Illegal gambling taking place in a home run by Dad, the police can say the new flat screen TV by saying it was bought by funds obtained illegally. Never mind that Mom has a job and pays for it. The police can seize it and then it becomes the owner's burden to show it was not bought with illegal spoils. By that time, the old adage of possession is 9/10ths of the law comes into play.
They can do this with the house, as well. Never mind, Mom owned the house before she married the bookie.
Despite this disturbing trend, Minnesota has taken action to reverse the present course. Their state government has just decided that someone needs to be convicted in a court of law, in a jury trial by peers, before any government can seize private property. Ben Swann has the details.
Minnesota- Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) signed a bill Tuesday that requires a criminal conviction of an individual before the government can claim ownership of their property in civil forfeiture cases.
In civil forfeiture cases, law enforcement seizes property that they believe has been involved in a crime. The government then directly sues the item or items in question (cash, jewelry, homes, etc.) rather than the owner, and the burden of proof is then placed onto the owner to prove that the property was not part of a crime. The process of going through civil courts to retrieve possessions is costly, sometimes costing more than the seized property itself.
It is easy to see why the local police force and government can become a racket unto itself.
Sheriff sales are bigger business these days than most people think. Think about it. Sheriff seizes the property and the owner will need to spend more money in the courts to get it back, than the property is worth. Sheriff keeps it and sells it for a 100% profit margin. All this happens even if the person charged is exonerated.
Is this how you want your elected officials to act? Who is going to stop them, if they are not properly restrained by a law preventing them from doing whatever they please?
Good for Minnesota for leading the way. And as you may have noted, it wasn't a Republican who signed this libertarian piece of legislation. Even Democrats get it right once in awhile, even if it's by accident.