Judge once again orders North Carolina town to return $17K seized from man in 2020

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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Iredell District Court Judge Christine Underwood once again ordered the Town of Mooresville and its police department seven days to comply with a court order or go to jail.

This case began on Nov. 16, 2020, when officers with the Mooresville Police Department were called out to a hotel where they searched an unoccupied rental car.

Officers seized a small amount of marijuana, as well as about $17,000 belonging to a Connecticut man, Jermaine Sanders, whose daughter resides in Iredell County.

On Nov. 19, 2020 the Mooresville Police Department was put on notice of a hearing to challenge the seizure of Sanders’ money, according to his lawyer Ashley Cannon.

However, the day before the hearing, Nov. 23, 2020, the police sent a check for the money to the federal government under the authority of the controversial civil forfeiture law.

The case continued to be litigated and then in February 2021 Judge Christine Underwood ordered Mooresville to return Sanders money or go to jail. They did not.

They attempted to file a notice of appeal which was rejected Monday. So once again, Mooresville is on the clock to return Sanders’ $17,000.

But now, Sanders faces an additional hurdle. The feds have a filed a forfeiture case to retain the money, so Sanders will be fighting in both state and federal court to get his $17,000 back.

FOX 46 reached out to Patrick Flanagan, who represents the town and police department of Mooresville. He had no comment.

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