News and Events for Attorneys and Executives

Supreme Court Limits Police Powers to Seize Private Property

By on February 24, 2019 in Criminal Law, Government

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution places limits on the ability of states and localities to take and keep cash, cars, houses and other private property used to commit crimes, reports The New York Times.

Reporters Adam Liptak and Shaila Dewan explains that the practice, known as civil forfeiture, “is a popular way to raise revenue and is easily abused, and it has been the subject of widespread criticism across the political spectrum. The court’s decision will open the door to new legal arguments when the value of the property seized was out of proportion to the crimes involved.”

All nine justices found that the Excessive Fines Clause applies to the states under the 14th Amendment. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the historical and logical case for the conclusion is overwhelming.

Read the NY Times article.