San Leandro medical marijuana patient Michael Lee had his 99 marijuana plants seized from him in a 2000 raid by the Contra Costa Sheriff at his previous residence in Richmond. After charges against him were dismissed, Lee filed a motion for return of property. The Contra Costa Superior Court denied the motion on grounds that the case was still under investigation and that the statute of limitations had not run out. After waiting for the three-year statute of limitations to run out, Lee, with ASA's assistance, filed another motion for return of property in August 2004. At his hearing, Lee discovered that police had destroyed his property without his consent. The judge denied the motion for return of property, but made comments that were extremely helpful for taking Lee's case to federal court to argue Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment (due process) violations. In August 2005, ASA filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Lee to challenge the illegal destruction of his property.The case settled in March 2007 with an agreement that Contra Costa County compensate Lee for $8,000.00, the approximate value of the property.
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