Medical Marijuana

Update on the Ricks Forfieture Case

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Bob Ewing of the Institute for Justice has an op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today on the outrageous case of Luther and Meredith Ricks, a Lima, Ohio couple who lost $400,000 in life savings to civil asset forfeiture.

(Disclosure: After reading about the Ricks case on my personal site and at reason, a friend of mine persuaded his law firm to represent the Ricks pro-bono.)

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  1. Just making sure we end our week on the same note we began it? Is that pretty much how it is? Thanks.

  2. I say again: Balko is a sadist. He enjoys delivering the bad stuff on Mondays and Fridays.

  3. Can these people get a spot on something like Good Morning America or something? Nothing like having a bunch of old retired ladies calling their representatives daily with complaints to get something done in the US.

  4. If I ever get into a position of having some spreadin’ around money, I’m giving a whole bunch of it to the IJ.

  5. Can these people get a spot on something like Good Morning America or something? Nothing like having a bunch of old retired ladies calling their representatives daily with complaints to get something done in the US.

    Nah, Old Lady Ricks would have to have been turning tricks to catch Diane Sawyer’s eye.

  6. I have maintained, and will continue to do so, that the largest crime syndicate in America is the federal government.

  7. That’s my boyfriend, you just quoted!

    Go, Bob.

  8. I’m glad the Ricks are receiving legal support. I hope they win and Ohio appeals it to SCOTUS. We could us a SCOTUS ruling against such behavior.

  9. First, good op-ed but this line has got to go:

    Civil forfeiture is now a nationwide epidemic…

    It is no more an “epidemic” than there is a meth “epidemic”. Actions are not communicable, though they are learned.

    Second, TrickyVic, I would not be so sure that SCOTUS would rule against this so much as uphold it. Please review Kelo vs New London which prompted the 2006 law quoted in the op-ed.

  10. Is it really true that there is not a single individual in the FBI chain of command willing to stand up and say “this is wrong, give them their money back”? It would appear so.

    I don’t get it, what do these FBI guys get, a piece of the action? The love and admiration of their bosses?

  11. We will be doomed once Congress finds out about this and figures out a way to get some of the money.

  12. Is it really true that there is not a single individual in the FBI chain of command willing to stand up and say “this is wrong, give them their money back”? It would appear so.

    That would be admitting a mistake or a failure on the part of the law enforcement or its policies.

    That can NOT happen.

    In Illinois, a woman who was arrested and then charges dropped, for leaving her 2 year old child asleep in an locked car while she took her two kids to 50 feet away to drop coin in the Salvation Army bucket — is now suing because the Crestwood police are publicly disagreeing with the DA for dropping the charges.

    The lady is now suing because she wants the courts to force the police to admit they were wrong

  13. Is it really true that there is not a single individual in the FBI chain of command willing to stand up and say “this is wrong, give them their money back”? It would appear so.

    When this first appeared at H&R I noted that it is fucking obvious that this is not drug money. Bills have goddam dates on them. Yet, as you pointed out, nowhere in the chain of command has anyone stepped up for “justice”. Y’know, like in the “Department of Justice”. Tell me again that most cops are good cops. That it’s only a few bad apples, when their supervisors justify stealing money from hard working, taxpaying, productive citizens. If the boss thinks it’s OK, shouldn’t the guys on the ground get a little swag as well?

    Where are the sycophantic cop apologists today?

  14. Forfeiture in tytill spelt rawng

  15. From a government websit soliciting bids.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms requires the following items, Purchase Description Determined by Line Item, to the following:
    LI 001, EXACT MATCH ONLY – Leatherman Micra Color: Blue – Part number 64340101K Engraved with: ATF-Asset Forfeiture AND “always think forfeiture” PLEASE REFER TO THE ATTACHMENT. NOTE: ATF MAY REQUEST A SAMPLE TO DETERMINE IF IT MEETS OUR REQUIREMENT. A picture of the item may be substituted in place of the actual sample. ***Partial Shipments are allowed. Please use the space below to explain your delivery schedule. Preferred Delivery is between November 15th-23rd, NLT November 23rd***, 2000, EA;

    Mediageek brought this to my attention and deserves the credit. This seemed like an appropriate thread to share it.

  16. Where are the sycophantic cop apologists today?

    The law says that money connected to a crime can be seized. They had some pots in their house, which is a crime, so the money can be seized. If thay post 10% bond, then get a lawyer they can fight it if they prove the money is innocent. Also, I believe as a result of the patriot act, having more than 10K cash is illegal, punishable by 5 years in jail and forfiture of the money.

  17. Let me try that link again.
    You should test your links in preview before posting, boys and girls. It keeps the egg off your face.

  18. J sub D-

    Thanks! 🙂

  19. Fred, are you joking or are you assholeish enought to defendn the government here?

    If the former, not funny.
    If the later, go suck a ruminant’s cock, lickspittle.

  20. mediageek, I give credit where it’s due, my mother taught me well.

  21. FWIW, I received the link from a friend who got it from a forum posting who found it from…

  22. If thay post 10% bond, then get a lawyer they can fight it if they prove the money is innocent.

    Fred, I’m going to take the risk, and dip my toe into the pond which may contain a troll.

    Are you talking about a bail bond? 10% bond for what? They were not arrested, nor charged with a crime.

    “Prove that the money is innocent.”

    Our entire legal system is (supposed to be) based on the Presumption of Innocence. Therefore, the money is already innocent. Further meaning that the money is to remain in the hands of the owner, until the FBI and/or other law enforcement officials can prove it guilty.

  23. I love how law and order types like Fred (and I know Fred might be trolling or being sarcastic) seem to ignore the very basic “innocent until proven guilty” aspect of our system of law enforcement.

  24. Our entire legal system is (supposed to be) based on the Presumption of Innocence. Therefore, the money is already innocent. Further meaning that the money is to remain in the hands of the owner, until the FBI and/or other law enforcement officials can prove it guilty.

    Doesn’t work that way, people have rights, things don’t have rights. So they charge the money with a crime, because it has no rights it can be presumed guilty. To contest a forfeiture you need to post 10% of the value of the forfeited property, in this case 40K. This pays the governments court expenses, you get it back if you win, if you lose, you lose that too.

    They were not arrested, nor charged with a crime.

    The money may be guilty. They only need reasonably suspiscion, not probably cause. There are cases like US vs $10,000.00. No kidding.

  25. “Are you talking about a bail bond? 10% bond for what? They were not arrested, nor charged with a crime.”

    The way I understand it, they have to post a 10% bond to contest the forfeiture. If they loose, they’re out $40,000 plus legal fees.

  26. I love how law and order types like Fred (and I know Fred might be trolling or being sarcastic) seem to ignore the very basic “innocent until proven guilty” aspect of our system of law enforcement.

    innocent until proven guilty applies in Criminal cases, not cival cases.

  27. The way I understand it, they have to post a 10% bond to contest the forfeiture. If they loose, they’re out $40,000 plus legal fees.

    Correct, kind of hard to come up with 40K plus a lawyer after losing your assets. It has to be this way so we can get those we think are guilty bu can’t prove.

  28. Fred, do please to point out just how asinine and ridiculous the asset forfeiture laws are.

    You’re doing a bang-up job.

  29. er, continue to point out…

  30. Tell me again that most cops are good cops.

    There are a few good cops, and there are a few monsters. The vast majority are neither. They are, rather, the bored, the lazy, and the mediocre, for whom getting home to eat a steak or whatever is a far higher priority than either justice or their superior’s (or partner’s) malfeasance.

    You know, like pretty much every other job ever. I would submit, however, that if you tossed police unions, got citizen review boards (with, um, actual authority), and paid them a whole heckuva lot better, the quality of police and their service would likely go up significantly.

  31. “””Second, TrickyVic, I would not be so sure that SCOTUS would rule against this so much as uphold it. Please review Kelo vs New London which prompted the 2006 law quoted in the op-ed.”””

    Kelo was offered compensation for the property seized. The Ricks were not offered compensation for their property seized. If the issue is government seizure. Kelo complied with the constituional requirement of compensation, not so with the Ricks. Assuming property seizure is the issue. SCOTUS would rule with the Ricks since they were not offered compensation. However, I don’t know if that would be the issue since the FBI does like charging money with a crime as Fred mentioned. I would love to see a case about charging items with crimes appear before SCOTUS. Fred, I would be curious if in any of those cases, the money received a court appointed defense attorney.

    “”innocent until proven guilty applies in Criminal cases, not cival cases.”””

    I think it does, but the standard of proof is lower, the prepoderance of the evidence, in lieu of beyond reasonable doubt, like a criminal trial. However, civil asset forfieture is not about a civil trial anyway. It’s about assets used while commiting a criminal act. Get a DWI, they take your car. Sell some pot and they take any money they believe was made from the selling of pot.

    It doesn’t make any sense in this case because they are not being charged with a crime. My bet is that it is unconstituional. Even if SCOTUS upheld forfietures, they would shoot this one down because it’s not connected to due process since the Ricks are not being charged.

    No due process, no compensation. They just want to keep the money because it was there.
    How could it be constitutional? I firmly believe that SCOTUS would see it for what it is.

  32. You know, like pretty much every other job ever. I would submit, however, that if you tossed police unions, got citizen review boards (with, um, actual authority), and paid them a whole heckuva lot better, the quality of police and their service would likely go up significantly.

    I suspect you are right. I’d be willing to bet on it.

  33. I actually think “Fred” is funny. In really poor taste, but funny.

  34. Doesn’t work that way, people have rights, things don’t have rights. So they charge the money with a crime, because it has no rights it can be presumed guilty.

    *sigh*

    Clearly, you didn’t “get it”. I was using the same phraseology that you were. No, things don’t have rights, but people have rights to their things, ie, right of private property. So, in that vein, yes it does work that way.

    The money may be guilty. They only need reasonably suspiscion, not probably cause. There are cases like US vs $10,000.00. No kidding.

    But, to hoist you by your own petard, things are not guilty, people are. Therefore, forteiture laws are INCOMPATIBLE with the right to private property.

    I haven’t read the subsequent responses to your response to my response, but I’m quite sure someone more eloquent than I has probably already handed you your ass on your ridiculous line of thinking.

    Let me guess, Fred, law enforcement officer?

  35. It has to be this way so we can get those we think are guilty bu can’t prove.

    Who’s “we”, Fred? Let me reiterate my guess: Law enforcement?

  36. Tricky:

    Kelo was offered [inadequate] compensation for the property seized. The Ricks were not offered compensation for their property seized. If the issue is government seizure. Kelo complied with changed the constituional requirement of compensation from “public use” to public ‘purpose’.

    Fixed.

    Fred:

    innocent until proven guilty applies in Criminal cases, not cival cases.

    Fred, allow me to retort. Why, then, do you keep using the words “innocent” and “guilty” when talking about the role of the money in a “crime”? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
    Your own quote:

    The law says that money connected to a crime can be seized. They had some pots in their house, which is a crime, so the money can be seized. If thay post 10% bond, then get a lawyer they can fight it if they prove the money is innocent.
    […]
    because it has no rights it[the money] can be presumed guilty.

    So, let me see if I have this straight from your perspective:

    The Ricks committed no crime, but lost their money because it was connected to a crime committed by the Ricks. Money has no rights, because it isn’t a person, but yet the money is “guilty” and has to be proved “innocent”.

    I’ll see you at the donut shop.

  37. Yeah, this has nothing to do with Kelo. Here’s a case that’s more in the correct ballpark:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_v._%24124%2C700

  38. It’s the ancient legal princple of deodand: the forfeiture, theoretically to God (but actually to the sovereign acting in God’s stead), of a “thing” which is in some way at “fault” — “guilty”, a “nuisance”, the “product” of a wrongful act. It can be seen clearly in a nusiance case such as if someone let their dinosaur loose and it started rampaging; it could be killed and the meat taken by the head cave man without compensation to the owner. By degrees it can be transformed to a case like this, where even something as fungible and harmless as currency, which would’ve existed anyway and is not made any less nasty by passing thru gov’t hands, is forfeited for there being enough suspicion of being proceeds of crimes, even though there’s not enough evidence to prosecute any person for a crime.

  39. It’s the ancient legal princple of deodand: the forfeiture, theoretically to God (but actually to the sovereign acting in God’s stead), of a “thing” which is in some way at “fault” — “guilty”, a “nuisance”, the “product” of a wrongful act.

    An ancient legal practice? Why didn’tcha say so?!! Maybe we could disembowel them while we’re at it.

  40. “cival ”

    “LOLZ. WORSTEST LAW EVAR!”

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