Here’s a situation that you may not have considered: you’re driving along, riding a little dirty. Cops pull you over, and find a substantial, but not crazy large, amount of contraband in your car. Say, less than $1,000. They arrest you, and then they take your car. Forever. Even if it’s worth a lot more than $1,000. But in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has said that might not be totally kosher. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in favor of Tyson Timbs, an Indiana man who had his Land Rover seized following his conviction on minor drug charges. Timbs bought the SUV with money from his dad’s life insurance policy, not drug money, but the state seized it anyway. The Supreme Court’s ruling isn’t just about Timbs, though, and will affect huge numbers of people who have property seized excessively. Timbs’ 2012 Land Rover LR2 was taken as part of a practice known as civil forfeiture, in which state and local governments fine or seize people’s property after they’ve been tied up with some crime, often minor. It’s a cancer, as The New Yorker documented nearly six years ago; groups across the political spectrum filed briefs on behalf of… Read full this story
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