Indiana Lawyer’s top story of 2018 began inside an Indianapolis bar in the cool early-morning hours of Thursday, March 15. Attorney General Curtis Hill had had a few drinks. A few too many, several witnesses would later claim.
Marion resident Tyson Timbs never expected to be the face of civil forfeiture reform at the United States Supreme Court. Several times during his five-year legal battle, Timbs wanted to throw in the towel. Sometimes, all he wanted was to put his past trouble with the law behind him. But he also said he wanted to fight against what he views as widespread unjust civil forfeiture practices.
Indiana’s civil forfeiture framework has received ample attention from the state legislative and judicial branches in recent years, but now, the nation’s highest court will weigh in on a case that could have implications in Indiana and nationwide.
With a little more than four months until the start of the 2018 Indiana General Assembly, lawmakers are back to work to consider two high-profile issues being closely watched by law enforcement and prosecutors throughout the state: civil forfeiture and constitutional carry — the proposition that people should be able to carry handguns without a license.
The state must pay back more than $77,000 to a man after seizing cash from his vehicle, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled, finding the money was unlawfully seized and turned over to the federal government.
The Indiana Court of Appeals grappled with a case Tuesday dealing with a cash seizure and turnover after a traffic stop, getting stuck on whether the state’s arguments of standing were presented on appeal for the first time.
Questions of whether probable cause existed for law enforcement to seize more than $60,000 in cash from a FedEx package were heard before the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday, with an attorney for the state urging justices to overturn recent precedent to allow the seizure.
Take your pick from the political spectrum: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas each wrote eloquently in rejecting the Indiana Supreme Court’s tortured logic in an extreme civil forfeiture case. Thank goodness.
The US Supreme Court decision in a landmark Indiana civil forfeiture case ruled that the Eighth Amendment Excessive Fines Clause is incorporated to the states, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion declined to answer one key question: When does the Eighth Amendment prohibit civil forfeiture?
In another dispute in an Indiana civil forfeiture case, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied issuing an opinion on a district court ruling that found parts of the state statute unconstitutional, finding the lower court was not given a chance to address the state’s effort to fix the problem.
The Eighth Amendment’s protection against excessive fines has been incorporated to the states via the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States has unanimously ruled in deciding an Indiana civil forfeiture case that posed the question.
WASHINGTON — The grandeur and history of the United States Supreme Court stood in stark contrast to the small-town Indiana roots of a potentially landmark civil forfeiture case federal justices heard Wednesday.
Contrary readings of Article 8, Section 2 of the Indiana Constitution and its implication on Indiana’s civil forfeiture statute were at issue Thursday when the Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case brought by the Virginia-based Institute for Justice.