Author: jjustinwilson

  • Statement Supporting Introduction of Federal Civil Forfeiture Reform Legislation

    Today, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Mich.), along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, (R-Va.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), introduced the DUE PROCESS Act, which would strengthen private property rights by making it harder for federal officials to forfeit property. Following the bill’s introduction, Darpana Sheth, an attorney at the Institute for […]

  • Documents: Feds Stymying State Civil Forfeiture Reform Efforts by Cutting Off Funds

    IJ Calls on Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to End Their Efforts to Halt Civil Forfeiture Reform Arlington, VA—A cache of documents uncovered by the Institute for Justice today demonstrate that federal law enforcement officials in the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Treasury are collaborating with local law enforcement organizations in California to undermine efforts to reform the state’s […]

  • Facing Intense Pressure, IRS Drops Civil Forfeiture Case in North Carolina

    Government Moves To Return $107,000 Seized From Innocent Small Business Owner; Refuses To Pay Interest Or Attorney Fees Arlington, Va.—Two months ago, U.S. Attorney Steve West told Lyndon McLellan that any attempt to garner publicity about his civil forfeiture case “doesn’t help. It just ratchets up feelings in the agency. My offer is to return […]

  • Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Philadelphia Forfeiture Lawsuit

    Philadelphia Must Defend Its Aggressive Forfeiture Laws in Court Philadelphia—In an important first step to protecting property rights in Philadelphia, late yesterday a federal judge denied the city’s and the District Attorney’s  motion to dismiss the class-action lawsuit challenging its civil forfeiture laws. The ruling by Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is […]

  • IRS Caught Violating Its Own Civil Forfeiture Policy; U.S. Attorney Tells Small Business Owner to Keep His Mouth Shut

    Institute for Justice Joins Lawsuit to Defend North Carolina Small Business Owner Who Had $107,000 Seized by the IRS for So-called “Structuring” IRS Commissioner Told Congress that the Case is “not following the policy,” but Justice Department Presses On Fairmont, N.C.—Lyndon McLellan has spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart, a gas station, […]

  • New Data Analysis Shows Revised Department of Justice Forfeiture Policy Would Stop Only a Fraction of Seizures

    IJ Client and Attorneys to Tell Congress That Recent Reforms Are a Good Start, but Legislation Is Needed to Protect Americans’ Fundamental Rights Arlington, Va.—With Congress set to consider comprehensive reforms to the federal government’s civil forfeiture statutes on Wednesday, a new analysis reveals that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recently announced policy change curtailing federal […]

  • Comprehensive Federal Civil Forfeiture Reform Introduced in U.S. House and Senate

    WASHINGTON—Today, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., introduced the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act of 2015. The FAIR Act would correct serious defects in current federal civil forfeiture law that place enormous burdens on owners faced with the loss of their property while permitting law enforcement officials to profit from forfeiture. The bill […]

  • U.S. Department of Justice Shuts Down Major Aspect of its Civil Forfeiture Program

    Arlington, VA.—Marking an important shift in federal law enforcement policy, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice’s adoption program—which permits state law enforcement agencies to turn seized properties over to the federal government for forfeiture—will be suspended. But the Justice Department policy does nothing to limit the widely used […]

  • Feds Seize Long Island Family Business’ Entire Bank Account

    Islip, New York—Imagine waking up one day to find out that the IRS had seized your entire savings, without ever charging you with a crime. Unfortunately, that nightmare is a reality for brothers Jeffrey, Richard and Mitch Hirsch. In May 2012, the federal government used a legal process called civil forfeiture to seize their entire […]

  • Feds Seize Family Restaurant’s Entire Bank Account

    Arlington, Va.—In August 2013, the federal government used civil forfeiture to obtain a secret warrant to seize Carole Hinder’s entire bank account—totaling nearly $33,000—even though she did nothing wrong. Now Carole has teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to fight back in federal court. Read a Front Page New York Times Feature on Carole Carole has […]