Author Topic: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty  (Read 9984 times)


rtrnow

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 07:23:35 AM »
Unfortunately, this is just one of many atrocities being committed by those sworn to protect and serve. I would never claim all cops to be bad, but more and more I think it's not just a tiny percentage either. As the article mentions, it all too often targets those most vulnerable as well.

DirtBoy

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 07:32:39 AM »
The police have been doing this for decades.  Criminal and civil RICO has been the tool of choice, but now they have so many other tools under the name of terrorism. 

hoodedfalcon

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 07:42:22 AM »
This is a real thing. There are ways to try to get the money back, but they are intentionally cumbersome and a lot of people, especially poor people, end up getting screwed unless someone really goes to bat for them. This happened to a number of my clients. I would look at the police report, and the money/property would either not be listed as logged into evidence or an amount much less than what my client is saying should be there was listed. Very difficult when it is a police officer's word against someone accused of a crime, and it is very difficult to prove that there was more there than they are saying.

oldtoyota

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 08:47:34 AM »
It's really crazy. None of us can be in the "it won't happen to me" camp. Because if someone you do not know sells dope on your front lawn, your house can be claimed. I do not think the "dope dealer" needs to be a relative. Correct me if I am wrong.

I have a friend with property. He has to check it constantly for marijuana plants. If any plants show  up on his property--even if planted by others--he could lose his land via civil forfeiture.

Based on what I've read, this is a threat to all of us.


Rural

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 11:11:16 AM »
The sheriff's office near here just had a big auction and sold cars, houses, land, plus a bunch of junk.

Here, all it takes is an accusation. There's no recourse and no way to recover the property here, not even if found innocent, not even if all charges are dropped the very next day, not even if you win a wrongful arrest suit.

We check regularly for guerrilla marijuana plants on our property, but I don't know what we'll do if we ever find any. If we turn it in, we could lose everything we own.

livetogive

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 12:50:14 PM »
You know what scares me?

I was about to give my opinion on the matter and my thoughts about liberty in the US but now am scared to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

oldtoyota

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 08:21:36 AM »
You know what scares me?

I was about to give my opinion on the matter and my thoughts about liberty in the US but now am scared to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

That is valid. However, it will only get worse if we do not speak up.


daverobev

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 10:59:54 AM »
Yup, I think world opinion on the US at large is taking somewhat of a hit lately.

It's certainly making me reconsider buying property in the US. That and the estate issues that could potentially arise.

I mean - the only country that taxes on worldwide income for all citizens, regardless of residency? F.U.!

I guess it's typical imperial thinking. But, again. F.U. :)

DirtBoy

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 11:03:20 AM »
That is valid. However, it will only get worse if we do not speak up.

Maybe.  It's been over 20 years since my parents were hit with a BS RICO case.  They took the house, their cars, and their bank accounts.  No criminal action was filed against my parents. Luckily they are tenacious, smart, and had other assets that were missed in seizure to pay for an expensive attorney.

They were able to demonstrate that the DA and local sheriff had falsified evidence presented to the judge to obtain their warrant.  Apparently, key people had a grudge against my folks and the county gets to spend the proceeds of the auction.  The county offered a deal of my parents silence and they had to leave their profession in exchange for their property back and the guarantee of no other actions against them.  They took the deal as urged by their attorney, because you are fighting a monster with almost unlimited resources and all of their wealth would have been consumed for "maybe" a satisfactory outcome. 

They lost almost half of their life savings in attorney fees and items that were "lifted" or never made it to the evidence room.  It also wrecked my folks emotionally to have their business destroyed.  It took years before they got back in the game and succeeded as they always have. 

So, I can personally attest to how bad this stuff is.  I doubt it will change any time soon.  There are too many interests that enjoy the benefits of the status quo.  Everyone has a breaking point, but I think we are far from that still, sadly.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2013, 11:06:48 AM »
You know what scares me?

I was about to give my opinion on the matter and my thoughts about liberty in the US but now am scared to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

Silence is consent.

Samsam

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2013, 12:32:00 PM »
You know what scares me?

I was about to give my opinion on the matter and my thoughts about liberty in the US but now am scared to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

Silence is consent.

woooahh, hopefully you don't apply that to the bedroom as well...

arebelspy

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2013, 03:58:31 PM »
You know what scares me?

I was about to give my opinion on the matter and my thoughts about liberty in the US but now am scared to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

I have felt similar things lately.

And it really bothers me.

See quote in my signature.
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EMP

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 04:00:41 PM »
You know what scares me?

I was about to give my opinion on the matter and my thoughts about liberty in the US but now am scared to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

I have felt similar things lately.

And it really bothers me.

See quote in my signature.

What is there possible left to say? NWA said it all 20 years ago.  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M8vei3L0L8


oldtoyota

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2013, 07:00:09 PM »

I mean - the only country that taxes on worldwide income for all citizens, regardless of residency? F.U.!

The above is very annoying. I have an acquaintance moving to Australia. He will have to pay both US *and* Australian taxes on his income even though he won't be living in the US. I think that is wrong.

oldtoyota

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2013, 07:03:12 PM »
PS: North Carolina is the only state with strict civil forfeiture laws according to The New Yorker.

Also--this will shock you all, I'm sure--the states that make sure the money can't be used by the people taking it have fewer people taking it. Shockers, huh?


ellevendollarbill

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2013, 07:45:08 PM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

mpbaker22

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2013, 11:04:49 PM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

Ah, so we should all be innocent until proven guilty, unless ellevendollarbill thinks your guilty.  Then we're all pretty damn sure you're guilty.

randymarsh

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2013, 07:14:14 AM »
The one about the couple's son selling pot and having their house taken is really scary.

The house wasn't even the "criminal's" property. It was $20 worth of weed. There's no way the parents could possibly be aware of everything their children are doing in the family home. Very scary for parents of any teenagers/college aged kids.

randymarsh

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2013, 07:16:53 AM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

If we legalized drugs and prostitution, the activity might not be so shady and attract sketchy people. Is there any evidence that this law reduces crime on an overall basis?

hoodedfalcon

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2013, 07:35:24 AM »

 Is there any evidence that this law reduces crime on an overall basis?

A quick search led me to this study by the DOJ in 2008: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e1108-Asset-Forfeiture.pdf

Quote
"Unfortunately, not a single published study has linked forfeiture activities to the prevalence of criminal activity."
(p.13)

The study goes on to argue that civil forfeiture laws have other benefits (adding to the police department's bottom line, etc), but in some areas there could be a benefit:  to remove a nuisance property (drug/prostitution house,etc.) and as disincentive (taking cars involved in illegal street racing, etc.). But it kinda sounds like they might just be guessing. (p.21)



Mr.Macinstache

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2013, 08:32:28 AM »

 Is there any evidence that this law reduces crime on an overall basis?

A quick search led me to this study by the DOJ in 2008: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Publications/e1108-Asset-Forfeiture.pdf

Quote
"Unfortunately, not a single published study has linked forfeiture activities to the prevalence of criminal activity."
(p.13)

The study goes on to argue that civil forfeiture laws have other benefits (adding to the police department's bottom line, etc), but in some areas there could be a benefit:  to remove a nuisance property (drug/prostitution house,etc.) and as disincentive (taking cars involved in illegal street racing, etc.). But it kinda sounds like they might just be guessing. (p.21)

In other news, Monsanto says their GMO crops are safe based on a study they conducted.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2013, 08:42:22 AM »
In other news, Monsanto says their GMO crops are safe based on a study they conducted.

Ha! I will give the DOJ some credit for admitting there is no real proof civil forfeiture reduces crime, and that the real benefit of the law is to fund law enforcement.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2013, 08:57:03 AM »
In other news, Monsanto says their GMO crops are safe based on a study they conducted.

Ha! I will give the DOJ some credit for admitting there is no real proof civil forfeiture reduces crime, and that the real benefit of the law is to fund law enforcement.

It has little to do with protecting and serving...its about generating revenue. When departments get to keep a portion of all the forfeiture it gives them incentive to do so, and ignore fighting crime, which makes them nothing.

Recently they grabbed 100's of acres of beautiful land in MO because the owner was a "Deadhead" and someone sold some drugs to another person on his property. Complete BS.

ellevendollarbill

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2013, 06:18:56 AM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

Ah, so we should all be innocent until proven guilty, unless ellevendollarbill thinks your guilty.  Then we're all pretty damn sure you're guilty.

Like I said, I'm not here to argue that the law is perfect, but I get that this is the internet so you'll assume the most extreme viewpoint based on limited information.  I'm just presenting another perspective on the problem. I'll also freely admit that prior to this discussion I had never considered the effects of this law in a suburban or rural context - it does sound frightening based on the examples that are being discussed here.

Where I live there are loads of absentee owners of shitty properties. These properties end up being occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes.  While there are likely better law enforcement tools that could be developed, my city uses this one to seize the property at times. The result is an end to the criminal activity, and with any luck the house is sold to a developer who sells it to someone with a steady job.  From where I sit, this is a good thing. Would I rather the city use a different tool to address the problem? Sure, but frankly I don't care as long as the immediate problem of active dealing on my block is resolved. 

hoodedfalcon

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2013, 06:54:03 AM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

Ah, so we should all be innocent until proven guilty, unless ellevendollarbill thinks your guilty.  Then we're all pretty damn sure you're guilty.

Like I said, I'm not here to argue that the law is perfect, but I get that this is the internet so you'll assume the most extreme viewpoint based on limited information.  I'm just presenting another perspective on the problem. I'll also freely admit that prior to this discussion I had never considered the effects of this law in a suburban or rural context - it does sound frightening based on the examples that are being discussed here.

Where I live there are loads of absentee owners of shitty properties. These properties end up being occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes.  While there are likely better law enforcement tools that could be developed, my city uses this one to seize the property at times. The result is an end to the criminal activity, and with any luck the house is sold to a developer who sells it to someone with a steady job.  From where I sit, this is a good thing. Would I rather the city use a different tool to address the problem? Sure, but frankly I don't care as long as the immediate problem of active dealing on my block is resolved.

I am not sure in the scenario you describe civil forfeiture would even apply. The point is to take property that is obtained via illegal activity/proceeds. I am not sure taking the property of an absentee landlord, who presumably has nothing to do with the illegal activity taking place in the house, is going to fly even in a very liberal application of the law, unless the landlord was somehow involved in the activity. There should be some nexus between the property ownership and the illegal activity. If the landlord is absentee, it sort of makes that nexus difficult to establish.

Rural

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2013, 07:54:15 PM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

Ah, so we should all be innocent until proven guilty, unless ellevendollarbill thinks your guilty.  Then we're all pretty damn sure you're guilty.

Like I said, I'm not here to argue that the law is perfect, but I get that this is the internet so you'll assume the most extreme viewpoint based on limited information.  I'm just presenting another perspective on the problem. I'll also freely admit that prior to this discussion I had never considered the effects of this law in a suburban or rural context - it does sound frightening based on the examples that are being discussed here.

Where I live there are loads of absentee owners of shitty properties. These properties end up being occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes.  While there are likely better law enforcement tools that could be developed, my city uses this one to seize the property at times. The result is an end to the criminal activity, and with any luck the house is sold to a developer who sells it to someone with a steady job.  From where I sit, this is a good thing. Would I rather the city use a different tool to address the problem? Sure, but frankly I don't care as long as the immediate problem of active dealing on my block is resolved.

I am not sure in the scenario you describe civil forfeiture would even apply. The point is to take property that is obtained via illegal activity/proceeds. I am not sure taking the property of an absentee landlord, who presumably has nothing to do with the illegal activity taking place in the house, is going to fly even in a very liberal application of the law, unless the landlord was somehow involved in the activity. There should be some nexus between the property ownership and the illegal activity. If the landlord is absentee, it sort of makes that nexus difficult to establish.

No nexus required at all. If the property is used, the property is forfeit. Doesn't matter if the owner knew, didn't know,  was trying to stop it, whatever. The best defense is to be friends with the sheriff or related to someone important; that has worked in some cases here. It's a major problem in this area, especially large tracts of land.

Forcus

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2013, 11:44:44 AM »
That is valid. However, it will only get worse if we do not speak up.

Maybe.  It's been over 20 years since my parents were hit with a BS RICO case.  They took the house, their cars, and their bank accounts.  No criminal action was filed against my parents. Luckily they are tenacious, smart, and had other assets that were missed in seizure to pay for an expensive attorney.

They were able to demonstrate that the DA and local sheriff had falsified evidence presented to the judge to obtain their warrant.  Apparently, key people had a grudge against my folks and the county gets to spend the proceeds of the auction.  The county offered a deal of my parents silence and they had to leave their profession in exchange for their property back and the guarantee of no other actions against them.  They took the deal as urged by their attorney, because you are fighting a monster with almost unlimited resources and all of their wealth would have been consumed for "maybe" a satisfactory outcome. 

They lost almost half of their life savings in attorney fees and items that were "lifted" or never made it to the evidence room.  It also wrecked my folks emotionally to have their business destroyed.  It took years before they got back in the game and succeeded as they always have. 

So, I can personally attest to how bad this stuff is.  I doubt it will change any time soon.  There are too many interests that enjoy the benefits of the status quo.  Everyone has a breaking point, but I think we are far from that still, sadly.

I'm surprised your parents aren't living in a cave somewhere plotting their revenge. I know I would.

mpbaker22

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2013, 07:26:15 AM »

oldtoyota

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2013, 07:48:29 AM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

Ah, so we should all be innocent until proven guilty, unless ellevendollarbill thinks your guilty.  Then we're all pretty damn sure you're guilty.

Like I said, I'm not here to argue that the law is perfect, but I get that this is the internet so you'll assume the most extreme viewpoint based on limited information.  I'm just presenting another perspective on the problem. I'll also freely admit that prior to this discussion I had never considered the effects of this law in a suburban or rural context - it does sound frightening based on the examples that are being discussed here.

Where I live there are loads of absentee owners of shitty properties. These properties end up being occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes.  While there are likely better law enforcement tools that could be developed, my city uses this one to seize the property at times. The result is an end to the criminal activity, and with any luck the house is sold to a developer who sells it to someone with a steady job.  From where I sit, this is a good thing. Would I rather the city use a different tool to address the problem? Sure, but frankly I don't care as long as the immediate problem of active dealing on my block is resolved.

I am not sure in the scenario you describe civil forfeiture would even apply. The point is to take property that is obtained via illegal activity/proceeds. I am not sure taking the property of an absentee landlord, who presumably has nothing to do with the illegal activity taking place in the house, is going to fly even in a very liberal application of the law, unless the landlord was somehow involved in the activity. There should be some nexus between the property ownership and the illegal activity. If the landlord is absentee, it sort of makes that nexus difficult to establish.

That is what's so scary about this. The owner doesn't have to be involved in the illegal activity for the property to be seized. If your kid buys marijuana on your front steps, your house can be taken even if you did not know about the sale.

If you own a farm and Joe Schmoo plants marijuana plants on it without your knowledge, your land can be taken from you. Imagine trying to make sure 100 acres has no illegally planted plants.


EMP

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2013, 01:30:55 PM »
On the other hand, this same law (or a similar one) has been used to shut down some truly awful criminal activity going on in several houses in my neighborhood.  I'm not here to argue that it is always used well, but in my experience it empowers law-abiding residents to work with police to take back their neighborhood from drug dealers and prostitution rings. I think it's worth recognizing the collateral damage of a repeal of this law would cause.

Ah, so we should all be innocent until proven guilty, unless ellevendollarbill thinks your guilty.  Then we're all pretty damn sure you're guilty.

Like I said, I'm not here to argue that the law is perfect, but I get that this is the internet so you'll assume the most extreme viewpoint based on limited information.  I'm just presenting another perspective on the problem. I'll also freely admit that prior to this discussion I had never considered the effects of this law in a suburban or rural context - it does sound frightening based on the examples that are being discussed here.

Where I live there are loads of absentee owners of shitty properties. These properties end up being occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes.  While there are likely better law enforcement tools that could be developed, my city uses this one to seize the property at times. The result is an end to the criminal activity, and with any luck the house is sold to a developer who sells it to someone with a steady job.  From where I sit, this is a good thing. Would I rather the city use a different tool to address the problem? Sure, but frankly I don't care as long as the immediate problem of active dealing on my block is resolved.

I am not sure in the scenario you describe civil forfeiture would even apply. The point is to take property that is obtained via illegal activity/proceeds. I am not sure taking the property of an absentee landlord, who presumably has nothing to do with the illegal activity taking place in the house, is going to fly even in a very liberal application of the law, unless the landlord was somehow involved in the activity. There should be some nexus between the property ownership and the illegal activity. If the landlord is absentee, it sort of makes that nexus difficult to establish.

That is what's so scary about this. The owner doesn't have to be involved in the illegal activity for the property to be seized. If your kid buys marijuana on your front steps, your house can be taken even if you did not know about the sale.

If you own a farm and Joe Schmoo plants marijuana plants on it without your knowledge, your land can be taken from you. Imagine trying to make sure 100 acres has no illegally planted plants.



or acres and acres of ditchweed.

Rural

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Re: The Cops Can Take Away Yr House, Cash--Even if You're Not Guilty
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2013, 08:08:02 PM »

If you own a farm and Joe Schmoo plants marijuana plants on it without your knowledge, your land can be taken from you. Imagine trying to make sure 100 acres has no illegally planted plants.

Welcome to my world. We try, but mosly we hope no one else finds it, either.

Truth in advertising: we have only 25 acres, although if you flattened it out it would likely be 40 :-)