MORGANTOWN — The owner of a landscaping and snow removal service is suing the Monongalia County Commission, the county sheriff and a deputy sheriff over what he claims is the improper seizure of his truck.
Brian Young filed a lawsuit on Jan. 22 in Monongalia Circuit Court against the county commission, Sheriff Allen Kisner and Deputy Christopher Gibat over claims that the defendants acted in violation of due process when they impounded his truck.
Young, owner of Young’s Landscaping and Outdoor Services, alleges that on or about Dec 21, 2015, his 1998 Dodge Ram, which he uses to plow snow and is equipped with a snowplow blade on the front, was seized without a warrant while it was parked in the lot of 433 Creekside Drive, a private residence. Upon calling the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, Young alleges, Gibat told him that his truck was reported as having been involved in an accident on Dec 6, 2015.
The suit alleges that Gibat claimed the sheriff's department had tried to contact Young regarding the incident without success, and that the inability to contact Young led the department to tow his truck. The plaintiff asserts that defendant Gibat tried to coerce Young to implicate himself. When the plaintiff allegedly responded that he did not know who was driving the vehicle on Dec. 6 or even whether it was being driven, defendant Gibat allegedly refused to release the truck until Young told him who was behind the wheel.
The plaintiff claims that the deputy has been holding the truck as part of an attempt to coerce Young into making an incriminating statement. The plaintiff also asserts that the sheriff's department has plans to transfer the truck from its impoundment to a private towing company where it will incur storage and impoundment fees. Young claims that he was not been charged with any criminal offense arising from the alleged accident on Dec. 6. He also asserts that the Sheriff’s Department is unlawfully holding his vehicle without just cause, has violated due process, acted without a warrant, and has caused him financial loss due to the impoundment of his truck and the tools it contains.
Young is demanding that the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department release his truck, award him the costs of the lawsuit and expenses, and any other rewards deemed just by the court. He is seeking a jury trial and is represented by Jared T. Moore from The Moore Law Firm PLLC in Morgantown.
Monongalia Circuit Court Case number 16-C-57