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Court: Nevada county unjustly seized dead man’s property

December 14, 2018

WELLINGTON, Nev. (AP) — A federal appeals court has affirmed a $2.1 million judgment against a Nevada county and a former county official for taking property from the home of a dead man.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Tuesday in the case of Joe Mathis and Lyon County.

The 85-year-old Mathis had been found dead at his home in 2006. His heirs contend the county’s public administrator at the time, Richard Glover, entered Mathis’ home without a warrant or notice and removed weapons, coins and other valuables.

While a public administrator has the authority to secure property following a death, court documents state that some of the property was not returned to the heirs.

The court found that entering the home didn’t amount to a constitutional violation but that the seizure of property was not justified.

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