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Sparks City Council Meeting 11/26/2018

Consent Items: 8.4

Title: Consideration, discussion, and possible authorization to the City Attorney to initiate civil forfeiture cases on behalf of the City relating to Sparks Police Department Case Numbers 18-6343, 18-6774, and 18-7182 (FOR POSSIBLE ACTION).
Petitioner/Presenter: Chester H. Adams, City Attorney/Alyson L. McCormick, Assistant City Attorney
Recommendation: That City Council authorize the City Attorney to initiate civil forfeiture cases on behalf of the City relating to Sparks Police Department Case Numbers 18-6343, 18-6774, and 18-7182.
Financial Impact: No direct financial impact is anticipated, but there may be litigation costs such as costs associated with serving claimants with process.
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
    
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

This agenda item asks the City Council to consider and decide whether to authorize the City Attorney to initiate civil forfeiture cases on behalf of the City relating to Sparks Police Department Case Numbers 18-6343, 18-6774, and 18-7182.



Background:

NRS Chapter 179 and NRS Chapter 453 allow for the forfeiture of proceeds of certain drug-related offenses. NRS 453.301(9) states that if currency in excess of $300.00 is seized from a person arrested for certain drug-related offenses, “then there is a rebuttable presumption that the cash is traceable to an exchange for a controlled substance and is subject to forfeiture.” SPD Case Number 18-6343 involved drug-related offenses and the seizure of $880.00 U.S. Currency from the arrestee. Similarly, SPD Case Number 18-6774 involved drug-related offenses and the seizure of $920.00 U.S. Currency from the arrestee. Finally, SPD Case Number 18-7182 involved drug-related offenses and the seizure of $1,502.00 U.S. Currency from the arrestee. The presumption created by NRS 453.301(9) would apply in all three cases.

If the City Council were to authorize the City Attorney to initiate civil forfeiture cases relating to any of these SPD cases, the City Attorney would file a complaint in the Second Judicial District Court for each case. Pursuant to NRS 179.1173(2), a civil forfeiture proceeding must be stayed pending disposition of the related criminal case. Therefore, the City Attorney would also file a motion to stay each civil forfeiture case until the related criminal proceedings were complete. Any proceeds from the civil forfeiture cases would be divided between Sparks Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office.



Analysis:

The City Attorney recommends that the City Council authorize the City Attorney to initiate civil forfeiture cases on behalf of the City relating to Sparks Police Department Case Numbers 18-6343, 18-6774, and 18-7182.



Alternatives:

The City Council could direct the City Attorney not to initiate civil forfeiture cases relating to Sparks Police Department Case Numbers 18-6343, 18-6774, and 18-7182.

Alternatively, the City Council could authorize the City Attorney to initiate a civil forfeiture case relating to one or two but not all three cases.



Recommended Motion:

I move to authorize the City Attorney to initiate civil forfeiture cases on behalf of the City relating to Sparks Police Department Case Numbers 18-6343, 18-6774, and 18-7182.




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