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Scotus rejects guilty until proven innocent

Scotus rejects guilty until proven innocent


Justice court


There are numerous unbelievable ways in America that federal, state and local authorities can seize your property and convert it to the various levels of government. This is a revenue raising measure under the color of law.

The concept of forfeiture is a very old concept of English Common Law which the United States and 60 other countries inherited. This concept, which now pervades U.S. law, is known as civil forfeiture.

My study of this suggests to me that this has become an attractive incentive to steal property legally under legal pretenses. And it has been done many times.

For example, if someone plants marijuana on your land, even if without your knowledge, your property can be seized and taken as a civil forfeiture.

Yes, there are many cases where property was manipulated into seizure and forfeiture.

You may have heard of the famous California case of Donald Scott who in 1992 was shot down inside his home without provocation. The “legal” pretense used for the raid by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Drug Enforcement Agency, California Bureau of Narcotics, the California National Guard and the National Park Services, was that Scott was growing marijuana on his 200-acre estate. But no marijuana or drugs of any kind were found. Of course, an “investigation” by the LEOs (legally entitled to oppress) found no wrongdoing by the badge-wearing assailants on the scene.

An investigation by Ventura County District Attorney Michael Bradbury revealed:

“The statement of Probable Cause upon which the warrant was based includes a number of statements which could be considered false… In addition, there are a number of facts that could be considered material omissions… We find no reason why law enforcement officers who were investigating suspected narcotics violations would have any interest in the value of (Scott’s ranch) or the value of the property sold in the same area other than if they had a motive to forfeit that property.”

Based on the investigative profile, the Scotts were deemed “promising” targets for property seizure. Mr. Scott’s holdings had high value, making them valuable for seizure and forfeiture.

Scott’s home burned to the ground a year later in a wildfire. After many years of legal wrangling, Los Angeles County and the federal government agreed to a $5 million settlement with Scott’s wife, heirs and estate.

Until 1978, civil forfeiture was used primarily to seize property involved in customs offenses, but in that year Congress expanded its scope to permit confiscation of the proceeds of drug transactions.

This was a revolutionary change, as it marked the evolution of civil forfeiture into punishment, without any of the safeguards due a defendant in a criminal proceeding. Forfeiture can be pursued criminally and civilly at the same time.

An even larger expansion of civil forfeiture authority came with the 1986 money laundering statute. The Act provided for civil forfeiture of all property representing the proceeds of, involved in or facilitating a “specified unlawful activity.”

Such activities now include more than 200 federal crimes. The Act, in effect, expands the scope of civil forfeiture from customs and narcotics violations to any criminal offense that involves money.

Modern civil forfeiture laws provide the government with several unique advantages.

A seizure or asset freeze is authorized in an “ex parte” hearing (without the defendant or defendant’s lawyer being present) before a judge, magistrate or administrator. Except when real property is involved, the property owner need not be informed of this hearing, and thus may not attend it, much less contest the seizure.

The very important point here about civil forfeiture is the potential for totally innocent owners to be deprived of their property. Studies have shown that in 80 percent or more of civil forfeiture cases, the owners of the seized property were completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And yet another lash against private property via civil forfeiture was that government is permitted to use hearsay evidence to establish probable cause to seize property. This made it possible for civil forfeitures based on tips from confidential informants whose claims that the property was linked to criminal activity could not be challenged. The informants do not have to confront the property owner or be identified. Once the government establishes probable cause, the burden shifts to the owner to demonstrate that the property was in fact not linked to criminal activity.

This smacks to me of the old Star Chamber proceeding where an accused was forced to confess and then hanged or put on the rack for his confession.

This should suggest to everyone that seizures and forfeiture under obscure laws that require no evidence of illegal activity for their enforcement is tyranny by any definition.

Over the years the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the innocence of a property owner is no defense to forfeiture.

But a ruling by the SCOTUS this week may help reverse the tide.

In a 7-1 decision (new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was not involved in the proceedings), SCOTUS struck down a Colorado law that forced criminal defendants to prove their innocence when their convictions were overturned. While the case – which involved fines and restitution paid before the conviction was overturned on appeal — didn’t involve civil forfeiture per say, the majority opinion stated the defendants were entitled to the presumption of innocence and “should not be saddled with any proof burden” to regain what is rightfully theirs.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, writing for the majority, rejected Colorado’s argument that “[t]he presumption of innocence applies only at criminal trials,” and not to civil claims, as under the Exoneration Act:  “Colorado may not presume a person, adjudged guilty of no crime, nonetheless guilty enough for monetary exactions.”

As Nick Sibilla of the Institute for Justice writes for Forbes:

Armed with this ruling, the Nelson decision may set an important precedent to rein in another abusive civil proceeding: civil forfeiture. The parallels are striking. Through civil forfeiture, law enforcement can confiscate and keep cash, cars and real estate without securing a criminal conviction or filing charges against the owner. Perversely, under civil forfeiture, even those found not guilty in criminal court can still forfeit their property in civil court, since the latter has a lower standard of proof.

Curiously, Justice Clarence Thomas – who has argued vociferously against asset forfeiture for many years — was the lone dissenter in the case, claiming, in essence, the majority decision was not based on any state or federal law and the plaintiffs did not argue their case correctly.

So rather than issuing the wrong ruling for the wrong reasons – which is the usual practice of SCOTUS – the Supreme Court may have issued the right ruling for the wrong reasons in this case.

Source: Will County News

Judicial Watch Tipsheet May 8, 2017


Top Stories

Judicial Watch Sues over Records on Obama E-Cig Regs — “Judicial Watch announced  that it filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking records from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disea” …http://jwatch.us/hMh9DA

Judicial Watch: Court Rules State Department Must Release Clinton Emails Detailing Obama Response to Benghazi — ” Judicial Watch today announced that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered the U.S. Department of State to turn over to Judicial Watch “eight identical”…http://jwatch.us/Gdjhpi

Judicial Watch Releases First Set of Numbers on President Trump Travel: Air Force One Costs for Two Trips: $1,281,420 — “The Secret Service hasn’t responded to Judicial Watch’s request for records about this or any other trip by President Trump and other administration VIPs.”…http://jwatch.us/UEFn1r

State Prosecutors Go Easy on Alien Criminals to Avert “Collateral Immigration Consequences” — “In the last few weeks prosecutors in two major U.S. cities have ordered staff not to charge illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes because it could get the offenders dep”…http://jwatch.us/49C2Ca

New Huma Abedin Emails Reveal Additional Instances of Clinton Sending and Receiving Classified Emails Through Unsecure Server — “Judicial Watch released 894 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which.”…http://jwatch.us/STJZaW

Glimmer of Hope — “Conner spots some glimmers of hope that under Secretary DeVos, at least some of the federal meddling will be reversed. For one thing, she is not going to enforce a 2016 rule regarding transgender bathrooms put out by the old regime when that issue was hot. For another, DeVos has appointed (at least temporarily) attorney Candice Jackson as deputy secretary for civil rights. Jackson is a “libertarian feminist” who has worked for Judicial Watch and written a book on the way the Clinton machine went after the women who accused Bill of mistreating them. The Left knows that personnel is policy and therefore is throwing a tantrum over Jackson.”…http://bit.ly/2qJUkQ4

Judicial Watch Sues Sally Yates — “A conservative watchdog group is suing for access to Sally Yates’ emails from her brief but eventful tenure as acting attorney general during the early days of the Trump administration. Judicial Watch filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit  in federal court in Washington Friday, seeking copies of Yates’ Justice Department email traffic from January 20, 2017 through January 31, 2017—one day after she was fired by President Donald Trump for refusing to defend his travel ban executive order”…http://politi.co/2pTE5ib

More Classified Emails — “Hundreds of new State Department emails released by the watchdog group Judicial Watch (JW) show additional instances of Hillary Clinton sending and receiving classified information through an unsecure server. JW released 894 pages  of new State materials, obtained through a FOIA lawsuit against the Department, including previously unreleased email conversations that show the former secretary of state being sent additional classified information via her unsecure clintonmail.com email account from her senior aide Huma Abedin”…http://bit.ly/2qK06kS


Must Watch

President of Judicial Watch on the former national security adviser’s refusal to testify before Senate subcommittee http://bit.ly/2pWJRQt

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton reacts to state prosecutors going easy on illegal immigrant criminals to avert deportation. http://bit.ly/2pn9G8D

On Watch: Episode 13 – The Strange Case of Jesus ‘Eddie’ Campa (Continued) http://jwatch.us/ivzgXv

Tom Fitton gives updates on the Clinton Email and Benghazi Scandals, Trump Travel Expenses http://bit.ly/2pYv3ir

Source: Will County News

Trump News May 8, 2017


President Donald J. Trump has made it clear that American companies that fire their workers and ship their operations out of the country will not be able to sell their products back into the United States without paying a penalty. Those days are over. America First means the interests of American workers must come first.


  • 10:00AM: President Trump meets with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster


  • 12:00PM: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence
  • 2:00PM: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson




President Trump signs H.R. 244 into law.
Read More
Read President Trump’s Statement




Watch Friday’s press briefing with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

Today, a press briefing will be held at 1:30PM ET in the White House Briefing Room with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Watch it LIVE here.


  • Washington Free Beacon: Manufacturing CEO Says He’s Investing $2 Billion in US Because of ‘Confidence in Trump’
    Read More
  • Daily Caller: Trump To Appoint 10 Lower Court Federal Judges
    Read More

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C The Future Ready Student Foundation is raffling off FOUR one-day passes to all four parks in Walt Disney World!

News Release
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove Luther J. Schilling William E. Young William J. Butler
Hadley Middle Homer Jr. High
Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager
| 708-226-7628
For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2017
Enter to win FOUR 1-day passes to Walt Disney World
Raffle tickets now on sale
The Future Ready Student Foundation is raffling off FOUR one-day passes
to all four parks in Walt Disney World!
Tickets are valued at $640, but you could win them for $5!
Enter at:
Tickets are $5 each; five for $20; or 15 for $40.
FRSF Disney Raffle.jpg
The drawing is Friday, May 12 at Konow’s Family Fun Days.
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Source: Will County News