Asked in Constitutional Law for Arizona

Q: Are civil cases of property forfeiture (State v Auto) when no charges/convictions exist a bill(s) of attainder?

State wants civil forfeiture of goods under RICO act - only no one has been charged nor even identified as “others.” Bills of attainder (“bill of pains and penalties") prohibited under constitution in 3 places as it imposes punishment without Due Process (see Cummings v. Missouri, 71 US 277 (1867)). Although gov't says "Because civil forfeiture action is against the property, the government need not prove the property owner's guilt…" SCOTUS states no separation of person and property re 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3) for possible counter-action (Lynch v. Household Finance Corp., 405 U.S. 538 (1972)). Are current civil forfeitures unconstitutional as prohibited bills of attainder without criminal conviction of anything, and no criminal history?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Deltona, FL

A: Haven't you answered your own question. If it is important enough to you, go see an attorney for a full discussion..

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