Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 5. Prohibited Acts, Penalties, and Remedies

Detainer Of Adulterated Or Misbranded Articles

50-31-509. Detainer of adulterated or misbranded articles. (1) If an agent of the department finds or has probable cause to believe that any food, drug, device, or cosmetic is adulterated or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent within the meaning of this chapter, the agent shall affix to the article a tag or other appropriate marking giving notice that the article is or is suspected of being adulterated or misbranded and has been detained or embargoed and warning all persons not to remove or dispose of the article by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by the agent or the court. It is unlawful for a person to remove or dispose of a detained or embargoed article by sale or otherwise without permission. The owner of an embargoed article or another authorized person and the department may enter into a disposal agreement providing for the disposal, reconditioning, or other disposition of the embargoed article. If an agreement is executed or if the embargo is otherwise removed by the department or the court, neither the department nor the state may be held liable for damages caused by the embargo provided that probable cause existed for its imposition.

(2) If an article detained or embargoed under subsection (1) is found by the agent to be adulterated or misbranded and a disposal agreement is not executed as provided in subsection (1), the agent shall petition the justice of the peace, city judge, or district court in whose jurisdiction the article is detained or embargoed for an order for condemnation of the article. If the agent finds that an article detained or embargoed is not adulterated or misbranded, the agent shall remove the tag or other marking.

(3) If the court finds that a detained or embargoed article is adulterated or misbranded, the article must, after entry of the decree, be destroyed at the expense of the claimant of the article under the supervision of the agent and all court costs and fees and storage and other proper expenses must be taxed against the claimant of the article or the claimant's agent.

(4) If the adulteration or misbranding can be corrected by proper labeling or processing of the article, the court, after entry of the decree and after the costs, fees, and expenses have been paid and a good and sufficient bond, conditioned that the article will be labeled or processed, has been executed, may by order direct that the article be delivered to the claimant of the article for the labeling or processing under the supervision of an agent of the department. The expense of the supervision must be paid by claimant. The article must be returned to the claimant on the representation to the court by the department that the article is no longer in violation of this chapter and that the expenses of the supervision have been paid.

History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 307, L. 1967; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 187, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 27-706(1) thru (3); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 158, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1845, Ch. 56, L. 2009.