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September 4, 2009

Interesting forfeiture ruling from split Washington Supreme Court

Thanks to this post at How Appealing, I saw this Seattle Times article, headlined "State Supreme Court: Parents can keep cars used by drug dealing son," which describes a notable forfeiture decision by a state high court.  Here is how the article begins:

A note to oblivious parents from a sharply divided state Supreme Court Thursday: If your son borrows your cars, and uses them to get high and deal drugs, the fact that you "should have known" he was operating a mobile, illicit pharmacy isn't enough for the government to seize your vehicles. You actually have to know.

The 5-4 ruling by the state's high court Thursday means Alan and Stephne Roos, of Bothell, will get to keep their 2004 Nissan Sentra and 1970 Chevy Chevelle, which their adult son, Thomas, had been using to peddle drugs in 2005.  But the dissenters on the court said the ruling lets the Rooses get away with "burying their heads in the sand" about their son's criminal behavior.

The full ruling of the Washington Supreme Court, which includes this majority opinion and this concurring and dissenting opinion, is an interesting read because the justices split on what type of "knowledge" was required under the applicable state statute to permit this forfeiture.

September 4, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Permalink


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Somewhere Donald Rumsfeld is smiling.

Posted by: . | Sep 4, 2009 11:04:31 AM

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