LOCAL FOUNDATION WEIGHS IN AGAINST CIVIL FORFEITURE
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MONTGOMERY, AL: The Foundation for Moral Law, an Alabama-based nonprofit organization, file an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Timbs v. Alabama, arguing that civil forfeiture is unfair and unconstitutional.
Timbs had been convicted of selling drugs valued at $225 and was sentenced to a year of house arrest, five years probation, and payment of fees and fines totaling about $1,200. But then the State of Indiana seized his Land Rover, valued at about $42,000, as a civil forfeiture because the vehicle had been used in the sale of the drugs. The Foundation’s brief argues that this seizure violates the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment.
Foundation President Kayla Moore explained that “The Foundation believes in law and order and we support law enforcement. But we are a government of laws and not of men, and government officials must follow the Constitution just like the rest of us.”
Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe added, “After gaining a conviction and a fair sentence, the State of Indiana now wants a second bite of the apple through civil forfeiture, all without any of the protections guaranteed criminal defendants in the process of criminal justice. Civil forfeiture is an added punishment that improperly mixes criminal law and civil law. We are asking the Supreme Court to put a stop to this injustice.”