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Wed Sep 2, 2020, 12:54 PM

Minnesota Cops Can Seize Your Car, Sell It And Keep The Profits, Even If You Did Nothing Wrong

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Minnesota Cops Can Seize Your Car, Sell It And Keep The Profits, Even If You Didn't Do Anything Wrong

Erin Marquis
Yesterday 2:00PM • Filed to: CAR LAWS

Minnesota police are seizing cars from innocent people, selling the cars and keeping the proceeds under a wildly permissive civil forfeiture law supported by, you guessed it, the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

Minneapolis ABC-affiliate KSTP spoke to Emma Dietrich, whose fully paid-off 2013 Chevrolet Camaro was seized when a State Patrol officer pulled over a co-worker driving her home in the Camaro. What she didn’t know was that the co-worker had a driving-while-intoxicated charge on his record. When he refused a breathalyzer test, police seized the vehicle and arrested the driver, leaving Dietrich in a lurch for seven months:

{snip}

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Reply Minnesota Cops Can Seize Your Car, Sell It And Keep The Profits, Even If You Did Nothing Wrong (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2020 OP
I_UndergroundPanther Sep 2020 #1
Cattledog Sep 2020 #2
discntnt_irny_srcsm Sep 2020 #3
FBaggins Sep 2020 #4
Alacritous Crier Sep 2020 #5
FBaggins Sep 2020 #6
discntnt_irny_srcsm Sep 2020 #7
FBaggins Sep 2020 #8
discntnt_irny_srcsm Sep 2020 #9
Name removed Oct 2020 #10

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 12:57 PM

1. Legal criminals

Fucking cops are thieves.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 02:41 PM

2. Police abused civil forfeiture laws for so long that the Supreme Court stepped in.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/police-abused-civil-forfeiture-laws-so-long-supreme-court-stepped-ncna974086

On Tuesday, in its unanimous ruling in Timbs v. Indiana, the court for the first time held that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “excessive fines” also applies to state and local governments. And, even more importantly, the court rejected Indiana’s argument that, even if the excessive fines clause applies to the state, it does not apply to the civil forfeiture of the assets of criminals (or suspected criminals.)

In her relatively brief opinion for the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rejected the conclusion of the Indiana Supreme Court that the civil forfeiture was lawful. Ginsburg — speaking for eight of the court’s nine members — held that, like the vast majority of the Bill of Rights, the excessive fines clause is a fundamental right that applies to the states under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. And, since the court had already held in a 1993 federal case that civil forfeitures that are even partly punitive are governed by the excessive fines clause, applying the clause to the states made the case easy.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 03:08 PM

3. from the comments

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 03:12 PM

4. Not sure this is an example of "did nothing wrong"

A driver with a prior DUI is pulled over and refuses a breathalyzer test. Assuming the field sobriety test is actually legit (e.g., probable cause), the penalty for that is actually much higher (in MN) than if you take the test and fail it. The driver is arrested for a DUI either way. (Edit - in other reporting it appears that he was pulled over doing 118mph. That's likely probable cause by itself).

Since it's her car and she's in it at the time... that means she allowed a drunk driver to operate her vehicle.

That isn't "did nothing wrong". It's reckless endangerment and probably aiding and abetting.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 03:52 PM

5. The police...

have no business executing punishment without due process. This includes seizing personal property or shooting us in the back. If a judge or jury sees fit to take someone's property that would be a little different.

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Response to Alacritous Crier (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 04:24 PM

6. Are you saying that he was never convicted?

If not... where is the lack of due process?

Her advocates' claims appear to be that it isn't reasonable to expect an intoxicated person to evaluate whether someone else can operate their vehicle (he was supposedly driving her home because she was drunk)... but where else is that a standard that absolves someone of responsibility?

"I was drunk when I signed that contract" won't get you out of the contract unless the other party knew you were drunk and took advantage of you.

Unless she didn't know she was drinking alcohol, drunkenness... while disabling... is a voluntary disablement that carries the assumption of risk.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 09:01 PM

7. Civil forfeiture, as practiced, is unreasonable

She says the State Patrol told her she was still being held responsible for her coworker's actions.

"That the right thing to do was to have a complete history of his driving infractions and to also give him a sobriety test. That is what they said I should have done," Dietrich said.
https://kstp.com/news/controversial-law-allows-police-to-seize-and-sell-cars-of-non-lawbreakers-keeping-the-proceeds-august-24-2020/5838303/


And the "...being held responsible for her coworker's actions." part is rather puzzling since Ms. Dietrich hasn't been charged at all.

This kind of activity is just a load of crap. The woman didn't drive drunk, wasn't charged with a crime and the dangerous driver who did has still not gone to trial. Civil forfeiture is unconstitutional plain and simple. If you make an arrest and charge the suspect, you impound what may reasonably be considered evidence. Other than that and you're violating the Fifth and Eighth Amendments.

In all cases in the prosecution of crimes especially and acts of law enforcement in general and those of the prosecutors must be exemplary. Anything less casts doubt on the very meaning of justice.

No wonder so many demand defunding the police.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 2, 2020, 09:22 PM

8. That's a better position than the OP

The Timbs v. Indiana ruling early last year may begin to pull back some excesses (at least the asset seized will have to bear some relationship in value to the crime committed)... but the "even if you did nothing wrong" nonsense is unsupportable.

If she truly did nothing wrong, they couldn't take her car. If she was at home and can truly say that she had no idea he would use the vehicle in the commission of a crime... the law protects her. If witnesses in the bar heard him tell her that he had consumed no alcohol and she had been screaming at him to slow down... even that would probably be enough.

We can say that CAF is wrong (or that it is too often applied incorrectly), but we can't say that she "did nothing wrong". She may not have been charged with a crime, but she should consider herself lucky at that part.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 07:59 PM

9. "did nothing wrong"??? Maybe not.

Did something that's not easy to prosecute? Probably.
Has something we can steal? Bingo.

Once again:

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

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