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Articles Tagged with U.S. Constitution

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honda-2453746_1920-300x225The American Honda Finance Corporation has filed a lawsuit against the city of Revere, Massachusetts, alleging its constitutional rights were violated in 2016 when the Revere Police Department seized a Honda Civic using civil asset forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture is the legal procedure whereby law enforcement agencies may take possession of property if it is suspected of being involved in a crime. In most states, neither a criminal conviction nor even criminal charges are needed before property is taken. While there are few restrictions or oversight on the procedure in most of the country, Massachusetts is one of only two states—the other being North Dakota—to earn an F grade from the libertarian Institute for Justice for its civil asset forfeiture laws.
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supreme-court-546279_1920-300x195On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case which could transform civil asset forfeiture in America. Groups from across the political spectrum presented briefs opposing civil asset forfeiture, asserting that civil forfeiture hurts business and is an affront to civil liberties.

Earlier this year, I reported on the case of Tyson Timbs. In 2013, he was arrested for selling four grams of heroin to an undercover police officer in Indiana. He was sentenced to five years of probation and a year of home arrest. Additionally, he paid legal fees in excess of $1,200 and attended a court-supervised drug treatment program.
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In April, I reported on the case of Tyson Timbs. Back then, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the 2013 seizure of his car using the process known as civil asset forfeiture. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear his case and determine whether the vehicle should be returned to him.

Tyson had been living in Ohio for years, struggling with addiction. After a work injury, he became addicted to opioids. Later, he turned to heroin. Then his Aunt Wendy fell ill. Tyson moved to Marion, Indiana to look after her.
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