Gay v. Beary, 758 So. 2d 1242 (Fl. App. 5 Dist. 2000)

Andrew Lloyd Cameron

Case Conclusion Date:May 26, 2000

Practice Area:Criminal Defense

Outcome:Circuit Court Affirmed

Description:Claimant, Carol Gay, appealed the lower court's denial of her claim for attorney's fees from Orange County Sheriff, Kevin Beary resulting from his dismissal of civil forfeiture. The Sheriff originally seized U.S. currency from the claimant's vehicle while she traveled on Florida's turnpike and initiated forfeiture proceedings. The circuit court granted the claimant's Motion for Summary Judgment, based upon a lack of nexus between the currency and criminal activity. The Sheriff appealed the summary judgment and the Fifth District Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the forfeiture proceeding. The Sheriff then dismissed the forfeiture proceeding and returned the forfeited funds. The claimant sought attorney's fees from the Sheriff incurred during four year litigation of the proceeding, alleging bad faith by the Sheriff. The circuit court denied the claimant's motion for attorney's fees, and she appealed. The appellate court affirmed the circuit court's denial of attorney's fees based upon the current statue and case law.