Civil Forfeiture Action: Settlement Resulting in Return of Seized Vehicle
Rhode Island State Police stopped a SUV with a New York Registration for an observed traffic violation. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded the discovery of 50 pounds of marijuana concealed in a large laundry bag. The marijuana was in individual, vacuum-sealed packages. Based on this discovery, the man was criminally charged, and his vehicle was seized for forfeiture proceedings. The State sought to permanently keep the vehicle because it was used in connection with criminal activity – to transport a large quantity of drugs. The man retained Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to contest forfeiture of the car. Attorney Calcagni filed an administrative claim for the vehicle and then Defendant’s Answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint in Rhode Island District Court. From there, the parties entered into settlement negotiations. After several months, Attorney Calcagni successfully negotiated for settlement terms that provided for the return of the man’s vehicle.