A Saratoga County-based nursery has filed a lawsuit against the Washington County sheriff, accusing deputies of illegally destroying more than 250 industrial hemp research plants.
Toadflax Nursery, based in South Glens Falls, had a state license to grow the plants and each plant had two tags identifying the owners and the state license. The sheriff’s department came upon them and destroyed them last year without checking any of the information provided and without legal cause.
“Defendants’ blatant destruction of Plaintiffs’ entirely legal property constituted, among other things, an unconstitutional search and seizure, occurred without any semblance of due process and with absolutely no finding of culpable or illegal conduct on behalf of Plaintiffs,” the suit filed last week in state Supreme Court in Washington County reads.
The suit names the county, Sheriff Jeffrey J. Murphy and several employees of the department as defendants. County Attorney Roger Wickes declined to comment last week, citing a policy not to comment on pending litigation.
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