Further, since this was a civil matter, there was no right to an attorney, and it is often more costly to seek recompense, return or reimbursement then to simply let the matter go. As well, some individuals have had their child custody threatened as a way to get them to agree to give up items, though to be clear, they don't have to agree, cash or whatever can just be taken.
There is a perverse incentive in that the law enforcement department often was the recipient of the item or some of the proceeds of the sale of the item, and there have been numerous cases of provably innocent people getting stuff taken without ever being charged for a crime.
Why hasn't the whole thing just been banned outright? It contorts any notions of fairness and sensibility in our legal system that an item can have charges brought against it, and that there is no due process or other recourse for the owner.
Is it possible that's only at the federal level (which of course is what the House's bill addresses)? I've read many articles in credible sources, such as the Washington Post, saying that the owner of the property has to demonstrate they are its rightful owner (or some similar standard). The articles said many abandon their property because the cost of contesting the seizure, including attorney costs, outweighed its value.
This is simply incorrect as a matter of fact, both known and unknown parties who own or have a cognizable interest other than ownership in the property subject to forfeiture proceedings are due certain process, including notice (direct for known parties, public to address the unknown) and opportunity to participate in proceedings.
As usual in a civil case, the government as plaintiff bears the burden of proof for forfeiture, as well.
So, for small cases, the cost of defending dwarfs the loss from forfeiture, and there is no legal recourse in practice.
For this to be remotely fair, you'd need to eliminate the current widespread abuses by law enforcement. For example, there could be stiff penalties when law enforcement loses the civil case.
A minimum of (cost of assets + legal defense fees) * 10 seems reasonable to me -- it would prevent civil forfeiture from being a reliable profit center.
That's the basis for civil forfeiture laws.
There was a recent case that came up: Leonard v Texas.. where 200k in cash was seized that police said was from narcotics sales. She had a bill of sale for a home for the same amount. The problem is, she didn't raise the due process issue until it reached the supreme court.. which is a procedural error.. so the court denied it.
So I think we're still waiting for a more modern ruling from the supreme court on it.
1a (ruling): http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/16-122-...
Did the court just have its head way up its ass?
Forfeiture cases are not without trial, where there is a party with interest in the property contesting the forfeiture.
Amendment number 126 was sponsored by a
bipartisan group of nine members, led
by Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash.
He was joined by Democratic Reps. Ro
Khanna of California; Washington state’s
Pramila Jayapal, a rising progressive
star; and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard.
Interestingly, she was also the first sitting member of congress to speak at PAX. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/305179/PAX_Report_Rep_Ja...
With the ability to jump through many of hoops without substantial loss of personal effort/time/income, I would see this as advantages.
While not in those big of shoes, I do enjoy the principle, 'If you know the rules to a T, you can play the game to a T.
Seems like that would at least help to reduce the incentive to seize whatever is shiny?
Q: I forgot, is it the Senate or HoR, or both have to override the veto?