A Nevada County judge has declined to completely dismiss a civil suit filed by a marijuana grower against Nevada County and the Sheriff’s Office.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderson sided with plaintiff Brian Chaplin, ruling that he can continue pursuing his claim that he had a legal right to cultivate and possess marijuana that was seized by sheriff’s deputies. Anderson said last month that Chaplin also can continue with the argument that a search warrant executed by sheriff’s deputies was not valid and that he suffered a due process violation when they seized his marijuana.
Anderson did agree with a portion of Deputy County Counsel Jamie Hogenson’s argument and dismissed five of eight “causes of action,” or the facts that form the basis of Chaplin’s complaint, initially filed by attorney Joseph Elford in December 2018. Elford has indicated he would not file an amended complaint and instead would proceed with the case as it stands now, with allegations the county violated the state constitution and must provide “equitable relief” that can include restitution.
The parties are set to return to court March 9.
The basis for the civil suit stems from law enforcement’s response to a home invasion robbery of Chaplin’s property on Nov. 11, 2017. Chaplin has been growing medicinal cannabis on two properties in Nevada County since 2013. His company, Medicine Box, had its own collective but was also cultivating for The Caladrius Network.
Chaplin was not home at the time of the robbery on Brooks Road. Several workers at the site were ambushed by five men in tactical gear who held them at gunpoint and bound them with zip ties before stealing about 40 totes of marijuana cola on the stem and a GreenBroz trim machine, the complain alleges.
The workers freed themselves and called Chaplin, who