Ben Raybin has been appointed to represent a pro se client before the Tennessee Supreme Court. As reported by the Raybin-Perky Supreme Court Hotlist, the Court recently granted review in the case of State v. Sprunger, which involves forfeiture of real property.
In the case, Mr. Sprunger had been convicted of downloading child pornography. The State then seized his house pursuant to a law permitting forfeiture of property “used in the commission of” that crime, contending that his house was “used” to obtain the materials because his computer was there. Mr. Sprunger represented himself from prison at the forfeiture hearing and on appeal to challenge the seizure of his house.
After losing on appeal, Mr. Sprunger was successful in petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case. The Supreme Court takes only a small percentage of cases each year, only a few of which come from litigants representing themselves.
The Supreme Court has appointed Ben to brief and argue the case to provide Mr. Sprunger with legal representation before the state’s highest court. The representation will be on a pro bono basis, meaning that Mr. Sprunger will not be charged a legal fee.