Author Topic: Civil Forfeiture MIGHT be about to get less bad  (Read 80 times)

evensgrey

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Civil Forfeiture MIGHT be about to get less bad
« on: December 03, 2018, 02:44:10 PM »
A video from Michigan attorney Steve Lehto


describing the response of SCOTUS to oral arguments about a civil forfeiture case where a man's car was seized for him selling drugs worth ~1% of the value of the car.

The State Attorney General articulated the standard legal view at the moment, based on the last SCOTUS ruling on the matter (which is that they could, in principle, seize your car because you were speeding by 5 mph) and, apparently, the JUSTICES LAUGHED AT HIM.  They aren't framing this as a question of due process, but of excessive fines, so it won't make Civil Forfeiture go away no matter what they eventually rule, but it could force proportionality between the alleged offense and the forfeiture (which might at least eliminate forfeitures where there is no actual allegation of any specific crime).

MrBogosity

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Re: Civil Forfeiture MIGHT be about to get less bad
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 04:42:33 PM »
If it's based on a crime, it's criminal asset forfeiture, not civil. Civil is where they accuse the car or the gold rooster or whatever it is of being involved civilly and seize it. I did a story about this on Bogosity awhile back.

evensgrey

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Re: Civil Forfeiture MIGHT be about to get less bad
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 11:13:19 PM »
It's not Criminal Asset Forfeiture because there doesn't have to be a crime proven first.  They simply allege something is 'proceeds of crime' and seize it, then you have to prove it isn't proceeds of crime to get it back.  Some jurisdictions are particularly bad about grabbing large amounts of cash in vehicles.

Actual Criminal Asset Forfeiture was a proposed replacement in Texas last year, which would have required things like proving a crime occurred, and allowing only the actual proceeds of the proven crime to be seized (unless those proceeds had been transferred to a third party, in which case other assets that did not exceed the value of the proceeds could be seized).  Ohio and Nebraska also recently switched from Civil to Criminal Asset Forfeiture.