Ferrari v. County of Suffolk

Plaintiff was arrested for speeding wildly while drunk and high, and his Ferrari was impounded. After a neutral magistrate ordered that the vehicle be retained by the County, plaintiff filed a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that Suffolk County, in retaining his vehicle pendente lite, deprived him of due process. The district court agreed. The court concluded that, at a post‐seizure hearing to determine whether a vehicle should be returned to a title owner pendente lite pursuant to Suffolk County’s DWI Seizure Law, the Due Process Clause permits Suffolk County, after making out a prima facia case that retention is necessary to protect the County’s interests in the financial value of the vehicle and/or in protecting the public from continued unsafe and illegal driving, to shift the burden of going forward to the title owner to identify an alternative measure that would satisfy the County’s interests. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiff and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the County. View "Ferrari v. County of Suffolk" on Justia Law