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People v. $280

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

June 12, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
$280, 020 in UNITED STATES CURRENCY, Defendant-Appellee (Shayne Kolody and Stephen M. Komie, Claimants-Appellees).

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. 01 M1 605300 Honorable Mark J. Ballard, Judge Presiding.

Justices Sterba and Pierce concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

NEVILLE, PRESIDING JUSTICE

¶ 1 Police officers found cellophane wrapped bundles of cash in Shayne Kolody's luggage at Union Station. The officers seized the luggage and the State filed a complaint under the Drug Asset Forfeiture Procedure Act (Act) (725 ILCS 150/1 et seq. (West 2000)), alleging that either someone intended to use the cash to purchase narcotics, or someone received the cash in exchange for narcotics. Shayne filed a claim for the cash. He moved to suppress the evidence discovered in the search of his luggage. During a trial at which Shayne and police officers testified, the trial court granted the motion to suppress, based on its findings that Shayne did not consent to the search and that the police lacked probable cause to search the luggage. The trial court found that without the evidence discovered in the search, the State lacked any basis for forfeiture of the cash. The court ordered the State to return the cash to Shayne.

¶ 2 On appeal, the State argues: (1) Shayne lacked standing to claim the cash; (2) the court erred when it suppressed the evidence; and (3) the State showed probable cause for forfeiture of the cash. We find: (1) Shayne's possession of the cash at the time of the seizure gave him standing to claim the cash; (2) Shayne's testimony adequately supports the trial court's decision to suppress the evidence; and (3) without the suppressed evidence, the State cannot prove its case for forfeiture of the cash. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

¶ 3 BACKGROUND

¶ 4 On January 23, 2001, Sergeant Daryl Johnson of the Chicago police department received a report that Shayne, a Canadian citizen, paid cash for a one-way ticket for a train trip from Chicago to Seattle, and Shayne bought the ticket less than 24 hours before the train's scheduled departure. Johnson and his partner found Shayne on the train platform. Shayne agreed to answer some questions about his trip. Johnson searched Shayne's luggage, where he found a number of cellophane-wrapped bundles of cash. Johnson took the luggage and the cash to the police station. He did not arrest Shayne.

¶ 5 On April 26, 2001, the State's Attorney for Cook County filed a complaint for forfeiture of the cash seized in Shayne's luggage. According to the complaint, Shayne agreed to permit Johnson to search his luggage, and the officers found a total of $280, 020, mostly in $20 bills. Shayne, through counsel, filed a verified claim for the cash. He said he acquired the cash on "numerous dates, " in "multiple transfers over a lifetime."

¶ 6 The State moved for summary judgment, arguing that Shayne lacked standing to claim the cash. The State relied on Shayne's answers to interrogatories, in which he said his father, John Kolody, loaned him the money, which John had received from John's sister, Mildred Morrison. The trial court denied the motion for summary judgment.

¶ 7 Shayne moved to suppress the evidence seized from him at the train station. The trial court heard evidence on the motion at the trial on the State's complaint.

¶ 8 At the bench trial, held in 2011, the State called Shayne as an adverse witness. Shayne testified that he and his friend, Luis, were heading to Canada for a vacation, when John called Shayne and asked him to come to Chicago. Shayne and Luis drove a rental car from Seattle to a hotel in Joliet that John chose. John asked Shayne to take some cash back to John's home in Canada. Luis and Shayne visited Chicago. After two days, Luis drove back home alone. On January 22, 2001, John came to Shayne's hotel room carrying a bag that held $328, 000. They counted and packaged the money. John suggested wrapping the bundles in cellophane because he "was concerned about there being a dog sniff on the train." John told Shayne he got $330, 000 from Mildred, and he used the money for gambling.

¶ 9 Shayne testified that when Johnson stopped him on the train platform the next morning, Shayne told Johnson truthfully that he had visited Chicago for a few days. He did not consent to the search of his luggage or the seizure of the cash.

¶ 10 Johnson's testimony conflicted with Shayne's testimony about the encounter on the train platform. According to Johnson, Shayne said he took the train from Seattle to Chicago, and he stayed in Chicago for a few days. Shayne consented to the search of his luggage. Johnson admitted he did not ask Shayne to sign a form showing his consent to the search. Shayne could not find the key for one piece of luggage, so Shayne permitted Johnson's partner to pry the zipper open. The officers found the cash in that bag. According to Johnson, Shayne did not answer a question about who owned the cash. Shayne admitted that he stayed at a hotel in Joliet, and not in Chicago, all of the nights he stayed in the area. Johnson said that ended the conversation.

ΒΆ 11 The assistant State's Attorney asked whether Johnson asked Shayne how much money the luggage held. The court noted that Johnson had already testified that he had recounted all of the conversation with Shayne. The assistant State's Attorney said, "I'm trying to cue [Johnson]." The court disallowed the leading question, but Johnson subsequently testified that Shayne once said that the bag might have "100 to 200, 000" in cash, and later Shayne said he had a total of $330, 000 in cash in his ...


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