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Check Out This Bizarre Win Against Civil Forfeiture Abuses

Check Out This Bizarre Win Against Civil Forfeiture Abuses

Civil forfeiture is a hot button topic among people who love liberty. Why? Because it’s one of the most obvious and blatant abuses of government power, and, really, it’s done without any justifiable cause.

Now, if you’re not already familiar with civil forfeiture, wikipedia defines it as “a legal process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing.”

Think about that for a moment. With civil forfeiture, you don’t have to be charged with a crime for the government to steal your property. They just have to be able to say that they think that you may have committed a crime. No proof needed, and, as you may know, if the government takes your stuff, it can be very difficult to get back.

Fortunately, though, people are fighting back and getting results. A recent case in Florida is encouraging. John Vibes writes,

Dade police are being ordered to return nearly $20,000 that was taken from a woman, who works as a stripper in Miami, and her husband during a traffic stop where an illegal search was performed. The police department is also responsible for the couples legal fees, which amounts to more than $3,000.

Lizmixell Batista was able to argue in court that the cash seized in the car were tips that she earned dancing at the Cheetah Gentleman’s Club in Hallandale Beach. Batista says that she was on her way to the bank when she was pulled over with her husband Ras Cates.

Now, admittedly, $20,000 is a lot of cash to be carrying around (I can’t say that I’ve ever had that much in hand at one time), so maybe the police could be forgiven for being a bit suspicious, but, the fact of the matter is that they had no proof that the money was obtained from illegal activities (like selling drugs). In other words, the police had no right to take the money in the first place because they were taking it based on pure speculation.

It’s sad, really, when your local government looks for ways to steal from you, and civil forfeiture is exactly that: stealing. Hopefully, though, this case in Florida will begin to set a precedent which will spread across the country to stop this evil practice.

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  • I think citizens should be entitled to use lethal force to protect themselves from unwarranted civil seizure. After all, there is no difference between a cop and an armed robber. When cops act like thieves they should be treated like thieves. As a juror I would never convict anyone who used violence to prevent these seizures.

  • Hello Patriots,
    I agree that some of these Government Forfeitures are a Government Over Reach and I am Familiar with reading about some case that were totally wrong on the local Police Dept use of taking some ones own money and that person was not involved with any criminal case !
    this system has to be corrected for the innocent People who Get Caught up In one of these Money Seizures after being Pulled over for Speeding in another state where you don’t live !
    W.B.Smith, Tea Party

  • YES!! It is in fact theft….and since the blue badged aholes have guns, etc…little you can do!!

  • Asset Forfeiture or Civil Asset Forfeiture is more properly described as follows. Theft Under Color Of Law. End of story. By the way, in my opinion, the police agents in this Florida Fiasco should be charged with Grand Larceny.

  • Right On! The cops then become just thieves with badges. They are supposed to be held to a higher standard than an armed robber. The government should not be facilitating, thereby encouraging, these seizures with laws to enable such. Hell, this is starting to sound like we live in the Banana Republic.

  • That be a yes and NO because cash IS to be logged in as “Evidence” and it is suppose to be tractable. In some areas they have a problem loosing the evidence (Jade is just one of 100’s).

  • this is legal thievery by government and clearly without due process. the judges responsible for letting this continue needs to be impeached for abuse of power and then put on trial.

  • there have been people who actually lost their lives because a government wanted their property.

  • I heard they look at civil forfeiture as FREE money to buy them stuff. So they DO take liberties. After all, like the criminal – they are armed to do it.

  • There is a civil asset / criminal asset forfeiture case from Indiana that the supreme court is set to hear in September. Depending on THEIR ruling in that case it may well change all asset forfeiture in the entire country SOON !!! This should have been addressed by the supreme court Long ago !!! Asset Forfeiture is outright THEFT by those in power and the Cops have BECOME the Robbers everywhere now because of this absurd legal loophole that NEEDS to be STOPPED as SOON as possible !!!

  • In my opinion, if you are not CHARGED with a crime, they can’t keep the “evidence”! They might be able to hold it as “evidence” until the TRIAL!

    If there is NO CONVICTION and they keep it anyway, the victims should be able to SUE FOR TRIPLE (at least) damages plus ALL of their legal costs!!

    And the “state” has to prove guilt!! Not the victim(s) proving their innocence!

  • I’ve never run into it, but if I had a lot of cash on me and was accosted by police and threatened with civil asset forfeiture I would remind the officer about probable cause which probably would not have much effect. Then I would mention to him that I will NOT ask for criminal charges to be brought against him. Then I would advise him that he and his partner (if one is around) WILL be sued AND his department in a court of law, since I have to recover my property. I will embarrass him publicly and HIS DEPARTMENT. I don’t know how it will shake out, BUT I won’t be kidding and that should get his attention.

  • Hopefully, the situation never arises, however should it, good luck in and with the courts, who might well be splitting the take, this last simply being an expression of my general distrust, suspicion of/for what are sometimes described as The Forces of Law and Order. Of course, one might also observe, noting that most police are about as honest and upstanding as the general population they are drawn from, a nod of understanding offered to the Good Cops, but they have to figure out how to eliminate the weeds in their rose garden.

  • You are unlikely to be selected to serve on a trial jury for such a case, were such a case to go to trial. By the way, while I believe in the concept of Jury Nullification, I would not likely made my thinking known.

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