Supreme Court Significantly Limits Civil Forfeiture In Unanimous Decision

February 23, 2019 by Khalaf Law Firm Staff

The US Supreme Court has applied the 8th Amendment to states and prohibits excessive fines and restricts civil forfeitures:

The Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion that the 8th Amendment’s ban of “excessive fines” applies to states and local agencies, not just the federal government. This decision limits the power of local law enforcement agencies to seize cash, cars, boats, and other property.

The ruling is a victory for Tyson Timbs, an Indiana man whose $42,000 Land Rover was seized by police after he was convicted of two drug sales that amounted to about $300.

“The protection against excessive fines guards against abuses of government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority. This safeguard, we hold, is ‘fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty,’ with ‘dee(p) root(s) in (our) history and tradition.'”

— Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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