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Articles Tagged with alabama

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pexels-photo-534204-300x167A judge in Mobile, Alabama, questioned local law enforcement’s use of controversial civil asset forfeiture laws to seize four tow trucks from a Mobile-based SOS Towing, but rejected the company’s request to have the trucks returned.

Circuit Court Judge Wesley Pipes denied the towing company’s request for an injunction, saying there are other methods for the company to get the vehicles back.

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alabama-1611179_1920-300x287A federal class-action lawsuit recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama is challenging the constitutionality of the state’s civil asset forfeiture system.

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal practice that allows law enforcement to take possession of private property—cash, vehicles, real estate, etc.—if it is suspected of being connected to criminal activity. In many states, an individual doesn’t even need to be charged with a crime before their property is taken.

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police-line-3953745_1920-300x199A restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, has been ordered to close until they obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their workers and pay fines owed to the state.

The J. Clyde, a popular restaurant in the lively Southside district of Birmingham, closed its doors in early June after a judge ruled it was in contempt of court after operating without workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. A sign on the door, issued by Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway, reads “Business closed by order of Circuit Court of Jefferson County for failure to provide workers compensation.”
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alabama-1611179_1920-300x287The Alabama House last week passed SB 191, which is designed to improve transparency in civil asset forfeiture cases in the state. Having passed both houses of the legislature unanimously, the bill now moves to Governor Kay Ivey’s docket for her to approve.

Civil asset forfeiture is the legal process where police may take possession of an individual’s property—such as a car, home, or cash—if it is suspected of being involved in a crime. In most states, criminal charges are not required for property to be taken, let alone a criminal conviction.
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alabama-1611179_1920-300x287After the Supreme Court ruled last month that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment applied to states—essentially outlawing excessive police seizures—lawmakers in Alabama are moving forward with reforms of civil asset forfeiture in the state.

Civil asset forfeiture is the legal process where police can seize an individual’s property, cash, or any other assets if they are suspected of being used in a crime. In Alabama there are no requirements for law enforcement to report seizures, so the scale of civil asset forfeitures in the state is hard to assess. Additionally, in order to take an individual’s assets, law enforcement only needs to demonstrate the property’s involvement in a crime to the court’s “reasonable satisfaction.” This is a far lower bar than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” that is required in criminal cases.
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