State v. One Single Family Residence (Wheatcroft)

In State v. One Single Family Residence (Wheatcroft). 193 Ariz. 1, 4, 969 P.2d 166, 169 (App. 1997), the State physically seized two vehicles, but failed to serve the Wheatcrofts with notice of the forfeiture action. 193 Ariz. at 5, 969 P.2d at 170. The Wheatcrofts filed an answer to the forfeiture complaint and a claim to the property. Id. at 6, 969 P.2d at 171. The Court held that because the Wheatcrofts filed a claim of ownership of the seized property, had the opportunity to be heard, and contested the forfeiture, the failure to provide the statutory notice did not deprive the court of jurisdiction over the vehicles. Id. at 5-6, 969 P.2d at 170-71. The Court reasoned that "the notice provisions of the forfeiture chapter are intended to give interested persons an opportunity to contest the forfeiture," and because Wheatcroft actively participated in the forfeiture action, he waived any objection he had about lack of notice. Id. at 6, 969 P.2d at 171.