Update, October 3, 2006- The latest antics of the Marshall Police Department. It gives a new meaning to the term "Marshall Law." If any citizen had engaged in similar conduct they could be charged with conspiracy to commit grand larceny. A police-officer failing to turn in recovered property/evidence such as a knife or IPOD, and converting it to their own would be fired and criminally charged. This is very similar but on a grandeur scale.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Carlin, Justinian Investigative Services
To: Chief Michael C. Olson, Marshall Police Department
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: 1993 Dodge Durango, Vehicle of Mary Denise Lands
Dear Chief Olson:
This correspondence was originally sent to the City Clerk under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. It was denied and being re-submitted to you, your department, and the City Attorney.
I have previously submitted written communications to you regarding the release of the vehicle of Mary Denise Lands, which has now been stored in the open tow yard of Bud's Wrecker in Marshall. The vehicle has no wheels and the location of the four tires are unknown. It was unlocked and numerous individuals have been in and out of the vehicle in the periodically unsecured storage lot.
On behalf of the family I attempted to ascertain the status of the vehicle. You have informed individuals that the vehicle was no longer evidence and in the improper manner in which it is being presently stored that statement would appear to be correct. You have previously advised the family that it is evidence. Bud's Wrecker claims it is evidence, according to your position, and under the control of the Marshall Police Department. Depending on the listener, you alternate between statements the vehicle is evidence, or no longer considered evidence? The proper chain of evidence and the securing of that evidence clearly indicate that if the vehicle was once of evidentiary value, it has now been breached. Further, we cannot ascertain why the wheels were removed and where they are presently located? In a previous written response you further responded that the vehicle is not a concern of the family, or myself and it is a matter between the lien-holder and Bud's Wrecker.
We vehemently dispute that claim, and it is on record that Clifford Marshall, Mary's father, is the conservator of her estate, and we ask for the vehicle to be released, as according to Bud's Wrecker, it is in the control and possession of the Marshall Police Department.
I have spoken with the owner of the dealership where the vehicle was purchased and they report the lien is with Chase Bank. Sgt. Scott McDonald was provided all the documentation related to this vehicle.
It is nearing the 3rd winter that this vehicle has been stored outdoors and Mr. Marshall would like to have a statement and release so that he may be able to contact the lien-holder and resolve the issue. It makes no sense for this vehicle to be up on jacks in the rear of an open storage lot.
The Marshall Police Department has acted arbitrarily and callously for over two years in not working with the family to release this vehicle. You and your employees should have had more empathy for the family, especially in this particular matter. Clifford and Anita Marshall have very few items that belonged to their daughter. They would like to have this vehicle released and if they can manage it would like to give the vehicle to Mary's children and keep it in the family. If this issue had been addressed two years ago the family would have been able to work with the lien-holder and Bud's Wrecker to pay the costs for towing and storage. The Marshall Police Department should actually pay these fees and the family is asking for you to do so. A 1993 Dodge Durango with approximately 11,000 miles on it is today valued at approximately $13,000.00. If your agency had examined this issue properly two years ago it would have been one less piece of frustration for the family.
We understand that the files of the Mary Lands case are not subject to inspection or FOIA because the Marshall Police Department claims it is an open investigation. If the vehicle is not evidence we would like the tires to be returned and for the vehicle to be released. We also request that the contents of the glove compartment and vehicle documentation also be returned. The charges for towing and/or storage should be paid by the City of Marshall. The Marshall Police Department has absolutely no legal standing at this time and should not be involved in any civil issues related to this vehicle, Mary Lands' estate and Bud's Wrecker. Any other issues regarding the vehicle could then be resolved between Mr. Marshall, Mary's conservator, the lien-holder and Bud's Wrecker.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Justinian Investigative Services
344 Clayton Avenue
Battle Creek, Michigan 49017-5218