Montezuma County District Court No. 17CV8 Honorable Todd J.
Gregory Boudette, Pro Se.
Appearance for Defendant-Appellee.
1 In this case, we conclude that a person who has had
property unlawfully seized by law enforcement officers, and
who has not been charged with a crime, has standing to bring
a claim for return of the property under Crim. P. 41(e).
2 Because the district court found otherwise with respect to
plaintiff, Gregory Boudette, we reverse and remand for
Seizure of Boudette's Property
3 This case arose from the seizure of Boudette's personal
property during the execution of a search warrant at a farm
in Montezuma County. Boudette served as caretaker of the farm
during the owner's absence. He lived in a room in the
main house. The owner lived in Phoenix, Arizona.
4 An officer of the Southwest Drug Task Force obtained a
search warrant from the Montezuma District Court. The officer
signed an affidavit that accompanied the warrant which stated
that law enforcement believed the owner and his son used the
farm as an illegal marijuana growing operation.
5 The warrant described the items to be seized as follows:
Marijuana, Marijuana plants, processed marijuana, gas
extraction devices, weapons, cellular phones, computers,
tablets & electronic notebooks, large sums of United
States currency, records of money transfers and deposits,
receipts for items purchased, evidence of
occupancy/ownership, receipts, paraphernalia for the use of
marijuana, paraphernalia for the distribution of marijuana,
handwritten notes, numbers and addresses, photos and
videotapes, closed and locked containers, pay/owe sheets,
ledgers, publications referencing marijuana and the use or
cultivation of marijuana . . . .
6 Citing Crim. P. 41(b), the warrant sought the seizure of
property that (1) was stolen or embezzled; (2) was designed
or intended for use, or which are or have been used, as a
means of committing a criminal offense or the possession of
which is illegal; or (3) would be material evidence in a
subsequent criminal prosecution.
7 While the owner was away, law enforcement officers executed
the warrant. In the process, law enforcement officers
allegedly seized property owned by Boudette, including a
cellphone; a computer; notebooks; antique muskets; titles to
his truck, ...