The Marion man at the center of an Indiana civil forfeiture case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court reached a milestone in his case this week when his vehicle was returned to him. However, the court battle is not over.
It’s been seven years since Marion man Tyson Timbs lost his Land Rover to a law enforcement seizure, but the ensuing forfeiture litigation that has already made its way to the nation’s highest court is now heading into its second round of appeals.
After seven years, two appearances before the Indiana Supreme Court and a trip to the United States Supreme Court, a Marion man fighting for the return of his seized vehicle has won his battle, with a trial court judge ordering the “immediate” return of his SUV. But a pending appeal means the case is not over yet.
Attorneys representing governmental entities will serve their clients well to read the Indiana Supreme Court’s opinion from Timbs, which will provide insights into certain issues the court considers important in evaluating claims that a specific forfeiture violated the respondent’s rights under the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment.
Little more than a year after the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision incorporating to the states the Eight Amendment protection against excessive fines, the Grant County man who bears the name of the case is headed back to trial.
A panel of appellate judges has affirmed the forfeiture of roughly $17,000 in cash seized from a man after his involvement in a mobile shootout in Indianapolis. The panel concluded there was a nexus between the money and qualifying criminal activity.
The Southern District of Indiana collected more than $10 million from criminal and civil actions and asset forfeitures in fiscal year 2019, with more than $3 million collected through asset forfeitures.
Legislative amendments to Indiana’s much-debated civil forfeiture scheme did not defeat a pre-existing forfeiture action in state court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, finding the amendments did not constitute an ex post facto law.
The term “excessive fine” is understandable. Unless you are a member of the Indiana Supreme Court. Then, in the context of civil asset forfeiture, the term becomes an enigma to be parsed in three dozen pages of ridiculous legal logic that even one of the five justices confessed he could not comprehend.
An Indiana civil forfeiture case that made its way to the United States Supreme Court will now return to the Grant Superior Court after the Indiana Supreme Court developed a framework for determining if the forfeiture of property is excessive under the Eighth Amendment.
The Rush County prosecutor will be allowed to keep $22,907 in cash seized from a local marijuana dealer’s home safe that also contained his weed stash, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, but the state will have to return some seized property and also may have to return the man’s truck.
For the third time in three years, Marion resident Tyson Timbs took his case before a Supreme Court. The man whose name became noted civil forfeiture caselaw said after arguments Friday, “I feel like I stand for something now.”
The practice of diverting civil forfeiture proceeds away from the Common School Fund to reimburse law enforcement costs is constitutional under Article 8, Section 2 of the Indiana Constitution, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled, answering the longstanding question of whether the constitution requires all forfeiture proceeds to go to the Common School Fund.
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the seizure of $60,000 in cash believed to be drug money, finding the officer who intercepted the parcel holding the cash had probable cause to think the package was related to drug trafficking. The unanimous ruling also upholds the turnover of the cash to the federal government, though it doesn’t address whether the money will be forfeited. The Court of Appeals previously had ruled the seizure was unlawful.
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?