PHILADELPHIA—Philadelphians who lost their property to the city’s abusive civil forfeiture machine must apply by December 6, 2019 to receive a cash settlement. Last fall, the Institute for Justice (IJ) announced an agreement with the city to end a class action lawsuit on behalf of people who had homes, cash and cars wrongfully seized. After a federal court preliminarily approved this agreement, almost 35,000 individuals were mailed an official class notice informing them that they may be eligible for compensation.
In a new video news release available HERE, IJ Senior Attorney Dan Alban explains what steps Philadelphians need to take to apply.
“Right now, anyone who lost their property should go to PhillyForfeiture.com,” said Alban. “At that website, they can learn more about how to apply. The deadline is coming up, it’s only a few weeks away on December 6.”
People can apply for compensation by completing and mailing the Claim Form they received in the mail or by submitting a claim online at https://www.phillyforfeiture.com/claimform.aspx. Individuals will need their Unique ID number included in the official class notice to submit a claim. Individuals who had their property subject to civil forfeiture on or after August 11, 2012, but did not receive a letter should contact the Institute for Justice at (703) 682-9331 or the Claims Administrator at (888) 730-9958.
Class members must apply by December 6, 2019, to be eligible to receive their cash settlement.
The settlement establishes a $3 million fund to compensate forfeiture victims with the following details:
- Each qualifying person who lost their property through forfeiture, but who was not convicted of a related criminal charge, will get up to 100 percent of the value of their forfeited property;
- Each qualifying person who lost their property through forfeiture, but who participated in a diversionary program for low-level, first-time offenders, will receive up to 75 percent of the value of their forfeited property;
- Each qualifying person who submits a timely claim will get up to $90 in recognition of the violation of their constitutional rights.