Ferrari v. County of Suffolk


AMENDED OPINION, by PNL, DAL, SLC, FILED.[1939528] [15-975]

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Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page1 of 48 15‐975‐cv  Ferrari v. County of Suffolk      UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS  FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT    August Term 2015    (Argued: February 4, 2016    Decided: December 27, 2016           Amended: January 4, 2017)    No. 15‐975‐cv    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––    JAMES B. FERRARI,    Plaintiff‐Appellee,    ‐v.‐    COUNTY OF SUFFOLK,    Defendant‐Appellant,    CHRISTINE MALAFI, JOHN DOE, 1‐10, INDIVIDUALLY,    Defendants.    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––    Before:  LEVAL, LIVINGSTON, AND CARNEY, Circuit Judges.        Defendant‐Appellant  County  of  Suffolk  appeals  from  a  final  judgment,  entered  on  March  2,  2015,  in  the  United  States  District  Court  for  the  1   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page2 of 48 Eastern  District  of  New  York.    The  district  court  (Seybert,  J.)  granted  summary  judgment  in  favor  of  Plaintiff‐Appellee  James  B.  Ferrari  as  to  liability  on  his  claim  that  his  right  to  procedural  due  process  was  violated  at  a  post‐seizure  hearing  at  which  it  was  determined  that  his  2003  Ferrari,  seized  in  connection  with his arrest for driving while intoxicated, should remain impounded pending  a forfeiture action.  After a trial on damages alone, the jury returned a verdict in  favor  of  Plaintiff‐Appellee  in  the  amount  of  $95,000.    We  conclude  that  the  district court erred in interpreting our decision in Krimstock v. Kelly, 306 F.3d 40  (2d  Cir.  2002),  not  to  permit  a  municipality  to  retain  a  vehicle  for  public  safety  reasons in appropriate cases.  We also conclude that at a post‐seizure hearing to  determine whether a vehicle should be returned to a title‐owner pendente lite, the  Due Process Clause permits Suffolk County, after making out a prima facia case  that  retention  is  necessary  to  protect  its  interests,  to  shift  the  burden  of  going  forward onto the title owner to identify an alternative measure that would satisfy  the  municipality’s  interests.    In  light  of  these  determinations,  we  conclude  that  the  district  court  erred  in  granting  summary  judgment  to  Ferrari  and  in  not  granting summary  judgment  to  Suffolk County.  We  REVERSE and REMAND  with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Suffolk County.        ANDREW  J.  CAMPANELLI,  Campanelli & Associates, P.C.,  Merrick, New York, for Plaintiff‐Appellee.    L.  ADRIANA  LOPEZ,  Assistant  Suffolk  County  Attorney  (Christopher  M.  Gatto,  Assistant  Suffolk  County  Attorney,  on  the  brief),  for  Dennis  M.  Brown,  Suffolk  County Attorney, Hauppauge, New York, for Defendant‐ Appellant.    DEBRA ANN LIVINGSTON, Circuit Judge:    On  May  26,  2009,  James  Ferrari,  drunk,  and  high  on  prescription  medication, was arrested for speeding wildly down a road in Suffolk County at  over 100 miles per hour — driving a 2003 Ferrari Coupe.  Shortly after the arrest,  2   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page3 of 48 the  County  impounded  the  Ferrari  pursuant  to  Suffolk  County’s  “DWI  Seizure  Law,”  a  provision  “specifically  [and  exclusively  aimed]  at  repeat  offenders  of  New  York’s  drunk  driving  laws.”    Suffolk  County  Local  Law  No.  7‐2004  §  1  (2004).    At  a  subsequent  hearing  to  determine  whether  the  vehicle  should  be  released to Ferrari pending an ultimate finding that it was forfeitable, the County  presented to the neutral magistrate undisputed evidence of Ferrari’s arrest.  The  County also presented evidence of his long history of traffic violations, including  both a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated and an abundance of license  suspensions.    Ferrari  himself  did  not  appear  or  offer  any  evidence  at  that  hearing;  instead,  his  counsel’s  only  argument  was  that  the  magistrate  should  return the car to Ferrari as the County had not satisfied its obligation, under the  Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, of showing that retention of  the  vehicle  pendente  lite  was warranted,  as  it  had  not  introduced  evidence  in  its  prima  facia  case  that  an  alternative  measure,  such  as  a  bond,  would  be  insufficient  to  meet  the  County’s  interests.    After  a  neutral  magistrate  ordered  that the vehicle be retained by the County, Ferrari filed a claim under 42 U.S.C.  § 1983,  alleging  that  Suffolk  County,  in  retaining  his  vehicle  pendente  lite,  deprived  him  of  due  process.    The  district  court  agreed  and  granted  summary  3   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page4 of 48 judgment to Ferrari, who was thereafter awarded $95,000 by a jury at a trial that  was limited to damages alone.  We conclude that, at a post‐seizure hearing to determine whether a vehicle  should  be  returned  to  a  title  owner  pendente  lite  pursuant  to  Suffolk  County’s  DWI Seizure Law, the Due Process Clause permits Suffolk County, after making  out a prima facia case that retention is necessary to protect the County’s interests  in  the  financial  value  of  the  vehicle  and/or  in  protecting  the  public  from  continued unsafe and illegal driving, to shift the burden of going forward to the  title  owner  to  identify  an  alternative  measure  that  would  satisfy  the  County’s  interests.    In  light  of  this  holding,  we  reverse  the  district  court’s  grant  of  summary judgment to Ferrari and remand with instructions to enter judgment in  favor of the County.  I. Factual Background    On  May  26,  2009,  James  Ferrari  (the  “Plaintiff”)  was  driving  his  2003  Ferrari  Coupe  westbound  on  South  Country  Road  in  Bellport,  New  York,  at  a  speed in excess of 100 miles per hour, swerving wildly across the double‐yellow  line.  After observing Ferrari’s Ferrari zoom past, a Suffolk County police officer  pulled the Plaintiff over.  As he approached, the officer noted that the Plaintiff’s  “breath smelled strongly of [alcohol, that] his eyes were bloodshot, . . . and [that]  4   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page5 of 48 his  gait  was  unsteady.”    J.A.  234.    As  the  officer  would  later  attest  in  the  subsequently  filed  felony  complaint,  Ferrari  explained,  through  “slurred”  speech,  that  he  was  on  thirteen  prescribed  medications.    Id.    At  the  station,  Ferrari  refused  to  submit  to  a  chemical  test.    After  the  police  officers  located  crack  cocaine  on  his  person,  however,  Ferrari  reportedly  admitted  “the  crack  pipe’s  mine.”    Id.    He  was  subsequently  charged  with  three  counts  of  felony  driving while intoxicated1 and misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled  substance in the seventh degree, see N.Y. Penal Law § 220.03.  On September 27,  2010,  Ferrari  pled  guilty  to  all  of  the  charges  and  received  a  sentence  of  five  years’ probation with a three‐year revocation of his driver’s license.  As it would  later  come  out,  these  three  felony  convictions  were  just  the  tip  of  the  iceberg.   Ferrari’s history of reckless driving included a prior conviction for driving while  intoxicated  on  April  26,  2007;  a  conviction  for  unlicensed  operation  of  a  motor  vehicle  on  April  24,  2006;  a  conviction  for  driving  while  impaired  on  June  13,  2005;  and  numerous  temporary  suspensions  and  revocations  of  his  driver’s  license.                                                   Namely, violations of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192.3 (driving while intoxicated); § 1192.4 (driving while impaired by drugs); and § 1192.4a (driving “while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs”). 1 5   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page6 of 48   Shortly  after  Ferrari  (the  Plaintiff’s)  arrest,  his  Ferrari  (the  car)  was  temporarily impounded pursuant to Suffolk County Code Chapter 270 pending  a  post‐seizure  hearing  to  assess  the  appropriateness  of  continued  retention.2   Suffolk  County’s  vehicle  forfeiture  law,  named  the  “DWI  Seizure  Law”  by  the  county  legislature,  addresses  the  circumstances  wherein  the  County  may  seek  forfeiture of a vehicle initially seized pursuant to a violation of New York State’s  laws  against  intoxicated  or  reckless  driving.    Suffolk  County  Local  Law  No.  7‐ 2004  §  1  (2004).    The  scope  of  Suffolk  County’s  DWI  Seizure  Law  is  narrower  than  laws  adopted  by  some  other  New  York  municipalities.    The  DWI  Seizure  Law  permits  forfeiture  only  (a)  when  the  vehicle  was  an  instrumentality  of  a  specifically  enumerated,  serious  crime,  and  (b)  the  driver  involved  has  at  least  one prior conviction for such a crime.  See, e.g., Suffolk County Code Ch. 270‐27  (A),  (D)  (enumerating  the  list  of  applicable  crimes,  including  driving  while  intoxicated,  aggravated  driving  while  intoxicated,  driving  while  impaired  by  drugs,  and  reckless  driving,  but  not  including  driving  while  simply  impaired);  compare Krimstock v. Kelly, 306 F.3d 40, 44 (2d Cir. 2002) (“Krimstock I”) (observing                                                 2 In this opinion, we reference the version of Suffolk County’s vehicle forfeiture law as it existed at the time of the retention hearings in this case, and as it appeared in the record at summary judgment. At that time, the law was codified in Chapter 270 of the Suffolk County Code. The law, though materially indistinguishable, now appears in Chapter 420 (addressing “Drug Premises and Property”). See Suffolk County Code Ch. 420, available at 6   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page7 of 48 that the New York City forfeiture provision at issue in that case permitted, on the  basis  of  a  first  offense,  “seiz[ure  of]  a  motor  vehicle  following  an  arrest  for  the  state‐law charge of driving while intoxicated . . . or any other crime for which the  vehicle  could  serve  as  an  instrumentality”);  Cty.  of  Nassau  v.  Canavan,  1  N.Y.3d  134,  138  (2003)  (noting  that  Nassau  County’s  forfeiture  provision  permitted  forfeiture of a vehicle after a first offense, and permitted seizure of vehicles used  to  commit  “misdemeanor  crime[s]  or  petty  offenses”  (quoting  Nassau  County  Administrative  Code  § 8‐7.0(g)(1)(d)  (2003)).    The  Suffolk  County  Legislature  amended  the  law  in  2004  to  “maintain  the  statute’s  effectiveness  and  assure  consistency with the federal and state constitutions and recent court decisions.”   Suffolk County Local Law No. 7‐2004 § 1 (2004).  The legislature found that the  law  “was  aimed  specifically  at  repeat  offenders  of  New  York’s  drunk  driving  laws,” that it had “proved to be [a] strong deterrent to drunk drivers,” and that  “many groups of concerned citizens have credited [it] with saving lives.”  Id.     The  DWI  Seizure  Law  addresses  when  the  state  may  seek  forfeiture  of  a  vehicle  and  what  the  state  must  show  at  the  ultimate  forfeiture  hearing  to  take  possession of the vehicle.  The law also affords to owners like Ferrari a prompt,  post‐seizure  hearing  to  determine  whether  the  County  may  retain  the  vehicle  7   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page8 of 48 pendente lite (pending the outcome of a valid forfeiture proceeding).  See Ch. 270‐ 26(B);  see  also  Krimstock  I,  306  F.3d  at  70  (holding,  in  the  context  of  New  York  City’s  forfeiture  provision,  that  the  Due  Process  Clause  requires  the  City  to  afford interested parties a prompt, post‐deprivation hearing, at which they may  “test the probable validity of the Cityʹs deprivation of their vehicles pendente lite,  including  probable  cause  for  the  initial  warrantless  seizure”).    The  Suffolk  County seizure law specifically provides for   a  hearing  promptly  scheduled  before  a  neutral  Magistrate  to  determine  whether  probable  cause  existed  for  the  defendant’s  warrantless  arrest,  whether  the  County  is  likely  to  succeed  on  the  merits  of  the  forfeiture  action,  whether  retention  is  necessary  to  preserve the vehicle from destruction or sale during the pendency of  the  forfeiture  proceeding,  and  whether  any  other  measures  would  better  protect  the  County’s  interest  during  the  proceedings,  including,  but  not  limited  to:  (a)  [i]ssuance  of  a  restraining  order  prohibiting the sale, transfer, or loss of the vehicle with imposition(s)  of  appropriate  penalties  for  violation  of  said  restraining  order;  (b)  [t]aking of a bond; and/or (c) [u]se of an interlock device.    Ch. 270‐26 (B)(1); J.A. 143.3                                                   Though only indirectly at issue in this case, the DWI Seizure Law also contains two significant forms of relief to prevent forfeiture or retention pendente lite where either would impair the rights of innocent owners or work an undue hardship. First, it contains various provisions designed to prevent forfeiture or retention of vehicles belonging to “innocent owners,” see, e.g., Ch. 270-27(A)(1) (“No property used by any person as a common carrier in the transaction of business as a common carrier shall be forfeited under the provisions of this subsection unless it shall appear that the owner or agent of the owner was a consenting party or privy to the commission of the offense . . . .”); Ch. 270-27(A)(2) (“No property shall be forfeited . . . by reason of any act or omission established by the owner thereof to have been committed or omitted by any person other than the owner while the subject property was unlawfully in the possession of a person other than the owner.”); Ch. 270-27(J) (“In order to establish its case in any action commenced under this article, the County shall demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that the property in question is subject to forfeiture at the time of commission of the offense . . . . 3 8   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page9 of 48   On  June  9,  about  two  weeks  after  the  seizure,  Ferrari’s  counsel  appeared  alongside  the  Assistant  County  Attorney  for  a  hearing  before  retired  state  Supreme  Court  Justice  John  DiNoto  (“Judge  DiNoto”)  to  address  whether  the  County  could  retain  Ferrari’s  vehicle  pending  the  outcome  of  the  forfeiture  proceeding.    After  Judge  DiNoto  expressed  concerns  about  conducting  the  hearing  without  the  Plaintiff  present,  Ferrari’s  counsel  argued  that  Ferrari’s  presence  was  unnecessary.    In  his  estimation,  the  law  did  not  require  Ferrari  himself  to  provide  evidence  as  to  any  point  or  otherwise  make  any  affirmative  presentation to succeed.  Ferrari’s counsel argued that:   under  the  Federal  Court  holding  of  Krimstock[  v.  Kelly],  this  Court  may  not,  as  being  barred  by  the  United  States  Constitution,  permit  the  County  to maintain  continued  retention  of  the  motor  vehicle  in  the absence of [the County] establishing: A, the probable validity of                                                                                                                                                     The noncriminal defendant shall then have the burden of proving a lack of knowledge or lack of consent on behalf of said noncriminal defendant sufficient to constitute a defense to such forfeiture.”); compare Krimstock I, 306 F.3d at 57 (“A statute that authorizes the police to seize property to which the government has not established a legal right or claim, and that on its face contains no limitation of forfeiture liability for innocent owners, raises substantial constitutional concerns.”); Canavan, 1 N.Y.3d at 143 (observing that “[t]he absence of [a defense of innocent ownership] in the challenged [provision] . . . renders the ordinance, as written, unconstitutional”). Second, the law also contains various forms of “hardship” relief. Language in the law permits a neutral magistrate to decline to “order a forfeiture when it determines, in its discretion, that it is in the interests of justice not to do so.” Ch. 270-29(B). Evidence provided at summary judgment indicated both: (1) that magistrates in Suffolk County have provided defendants, including not just innocent co-owners of vehicles but also criminal defendants, the opportunity to argue that retention or forfeiture would cause them undue hardship; and (2) that a vehicle may be released during the pendency of proceedings upon a showing of such hardship. See, e.g., J.A. 64-65, J.A. 422; see also Prop. Clerk of Pol. Dep’t. of City of N.Y. v Harris, 9 N.Y.3d 237, 243–44, 249 (2007) (holding that due process requires that a municipality provide a co-owner of a vehicle, who is not the criminal defendant, the opportunity to appear at a retention hearing to argue retention is unwarranted, but that, if the municipality makes out a prima facia case for retention at that hearing, the co-owner then bears the burden of “prov[ing] . . . that she was an innocent co-owner who would suffer a substantial hardship due to continued impoundment”). 9   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page10 of 48 the  initial  seizure.  [B,  t]he  validity  of  the  continued  retention  and  [C,]  that  something  short  of  continued  retention,  such  as  an  order  regarding  the  removal  of  the  car  under  the  jurisdiction  would  not  suffice.     J.A.  45‐46.    He  further  explained  that,  because  the  County  in  his  view  bore  the  burden  of  introducing  evidence,  in  its  affirmative  presentation,  proving  that  alternative measures would not suffice to meet its interests, Suffolk County could  not  prevail  without  providing  evidence  that  “the  [Ferrari  would]  be  removed  from  the  jurisdiction  or  destroyed”  absent  retention.    J.A.  42.    The  Assistant  County Attorney responded, inter alia, that her “understanding of . . . Krimstock is  entirely different th[a]n Counsel’s,” but did not specify that understanding.  J.A.  47.  Judge DiNoto, citing the importance of witness credibility to resolving “the  issues  that  the  [forfeiture]  statute  raises  and  considers,”  adjourned  the  hearing  and informed Ferrari’s counsel that his client had to be present.  J.A. 43.    On September 1, 2009, another lawyer appeared on behalf of Ferrari, who  again did not appear.  After a brief colloquy discussing whether Ferrari needed  to be present, Judge DiNoto permitted the hearing to go forward without him.4                                                  4 In particular, the parties appeared to debate the relevance of Ferrari’s testimony to whether he could prove “hardship.” The County observed that if Ferrari were “not here to testify, he can’t show a hardship, therefore, he does have the burden under the statute to show hardship and should be present.” J.A. 60. Ferrari’s counsel responded that “[t]here is no requirement on [Ferrari’s] part [under the forfeiture law] that [he] provide any evidence of a hardship.” J.A. 61. The topic of whether Ferrari could demonstrate hardship came up at several points during the hearing. For instance, the Assistant County 10   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page11 of 48 Ferrari’s  counsel  again  began  with  his  understanding  of  the  law:  “We  believe  that the County will not be able to prove i[ts] burden — that retaining the vehicle  is necessary and that other methods would not be more proper for the County’s  safety  such  as  posting  a  bond.”    J.A.  59.    He  did  not  contest  that  the  evidence  established  some  danger  to  the  public  were  Ferrari  to  receive  back  his  vehicle,  but argued that the County had the burden “to produce evidence that the issuing  [of  a]  restraining  order  prohibiting  sale,  transferring  a  loss  of  the  vehicle  with  imposition  of  appropriate  penalty  for  violat[ing]  such  restraining  order,  the  taking  of  the  bond  and/or  the  use  of  an  interlock  device  could  not  suffice  for  this.”  J.A. 60‐61.  In the estimation of Ferrari’s counsel, the Due Process Clause  established  conclusively  that  “[i]t  is  solely  the  County’s  burden  to  show  that  those  other  avenues  are  not  sufficient  .  .  .  .”    J.A.  61.    To  this  end,  he  did  not  introduce any evidence or even make a proffer of evidence in regards to what, if  any, alternative measures might be feasible.  The  Assistant  County  Attorney  then  made  her  case:  she  introduced  various documents into the record, including the Felony Complaint (detailing the  circumstances  of  Ferrari’s  arrest),  the  Alcohol  and  Drug  Influence  Report,                                                                                                                                                     Attorney observed that “Ferrari has another vehicle . . . a Land Rover . . . [and] therefore, there is no hardship by Mr. Ferrari to use that vehicle.” J.A. 64-65. 11   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page12 of 48 evidence  that  Ferrari  refused  to  submit  to  a  chemical  test  at  the  station,  his  Abstract  of  Driving  Record,  and  a  Certificate  of  Disposition  of  his  prior  conviction for DWI.  Cumulatively, the documentation detailed Ferrari’s storied  and dangerous driving history and demonstrated that he was the title holder of  the  seized  car.    Later,  in  her  summation,  the  Assistant  County  Attorney  explained why the evidence she had introduced suggested retention pendente lite  was necessary to protect the County’s interests:   This is a Ferrari that we’re speaking about.  In order for the County  to  maintain  this  vehicle  in  the  state  that  it  was  taken  at  the  time  of  the seizure, and based on his driving record which is in the abstract,  your Honor, there is speeding.  There [were] other tickets warranted.   The  County  believes  that  this  vehicle  would  be  damaged  or  even  removed  from  the  state  if  it  was  allowed  to  go  back  to  the  owner.      J.A. 69.  She further stated that   [a]dditionally,  based  on  his  prior  conviction,  which  was  only  in  2006,  there’s  obviously  a  problem  with  Mr.  Ferrari.    Therefore,  the  County believes that a bond, a restraining order, or any of the other  means  available  to  [it],  in  this  particular  case,  would  not  maintain  this vehicle in the manner and in the form that it was taken when it  was seized.      J.A. 69‐71.  Asked whether Krimstock I placed the burden on the County to     establish the necessity of retention, the County answered     yes,  [Krimstock  I]  talks  to  the  County  to  make  that  burden,  but  the  County has sustained that burden and there is nothing to refute it by  12   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page13 of 48 Mr. Ferrari or his attorney in testimony form or evidentiary form to  allow  this  Court  to  determine  that  the  County  should  not  retain  it  any further.5      J.A. 71.  Ferrari’s counsel, after declining to come forward with evidence of any  sort,  summed  up.    He  did  not  suggest  that  the  evidence  failed  to  establish  that  Ferrari  was  a  reckless  driver  with  a  repeated  history  of  drunken  driving  convictions.6  Nor did he even argue that particular alternative means, specific to  his client’s situation, would address the County’s interests.  Instead, he asserted  that the County had not met its constitutionally‐imposed burden to show the car  should be retained pendente lite in the absence of evidence that “[the] taking of a  bond,  taking  photographs,  putting  an  interlock  device  on  it,  will  not  suffice  for  satisfying  the  need  for  retention.”    J.A.  67.    After  Ferrari’s  counsel  and  the                                                 When asked about the significance of our holding in Krimstock I to the relevant burdens at this hearing, the Assistant County Attorney initially replied that “Krimstock is the case which deals with lenders — the lien-holders being notified as to the post seizure hearing notices. . . . [T]here is no lienholder in this particular case, so the application they’re referring to is dicta.” J.A. 71. In this response, she appeared to confuse Krimstock I with Ford Motor Credit Co. v. NYC Police Dep’t, 503 F.3d 186, 188, 192 (2d Cir. 2007) (holding that, in the context of New York City’s forfeiture provisions, a lien-holder on a car must be “permit[ted] . . . to participate in forfeiture proceedings”). Her later discussion of where Krimstock I placed the burden suggested that she may have realized her error, though the question is ultimately not relevant to our disposition in this case. 5 6At oral argument before this Court, Ferrari’s counsel observed that the existence of a second car, a Land Rover, undermined any argument that release of the Ferrari itself back to Ferrari (its driver) could endanger the public as (or so the argument goes) the public would be in just as much danger in any case given the availability of the other car. The district court also alluded to this argument in its denial of Suffolk County’s motion to dismiss. S.A. 21 (observing that a Land Rover is larger and thus there might be an argument that providing Ferrari the vehicle might, presumably, encourage him to recklessly drive that lighter car and thus hurt fewer people in a hypothetical accident). Putting aside whether this argument is compelling (or not) as a factual matter, Ferrari’s counsel did not raise it in front of Judge DiNoto. 13   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page14 of 48 County  concluded  their  summations,  Judge  DiNoto  ruled  that  Suffolk  County  would “retain the vehicle pending resolution of a forfeiture proceeding.”  J.A. 72.      On September 11, 2009, the County commenced a civil forfeiture action for  the  vehicle.    On  June  29,  2010,  Ferrari  was  convicted  on  the  basis  of  his  guilty  plea  on  all  charges.    In  a  stipulation  of  settlement  dated  June  1,  2012,  he  surrendered  title  of  the  2003  Ferrari  to  Suffolk  County.    The  parties  do  not  dispute  the  validity  of  these  convictions  or  this  judgment  of  forfeiture.    They  dispute  only  the  sufficiency  of  the  process  afforded  at  Ferrari’s  post‐seizure  hearing to determine whether, prior to forfeiture, the vehicle could be retained.  II. Procedural History of the Present Suit    On  September  16,  2010,  Ferrari  asserted  claims  under  42  U.S.C.  §  1983  against  Suffolk  County,  the  Suffolk  County  Attorney,  and  unidentified  individuals  allegedly  responsible  for  training  hearing  officers  and  assistant  county  attorneys,  alleging  violations  of  his  procedural  and  substantive  due  process  rights  in  connection  with  the  retention  of  his  Ferrari  pendente  lite.    On  November 4, 2010, Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and  on June 7, 2011, the District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Seybert,  14   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page15 of 48 J.),  granted  in  part  and denied  in  part  that motion.    See  Ferrari  v.  Cty.  of  Suffolk,  790 F. Supp. 2d 34 (E.D.N.Y. 2011).    The Court granted the motion as to the individual defendants, but denied  it  as  to  the  County.    As  relevant  here,  the  district  court  determined  that  Ferrari  had  successfully  pled  a  procedural  due  process  violation  arising  from  the  County’s  alleged  failure  to  meet  its  burden  at  Ferrari’s  hearing  of  providing  evidence  sufficient  to  show  that  retention  pendente  lite  was  necessary  to  protect  the  County’s  interests.7    In  so  holding,  the  district  court  rejected  the  County’s  argument  that  evidence  showing  that  retention  was  necessary  to  safeguard  the  public  from  the  risk  that  Ferrari  would  again  recklessly  drive  his  car  could  be  considered.    While  public  safety  concerns  are  germane  pursuant  to  Suffolk  County  law,  the  district  court  concluded,  this  Court’s  decision  in  Krimstock  I  permits  the  County  to  justify  retention  solely  by  showing  that  retention  is  necessary  to  protect  the  County’s  financial  stake  in  the  car.    See  S.A.  10‐11                                                 The district court also determined: (1) that there was no legal justification for Judge DiNoto’s conclusion that the initial hearing could not take place without Ferrari present, and thus that Ferrari had adequately pled a denial of his right to a prompt post-seizure retention hearing (as Judge DiNoto’s decision resulted in delay of the hearing by several months); and (2) that Ferrari had pled a procedural due process violation arising out of Judge DiNoto’s alleged failure to make sufficient findings on the record as to two of the three Krimstock prongs: likelihood of success at the ultimate forfeiture proceeding and the necessity of retention, discussed herein. Upon the parties’ subsequent cross motions for summary judgment, however, the district court awarded summary judgment in favor of the County as to these two claims, determining pursuant to Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690-91 (1978), that Ferrari had failed, as a matter of law, to raise a material issue of fact as to the existence of an official policy or custom. Ferrari has not challenged these determinations and we do not address these claims. 7 15   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page16 of 48 (holding that “a plain reading of Krimstock [I] does not permit a municipality to  retain vehicles for public safety reasons, when such retention is not ‘necessary’ to  protect  the  municipality’s  interests  in  ultimately  obtaining  the  vehicle’s  forfeiture”).8    Referring  to  the  hearing  transcript,  which  was  attached  to  and  relied upon in the Plaintiff’s complaint, the district court next acknowledged that  “the  County  [had]  argued  that  Ferrari  might  damage  the  vehicle  through  continued  reckless  or  impaired  driving.”    S.A.  16.    But  the  district  court  then  observed  that,  even  if  this  evidence  might  demonstrate  that  there  was  indeed  danger  of  property  destruction  in  releasing  the  vehicle  back  to  Ferrari,  the  County  had  failed  to  produce  evidence  “showing  that  [Ferrari  was]  unable  or  unwilling  to  post  a  bond,  and/or  lack[ed]  other  assets  that  could  be  easily  restrained.”  S.A. 16 (quoting Boyle v. Cty. of Suffolk, 10‐CV‐2606, 2010 U.S. Dist.  LEXIS 114487, at *14‐15 n.6 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 2010)).  In other words, the district  court effectively determined that the Due Process Clause required the County as  part  of  its  prima  facia  case  not  only  to  introduce  evidence  showing  that  Ferrari                                                 8 Despite stating that “a plain reading” was possible, the district court acknowledged that Krimstock I was hardly clear in this regard. See S.A. 11 n.6 (“express[ing] no opinion about the merits [of such a standard,]” and noting that “[p]erhaps the Second Circuit should clarify the appropriate standard, if this issue reaches it again”). 16   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page17 of 48 was  liable  to  destroy  the  car  if  he  received  it  back,  but  also  to  prove  that  alternative measures would not suffice to protect the County’s financial interests.   On  November  26,  2012,  after  extensive  discovery,  the  County  filed  its  motion  for  summary  judgment,  and  on  December  10,  2012,  the  Plaintiff  cross‐ moved  for  summary  judgment  solely  on  the  issue  of  liability.    In  order  to  demonstrate  that  the  County,  the  sole  remaining  defendant,  was  liable  for  any  alleged constitutional violations at the hearing, the Plaintiff attached to his cross‐ motion eleven transcripts from other retention hearings that took place in Suffolk  County  between  April  2007  and  September  2010,  four  written  determinations  from hearing officers (only two of which were accompanied by transcripts), and  the  deposition  testimony  of  the  County  attorney  describing  her  training.    See  Jones v. Town of East Haven, 691 F.3d 72, 80 (2d Cir. 2012) (“Under the standards  of Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), a municipality can  be held liable under Section 1983 [only] if the deprivation of the plaintiff’s rights  under  federal  law  is  caused  by  a  governmental  custom,  policy,  or  usage  of  the  municipality.”).  17   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page18 of 48 The district court granted in part and denied in part both motions, and in  the process substantially narrowed the issues in this case.9  The district court first  addressed  and  rejected  the  County’s  argument  that  the  availability  of  appeal  from  Judge  DiNoto’s  determination  via  Article  78,  see  N.Y.  C.P.L.R.  § 7801  (permitting appeal of certain administrative determinations in New York State),  an  appeal  Ferrari  at  no  point  pursued,  cured  any  due  process  problems  at  the  hearing.10  S.A. 48‐49.    Next,  the  district  court  concluded  that  Ferrari  had  shown,  as  a  matter  of  law,  that  the  County  routinely  fails  to  meet  its  burden  of  showing  necessity  of  retention.  The district court acknowledged that the record demonstrated that the  County systematically introduces evidence at its post‐seizure hearings sufficient  to  establish  that  the  vehicle  in  question  was  used  as  the  instrumentality  of  a  serious offense, as well as evidence that the driver had previously been convicted  of  a  parallel  offense  and,  where  applicable,  had  an  otherwise  infamous  driving  record.  Further, evidence at Ferrari’s hearing, as well as at other Suffolk County                                                 As already noted, the district court granted summary judgment to the County on all of Ferrari’s procedural due process claims, save the one discussed herein. The court also granted summary judgment to the County as to a substantive due process claim which Ferrari has not further pursued, and which we do not address. 9 The County argues, on appeal, that the district court was incorrect to conclude that the availability of Article 78 relief was not sufficient to cure any due process deficiency at Ferrari’s hearing. We need not reach this question. 10 18   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page19 of 48 hearings  in  similar  car  forfeiture  proceedings,  suggested  that  the  County  understood  this  evidence  to  demonstrate  that  the  driver  in  question  posed  a  danger to the public and to the car.11  After the County introduced this evidence,  the  opposing  party—at  many  of  the  hearings  in  the  record  a  purportedly  innocent co‐owner—would generally testify to hardships she would face should  the vehicle be retained, and in many cases also propose alternative measures to  retention  which  the  County  and  the  magistrate  would  then  address.12   Nevertheless,  though  the  County  introduced  evidence  probative  of  necessity  at  these  hearings,  and  though  alternative  measures,  if  raised  by  the  title  owner,  would  indeed  receive  discussion,  the  district  court  observed  that  the  County  itself  did  not  raise  the  subject  of  alternative  measures  in  its  prima  facia  case  or  introduce  evidence  specifically  addressing  such  measures  (such  as  evidence  of  the financial capacity of the title owner to pay a bond).  Finding that due process                                                 See, e.g., J.A. 1363 (in which, at another hearing, the county attorney argued that “[b]ased on the risk to the public at large, [the defendant] should not be driving and returning his vehicle is not appropriate”); J.A. 69-71 (“[B]ased on his prior conviction . . . there’s obviously a problem with Mr. Ferrari.”). 11 See, e.g., J.A. 1147, 57 (at which, after the state had rested, the mother of the driver testified as to her ability to keep the car away from her son (the DWI driver), and the magistrate declined to order the car released to her noting, inter alia, that “[o]ur concern here is that if it’s returned to you that you’ll turn it over to your son”); see J.A. 853-83 (at which, after the state had rested, the driver testified that he would be willing to have an interlock device placed on his car if permitted to retain it, the County asked questions to assess whether this device would suffice to prevent the driver from again driving the car intoxicated, and the magistrate, after acknowledging that the driver’s prior conviction was well in the past, ultimately released the vehicle to the driver subject to that stipulation). 12 19   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page20 of 48 required the County to submit such evidence, apparently regardless whether the  title owner argued that such measures were feasible, the district court awarded  summary judgment to Ferrari on this claim.13      For the reasons that follow, we reverse.  III. Discussion  A.     The  County  makes  two  arguments  in  support  of  reversal.14    First,  the  County argues that the district court erred in holding that Krimstock I forecloses  the County from demonstrating, at a retention hearing, that retention pendente lite  is  necessary  for  purposes  of  public  safety,  unless  retention  is  also  necessary  to                                                 13 The district court awarded summary judgment as to liability only. After this award, the district court transferred the case to Magistrate Judge Gary Brown to resolve any remaining issues prior to a jury trial on the question of damages. After a series of contested evidentiary rulings and a trial as to damages, a jury awarded Ferrari $95,000 in compensation for the deprivation of his Ferrari Coupe during the period from September 1, 2009, to June 1, 2012. On appeal, the County argues, inter alia, that Judge Brown erroneously precluded the County from proving, at trial, that even had the County been held to its burden on necessity, the outcome (retention of the vehicle) would have been the same. See Brody v. Village of Port Chester, 345 F.3d 103, 112–13 (2d Cir. 2003) (noting that, though nominal damages may be awarded for any violation of due process rights, “compensatory damages would be appropriate only where the plaintiff could demonstrate that he had suffered some injury as a result of the denial of due process, such as by showing that the outcome would have been different had process been afforded” (citing Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 266-67 (1978)). Because we reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the issue of liability, we need not assess this argument. Nor need we address the County’s remaining challenges to the dispositions below. 14 We review the district court’s grant of summary judgment de novo, “resolving all ambiguities and drawing all permissible factual inferences in favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought.” Burg v. Gosselin, 591 F.3d 95, 97 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Wright v. Goord, 554 F.3d 255, 266 (2d Cir. 2009)). 20   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page21 of 48 protect the County’s financial interest in the vehicle.  Second, the County argues  that,  in  presenting  evidence  at  Ferrari’s  hearing  of  his  repeated  serious  driving  violations, it successfully met its burden of establishing a prima facia case for the  necessity  of  retention.    Because  both  parties  rely  extensively  on  our  holding  in  Krimstock I and on the line of cases that followed, we begin with a review of this  case law.       In  Krimstock  I,  we  assessed  a  specific  forfeiture  statute  in  New  York  City  that authorized the City to seize a vehicle after a warrantless arrest and to seek  forfeiture  of  the  vehicle  on  the  basis  that  it  was  used  in  the  commission  of  a  single  offense  (usually  driving  while  intoxicated,  but  not  exclusively).    See  Krimstock  I,  306 F.3d  at  43‐44.   We  held that  the  forfeiture  law  violated  the  Due  Process  Clause  of  the  Fourteenth  Amendment  because  it  did  not  afford  claimants,  including  potentially  innocent  title  owners,  a  prompt,  post‐seizure  opportunity to test the probable validity of the retention of their vehicles pendente  lite.   See id. at 70 (“In conclusion, we hold that promptly after their vehicles are  seized  under  N.Y.C.  Code  §  14–140  as  alleged  instrumentalities  of  crime,  plaintiffs must be given an opportunity to test the probable validity of the Cityʹs  deprivation of their vehicles pendente lite, including probable cause for the initial  21   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page22 of 48 warrantless  seizure.”).    We  analyzed  the  process  due  using  the  three‐part  test  articulated  by  the  Supreme  Court  in  Mathews  v.  Eldridge,  424  U.S.  319,  334‐35  (1976) (weighing the private interest a party has in a given procedure; the risk of  error created, or mitigated by, a particular procedure; and the state’s interest in  that particular procedure (or in eschewing a particular procedure)).  Krimstock I,  305 F.3d at 67.    Beginning  with  the  private  interest,  we  emphasized  that  the  owner  of  a  seized  vehicle  has  a  significant  interest  in  using  that  vehicle  “as  a  mode  of  transportation  and,  for  some,  the  means  to  earn  a  livelihood.”    Id.  at  61.    We  noted  showings  made  by  plaintiff‐owners  in  that  case  of  their  needs  for  their  vehicles,  and  the  hardships  they  would  suffer  without  them.    We  also  emphasized  the  particular  importance  of  providing  innocent  owners  an  opportunity  to  demonstrate,  earlier  than  at  an  ultimate  forfeiture  hearing,  that  forfeiture  was  not  warranted,  see  id.  at  55‐58,  and  noted  that  the  lack  of  “availability  of  hardship  relief”  in  New  York  City’s  forfeiture  statute  further  weighed in favor of requiring a prompt hearing, see id. at 61.  Assessing  the  risk  of  erroneous  deprivation  in  the  absence  of  a  prompt  hearing, we acknowledged “that the risk of erroneous seizure and retention of a  22   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page23 of 48 vehicle is reduced in the case of a DWI owner‐arrestee, because a trained police  officer’s  assessment  of  the  owner‐driver’s  state  of  intoxication  can  typically  be  expected to be accurate,” id. at 62, but we also emphasized, inter alia, the risk that  innocent title owners would have their vehicles erroneously retained pendente lite  absent the ability to swiftly challenge the justification for forfeiture, see id. at 63‐ 64.      We also addressed the City’s interests.  We noted that its “most compelling  [interest]  .  .  .  [was  its  interest  in]  prevent[ing]  a  vehicle  from  being  sold  or  destroyed  before  a  court  [could]  render  judgment  in  future  forfeiture  proceedings,” i.e., its financial interest.15  Id. at 64.  We next addressed the City’s  argument that it had an interest in “prevent[ing] the offending [vehicle] . . . from  being used as an instrumentality in future acts of driving while intoxicated.”  Id.  at 66.  This interest was insufficient to justify the complete lack of a prompt, post‐ seizure hearing pending the final judgment of forfeiture, we held, for a number  of  reasons,  including  that  the  driver  might  have  been  arrested  for  a  single,  less  serious  offense  that  did  not  necessarily  present  a  significant  risk  of  future  inebriated  driving.    See  id.  (“While  initial  seizure  of  a  vehicle  serves  the                                                 We observed, as well, that “[t]he need to prevent forfeitable property from being sold or destroyed during the pendency of proceedings does not necessarily justify continued retention of all vehicles when other means of accomplishing those goals are available.” Id. at 65. 15 23   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page24 of 48 constructive  purpose  of  keeping  an  individual  from  driving  in  an  inebriated  condition,  that  purpose  often  loses  its  basis  in  urgency  once  the  individual  has  regained  sobriety  on  the  morrow.”  (emphasis  added)).    But  “[a]  claimant’s  proven history of persistent drunkenness or repeated DWI violations . . . might  justify  a  fact‐finder  [at  that  hearing]  in  denying  release  of  the  vehicle  pendente  lite.”16  Id. n.28.  In other words, Krimstock I did not hold that retention could not  be  ordered  pendente  lite  on  the  basis  that  return  of  the  vehicle  would  pose  a  danger  to  the  public;  we  held  only  that  a  hearing  was  necessary  to  determine  whether, in any given case, retention would indeed be justified on that basis.     Having analyzed the relevant interests involved, as well as the risk of error  associated  with  the  City’s  procedures,  we  held  that  the  Due  Process  Clause  requires   that  claimants  be  given  an  early  opportunity  to  test  the  probable  validity  of  further  deprivation,  including  probable  cause  for  the  initial seizure, and to ask whether other measures, short of continued  impoundment,  would  satisfy  the  legitimate  interests  of  the  City  in  protecting the vehicle from sale or destruction pendente lite.                                                   We also noted that New York City’s specific interest in safety was weakened by evidence that suggested that the City only sought civil forfeiture of vehicles “that might yield an attractive price at auction.” Id. at 66; see also id. at 67 (observing that “the City’s interest in safety cannot be paramount if it seeks to remove from the road only a lucrative subset of the vehicles seized from intoxicated drivers”). 16 24   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page25 of 48 Id.  at  68  (emphasis  added).    We  explicitly  declined  to  determine  the  precise  procedural contours of this hearing.  See id. at 68‐69 (observing that “[t]here is no  universal  approach  to  satisfying  the  requirements  of  meaningful  notice  and  opportunity to be heard in a situation such as this”).  Instead, we left explication  of these contours to “the district court, in consultation with the parties.”  Id. at 69.   We  did,  however,  articulate  several  minimum  requirements  for  this  procedure,  holding that “the hearing must enable claimants to test the probable validity of  continued  deprivation  of  their  vehicles,  including  the  City’s  probable  cause  for  the initial warrantless seizure,” id., and that “the retention hearing [should] allow  the [neutral magistrate] to consider whether less drastic measures than continued  impoundment,  such  as  a  bond  or  a  restraining  order,  would  protect  the  City’s  interest in the allegedly forfeitable vehicle.”17  Id. at 70.  We did not, at any point,  describe the necessary allocations of any burdens of persuasion or production at  this  hearing,  or  otherwise  elucidate  what  evidentiary  showing  would  be  sufficient for New York City to justify retention pendente lite.                                                   But see id. at 69-70 (“[T]he retention hearing [is not] a forum for exhaustive evidentiary battles that might threaten to duplicate the eventual forfeiture hearing. . . . [D]ue process should be satisfied by an initial testing of the merits of the City's case.” (footnote omitted)). 17 25   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page26 of 48   When  the  case  was  remanded  to  the  district  court,  it  created  what  has  become  the  procedure  New  York  City  follows  for  so‐called  Krimstock  hearings,  including the following:  Such a hearing will provide the claimant with an opportunity to be  heard,  either  in  person  or  through  counsel,  as  to  three  issues:  whether probable cause existed for the arrest of the vehicle operator;  whether it is likely that the City will prevail in an action to forfeit the  vehicle[;]  and  whether  it  is  necessary  that  the  vehicle  remain  impounded  in  order  to  ensure  its  availability  for  a  judgment  of  forfeiture. The burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence  as to these issues will be upon the Police Department . . . .     Krimstock  v.  Kelly,  99  Civ.  12041  (MBM),  2005  U.S.  Dist.  LEXIS  43845  at  *3‐4  (S.D.N.Y.  Nov.  29,  2005)  (Second  Amended  Order  and  Judgment)  (“Krimstock  II”);  see  also  Krimstock  v.  Kelly,  464  F.3d  246,  249  (2d  Cir.  2006)  (“Krimstock  III”)  (describing  this  process).    We  affirmed  this  process.    See  Jones  v.  Kelly,  378  F.3d  198,  202  (2d  Cir.  2004).    However,  we  did  so  without  analysis,  and  for  the  sole  reason  that  the  City,  which  had  participated  in  creating  the  contours  of  the  hearing,  did  not  challenge  the  district  court’s  remedy.    See  id.  (observing  solely  that “[t]he City notes that it has no quarrel with the district courtʹs resolution of  our  mandate”  in  the  context  of  vehicles  seized  as  instrumentalities  of  crime).   Thus,  even  to  the  degree  that  the  order  in  Krimstock  II  could  be  construed  as  laying out the burdens of persuasion or production for New York City retention  26   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page27 of 48 hearings  in  regard  to  the  narrow  issue  of  the  sufficiency  and  availability  of  alternative  measures  (a  question  we  need  not  decide),  we  have  never  held  that  this process is indeed the only one due process permits at such a hearing.18  See  id. at 204.    In  the  years  since  Krimstock  I,  the  New  York  Court  of  Appeals  also  addressed  the  necessity  of  a  prompt,  post‐seizure  retention  hearing  and  the  relevant interests of a municipality in retention pendente lite.  In Canavan, the New  York  Court  of  Appeals,  assessing  the  forfeiture  provision  in  Nassau  County,  which permitted impoundment of any “instrumentality of a crime” on the basis  of a single offense, held that due process required a prompt, post‐seizure hearing  of the kind contemplated in Krimstock I.  1 N.Y. 3d at 138, 144‐45.  Assessing the  County’s  interests  under  a  Mathews  analysis,  the  Court  of  Appeals  emphasized  that  “[o]f  course,  retention  of  an  intoxicated  driver’s  car  pending  resolution  of                                                 18 We further note that Ferrari’s assumption, at times shared by the district court, that the procedural requirements articulated in Krimstock II necessarily constitute the minimum constitutional requirements at any retention hearing in any municipality pursuant to any forfeiture law ignores the context of this order. See, e.g., Ferrari Br. at 3. The district court in Krimstock II fashioned a process for New York City—a process created in consultation with the parties in Krimstock I, and in reflection of the specific forfeiture law at issue. There is no reason to suppose, without further analysis, that every procedural requirement articulated in that order must be followed by other municipalities which did not have the opportunity to participate in crafting that order or to consent to it, and whose laws are not (as is the case here) the same as the law at issue in Krimstock I. That one municipality has adopted a particular procedure to comport with its obligations under the Due Process Clause does not, a fortiori, render that procedure the constitutional minimum for every other municipality, and with regard to different laws. See Krimstock, 306 F.3d at 68-69 (“There is no universal approach to satisfying the requirements of meaningful notice and opportunity to be heard in a situation such as this.”). 27   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page28 of 48 the forfeiture action advances the public interest in preventing the vehicle from  being  used  for  repeated  drunk  driving.”19    Id.  at  144.    Having  emphasized  the  importance  of  Nassau  County’s  interest  in  public  safety,  the  Court  of  Appeals  then  articulated  a  standard  for  such  a  retention  hearing  that,  like  certain  language in Krimstock I, did not obviously include reference to this interest.  See  id. at 144‐45 (“At such a hearing, the County must establish that probable cause  existed for the defendantʹs initial warrantless arrest, that it is likely to succeed on  the merits of the forfeiture action, and that retention is necessary to preserve the  vehicle  from  destruction  or  sale  during  the  pendency  of  the  proceeding.”  (footnote omitted)).20  Nevertheless, that court has continued to suggest, in cases  since  Canavan,  that  the  government’s  interest  in  public  safety  may  justify  retention  pendente  lite,  see  Harris,  9  N.Y.3d  at  247‐48  (“[T]he  government’s  interests in preventing an impounded vehicleʹs future use as the instrumentality  of  a  crime  and  preventing  against  loss,  theft,  sale,  or  destruction  are                                                 See also id. at 138, 140 (noting, in the context of rejecting the argument that forfeiture constituted an excessive fine under the Eighth Amendment, that “civil forfeiture of automobiles can be an extremely effective tool in the battle against drunk driving,” and that “[g]rievous harm to innocent victims could have been caused by defendant’s driving with a blood alcohol level of .15% while speeding and weaving in and out of lanes, had she not been caught and stopped”); see also id. (“Given the gravity of the crime of drunk driving, it is difficult to imagine that forfeiture of an automobile for such a crime could ever be excessive.”). 19 This standard also did not specify the allocation of burdens, though it did more strongly imply that the burden of proof rests on the municipality. It did not explain what would be necessary to discharge that burden. 20 28   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page29 of 48 significant.”),  and  at  least  one  New  York  Appellate  Court  has  interpreted  these  decisions to permit evidence of a “heightened risk to the public safety” to justify  retention,  Prop.  Clerk  of  Police  Depʹt  of  City  of  N.Y.  v.  Brown,  58  A.D.3d  452,  453  (NY  App.  Div.  1st  Dep’t  2009)  (“[P]etitioners  established  that  continued  impoundment  of  the  vehicle  was  necessary.    Brownʹs  criminal  history  and  general lawlessness reveal a heightened risk to the public safety were the subject  vehicle released to him.” (citation omitted)).21    The district court relied on this case law to support its conclusion that the  County  of  Suffolk  violated  Ferrari’s  due  process  rights  at  his  retention  hearing.   We disagree.  B.    First, the district court construed Krimstock I as meaning that due process  “does not permit a municipality to retain vehicles for public safety reasons, when                                                 See also People v. McFarland, OATH Index No. 1124/04 (February 24, 2004) (in which, at a hearing to determine whether retention was necessary, a neutral magistrate in New York City held as follows: “Regarding the third point [of the Krimstock/Nassau test], the Department is entitled to retain the vehicle, pending final outcome of the civil forfeiture action, upon proof that retention is necessary to preserve the vehicle from loss, sale or destruction, or that retention is necessary to protect the public from further drunk driving by the respondent.”) (emphasis added); see also id. (“Proof of an accident while driving drunk and proof of an especially high blood alcohol reading might support the conclusion that the respondent’s continued driving would present an unacceptable risk either to the public safety, to the preservation of the vehicle pending outcome of the forfeiture action, or to both. A very high blood alcohol level, an accident while driving drunk, or both together, might show a recklessness behind the wheel that would substantially heighten the risk to both the public and to the preservation of the vehicle. In addition, a very high blood alcohol reading might show a tolerance to alcohol that is indicative of frequent alcohol abuse that would also substantially heighten the relevant risks.”). 21 29   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page30 of 48 such  retention  is  not  ‘necessary’  to  protect  the  municipality’s  interests  in  ultimately obtaining the vehicle’s forfeiture.”  S.A. 10‐11.  We conclude that this  was error.    We  disagree  with  the  district  court  that  “a  plain  reading”  of  Krimstock  I  requires  this  surprising  result.    S.A.  10.    We  acknowledge  that  some  of  the  language  in  Krimstock  I  was,  in  some  sense,  ambiguous  on  this  point.    The  Krimstock  I  court,  for  instance,  observed  that  “the  question  [at  a  retention  hearing] is what reason the government has for refusing to exercise some means  short  of  continued  retention  after  seizure  to  guarantee  that  property  will  be  available to satisfy a civil forfeiture judgment.”22  Krimstock, 306 F.3d at 68.  The  court also noted that “the Due Process clause requires that claimants be given an  early  opportunity  .  .  .  to  ask  whether  other  measures,  short  of  continued  impoundment, would satisfy the legitimate interests of the City in protecting the  vehicles from sale or destruction pendente lite.”  Id.  Nevertheless,  Krimstock  I  neither  stated  nor  implied  that  a  municipality  may  not  rely  on  public  safety  concerns  to  justify  retention  of  a  seized  vehicle                                                 22 Given that evidence suggesting that retention pendente lite is necessary to protect the public is usually also probative of whether such retention is necessary to protect the vehicle from destruction, it is quite possible that the panel in Krimstock I simply did not think to draw such a distinction in various iterations of its holding. That is especially likely given that the entire discussion of the necessary contours of a retention hearing in Krimstock I was, to some extent, ancillary to the question before the court: whether a hearing was required in the first instance. 30   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page31 of 48 pendente  lite.    To  the  contrary,  Krimstock  I  expressly  stated  that  multiple  DWI  offenses  “might  justify  denying  release  of  the  vehicle  pendente  lite,“  an  observation  that  unquestionably  depended  on  recognition  of  the  legitimacy  of  public  safety  concerns.    See  id.,  n.28.    To  the  extent  that  Krimstock  I  gave  prominence to New York City’s interest in safeguarding the value of the seized  property,  which  the  opinion  described  as  the  “most  compelling  among  the  [interests] the City has adduced,” id. at 65, the opinion did not suggest that this  was  because  the  Due  Process Clause,  for  some unexplained  reasons,  recognizes  only governmental interests in property, and denies recognition to governmental  interests in public safety.  It was rather because the court was not persuaded the  New  York  City  forfeiture  statute  at  issue  in  that  case  addressed  public  safety  concerns.23  The Suffolk County forfeiture law at issue here is very different:  it  focuses, explicitly and exclusively, on repeat DWI or reckless driving offenders.24                                                   As Krimstock I noted, the New York City law at issue provided for the seizure of “all property . . . suspected of having been used as a means of committing crime or employed in aid or furtherance of crime.” Id. at 44. It made no mention of DWI offenses, nor did it focus on vehicles or other property that can imperil public safety. Notably, while the New York City law was broad enough to apply to property used in crimes in a manner that endangers public safety, it provided equally for the forfeiture of property that posed no danger to public safety. Furthermore, while the City claimed in Krimstock I that a statutory objective was “to prevent the offending . . . vehicle . . . from being used . . . in future acts of” dangerous intoxicated driving, the court expressed skepticism as to this concern based, in part, on the fact that the City’s Forfeiture Guide counseled against bothering to seize nonowner-operated vehicles of small value. Id. at 66-67. 23 We note that the district court concluded that, as a matter of Suffolk County law, Suffolk County’s forfeiture provision authorizes retention pendente lite when necessary to protect the public safety, see S.A. 12, a proposition that Ferrari conceded to be the case at oral argument. 24 31   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page32 of 48 Thus,  Krimstock  I  paid  relatively  little  attention  to  public  safety  concerns  not because of some inexplicable doubt as to whether such concerns constitute a  legitimate  governmental  interest  for  the  purpose  of  procedural  due  process  analysis,  but  rather  because  of  the  specific  features  of  New  York  City’s  seizure  law.  When, as here, a court considers a forfeiture provision expressly directed at  impaired  or  reckless  operation  of  vehicles  (an  activity  which  is  criminalized  primarily out of concern for public safety), there is no reason to read Krimstock I  as  the  district  court  did,  to  prohibit  a  municipality  from  retaining  vehicles  for  public safety reasons.  See Booker v. City of Saint Paul, 762 F.3d 730, 736 (8th Cir.  2014) (citing to language in Krimstock I to support the proposition that “[a] repeat  DWI offender . . . is demonstrably unlikely to be deterred from driving even after  an arrest or the loss of a driverʹs license,” and that, “[a]s such, seizing the vehicle  from a four‐time offender is a legitimate means of keeping dangerous drivers off  the road”).    Krimstock  I,  then,  does  not  require  that  the  government  justify  retention  pendente  lite  on  the  sole  basis  that  its  financial  interest  in  the  vehicle  may  be  imperiled.    Nor  have  we  located  other  authority  to  that  effect.25    See  Bennis  v.                                                 Cf. Dixon v. Love, 431 U.S. 105, 114–15 (1977) (finding it unnecessary for Illinois to provide a pretermination hearing in every case prior to suspending or revoking a driver’s license on the basis that 25 32   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page33 of 48 Michigan,  516  U.S.  442,  452  (1996)  (observing  that  “forfeiture  .  .  .  serves  a  deterrent  purpose,”  by  “prevent[ing]  illegal  uses  ‘both  by  preventing  further  illicit  use  of  the  [property]  and  by  imposing  an  economic  penalty.’”  (quoting  Calero‐Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co., 416 U.S. 663, 687 (1974)).  Indeed, if the  ultimate  forfeiture  of  a  car  may  validly  serve  the  purpose  of  preventing  this  forfeited item of property from being further used as an instrumentality of crime,  see id., it is not evident why retention pendente lite cannot serve, in at least some  circumstances, a similar purpose.   In  short,  the  district  court  erred  in  concluding  that  our  decision  in  Krimstock  I  prevents  a  county  or  municipality  from  relying  on  public  safety  concerns  as  the  basis  for  retention  pendente  lite.    Suffolk  County  argues  that,  in  light of this error, we must reverse or remand the grant of summary judgment on  the  issue  of  liability.    It  is  indeed  plausible  that  the  district  court  relied  on  its  misunderstanding of Krimstock I in granting summary judgment to Ferrari.  But  we  need  not  resolve  the  case  on  this  basis  alone.    Even  limiting  the  County’s  interest  to  its  property  concern,  we  also  conclude  that  the  district  court’s                                                                                                                                                     the driver had committed certain vehicular offenses, and emphasizing “the important public interest in safety on the roads and highways, and in the prompt removal of a safety hazard”); id. at 114-15 (distinguishing the licensing law at issue in that case from one whose only articulated purpose was financial, and observing that “the Illinois statute . . . is designed to keep off the roads those drivers who are unable or unwilling to respect traffic rules and the safety of others”). 33   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page34 of 48 understanding of what the County must show to make out a prima facia case of  necessity went well beyond what the Due Process Clause requires.  C.  Before  analyzing  the  sufficiency  of  the  process  afforded  Ferrari  at  his  hearing,  it  is  necessary  to  clarify  precisely  what  the  evidence  suggests  that  process  to  be.    The  district  court  held  that  the  evidence  established  that  the  County consistently “shift[ed] the burden” in Ferrari’s hearing and others on the  issue  of  necessity,  and  “failed  to  introduce  evidence  of  the  necessity  of  retention.”    S.A.  53‐57.    It  acknowledged,  however,  that  the  County  indeed  introduced  evidence,  prior  to  resting  its  case,  that  Ferrari  had  repeatedly  committed  serious  driving  violations,  had  been  arrested  for  an  unusually  dangerous  bout  of  intoxicated  joy‐riding,  and  had  shown  a  documented  unwillingness  to  abide  by  New  York’s  laws  prohibiting  seriously  impaired  or  reckless  driving.    See  S.A.  16  (“At  its  strongest,  the  County  argued  that  Ferrari  might  damage  the  vehicle  through  continued  reckless  or  impaired  driving.”).  The  district  court  further  acknowledged,  as  it  had  to,  that  Ferrari  himself  came  forward with  no  evidence  that  an alternative  measure  would  suffice  to  address  the County’s surely reasonable concern that return of the vehicle could endanger  34   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page35 of 48 not only the public, but the car.  Nevertheless, in the district court’s estimation,  the  County  failed  to  carry  its  burden  because  it  did  not  introduce  evidence  disproving the feasibility of alternative measures as part of its prima facia case— evidence,  for  instance,  that  might  include  a  “showing  that  the  claimant  [was]  unable  or  unwilling  to  post  a  bond,  and/or  lack[ed]  other  assets  that  could  be  easily restrained.”  S.A. 16 (quoting Boyle, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114487, at *14‐15  n.6).   The County, for its part, largely agrees with the district court’s articulation  of  the  facts  as  to  what  process  it  regularly  affords.    Pointing  to  the  various  hearing transcripts in the record in addition to Ferrari’s, the County argues that it  always  opens  its  case  by  introducing  evidence  that  a  driver  has  a  history  of  multiple  serious  driving  offenses.    Indeed,  because  Suffolk  County’s  forfeiture  law  is  considerably  narrower  than  that  at  issue  in  Krimstock  I,  the  County,  in  order  to  meet  its  burden  of  showing  likelihood  of  success  in  the  forfeiture  proceeding,  must  provide  such  evidence  to  even  reach  the  issue  of  necessity.26                                                  The fact that, in Suffolk, a showing as to likelihood of success in the forfeiture proceeding happens to assist in establishing a prima facia case of the necessity of retention may also help to explain why the word “necessity” is not always used at Suffolk’s hearings, or why hearing officers often seem to address the necessity of retention and likelihood of success at the forfeiture hearing together in a single finding. Indeed, though Krimstock I distinguished between likelihood of success at the forfeiture hearing and the necessity of retention pendente lite, nothing in Krimstock I suggests that the evidence necessary to meet the likelihood-of-success prong in Suffolk County (evidence of repeated serious traffic violations) would not, if presented in New York City, also be relevant to establishing necessity—the third prong of 26 35   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page36 of 48 After  the  County  puts  forward  this  evidence,  according  to  Suffolk,  a  claimant  may testify or otherwise put on or proffer evidence both as to whether he would  suffer  a  particular  hardship  absent  return  of  his  vehicle  and  as  to  whether  alternative  measures  might  suffice  to  meet  the  County’s  now‐demonstrated  interest in retention.  See, e.g., J.A. 1147 (reflecting that at a hearing on April 23,  2007, after the state had rested, the mother of the driver testified as to her ability  to  keep  the  car  away  from  her  son  (the  DWI  driver));  J.A.  1290  (at  which,  in  a  September  22,  2009  hearing,  after  the  County  rested,  the  secretary  of  a  corporation  that  owned  a  vehicle  testified  as  to  whether  he  could  plausibly  prevent a car from being again used by the president of the corporation, who had  driven  it  drunk  and  himself  been  previously  convicted  of  intoxicated  driving);  J.A. 853‐83 (at which, at a July 17, 2008 hearing, after the state rested, the driver  testified  that  he  would  be  willing  to  have  an  interlock  device  on  his  car  if  the  magistrate  permitted  him  to  retain  it,  and  Judge  DiNoto,  presiding,  ultimately  released  the  vehicle  to  the  driver  subject  to  that  stipulation);  J.A.  1340,  1363  (where, at another hearing, the county attorney argued that “[b]ased on the risk                                                                                                                                                     the Krimstock I test. See Krimstock I, 306 F.3d at 66 n.28 (“A claimant’s proven history of persistent drunkenness or repeated DWI violations . . . might justify a fact-finder in denying release of the vehicle pendente lite.”); see also McFarland, OATH Index No. 1124/04 (noting that a particularly serious single drunk driving offense could justify retention pendente lite under the Krimstock II standard in New York City). 36   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page37 of 48 to  the  public  at  large,  [the  defendant]  should  not  be  driving  and  returning  his  vehicle  is  not  appropriate”).27    The  County  argues  that  this  was  precisely  the  process  it  afforded  Ferrari  at  his  hearing,  and  that  such  a  process  does  not  sidestep the County’s obligation to show necessity, but instead discharges it.  See  J.A.  71  (in  which  the  County  affirmed,  at  Ferrari’s  retention  hearing,  that  “[Krimstock  I]  talks  to  the  County  to  [demonstrate]  necessity  of  retention,”  but  then argued that, “the County has sustained that burden and there is nothing to  refute it by Mr. Ferrari or his attorney in testimony form or evidentiary form to  allow this Court to determine that the County should not retain it any further”).   We  may  thus  summarize  the  question  as  follows:  when,  at  a  retention  hearing,  Suffolk  County  presents  evidence  that  a  driver  such  as  Ferrari  has  a  history  of  intoxicated  or  reckless  driving  (evidence  that  serves  to  make  out  a  prima  facia  case  that  retention  pendente  lite  is  necessary  to  protect  the  County’s  financial  interest  and  its  interest  in  protecting  the  public)  may  the  County,  consistent with the Due Process Clause, then shift the burden of going forward                                                 27 Ferrari’s counsel, at oral argument, claimed that magistrates in Suffolk County not only permit the County to ignore alternative measures in its prima facia case, but in fact refuse, altogether, to consider less restrictive alternatives. The evidence in this record does not support such a conclusion, in part because Ferrari did not provide, at his hearing, any evidence that an alternative measure would suffice or even point to any particular measure that he believed would meet the County’s interests in retention. See also J.A. 853-83 (where the County released a vehicle to a driver provided he agreed to an interlock device); J.A. 1147 (discussing whether an innocent co-owner could keep a vehicle away from its driver). 37   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page38 of 48 onto the owner‐driver to point to a specific alternative measure that he is willing  and able to sustain that might satisfy the County’s interests, and to demonstrate  that such alternative measure would be feasible for him?  As noted, our decision  in Krimstock I does not address the allocation of burdens at a retention hearing.   And even if Krimstock I did, it does not tell us what process would be appropriate  in  Suffolk  County  with  its  inarguably  different  law.28    We  thus  address  the  question as a matter of first impression.  We hold that the County’s procedure is  not constitutionally deficient.  The question how to allocate burdens in the context of a given procedure is  one of procedural due process.  See, e.g., Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 747‐48  (1982); see also United States v. One Parcel of Prop. Located at 194 Quaker Farms Rd.,  Oxford, Conn., 85 F.3d 985, 988 (2d Cir. 1996) (upholding a burden‐shifting regime  wherein  the  “government  must  first  demonstrate  probable  cause  that  .  .  .  property is subject to forfeiture,” at which point “[t]he burden then rests upon a                                                 Compare Suffolk County Code Ch. 270-72 (K) (permitting forfeiture only when a driver was arrested for intoxicated or reckless driving and had at least one prior conviction for the same); with Krimstock I, 306 F.3d at 44 (describing New York City’s law as permitting forfeiture for a wider array of offenses and on the basis of a first-time offense); compare Ch. 270-29 (providing for discretionary relief when justice requires it); and, e.g., J.A. 853-83 (discussing whether a claimant could demonstrate hardship), with Krimstock I, 306 F.3d at 61 (“Under the New York City Civil Administrative code, no provision is made for situations in which the seizure and retention of a vehicle would cause particular hardship.”); cf. id. at 66-67 (observing that New York City’s practice of seeking forfeiture only when a vehicle was of particularly high value undermined, to some extent, its claimed interest in retaining vehicles for purposes of public safety). 28 38   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page39 of 48 claimant  asserting  an  innocent  owner  defense  to  prove  that  defense  by  a  preponderance  of  the  evidence”  (citations  omitted)).    We  have  long  held  that,  outside  of  the  criminal  context,  there  is  no  presumption  that  any  particular  allocation of the burden or burdens is the appropriate one.  See Santosky, 455 U.S.  at  754  (The  Court’s  “decisions  concerning  constitutional  burdens  of  proof  have  not turned on any presumption favoring any particular standard.”); One Parcel of  Property, 85 F.3d at 989 (“Generally, Congress may alter the traditional allocation  of the burden of proof without infringing upon the litigantʹs due process rights  unless the statute is criminal in nature.”).    In assessing whether a particular allocation of burdens comports with the  Due  Process  Clause,  we  look  to  the  three‐factor  balancing  test  articulated  in  Mathews v. Eldridge.  See, e.g., Santosky, 455 U.S. at 754 (“[T]he Court has engaged  in  a  straight‐forward  consideration  of  the  factors  identified  in  Eldridge  to  determine  whether  a  particular  standard  of  proof  in  a  particular  proceeding  satisfies  due  process.”);  Tsirelman  v.  Daines,  794  F.3d  310,  314‐15  (2d  Cir.  2015)  (citing  Mathews,  424  U.S.  at  334‐35).    “The  test  weighs:  (1)  the  private  interest  affected; (2) the risk of erroneous deprivation through the procedures used and  the  value of  other  safeguards;  and  (3)  the  governmentʹs  interest.”   Krimstock  III,  39   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page40 of 48 464  F.3d  at  253.    As  the  Supreme  Court  observed  in  Mathews,  “[d]ue  process  is  flexible  and  calls  for  such  procedural  protections  as  the  particular  situation  demands.”  Mathews, 424 U.S. at 334 (citing Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 481  (1972)).    We first assess the private interest involved.  As we explained in Krimstock  I, and as the New York Court of Appeals further explained in Canavan, an owner  may have an important interest in retaining the use of a motor vehicle pendente  lite.  See Krimstock I, 306 F.3d at 61 (“The particular importance of motor vehicles  derives  from  their use  as a  mode  of  transportation  and,  for  some,  the  means to  earn  a  livelihood.”);  Canavan,  1  N.Y.3d  at  143  (“[A]utomobiles  are  often  an  essential  form  of  transportation  and,  in  some  cases,  critical  to  life  necessities,  earning a livelihood and obtaining an education.”).  Further, an individual may  also  have  a  financial  interest  in  a  vehicle  apart  from  its  use  by  the  owner  himself—including an interest derived from the rental value of the property.  See  Ford  Motor  Credit  Co.,  503  F.3d  at  194  (“[T]he  Supreme  Court  has  affirmed  the  importance of the income stream derived from ownership of property.”).    Nevertheless, though the private interest in retaining access to a particular  vehicle  pendente  lite  is  strong,  the  private  interest  in  affording  claimants  the  40   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page41 of 48 specific  procedure  demanded  by  Ferrari—namely,  that  the  County  bear  the  burden of disproving the feasibility of alternative measures that Ferrari has not  put  in  issue—is  weak,  not  strong.    First,  Krimstock  I,  Canavan,  and  Harris  were  greatly concerned with the plight of innocent owners who might be erroneously  deprived of their vehicles for extended periods of time until they could prove, at  the ultimate forfeiture hearing, their entitlement to return.  See, e.g., Krimstock I,  306 F.3d at 55‐58 (extensively emphasizing the importance that innocent owners  have  an  opportunity  to  demonstrate  their  innocence  at  a  prompt,  post‐seizure  hearing);  Canavan,  1  N.Y.3d  at  142  (“When  cars  are  owned  by  others  or  shared  among  household  members,  for  example,  seizure  [pendente  lite]  may  affect  not  only  a  culpable  defendant,  but  also  other  innocent  parties.”);  accord  Harris,  9  N.Y.3d at 247.  In those cases, a prompt, post‐seizure hearing obviously protected  the  interests  of  innocent  owners;  in  proving  their  innocence,  they  could  defeat  the  government’s  claim  that  it  was  likely  to  succeed  at  the  ultimate  forfeiture  hearing.    Here,  however,  a  requirement  that  Suffolk  bear  the  initial  burden  of  proving  the  infeasibility  of  alternative  measures  as  part  of  its  prima  facia  case  does not greatly add to the protection already afforded such owners pursuant to  Suffolk’s existing procedures.  Indeed, a requirement that Suffolk County gather  41   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page42 of 48 evidence material to the availability of alternative measures (such as the financial  information the district court suggested could be pertinent) prior to the hearing  could  have  the  effect  of  delaying  these  hearings,  which  would  arguably  be  detrimental  to  the  interests  not  only  of  innocent  owners,  but  title  owners  more  generally.    See  Oral  Argument  at  28:50‐30:13  (in  which  counsel  for  the  County  observes that “a retention hearing must be held in a [short] amount of time after  the arrest takes place,” and reasonably asks “how can the County do a financial  investigation  into  each  person  that  gets  arrested  to  make  a  determination  whether  they  were  financially  capable  of  putting  up  a  bond  [in  that  limited  period of time]?”).     Next, the County’s practice of shifting the burden of going forward onto a  title  owner  to  articulate  the  case  for  an  alternative  measure  does  not  have  any  material effect on that owner’s interests.  Prior to hearings in Suffolk County, title  owners  receive  notice  as  to  the  questions  that  will  be  discussed,  including  the  availability  of  alternative  measures,  see,  e.g.,  J.A.  97  (including  clear  evidence  Ferrari himself received such notice).  In addition, evidence probative of whether  an alternative measure would suffice is generally uniquely within the purview of  the title owner, who can thus be expected to gather it without difficulty.  Placing  42   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page43 of 48 the burden of going forward as to alternative measures on the title owner, then,  does not affect his specific interest in demonstrating that such measures suffice.   Cf.  United  States  v.  Bonventre,  720  F.3d  126,  131‐132  (2d  Cir.  2013)  (“Bonventre  argues  that  any  threshold  requirement  unconstitutionally  shifts  the  burden  of  proof  to  the  defendant  and  thereby  increases  the  likelihood  of  a  wrongful  criminal conviction because he will be unable to hire his counsel of choice.  If the  basis  for  a  defendantʹs  motion  is  not  frivolous,  however,  this  low  threshold  requirement will not operate to bar him from using restrained assets to fund his  defense.”).29   Moreover,  lest  we  ignore  the  bigger  picture,  it  must  be  observed  that  extensive process is already afforded in Suffolk County to protect a title owner’s  interests.  Courts, including ours, have explicated the requirements of a retention  hearing  in  New  York  for  more  than  a  decade.    Unlike  in  Krimstock  I,  which  simply  held  a  prompt  hearing  was  required,  Suffolk,  likely  in  response  to  that  opinion,  indisputably  provides  such  hearings.    Unlike  in  Harris,  Suffolk  County  provides  innocent  co‐owners  the  opportunity  to  demonstrate  hardship.    These                                                 29 Indeed, to ask a title owner to initially frame the argument for an alternative measure is not only reasonable, but it may help protect the owner’s interest in return of his vehicle: the County cannot be expected, in a short period of time, to both think of idiosyncratic but effective alternative measures and refute them, even when such measures might indeed suffice to meet its interests. See Oral Argument at 17:50-:59 (discussing the potential of a rental arrangement that both parties failed to raise at Ferrari’s hearing). 43   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page44 of 48 mechanisms serve to ensure that retention is not ordered pendente lite unless the  County  demonstrates,  at  a  prompt  post‐seizure  hearing,  probable  cause,  likelihood  of  success  at  the  forfeiture,  and  a  prima  facia  case  that  retention  is  justified.  In this context, Ferrari’s interest in requiring Suffolk County to disprove  the  feasibility  of  alternative  measures  before  he  has  come  forward  with  any  showing at all is not strong.  We  conclude  that  the  likelihood  of  error  prong  also  favors  the  City.    We  note,  initially,  that  Krimstock  I  held  that  this  factor,  even  in  the  absence  of  a  prompt hearing, “weigh[ed] in favor of the City.”  Krimstock I, 306 F.3d at 64; see  also id. at 62 (“We acknowledge that the risk of erroneous seizure and retention of  a vehicle is reduced in the case of a DWI owner‐arrestee, because a trained police  officer’s  assessment  of  the  owner‐driver’s  state  of  intoxication  can  typically  be  expected to be accurate.”).  This factor weighs even more strongly for the County  here.    The  district  court  faulted  the  County  for  failing  to  produce  evidence   showing  “that  [Ferrari  was]  unable  or  unwilling  to  post  a  bond,  and/or  lacks  other  assets  that  could  be  easily  restrained.”    S.A.  16  (quoting  Boyle,  2010  U.S.  Dist.  LEXIS  114487,  at  *14‐15  n.6).    But  evidence  of  a  driver‐owner’s  ability  to  post  a  bond  or  collateral  is  evidence  plainly  within  the  unique  purview  of  the  44   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page45 of 48 driver‐owner  himself.    And  the  same  is  true  for  extensive  other  evidence  probative  of  the  alternative  measures  inquiry,  which  will  frequently  require  analysis of the unique circumstances and home life of a given driver.30  See, e.g.,  J.A.  1147  (discussing  whether  the  mother  of  the  driver  is  able  to  keep  the  car  from  her  son).    We  have  long  held  that,  in  a  situation  where  evidence  of  a  particular  matter  is  uniquely  in  the  possession  of  a  given  party,  due  process  permits shifting the burden of production, where appropriate, to that party.  See  One  Parcel  of  Property,  85  F.3d  at  990  (“[T]hose  who  assert  the  innocent  owner  defense  have  unique  access  to  evidence  regarding  such  claims.  .  .  .    Burden‐ shifting where one party has superior access to evidence on a particular issue is a  common feature of our law.”).  Yet Ferrari would require that, if the County does  not produce sufficient evidence as to the infeasibility of alternative measures—if  it does not prove a negative as to a matter concerning which the title owner has  superior  access  to  the  relevant  information—the  vehicle  must  be  returned.   Ferrari’s  proposed  process  would  probably  increase  the  likelihood  that  a  car  is  returned to an owner when such return poses a threat to the County’s financial  interest or to the public safety.  Given the driver’s superior access to the relevant                                                 In this way, evidence of alternative measures resembles evidence of innocent ownership or of hardship. See Harris, 9 N.Y. 3d at 247 (observing that “[i]nnocent co-owners possess highly relevant evidence—unknown to the City—as to th[e] inquiry [into whether justice requires return of the vehicle]”). 30 45   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page46 of 48 evidence and the process already afforded him by Suffolk County’s law, there is  simply no justification for  requiring the process Ferrari demands in the name of  reducing the likelihood of wrongful deprivation of his property.  Finally,  we  turn  to  the  County’s  interest  here.    As  Krimstock  I  itself  acknowledged, there are at least two clear public interests in retaining a vehicle  pendente  lite:  a  financial  interest  in  the  vehicle,  and  an  interest  in  protecting  the  public  from  use  of  the  vehicle  “as  an  instrumentality  in  future  acts  of  driving  while  intoxicated.”    Krimstock  I,  306  F.3d  at  64‐66.    Here,  the  latter  interest  is  particularly  strong:  as  already  noted,  Suffolk  County’s  law  was  specifically  passed to protect the public from repeat “offenders of New York’s drunk driving  laws.”  J.A. 140; see also Dixon, 431 U.S. at 114‐15 (distinguishing Illinois’ licensure  law, which was “designed to keep off the roads those drivers who are unable or  unwilling to respect traffic rules and the safety of others,” from a Georgia statute  whose “only purpose” was “to obtain security from which to pay any judgments  against the licensee resulting from the accident” (quoting Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S.  535,  540  (1971)).    And  as  noted  above,  adoption  of  Ferrari’s  and  the  district  court’s preferred process would surely lead to the return of vehicles pendente lite  even where retention is indeed necessary to protect the County’s interests merely  46   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page47 of 48 because the County failed to meet an unrealistically demanding burden.  As the  Supreme Court has said, standards of proof (and presumably allocations of such  standards)  “reflect[]  not  only  the  weight  of  the  private  and  public  interests  affected,  but  also  a  societal  judgment  about  how  the  risk  of  error  should  be  distributed between the litigants.”  Santosky, 455 U.S. at 754‐55.  We cannot hold,  as  Ferrari  effectively  asks  us  to,  that  any  marginal  benefit  afforded  drivers  like  him by the added layer of process he seeks is so paramount that the Constitution  of  the  United  States  requires  Suffolk  County  to  adopt  a  process  at  retention  hearings that could put its residents at risk.     In short, weighing the private interest, the risk of error, and the County’s  interest, we conclude that it does not violate the Due Process Clause for Suffolk  County, after establishing a prima facia case that retention may be necessary to  protect the County’s interests in the financial value of the vehicle or in protecting  the public from repeated unsafe driving, to shift the burden of going forward to  the  title  owner  to  point  to  an  alternative  measure  that  he  is  willing  and  able  to  sustain that might satisfy the County’s interests and to demonstrate, at least as an  initial  matter,  that  such  alternative  measure  would  be  feasible  for  him.    As  already  noted,  Ferrari  produced  no  evidence  as  to  alternative  measures  at  his  47   Case 15-975, Document 79, 01/04/2017, 1939528, Page48 of 48 hearing,  and  argues  here  that  it  was  the  County’s  burden  to  prove  the  infeasibility  of  alternative  measures  as  part  of  its  prima  facie  case.    Our  conclusion  that  this  is  incorrect—that  it  was  constitutionally  permissible  at  the  retention  hearing  to  shift  the  burden  of  going  forward  to  Ferrari  after  Suffolk  County presented evidence as to his history of intoxicated driving—is sufficient  to resolve this case.31  CONCLUSION    We conclude that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to  Ferrari  on  his  due  process  claim  and  also  in  denying  summary  judgment  to  Suffolk  County.    Accordingly,  the  order  of  the  district  court  granting  summary  judgment to Ferrari is REVERSED and the case REMANDED with instructions  to enter judgment in favor of the County.                                                 Accordingly, we need not and do not address the ultimate burden of proof on alternative measures, but only the burden of production—i.e., going forward. 31 48  

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