John Stossel: Civil Asset Forfeiture – Legalized Theft?

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Top Tier Gear USA


Did you know that the government can seize your property – cash, jewelry, cars  – and even your home – without charging or convicting you with a crime?

The racket is called civil asset forfeiture. In such cases, the government proceeds directly against your property.  An individual doesn’t need to be convicted of a crime, so criminal procedure does not apply. And because the forfeiture is against the property, the owner is a third party claimant in related court proceedings.

Your Fifth and Fourteenth amendment rights don’t apply in these cases.

It is, in essence, legalized theft.

Here, John Stossel discusses the issue with Eapen Thampy of Americans for Forfeiture Reform.

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  • Legal is the antithesis of law.

  • Rick E.

    The CIVIL asset forfeiture program is ABSOLUTELY unconstitutional and quasi-legal THEFT. There is NO due process, as the authorities seize the car or money, and do not have to prove that the person was guilty of anything. One must take the authorities to court to get one penny back, and prove they got the asset legally.(which is damned near impossible unless one is wealthy).

    You (actually the object), are thus presumed guilty with the burden of proof upon yourself! However they get around this by stating that the OBJECT not the person is guilty, and that’s why almost all civil forfeitures end with no arrest of the person driving the car.

    Criminal asset forfeiture IS legal as the authorities must prove that the person is guilty of some crime, not presume that the object is guilty.

    But civil asset forfeiture is theft and should be stopped immediately!
    The war on drugs is responsible for this cash cow!

  • CharlesH

    Everything is bullshit any more.

  • Quitthevictimhood

    What the hell is going on???? We need to start posting these cops home addresses on the internet and protest in their neighborhoods. This country is run by nothing but a bunch of communists.

    • Cracker122049

      the cops and sheriffs are the enforcers for the communist and are there to protect them and not you!

  • Elmo Fudginputz

    Well it only seems reasonable that there are Americans out there that will tire of this sort of thing and fight back. Maybe federal or state agents will die in such numbers that this asset forfeiture will become about as popular as gential herpes or the swine flu, at least among Federal and state agents, no?

  • BlueyBlogger

    Cannot believe the stupidity of Americans. One man comes along with the solution to ALL your problems, but what do Americans do? Castigate him thoroughly, yet he still wishes to help you. Personally I wouldn’t lift a finger to save an American, even if they were on fire.
    You got yourselves into this mess, You did it and nobody else.
    You have been told to instigate a Quantum Grammar Trust, whereby your assets are 100% protected from the government as well as your own stupidity, but who listens??? Nobody that’s who. Too bloody interested in football and baseball and other games played with BALLS. The sooner MEN & WOMEN get their hands of their balls, maybe the brain will take over….but I very much doubt it.
    Bring on the aliens, they deserve this certainly don’t.

  • Georg Dirr

    Sounds like a scam to keep police interested in finding drug dealers to take their property and profit from it.
    The war on drugs profits the pharmaceutical industry much.

  • teseeker

    Another forfeiture scam is the property tax auctions. It’s good for cleaning up abandoned properties in poor areas, but it should not apply to a home lived in! That tax bill should go as a lien against the property and get paid when it’s sold. No forfeiture allowed, only a reasonable interest to keep up with inflation until the house exchanges hands thru a sale. People are going homeless because their house was stolen for peanuts! Some states allow investment groups to buy huge quantities, then charge outragous fees so they can steal also!