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    Civil Asset Forfeiture: The Biggest Little Racket in Nevada

    It was highway robbery, but they called it civil asset forfeiture. On the last day of his 2,400-mile drive to start a new life on the West Coast, Matt Lee found himself on the side of the road, his belongings combed through, and drug dogs sniffing his car. Why? Because … More

    DOJ Report Uncovers $15,624 in Questionable Police Expenditures

    A recent Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general’s audit of the Lansing, Michigan, police department questioned $15,624 in expenditures from 2009 to 2012. The money wound up in Lansing by way of the DOJ’s equitable sharing program, a cooperative civil forfeiture program designed “to enhance cooperation among federal, state, and … More

    Georgia Fails to Pass Civil Forfeiture Reform

    Civil forfeiture has gained prominence as a tool to combat the drug trade; however, its targets can be as mundane as motorists or as industrious as independent grocers. Civil forfeiture abuse is a real problem, and many states are considering reforming these laws to protect innocent people who too often … More

    A Tank on Every Corner? Why Police Departments Are Acquiring Armored Vehicles—and What to Do About It

    Most Americans aren’t used to seeing anything that looks like a tank in their neighborhoods. Yet with police departments from California to Texas to Ohio State University acquiring armored vehicles from the federal government, that may soon change. These armored vehicles, designed to fend off insurgent attacks and capable of … More

    Let Them Eat Cupcakes: 11-Year-Old Entrepreneur’s Dreams Crushed by Overregulation

    Like aspiring American entrepreneurs throughout our country’s history, 11-year-old Chloe Stirling wanted to help herself by helping others. Determined to save money for a car when she comes of age, Chloe baked, sold, and donated cupcakes for two years. She ran her business, called, “Hey, Cupcake!” out of her parents’ … More

    DHS Secretary: Breaking the Law Earns Illegal Immigrants “the Right to Be Citizens”

    Last Friday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson broke into the headlines with his claim that unlawful immigrants had “earned the right to be citizens.” That’s a disturbing comment from one of the nation’s chief law enforcement officers. Amnesty, whether it provides some form of legalization or full … More

    Utah's New Law Helps Law Enforcement Nab Property of Innocent People

    In 2000, Utah voters took a major step toward protecting innocent property owners from abuses under the state’s civil forfeiture laws by passing Initiative B. Thirteen years later, the Utah legislature ignored the will of their constituents and—without debate—passed a new law that rolls back many of the original reforms. … More

    Innocent People Have Their Homes Seized in Philadelphia

    Philadelphia is known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” but for residents who have had their homes seized under the city’s civil forfeiture scheme, it hardly seems brotherly. Sisters Tracy and Sheila Clements lived together in their childhood home bequeathed to them by their mother. On April 21, 2010, their … More

    Bail Bond Bait and Switch: Police Seize Money from Innocent Mother

    As much as 90 percent of the currency circulating throughout the United States contains trace amounts of cocaine. No one would expect the police to claim someone’s money must be “dirty” based on trace presence of drugs alone. But that is exactly what law enforcement officers in Brown County, Wisconsin, … More

    Grand Theft Auto: D.C. Metro Edition

    Washington, D.C., is often described as being out of touch with the rest of the country. However, our nation’s capital and the rest of the country are in lockstep regarding civil forfeiture—the often-abused ability of the government to seize property involved in crimes. In May 2011, Frederick Simms was pulled … More