A. Any licensee who has had property placed on “police hold” or had property seized by a law enforcement officer may obtain a hearing to obtain additional information. The licensee shall cause notice to be served on the Chief of Police not more than fifteen (15) days after the “police hold” has been placed or the property seized.
1. Notice shall be served by certified mail, addressed to the Chief of Police, Snohomish Police Department, 230 Maple Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290.
2. The request for hearing shall contain the following:
a. Name, address, and phone number of the licensee requesting the hearing;
b. Name of the business involved, address and phone of the business;
c. Complete description of the item(s) of property involved;
d. Date those items came into the licensee’s possession;
e. The nature of the transaction and number identifying the transaction through which the licensee received the items;
f. Brief statement describing the reason for the licensee’s concern.
B. Upon receipt of the notice requesting the hearing the Chief of Police or his designee shall schedule a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of notice.
1. Property hearings will be held at the Snohomish Police Department;
2. The Chief of Police shall notify the Hearings Officer as provided in this ordinance.
3. The Hearing Officer shall have the power to:
a. Administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence;
b. Rule on offers of proof and receive relevant evidence;
c. Regulate the course of the hearing;
d. Make decisions which shall be so ordered;
e. Establish rules and procedures to conduct hearings consistent herewithin.
C. The following procedures will be followed at a Hearing:
1. At the hearing the licensee may produce any relevant evidence to substantiate his claim of ownership;
2. The police report shall be admitted as probative evidence;
3. All evidence including, but not limited to, records and documents in the possession of the licensee or the police department shall be admitted as evidence and no other factual information or evidence shall be considered in the determination of the case;
4. The Hearing Officer may take notice of judicially cognizable facts;
5. The Hearing Officer may exclude incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial and unduly repetitious information or evidence;
6. Any order of the Hearing Officer shall be supported by proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
D. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall order:
1. That the item(s) shall remain in the possession of the licensee, subject to a “police hold” upon the item(s) or order from a court of competent jurisdiction, or;
2. That possession of the item(s) shall be transferred to the Snohomish Police Department. The Snohomish Police Department may retain the item(s) for use as evidence in court or be directed to return the item(s) to the rightful owner, or;
3. That the item(s) shall remain in the possession of the Snohomish Police Department for use in court as evidence or be directed to return the item(s) to the rightful owner.
E. Any person, including the City, aggrieved by the final decision in a property hearing is entitled to review thereof in the Snohomish County Superior Court.
1. Proceedings for review under this section shall be instituted by filing a petition in Superior Court.
2. Filing of the petition shall not stay enforcement of the Hearing Officer’s decision except by order of the court.
3. Review shall be by the court without a jury. The review shall be de novo unless provided otherwise by ordinance.
4. The court may affirm the decision of the Hearing Officer or remand the case for further proceedings; or it may reverse the decision if substantial rights of the petitioners may be prejudiced because the administrative findings, inferences, conclusion or decisions are:
a. In violation of constitutional provisions;
b. In excess of the statutory authority of jurisdiction of the Hearing Officer. (Ord. 1678, 1989)