Exclusionary Rule Applies to Forfeiture Case, MN High Court Holds

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: civil forfeiture, exclusionary rule.

Daniel Garcia-Mendoza v. 2003 Chevy Tahoe. MN civil forfeiture, exclusionary rule

In this civil forfeiture case, the Minnesota Supreme Court held:

1. Despite his pleading guilty in federal court, the appellant had standing as an aggrieved party to challenge the civil forfeiture under the Minnesota Civil Forfeiture statute, Minn. Stat. 609.531 et seq., because he had a colorable interest in the seized property.

2. The Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule adopted by the United States Supreme Court to deter future Fourth Amendment violations is applicable to civil forfeiture actions brought under that statute.

No. A13-0445 (Minn. Aug. 20, 2014).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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