Civil forfeiture in the United States - Tackleberry Solutions
June 4, 2018

Civil forfeiture in the United States

Definition of Civil Foreiture: a legal process in which law enforcement can take property or assets without charging the individual of a crime and without due process. (Kind of like the Red Flag Law)

That means that law enforcement or government agents can seize whatever they want from you without any proof of any crime.

Take this family for example:

Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United States

Historical Backgound

So where did the government get this idea? The British.

Believe it or not, the origin of this law is based off of a British Law (The British Navigation Acts) in the 1600's used to seize ships that were not flying the British Flag.

"During the later Colonial years, forfeiture practices by the Crown officials using writs of assistance were one of the many activities that angered colonists, who saw the writs as "unreasonable searches and seizures" which deprived persons of "life, liberty, or property, without due process." The early Congress wrote forfeiture laws based on British maritime law to help federal tax collectors collect customs duties, which financed most of the expenses of the federal government in the early days of the republic. Seizures allowed government to confiscate property from citizens who failed to pay taxes or customs duties. The Supreme Court upheld these forfeiture statutes in situations where it was virtually impossible to get hold of guilty persons on the high seas while possible to get hold of their property. During much of the 19th century there was not much attention paid to forfeiture laws." - Civil forfeiture in the United States

Governmental Greed

The excuse? To fight the drug war. However, not many are aware that this law has been encouraged more aggressively among the law enforcement on the highways since 9/11. 

“All of our home towns are sitting on a tax-liberating gold mine - turning our police forces into present-day Robin Hoods.” Deputy Ron Hain

Here is what this article found on the matter:

  • There have been 61,998 cash seizures made on highways and elsewhere since 9/11 without search warrants or indictments through the Equitable Sharing Program, totaling more than $2.5 billion. State and local authorities kept more than $1.7 billion of that while Justice, Homeland Security and other federal agencies received $800 million. Half of the seizures were below $8,800.
  • Only a sixth of the seizures were legally challenged, in part because of the costs of legal action against the government. But in 41 percent of cases — 4,455 — where there was a challenge, the government agreed to return money. The appeals process took more than a year in 40 percent of those cases and often required owners of the cash to sign agreements not to sue police over the seizures.
  • Hundreds of state and local departments and drug task forces appear to rely on seized cash, despite a federal ban on the money to pay salaries or otherwise support budgets. The Post found that 298 departments and 210 task forces have seized the equivalent of 20 percent or more of their annual budgets since 2008.
  • Agencies with police known to be participating in the Black Asphalt intelligence network have seen a 32 percent jump in seizures beginning in 2005, three times the rate of other police departments. Desert Snow-trained officers reported more than $427 million in cash seizures during highway stops in just one five-year period, according to company officials. More than 25,000 police have belonged to Black Asphalt, company officials said.
  • State law enforcement officials in Iowa and Kansas prohibited the use of the Black Asphalt network because of concerns that it might not be a legal law enforcement tool. A federal prosecutor in Nebraska warned that Black Asphalt reports could violate laws governing civil liberties, the handling of sensitive law enforcement information and the disclosure of pretrial information to defendants. But officials at Justice and Homeland Security continued to use it.
  • Freedom in America


    It's things like this that remind me of the American Revolution and the Holocaust. Every major event in history always started out small. What allowed the oppression to grow? The inaction of the majority. 

    Every time I see something like this happen, so many people come back with excuses of why it wasn't a big deal or why the law or action was needed. They completely ignore the root fact of the matter. Which is that it puts oppression on the innocent.

    If we can stand together as a nation for what is right and just, we can make America great again.


    Amy is passionate about helping others. She is constantly looking for ways to teach others how to be more prepared for hard times. With a core belief that honesty and teamwork are key to survival.