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Forfeiture protections are afforded those facing state civil forfeiture cases

In Timbs a person was convicted of a heroin offense.  His vehicle was seized and, despite proof that he inherited money from his father's death from which he purchased the vehicle, the state forfeited his vehicle.  He appealed to the SCOTUS which held that state civil forfeiture laws still must comply with the protections afforded those in federal precedent.  Now this opinion may not give a lot of protection to those facing a vehicle forfeiture.  It does require a close look at the penalties allowed for the criminal conviction under which act the forfeiture proceeds.  The vehicle value in the Timbs case was 4x in excess of the maximum fine allowed by Indiana statute for the offense.  Many vehicle forfeitures concern vehicles with very little value.  Commonly a vehicle of only a few thousand dollars worth is the subject of these forfeiture actions.  However, when a person's vehicle or home is being sought for forfeiture, the Timbs case can easily place a bar above which the government may not prevail.  Again, the issue adjudicated in this case are limited.  But it definitely gives a claimant more protections that previously stated in an opinion
Brian L. Polinske
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