Civil Forfeiture – Know Your Rights!

Routinely, individuals in the U.S. have property taken from them under “Asset Forfeiture” laws and are unaware of their rights.  Civil judicial forfeiture does not require a criminal conviction, and is a powerful legal tool used by law enforcement and Federal Agencies to seize property that is involved in a crime. Fines and forfeitures have become a key source of revenue, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The majority of federal forfeiture cases are uncontested when there is a related criminal case. Administrative forfeiture occurs when property is seized but no one files a claim to contest the seizure. Property that can be administratively forfeited includes merchandise prohibited from importation; a conveyance used to import, transport, or store a controlled substance; a monetary instrument; or other property that does not exceed $500,000 in value. Federal law imposes strict deadlines and notification requirements in the administrative forfeiture process. If the seizure is contested, then the U.S. government is required to use either criminal or civil judicial forfeiture proceedings to gain title to the property.


CBP Brings Seizure & Forfeiture Notices to the 21st Century

U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") has published a final rule (the "Rule") providing CBP with the ability to publish seizure and forfeiture notices on the Department of Justice ("DOJ") forfeiture website. CBP believes that such notices will reach a broader range of the public, at less cost, than the current local print publications or customhouse postings. You know what? CBP is right, and kudos to them for this added efficiency that goes into effect on ...

By |2021-11-10T14:25:24-05:00February 1, 2013|U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on CBP Brings Seizure & Forfeiture Notices to the 21st Century

U.S. Customs Seizures and Forfeitures are Unique

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizes and forfeits hundreds of millions of dollars of merchandise every year. The IRS, DEA, Postal Service, and other Federal agencies also have the legal authority to seized and forfeit merchandise that were allegedly used illegally or were proceeds of alleged illegal activity, but CBP administrative and judicial forfeiture proceedures are unique. The answer is that seizes by CBP typically are not included within the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).

By |2010-09-06T20:32:26-04:00September 6, 2010|Seizures|8 Comments

U.S. Customs Seized My Merchandise: Now What? / La Aduana de los Estados Unidos Incautó Mi Mercancía: ¿Qué Hago Ahora?

Every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the airports, seaports, and other border crossings, stop, examine, detain, and seize merchandise from both travelers and commercial cargo importers and exporters. The process of getting back your property can be a harrowing one fraught with bureaucratic delays. There is, fortunately, a set of rules that U.S. Customs must follow, and knowing those rules will give you an advantage.

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