Missouri’s civil forfeiture statute carries a requirement that it be accompanied by a related felony conviction:
Pursuant to SectionSection 513.617 and 82.1000, is a felony conviction related to forfeiture required before property can be forfeited by the government? City of Springfield, Missouri v. Vincent Lee Gee and Peggy L. Gee, No. 26209 (Mo. App. S.D., November 30, 2004), Bates, C.J.
Yes. Although Section 82.1000 is the more specific statute and does not require a felony conviction before forfeiture, it is harmonious and consistent with Section 513.617, which does require a felony conviction before forfeiture by the government.
City of Springfield, Missouri (city) sought an appeal from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Missouri, to overturn the trial court’s ruling for summary judgment for Vincent and Peggy Gee (Gee’s). The Missouri court of appeals held that forfeiture pursuant to SectionSection 82.1000 and 513.617 requires a felony conviction related to the forfeiture, and because no felony conviction was obtained before forfeiture, the trial court’s dismissal of the city’s action against the Gee’s must be upheld.
City brought forfeiture action against the Gee’s automobile after Vincent Gee was arrested on a felony DWI charge, although no conviction was obtained at the time of the proposed forfeiture. The city argued that no conviction was required pursuant to Section 82.1000 RSMo. The city argued that SectionSection 513.617 and 82.1000 RSMo. address the same subject matter, and because Section 82.1000 is more specific and does not require a felony conviction before forfeiture, Section 82.1000 should be the controlling statute.
The court of appeals wrote that the city’s argument only holds true when two statutes cannot be harmonized and there is a “necessary repugnancy” between two statutes that cannot be reconciled. The city’s argument failed because the court of appeals found that the two statutes do not conflict, and therefore, in absence of the required felony conviction, the Gee’s were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Affirmed.