Federal Judge: Albuquerque’s Civil Forfeiture Practices Are Unconstitutional


Policing for profit, civil forfeiture, is wrong. The police shouldn’t be able just take people’s stuff. (Often without even a conviction.)

(From Route Fifty)

U.S. District Court Judge James O. Browning ruled Monday that the city of Albuquerque’s civil forfeiture practices are unconstitutional. Browning wrote in his ruling that the city “has an unconstitutional institutional incentive to prosecute forfeiture cases, because, in practice, the forfeiture program sets its own budget and can spend, without meaningful oversight, all of the excess funds it raises from previous years.” The Institute for Justice brought the legal action against New Mexico’s largest city on behalf of Arlene Harjo, whose car was seized by the Albuquerque Police Department after her son borrowed her car to go to the gym and instead used it for a day-long trip where he was stopped for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

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