NOT SO FAST!
by Ronald Farley
Washington’s Supreme Court takes a
critical look at civil forfeiture under the
Uniform Controlled Substances Act
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
INCity of Sunnyside v. Gonzalez, 188 Wn.2d 600, 398 P.3d 1078 (2017), the Washington Supreme Court reversed an order for forfeiture under Chapter 69.50 RCW, the Uniform Controlled
Substances Act. The Act allows civil forfeiture of property that is connected
to an intended, or completed, controlled substances violation. Justice Yu,
writing for a unanimous court, found that although forfeiture may be upheld
on review under the minimum standard of proof required in civil cases
(preponderance of evidence), the reviewing court must still undertake a sufficiently "robust" analysis to protect citizens from improper loss of property.
Id. at 617.