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Ex parte Bennett

Supreme Court of Alabama

October 31, 2014

Ex parte Michael Dale Bennett; In re: H.A. Cox and Lashun Hutson
v.
Michael Dale Bennett

Released for Publication June 17, 2015.

(Lowndes Circuit Court, CV-12-900024; Court of Civil Appeals, 2121053). Terri Bozeman Lovell, Trial Judge.

WRIT DENIED.

For Petitioner: Joe M. Reed of Joe M. Reed & Associates, LLC; and Michael Godwin, Montgomery.

WISE, Justice. Stuart, Bolin, Parker, Murdock, Shaw, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur. Moore, C.J., dissents.

OPINION

WISE, Judge

PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS

WRIT DENIED. NO OPINION.

DISSENT

MOORE, Chief Justice (dissenting).

On June 5, 2012, Michael Dale Bennett filed a complaint against Officer H.A. Cox and Officer Lashun Hutson of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department (" the sheriff's department" ), in their official capacities, seeking the release and return of $19,855 in cash he claimed belonged to him. Bennett alleged that on September 2, 2011, officers of the sheriff's department had seized the cash during a search of a vehicle in which he was a passenger. Both Bennett and the driver were arrested and brought to the sheriff's department; the driver was held pursuant to an outstanding warrant, and Bennett was released. Bennett argued in his complaint that no forfeiture or condemnation action had been promptly filed against the cash as required by § 20-2-93(c), Ala. Code 1975, and that, therefore, he was entitled to have the cash returned to him.

In response to a motion for a summary judgment filed by Bennett, Cox and Hutson claimed that the federal government was then in possession of the cash and that a federal forfeiture proceeding was pending. The trial court granted Bennett's motion for a summary judgment. Cox and Hutson appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals, which reversed the judgment of the trial court. Cox v. Bennett, [Ms. 2121053, May 16, 2014] 164 So.3d 1157, (Ala.Civ.App. 2014). The Court of Civil Appeals held that " the doctrine of adoptive forfeiture

Page 1163

applied in the present case such that jurisdiction had vested in the federal district court and, therefore, the trial court never acquired in rem jurisdiction over the property." __ So.3d at __. Bennett now petitions for a writ of ...


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