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FAIR Act to Reform Asset Seizure Laws


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I assume you're mentioning me yet again with regard to sanctions against Russia because you think they're somehow related to the Reagan/Biden drug war looting? They're not. Seizing assets can be

How the shakedown works in Michigan   Seizing cars that leave dispensaries isn't cutting off any illicit proceeds. It is, in my view, generating them for Wayne County.

Kansas might stop the looting   The first one is the biggie. Convicting a person is hard. Would be a major barrier to looting. Directing the proceeds to the general fund instead of the lootin

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On 12/5/2018 at 2:21 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Tom

Libertarians are not always wrong.  Asset seizure reform is one area I support 100%

I'd take a bit off that 100% for voting to make an author of those laws President.

  

On 12/2/2021 at 1:17 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

I know PA will always have Tom, but outside of him, are there any more?

The Republican Party is currently the absolute worst nightmare I can imagine for an actual libertarian, yet I have seen nothing at all in the wider media world from them or about them?

Did they all explode in a cloud of cognitive dissonance or ?????????

I think the lack of coverage in the "wider media" has something to do with the fact that TeamR and TeamD drug warriors know that libertarians are right about this issue, but aren't interested in reversing the legacy of their party leaders so just ignore the issue.

But I could be wrong. Why have you ignored it for three years?

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On 3/3/2021 at 5:54 AM, Lochnerian Tom said:

Overdue Process in Massachusetts
 

Prosecutors and police do zealously defend their right to loot and their union$ $peak fondly of it, but really none of it could happen without politicians who make these rules. But it is apparently a good way to get elected President, so there's that.

She Got Her Car Back 6 Years After Police Seized It
 

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After police in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, took her car, Malinda Harris did not get a chance to contest the seizure for five and a half years. After the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute threatened to file a lawsuit on her behalf last March, the county agreed within a week to return the car, which she finally got back this summer.

The contrast between those two timelines shows how easy it is for the government to seize innocent people's property under civil forfeiture laws, which allow law enforcement agencies to supplement their budgets by confiscating assets they claim are connected to criminal activity. Harris' experience with legalized larceny, which she describes in congressional testimony she will give today, illustrates how that system is rigged against property owners from beginning to end.

Like most states, Massachusetts lets police seize property when they have "probable cause" to believe it was used for drug trafficking. But once they have met that minimal threshold, the burden of proof shifts to the owner, who must show that the property is not subject to forfeiture—a rule that helps explain why Massachusetts was the only state to receive an F in the Institute for Justice's 2020 report on civil forfeiture laws.

Massachusetts allows innocent owners to seek the return of their assets unless they "knew or should have known that such conveyance or real property was used in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances." But like the federal government and most states, it requires owners to prove their innocence, the reverse of the presumption that applies in criminal cases.

Law enforcement agencies get to keep the proceeds from forfeitures—up to 100 percent in Massachusetts and many other states. They therefore have a strong incentive to seize first and ask questions later, which seems to be what happened in Harris' case, given how quickly Berkshire County threw in the towel after it became clear that she was able to put up a fight.

"This is even worse than being victimized by a criminal," Harris says in her testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. "When it is the police taking your property, who can you call?"

Harris was lucky to have pro bono legal representation. For owners who don't, challenging a forfeiture often costs more than their property is worth.

...

 

That last bit is why drug war looting continues.

Most owners can't/won't try to prove their property innocent and get it back because it's just not worth it. The few, like Malinda Harris, who manage to get some nutjob legal outfit to represent them pro bono, do manage after many years to prevail, but that's just a bit of friction that barely affects the overall machine. Most of the looting remains unchallenged because there are just a handful of nutjobs who will challenge it.

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On 12/5/2018 at 2:21 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Tom

Libertarians are not always wrong.  Asset seizure reform is one area I support 100%

That's nice and all, but would  be a lot more believable if accompanied by a photo showing your letter to President Biden on this subject next to a stamped envelope. I want to know that someone at the White House had to actually throw that away.

It would also be more believable if accompanied by a receipt from your donation to IJ. 4 stars from Charity Navigator.

Because really, a years old forum post accompanied by a thread knocking the people you're "supporting" is not all that believable.

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20 hours ago, El Borracho said:

Many adopt libertarianism as merely a scholarly way to present their hate and misanthropy. That's what I always thought of Buckley, et al: Pompous learned assholes.

I guess my hatred and misanthropy might explain my support for nutjobs on this topic, but how do you explain someone like Kent Island Sailor (sorta) supporting libertarians on this issue?

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3 hours ago, Lochnerian Tom said:

  

I guess my hatred and misanthropy might explain my support for nutjobs on this topic, but how do you explain someone like Kent Island Sailor (sorta) supporting libertarians on this issue?

I felt that Kent Island Sailor supported reform. As I do. Not so much libertarianism.

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On 12/8/2021 at 6:59 AM, Lochnerian Tom said:

She Got Her Car Back 6 Years After Police Seized It
 

That last bit is why drug war looting continues.

Most owners can't/won't try to prove their property innocent and get it back because it's just not worth it. The few, like Malinda Harris, who manage to get some nutjob legal outfit to represent them pro bono, do manage after many years to prevail, but that's just a bit of friction that barely affects the overall machine. Most of the looting remains unchallenged because there are just a handful of nutjobs who will challenge it.

Many countries have laws that limit the size of cash transactions 

rather than unworkable  forfeiture rules it would be wise to  prohibit large cash transactions 

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52 minutes ago, El Borracho said:

I felt that Kent Island Sailor supported reform. As I do. Not so much libertarianism.

Yeah, I guess you're right.

  

On 12/5/2018 at 2:21 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Tom

Libertarians are not always wrong.  Asset seizure reform is one area I support 100%

Nothing in that post about supporting libertarians at all. Sorry for my mistake.

He made a post a few years ago, which is nice. How have you supported reform?

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6 minutes ago, Lochnerian Tom said:

How have you supported reform?

I have not done so directly. I support Bernie Sanders, et al, who holds many of these same positions as libertarians while avoiding the baggage of White Supremacy, unfettered capitalism, worship of wealth, authoritarianism, etc. 

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3 hours ago, slug zitski said:

Many countries have laws that limit the size of cash transactions 

rather than unworkable  forfeiture rules it would be wise to  prohibit large cash transactions 

How is the Trump Organization supposed to launder money if they can't accept cash?

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18 hours ago, El Borracho said:

I have not done so directly. I support Bernie Sanders, et al, who holds many of these same positions as libertarians while avoiding the baggage of White Supremacy, unfettered capitalism, worship of wealth, authoritarianism, etc. 

I've been a fan of Bernie's for a long time, mostly on foreign policy stuff, but that's pretty unrelated to the thread topic. If he's been helpful on asset forfeiture, I haven't noticed it, but it wouldn't surprise me a lot.

But I would think holding the same positions as libertarians would be a bad thing, am I right?

Your post doesn't even qualify as a messenger attack, more like messenger-adjacent. If you want to call me a racist or authoritarian or greedy or anything else, quote what I said in this thread that makes me seem that way and say why.

I'm glad you're sensitive to racial issues. Perhaps you missed this?

  

On 10/21/2021 at 7:57 AM, Lochnerian Tom said:

The Looted

Nutjobs decided to study the victims of the looting programs. Previous studies have looked at the amount of loot and where it goes. This one looks at what happens to those from whom it is taken.
 

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...

IJ surveyed more than 30,000 victims who had property seized under Philadelphia’s forfeiture program between 2012 and 2018, gathering data from 407 respondents. The major findings are:

  • Civil forfeiture preys on disadvantaged communities. Two-thirds of respondents were Black, 63% earned less than $50,000 annually, and 18% were unemployed. And forfeitures were clustered in predominantly minority and low-income areas.

Tell me what's racist, authoritarian, or greedy about the Koch-$pon$ored nutjobs at IJ.

They believe, as do I, that:

There should at least be charges against a person, if not a conviction, before property is seized.

Seized property should go to general revenue, NOT the seizing agency.

That's it. Two sentences that sum up the thread. Tell me why libertarians are wrong about those two sentences.

 

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1 hour ago, Lochnerian Tom said:

I've been a fan of Bernie's for a long time, mostly on foreign policy stuff, but that's pretty unrelated to the thread topic. If he's been helpful on asset forfeiture, I haven't noticed it, but it wouldn't surprise me a lot.

But I would think holding the same positions as libertarians would be a bad thing, am I right?

Your post doesn't even qualify as a messenger attack, more like messenger-adjacent. If you want to call me a racist or authoritarian or greedy or anything else, quote what I said in this thread that makes me seem that way and say why.

I'm glad you're sensitive to racial issues. Perhaps you missed this?

  

Tell me what's racist, authoritarian, or greedy about the Koch-$pon$ored nutjobs at IJ.

They believe, as do I, that:

There should at least be charges against a person, if not a conviction, before property is seized.

Seized property should go to general revenue, NOT the seizing agency.

That's it. Two sentences that sum up the thread. Tell me why libertarians are wrong about those two sentences.

 

In France Vat , tax , enforcement on yachts stays local

they tell me that this encourages local enforcement 

in addition lax tax collection in regions  with a large yacht refit capacity encourages  foreign,  non vat paid yachts… hence more work for local companies 

it’s complicated 

In  the Uk tax related domicile rules encourages the accumulation of foreign high net worth residents 

again… complicated 

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22 hours ago, slug zitski said:

In France Vat , tax , enforcement on yachts stays local

they tell me that this encourages local enforcement 

in addition lax tax collection in regions  with a large yacht refit capacity encourages  foreign,  non vat paid yachts… hence more work for local companies 

it’s complicated 

In  the Uk tax related domicile rules encourages the accumulation of foreign high net worth residents 

again… complicated 

That's all very complicated.

Here's something simple: don't loot property from people who have never been charged with a crime.

ESPECIALLY if the looters get to keep the loot, but the fundamental problem doesn't go away if the loot goes into general revenue.

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Drug Kingpin's Money Taken In Texas!

The kingpin somehow fled the scene.
 

Quote

 

On Sunday, a Facebook post from the Dallas Police Department went viral. It depicts a police dog, Ballentine, who is a member of the department's interdiction unit, operating out of Dallas' Love Field Airport. The caption praises Ballentine for sniffing out more than $100,000 in cash from a traveler's bag.

What is left out of the description is what, if anything, the traveler did wrong.

When contacted by Reason, Dallas police declined to give any specifics. The only comment provided was a statement that the squad "seized $106,829.00, from a 25-year-old female who is a resident of Chicago, IL., but was travelling on a domestic flight… [Her suitcase] contained nothing but blankets and two large bubble envelopes containing the currency. The individual was not arrested at this time. However, the money was seized and will be subject to the civil asset forfeiture process."

...

Texas law enforcement agencies additionally have a "strong incentive" to seize property, as they are entitled to a significant percentage of the proceeds. In fact, IJ is currently suing Harris County, which encompasses Houston, over its application of the state's asset forfeiture law.

...

As for the 25-year-old woman from Chicago, she was not detained and was allowed to continue on to her destination. Yet in order to recoup her seized funds, she will likely have to travel back to Dallas, retain an attorney, and argue in court that the money was not involved in criminal activity. In essence, she will have to prove a negative, and she will have to shoulder the costs for doing so, despite having already lost more than $100,000.

...

 

 

 

 

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On 12/10/2021 at 10:04 AM, El Borracho said:

I have not done so directly. I support Bernie Sanders, et al, who holds many of these same positions as libertarians while avoiding the baggage of White Supremacy, unfettered capitalism, worship of wealth, authoritarianism, etc. 

Bernie on asset forfeiture:

Quote

Ban the practice of any law enforcement agency benefiting from civil asset forfeiture. Limit or eliminate federal criminal justice funding for any state or locality that does not comply.

Libertarians have long been saying that letting the seizing agency keep the loot is a problem. I agree with Bernie about that aspect.

As I just mentioned to Slug, though, the fundamental problem is seizing property without charging a person with a crime.

A related problem is whether seizing property is actually a punishment at all, in those cases where there actually is a conviction or a guilty plea. The nutjobs at IJ won unanimously at SCOTUS on that question in the Timbs case. Any comment on that one?

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2 hours ago, Lochnerian Tom said:

That's all very complicated.

Here's something simple: don't loot property from people who have never been charged with a crime.

ESPECIALLY if the looters get to keep the loot, but the fundamental problem doesn't go away if the loot goes into general revenue.

It’s hard to justify a person purchasing a house with a suitcase full of cash 

I’ll admit that the current forfeiture rules are troublesome

taking money  or property from people whose only crime was that the are financially illiterate is not correct 

  

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2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

It’s hard to justify a person purchasing a house with a suitcase full of cash 

I’ll admit that the current forfeiture rules are troublesome

taking money  or property from people whose only crime was that the are financially illiterate is not correct 

  

It's actually pretty easy to justify large cash purchases, if you look at the cases in this thread.

Going to a landscape or heavy equipment auction? Money talks. Came from a country where you can NOT trust banks? You might continue to distrust them here. Etc.

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Florida's Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms Haven't Stopped the Shakedowns
 

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...

despite tightening the rules for when police can keep seized property, Florida remains one of the most prolific practitioners of civil forfeiture. The Sunshine State took in more revenue through forfeitures than any other state in 2018, according to a survey by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning public interest law firm. Local and state police can evade the new restrictions by working with the federal government, just like the Miami-Dade police did in Salgado's case. In return for calling in the feds, they get a cut of the proceeds.

"The federal government is literally paying state and local police to circumvent state law," says Justin Pearson, managing nutjob for the Institute for Justice's Florida office. "That's not the way things are supposed to work."

...

 

When Bob Barr and Bill Clinton pushed through CAFRA, they were trying to rein in the looting.

They instead rerouted it and we got "equitable sharing."

I disagree with the quoted nutjob above. I think rerouting the looting was EXACTLY how things were supposed to work, which explains why Jeff Sessions thanked Joe Biden for his help on it.

Also explains why only a handful of nutjobs want to actually stop the looting.

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Funny line from the above article, talking about when cops seized $20k from a stripper,

Quote

"I felt that the glitter on the seized cash was compelling evidence," defense lawyer Jude Faccidomo told the Miami Herald, "but apparently the police department disagreed."

 

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:
3 hours ago, Lochnerian Tom said:

The rest of the story is that the Obama administration went on a looting bonanza that was bad enough to actually provoke a political backlash. Holder instituted some half measures, knowing as I did at the time that the exception would swallow the rule, and dialed back the looting to the level seen under W. Which, by the way, was objectionable to libertarians before Obama's looting bonanza.

But don't worry. If you just don't quote my response, most of the wise ones around here will be misled as intended by your post and will think TeamD is actually helpful on asset forfeiture.

Expand  

What you don't seem to get is this isn't even cracking the top 100 of things most of us worry about now, let alone the top 10.  This is not the time for single-issue voting.

I get it.

Let me update this for you:

  

On 12/5/2018 at 2:21 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Tom

Libertarians are not always wrong.  Asset seizure reform is one area I support 100%, while at the same time barely giving a shit.

 

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On 12/12/2021 at 5:09 AM, Lochnerian Tom said:

Drug Kingpin's Money Taken In Texas!

The kingpin somehow fled the scene.

 

Update on this one:

Police Oversight Board Demands Answers After Dallas Cops Seized Traveler's Cash
 

Quote

 

...

Now a member of the city's oversight board is demanding answers. "What I want to know are: What are the rules? And did this woman break them?" Brandon Friedman, a member of Dallas's Community Police Oversight Board, said to a local CBS affiliate. He added: "It's not my business why someone's carrying $100,000 at the airport unless it's illegal, and from everything we've seen it doesn't seem to be."

...

 

The rules are really pretty simple. If a cop sees a bunch of cash, his agency gets to keep it. It may not be Friedman's business, but it's big business.

Quote

Egregious though it may be, there could be an upside to this story: Some Texas legislators, including House Speaker Dade Phelan, have responded to the incident by expressing a desire to reform the state's civil asset forfeiture laws.

That's nice. There's certainly lots of room for improvement.

Texas earns a D+ for its civil forfeiture laws

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Doubles Down on Looting
 

Quote

 

...

"Gangs are violent, dangerous and ruthless," Lightfoot said. "They do not care who they hurt in their quest for money and territory. We need to not just seize their cash, but their assets as well. We need to take away the profit motive by depriving them of blood money, along with locking them up." 

Lightfoot tried to distinguish the ordinance from the "rightfully discredited forfeitures of the 1990s," which have been the subject of bipartisan reform efforts across the country over the last decade.

"We will go into court, before a judge with a civil lawsuit where we will have the burden of proving that particular assets—cars, property, businesses—are in fact the proceeds of gang activity," Lightfoot said. "The defendants will be represented and like in any civil case, a judge will determine if we have proved our case. And when we do, we will dedicate a portion of the proceeds to support victims, witnesses, and survivors in Chicago."

Lightfoot first proposed the ordinance in September, but it was roundly criticized by civil rights groups, who say the civil forfeiture law it's based on didn't live up to its promises.

Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, said in a statement in September that the Chicago City Council should "quickly reject the Mayor's proposal to use a recycled city version of a harmful state civil asset forfeiture law."

Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity without charging the owner with a crime. 

Because such cases are civil, not criminal, the defendants, contrary to Lightfoot's claim, aren't entitled to a lawyer; they bear the cost of going to court to fight for the return of their own property.

"Taking property from people—including innocent family members and others—is not an effective way to reduce gun violence," Connell said. "Similar attempts have been tried in surrounding cities, and the public promises of forfeiture of gang member assets did not materialize."

Illinois attorney John Mauck told local news outlet WTTW earlier this year that the state statute is lightly used and rarely successful at recovering assets. Mauck represented three former Latin Kings gang members who were targeted under the state law. The cases against them were ultimately dismissed after seven years.

Freddy Martinez, executive director of the police accountability nonprofit Lucy Parsons Labs, says Lightfoot's plan "is just another of her administration's poor and narrow-sighted approach to social ills. This is her doubling down on the same failed and racist 'tough-on-crime' policies from the 1980s."

A 2017 analysis by Reason of five years of forfeitures in Chicago found that the city had initiated more than 23,000 seizures for $150 million in cash and property over that period. The data, obtained by Lucy Parsons Labs, showed that, while forfeitures happened all over the city, low-income neighborhoods bore the brunt of asset forfeiture.

...

 

The truth is, people lucky enough to get nutjobs like the ones at IJ to represent them will be represented. Those who have to pay will quickly conclude the loot isn't worth the price of recovery and the government will keep the property. Lightfoot is acting like there's something new and people will get representation like criminal defendants do, but that's not true. She's just doubling down on failure, as drug warriors usually do.

 

 

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20 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Tom - some good news for you:

C-SPAN had a hearing on this issue playing Sunday and pretty much everyone was opposed to the current system.

That's nice. OTOH, in all the years this thread has been around, I haven't yet found a supporter. That history goes back further. Virtually no one outside a police union has admitted to supporting drug war looting since the 90's. Yet it remains. With all that popular support, you'd think Garland could get around to reversing Sessions on this, yet the Sessions policy remains.

So it's nice that no one can say why nutjobs are wrong and that nutjobs actually won unanimously in the Timbs case before SCOTUS, but what would really be nice would be if Americans quit electing drug warriors who wrote these policies to be President. Oh well, maybe 2028.

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9 hours ago, Lochnerian Tom said:

That's nice. OTOH, in all the years this thread has been around, I haven't yet found a supporter. That history goes back further. Virtually no one outside a police union has admitted to supporting drug war looting since the 90's. Yet it remains. With all that popular support, you'd think Garland could get around to reversing Sessions on this, yet the Sessions policy remains.

So it's nice that no one can say why nutjobs are wrong and that nutjobs actually won unanimously in the Timbs case before SCOTUS, but what would really be nice would be if Americans quit electing drug warriors who wrote these policies to be President. Oh well, maybe 2028.

Pot laws looked set in stone for all time, yet right now Maryland is going to consider going full-legalization in the next General Assembly session. It can take a long time and then suddenly people wake up - as in "WTF are we doing THAT for" ;)

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13 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Pot laws looked set in stone for all time, yet right now Maryland is going to consider going full-legalization in the next General Assembly session. It can take a long time and then suddenly people wake up - as in "WTF are we doing THAT for" ;)

There are definitely encouraging signs on the stupid drug war, especially the war on weed, but progress on that front doesn't seem to translate. From the thread on whether nutjobs exist:

  

On 12/13/2021 at 6:41 AM, Lochnerian Tom said:
On 12/9/2021 at 9:19 AM, Olsonist said:

BTW, as per civil forfeiture, yeah I disagree with the policy Biden/Garland that inherited from your boy Shitstain. Your boy rescinded the Obama/Holder's rollbacks (rollbacks, because conservatives in Congress ain't a gonna rollback that law that Biden voted for which passed the Senate 100-0). But I'm beginning to see a pattern here Tom.

Attorney General Eric Holder curtailed use of the practice in the Obama administration, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions restored it under President Donald Trump. Though Attorney General Merrick Garland has rolled back many Trump-era changes at the Justice Department, he has not taken action on asset forfeiture.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/stephen-lara-nevada-asset-forfeiture-adoption/2021/09/01/6f170932-06ae-11ec-8c3f-3526f81b233b_story.html

Expand  Expand  

"Curtailed" means "cut back to where it was under W, before forfeitures skyrocketed under Obama."

Which was still a problem! Yes, Sessions made it worse, a tradition for him as it is for Biden on that issue.

Figure-23.png

 

 

The 2019 level of looting looks a lot like the 2005 level to me, with anything but progress shown in between. A bit of "curtailing" to be sure, but that was just reversing ground already lost.

If looting is so unpopular, when is Garland going to get around to reversing what Sessions did?

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Tom, speaking of the stupid drug war, wasn't your boy Shitstain going to end Federal prosecutions for marijuana? I distinctly remember you praising your boy for this when he was a candidate. Then after Congress passed the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, passed it twice, your issued signing statements saying, yeah, I'm not gonna do that. This was after your boy's boy Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum. You seem to have a penchant for misplaced fealty, almost like it was a fake penchant.

As for civil forfeiture, CA passed SB 443 back in 2016. So I'd have to visit a libertarian paradise such as your FLA which 'reformed' its laws by simply requiring an arrest in order for this to apply to me. (CA requires a conviction.)

Ma'am, I can't take your $50,000 in drug profits unless I arrest you. So you have the right to remain silent.

This enlightened reform was deemed praise-worthy by the Institute for Justice.

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19 hours ago, Olsonist said:

As for civil forfeiture, CA passed SB 443 back in 2016. So I'd have to visit a libertarian paradise such as your FLA which 'reformed' its laws by simply requiring an arrest in order for this to apply to me. (CA requires a conviction.)

Ma'am, I can't take your $50,000 in drug profits unless I arrest you. So you have the right to remain silent.

This enlightened reform was deemed praise-worthy by the Institute for Justice.

For readers (if any) who may be interested in what nutjobs actually say about California and Florida looting,

Florida earns a C for its civil forfeiture laws

 

Quote

 

Standard of Proof

Higher bar to forfeit: Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that property is connected to a crime.

 

California earns a C for its civil forfeiture laws

 

Quote

 

Standard of Proof

Higher bar to forfeit in limited cases: Weak conviction provision falls short of criminal forfeiture (see “The Problem with ‘Conviction Requirements’”). It applies only if an owner contests forfeiture, putting the burden on owners to engage in a costly legal battle and making it easy for the government to forfeit without a conviction. It does not require conviction of the owner, only of “a defendant,” and does not apply to cash over $40,000. Once there is a conviction, property must be linked to the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard for cash over $40,000 is clear and convincing evidence if contested. For uncontested forfeitures, the government need only present a “prima facie case” that property is subject to forfeiture—a very low standard akin to probable cause.

 

So we both need to move to Wisconsin or something.

 

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In fairness, Cali and Florida are in the top 10 :)

It's a pretty low bar. 

I think Civil Forfeiture is one of those areas where the 'bigotry of meritocracy' creeps in.

The number of people impacted is small relative to the number of people that interact.  Relative to the problem itself, people have a tendency to dismiss in favor of authority - If someone had their assets seized, they must have done SOMETHING wrong. We don't know what it was, precisely, but I'm sure there's something in their past - this is justice for THAT issue - even if I don't know what THAT issue is.  You know how THOSE people are...  if they just __<fill in the blank> _____, then it wouldn't have happened.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Forfeiture.gov publishes the latest agency looting lists. They're pretty long.

I was wondering how often "equitable sharing" is being used these days, so checked it out.

DEA Looting shows 43 examples of adopted forfeitures.

ATF Looting shows 67 examples of adopted forfeitures.

FBI Looting shows just one. Slackers.

 

 

 

 

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Drug warriors continue the highway robbery
 

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Empyreal Logistics, an armored car and fintech company that operates nationwide, sued several federal law enforcement agencies and the San Bernardino County Sheriff after being the victim of roadside seizures which amount to highway robbery. The newly filed federal lawsuit demands law enforcement immediately stop targeting Empyreal for seizures that have no basis under state or federal law and violate Empyreal’s constitutional rights. Empyreal is represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nutjob law firm that defends people from civil forfeiture across the country.

“This is nothing but highway robbery using badges,” said IJ Senior Nutjob Dan Alban. “Empyreal is transporting proceeds from legal businesses to financial institutions. These seizures don’t stop crime or improve public safety; they just enrich these agencies, which get to split the proceeds from civil forfeiture. These funds are only being seized because of that profit incentive. And that’s not remotely legal or constitutional.”

...

 

I agree with the nutjobs as usual but they're probably going to lose this one.

Fact is, those are not legal businesses at all. They're blatantly violating federal law, as are any businesses that further the criminal conspiracy, like this armored car company. That means the loot belongs to the government unless they can prove there was no crime. But there are LOTS of federal crimes going on every day across the country in every single cannabis business. You can't prove that's not happening. It is.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Empyreal learns that Sheriff Dicus will continue to dick them
 

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A federal judge this week declined to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a California sheriff who used civil forfeiture to rob armored cars carrying money earned by state-licensed marijuana businesses. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Holcomb said Empyreal Logistics, a Pennsylvania-based company that transports cash between businesses and banks, "may very well have an excellent case on the merits" but had failed to meet "the high burden" for a TRO.

...

The deputies obtained a search warrant prior to the November 16 seizure, but Empyreal says the application included several false or misleading statements. It says the deputy who applied for the warrant mistakenly claimed that Empyreal converts money from marijuana businesses into cryptocurrency and falsely asserted that some of the company's clients were not licensed by the state. The deputy also said Empyreal did not have a marijuana business license, which is not required to transport money from dispensaries to banks. Furthermore, a 2020 law says a company that provides such services to state-licensed marijuana businesses "does not commit a crime under any California law."

When he weighed the TRO application, Holcomb declined to consider the information about the search warrant, which he said had been introduced too late, without giving the defendants a chance to respond. Alban says that information, which Empyreal included in its reply briefs, was based on "new evidence that we had only just obtained and did not possess when we filed our TRO application."

The new evidence included an unredacted copy of the November 16 search warrant. "We had tried to get those documents from the defendants for months," Alban says, "but only received them last week." Although Holcomb declined to consider the new evidence at this stage, Alban says, "we can now use these documents to support a motion for a preliminary injunction."

Litigation of these claims will continue, but in the meantime Empyreal, which reimbursed its clients for the seized money, is out the $1 million or so that Dicus' deputies stole, plus another $165,000 that Kansas sheriff's deputies took during a traffic stop in Dickinson County last May. Empyreal says all of the money seized in Kansas came from state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Missouri. As in California, the cops were working with the DEA and the Justice Department, which is pursuing forfeiture under federal law.

Empyreal says it is trying to avoid further trouble by routing money from marijuana businesses around Kansas and San Bernardino County, which leads to needless extra travel. Empyreal has suspended plans for a "vault and currency processing facility" in Dicus' jurisdiction. It says it had already invested $100,000 in that project and continues to pay $21,000 a month in rent and utilities for the building. Empyreal says the threat of continued harassment and seizures has cost it clients and endangered the expansion of its business, especially in California.

 

They're going to have to write off the processing facility and go somewhere where the Sheriff (aided by the feds) won't dick them.

 

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On 12/12/2021 at 5:09 AM, Pertinacious Tom said:

Drug Kingpin's Money Taken In Texas!

The kingpin somehow fled the scene.

 

Update:

The kingpin made furtive movements!
 

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...

Detectives located the traveler, a 25-year-old woman, and questioned her about the bag. They reported that she misidentified the suitcase as gray, rather than black, and that her description of the locking mechanism was inaccurate. They further asked if she was transporting cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, to which she answered that she was not. When they asked if she was transporting marijuana, according to the affiliate's news story, "police noted she hesitated and her eyes darted to the left" before saying no. When they asked if she was carrying a lot of cash, she again hesitated and glanced to the left before saying that no, she had about $20,000, which she said was from the sale of a house, and some clothes.

On this basis, the police suspected that the cash could be "the result of the sales of illegal narcotics" and seized it.

...

once the detectives sat down with their suspect, the extent of her "suspicious behavior" was that she acted nervous, under-reported the amount of cash, and described the bag's physical appearance inaccurately. Admittedly, this could be the behavior of a devious narcotics trafficker caught in the act—or it could just as easily be the mannerisms of a nervous young woman being interrogated by police in the airport of an unfamiliar city.

Singling out darting eye movements as criminally suspicious evokes the explanations New York City police officers would use to justify that department's many "stop and frisk" encounters every year: Despite a minuscule number of searches ever turning up anything legally actionable, incident reports routinely accused the suspects of "furtive movements" or being in a "high crime area" to justify being accosted and searched.

 

And she said her black suitcase was gray. If you can imagine.

 

 

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Kansas might stop the looting
 

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...

Kansas House Bill 2648 would require police to pursue prosecution in order to seize property. "If no criminal charges are filed or prosecution is declined," the bill reads, "the property shall be returned to such property's rightful owner or disposed of in accordance with this section." Successful seizures would also have to be turned over to the state general fund. Current law allows Kansas police to keep what they take, which critics of civil asset forfeiture say incentivizes police to make claims about criminality that they cannot prove.

House Bill 2640 would prohibit police from seizing cash in amounts less than $200 and vehicles worth less than $2,000. It also creates a new process for allowing property owners to contest asset forfeiture. It would task public defenders with representing their criminal defense clients in forfeiture proceedings and create new notification requirements for prosecutors, who would be obligated to seek out people with potential ownership interests in seized assets and inform them of their right to contest the forfeiture.  

...

 

The first one is the biggie. Convicting a person is hard. Would be a major barrier to looting. Directing the proceeds to the general fund instead of the looting agencies would eliminate a lot of the looting incentive.

The second one cleans up some details. Also good ideas, but pretty useless without the first one.

I doubt America is ready for these ideas. We did elect a President who helped write and later rewrite our current fucked up rules and no one seems to have a problem with him based on those things.

But I do have hope that one day we'll figure out a way to do the right thing and stop the looting. Reason told me to hope for such things. Silly them.

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25% Tips for Tipping FBI Looters
 

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...

According to the release, the tip line is designed to help agents intercept drug trafficking shipments through Charlotte. An example campaign graphic shows two agents gazing at a large pile of cash in the trunk of a car. A glowing neon headline reads: "Shine a light on drug trafficking." The fine print focuses on the kickback, stating that if the tip "on where drug cash is being stored or transported" pans out, "you could receive up to 25% of the seized money."

...

The ad mentions a generous cut for tipsters but omits where the rest of the proceeds go. Congress allows federal agencies to keep 100 percent of everything they collect, and many states have similar policies.

...

 

Nothing builds support for looting like sharing the loot!

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17 hours ago, Olsonist said:

Yeah, the West should use the seized assets (hi Tom!) to pay for Ukraine's rebuilding.

I assume you're mentioning me yet again with regard to sanctions against Russia because you think they're somehow related to the Reagan/Biden drug war looting?

They're not. Seizing assets can be legitimate. Criminal asset forfeiture would be an example. Get a conviction, get some loot, no problem from me.

It's the "guilty property" thing and taking it from people who are not ever charged or convicted that is a problem, at least to a few nutjobs. I know there's a lot of bipartisan unity on the other side but I still think you drug warriors are wrong and should stop your looting.

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I think "kicking and screaming" is a fair way to describe how Indiana's Supreme Court is being dragged out of the era of looting. Noted heroin kingpin Tyson Timbs' car was taken in 2013, SCOTUS heard the case in 2018 and issued a unanimous opinion in 2019 and he finally got his car back in 2020.

And from the "indiana looting cases that seem to drag on forever" file, there's also the case of Terry Abbott
 

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Yesterday, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a decision that has ramifications for Hoosiers whose property is seized using civil forfeiture—the controversial legal process that allows police and prosecutors to keep property without convicting someone of a crime. In a divided decision, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the government must prove it is entitled to keep seized property, but forfeiture victims do not have a right to use their seized funds to hire an attorney. Because civil forfeitures take place in civil—not criminal—court, victims generally don’t have a right to an attorney. The practical ramification for many forfeiture victims is that while they can defend against forfeiture of their property in court, they may have to represent themselves.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush disagreed with the decision and argued that some exceptional circumstances in a civil forfeiture case could require the state to appoint an attorney for the property owner. The Institute for Justice argued the case before the court.

...

The case was brought against Terry Abbott in 2015. Mr. Abbott initially hired an attorney to represent him in the forfeiture case, but because the government had seized his savings, he could not afford to keep paying his attorney and so was left defending against the action himself.

“Mr. Abbott is like many property owners who cannot afford to hire an attorney to fight for their rights,” said Miller. “This decision allows forfeiture cases to remain woefully lopsided: the state with all its resources on one side and an unrepresented, oftentimes-impoverished property owner on the other.”

...

 

So it's not yet the state's money, it's Abbott's money, but he can't use it to pay a lawyer.

Is it really his money if he can't use it?

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And what happens if you don't use your money to pay a lawyer to fight the looters? This:

Cops Seized $8,000 From Her and Never Charged Her With a Crime
 

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...

Starling, who runs a food cart and says she was saving up for a food truck, began trying to fight the seizure without a lawyer. She managed to get her seized car back, and she thought that, with no criminal charges pending in the case anymore, she would no doubt soon get her cash back, too. 

Instead, she got a nasty surprise. The Rochester Police Department had sent her money to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and although she had filed a notice with the Justice Department that she was challenging the forfeiture, she had missed a deadline to do so in federal court, meaning the government could move to forfeit her money by default.

After a judge rejected Starling's request for an extended deadline, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nutjob-leaning public interest law firm, announced this week that it will file an appeal on her behalf, arguing that people like Starling should have greater opportunity to challenge government seizures.

"People deserve their day in court, especially when the government has taken their property without ever charging them with a crime," IJ senior nutjob Rob Johnson said in a press release.

...

"The Court recognizes that Claimant's lack of training in the law is a disadvantage to her knowledge of the civil forfeiture rules," U.S. District Judge Charles Siragusa wrote in a order on February 3, "but Claimant's decision not to seek an attorney's advice was a matter 'within [her] reasonable control,' which weighs against a finding of excusable neglect."

What Starling has learned the hard way is that asset forfeiture laws not only allow police to seize one's property without an accompanying criminal charge, but that the process to challenge a seizure is tilted in favor of the government. It's extremely hard for everyday people to navigate the labyrinthine process to get their money back without paying for an attorney, which in Starling's case would have probably cost enough to make a victory in court negligible.

"The process to get one's money back following a forfeiture is unnecessarily complex and nearly impossible to navigate without legal representation," IJ attorney Seth Young said. "Cristal did everything she could to follow the instructions and still never got the day in court she deserves." 

More than half of U.S. states have passed some form of civil asset forfeiture reform over the past decade because of cases like Starling's.

IJ is now filing an appeal on Starling's behalf to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. If successful, Starling's case will be kicked back to district court, where she will have the opportunity to challenge the seizure.

...

 

Starling is lucky to have found nutjobs who will represent her for free but most people just have to do the math: a few thousand bucks for a lawyer to get my few thousand bucks back? Nah. So the looters win by default.

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On 1/19/2022 at 6:24 AM, Pertinacious Tom said:

Drug warriors continue the highway robbery
 

I agree with the nutjobs as usual but they're probably going to lose this one.

Fact is, those are not legal businesses at all. They're blatantly violating federal law, as are any businesses that further the criminal conspiracy, like this armored car company. That means the loot belongs to the government unless they can prove there was no crime. But there are LOTS of federal crimes going on every day across the country in every single cannabis business. You can't prove that's not happening. It is.

 

Glad to have been wrong about this one.

The feds have agreed to return the armored car company loot
 

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The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to return 100% of the funds seized—approximately $1.1 million—from Empyreal Logistics during stops of its armored vehicles by the San Bernardino County Sheriff. The funds were transferred to federal law enforcement for civil forfeiture proceedings.

...

Empyreal is a fintech and armored car company operating in 28 states that provides cash logistics solutions. This includes secure delivery between legal businesses (such as state-licensed cannabis businesses) and financial institutions. By design, Empyreal never transports cannabis products. Empyreal also serves a growing list of non-cannabis businesses, including financial institutions, restaurants and convenience stores.  

“Empyreal was operating legally under California law, but with current federal civil forfeiture laws, even compliant businesses can be targeted. Civil forfeiture enabled law enforcement to seize over a million dollars in legal business proceeds and threaten to keep it,” said IJ Senior Attorney Dan Alban. “Returning this money is the right thing to do and we’re pleased to have helped Empyreal secure this outcome.” 

In exchange for the return of the funds, Empyreal will dismiss its case against the federal government over the seizures.

 

So that's a good result in this case but only a few looting victims manage to find a nutjob law firm to take on the government. Most don't and won't see such a change of heart.

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12 hours ago, Olsonist said:

I love AOC but she reaches for the sort of argument Tom would trot out, the 4A against civil forfeiture.

Well, no, I've corrected you on this before and sanctions have little to do with your boy Joe's drug war looting program. My actual arguments against it are in this thread. Feel free to start refuting them any time. Or just keep making shit up in unrelated threads.

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Wow, this is taking longer than expected, but when you have Ron and Rand Paul on one side and Joe Biden on the other side of an issue, you can be sure Olsonist will be along shortly to explain why Biden and the other drug war looters are right and the Paul's are wrong. Real shortly, I'm sure.

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On 11/7/2019 at 6:35 AM, Pertinacious Tom said:

In other forfeiture news,

IJ Scores Win In Lawsuit Against IRS Over Forfeiture Records
 

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This morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously sided with the Institute for Justice (IJ) in a fight with the IRS over the agency’s forfeiture records. In its decision, the court ruled that the IRS cannot deliberately frustrate FOIA requests by quibbling over immaterial technicalities. The court also ruled that the IRS must put the effort into determining which records are public, rather than applying blanket exemptions to whole swaths of data that may or may not be exempt from disclosure.

“The lack of transparency surrounding forfeiture is deeply troubling, especially considering the vast power federal agencies have to take property from people without so much as charging them with a crime,” said IJ Senior Research Analyst Jennifer McDonald. “The public ought to know how the IRS is using forfeiture.”

The effort started in March 2015 when IJ filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all records contained in the IRS Asset Forfeiture Tracking and Retrieval System (AFTRAK). The IRS originally refused to release the information unless IJ paid more than $750,000 in fees. Once IJ brought suit under FOIA in December 2016, the agency reversed course and argued that AFTRAK is not actually a database and therefore cannot possibly contain records. Rather than search for all of the requested records, the IRS eventually produced one standard forfeiture report that was 99% redacted. Later, the court ordered the IRS to remove some of the redactions, but it otherwise agreed that the IRS had fulfilled its obligations, prompting IJ to appeal the decision.

Senior Circuit Judge Williams rebuked the IRS’s strategy of contesting the definition of a database, writing, “A request certainly should not fail where the agency knew or should have known what the requestor was seeking all along.”

 

Expand  

It depends what the meaning of database is...

It took another 2 1/2 years, but...

Seven-Year FOIA Battle Ends with IRS Handing Over Records
 

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The Institute for Justice’s (IJ) seven-year fight for IRS forfeiture records has finally ended after the IRS turned over significant amounts of data. The close of the case comes more than two years after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the IRS cannot deliberately frustrate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by quibbling over immaterial technicalities.

“For years, the IRS used forfeiture to take property from people without charging them with a crime, yet the database tracking these forfeitures was hidden from the public,” said IJ Nutjob Kathy Sanchez. “While we are glad to finally have the records, the length and difficulty of the fight shows that access to important government information is simply beyond most Americans. The lack of transparency is frightening.”

The effort started in March 2015 when IJ filed a FOIA request for all records contained in the IRS Asset Forfeiture Tracking and Retrieval System (AFTRAK). The IRS originally refused to release the information unless IJ paid more than $750,000 in fees. Once IJ brought suit under FOIA in December 2016, the agency reversed course and argued that AFTRAK is not actually a database and therefore cannot possibly contain records subject to FOIA. Rather than provide the actual data, the IRS provided a report concealing 99% of its contents, which the district court initially concluded satisfied the FOIA request.

After the appeals court returned the case to the district court with direction for the IRS to provide additional information about the contents of AFTRAK, the IRS admitted that AFTRAK is a database and that it had not disclosed AFTRAK’s complete contents to IJ. Following further proceedings ordered by the district court, the IRS has now provided IJ with all the data it sought.

...

 

The lack of transparency and the 7 year fight to preserve opacity are encouraging in a way. Looters know their programs are not defensible if discussed. That might also explain why Olsonist has been tardy in coming to defend Biden's legacy against the evil Paul duo and the nutjobs at IJ.

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On 4/13/2022 at 9:19 PM, Pertinacious Tom said:

And now Empyreal has made up with the Sheriff.
 

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Empyreal Logistics announced today that it will resolve a federal lawsuit against the San Bernardino County Sheriff after the company and Sheriff released a joint statement on moving forward after the seizures of state-licensed cannabis deposits in late 2021. The lawsuit was filed by the Institute for Justice (IJ), with local counsel David C. Bass of KNCH LLP, after Empyreal’s vehicles were pulled over multiple times and more than $1.1 million was seized and transferred to federal law enforcement for civil forfeiture proceedings. Earlier this month, Empyreal agreed to dismiss federal plaintiffs from the lawsuit after the federal government agreed to return 100% of the seized funds.

“Empyreal, our financial institution clients and their state-licensed cannabis customers operate within the law, which is why we chose to bring a legal challenge to the seizures in San Bernardino County,” said Empyreal CEO Deirdra O’Gorman. “Now that the funds have been returned and after meeting with the Sheriff, we are confident that we can continue serving state-legal businesses without future disruptions.”

“We are pleased to have helped Empyreal achieve a successful result and return to business operations in San Bernardino County,” said IJ Senior Nutjob Dan Alban. “We will continue to challenge the use of civil forfeiture nationwide at the state and federal level.”

...

 

So that's nice. A typical joint statement might be "Don't Bogart that!" but I suspect this was something else.

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On 4/14/2021 at 7:11 AM, Pertinacious Tom said:

More on the looting of Jerry Johnson's money
 

Signing the waiver probably seemed like an easy way out at the time, not so much now.

"OK, so arrest me, I'm not signing" would have been a better response. Among other benefits, it would immediately raise the question: arrest him for what? There was no evidence of any crime, nor has any emerged since.

 

Arizona Appeals Court Lets Charlotte Trucking Company Owner Fight for $39,500 Seized From Him at Phoenix Airport
 

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Today, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that Jerry Johnson may contest the civil forfeiture of his $39,500, seized from him at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. In August 2020, Jerry flew to Phoenix with the intention of returning home with a semi-truck from an Arizona auction house, but instead he returned to Charlotte without his money and without a truck. Even though he was never charged with a crime, an Arizona trial court ruled that Jerry failed to prove the cash was his and, therefore, could not contest the civil forfeiture of his money. Jerry’s appeal was taken up by the Institute for Justice (IJ), a non-profit public interest law firm.

“Today’s decision points out the obvious: Jerry Johnson properly proved ownership of his money and has the right to defend it in court,” said IJ Nutjob Alexa Gervasi. “The scales are already tipped in the government’s favor in civil forfeiture, but the lower court went outside the bounds of Arizona law when it forced Jerry to prove his own innocence. We are glad that Jerry will have his day in court to defend against the unjust forfeiture of his life savings.”

In the decision, the Court of Appeals concluded that, “This was a not a trivial or technical error”—the lower court’s ruling violated Jerry’s right to due process. The decision further affirms that “Johnson in fact proved he owned the money,” granting Jerry a complete victory on his appeal.

The government has 30 days to appeal the Court of Appeals’ ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court. If it does not appeal, the case will be sent back to the trial court, where the government will either have to prove that Jerry’s money was connected to criminal activity or return it.

...

 

Considering that publicity surrounding this case led to some reforms in Arizona that were distinctly unfavorable to looters, I doubt any appeal will happen in the next 30 days, so Jerry Johnson should eventually get his money back.

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On 7/26/2014 at 5:02 AM, Pertinacious Tom said:

Texas is hardly alone.

True, but republicans are far more likely to be cops, even in blue cities in blue states, and to abuse the system.

I think you shouldn't be allowed to be a cop in the inner city unless you grew up in the inner city.  

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On 11/6/2015 at 2:22 AM, svpahto said:

this whole thing, which has shocked me since I was first aware of it, still blows my mind. "common law", or "precedents" set by historical cases, have absolutely no relevance as per the constitution, BOR, and the other 17 ammendments. Which throughout all of these documents repeatedly state that the government is not allowed to do exactly what it is doing, in very plain english, repeatedly. And, just because I think it bears mentioning. If you take the time to read these documents, they are not a list of laws that citizens must abide by, nor are they a list of things the government can do to its citizens. These documents outline very specifically what the government cannot do. Thats it. their only purpose is to restrict the government. The tenth ammendment sums that up by saying that, if you have kept reading this far, now you know what you can't do, if you have a question about anything, the answer is no, you can't do it. I would wager that not a day goes by that the tenth is not shit on

Sorry dude, but the legal systems of the western world are based on rome.  Just like christianity is a product of rome.

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On 11/6/2015 at 2:25 AM, svpahto said:

this whole topic being an excellent example of a violation of the tenth ammendment. If the federal government can't find where the constition specifically states they can confiscate private citizens posessions, then they are not allowed to do it. Its all in very plain english....

Sorry, wrong again, that is not how it works.

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Illinois Appeals Court Rules Chicago Slapped Drivers With Illegally High Fines for Years

 

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Chicago has been hitting motorists with illegally high fines for years for not having up-to-date vehicle stickers, a state appellate court ruled Friday.

The Illinois First District Appellate Court found that Chicago has been flouting a state law that caps the amount it can fine drivers through its administrative court system at $250. The ruling came in a class-action lawsuit challenging the city's notoriously punitive ticketing regime, especially for vehicle stickers, which cost nearly $100 to renew every year and carry stiff fines for failing to keep them up to date.

At a press conference on the ruling, one of the lawsuit plaintiffs, Rodney Shelton, told reporters he fell deep into ticket debt after buying a car that failed an emissions test. Without passing the test, he couldn't get a vehicle sticker, and without a vehicle sticker, he kept getting ticketed, even though he wasn't driving the car. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Even though he parked the car in a private lot, he said, the city ticketed him dozens of times for not having the sticker until the fees and penalties reached about $20,000. He had to declare bankruptcy before he could start paying it back, he said.

"I look at it as the city being predators on the taxpayers," he said.

...

 

Funny how prey are able to identify predators.

 

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10 minutes ago, The_Real_XYZ said:

The whole reason the articles of confederation were scrapped was because they made the nation weak.  republicans are voting for a return to weakness.

What in the world could this comment possibly have to do with drug war looting?

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43 minutes ago, The_Real_XYZ said:

Because the dude was talking about how the federal government isn't allowed to do anything unless it is specifically stated in the constitution.

Well, that is the gist of the tenth amendment and the only possible reason for enumerating powers of the branches, but he was talking about how drug war looting is unconstitutional.

It would be nice if Republicans actually wanted to end drug war looting but they're primarily responsible for it and they don't. Something they share with an unfortunately large number of Democrats. There are exceptions in both parties who buy into the libertarian view that a conviction should precede confiscation of property, but they're few and far between which is why this thread goes on and on and will continue.

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36 minutes ago, Pertinacious Tom said:

Well, that is the gist of the tenth amendment and the only possible reason for enumerating powers of the branches, but he was talking about how drug war looting is unconstitutional.

It is unconstitutional, but that doesn't mean the federal government has no powers except what a bunch of inbred hillbillies think they should have.

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6 hours ago, The_Real_XYZ said:

It is unconstitutional, but that doesn't mean the federal government has no powers except what a bunch of inbred hillbillies think they should have.

Well, OK, which powers other than the ones in Article 1, Section 8 do you think Congress has, before we move on to other branches?

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On 5/6/2022 at 8:48 PM, Pertinacious Tom said:

And on the comedy front, the joint statement by Empyreal and Sheriff Dicus says the deputies "are not highway robbers as previously reported in the media."
 

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...

But that remains a fair characterization, since the businesses whose proceeds the deputies stole and Empyreal itself were operating in compliance with state law.

Money earned by state-licensed marijuana businesses is not subject to forfeiture under California law. Dicus therefore transferred the loot to the FBI, seeking federal "adoption" of the seizures, which would have allowed his department to claim up to 80 percent of the money under the Justice Department's "equitable sharing" program. That adoption fell through once the department agreed to give the money back.

Dicus had described Empyreal's lawsuit as "no more than a special-interest crusade and a blatant attempt to interfere with ongoing local criminal investigations." He did not elaborate on the nature of those "investigations" or explain why they implicated Empyreal's clients.

Now Dicus has changed his tune

...

"When the Empyreal driver asked a deputy why Empyreal vehicles were being stopped so frequently," the complaint says, "the deputy told him it was 'political' but declined to elaborate."

Whether that response alluded to Dicus' own motive or a federal agenda, it certainly does not sound like a reason that would pass muster under the Fourth Amendment. Empyreal argued that "pretextual traffic stops" aimed at supplementing police budgets rather than enforcing state law cannot qualify as "reasonable."

Given these details, it is hard to see how Dicus' deputies "were acting in good faith." They took the cash without regard to the legality of its sources or a statute that explicitly says Empyreal was committing no crime under state law, and they aimed to keep the money for the benefit of their own department. If that does not qualify as highway robbery, I'm not sure what would.

...

 

It obviously qualifies and this is what happens when looters encounter publicity. They shy away from what they are obviously doing. In this case, it just depends on what the meaning of "are" is.

Since they've apparently stopped looting for now, the Sheriff is technically correct that his looting deputies ARE not looting at the moment.

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More on the IRS looting database
 

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...

Institute for Justice client Lyndon McLellan saw the double standard firsthand when IRS agents reached into his bank account and took his life savings without warning or cause in 2014. McLellan had purchased a small convenience store on the side of the road in Fairmont, North Carolina, in 2001 and had worked for 13 years to build the business. Over time, he expanded it to include a restaurant and lunch counter.

McLellan worked long hours and rarely took vacations. More importantly, he ran an honest enterprise. Yet federal agents accused him of violating so-called structuring laws because his business frequently made bank deposits in amounts under $10,000.

Structuring, a type of money laundering, occurs when a person divides cash for the specific purpose of evading bank reporting requirements. There is no reason to believe that McLellan ever did that, but the IRS seized more than $107,000 anyway.

"It took me 13 years to save that much money," he says. "And it took fewer than 13 seconds for the government to take it away."

McLellan was never charged with a crime, but the government tried to keep his money permanently using a law enforcement maneuver called civil forfeiture. This scheme does not require a conviction or arrest; vague allegations are good enough. And once the process ends, Congress allows federal agencies to keep 100 percent of the proceeds for themselves.

The perverse incentive invites abuse, and the IRS got greedy. Between 2013 and 2015, the Institute for Justice represented small-business owners in Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and North Carolina. All of the targets shared the same experience—one day they had money in their bank accounts, and the next day they didn't.

Lawmakers eventually clamped down on the abuse of structuring laws, and all of the Institute for Justice clients got their money back. But questions remained. How many innocent people had suffered? What was the annual revenue from the scheme? And how did federal agencies spend their ill-gotten gains?

The IRS wasn't talking, so the Institute for Justice sued with outside counsel to get answers. The database is large, and sorting through the raw information will take time. But once findings are available, they will be shared. Sadly, government efforts to hide forfeiture data will continue—and not just at the federal level. Many state and local agencies withhold information, making scrutiny difficult.

...

IRS auditors don't ask politely for information. Neither do police officers when serving a warrant. They bust open doors, rummage through closets, and pore over computer files. Along the way, if they find cash, they take it. The least the government could do is provide detailed accounts of every seizure and track the money through the system.

The information belongs to the public anyway. The more the public knows about civil forfeiture, the less they like it. The IRS and other agencies know the score, which is why they prefer secrecy.

 

It will be interesting to see what they were fighting to hide for so long. Well, interesting to a few nutjobs, at least.

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26 minutes ago, hasher said:

Ill gotten property is seized.

It's only scary if you didn't come by your toys honestly.

There are rules to define honesty.  We all know them.

We're only asking that any such dishonesty be PROVEN before it is punished.

What's wrong with getting a conviction before taking property?

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1 minute ago, Pertinacious Tom said:

We're only asking that any such dishonesty be PROVEN before it is punished.

What's wrong with getting a conviction before taking property?

You have to steal their feet.

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32 minutes ago, The_Real_XYZ said:

Yeah, no thanks, not going to try and talk about this stuff with a RWNJ.

OK, but you should probably know that actual RWNJ's tend to be drug warriors and think my opposition to the stupid drug war makes me a Soros-loving hippy stoner. And they largely support the drug war looting that this thread is meant to bash. So you're waaaaay off in your messenger attack.

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2 hours ago, Pertinacious Tom said:

OK, but you should probably know that actual RWNJ's tend to be drug warriors and think my opposition to the stupid drug war makes me a Soros-loving hippy stoner. And they largely support the drug war looting that this thread is meant to bash. So you're waaaaay off in your messenger attack.

Dude, judges have been dealing with this question for over 200 years, so no, I don't really give a fuck what random internet people think about the limits of the tenth amendment.  Today we are seeing what happens when religious nutjobs brainwash people from childhood to be RWNJ judges.  

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