After an arrest, the Police sometimes take your property as evidence or to assist in their investigation. It may surprise you, but this property is not always returned automatically. If the Police are holding your property, don’t give up…you have options! In order to try and retrieve your property, you can file a Return of Property Petition (Form 01-206). See the instructions below to learn how to file such petitions in Philadelphia County.
Note: If the property you seek to have returned is a gun or money, you should contact an attorney, as the retrieval of such property can be complicated. Why not call my office or send me an email? I have more than 20 years of experience in these matters.
I. What You Need:
First, you’ll need a copy of the petition forms. They can be downloaded here: http://www.courts.phila.gov/pdf/forms/criminal/01-206-Return-of-Property.pdf
You will also need the following: a copy of the Police Property Receipt, Case Number, Police Photo Number, and case disposition. When your property was seized by the Police Department, a Property Receipt was issued to you. For each property receipt, you must file a separate petition.
Once your petition is filled out, you will need to get the petition notarized by a notary.
II. Filing Your Petition
You should file the original Petition and 2 copies in Room 206 of the Criminal Justice Center (The filing fee is $12.50). The Motions Clerk will list the Petition for a status listing at 9:00 A.M. in courtroom 478 City Hall within thirty (30) days. The District Attorney’s Office will investigate the facts of your case.
You may represent yourself or you may hire an attorney to represent you at the status listing. An Attorney will not be appointed for you, nor will the hearing be continued for you to get a lawyer. If you fail to appear at the conference listing, your petition will be dismissed and your property forfeited to the Commonwealth. You are the responsible moving party in this petition, so be prepared to move forward.
IV. After The Petition Is Granted
If your Petition is granted by the Judge, you will receive a Short Certificate from the Court Clerk or Trial Commissioner, or you may be sent to Room 206 of the Criminal Justice Center for a Certified Copy of the Order and Petition.
V. Getting Your Property Back
With the paperwork, proceed to the Police Evidence Unit in Room 715 of City Hall, where your Property may be returned to you or further instructions will be given to you. The Police Evidence Unit will require proper identification, such as a Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, Employment Identification Card, or similar substantial identification. If the property is a vehicle, the storage Fees are stopped at the time of filing.