Maine Revised Statutes

§2159. Articles detained, embargoed and condemned

Whenever a duly authorized agent of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry finds or has reason to believe that any food is adulterated, or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent, within the meaning of this subchapter, he may issue an order detaining or embargoing that food to any person or persons with possession or control thereof, and may affix or require the person or persons to whom the order is directed to affix to such article a tag or other appropriate marking, giving notice that such 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 such article by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by such agent or the court. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or dispose of such detained or embargoed article by sale or otherwise without such permission. Orders relating to detention and embargo issued pursuant to this chapter shall not be considered licensing or an adjudicatory proceeding, as those terms are defined by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, Title 5, chapter 375. [1985, c. 49, §1 (AMD); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §6 (REV).]

When an article detained or embargoed under the preceding paragraph has been found by such agent to be adulterated or misbranded, he shall petition the proper officer of the District Court or Superior Court in whose jurisdiction the article is detained or embargoed for a libel for condemnation of such article. When such agent has found that an article so detained or embargoed is not adulterated or misbranded, he shall remove the tag or other marking.

If the court finds that a detained or embargoed article is adulterated or misbranded, such article shall, after entry of the decree, be destroyed at the expense of the claimant thereof, under the supervision of such agent, and all court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses, shall be taxed against the claimant of such article or his agent. When the adulteration or misbranding can be corrected by proper labeling or processing of the article, the court, after entry of the decree and after such costs, fees and expenses have been paid and a good and sufficient bond, conditioned that such article shall be so labeled or processed, has been executed, may by order direct that such article be delivered to the claimant thereof for such labeling or processing under the supervision of an agent of the commissioner. The expense of such supervision shall be paid by the claimant. Such bond shall be returned to the claimant of the article on representation to the court by the commissioner that the article is no longer in violation of this subchapter, and that the expenses of such supervision have been paid.

Whenever the commissioner or any of the commissioner's authorized agents finds in any room, building, vehicle of transportation or other structure any meat, seafood, poultry, vegetable, fruit or other perishable articles that are unsound or contain any filthy, decomposed or putrid substance or that may be poisonous or deleterious to health or otherwise unsafe, the same being declared to be a nuisance, the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized agent shall forthwith condemn or destroy the same, or in any other manner render the same unsalable as human food. In the event that any food found on any vehicle of transportation is detained, embargoed, condemned or destroyed under any of the provisions of this section by the commissioner or the commissioner's authorized agents, the commissioner shall forthwith notify the consignor, consignee and the carrier of the action taken and the amount and kind of goods detained, embargoed, condemned or destroyed. [RR 2009, c. 2, §52 (COR).]

1977, c. 694, §348 (AMD). 1979, c. 731, §19 (AMD). 1985, c. 49, §1 (AMD). RR 2009, c. 2, §52 (COR). 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §6 (REV).