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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Return of Seized Property Under T.C.A. § 39-11-709

The Court of Appeals issued an interesting opinion today in McWhorter v. Selby, M2008-01502-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2009). It has to do with the return of property seized by state authorities. Here is the summary of the opinion:

This appeal concerns the return of seized property. In the course of a criminal investigation, the respondents seized personal property from the petitioner. After a year passed with no forfeiture proceeding, the petitioner filed a petition for the return of his seized property, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-11-709. The respondents filed a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, asserting that they no longer had possession of the property. The trial court granted the motion. The petitioner now appeals. We reverse and remand, finding that the petition was correctly filed in the county in which the property was seized, that it correctly named as the respondents the parties who seized the property, and that the respondents were not entitled to dismissal of the petition on the basis that the respondents had transferred possession of the property.

Here's a link to the opinion:

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