Civil Litigation: Sheriff Unlawfully Seizes Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars of Property
Case: Mike Pierce v. Terry Parks, Sheriff of Choctaw County, OK [CJ-15-55][Choctaw County]
Result: Sheriff Forced to Return All Property and Pay Damages
Summary: According to the Choctaw County Sheriff [the “CCSO”] and Oklahoma’s Alcoholic Beverage License Enforcement [“ABLE”], their agents had probable cause for the warrants they executed on Mr. Pierce’s home and his two SE OK businesses. A very successful self-made businessman, Mr. Pierce had hundreds of thousands of dollars of property seized by these agents via these warrants, including rare coins and precious metals.
Mr. Pierce hired Haslam to get his property back and defend what the CCSO promised would be a raft of serious felony charges. Mr. Pierce reasonably feared some of the thousands of rare coins would be “lost” while in the CCSO property room. The CCSO claimed it had turned the case over to the FBI and federal prosecutors to explain the lengthy delay in bringing charges.
Haslam filed a replevin motion in Choctaw County District Court to force the authorities to either bring charges or return the property. Rather than defend Haslam’s motion, the CCSO agreed to hand-deliver all the property back to Mr. Pierce and pay damages for his losses.