Commonwealth v. All That Certain Lot

The Pennsylvania Superior Court offered an informative recitation of the standard and burden-shifting framework of a forfeiture action. Appellant pleaded guilty to PWID and related charges. The Commonwealth then filed a petition for forfeiture and condemnation of Appellant’s property. The trial court entered judgment on the pleadings in the Commonwealth’s favor, concluding that the property was an instrumentality of the drug crimes and that its value was not disproportionate to the gravity of the offenses committed. Appellant appealed and argued that the pleadings did not warrant judgment in favor of the Commonwealth because there were issues to be resolved. The Superior Court agreed and reversed. The Court ruled that the pleadings did not provide a basis for the trial court to determine that no genuine issues of fact existed as to the factors a court must consider during a forfeiture proceeding.

All-That-Certain-Lot