Civil Forfeiture
Private Property

Indiana Jury Trials Oral Argument

  • The right to a jury trial is fundamental to our justice system. The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil cases in federal court. Likewise, most state constitutions protect the right to a jury trial in civil cases in state court. The Indiana Constitution is no exception.
  • Yet, in contrast to courts in many other states, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held that there is no right to a jury trial in civil forfeiture cases in Indiana’s courts. In this, the court erred badly, depriving people statewide of a vital constitutional protection in the process.
  • IJ has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to confirm what should already be obvious: When the government sues to forfeit your property, you are entitled to make your case to a jury. As of July 26, 2023, we are awaiting the court’s decision.
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