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Articles Tagged with Institute for Justice

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pexels-alfonso-escalante-2832251-300x200Asset forfeiture laws can be a complicated maze for experienced attorneys on the best of days. When an average person is caught up in that maze, they can end up facing a system where every turn can lead to a dead end. That was the situation Terry and Ria Platt found themselves in 2016 when the Navajo County Drug Task Force used civil forfeiture to seize their 2012 Volkswagen Jetta on Interstate 40 near Holbrook.

Police reportedly found a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, along with drug paraphernalia and cash, but they didn’t have anything to do with those items. They allegedly tried to explain that they had loaned the vehicle to their adult son, who acknowledged ownership of the items. But unfortunately for the couple, Arizona civil forfeiture laws allow local and state law enforcement agencies to confiscate property they believe was used for criminal activity without worrying about formalities like an arrest and conviction.

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pexels-sergio-souza-3198016-300x200Hundreds of animals have been forfeited from a Michigan woman accused of abusing and neglecting them in an alleged puppy mill she was running on her property.

Rebecca Sue Johnson of Maple Ridge Township faces felony charges for abandoning/cruelty to 25 or more animals, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison. She also faces a misdemeanor charge for running an unregistered animal shelter. She was released from jail after posting a $60,000 surety bond.

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pexels-john-guccione-wwwadvergroupcom-3531895-300x200New Jersey received a near-failing grade for its civil asset forfeiture laws in a new report by a public interest law firm that examines how every state in the U.S. addresses civil forfeiture.

The Institute for Justice recently published the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, a document that analyses civil forfeiture policies across the US and gives each state a scorecard based on how favorable its laws are for property owners.

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pexels-dids-3635539-300x200New Mexico is the only state to receive an ‘A’ grade for its civil asset forfeiture laws in a new report by a Virginia-based public interest law firm.

In the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, the Institute for Justice takes a look at every state’s civil asset forfeiture laws and the amount of forfeiture proceeds collected since 2000, based on publicly available information.

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows law enforcement agencies to seize property they suspect is linked to criminal activity, sometimes even without charging the property owner with a crime. It is different from criminal forfeiture, which requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an owner is guilty of a crime and that the property is connected to the case.

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pexels-life-of-pix-7613-300x199

New York City, NY

The state of New York has received a middling grade for its civil forfeiture laws from a Virginia-based public interest law firm.

In the third edition of its “Policing for Profit” report, the Institute for Justice (IJ) has given New York a “C” grade for its asset forfeiture laws, praising the state for a recent set of reforms that strengthened transparency requirements, while calling for more change to the state’s forfeiture laws.

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