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Peterson v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fifth District

January 10, 2020

Malcolm N. PETERSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.

          

Page 1238

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Volusia County, Raul A. Zambrano, Judge.

          James S. Purdy , Public Defender, and Edward J. Weiss , Assistant Public Defender, Daytona Beach, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody , Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rebecca Rock McGuigan , Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.

         TRAVER, J.

         Malcolm Peterson appeals the circuit court's order summarily denying his motion for return of personal property. This is the second time we have addressed his motion. We affirm in part and reverse in part. We again reverse because the trial court erred by denying the motion without either conducting an evidentiary hearing or attaching portions of the record refuting Peterson's motion.

         In our last opinion, we outlined this matter's background:

While executing a search warrant at Peterson's residence, law enforcement seized various contraband and drug paraphernalia. In addition to these items, law enforcement seized $187.00 in cash from Peterson as well as a black wallet containing his Florida driver license and $2,565.00 in cash. The State charged Peterson with four drug-related offenses; but, the charges were ultimately nolle prossed.
Peterson then filed a motion seeking the return of his cash, wallet, and driver license. After receiving a response from the State, the circuit court summarily denied the motion.

Peterson v. State, 249 So.3d 1264, 1264-65 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).

         On remand, the trial court conducted a hearing on Peterson's motion. It heard argument from the State and Peterson; it did not receive any testimony or evidence. The State argued the currency had been the subject of a valid civil forfeiture proceeding, and Peterson's request for its return was therefore impossible in the criminal case. It further contended that it did not wish to return Peterson's wallet and license because they might be required as evidence in a separate criminal proceeding. The State explained that even though this case had been nolle prossed, Peterson had two felony drug convictions. In one of those cases, the State had introduced photographs of the wallet and license, and it might prefer to use the actual items if the case required retrial.

         The trial court again summarily denied Peterson's motion. Its order attached copies of the forfeiture judgment and the exhibit list in Peterson's other criminal case. The exhibit list referenced pictures of Peterson's license and wallet. Peterson does not contest the trial court's ruling ...


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