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Found 5 results

  1. Our clients in Wayne and Garden City were charged with four counts of controlled substance felonies, as well as the police seizing retirement bank accounts, vehicles and other unrelated property. Count 1: Controlled Substances – Delivery / Manufacture of marijuana 5-45 kilograms Count 2: Controlled Substances – Delivery / Manufacture of marijuana 5-45 kilograms At the time of the charged offense, the clients were valid registered patients and caregivers with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program, and were in possession of their cards, and identification at all times during the incident. At the time of the execution of the search warrant, officers were aware the accused were medical marihuana patients and caregivers. In the criminal case in Garden City we had to file many motions to maintain and preserve our client’s rights. · Motion for immunity from prosecution, Section 4 MMMA defense. · Motion for immunity from arrest, Section 4 MMMA Defense. · Motion in Limine to preclude the Search Warrant as defective. · Motion to dismiss charges, Section 4 paraphernalia MMMA defense. · Motion in Limine to preclude evidence from an unconstitutional warrantless cell phone search. · Motion to return untainted property based on lack of a probable cause. Simultaneously, the county seizes assets via civil asset forfeiture laws at the same time as the criminal charges. If you do not challenge the civil asset forfeiture, the county or state will just take the property. Police and prosecutors are only required to give you a piece of paper when the police take the property, called a "Notice of intent to forfeit". For our clients to get their bank accounts back and other property, we had to file motions to compel the court to uphold our client’s constitutional rights to their property. After putting in an appearance on the forfeiture case, the prosecutor failed to notice us of any actions. When we showed up to court, the forfeiture case was dismissed due to “Failure to Serve” in 2015. Wayne County Prosecutors then refiled the forfeiture case TWO years later. We fought again with a series of motions. · Motion to dismiss due to statute of limitations, failure to refile case “promptly”. · Motion to quash discovery. · Motion to dismiss, Section 4 MMMA defense to any penalty (forfeiture). · Motion / Memo to demand a show cause hearing for reason why property was not returned. The clients were charged by the police who thought they were committing serious crimes. The police officers thought, based on their training and experience, our clients were manufacturing marijuana. In cross-examinations of the police officers involved in the raids, we asked a few standard questions. Mr. Komorn : Have you read the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act? Sgt. Police officer: The whole thing? How are the enforcers of the law supposed to carry out the law, if they don’t know the law? How are the police officers supposed to decide who is in compliance with the law and who is not in compliance with the law? There are also 2,000 pages of case law on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, detailing out various immunities and procedures that are not being followed by the police. The police were overzealous and caused ridiculous violations of our client’s constitutional rights. Our clients were charged with the following crimes in Garden City, due to the police using false and incompetent search warrants. Controlled substance--- Manufacture of Marijuana, contrary to MCL; 333.7401(2)(d)(ii), a 7 year felony Controlled substance--- Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, contrary to MCL; 333.7401(2)(d)(ii), a 7 year felony The criminal case against our client was dismissed in Garden City after filing two motions. · Motion to suppress evidence due to lack of probable cause. · Motion to return untainted property. The judge in the case read the original search warrants and said it was ridiculously deficient! https://www.wxyz.com/news/rep-lucido-says-bill-would-prevent-police-from-seizing-innocent-peoples-stuff
  2. Patients and Caregivers are discriminated upon in many facets of life, be it employment, housing, education, student loans, banking, travelling, medical care, prescription medical care, parental rights... and in this case, Emergency Medical Care! My client is a Michigan Medical Marijuana patient who was having an emergency. An ambulance picked him up, and against his hospital preference, the ambulance took him to the U of M Ann Arbor Hospital. While at the hospital, the patient, my client, in response to the standard medical care question of "list any other medications you are currently taking", was honest and replied that he uses a topical marijuana oil. He used the oil at the recommendation of his primary care physician to help with his cancer and chronic pain. He had the oil in his belongings when he was brought to the hospital. The Registered Nurse at the hospital then called the Hospital Security Officer, who then confiscated the patients medical marijuana oil and called the police. Why is the Physician - Patient privileged relationship being violated like this? My client told his nurses that he was a MMMA patient, those same nurses told the HSO and police officer he told them he was a MMMA patient as well. So what gives? The police have the discretion to investigate or talk to people instead of making a case out of something. Why waste time on investigating a medical marijuana patient? The police officer sent the topical marijuana oil to the Michigan State Crime Lab for testing, coming back positive for THC. The police officer forwarded the lab report to the Washtenaw County Prosecutors Office for prosecution. The WCPO then filed charges against this MMMA patient. All for .5 oz of topical oil marihuana-infused product that the patient had in his bag. Of course the prosecutors office did not blink an eye, nor did they use prosecutorial discretion. They issued the charges and sent the warrant to me so that I could have my client turn himself in. This is called a pre-arrest investigation at my office. If you ever have a police interaction but are not arrested, it means they are waiting on lab results. After they get the lab results back , they send out the warrant and arrest you wherever they can find you. Be it at your Home, work, school or driving on the road. When they arrest you at Home, they search your house. When they arrest you at work, you may have to explain to your boss what happened. When they arrest you at school you will be embarrassed. When they arrest you on the road, either you have to get someone to pick up your car or they will tow it. They will search your car as well. Then you have to post bond to get out of jail too. So hiring an attorney that will handle all of that, so you can turn yourself in, not speak to the police, and be arraigned and have usually a personal recognizance bond (meaning you don't have to pay anything, just have to show up at your next court date) is helpful in avoiding a bad situation. This is happening in Ann Arbor of all places? The city that decriminalized Marijuana down to a $25 civil infraction fine? U of M is state property, since it gets state funding. My Advice? If you are a Patient or Caregiver (or not a patient/caregiver) , never admit to anyone that you are possessing marijuana. Marijuana is currently still illegal and currently there are still people who WILL CALL THE POLICE ON YOU for having marijuana. In this case the patient did not have his card at the time he was hospitalized, but registered with the state afterwards. We prepared a Section 8 defense to the crime of possession of marijuana and were ready to battle in court. Instead of our Section 8 evidentiary hearing, instead of the prosecutor wanting to cross examine my client's physician, instead of testifying and all of the pain of a Section 8 defense, we went with a quick Section 4 dismissal. The prosecutor was SHOCKED that my client could not be prosecuted due to having his card now. Judge agreed and the case is dismissed. If you were charged with marijuana possession or manufacture, give me a call. I will fight to get the charges dismissed. 18006563557 http://www.komornlaw.com
  3. Michael Komorn has worked tirelessly for his clients at Komorn Law PLLC to return property seized and forfeited to the police. The items and property seized often has absolutely no medical marijuana (or any crime at all) connection whatsoever. Just looking at the list of things seized, none of it makes sense. 4 wheeler? Gas generator? 401k retirement account? Cars purchased 20 years ago and restored. Ladders, children's birthday money taken out of their Hallmark birthday cards. iphones, ipads, computers, cash, gold rings, guns. The police will take anything of value that they can in any medical marijuana case. As an expert in civil asset forfeiture, Michael Komorn and Komorn Law PLLC attorney Jeff Frazier educate other lawyers on the steps and pitfalls of forfeiture cases on ICLE. Michael Komorn and Jeff Frazier discuss with Rachael Sedlacek about the procedural requirements in a civil asset forfeiture case. Criminal defense can often involve recovering property seized by the police. Civil asset forfeiture cases require navigation of unique procedural rules and complex negotiations. LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - You have seen the movies. Police seize the stuff of crime bosses to stop a network of criminals, but could it happen to the average person? Could your stuff be seized even if you aren’t charged with a crime? Defense attorneys say it is happening all the time here in Michigan, especially to medical marijuana users.When police seize stuff they believe was bought or is money made from a crime, they start what is called a civil asset forfeiture process. Rep. Lucido says bill would prevent police from seizing innocent people's stuff Kim Russell 11:28 PM, Jan 30, 2018 LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - You have seen the movies. Police seize the stuff of crime bosses to stop a network of criminals, but could it happen to the average person? Could your stuff be seized even if you aren’t charged with a crime? Defense attorneys say it is happening all the time here in Michigan, especially to medical marijuana users. When police seize stuff they believe was bought or is money made from a crime, they start what is called a civil asset forfeiture process. “It allows law enforcement and benefits everybody, to remove the profit motive from drug dealing,” said Robert Stevenson, the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Police say they only seize stuff they truly believe is connected to crimes. Often people are never charged with a crime or their belongings are kept after charges are dropped. “I did not get bound over by the judge but they still have my stuff,” said Ginnifer Hency as she testified before state lawmakers in 2015. She said she has multiple sclerosis and is a medical marijuana patient. She said even after a judge cleared her of any crime, the prosecutor fought to keep her valuables. Lawmakers changed the law to raise the burden of proof, but people are still voicing complaints. “I felt robbed, like a highway robbery,” said John Hamann of what happened to him and his dad Ron Hamann. The Hamanns say they believe it is about making money for law enforcement. When medical marijuana became legal, they applied for cards to be caregivers and patients. “I thought everything was legal,” said Ron. “Everything you are supposed to do. I followed all the weights, all the counts and everything like that, but it doesn’t matter. They take everything and say gotcha,” said John. They say almost three years ago police seized all their valuables. They say about two years later, only when they came close to winning their belongings back, were they charged with manufacturing marijuana. To them, it felt like a shakedown. “WCPO’s longstanding office protocol is that any civil forfeiture case and the associated criminal cases are kept separate. In other words WCPO has a fire wall in place..The civil and criminal cases are completely independent from one another,” said Maria Miller of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in a statement. The prosecutor’s office says the Hamann's face the charges because it is alleged that they had over 20 pounds of marijuana and 69 marijuana plants. Komorn, their attorney says that doesn’t make sense as a legal allegation. Ron had a patient card and proof he was a caregiver for two patients. He was allowed to possess 36 plants. John had a patient card and was a caregiver for 4 patients. He was allowed to possess 60 plants. As for the weight, Komorn says pictures submitted as evidence show the marijuana weighed was unusable in that it was wet and included stalks thrown in the garbage. Komorn says only usable marijuana is supposed to count in weight limitations. The Hamanns say what was seized has nothing to do with marijuana. They say police seized their 401Ks, which they contributed to through their jobs at a home remodeling company. Police told them they could because the money was from drugs. “I don’t understand it at all. It is on my paystub. It shows where my money comes from. It is all legal,” said John Hamann. “All the money is traceable from his job into his 401k,” said Rep. Peter Lucido (R-36th District). “There is no logic or reason for the police to do what they are doing. But they have the right to do it under state law.” Representative Peter Lucido has introduced House Bill 4158. He says police all too often seize property from the innocent.Taking a look at the numbers. The state’s asset forfeiture report says in 2016 police seized more than 15 million dollars in property. In about ten percent of those cases no one was charged. He wants the law changed, so that police would only be able to keep your stuff if there is a conviction, forcing police to at least charge people in order to keep their belongings. “They have a right to seize it and put it into an evidence locker, but if they don’t charge the person, what did the person do wrong under the law?” asks Lucido. “It does put people in a tough spot. It puts a person in a tough spot if those proceeds are from illegal activity,” said Stevenson. Law enforcement leaders, like Stevenson, say If someone wants to get their stuff back, all they have to do is answer the questions investigators have. It has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime. “One of the things you have to do in a civil case, which you do not have to do in a criminal case, is you have to answer questions,” said Stevenson. Michael Komorn argues that it hurts justice. He says he takes on clients who can’t afford his services, because their assets are seized. “The idea that the government just takes it, and the idea that by possessing it it becomes theirs, and the burden shifts to the owner of it to prove that the property is not guilty or that they got it legally, goes against the grain of what people expect from our legal system,” said Komorn. John and Ron Hamman says they believe they will be found not guilty - but in the meantime are being punished. Rep. Lucido will have the chance to make his case that this law needs to be changed during a hearing in Lansing on February 6. https://www.wxyz.com/news/rep-lucido-says-bill-would-prevent-police-from-seizing-innocent-peoples-stuff http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/vibrator-taken-during-marijuana-police-raid-says-woman Read more about criminal asset forfeiture and civil asset forfeiture on my blog. http://komornlaw.com/does-freezing-defendants-untainted-assets-violate-right-to-counsel-of-choice/ http://komornlaw.com/how-a-sex-toy-put-spotlight-on-michigan-civil-asset-forfeiture-laws-targeted-for-reform/ http://komornlaw.com/civil-asset-forfeiture-guilty-until-proven-innocent/ http://komornlaw.com/editorial-court-puts-limit-on-police-stealing/ http://komornlaw.com/feds-using-forfeiture-to-their-advantage/ http://komornlaw.com/mich-cops-seized-24m-in-2014-in-drug-cases/ http://komornlaw.com/house-speaker-michigan-must-reform-asset-forfeiture/ http://komornlaw.com/court-pot-as-tip-no-reason-for-police-to-seize-car/ http://komornlaw.com/vibrator-taken-during-marijuana-police-raid-says-woman-fox-2/ http://komornlaw.com/police-ransack-charges-dropped/ http://komornlaw.com/2015-michigan-state-police-asset-forfeiture-report-final/ Meet Some Law Enforcement Officers Who Support Forfeiture Reform Michigan Legislature should strengthen property rights By JARRETT SKORUP | Feb. 14, 2018 | Follow Jarrett Skorup on Twitter While many interest groups representing law enforcement employees oppose reforming civil asset forfeiture to require a criminal conviction before the state can take ownership of a person’s property, some law enforcement officers support the changes. In the Traverse City Record-Eagle, reporter Kyle Kaminski gets comments from a variety of law enforcement officials about forfeiture generally and about a bill that would reform how it's used in Michigan. Here are the responses: “It would be easier for us and more fair to those who are having their property forfeited to have a criminal conviction,” said Grand Traverse County Undersheriff Nate Alger. “Our system is based on being innocent until proven guilty.” … Attorney General Bill Schuette this week said conviction before [forfeiture] is a “good principle” to maintain. … County Prosecutor Bob Cooney noted most local forfeiture cases include a criminal conviction but said current laws force them to continue. “I wish the state would better fund narcotics teams and not incentivize them in any way to go after forfeiture dollars,” Cooney said. “At the same time, those laws were set up to take away profits from those selling illegal drugs. That’s the idea.” … “I’m a little concerned that by tying them to a criminal conviction, it’s going to bring me people who try to barter their way out of things,” Kalkaska County Prosecutor Mike Perreault said. “I could also see the argument then that we’re only prosecuting people to take their stuff.” Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said “common sense” dictates police first need to prove someone guilty of a crime. “I know forfeiture is a huge asset, especially for drug enforcement teams. There’s never enough money to fund those things,” Schendel said. “But I like to err on the side of the people and the Constitution.” The law enforcement officials are joined by others in their field who support the conviction requirement. House Bill 4158 would do the following: Require a criminal conviction, or plea agreement, prior to any forfeiture taking place for assets under $50,000. Allow for exemptions for people who die, are deported or abandon their property. This properly balances protecting innocent people’s property rights with enabling law enforcement to forfeit property that was either obtained with proceeds from illegal activity or used for illegal purposes. http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/meet-some-law-enforcement-officers-who-support-forfeiture-reform
  4. http://www.nicholslawyers.com/In-The-News/ID/2496/categoryId/144/Medical-Marijuana-Caregiver-Has-Charges-Dismissed-After-Motion-To-Present-An-Affirmative-Defense-Is-Argued Attorney Joshua M. Covert of the Nichols Law recently represented a client who was charged with two felonies involving marijuana. The client was a medical marijuana patient and a caregiver to 3 other patients. Despite being registered with the state as a patient and as a caregiver, the client’s home was raided pursuant to a search warrant issued by a Kent County Judge. Mr. Covert met with the client and discussed the protections provided to her by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA). Mr. Covert as an attorney who devotes a large part of his practice to defending patients and caregivers knew that after listening to the client tell her story that she would have a good chance of asserting the affirmative defense as outlined in section 8 of the MMMA. An affirmative defense under the MMMA requires the defendant to prove that there was a bona fide patient-physician relationship for each patient, that there was no more medicine than reasonably necessary to prevent an uninterrupted supply, and that the marijuana was for medicinal use. Mr. Covert then filed a motion and brief outlining his client’s defense and proceeded to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine if the affirmative defense would be available to his client and to determine if a dismissal was appropriate. At the start of the second day of the hearing Mr. Covert and the prosecuting attorney discussed the possibility of agreeing to certain facts. By the time the discussion had completed Mr. Covert and the prosecuting attorney were able to agree on the facts necessary for a dismissal under section 8. “The outcome of this case illustrates why it is important to MMMA patients and caregivers to stand up for their rights as cardholders, my client had been offered many plea offers during the process but every time she stood firm and refused to admit that she did anything to violate the MMMA and ultimately after several months her case was dismissed weeks before trial” says attorney Covert. If you are a patient or caregiver under the MMMA and facing criminal charges, call the Nichols Law Firm at 517-432-9000 and speak with attorneys who are familiar with the defenses under the MMMA. interesting stuff. dont take a plea!
  5. AMHERST – A series of drug charges against an Athol man who says he’s exiled in Europe have been withdrawn. Rickey Logan Simpson, 62, was charged with the production of cannabis marijuana, possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of cannabis marijuana and possession of cannabis resin following a raid of his Athol Road home in November 2009. Simpson was in Amsterdam, Holland accepting the Freedom Fighter of the Year Award at the annual Cannabis Cup when the raid occurred and it’s believe he has been in Europe since then. Crown attorney Doug Shatford said the court approved a forfeiture application against Simpson under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act last week. Once that occurred, he brought forward a motion to withdraw the charges against Simpson, who declared himself an exile in Europe after the 2009 raid. “The application was made to forfeit the items that were seized in the raid and upon completion of that the decision was made to withdraw the charges,” Shatford said Friday. Under the order, Simpson forfeits cannabis marijuana and resin seized in the raid along with growing equipment, marijuana plants and seeds, syringes, three crossbows and arrows, two pellet guns - including one with scope and suspected silencer, grow up materials, video equipment, books, documents and building materials. Shatford said one the issues facing the court was Simpson’s whereabouts. “We’re really not sure where he is. We believe he is somewhere in Europe. He had been in Holland, but we’re not sure if he’s still there or somewhere else in Europe,” Shatford said. Withdrawing the charges would appear to clear the way for Simpson to return to Canada. Shatford is not aware of any other outstanding charges against him. In December 2009, Simpson said via email he could not return to Canada because he would be put in jail “without jail or medicine.” He said he’s not afraid of jail, but could not go without his medicine. To him, returning to Canada “would be like committing suicide.” Simpson said he grew the marijuana plants, extracted the oil, and provided it free of charge. He said he has never hidden his activities from police. After he was convicted in 2007, he told the judge he would not stop. Source: cumberlandnewsnow.com
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