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Blog

Rule 41 Violates Fourth Amendment

The Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States has proposed an amendment to Rule 41. While these rules are typically procedural changes, the proposed changes in Rule 41 are actually a substantive policy change that provides federal law enforcement sweeping new powers to remotely search and seize electronic storage media.

10/14/2016
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Weldon Angelos Released, Mandatory Minimums Continue to Put Nonviolent Criminals Away

Weldon Angelos’s story has become known around the country as a horrifying example of how harsh mandatory minimums can ruin the lives of non-violent criminals and their families. Angelos was sentenced in 2004 to 55 years for drug-related crimes. Judge Paul G. Cassell, who handed down the sentence, was vocal about his frustration with a system that would have Angelos spend the rest of his life incarcerated while child rapists and airplane hijackers received significantly shorter sentences.

06/16/2016
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Nebraska Asset Forfeiture Reform Passes through Legislature, Headed to the Governor’s Desk

The people of Nebraska have spoken, and they are calling for a change in the state’s asset forfeiture laws. Earlier this week, LB 1106 passed through the state’s unicameral legislature with a vote of 38 to 8, with 3 abstentions. The bill is now heading to the Governor Pete Ricketts' desk, waiting for a signature to become law.

04/15/2016
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Blog

Justice Department Restarts Program Used to Take People's Property Without Due Process

The Department of Justice, on Monday, restarted the Equitable Sharing Program, which allows federal law enforcement agencies to coordinate with their state and local counterparts to pursue forfeiture of seized money and property under federal civil asset forfeiture laws. The program, which distributes up to 80 percent of the proceeds from these forfeitures to the state and local law enforcement agencies, was suspended in December because of budget constraints. Payments owed were deferred.

03/31/2016
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Blog

IRS Will Pay Legal Fees of Business Owner Whose Money Was Wrongfully Seized

A federal judge has ordered the Internal Revenue Service to pay the legal fees of Lyndon McLellan, a convenience store owner based in Fairmont, North Carolina, whose bank account was wrongfully seized by the powerful tax agency in July 2014. The IRS had previously agreed to drop the attempted forfeiture of the $107,702.66 it stole from McLellan.

02/05/2016
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How the Justice Department Is Funding Progressive Groups

When a big corporation is charged with antitrust or regulatory violations, and fined billions of dollars, have you ever wondered where that money goes? You might assume that it is deposited in the United States Treasury, for general purposes, or that it goes to victims of the companies’ misconduct. In some cases, you’d be right, but it turns out an awful lot of that money is being funneled straight into progressive non-profits, at the express direction of the Department of Justice.

01/25/2016
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Now Is the Time to Act on Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Santa Claus came a little earlier for those who have been urging for changes to federal civil asset forfeiture laws. The Department of Justice sent a letter to state and local law enforcement agencies notifying them that it would defer equitable sharing payments due to budget constraints. The step is temporary, as the Department of Justice wants to resume the program at a later time.

12/28/2015
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California Assembly succumbs to misinformation and bullying from opponents of civil asset forfeiture reform

The California Assembly killed legislation on Thursday that would have addressed a concerning loophole in state civil asset forfeiture law. The loophole allows state and local law enforcement to circumvent protections for innocent property owners in California's forfeiture laws by pursuing seized property under the federal government's terrible forfeiture laws.

09/10/2015
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Find out why this Congressman called civil asset forfeiture "legal robbery" and "completely unconstitutional"

The federal government's civil asset forfeiture laws have been the target of well-deserved and long overdue criticism from conservatives, libertarians, and even progressives. As FreedomWorks recently noted in From High Seas to Highway Robbery, federal civil asset forfeiture laws, throw the presumption of innocence, a cornerstone of the American legal system out the window.

09/10/2015
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Federal government threatens states considering comprehensive civil asset forfeiture reform

The Department of Justice and Department of the Treasury are interfering in a debate over a piece of legislation currently in the California Assembly that would close a loophole in the state's civil asset forfeiture laws. The loophole allows law enforcement to circumvent protections in the state's forfeiture laws by pursuing forfeitures in federal courts, which creates a serious problem for innocent property owners.

09/08/2015

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