1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

USSC Blow to civil asset forfeiture?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by snax, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. snax

    snax NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    3,049
    Location:
    LA - lowell area
    Supreme Court strikes blow against states that raise revenue by hefty fines, forfeitures
    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that state governments cannot impose excessive court fees, fines and forfeitures as a means of raising money.

    The decision, which united the court's conservatives and liberals, makes clear that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "excessive fines" applies to the states....

    ....It was a victory for Tyson Timbs, who sold less than $400 worth of heroin to undercover police officers in 2013. Upon conviction, Indiana seized his Land Rover, which he had purchased for more than $42,000.


    Now, would this apply for seizure w/o a conviction or charges filed?


    Moral of the story?

    View: https://youtu.be/BJF-wVW1F2o
     
    wahsben, BUMPA01603 and The5thDentist like this.
  2. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    14,494
    Likes Received:
    7,056
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Two things should stand out.

    The ruling was unanimous.

    States and police agencies were arguing excessive fines are okay.
     
    W.E.C, dingbat, crazymjb and 6 others like this.
  3. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    15,489
    Likes Received:
    7,100
    Yeah. I find it great it was Unamainaminous. Time to shut this stupid program down.
     
    drgrant and The5thDentist like this.
  4. snax

    snax NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    3,049
    Location:
    LA - lowell area
    I want to take some time when I get the chance to read the whole ruling. A lot of these forfeitures are taken without any charges being filed. Does this qualify under penalties and fines?
    That guy in Tewksbury had to fight to keep his motel from the Feds and Tewksbury. The gov't argued because of the amount of police calls and "activity" at the property. Not sure, but I remember reading that the Motel 6 just down the street had just as many problems. I'm sure it wasn't the fact that the property was in a valuable location, was seen by many as an eyesore, it was paid off, and the owner probably didn't have the means to fight it, which he didn't, a law firm argued the case for free.
     
  5. Zappa

    Zappa Road Warrior NES Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    43,156
    Likes Received:
    13,174
    Location:
    Living Free In The 603
  6. BUMPA01603

    BUMPA01603 NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    5,954
    I am loving the revamped SCOTUS! More favorable rulings in the near future I hope! And perhaps a new Justice installed.....
     
    Yazz likes this.
  7. LoginName

    LoginName NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Messages:
    17,039
    Likes Received:
    6,460
    Wait... what, did I just read this right?

    Ginsburg quoting McDonald v Chicago

    The protection against excessive fines guards against abuses of government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority," Ginsburg wrote. Quoting in part from the court's 2010 ruling that Second Amendment gun rights apply to the states, she said, "This safeguard, we hold, is 'fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty.'"
     
  8. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    39,004
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    Location:
    Near Framingham
    I think SCOTUS has gotten tired of state courts claiming a particular right hasn’t been incorporated, so they are slapping lower courts who make that claim.
     
    strangenh and dingbat like this.
  9. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    66,422
    Likes Received:
    22,659
    Maybe when she was sleeping the ghost of Scalia reached out to her, they used to be friends.... [laugh]
     
    Yazz, dingbat and buckfarack like this.
  10. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    7,081
    Likes Received:
    3,319
    Location:
    My forest stronghold
    Three things actually, you left one out:
    1. Yes, it was unanimous
    2. Indiana's argument was actually that the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause doesn't apply to the states because it was never 'incorporated; via the Fourteenth Amendment - a view that got a lot of push back from the justices during oral arguments.
    3. Thomas and Kavanaugh issued a concurring opinion arguing that the court should be incorporating the excessive fines clause via the 'privilege or immunity' clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It's taken almost 150 years, but there are finally two justices ready gut Slaughterhouse.
    This is a good day for liberty!
     
  11. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    15,489
    Likes Received:
    7,100
    Thomas had a co-author on a concurrence???? That's odd. LOL.
     
    dingbat likes this.
  12. Matt-CZ

    Matt-CZ

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    985
    Location:
    South Shore
    Hopefully this decision leads to more cases being brought to challenge the outrageous civil forfeiture that occurs across the country.
     
  13. eboos

    eboos

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    2,537
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    I think this is Thomas's horse. He addressed this in McDonald v. Chicago.
     
  14. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    66,422
    Likes Received:
    22,659
    That's likely a very good sign, that means that they were both likely pissed off enough about this to want to talk about it... [laugh]
     
  15. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    66,422
    Likes Received:
    22,659
    I would hope that even if they won't have the stones to declare it unilaterally unconstitutional absent specific circumstances (like lets say, .gov holding back seized cash because they know it actually belongs to a victim of theft) , that they will at least do something like prohibit the use of seized funds for any kind of government operational purpose. That money should go to back to the people, whether its actual victims or the general public somehow. Civil asset foreiture funding government operations is basically the fiduciary version of incest in law enforcement.

    -Mike
     
  16. Glockster30

    Glockster30 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    8,231
    Likes Received:
    3,263
    Location:
    Milky Way
    Actually, it was Thomas and Gorsuch, not Kavanaugh that concurred via "the 'privilege or immunity' clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/17-1091_5536.pdf
     
  17. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    39,004
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    Location:
    Near Framingham
    Ah, it was Gorsuch who savaged the IN AG during oral arguments:

    I’d misremembered that as being Kavanaugh, which is why I couldn’t find it.
     
    timbo likes this.
  18. Noreaster

    Noreaster

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    Likes Received:
    1,435
    Location:
    Sudbury, MA Surrounded by snowflakes.
    The guy should have lost the vehicle, i have no pity for drug dealers. However, the ride was worth more than 4x the maximum fine for the crime. So this is a win for the populous.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/17-1091_5536.pdf

    "Tyson Timbs pleaded guilty in Indiana state court to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. At the time of Timbs’s arrest, the police seized a Land Rover SUV Timbs had purchased for $42,000 with money he received from an insurance policy when his father died. The State sought civil forfeiture of Timbs’s vehicle, charging that the SUV had been used to transport heroin. Observing that Timbs had recently purchased the vehicle for more than four times the maximum $10,000 monetary fine assessable againsthim for his drug conviction, the trial court denied the State’s request."
     
  19. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    39,004
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    Location:
    Near Framingham
    Civil forfeiture is rarely a win for society. It perverts justice by making policing a for-profit business.
     
    NHKevin, DrBurnsides, drgrant and 3 others like this.
  20. Woodsy

    Woodsy NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    4,589
    Likes Received:
    1,681
    Location:
    Middle of the woods in Maine
    In my opinion if you are in a your car selling drugs illegally, and your convicted then the car should be Auctioned off. Same with a Boat or Motorcycle. When it’s a home with other residents etc and not tied to being purchased with drug money I do not think the state should take it.
     
    Bistro likes this.
  21. Chevy 2 65

    Chevy 2 65 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    14,417
    Likes Received:
    5,121
    Location:
    Somewhere in the sands of time
    Good !
    I am sure the red curtain states will ignore it for as long as possible.
     
  22. PennyPincher

    PennyPincher NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,711
    Likes Received:
    3,145
    Location:
    Texas
    Did the world just stop spinning?
     
  23. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    14,494
    Likes Received:
    7,056
    Location:
    Southern NH
    No, he SHOULD NOT have. That's the point.
     
  24. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    66,422
    Likes Received:
    22,659
    I was thinking about that, wouldn't this case have started marinating too early for it to involve Kavanaugh? (I forget how long these things go it seems to be highly
    irregular).

    -Mike
     
  25. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    14,494
    Likes Received:
    7,056
    Location:
    Southern NH
    Those circumstances are already covered and need not be exceptions to a civil asset forfeiture law. It does need to be ruled UNCONDITIONALLY unconstitutional. There are no reasons for it, period. All assets seized must have concrete backing, either statutorily defined as punishment for a crime you are convicted of, or if the property is stolen it's not yours in the first place so you are having no property seized. I get your point though, and I have no faith courts would be as direct as I think they should be. This ruling is evidence of that.


    Absolutely. There was a thread recently in which a cop was complaining about not being allowed to keep money seized from suspected drug dealers. His quote was something like "well if we can't keep the money we [steal], what's the incentive to catch drug dealers?"

    Because unless cops get to keep the money they steal there is no incentive to do their job apparently. There should be no question that it is this mentality that has led to the total perversion of civil assent forfeiture. Which is exactly why money and property seized should NEVER go back to the people [stealing] it, and should never be seized in the first place.


    Edit: Found it!

    "Jarrod Bruder, the executive director of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association who frequently lobbies for law enforcement interests at the Statehouse, said that without the incentive of profit from civil forfeiture, officers probably wouldn’t pursue drug dealers...

    If police don’t get to keep the money from forfeiture, “what is the incentive to go out and make a special effort?” Bruder said. “What is the incentive for interdiction?”"

    That's one way of putting it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
    DrBurnsides and drgrant like this.
  26. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    7,081
    Likes Received:
    3,319
    Location:
    My forest stronghold
    Just to be clear, civil asset forfeiture is a little different. That's where the state takes your stuff without charging and convicting you. This guy was actually convicted (or pled guilty, can't remember).
     
  27. Dadstoys

    Dadstoys NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,209
    Likes Received:
    7,285
    Location:
    North Shore
    In this state the wardens can seize your boat for having a fish 1/2" under legal size.
    The trick they used to do at the ramp in Newburyport was to wait till you got your boat on the trailer and then approach to check.
    That way they can take the boat , the trailer and the vehicle towing it.
     
    Cap'n Mike and DrBurnsides like this.
  28. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    14,494
    Likes Received:
    7,056
    Location:
    Southern NH
    He pled guilty but the trial court denied the seizure request. So the vehicle was not seized as a result of the criminal conviction. It was in fact based on civil asset forfeiture.

     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  29. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    14,494
    Likes Received:
    7,056
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I also want to point this out again. In the old thread on this exact case when the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the seizure was just fine and dandy and the 8th Amendment didn't apply to the states, I said this:

    Just in case anyone had any disillusions about courts being fair, honest, or interested in your rights, as opposed to money.
     
  30. milktree

    milktree NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Messages:
    4,204
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Seriously? What about the shoes you're wearing, or the underwear you're wearing? What about the house you own?

    Are you seriously arguing that if you break a law, anything you're using, under any definition, should be confiscated?

    Reductio ad absurdum takes us to losing your car if you do a rolling stop at a stop sign.
     
    Jorg, W.E.C and Bonesinium like this.

Share This Page