Lawsuit Filed Against Logan County Sheriff For Unlawful Search And Seizure

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LOGAN COUNTY (KFSM) — A civil action lawsuit has been filed against Logan County Sheriff Boyd Hicks, after he has been accused of unlawful search and seizure of a Booneville man’s handgun.

William Oliver, 69, claims that some people new to Logan County had moved near his Booneville residence in January 2015, and that a county deputy told Oliver the they were being watched, according to the lawsuit document.

Oliver states that he and his wife were told to be on alert and aware of their surroundings, and that the deputy told Mrs. Oliver to keep the house doors locked and “make sure you know who is at the door,” the lawsuit reads.

Oliver began to keep a loaded handgun, a North American Arms .22 caliber revolver, available for use at his house, according to the lawsuit.

On February 3, 2015, Oliver heard a knock at his front door, and slightly opened the door with his revolver in hand, the lawsuit states. After seeing that it was Hicks and his deputies at the door, he took two or three steps back into his living room and laid the revolver on the floor, according to the document.

Oliver laid the gun approximately three or four feet behind him, and Hicks asked him to step outside. Once Oliver obliged and stepped outside the front door, he was placed in handcuffs by one of the deputies, according to the lawsuit.

Hicks asked Oliver why he answered the door with the weapon, and Oliver said it was the way he had always answered the door, the lawsuit states. Hicks then entered the home without permission and without a search warrant, and took Oliver’s handgun into his possession, according to the lawsuit.

Oliver was only told why he was arrested until after he spent  the night in jail, the lawsuit states. However, it does not list the charges on which he was arrested.

On February 9, the sheriff’s office returned the gun to Oliver, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states, “Sheriff Hicks, in his official capacity, unlawfully seized Plaintiff’s weapon, and deprived Plaintiff the use and possession of the weapon for over five days.”

Oliver and his attorney, Joe D. Byars, Jr., have demanded a jury trial. The proposed trial date has been scheduled for Oct. 3, 2016.

Sheriff Hicks has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

3 comments

  • cecilfrank

    I don’t know. This may be a tough case to win for the complainant. I believe, and this is just my opinion, if officers come to your door to arrest you, and you open the door holding a handgun, that gives them probable cause to enter the home and confiscate the weapon pending charges that could be filed. Apparently no charges were filed and the handgun was returned. The only winners in this case will be the lawyers.

    • Rampaging Weasel (@WahooChicken)

      Arrest him for what? No mention is made of an arrest warrant, which is required unless police have probable cause, which is also absent from this story. If the sheriff wished merely to question the individualhe had no probable cause to enter the home. From the content of the story it seems as if the man was arrested merely for having a weapon when he opened the door, which isn’t illegal.

      • cecilfrank

        Yeah, but when a Sheriff accompanied by his deputy’s goes to someone’s door, its usually not for a social visit. I’m sure there’s more to this story. Keep in mind this is the plaintiffs or attorneys statement to the news media.

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