In Massachusetts, a woman’s car was seized under civil asset forfeiture laws without her having a clue why. Melinda Harris let her son Trevice borrow her car in March of 2015. The police department of Berkshire County had her son under suspicion of peddling drugs. Her car was seized under the civil asset forfeiture law of the state because of her son being suspected of the crime. But Melinda had no knowledge of any of this until her car was taken away.
She wasn’t the solitary victim of mishandled civil asset forfeiture cases. Many average Americans have their property unrightfully taken from them under suspicion of the property being used to commit criminal acts. All the states have civil asset forfeiture statutes, most of them, largely favorable to law enforcement agencies.