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March 18, 2013

Supreme Court grants cert in new case concerning forfeiture procedures

As reported in this new SCOTUSblog post, one of these new cases in which the Supreme Court granted cert should be of interest to sentencing fans:

The Court also granted review on whether an individual faced with the forfeiture of property that may be the proceeds of a crime has a right to a pre-trial hearing to challenge the basis for possible forfeiture.  The Justice Department agreed that the Court should address this issue because of a division among lower courts on it; the case is Kaley v. U.S. (12-464).

March 18, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Permalink


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About damn time. Persoanlly i consider any forfeiture absent both a criminal conviction of the owning individual and an individual court hearing that requires the STATE to prove said asset was in the proceeds of a criminal action.

ROBBERY! on the part of the state!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 18, 2013 3:02:37 PM

Capital punishment is expensive - his best argument...So is LWOP. Next we will hear from liberals that Life without parole is too expensive...we shouldnt care for criminals over age 80...they should be released...it will never end....JUSTICE calls for killers to be executed...plain and simple....O'Malley can go pound sand.

Posted by: DeanO | Mar 19, 2013 7:41:31 AM

Look for a car that has a mileage of 50,000 to 200,000 kilometers.

Posted by: website | Mar 19, 2013 11:50:01 AM

Only if i can use it to run over your ass!

Hawk your junk somewhere else!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 19, 2013 3:36:25 PM

Now now, a bit of decorum please.

Forfeiture laws, just like sex offender laws, were originally narrowly tailored to specific circumstances with regard to the crime. This was done ostensibly to prevent the suspect from using these assets to pay for high-priced attorneys and legal maneuvers. Essentially, the state had to prove that property subject to forfeiture was specific ONLY to property that was obtained through provable illicit drug or theft assets. In other words, if a suspect used his car to drive somewhere to buy some weed, his car was not considered as relevant to the crime as it was not bought with specific intent to commit a crime; more importantly, it was not bought with illicit funds.

However, this has morphed into an unconstitutional state-sponsored theft in removing property from suspects. For instance, a person who was caught with child porn on his computer was required to forfeit his house, essentially a $200,000 fine, because that was where he committed his crime. Obviously, the public may be hugely in favor of this result, but the family members essentially became impoverished overnight because they had no provable monetary interest in the house. In addition, every computer and every phone in the house was seized, as well as his vehicle. Only the mother's older, barely-functioning car was spared. And finally, it eliminated the ability for the

But the house, car, and computers were NOT assets whose purchase was derived from the suspected illicit profits of the suspect's crime. THIS IS KEY, but unfortunately with the public clamor for punishment, it now has to be looked at with the constitutional lens it deplorably has been missing for awhile.

The problem is that this scenario carries itself out with outright impunity. It is common for a suspect's car to be publicly destroyed BEFORE his trial, for instance, because forfeiture laws do not depend on conviction. Had he been innocent, the state would not have to reimburse the individual under this scenario under existing statute. Granted, a suspect has never been proved innocent after such destruction. But because of the public display this provides, it can also provide bias to a potential jury pool.

Forfeiture laws should only be used when such assets can be reasonably ascertained to have been obtained through alleged illicit transactions. This decision will impact forfeiture laws, and in fact good lawyers can file for retributive damages from previous illicit forfeitures.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Mar 19, 2013 7:23:17 PM

Like i said as far as i'm concerned any forfeiture absent a criminal conviction and a specific court hearing where the STATE has the burdon to prove the assess as gotten illegally. is THEFT and a thief getting caught in the act can be KILLED.

No matter what costume they have on!

This is just another example of a totally fucked up law that could have been ended the first time it was tried if the public had just swarmed the court and hung the retards!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 19, 2013 11:32:26 PM

I know we see a lot of this illegal shit in the southwest where crooked cops stop cars and any money is taken under this shit.

"sign over the money and you can leave. Otherwise it's off to jail"

Sorry my respons would be. POP! bullet to the brain. Thief caught in the act can be killed. Just as any cop!

They do it daily!

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 19, 2013 11:36:00 PM

Realize posting a bit after the initial post, but I sure have things to say about Forfeiture...as readers of comments know, I went through a Federal trial in 2011 and was acquitted of all charges against me. I WAS able to afford counsel--but the further backdrop is: The Government seized numerous bank accounts and assets from me including my residence in 2008!!(a note here: the Gov does not Actually seize REAL property initially---they post it and file a lis pendens until they see if there are any claims--but this stops you from selling or borrowing against it)
First, assets were seized for Civil forfeiture, then stayed. Then they were listed on my indictment (now criminal forfeiture)--- and while I was acquitted, my co-defendants were convicted.
Does my acquittal in 2011 mean I got my property back? No. Does it mean I at least got my day in court to try and get my property back? No--Not until JUST NOW---MARCH OF 2013!!! and that was just a hearing. No telling when I will get a decision from the court---no telling if the Gov won't try to appeal if I get a favorable result. I have now had my property seized for parts of SIX CALENDAR YEARS---2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Bank accounts and other property....gone...out of my hands....not seen for all this time. While I have filed a motion to dismiss for a lack of due process, that has not been adjudicated either...and is a tough hurdle.
Yes, in this country, our Government can seize your property on mere probable cause, and the system can literally allow YEARS to go by before an innocent owner can get their day in court.
Furthermore, the court allowed the Gov to seize, and me to have to go through a hearing, to fight for real property in my name that had NO connection to any crime because it MIGHT, IF the Gov could make a proper showing, PARTIALLY belong to a convicted defendant. So "seized" even Without probable cause in my view.
This has been one long, drawn out nightmare.
And because forfeiture is turning into such a money maker for the Government, expect to see more and more of it. In fact to see all the stuff up for forfeiture right now, peruse the hundreds of pages of seized property at Forfeiture.gov.

Posted by: folly | Mar 25, 2013 5:56:46 PM

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