United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ADRIAN G. SASSEN VANELSOO, Plaintiff,
RONALD ROGERS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR EXTENSION
AND RENOTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion for summary
judgment of Defendants Ronald Rogers, C. Stephen Sutton,
Susan German, and Shirley Kennedy. Dkt. 19. Also before the
Court is Plaintiff Adrian G. Sassen Vanelsoo's motion to
extend the deadline for his response. Dkt. 27. The Court has
considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file and,
for the reasons stated below, hereby (1) grants
Plaintiff's request for an extension, and (2) renotes the
motion for summary judgment.
commenced this action on June 29, 2016. Dkt. 1. Plaintiff
claims that Defendants violated his right to due process when
they completed forfeiture proceedings in 2012 on money seized
from Plaintiff. See Dkt. 5.
August 2, 2017, Defendants moved for summary judgment. Dkt.
19. On August 17, 2017, Plaintiff moved to extend the
deadline for his response to September 25, 2017. Dkt. 27.
have responded to Plaintiff's request in non-opposition.
Dkt. 29. However, Defendants request that if the extension be
granted, the Court also extend the trial date and impending
pretrial deadlines. Id.
23, 2012, Defendant Rogers arrived at the scene of an
accident and observed Plaintiff attempting to hide two bags.
Dkt. 21. Rogers discovered and seized the two bags which
contained a significant quantity of cash and pills.
Id. Rogers arrested Plaintiff because he believed
that Plaintiff had been in an accident while driving under
the influence of alcohol or drugs. Dkt. 21.
the arrest, Rogers informed Plaintiff of his rights and
Plaintiff volunteered information, including his telephone
number and then current address: 2614 46th Street,
Bellingham, Washington 98229. Dkt. 21; Dkt. 22 at 2. The
address was included on the police report filed subsequent to
Plaintiff's arrest and was the same address listed on
Plaintiff's license. Dkt. 22 at 2.
24, 2012, Plaintiff contacted Defendants to request a hearing
to contest the seizure of the cash. Dkt. 20-1 at 3.
Defendants informed Plaintiff that “they were in the
early stages of receiving/reviewing [the] police
report” of the events on which the seizure was based.
August 6, 2012, Defendant German prepared and sent to
Plaintiff a letter via certified mail informing him that he
had until September 20, 2012, to request a hearing in writing
or the seized assets would be deemed forfeited. Dkt. 22 at 2;
Dkt. 22-1. The letter was sent to the address provided by
plaintiff at the time of his arrest which matched the address
on his license. Dkt. 22 at 2. The letter was received at the
address and a signed receipt was returned to Defendants.
Id.; Dkt. 22-2. Plaintiff never responded to the
August 6 letter. Dkt. 22 at 3.
October 26, 2012, German prepared and sent a second letter
via first class mail informing Plaintiff of his failure to
respond to the August 6 letter. Id. at 2; Dkt. 22-3.
The letter informed Plaintiff that his failure to request a
hearing would result in the forfeiture of the seized
property. Dkt. 22-3. The letter also included German's
number and informed Plaintiff that he could contact her with
any questions. Id. Plaintiff never responded to the
October 26 letter. Dkt. 22 at 3. On October 30, 2012, German
created an invoice voucher to transfer the seized funds to
the state patrol's local account authorized under RCW
43.88.195. Dkt. 22-4.
claims that on August 3, 2013, he contacted Defendants
“seeking the return of money in the amount of $4,
195.00 dollars seized by defendant Rogers.” Dkt. 5 at
3. Plaintiff also claims that on August 15, 2013, Whatcom
County Superior Court ordered that Defendants return the
money to Plaintiff in connection with the dismissal of
criminal charges that were filed against him. Id. at
3-4. Plaintiff states that both he and his mother have
contacted each of the Defendants seeking the return of the
money. Id. at 4. While these allegations are taken
directly from Plaintiff's complaint and are not supported
by separate signed declarations, the complaint was signed
with a verification stating under penalty of perjury that the
factual assertions therein were true. Dkt. 5 at 6.