forfeited under this paragraph may be disposed of by the enforcement authority concerned in such manner as it thinks fit.
(10) This paragraph has effect notwithstanding anything in section 140 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 or article 58 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (disposal of non-pecuniary forfeitures).
(11) In the application of this paragraph to Northern Ireland references to a petty sessions area shall be read as references to a petty sessions district.
(12) This paragraph applies to England and Wales and Northern Ireland only.
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