This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat.  480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).


City of St. Paul,


Two Hundred Sixteen and 05/100
 Dollars ($216.05) in Various Denominations
 of United States Currency, 15 Slot Machines and
5 Video Poker Machines as Listed on Attached Exhibit A,

Filed August 13, 1996
Huspeni, Judge

Ramsey County District Court 
 File No. C3-94-3772

Timothy E. Marx, St. Paul City Attorney, Lisa L. Veith, 
Assistant City Attorney, 550 City Hall and Courthouse, 15 W. 
Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)

Greg J. Rebeau, 411 N. Lexington Parkway, Suite G, St. Paul, 
MN 55104 (for appellants)

	Considered and decided by Huspeni, Presiding Judge, 
Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Randall, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D    O P I N I O N

	Gary Southward argues that the district court erred when 
it granted the City of St. Paul summary judgment in a civil 
forfeiture action because (1) there are material issues of fact as to 
whether he realized his actions were illegal, and (2) the prior 
denial of the City's summary judgment motion by a different 
judge renders this decision improper.  We affirm.


	The St. Paul Police Department received a tip that Gary 
Southward was selling illegal gambling equipment.  As part of its 
investigation, officers called Southward pretending to have an 
interest in purchasing a number of pinball machines.  Shortly 
after this call, three undercover officers arrived at Southward's 
home and expressed an interest in buying three slot machines.  At 
this point, discussions took place as to the price and conditions of 
sale for the slot machines.  Southward was then informed that he 
was under arrest for the sale of gambling devices and the officers 
seized 23 slot machines and $216.05 in United States currency.
	Southward subsequently entered a not guilty plea to the 
sale of a gambling device in violation of Minn. Stat.  609.76, 
subd. 1(5) (1992).  Three months later, however, Southward 
changed his mind and entered an Alford  plea to a gross 
misdemeanor violation.  He was sentenced to two years of 
unsupervised probation and fined $300.  
	The City commenced a civil forfeiture action against the 
items that were seized when Southward was arrested.  The City 
also moved for summary judgment against the property, claiming 
no material facts existed and that, as a matter of law, it was 
entitled to these items. This initial motion was denied because the 
court determined that issues of material fact did exist as to 
whether Southward realized his actions were illegal.  The matter 
was set for trial before a different judge who revisited the City's 
request for summary judgment and granted the motion.  



	Summary judgment will be granted only when the 
pleadings, depositions, answers to the interrogatories, and 
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that 
there is no genuine issue of material fact and that either party is 
entitled, as a matter of law, to a judgment.  Fabio v. Bellomo, 
504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1993).  On appeal, this court must 
view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against 
whom judgment was granted.  Id.
	Southward asserts that the decision to grant summary 
judgment was erroneous because material fact issues exist as to 
whether Southward knew his conduct was illegal.  We find no 
merit in this argument.  
	 The relevant statute provides: 

Exceptions: Property may not be seized or 
forfeited under this section if the owner shows to 
the satisfaction of the court that the owner had no 
notice or knowledge or reason to believe that the 
property was used or intended to be used in 
violation of this section.  
Minn. Stat.  609.762, subd. 5. (1992) (emphasis added).  In 
general, a party who asserts an "innocent owner" defense has the 
burden of proving this defense, and must establish the absence of 
knowledge that the property in question was used in a criminal 
offense.  United States v. 92 Buena Vista Ave., 507 U.S. 111, 
129-30, 113 S. Ct. 1126, 1137-38  (1993).  
	Even when the evidence is viewed in the light most 
favorable to Southward, the burden to establish the defense of 
lack of notice or knowledge is insurmountable in this case.  
Because Southward entered a plea to the underlying gambling 
offense, he cannot now claim in the civil forfeiture proceeding 
that he did not know his actions were illegal.  Cf. State v. 
Thornson, 170 Minn. 349, 212 N.W. 591 (1927) (holding that a 
driver who pled guilty to the unlawful transportation of liquor is 
barred, in a subsequent civil forfeiture action against the 
automobile, from claiming that his actions were not illegal 
because he did not intend to sell the alcohol).
	Furthermore, by his plea Southward has waived the right 
to claim now that his property is exempt from forfeiture because 
he did not know that his actions were prohibited.  Cf. Parke v. 
Raley, 506 U.S. 20, 113 S. Ct. 517, 522 (1992) (holding that a 
guilty plea abrogates the right to a jury trial, the right to confront 
one's accusers, and the privilege against self-incrimination); see 
also Walton v. State, 294 Minn. 512, 198 N.W.2d 286 (1972) 
(guilty plea waives right to protest the admissibility of 
confessions); State v. Johnson, 422 N.W.2d 14, 16 (Minn. App. 
1988) (a guilty plea by a counseled defendant operates as a 
waiver of all non-jurisdictional defects arising prior to entry of 
the plea), review denied (Minn. May 16, 1988.)


	Southward argues that summary judgment was not proper 
in this case because an earlier judge had ruled against granting 
the City's motion.  He contends that where reasonable persons 
might draw different conclusions from the evidence presented, 
summary judgment is not proper.  We also find this argument to 
be without merit.
	Southward's plea of guilty to the sale of gambling devices 
bars him from arguing any element of that offense.  Following 
Southward's conviction for a gambling violation, the City is 
entitled to institute a civil forfeiture proceeding against the 
property seized during the arrest.  See Minn. Stat.  609.762, 
subd. 4. (1992).  We agree with the district court that in this case 
there are no material issues of fact about which reasonable people 
could disagree. 
	Under these circumstances, the district court made a 
proper decision to grant the City's summary judgment motion.  A 
district court has the authority to correct any error that occurred 
earlier in the proceedings.  Appellate courts are "loath to 
interfere with a trial court ruling which appears, in effect, to 
correct an earlier error."  Albert v. Paper Calmenson & Co., 
515 N.W.2d 59, 65 (Minn. App. 1994), aff'd as modified, 524 
N.W.2d 460 (Minn. 1994).  Therefore, we conclude that the 
district court did not err by deciding to reconsider, and eventually 
to grant, the City's summary judgment motion in this case.


      In an Alford plea, the defendant need not admit guilt.  
However, before accepting an Alford plea, the court must 
find that the plea (1) is intelligently, knowingly, and 
voluntarily made; (2) is based on the court's interrogation; 
(3) is based on the court's analysis of the factual basis 
offered in support of the plea; and (4) results from the court's 
reasonable conclusion that the evidence would support a 
jury verdict of guilt.  North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 
91 S.Ct. 160 (1970); see also State v. Goulette, 258 
N.W.2d 758, 760 (Minn. 1977).

	In a civil forfeiture action following a criminal 
conviction, we can discern no basis upon which a conviction 
following a jury trial should be distinguished from a conviction 
following a guilty plea.  Therefore, a conviction following an 
Alford plea should not be distinguished from these other