Bond Required To Obtain Seized Property During Pendency Of Forfeiture Proceeding
State of Alabama v. Two White Hook Wreckers, et al., [Ms. 1190180, Dec. 11, 2020], ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2020). In a per curiam opinion (Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Sellers, Mendheim, and Mitchell, JJ., concur; Wise, Bryan, and Stewart, JJ., concur specially), the Court reverses a temporary restraining order entered pursuant to Rule 65, Ala. R. Civ. P. by the Mobile Circuit Court which allowed Smith, the owner of two wreckers, to obtain possession of them during the pendency of forfeiture proceedings brought by the State of Alabama. The order required Smith to post a bond of only $5,000. Ms. *4. The Court reverses and explains that
Section 28-4-287 [Ala. Code 1975], …, specifically governs how a claimant may obtain possession of a seized vehicle during the pendency of a forfeiture proceeding: by “execut[ing] a bond in double the value of such property.” That simple procedure is very different from the procedure required for obtaining a TRO under Rule 65. Section 28-4-287 plainly “provide[s]” the practice at issue here, i.e., the procedure for obtaining seized personal property during the pendency of a forfeiture action. Thus, §28-4-287 provides the exclusive means for obtaining seized personal property during the pendency of a forfeiture action, and injunctive relief under Rule 65 is unavailable as a means for a claimant to obtain such property.