Minnesota Legislature Takes Action to Reform Property Forfeiture Laws in Response to Supreme Court Ruling

St. Paul, Minnesota – The Minnesota Legislature is poised to pass new property forfeiture laws in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that declared the state’s current system unconstitutional. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the case of Tyler v. Hennepin County found that the county violated a woman’s constitutional rights by selling her forfeited property for more than the amount she owed in taxes and keeping the surplus. Earlier this year, the state agreed to pay a settlement of $109 million to resolve class action lawsuits filed on behalf of Minnesotans … Read more

Marine Veteran’s Lawsuit Against Nevada State Police Moves Forward, Challenging Unjust Civil Forfeiture Laws

RENO, Nev. – A lawsuit challenging Nevada’s civil forfeiture laws, filed by a Marine veteran whose life savings were seized during a routine traffic stop, will proceed after a judge denied the state’s motion to dismiss. The incident happened nearly three years ago when Stephen Lara was pulled over on I-80 near USA Parkway for allegedly following a semi-truck too closely. During the traffic stop, troopers confiscated a total of $87,000 in cash from Lara’s vehicle, despite not arresting him or charging him with any crime. Lara, who was on a journey to visit his … Read more

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Government in Controversial Aurora Marijuana Grow Operation Forfeiture Case

AURORA, Colo. – A federal judge recently ruled that an Aurora couple who used their home to illegally grow marijuana must surrender the property to the government. The judge concluded that this forfeiture does not violate the constitutional provision against excessive fines. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a petition in 2019 to take possession of the couple’s home, located in the 23000 block of East Wagontrail Avenue in Aurora. Law enforcement had previously discovered 828 marijuana plants being grown at the residence, along with evidence of illegal electricity diversion. Jia Bao Yao, the individual … Read more