United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ADRIAN G. SASSEN VANELSLOO, Plaintiff,
RONALD ROGERS, et al, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND REVOKING PLAINTIFF'S IN FORMA PAUPERIS
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Susan German,
Shirley Kennedy, Ronald Rogers, and Stephen Sutton's
("Defendants") motion for summary judgment (Dkt.
19). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support
of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the
file and hereby grants the motion for the reasons stated
29, 2016, Plaintiff Adrian Sassen Vanelsloo
("Vanelsloo") filed a motion to proceed in
forma pauperis and a proposed civil rights complaint.
Dkts. 1, 1-1. On July 19, 2016, Vanelsloo filed a first
amended complaint alleging Defendants denied him written
notice of a forfeiture proceeding, denied him a hearing, and
unlawfully seized his property in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment of the Constitution. Dkt. 5.
August 2, 2017, Defendants moved for summary judgment. Dkt.
19. On September 25, 2017, Vanelsloo responded. Dkt. 32. On
September 29, 2017, Defendants replied. Dkt. 34.
23, 2012, Officer Rodgers arrested Vanelsloo for driving
under the influence. Dkt. 21, Declaration of Ronald Rogers,
¶¶ 2, 9. Incident to the arrest, Officer Rodgers
seized a bag of narcotics and $695 in cash. Id.
¶¶ 11-12. When he returned to his office, Officer
Rodgers submitted a request for seizure form for the cash.
24, 2012, Vanelsloo contacted Officers Kennedy and German to
request a hearing to contest the seizure of his cash. Dkt.
20-1 at 2 (request for admission #9).
August 6, 2012, Officer German mailed a letter to Vanelsloo
informing him of the seizure and "that he had until
September 20, 2012 to request a hearing or the currency would
be deemed forfeited." Dkt. 22, Declaration of Susan
German, ¶ 3. Officer German sent the letter via the
United States Postal Service to the address Vanelsloo
provided to Officer Rodgers, which was the same address on
his driver's license. Id. ¶ 4. Officer
German sent the letter via certified mail and with a return
receipt requested. Id. A recipient signed for the
letter at that address. Id. ¶ 6.
October 26, 2012, Officer German prepared a second letter to
Vanelsloo informing him that, as a result of his failure to
timely respond to the first letter, his cash would be
forfeited. Id. She sent the letter to the same
address via certified mail with a return receipt requested.
Id. A recipient signed for the letter. Id.
October 30, 2015, Officer German deemed the cash forfeited
and transferred the funds in question to a fund for the State
of Washington because she did not hear from Vanelsloo.
August 15, 2013, the state court dismissed the charges
against Vanelsloo. As part of the dismissal, the court
ordered that the cash be released to Vanelsloo's mother.
Dkt. 32 at 13.