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Civil forfeiture


Red Cent

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A while back on a local forum, an attorney argued that this was good law. Personally, I believe it stinks. Due process is non-existent and they may never charge you with a crime. But they will still take your money or property.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/us-customs-reportedly-took-away-a-mans-life-savings-of-dollar58000-—-even-though-he-was-never-charged-with-a-crime/ar-AAy7j5I?ocid=spartandhp

 

http://endforfeiture.com/

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In NC in 2008 the police broke up a road race event and commandeered several cars. In less than one week the police in Charlotte had a Nissan 350Z as a new fast patrol car for interstate 85. It was one of the cars taken. The owner hadn’t even gone to court yet. 

 

I knew the the guy that owned that car. Nice kid. He had a lead foot. Last I heard the car was in impound once he got a lawyer involved. I could not believe that police department could be that blatant.

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1 hour ago, Red Cent said:

A while back on a local forum, an attorney argued that this was good law. Personally, I believe it stinks. Due process is non-existent and they may never charge you with a crime. But they will still take your money or property.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/us-customs-reportedly-took-away-a-mans-life-savings-of-dollar58000-—-even-though-he-was-never-charged-with-a-crime/ar-AAy7j5I?ocid=spartandhp

 

http://endforfeiture.com/

 

There is a difference between "current law," sometimes called "good law," especially law that has survived judicial challenge, and "A good law" or a "fair and just law." Civil forfeiture, prior to felony conviction and without at least clear and convincing evidence that the property to be forfeited was used as part of a criminal enterprise or was the gains from such enterprise, is completely unjust, in my opinion.

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There would be nothing civil about my forfeiture.

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Having that much cash without the banks notifying the government is suspicious to say the least. And he got here in 2005, and by 2018 he saved $58,000???

The hardest thing the drug smugglers have to put up with is sending  their cash back. And he couldn't prove how he got that much cash. His story is fishy.

But like ALL laws, the seizure laws can be abused. IF he can prove he got that cash legally he can get it back. Key word here legally.

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30 minutes ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

Having that much cash without the banks notifying the government is suspicious to say the least. And he got here in 2005, and by 2018 he saved $58,000???

The hardest thing the drug smugglers have to put up with is sending  their cash back. And he couldn't prove how he got that much cash. His story is fishy.

But like ALL laws, the seizure laws can be abused. IF he can prove he got that cash legally he can get it back. Key word here legally.

 

So, you would shift the burden of proof onto him? Make him prove that everything he did, everything he earned was legal. I'm sorry, but I don't like the idea of anyone being put into the position of needing to prove their innocence. How exactly does one prove he got cash legally? Go back to 2005 and provide all pays stubs and bank records for that entire time period? Go through week by week and month by month to prove that he made "only" deposits from "legal" sources? I hope he didn't deposit any cash, or any personal checks during that time period. Hard to prove those were "legal." It definitely creates a steep and slippery slope.

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27 minutes ago, DocWard said:

 

So, you would shift the burden of proof onto him? Make him prove that everything he did, everything he earned was legal. I'm sorry, but I don't like the idea of anyone being put into the position of needing to prove their innocence. How exactly does one prove he got cash legally? Go back to 2005 and provide all pays stubs and bank records for that entire time period? Go through week by week and month by month to prove that he made "only" deposits from "legal" sources? I hope he didn't deposit any cash, or any personal checks during that time period. Hard to prove those were "legal." It definitely creates a steep and slippery slope.

I totally agree. Up until my surgery from 2010 to 2016 I was earning $1800 a month that was clear and free above my bills and normal living expenses. That’s when I was buying guns. Eating out. Going on shoots. Thanking the wife to the casino. Etc.  I could have easily stashed the cash monthly in my safe. In five years that would be $108,000. Now I’m just making myself sick. I need to go back to work.

 

I don’t like using banks. I have to to some extent. But to shift the burden of proof to me only applies annually to the IRS for money made that year. What I stash is my business . Screw the govment and the banks.  The more I keep from the two the better. 

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The current law is anything over $10,000 deposited or withdrawn from a bank is reported to the Government! You can thank the illegal drug trade for the current seizure laws. Do I agree, not always, but there a few laws I didn't and don't agree with. But its the law. Don't like em, vote to change them! Just try saving 58,000 bucks in 13 years. If he had a job that paid that it would be easy to prove without having every dang pay stub! Taking that much US currency out of the country is illegal without the government being involved. I wonder if he paid taxes on that? Just cause the money was seized doesn't mean he will necessarily lose it. Obey the law whether you agree with it or not.

Its as simple as that!

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21 minutes ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

The current law is anything over $10,000 deposited or withdrawn from a bank is reported to the Government! You can thank the illegal drug trade for the current seizure laws. Do I agree, not always, but there a few laws I didn't and don't agree with. But its the law. Don't like em, vote to change them! Just try saving 58,000 bucks in 13 years. If he had a job that paid that it would be easy to prove without having every dang pay stub! Taking that much US currency out of the country is illegal without the government being involved. I wonder if he paid taxes on that? Just cause the money was seized doesn't mean he will necessarily lose it. Obey the law whether you agree with it or not.

Its as simple as that!

Sounds like we agree

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2 hours ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

The current law is anything over $10,000 deposited or withdrawn from a bank is reported to the Government! You can thank the illegal drug trade for the current seizure laws. Do I agree, not always, but there a few laws I didn't and don't agree with. But its the law. Don't like em, vote to change them! Just try saving 58,000 bucks in 13 years. If he had a job that paid that it would be easy to prove without having every dang pay stub! Taking that much US currency out of the country is illegal without the government being involved. I wonder if he paid taxes on that? Just cause the money was seized doesn't mean he will necessarily lose it. Obey the law whether you agree with it or not.

Its as simple as that!


No offense, but lot's of fallacious arguments going on here, none of which actually answer the question I posed. Everything from insinuating he might not have paid taxes to arguing that he might not lose the money despite the government missing deadlines prompting his lawsuit. $58,100 dollars in ten years averages out to less than $6000.00 dollars a year. That doesn't include money earned as interest on the principle. Depending on how frugally he and his wife lived, not impossible.

I will ask again, are you saying he should have to prove he earned the money legally in order to get it back from the federal government? Do you place the burden on proof on him or on the government. Easy enough to answer. Do you believe the government wouldn't insist on proof for the entire amount? If so, you have more faith in bureaucracy than I do.

I believe the point of the thread is the desire to change what are considered unjust and unfair laws. Calling attention to them is one way of beginning that process.

 

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The facts are the he was never in trouble with the law. Apparently the IRS was OK with him. But that ain't the point.

He is at the airport. They find the cash. They seize the cash. WHY!!??

They never charged him with a crime. They never charged him. It is close to a year and they have not charged him. But they won't return his money. WHY!!??

Think about it. You might be the next unfortunate citizen. 

Banks are required to report a cash deposit or withdrawal of $10,000.01 or more. Banks, because of a safe harbor law, can also report you at anytime with no fear of you retaliating if they deem your actions suspicious. 

You know that lever gun you saw the other day. The one with the gold inlay and heavily engraved. And the guy wanted $5000.0 in cash.  "Hi, I am with the Federal Government and I am here to help". 

 

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If you have $58,000 in the bank, its not against the law, if you have an IRA for that amount, its not against the law, if you have $58,000 stuffed in your mattress its not against the law, BUT if you try to take $58,000 in CASH out of the United States, you need to get the government involved. Do I agree with the law or not agree with it is a moot point. There are legal ways to ship that amount over seas and are MUCH SAFER! That makes me suspicious! I wasn't inferring he didn't pay taxes, and all he has to do is present the tax forms to show the money was earned legally. Is the government overstepping its authority?? That's what they do. We can't poses an sub machine gun because the mobsters used it in the 30's, even though the 2nd Amendment says, "shall not be infringed". Don't like the law, change it, but until its changed obey it! And Doc, no offense is intended.:mellow:

Correction, we can get a tax stamp from ATF to purchase a machine gun, but I personally don't have that kind of cash.:(

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9 minutes ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

If you have $58,000 in the bank, its not against the law, if you have an IRA for that amount, its not against the law, if you have $58,000 stuffed in your mattress its not against the law, BUT if you try to take $58,000 in CASH out of the United States, you need to get the government involved. Do I agree with the law or not agree with it is a moot point. There are legal ways to ship that amount over seas and are MUCH SAFER! That makes me suspicious! I wasn't inferring he didn't pay taxes, and all he has to do is present the tax forms to show the money was earned legally. Is the government overstepping its authority?? That's what they do. We can't poses an sub machine gun because the mobsters used it in the 30's, even though the 2nd Amendment says, "shall not be infringed". Don't like the law, change it, but until its changed obey it! And Doc, no offense is intended.:mellow:

Correction, we can get a tax stamp from ATF to purchase a machine gun, but I personally don't have that kind of cash.:(

 

If not to insinuate wrong doing, why bring it up at all? And for the third time, why should the burden be on him and not the government?

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If you are caught with a large amount of cash, you have to prove its legally obtained. Or it can be seized civilly by the government.

its not a criminal offense but civilly it can be seized. ooops got a honey do.

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There will NEVER be charges filed against the person whose goods are taken by Civil Forfeiture.  The charges will be filed against the asset taken.

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1 hour ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

If you are caught with a large amount of cash, you have to prove its legally obtained. Or it can be seized civilly by the government.

its not a criminal offense but civilly it can be seized. ooops got a honey do.

 

Which, to me, is tyranny. Thanks for answering the question, by the way.

 

The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

 

Now, there is a tremendous amount of case law and scholarly literature on the subject of the Fourth Amendment. It is not easily sorted through. One can argue that law enforcement can "reasonably" conclude that if a person is carrying a large amount of money, the person is likely guilty of a crime. I disagree, unless there are other indicia of crime that could be articulated in order to reasonably conclude a crime has been committed. The simple act of carrying a significant amount of cash, while unusual in this day and age, should not be considered a suspicious act. What constitutes a large amount of money? $1000.00? $10,000.00? Does it depend on the individual circumstances each time? If so, why? If the gentleman had $5800.00 in cash hidden would it still have been seized? Do you see where I am going?

It also creates a tremendous difference in the balance of power between the citizenry and the government, as well as the temptation for corruption. Officer Friendly happens to see John Q. Public in his vehicle counting what appears to be a significant amount of money. Never mind that Mr. Public just left the bank, and was sitting in the parking lot making sure he counted it right in the bank. A few blocks away, Officer Friendly pulls Mr. Public over for a minor traffic infraction. You pick it, no license plate light, failure to signal, drifted left of center. From there, if Mr. Public is cooperative and answers the questions of the officer, "what's in the pouch?" "Money." Suddenly drug search dogs are out, Mr. Public is seeing his vehicle searched, and more importantly, the $5000.00 that Mr. Public just pulled out of savings is in the coffers of the city until he proves to them it was legally obtained, or not going toward a criminal enterprise. Uncooperative? Same result. Can't happen? I would say that is naive. According to the Wall Street Journal, civil forfeitures accounted for something like 2.5 Billion Dollars in 2014. There is a reason both Loretta Lynch and Jeff Sessions are in favor of them.

Let me put it this way, I'm not just jealously protective of my Second Amendment rights. Or my First. I'm protective of all of them. To me, that means putting the burden of proof on the government for every single action they take that might deprive the public of life and liberty, and that includes property. In the above case, it appears that the government is not even following their own rules regarding the seizure, which is doubly troublesome. It could take significant money to get the money returned, likely with no recourse to get that money spent so doing paid back.

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Deprived of due process. Innocent until proven guilty.

 

"Critics argue that innocent owners can become entangled in the process to the extent that their right to property is violated, with few legal protections and due process rules to protect them in situations where they are presumed guilty instead of being presumed innocent. Further, critics argue that the incentives lead to corruption and law enforcement misbehavior. There is consensus that abuses have happened but disagreement about their extent as well as whether the overall benefits to society are worth the cost of the instances of abuse."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States

 

Until it happens to them.

 

 

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Sure abuses occur, as they do in every profession, but honest people can prove where their money came from. If I with drew ever nickel in our accounts ( my wife woluld shoot me) I could prove how it got there and when. An honest person can not accumulate 58,000.00 cash with out some record. AND while agree with some of the statements made here, we can thank the drug dealers and smugglers for the seizure laws. Just like we can thank the mobsters for the ban in automatic weapons with out a tax stamp. Civil laws are quite a bit different than criminal laws. The seizing entity does not have to prove criminal activity to seize a LARGE amount of cash and the owner has to show where the $ came from. And I mentioned the statement about did he pay his taxes cause that's one sure way to see if the money was legal or not. Its the law and was not up to me to decide if it was right or wrong. Is it a bad law, change it. Also after 30 years in Law enforcement I have seen some pretty good liars swearing their innocence, even after positive proof was found. So I let the courts decide.

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49 minutes ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

Sure abuses occur, as they do in every profession, but honest people can prove where their money came from. If I with drew ever nickel in our accounts ( my wife woluld shoot me) I could prove how it got there and when. An honest person can not accumulate 58,000.00 cash with out some record. AND while agree with some of the statements made here, we can thank the drug dealers and smugglers for the seizure laws. Just like we can thank the mobsters for the ban in automatic weapons with out a tax stamp. Civil laws are quite a bit different than criminal laws. The seizing entity does not have to prove criminal activity to seize a LARGE amount of cash and the owner has to show where the $ came from. And I mentioned the statement about did he pay his taxes cause that's one sure way to see if the money was legal or not. Its the law and was not up to me to decide if it was right or wrong. Is it a bad law, change it. Also after 30 years in Law enforcement I have seen some pretty good liars swearing their innocence, even after positive proof was found. So I let the courts decide.

 

My friend, while I agree with much of what you say regarding your reasoning, we simply come to different conclusions. I spent fifteen years as an assistant prosecutor, and litigated hundreds of cases, and wrote appellee briefs on many more. Plenty of both involved search and seizure cases. I will forever fall on the side of the citizen's rights, and place the burden on the government, whether criminal or civil. 

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5 hours ago, DocWard said:

 

My friend, while I agree with much of what you say regarding your reasoning, we simply come to different conclusions. I spent fifteen years as an assistant prosecutor, and litigated hundreds of cases, and wrote appellee briefs on many more. Plenty of both involved search and seizure cases. I will forever fall on the side of the citizen's rights, and place the burden on the government, whether criminal or civil. 

As a good prosecutor should do Doc. Citizens rights are the foundation of our Constitution. We had our own Narc. Task Force prosecutor full time and on a scale of 1 to 10 she was 20! Im talking about her willingness to see our side. As Ass't Commander of the TF it was one of my jobs to read all cases and present them to our atty. Our guys were eager to seize stuff and she was the words of reason if some of us got too eager. It was a pleasure to work with her, but sadly I can not say that about all prosecutors. I taught 'search and seizure' to the Sheriff's Dept academy, and really enjoyed that. You would be amazed at what some officers thought was 'probable cause' and 'reasonable suspicion'. I would sincerely like to sit down and chat about this with you in person. I enjoyed our 'back and forth'.

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3 hours ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

As a good prosecutor should do Doc. Citizens rights are the foundation of our Constitution. We had our own Narc. Task Force prosecutor full time and on a scale of 1 to 10 she was 20! Im talking about her willingness to see our side. As Ass't Commander of the TF it was one of my jobs to read all cases and present them to our atty. Our guys were eager to seize stuff and she was the words of reason if some of us got too eager. It was a pleasure to work with her, but sadly I can not say that about all prosecutors. I taught 'search and seizure' to the Sheriff's Dept academy, and really enjoyed that. You would be amazed at what some officers thought was 'probable cause' and 'reasonable suspicion'. I would sincerely like to sit down and chat about this with you in person. I enjoyed our 'back and forth'.

 

Ditto!

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On 6/2/2018 at 7:19 AM, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

Having that much cash without the banks notifying the government is suspicious to say the least. And he got here in 2005, and by 2018 he saved $58,000???

That averages $4,461 of savings a year.  Sorry, but that is not an inordinate amount of savings at all.   Lots of folks save more than that a year.

 

Civil forfiture is lazy law law and goes against the principle of innocent until proven guilty.  

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On ‎6‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 11:38 PM, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

That averages $4,461 of savings a year.  Sorry, but that is not an inordinate amount of savings at all.   Lots of folks save more than that a year.

 

Civil forfiture is lazy law law and goes against the principle of innocent until proven guilty.  

Well if he can show he saved that from a legitimate enterprise then they can't keep it. And civil law burden of proof is much less than criminal law. Don't like the law change it, but after 17 years in a narc TF, seizing the drug dealers assets is the best way to hurt them!

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5 minutes ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

Well if he can show he saved that from a legitimate enterprise then they can't keep it. And civil law burden of proof is much less than criminal law. Don't like the law change it, but after 17 years in a narc TF, seizing the drug dealers assets is the best way to hurt them!

 Am sure that seizing money

from people  without proof that it was illegally obtained is useful for law enforcement, but makeing things easier for law inforcement is not the function of the constitution.

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10 hours ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

 Am sure that seizing money

from people  without proof that it was illegally obtained is useful for law enforcement, but makeing things easier for law inforcement is not the function of the constitution.

Well said sir! 

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Well this has gone on long enough. I will just say that there are darn few honest people that walk around with over $10,000 in their pocket. Al Capone wasn't jailed for murder, extortion, selling illegal whiskey, the feds got him for tax evasion! Law enforcement doesn't make the laws, but they use what ever Congress gives them. Don't like the law... Change it!

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