Washington v. Marion County Prosecutor

For years, Indianapolis police seize cars and then sit on their hands for months before the owners can contest the seizures in court. District court: That part of the civil forfeiture law violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Indianapolis prosecutor appeals but also, while appeal is pending, successfully urges the state legislature to amend the law. Which now makes the case moot, declares the prosecutor, so the district court judgment should be set aside! Not so fast, says the Seventh Circuit. It’s not clear whether the amendments actually fixed the defects in the law. The case is remanded so the district court can evaluate the amendments in the first instance.

Tags: 2019, Civil Forfeiture, Due Process, Fourteenth Amendment, Police, Property Rights, Searches and Seizures, Seventh Circuit

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