OPNET v Fager, #95013-0

WACDL has agreed to file an amicus on behalf of Mr. Fager on an appeal from the COA reversing the trial court award of attorney fees for defending against the seizure of property in both criminal and civil actions.

Court

Petition for review to WSSC following the COA decision in #76011-4-II which reversed the decision of the trial court.

Issue

The Fagers successfully defended against criminal charges in which conviction would have resulted in the forfeiture of real property by winning a suppression motion in which the trial court deemed statements by the police in support of a search warrant were not credible. As a result the criminal charges were dismissed. Pending, concurrent to the criminal charges, was a civil forfeiture action that was also ultimately dismissed as a result of the suppression order which was binding on the civil action. The trial court ordered OPNET (Clallam County) to reimburse the Fagers for attorney fees including the time spent on the criminal suppression motion which resulted in the dismissal of the civil forfeiture as a related proceeding. The COA reversed and awarded attorney fees solely based on the time spent on the civil forfeiture case.

WACDL Amicus

Should the separate criminal proceeding be considered a related proceeding under the civil forfeiture statute as the suppression motion in the criminal case precluded OPNET for going forward with a civil forfeiture action against the real property owned by the Fagers.

WACDL Amicus Author

Richard Troberman

Appellate Author

James Dixon

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