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1 CN BC: Civil Forfeiture Violates Charter, Case ArguesMon, 12 Feb 2018
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Dhillon, Sunny Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:02/12/2018

British Columbia's civil forfeiture regime violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by forcing individuals to produce evidence against themselves and by resulting in penalties that are grossly disproportionate, says a new constitutional challenge.

The case, which will proceed to trial in B.C. Supreme Court in November, stems from a 2015 police search of a multi-million-dollar home on Vancouver's west side that turned up hundreds of marijuana plants. It is expected to be the second constitutional case involving B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office heard this year; a case involving the Hells Angels is scheduled for April.

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2 US PA: Norco Drug Forfeiture Program Netted $132k Last YearMon, 21 Aug 2017
Source:Morning Call (Allentown, PA) Author:Yates, Riley Area:Pennsylvania Lines:86 Added:08/25/2017

Northampton County's drug forfeiture program netted $132,000 last year, the district attorney's office announced.

Northampton County's drug forfeiture program seized more than $132,000 in the past year, on par with other years despite heightened scrutiny of the practice nationwide.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, the program brought in $122,000 in cash, plus $9,900 from the sale of forfeited vehicles, District Attorney John Morganelli announced.

The proceeds represented an increase from the $112,000 averaged in the four previous years. But they were well short of the program's record in fiscal 2011, when $283,000 was seized.

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3US: Column: Forget Russia, Fire Sessions Over ForfeitureTue, 25 Jul 2017
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Reynolds, Glenn Harlan Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:07/25/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to steal from you.

Oh, he doesn't call it that. He calls it "civil forfeiture." But what it is, is theft by law enforcement. Sessions should be ashamed. If I were president, he'd be fired.

Under "civil forfeiture," law enforcement can take property from people under the legal fiction that the property itself is guilty of a crime. ("Legal fiction" sounds better than "lie," but in this case the two terms are near synonyms.) It was originally sold as a tool for going after the assets of drug kingpins, but nowadays it seems to be used against a lot of ordinary Americans who just have things that law enforcement wants. It's also a way for law enforcement agencies to maintain off-budget slush funds, thus escaping scrutiny.


4 US: Justice Dept. Revives A Policy On The Seizure Of AssetsThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ruiz, Rebecca R. Area:United States Lines:104 Added:07/20/2017

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department revived a widely criticized practice on Wednesday that allows state and local law enforcement officials to use federal law to seize the cash, cars or other personal property of people suspected of crimes but not charged.

The department issued new guidance expanding the federal government's use of so-called civil asset forfeiture, labeling it a necessary tool to fight crime. But civil rights advocates say it can be abused by law enforcement officials and deprive people who have done nothing wrong of their right to due process, a charge that Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, contested.

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5US GA: Georgia Welcomes Forfeiture Rule ReinstatementThu, 20 Jul 2017
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Ondieki, Anastaciah Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/20/2017

Georgia law enforcement agencies lost access to millions of dollars in potential funding when the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 all but shut down a practice criticized as encouraging policing for profit.

Now state law enforcement leaders are welcoming U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Wednesday announcement that the department is reinstating "adoptive forfeiture." Effective immediately, the federal government will help state and local police agencies keep cash or other assets they have seized on suspicion of ties to state crimes. Agencies can keep such property permanently even if no one is ever convicted.

New safeguards will help prevent abuses, the department said in a directive to U.S. attorneys and other Justice Department officials announcing the new policy.


6 CN ON: Forfeiture Sought For Pot ProceedsMon, 10 Apr 2017
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Powell, Betsy Area:Ontario Lines:102 Added:04/13/2017

Cash seized at Pearson airport from alleged marijuana courier

The attorney general is seeking a forfeiture order for almost $600,000 seized from the carry-on luggage of an alleged pot dispensary courier waiting to board a flight to Vancouver at Pearson airport in January.

"There are reasonable grounds for the court to find that the property that is the subject of this proceeding is the proceeds and/or instrument of unlawful activity within the meaning of the Civil Remedies Act," reads the notice of application filed in Superior Court last month.

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7 US: OPED: Trump Should Be Appalled By Police Asset ForfeitureMon, 06 Mar 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:McGrath, Lee Area:United States Lines:108 Added:03/09/2017

America's sheriffs have given President Trump a woefully inaccurate view of civil asset forfeiture-the process through which police seize, and prosecutors literally sue, cash, cars and real estate that they suspect may be connected to a crime. "People want to say we're taking money and without due process. That's not true," a Kentucky sheriff told the president last month at a White House meeting. Critics of forfeiture, the sheriff added, simply "make up stories."

In fact, thousands of Americans have had their assets taken without ever being charged with a crime, let alone convicted. Russ Caswell almost lost his Massachusetts motel, which had been run by his family for more than 50 years, because of 15 "drug-related incidents" there from 1994-2008, a period through which he rented out nearly 200,000 rooms.

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