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Forfeiture — “Owner” of Subject Property, § 973.075(1)(b)2

State v. Walter A. Kirch, 222 Wis. 2d 598, 587 N.W.2d 919 (Ct. App. 1998)
For Kirch: Timothy J. Gaskell

Issue/Holding:

The federal courts continue to consider possession, title, control and financial stake when determining ownership under 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7). … We therefore consider these factors when determining ownership for the purposes of § 973.075(1)(b)2, Stats.

While Sharon Kirch is listed on the Chevrolet Suburban’s title as the owner, she had no financial stake in the truck, because the truck was purchased entirely by Walter. Nor did she possess or have control over the actual vehicle. She has not claimed ownership of the truck. In fact, she twice stated that the truck “belongs to” her son, and that she was only listed as owner because her son “was undergoing a bankruptcy” and did not want the truck in his name. These are not the indicia of an “owner” of a vehicle. As a result, we conclude that Sharon Kirch is not the “owner” of the Chevrolet Suburban as that term is used in § 973.075(1)(b)2, Stats.

 

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