State-sponsored theft in Supreme Court

| July 12, 2023

Although its history dates much further back, civil asset forfeiture (CAF,  ‘cuz I am too lazy to keep writing it out) has really been in popular use since the ’70s.  Basically, it assumes an object can be criminal in certain cases. We tend to think of objects as more or less innocent or agnostic, right? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, right?  Not in CAF.

In 1978, Congress passed the Psychotropic Substances Act, which permitted the seizure and forfeiture of money and securities that were thought to be the proceeds of the drug trade, according to the Drug Policy Alliance. Civil forfeiture was expanded again in 1984, when Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act and gave law enforcement the power to seize real property, such as buildings and land.

This was pitched at the time as a grand weapon in the War on Drugs – if someone was making kazillions off selling crack and smack, the law could render him profitless and seize all those  proceeds of illicit trade. Cars, boats, cash, whatever – fork it over.

Unfortunately, in the years since CAF has turned into a monster. There are too many stories to cite of people driving through strange towns, getting pulled over, their cars searched on a pretext, and when cash was found – Uh-oh, if they have cash they must be drug-thug related! I remember reading of one guy trying to expand his trucking business getting pulled over and the cops confiscated the $10,000 he had to put a down on a new truck.

Too often there are no hearings,  no due process, and recovery is an agonizingly slow process. In essence whoever lost their stuff has to PROVE their innocence. Sounds kind of Napoleonic, eh? Guilty till proven innocent?

State law enforcement was eligible to receive funds through the equitable sharing program in two ways. One way was to turn over seized assets to federal law enforcement in what is known as an “adoptive forfeiture.” If the item became forfeited, state law enforcement received a portion of the forfeiture funds.

The other way was to participate in joint operations with federal authorities and share the return of property seized during the operation if it became forfeited.

And this ain’t penny-ante – by 2014 local police were reaping their share of BILLIONS seized from CAF.

Still, forfeiture laws were expanded yet again in 1986 with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. This law gave law enforcement the right to seize property equal in value to forfeitable property no longer within reach of the law, such as cash, bank accounts, jewelry, motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, businesses, buildings, and real estate.   forthepeople.com

Hopefully there is some light in sight:

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear Culley v. Attorney General of Alabama and decide if those who find themselves in that situation are entitled to a probable cause hearing after the seizure and, if so, how speedily it must happen.

Detroit is a fitting case study of how byzantine the process of contesting a forfeiture has become. Before any victim is allowed to state their case, and only after they have successfully filed that claim of interest on their property, they must attend four in-person “pre-trial” conferences where prosecutors put a “deal” on the table: The owner may have their property back if they pay the government a fixed fee.

How nice, they get to buy their own cars back.

Law enforcement agencies typically pocket the majority of the proceeds from civil forfeiture seizures. As of 2020, Wilson’s home state, Michigan, along with 24 others—Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming—direct 95 percent to 100 percent of the funds extracted from seizures toward law enforcement, according to the I.J. report Policing for Profitreason.com

Me, I can see how We the People thought CAF might be a good idea. But like almost any extension on governmental powers, it has morphed into something bad. And needs to be appropriately changed.

 

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Legal, None, Politics

23 Comments
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ninja

Are the Bidens exempt?

Asking For We The People.

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ninja

🤔

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ninja

Hmmmmm…

🙄

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ninja

“No One Is Above The Law” sayeth the Liberal DRats…

😳

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5JC

Chapter 5 Narcotics Trafficking – Transportation We all know what PIA it is to get stopped by the police when we are just working hard slinging dope. I don’t know why the police don’t go out and catch real criminals instead of people just trying to run a business. But there are ways you can cut down on the this, so when they run your plate they won’t automatically light you up with the blues. Let’s say you got a bitch that owes you money. Now you can go over to her place and take her shit but if you do that what you gonna do next time? Maybe you can get a piece of it but let’s say she is just a tired ass ho and you would rather not. You could tune her up and get a little workout and while that would be ok, still doesn’t put change in your pocket. But if she has a ride, now we are good. You take her 10 year-old Honda Civic with the three car seats and ride it around slinging and 12 won’t even give you a look. They run the plate and it comes back to the stupid bitch. Best part, you get in a chase and total it out, ain’t yours. 12 takes it? Ain’t yours. Need to put somebody in check and spin the bend? Ain’t yours. After a week or so just leave it somewhere. She ain’t gonna report it jacked for a week or so. It’s not like you gotta put gas in it and drop it off the counter. “Mom’s car” is best saved for riding around clean. When a man has commitments to family and providing them with proper support, getting hemmed up in mom’s car isn’t the way. Sure you are paying the for the car, the house, everything but it’s your moms. And 12 ain’t going to be looking for you in mom’s car unless they know who your momma is. But sometimes it’s nice just to have a ride where you don’t get hassled for no reason all the… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by 5JC
Roh-Dog

Covered in Ten Crack Commandments · The Notorious B.I.G.

Number Three: never trust nobody

Your moms’ll set that ass up, properly gassed up

Hoodied and masked up, shit, for that fast buck

She be laying in the bushes to light that ass up

Seven: this rule is so underrated

Keep your family and business completely separated

Money and blood don’t mix like two dicks and no bitch

Find yourself in serious shit

It’s odd, grew up listening to rap and never sold an oh-zee, not even weed, nor smacked up a hoe.

That being said, CAF is unconstitutional af and disproportionally effects the poor. Bo’A’, not-so-Wells Fargo, and JPMC can spoof trades and charge outrageous redundant fees, yet pay a small fraction of a percent in fines, even tho their conduct was felonious? GTFFOOH.

(Video NSFW, crude and foul language, it’s rap so if you no like, no watch)

5JC

It may or may not be constitutional but I would argue it doesn’t disproportionately effect the poor. Drug Dealers only appear poor because they have no apparent source of income nor do they keep assets in their name (because they have no apparent source of income). So their $300 an hour attorney will argue that they are poor and on paper they are penniless.

Those that get caught up in it are more often than not are knowing accomplices. They know that their house, vehicle, boat or whatever is being used to traffic drugs but they don’t do anything about it. Every once in a while an unknowing or innocent person gets caught up in it.

That is where the real problem lies. The state should be required to prove that the 3rd party person knew their property was being used in illegal activity beyond a reasonable doubt or summary judgement if they fail to appear to dispute it. However if that is the case the they should also be charged criminally.

Roh-Dog

Argue away!

Thank you for making my points, maybe even better than I could!

timactual

” CAF is unconstitutional af and disproportionally effects the poor.:

If you carry a few thousand dollars cash on you, you ain’t poor.

Blaster

Thank God we have an honest and respectable government that is out there “making it happen” just for us, AND they don’t let minor things like individual, God given and constitutionally guaranteed rights get in the way!

Now please excuse me while I go find a jar to burry my cash in!

Roh-Dog

By ‘cash’ do you mean satanic ‘federal’ ‘reserve’ notes that lose ‘value’ over time?

At least Chuck E. Cheese tokens have value in the base metal from which they’re made.

In 2022, zinc hit a local high of $0.0045 per gram, with the token having 5.25g/per (according to Numista), or $0.0236 of base metal.

At current inflation rates (which are a lie) it’d take ~89 years for the token to be worth more than the paper note*!

*presuming: the US of A and/or FedReserve exists.

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Veritas Omnia Vincit

The drug war has been largest suppression of the rights of Americans since we cast off the King and his redcoated bastards.

Last edited 7 months ago by Veritas Omnia Vincit
President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

I always thought it was taxes (see “Whisky Rebellion” + the 16th Amendment)

ninja

Wow.Wow.Wow.

Check out what Ole Brandon Boy said on 5 September 1989 on “The War On Drugs”.

11 minutes worth listening.

“Democratic Response to Drug Policy Address. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) responded to President George H.W. Bush’s speech on an anti-drug plan, which occurred earlier in the evening.”

https://www.c-span.org/video/?8997-1/democratic-response-drug-policy-address

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ninja

There is SO much IRONY in what he said in 1989 and what is currently going on with Hunter, especially with cocaine being found in The White House.

Please share this video with others.

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ninja

“How a Young Joe Biden Became the Architect of the Government’s Asset Forfeiture Program”

https://fee.org/articles/how-a-young-joe-biden-became-the-architect-of-the-governments-asset-forfeiture-program/

“The Comprehensive Forfeiture Act fixed all of these problems. The new bill was introduced by Senator Joe Biden in 1983 and it was signed into law the next year. With this law, federal agents had nearly unlimited powers to seize assets from private citizens. Now the government only needed to find a way to let local and state police join the party.”

Anonymous

Can’t deprive someone of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

thebesig

Slippery slope? One day, a certain group of people, who do not like you, decide to invent a crime and tie you to it, a crime that would separate you from your property. You try to fight that action, with due process and all, but the judge and the court officers are also in on it.

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Roh-Dog

Hey man, if your insert object here (car, house, cash, etc) wasn’t walking around in that short skirt, at that hour… we wouldn’t have had to disappropriate you from your “pursuit of happiness”.

To that point, seizing computers or bank accounts for ‘hate speech’ when?

Just fucking kidding, already happened! Can-ah-dun, disUnited Kingdumb, PRoAustralia, etc.

Oh, Liberal! Wherefore art thou?

The prolapsed rose, by any other name, even ‘progressive’ to ‘socialist’, still smells like totalitarian shit.

Anonymous

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11B-Mailclerk

Ever wonder how the Cherokee felt, when the government simply stole their land? SCOTUS said “you can’t steal their land”. Jackson did anyway.

A whole bunch of dead kinfolk are laughing at you.

timactual

They probably felt the same as the people the Cherokee stole the land from.

KoB

In God’s Country here (Georgia for those that haven’t been keeping up), $ and property seized can’t be used for salaries for LEOs but can be used to pay equipment. Many a small town along the interstates floated a loan to get a patrol cruiser and pay a salary until the $ started rolling in from seizures. Usually didn’t take long and now it is self sustaining. Speed traps have given away to “Safety Breaks”.

Just sent the widow of my Compatriot home with a nice wad of cash from some of his gear I bought. She carried with her a list of the items I bought and a signed note that she was paid in cash. Sometimes CAF is legalized theft.