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New Mexico Passed a Law Ending Civil Forfeiture. Albuquerque Ignored It, and Now It’s Getting Sued

A new lawsuit filed by an Albuquerque woman and the Institute for Justice challenges the city's refusal to shut down its lucrative vehicle seizure program.

Jim Thompson/ZUMA Press/NewscomJim Thompson/ZUMA Press/NewscomAlbuquerque resident Arlene Harjo, 56, is paying off a loan for a car she doesn't have, because the city seized it for a crime it readily admits she didn't commit, under an asset forfeiture program that is supposed to be banned.

After her son was pulled over for drunk driving, Harjo became one of roughly a thousand people every year who have their car seized by the city of Albuquerque in a process heavily weighted against the property owner. But unlike the vast majority of those cases, she's not rolling over. A new lawsuit filed Wednesday in state court by Harjo and the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning public interest law firm, argues the city's lucrative vehicle seizure program stands in direct contradiction of recently passed state laws and "is driven by a pernicious—and unconstitutional—profit incentive" that deprived Harjo of her 14th Amendment due process rights.

"It's a scam and a rip off," Harjo said. "They're taking property from people who just loan a vehicle to someone. It's happened a lot. Everybody I've talked to has had it happen to them or somebody they know, and everybody just pays."

Republican New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez signed a bill into law last year essentially ending civil asset forfeiture in the state, based largely on critical stories about programs like Albuquerque's. Under civil asset forfeiture laws, law enforcement can seize property without ever convicting, or even charging, the owner with a crime. New Mexico's reforms require a criminal conviction to seize property.

Despite the reforms, Albuquerque has continued to seize cars like Harjo's, arguing the law does not apply to it. Two state lawmakers sued the city last year for its refusal to comply with the new law, but their case was dismissed due to lack of standing.

Albuquerque has a particularly aggressive program to seize vehicles from drivers suspected of driving under the influence. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the city has seized 8,369 vehicles and collected more than $8.3 million in forfeiture revenues since 2010, roughly 1,000 cars a year.

"The cases I've seen are usually where parents own a car, their kid goes out and does something stupid, and then the parents end up getting their car seized," Lisa Torraco, one of the state lawmakers who sued the city, and a practicing attorney, told me in an interview earlier this year.

Which is exactly what happened to Harjo.

In April, Harjo's son Tino asked to borrow her car to take a mid-day trip to the gym. When he didn't come back that night, Harjo got worried and started calling around. The next morning, she found out Tino had driven her car to Texas to hang out with his girlfriend. On the way back, he was pulled over and arrested for drunk driving.

"So I have to pay for a car I don't even have," said Harjo, who works as a customer service representative for Southwest Airlines. "It was pretty devastating that it got taken from me."

The city soon sent her a notice informing her that it was seizing her car, a 2014 Nissan Versa. Her first thought, she said, was that she still had a $10,000 loan on her car. Harjo decided to challenge the seizure and soon found out that her troubles were just beginning.

Vehicle owners in Albuquerque must pay $50 for an administrative hearing, plus $10 a day in lot fees for their impounded car. Public defenders aren't available in civil cases, meaning one must choose to pay for a lawyer or attempt to represent oneself. And, because the case is civil, the city only needs probable cause a crime was committed, a lower standard of evidence than in criminal proceedings. However, Harjo was held to a higher burden of proof—a preponderance of evidence—to prove she "could not have reasonably anticipated that the vehicle could be used" in the commission of a crime.

Faced with a system clearly weighted in the state's favor, many property owners choose to settle. In Harjo's case, the city offered to give her car back in exchange for $4,000 and having it booted for 18 months. Harjo rejected the offer, opting to challenge the seizure at an administrative hearing.

At her hearing, Harjo was supposed to have a neutral arbiter, but the Chief Hearing Officer in Albuquerque is Stanley Harada, the same person who crafted the city's asset forfeiture program back when he was a city attorney.

Harada lectured Harjo, arguing she shouldn't have trusted her son, according to audio of the hearing. Harjo's son had several drunk driving offenses in the past, but the last one occurred in 2009.

"By providing him with a vehicle you're taking a big, big risk," Harada said. "This law is here to try and prevent people from getting killed and injured."

"It's guilty until proven innocent, I've already found that out," Harjo shot back.

Harjo said she felt intimidated and harangued by Harada. Harada has said in the past that "about half of the vehicles that APD seizes are not owned by the offender that we confiscate it from. It's the mothers, the fathers, the wives, the girlfriends, the brothers, the uncles, the next door neighbor, and the stranger on the street."

Harada refused to release the car, and Harjo challenged the seizure in district court, which was the only reason she came onto the Institute for Justice's radar.

If Harjo had settled, the money would have gone to pay for the salaries of prosecutors and police who administer the DWI seizure program. Groups like the Institute for Justice argue those sort of perverse incentives are one of the worst aspects of civil asset forfeiture, driving police departments to go fishing for seizures.

"Civil forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property in the country today, and the city of Albuquerque is a prime example of how asset forfeiture incentivizes law enforcement to go after people have done nothing wrong and don't deserve to be punished," said Institute for Justice attorney Robert Johnson.

According to last year's lawsuit against the city, Albuquerque forecasts how many vehicles it will not only seize, but sell at auction. The city's 2016 budget estimates it will have 1,200 vehicle seizure hearings, release 350 vehicles under agreements with the property owners, immobilize 600 vehicles, and to sell 625 vehicles at auction.

In fact, the Albuquerque city council approved a $2.5 million bond to build a bigger parking lot for cars seized under the DWI program. The revenue to pay for the bond will come from the DWI program.

Harjo's suit is the third time in recent years that Albuquerque's forfeiture program has been challenged. Several residents filed a class-action lawsuit against the city in 2013. A state district judge found Albuquerque's forfeiture ordinance unconstitutional because it didn't provide an adequate appeals process, although the state Supreme Court later limited the ruling to apply only to the vehicles in that case.

Harjo has been left without her main form of transportation for nearly four months now. In the meantime, she is still making monthly payments on it and racking up $10 a day lot fees as well.

"The city attorney said this could take six months to a year to go to court, but I don't care how long it takes," Harjo said. "I'm just going to try and fight to get it back and hope for the best."

The Albuquerque City Attorney's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In one of my previous stories about legal challenges to the program, city attorney Jessica Hernandez said: "Our ordinance is a narrowly-tailored nuisance abatement law to protect the public from dangerous, repeat DWI offenders and the vehicles they use committing DWI offenses, placing innocent citizens' lives and property at risk. The ordinance provides defenses to forfeiture to protect innocent owners and has been upheld by the courts."

Photo Credit: Jim Thompson/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Am I wrong in feeling that Albuquerque law enforcement has some real problems with its limits?

  • Lee Genes||

    "This law is here to try and prevent people from getting killed and injured."

    Liar, liar, pants on fire

  • Hank Phillips||

    All of those unarmed people summarily executed by police are freed from all further risk of injury. It really is about their safety.

  • modurhead||

    +1 if it was about safety the cops would act like taxis and take people home since they are already being paid with tax dollars but the brave heroes in blue would rather act like nazis stealing jew gold

  • tarran||

    Is it shaking down relatives of people arrested for drug crimes?

  • Swiss Servator||

  • ULOST||

    "...Albuquerque law enforcement has some real problems with its limits?"

    Limits!?? We don't need no stinkin' limits. It is really just a citizen compliance/submission problem. Just ask Them. I know, you thought that compliance/submission stuff ended with the traffic stop did and that you were safe from harm. You silly rabbit, tricks are for courts

  • MichaelL||

    Why could they not force them to put a breathalyzer interlock on the relative' cars, to stop drunk driving? That would prevent it from happening again and allow the non drinker full use of the car?! But, that would not get them the extortion money!

  • KamaK||

    "Why could they not force them to put a breathalyzer interlock on the relative' cars, to stop drunk driving? "

    All this will accomplish is a change in the meaning of "a $5 blow job in the parking lot"

  • ||

    Cue SIV to blame Gary Johnson here.

  • Aresen||

    This sort of abuse will not end until police and prosecutorial immunity is ended.

  • GILMORE™||

    OT

    Just when you thought Colin Kaepernick had finished making his dumbass point....

    ....just when you thought that it was safe to be a 'conscientious objector at a football game'

    ... just when people started wondering, "maybe the anthem is kinda gay...."

    ...THATS WHEN THE FLAG SAID = TIME FOR SOME MOTHERFUCKING PAYBACK

    - Upcoming SF vs SD NFL game to host "28th annual Salute to the Military"


    Pregame entertainment will be provided by the Marine Band San Diego.
    The Frog X parachute team, featuring retired Navy SEALs, will leap into Qualcomm Stadium.
    The National Anthem will be performed by Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell from the U.S. Navy.
    240 sailors, marines and soldiers will present a U.S. Super Flag and service emblems from all branches of service.
    Color guards from the Navy, Marine Corps and Army will present the flag.
    Six Vietnam War veterans will be honored at halftime in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the war.
    Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Powell will return to sing "God Bless America."

    THIS TIME, ITS WAR

  • Lee Genes||

    That video features some of my favorite popcorn munching films, including the bestest rock opera of all time, Flash Gordon.

  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    This was probably planned long before Kaep decided to protest, though. Even a simple parachute jump for an event can take weeks to put together, PA offices have to determine the itinerary, and they need time to recruit volunteers to do the singing and carry the flags. It's not exactly something that can all be thrown together in less than a week.

  • GILMORE™||

    This was probably planned long before Kaep decided to protest, though.

    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Next you're probably going to tell everyone Santa isn't real.

  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    I probably should have prefaced my comment with, "Warning: Extreme Spergout Ahead"

  • commodious, an attendant lord||

    In Harjo's case, the city offered to give her car back in exchange for $4,000 and having it booted for 18 months.

    Fleecing her is understandable, but the boot is pure Fuck You, That's Why.

    Used to work for a law firm that played ball with the city attorney when trying to get a car unimpounded. It usually went like this: we would submit a motion explaining the petitioner's circumstances and lack of culpability; the city would respond with their extortion offer. Only the most egregious circumstances (the owner was the driver, refused to blow, or blew substantially over) ended in booting the car; the rest of the time our client would pay the ransom. The only reason I can see the city attorney wanting to fuck over this woman is because she didn't play ball during the hearing.

  • commodious, an attendant lord||

    Oh, and the greasy sumbitch who used to work as city attorney in 'burque was a real pleasure to chat with, lemme tell you. Cold as ice and smooth like a car salesman. He knew his job: extrajudicial justice by way of the pocketbook.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Uppity means undisciplined. Spare the rod and spoil the taxpayer!

  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    Albuquerque has a particularly aggressive program to seize vehicles from drivers suspected of driving under the influence.

    There's no doubt that ABQ (and New Mexico in general) has a major problem with drunk driving, and it makes sense to impound the vehicle if the suspect is the actual owner of the vehicle, or it was in a wreck and needed for evidence. But if someone just borrowed it and did this stupid shit without any actual damage caused, it's pointless to impound it from the actual owner who will need it to get to work. And no, using public transportation isn't the answer, as it largely sucks.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's pointless from a public safety standpoint, yes. But it isn't about public safety. It's about sadistic fucks hurting innocent people for fun while making a profit while doing it.

  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    Understood. I lived there for 6.5 years so I'm very familiar with the general mendacity and thuggishness of the Albuquerque Police Department.

    A friend of mine back there is from a family of cops, and she happens to have a journalist husband who makes no secret of his criticism for their operations. As a result, her family has basically ostracized her unless the fat, deadbeat fucks need money or support of some kind from her. They're generally unpleasant people so I can't imagine how she turned out so nice.

  • EscherEnigma||

    She lent her car to a known drunk driver (no, I don't consider "that was years ago" an acceptable excuse). She might be innocent of drunk driving herself, but she's not innocent.

    That said, the city shouldn't be able to profit. They should just impound the car (at their expense) until the son's trial is completed or charges are dropped, whichever comes first. And then release it at no charge.

    So I agree that this shouldn't have happened, I disagree on what should have happened. The families of drunk drivers need to stop being enablers.

  • Jima||

    So in your magical world, no one is ever rehabilitated, huh? Are you on the ABQ police dept, or just trying out the attitude?

  • sarcasmic||

    She was a mother who lent her car to her son. Can't fault her for that.

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa will fault anyone for anything he damn well pleases.

  • Sevo||

    Darn your fast fingers!

  • Hank Phillips||

    THEY sure can! She's lucky they didn't shoot both parent and child and toss some throwdown bud into the boodle to save on paperwork. I remember these things every time I see a voting booth.

  • Sevo||

    EscherEnigma|8.31.16 @ 12:22PM|#
    "She might be innocent of drunk driving herself, but she's not innocent."

    Tulpa, you should know better. She doesn't have to be "innocent", she has to be not guilty of the charges.

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa the White|6.29.12 @ 12:25PM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    Yep, but it's not the cops' fault for suspecting you of the crime. You were an accessory, if an unwitting one.

    There has to be some deterrent to people helping criminals by their negligence.
  • Red Rocks Okey-Dokein||

    She lent her car to a known drunk driver (no, I don't consider "that was years ago" an acceptable excuse). She might be innocent of drunk driving herself, but she's not innocent.

    Then why aren't the police charging her as an accessory to a crime?

    It's one thing if Mijo is already soused on "road juice" and Mama hands him the keys. If he's sober and then goes out to get drunk and drives after the fact, then it's hardly the mother's fault in the legal sense.

  • Paloma||

    Here I thought he was being sarcastic.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    (no, I don't consider "that was years ago" an acceptable excuse)

    LOL. In that case, why did the state let the kid out of jail at all? He oughta be imprisoned for the rest of his life, to keep our streets safe.

    You're a riot, Tulps.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "In that case, why did the state let the kid out of jail at all?"
    Because people are, broadly speaking, unwilling to give someone life for drunk driving when no one is killed.

    Can people be rehabilitated? Sure. But you should never be as free with your trust with someone that's been "rehabilitated". And you shouldn't fool yourself into thinking that your responsibility for the car stops when you hand the keys off.

  • ULOST||

    "But you should never be as free with your trust with someone that's been "rehabilitated".

    Laughable. That would extend to cops that have had legitimate complaints against them too, right? Why are they still roaming the streets in search of victims. See how that works a-hole.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "hat would extend to cops that have had legitimate complaints against them too, right?"
    Yes. It should.

  • kbolino||

    And you shouldn't fool yourself into thinking that your responsibility for the car stops when you hand the keys off.

    It doesn't. As already mentioned, there are civil penalties if the owner of the car had reason to believe it would be used to harm someone when she lent it out. Not to mention that insurance companies aren't too keen on cars being used by drunk drivers, especially if it's not the insured driver.

  • Hank Phillips||

    To Hell with letting them cop a buzz on something less debilitating, or use rideshare warez.
    And what about trusting asset-forfeiture looter prohibitionists with political power to use armed force against you? You'd thing folks'd learn from experience on that score...

  • MichaelL||

    Why not put breathalyzer interlocks on those cars, then give them back!. The non-drinker has a car and the drunk can't get it started!

  • Paloma||

    Was anyone killed or injured? Then yes you should.

  • R C Dean||

    She lent her car to a known drunk driver

    If he wasn't drunk at the time, I don't see why this matters.

  • Tseptember||

    My questions is, did the son have a valid driver's license?

    The piece says he was arrested for DUI, with prior convictions. If he didn't have a license, and the mother knew that (which she reasonably would) then I can understand holding her accountable in some way--as she clearly knew he wasn't allowed to drive--though I don't think asset forfeiture is acceptable without a conviction and proof it was acquired as the result of criminal activity.

    If he had a license, then the state deemed him to be fit to drive and there's no reason his mother shouldn't either.

  • Hank Phillips||

    All hail the infallible Staat! I can't wait to have mine tatooed on my forearm--I'll at least have it with me unless they forfeit that to an organlegger ring.

  • BillEverman||

    If confiscating the car is an appropriate punishment for someone who loans a car to a "known drunk driver," then what would you do to someone who actually sold a car to such a blight on society? Is imprisonment enough, or should we just let cops go to the car dealership and summarily execute any car dealer who's sold a car to a repeat DUI offender?

  • ant1sthenes||

    It makes sense in some circumstances as a punitive measure, since it discourages people from loaning cars to drunk drivers. Of course, it only serves that purpose if the owner could reasonably foresee the drunk driving (e.g. the person has a recent record), since it's hard to argue any sort of reasonable culpability otherwise.

  • Foo_dd||

    even "recent history" is a lame argument, legally speaking. unless you gave your keys to a person who had a beer in the other hand, there is reasonable doubt.... but then that is why they do this with civil charges.... so they don't have to satisfy reasonable doubt.

    it makes sense to impound a car on a DUI arrest... it does not make sense to hold that car when the sober, registered owner, who was not arrested for the DUI shows up to get it. i, personally, don't think it makes sense, even if the driver was the owner... but i can see how some people have a problem with that. even the police here admit that is not the case in half the cases.

    the $10/day thing is another part of the scam.... you have to pay for every day THEY make you wait.

  • Sevo||

    "It makes sense in some circumstances as a punitive measure, since it discourages people from loaning cars to drunk drivers"

    So would shooting them, so I guess you're fine with that?
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Hank Phillips||

    This would be a really neat case to put before the voters. Help Gary rehabilitate NM and the rest of These States! Your libertarian vote repeals 36 times as many bad laws!

  • sarcasmic||

    So what if asset forfeiture is illegal? The law doesn't apply to police and prosecutors. They do whatever they want. After all, who is going to stop them?

  • Mainer2||

    But the article clearly states this is a narrowly tailored nuisance abatement law. So taking peoples' cars isn't asset forfeiture. See ? Just common sense, really.

  • Alsø alsø wik||

    On that note, is the forfeiture of the car actually written into the DUI law? Because if not, I don't see how even a legal taking could be held to encompass the car. DUI is a crime that, in order to commit it, actually requires a motor vehicle be used. The vehicle, by definition, is integral to the crime and not an accessory to it, nor the result of ill-gotten gains.

    So if the law doesn't mandate a forfeiture of the vehicle then how do cops get to just tack that punishment on there? You don't forfeit your house because you committed a computer crime from within it.

    And separately, how is this not a violation against excessive fines and equal protection? A DUI in a junker car obviously has a much different penalty than one in a Ferrari.

  • Hank Phillips||

    who is going to stop them?


    ...and live to tell about it?

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    10 PASS NEW LAW
    20 GOVERNMENT BREAKS LAW
    30 GOVERNMENT CAUGHT BREAKING LAW
    40 GOVERNMENT TOLD "DON'T DO THAT AGAIN"
    50 GOTO 20

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    45 GOVERNMENT SAYS "WE NEED MORE MONEY FOR BETTER TRAINING"

  • Longtobefree||

    Time to file federal criminal charges for conspiracy to violate her civil rights.
    Let the feds pay for the lawyers.
    And while I am at it, I also wish for a pony. :-)

  • ||

    Time to file federal criminal charges for conspiracy to violate her civil rights.

    Frivolous, because immunity. You'd get hit with sanctions.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Not under Section 1983...

  • Dooley Stetson||

    This is what I was thinking. Individuals may have qualified immunity against a Section 1983 civil action, but municipalities don't. Albuquerque is the primary bad actor here anyway--the minions are just doing what they believe they are allowed to do. Another benefit of Section 1983 is the loser has to pay the winner's attorneys fees.

  • commodious, an attendant lord||

    I also wish for a pony.

    *Ken White faints.*

  • ||

    I hope she rapes the living shit out of the tax payers of Alburbuerque.

  • modurhead||

    something has to slap some common sense into them

  • modurhead||

    something has to slap some common sense into them

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm conflicted.

    On one hand, I spent a little over a decade in NM and know how bad the drunk driving problem is. So I really can't forgive this woman for lending her car to someone she knew was a drunk driver (conviction five years ago and doesn't have a car today? If she didn't know that her son was a drunk driver, then she has two serious lapses of judgement).

    That said, the process is fucked up and the city shouldn't be able to profit from it.

    A different process, that was less arbitrary, petty, and didn't allow the city to profit, would be acceptable to me. Something along the lines of "car was used in the commission of a crime, and will be impounded until the trial is complete or charges are dropped, whereupon it will be released to the owner provided the owner isn't found guilty". Let folks suffer for their poor judgement.

  • Mainer2||

    I had the poor judgement to read your comment, and I suffered.

  • EscherEnigma||

    To be clear, how many times should a mother enable her son's bad behavior before we judge the mother for being an enabler?

  • commodious, an attendant lord||

    Personally and socially? After twice. Three times makes a habit.

    Legally, financially? Never. It's her property, not ours, certainly not the city's.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So to be clear...

    Let's say you have a known drunk driver (like this woman's son). If he owns a car, and goes drunk driving (as he tends to do), that car gets impounded, he doesn't see it again, and you're okay with that.

    But if he buys a car for his mother, and she lets him use it whenever he wants and goes drunk driving (as he tends to do), that car shoudl be immediately returned to her. And then he does that again. And she gets it back again. And so-on, etc., ad nauseum?

    Because that's what you're saying. You're saying that she has zero responsibility for what's done with her property after she lends it out. That it doesn't matter that she knows there's a good chance it'll be misused, she should never suffer the consequences for her bad decisions.

    And if you want to say "no, that's ridiculous", then you need to revise that "never". Because that's what "never" means: letting her do it over and over again with no consequence.

  • kbolino||

    Why does the government keep releasing this ne'er-do-well "known drunk driver" if he's such a danger to the public?

    What does the mother's car have to do with anything?

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Why does the government keep releasing this ne'er-do-well "known drunk driver" if he's such a danger to the public?"
    Because people are unwilling to permanently lock someone away for drunk driving alone. You have to kill someone while drunk driving to get that.

    And the mother's car is involved because it's the car he was driving. You may not like it, but it's not that complicated.

  • kbolino||

    Thanks for thinking I'm an idiot, but that doesn't address my point.

    It's the person and not the car that's the danger.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Thanks for thinking I'm an idiot, but that doesn't address my point.

    It's the person and not the car that's the danger."
    I don't think you're an idiot, I think you're having trouble getting past your biases to consider the issue from different angles. A different perspective isn't the same as being an idiot.

    And yes, the person is the danger, not the car. But the person is only dangerous (in the context of "drunk driving") if they have a car. So if you give them a car, then you are directly contributing to them being "dangerous".

  • kbolino||

    If she gave him the booze, too, and sent him off with an exhortation to drink and drive, then she would have made a "direct contribution". Loaning your car to someone with no specific foreknowledge of their intent to commit a crime is not a direct contribution to anything.

  • Foo_dd||

    a person who commits a crime, is responsible for the outcome of their actions. the car/gun/(insert progressive ban of choice) is not what is liable. if the car was loaned by someone, they may be liable, if, and only if, they knew you planned to use it to commit a crime. (and then they are liable for their part in the crime... not the car)

    even if the drunk driver is the actual owner of the car, i don't think the car should be surrendered. (impounded at the time of the crime.. yes... kept.. no). the courts will punish/fine the individual as appropriate. if they are repeat offenders... they will likely have to sell the car to pay the bill... and getting insurance will be much more expensive. you can remove their ability to register the car. you can suspend the license.... (all these things happen after an actual conviction of course.) taking the car is not about keeping them off the road, at all.... it is about getting more money for the state.

    plus, do you really think a DUI in a Lexus deserves greater financial punishment than a DUI in a pinto.... because that's what it is.

  • Sevo||

    "do you really think"
    No, s/he doesn't really think or think much at all. He or she is a pedantic whiner who shows up to prove that he/she can 'cleverly' come up with some silly argument that would embarrass anyone of normal intelligence.

  • R C Dean||

    The only way to achieve Tulpic levels of purity is to just execute drunk drivers by the side of the road.

    If that seems a little harsh, then we will just have to ban them and all their relatives from owning cars.

  • JimBob7||

    Does it have to be execution? Couldn't we just sterilize them by the side of the road?

  • Lee Genes||

    Feel free to pass personal judgement. Leave the government out of it.

  • Col. Chestbridge||

    So ostracize her. Yell at her on social media. But the lady didn't commit any crimes, so no, she shouldn't be punished by the legal system.

  • Hank Phillips||

    She is being punished by the ILLEGAL system. This is clearly a RICO case.

  • Sevo||

    How many times are you going to post this crap until everyone realizes you're just one more tulpa sock or wannabe?

  • Swiss Servator||

    4EVAH!

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Tulpa's slowly testing the waters this week, I think. "Sam Haysom" returned a few days ago, now this handle is back.

  • kbolino||

    "Sam Haysom" returned a few days ago

    And what an inane shitshow that was...

  • Swiss Servator||

    Ha, Tulpa is now a recycler, eh?

  • R C Dean||

    In the sense that my dog is recycling when he eats his own shit, yes.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "How many times are you going to post this crap until everyone realizes you're just one more tulpa sock or wannabe?"
    I don't know, am I ever going to get a clear answer on what you folks mean by "tulpa"?

    So far all I've figured out from context is "someone who says something I don't like". So if it's just that, any non-libertarian, then sure, you got me, I'm not a libertarian. Never claimed to be one. If it's supposed to be a specific person that trolls you folks, then sorry, you've been slinging around "tulpa" far longer then I've been around, and I've been using this handle ("EscherEnigma") since early 2000s or so.

    As for "wannabe", that implies I'm striving to be something or emulate someone, in which case no. I'm just a man who genuinely and sincerely disagrees with many things said here, but finds the conversations interesting anyway. It's nice to get an insight into how other folks think, especially if you disagree with them. And you guys actually do discuss philosophy and principles sometimes, which is more then I can say for some other sites.

    In short, I don't know what you think I am, but I am what I am, and for that I make no excuses. If that displeases you, I encourage you to not respond to me.

  • Sevo||

    EscherEnigma|8.31.16 @ 1:53PM|#
    Fuck off, tulpa.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Is it OK if we vote Libertarian to spite you and change the laws?
    I vaguely recall a tulpa poster, and please understand that we get all kinds of infiltrators and agents provocateurs--beginning with Nixon.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Nah, she kicked him out. He must be down at the public library again....until they can get a Restraining Order.

  • ULOST||

    I second that. Love it when someone thinks their tweak of statism is so much more reasonable and palatable.

    Escher Enigma; Exactly how are you going to personally suffer for your bad judgment on this issue? At least two of us have already suffered as collateral damage. You are not conflicted. You're afflicted. You should've just stuck with, "...the process is fucked up and the city shouldn't be able to profit from it." and you would have been golden.

    BTW the owner was not guilty of anything. And she does not need or want your forgiveness.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Exactly how are you going to personally suffer for your bad judgment on this issue? At least two of us have already suffered as collateral damage."
    I'm curious if you're being serious.

    If you consider reading my idle comments to be "collateral damage", then you have a very low bar for damage. The worst thing my words can possibly do is change your mind.

  • Sevo||

    "The worst thing my words can possibly do is change your mind."

    You don't have to be concerned about that; there's not a thing you've ever posted that wasn't some self-serving dishonesty.

  • R C Dean||

    You're just not casting a wide enough net, here. There's a lot more enablers than just his mother, you know. What about the gas station that sold the gas that was in the car?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Off with their heads?

  • modurhead||

    +1, im dumber for reading just some of it

  • kbolino||

    A different process, that was less arbitrary, petty, and didn't allow the city to profit

    Ah, the unicorn process.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'll have to beg forgiveness for not giving in to nihilism. Just because something will probably never happen is no excuse to stop trying to get closer.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Well, we can all hope you would stop commenting here, Tulpa - I guess that ain't gonna happen either.

  • GILMORE™||

    "limits on what the state can do" = "nihilism", for idiots who don't know what words mean.

  • SugarFree||

    You have to admire how much work he puts into to being an utter idiot, though.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Perhaps I was being unfair, but as I read it Kbolino was suggesting that since the ideal could never be realized, it should be abandoned.

    So yes: not trying because you can't achieve the perfect form? Is nihilism.

  • kbolino||

    I have yet to see you offer any real consequence for someone not delivering "ideal" process, so you'll have to forgive me for pointing out that no such process will be delivered.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "I have yet to see you offer any real consequence for someone not delivering "ideal" process [...]"
    No one's actually asked for that, and I'm not sure it's a reasonable request to start with. That's a policy-wonk thing, not an "idle thoughts in an internet comment section" thing.

    "[...] so you'll have to forgive me for pointing out that no such process will be delivered."
    Sure, all's forgiven.

  • kbolino||

    No one's actually asked for that, and I'm not sure it's a reasonable request to start with. That's a policy-wonk thing, not an "idle thoughts in an internet comment section" thing.

    What a crock of shit. The others are right to tell you to fuck off. You have no sincere interest in doing what's right. Only in making sure people you don't like get fucked with.

  • GILMORE™||

    So yes: not trying because you can't achieve the perfect form? Is nihilism.

    Because we need the State to solve everything 'imperfect' about society. Its not enough that they punish the actual perpetrators of criminal acts = we need to empower the state to punish 'enablers' who have otherwise done nothing wrong.

    You are the one with the absurd position. The state is not in the business of "dis-incentivizing poor judgement". It can punish criminal acts. Giving the state a mandate to 'solve' every social-ill with limitless potential meddling is a recipe for totalitarianism. They can't/shouldn't be involved in siezing property sans due process or providing 'disincentives' to people who haven't done anything wrong simply because you're unsatisfied that they're "not doing enough" to combat a particular social ill.

    You're not being "unfair" - you're being a fucking idiot.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Let me know when you're doing assigning me positions.

  • kbolino||

    Just because you have a dictionary doesn't mean you understand what the words actually mean. It is not nihilism to deny you gratification for your personal bugaboo.

  • Sevo||

    EscherEnigma|8.31.16 @ 1:06PM|#
    "I'll have to beg forgiveness for not giving in to nihilism."

    You should beg forgiveness for existing, you pathetic piece of crap.

  • This Machine||

    Fuck off, Tulpa.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Tulpa, leave the library computer. The other crazy homeless people need to use it. And for goodness sake put some pants on.

  • John||

    Sovereign immunity is bad enough but courts don't even enforce the scant protection sovereign immunity provides. When a government official violates a known and clear law, they are supposed to lose their immunity and be personally liable for the act. That of course never happens, even in cases like this where you can't get much more known and clear than a state statute passed specifically to prohibit you from doing this.

  • commodious, an attendant lord||

    What do you think of lawyers working for IoJ and similar liberty outfits? Is it a good gig or a thankless job?

  • John||

    Thankless job but still a great gig. The problem is the best lawyers make too much money doing other things to take those jobs.

  • kbolino||

    The cops confiscated the car with a "good faith" belief that they had every right to take it.

    /SCOTUS stamp of approval

  • modurhead||

    because the citizens have not tarred and feathered a few or their judges and judges, yet

  • Sevo||

    GO IJ! GO IJ! GO IJ! GO IJ! GO IJ! GO IJ!

  • eyeofreason||

    I'm wondering if Albuquerque PD keeps rental cars of drunk drivers?

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa the White|6.29.12 @ 12:53PM|

    Either immoral or blissfully unaware of the evils that can be perpetrated with a stolen IP address. Either way, they'll benefit from a good kick in the pants.
  • eyeofreason||

    If Albuquerque really wants to prosecute people who are stupid enablers of drunk drivers, then it's simple: you craft a law that prosecutes the enabler, and if they are found criminally responsible, they are given jail time or a fine by the court. But you don't "seize" anything in America without a warrant. Because a.) we have Constitutional rights, and b.) it's a perverse incentive to overreach.

  • commodious, an attendant lord||

    a) a minor speedbump, and

    b) feature, not flaw

  • Hamster of Doom||

    We actually do have something similar to that in civil courts. As I understand, the surviving victims and family can sue and the courts will assign culpability. So a mother who gave the keys and showed real negligence could be, say, held liable for 20% of the final damages, since she is 20% responsible.

    Of course, there is that picky little point that her son must have first caused damages.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I am reminded of DeNiro in Cape Fear. Nobody intimately familiar with the court system expects anything other than systemic racketeering and extortion. And go ahead and visit someone in the slammer sometime. That will definitely get you out of bed on election day.
    Like Jim Morrison said: "Thirty-six to one, baby..." That's the spoiler vote gear ratio.

  • kbolino||

    Let's not bring back the days of accusing everyone who takes a contrary position of being Tulpa.

  • ||

    This shall henceforth forever be known as 'The Clinton Effect', AKA 'we can get away with anything because FYTW'.

  • modurhead||

    welcome to new Uhmerica

  • Swiss Servator||

    NO DOUBT AUCTIONED OFF BY THE APD!!!!

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    They're just after their cut of Walter and Jesse's meth money.

  • ULOST||

    Yeah, you should see how many RV's are in the impound lot.

  • 0x90||

    "Our ordinance is a narrowly-tailored nuisance abatement law to protect the public from dangerous, repeat DWI offenders and the vehicles they use committing DWI offenses, placing innocent citizens' lives and property at risk."

    "These cans are defective! They're springing leaks!"

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The cases I've seen are usually where parents own a car, their kid goes out and does something stupid, and then the parents end up getting their car seized"

    I maintain that anything a guy does in the service of the biological imperative isn't entirely stupid.

    Not getting laid until you get to college because you didn't want to do anything that might get you in trouble?

    That's stupid.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: New Mexico Passed a Law Ending Civil Forfeiture. Albuquerque Ignored It, and Now It's Getting Sued

    Albuquerque has wisely ignored New Mexican law ending civil asset forfeiture. For too long the little people have been acquiring property, contrary to the teachings of our socialist slavers. Now they whine their property has been been taken back by their obvious betters. Civil asset forfeiture, especially when due process is not employed, only reminds the untermenschen who is in charge. There's nothing like being woke up in the wee hours, being handcuffed and taken to the local gulag to be reminded who rules. Then there is the problem of poverty infecting The State. How many times have we read judges sleeping under bridges? How many times have you read 30 firefighters and their families living in a one bedroom apartment? How many times have you seen teachers begging for change? Too many to count. Civil asset forfeiture only redistributes the wealth where it should be, in the hands of our socialist slavers who take the time and trouble to oppress us all. Plus, there is the morale factor. Stealing property from the unwashed masses only makes those who suppress us feel so much better. How many times have taken the time and trouble to say, "Thank you for oppressing us?" Not enough, I'm afraid. Civil asset forfeiture makes The State's appartatchiks feel good about themselves and what they do, and isn't that a small price to pay so the can enslave us further?

  • Alan@.4||

    When if ever will we see criminal charges brought against the operators of the scam that is Civil Asset Forfeiture, aka Theft Under Color Of Law?? I tend to wonder.

  • Hank Phillips||

    In the 1920s The Law confiscated flivvers transporting deadly narcotic beer. Prosecutor Willebrandt eliminated 4th and 5th Amendment protection in 1927 and Senator John Glenn (different one) actually added total confiscation riders to bills until one stuck. Lame duck Herb Hoover used that to completely shut down all banking, and Congress couldn't pass the 20th Amedment fast enough. Lundgren again resuscitated the asset forfeiture monster in 1986-7 (crash, recession, remember?) and it picked up steam to the trainwreck of 2007-8. Yet the Kleptocracy discourages all thoughtcrime to the effect that Prohibition and The Crash, time after time, are by induction more causal than coincidental.
    Only the realization that Adam Smith was right about unproductive hands (looters) being the Ruin of Nations will establish the financial incentive for voters to value individual rights. But every single time the prohibition and tax laws become burglar bars the economy comes tumbling down. Even the flash crashes correlate.

  • Juice||

    The city soon sent her a notice informing her that it was seizing her car, a 2014 Nissan Versa. Her first thought, she said, was that she still had a $10,000 loan on her car.

    Wow, you got fucked.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yep, and not so much as a reach-around. That's the Kleptocracy for ya...

  • modurhead||

    +1

  • [OMITTED]||

    This article seems to be missing the obvious follow-up question.

    Why does the City of Albuquerque think the State Law banning asset forfeiture does not apply to them? The article just flatly states they don't believe it does, and then drops it there. Wtf?

  • John C. Randolph||

    $50 for an administrative hearing, plus $10 a day in lot fees for their impounded car.

    That's so fucking evil. The pigs steal your car, and charge you for storing it.

    -jcr

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Right, until you pay them ransom to get the car back, or you don't and they sell it and keep the profits.

  • modurhead||

    Pig Law is a mockery of justice and all the lawyers,judges and cops involved should be fired and have to face trial for it

  • Hank Phillips||

    Thank yew Lawerd fer ending yer Prophet Chiaramella to preach the No Stealing Commandment to these heathens. Already they are Seeing the Light with no help from Owsley!
    I promise to stop stealing from the poorbox and pissing in the Holy Water for the rest of August.
    But howsabout a Revelation about how government looting causes financial crashes? So far only the faintest glimmer...

  • modurhead||

    I would understand if people started tarring and feathering these shyster judges,lawyers and cops who enforce unconstitutional crooked laws

  • modurhead||

    I would understand if people started tarring and feathering these shyster judges,lawyers and cops who enforce unconstitutional crooked laws

  • ||

    "By providing him with a vehicle you're taking a big, big risk," Harada said. "This law is here to try and prevent people from getting killed and injured."

    Know what we call this racket in my hood, Harada? ORGANIZED CRIME.

    GO FUCK YOURSELF AND HARADA. You're nothing but a bunch of law breaking thieves.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    "By providing him with a vehicle you're taking a big, big risk," Harada said.

    Apparently that risk is that some shitbag judge will empower himself to commit grand theft auto.

  • silverfang789||

    Civil asset forfeiture never should have been allowed in the first place.

  • Jer Citti||

    Is there a final conclusion to this matter? Will Reason publish it when it is available?

  • crufus||

    NM State Senators Lisa Torraco and Daniel Ivey-Soto filed suit last year to shut down Albuquerque's civil forfeiture. The judge waited about five months to decide that they did not have standing and dismissed the suit.

    More than likely the judge will not rule on this for many months, and then find some stupid reason to rule against the plaintiff while the city continues to steal cars.

    Eventually some judge at a higher level will rule against the city. Or it might be necessary for the legislature to pass another law that specifically forbids this. In the meantime, the city will steal another few thousand cars.

    What would really be great is a class action RICO lawsuit against the city and all the police and judges making them pay damages for all the cars they have stolen and triple punitive damages.

  • Alan@.4||

    There is, it seems to me, one way to put a stop to this Civil Asset Forfeiture racket, that being as follows. Bringing criminal charges, felony charges that is, against the perpetrators. What chance is there of that happening, do you think?

  • SingeSavante||

    Bravo! This happened to me a few years ago. I have a disability, and use a laptop or text phone to communicate.
    Guess what! I was not allowed to enter the courthouse with these devices! Gee whiz, officer, what happened to the ADA? Guess it doesn't apply in the "Land of Enchantment!" Next time, I'll bring along a SERVICE dog that can SPEAK!

    Thank you for exposing New Mexico TRUE!

  • ||

    Wait a moment. The legal definition of armed robbery is 'unlawful taking of property while in possession of a dangerous weapon.' If the city's forfeiture program has been abolished by an act of the state legislature, then any seizures made under that program are not lawful.

    She shouldn't sue the city for the car, she should call the state police and report it stolen.

  • macsnafu||

    Asset forfeiture, aka legalized theft.

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