This court case is completed
The ACLU submitted an amicus brief to the Washington Supreme Court on this topic on April 26, 2018. The case involves a joint police task force (called OPNET) that engaged in various forms of misconduct in the course of investigating two men for growing marijuana. Police not only referred the case for criminal prosecution but also sought the forfeiture of the property the men owned. Based on the police misconduct, suppression of evidence was granted in the criminal case, and then the forfeiture case was dismissed because the evidence had been suppressed. The trial court awarded attorney fees to the defense attorney under the forfeiture statute, which the ACLU’s brief supported as a form of holding the government accountable for abuses in connection with drug-related property forfeiture. The amicus brief explains the importance of legal safeguards in forfeiture cases, including the importance of awarding attorney fees.