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Supreme Court Decision Hopefully Leads to Restoration of Civil Liberties

Feb 20, 2019 by AFP

BISMARCK, ND – Americans for Prosperity-North Dakota (AFP-ND) today commented on the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Timbs v. Indiana that found the Constitution’s 8th amendment prohibition on excessive fines applies not just to the federal government, but to the states, as well. The ruling could have major ramifications for a practice known as civil asset forfeiture which disproportionately targets lower income individuals and allows government to seize someone’s property without charging them with a crime.

 AFP-ND State Director Mike Fedorchak issued the following statement:

“North Dakotans should be encouraged by the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling today that impacts our great state and forbids unconstitutional, excessive fines on those who haven’t even been charged with a crime. AFP-ND truly believes in due process and the importance of returning personal assets to their rightful owners in the absence of a guilty verdict. Our lawmakers have already begun making strides this session to end this dubious practice, but the Supreme Court’s decision cements the importance of their work.”

Background: 

The defendant in Timbs v. Indiana, Tyson Timbs, argued that, by seizing his $42,000 Land Rover as part of an arrest for a drug sale of less than $250, Indiana law enforcement levied an excessive find against him since the value of his car far exceeded the maximum fine he would have faced as a punishment for his arrest.

Today, the Supreme Court agreed that the 8th amendment ban on excessive fines, like the one imposed on Timbs, should be incorporated by states. To learn more about the case, click here.

For further information or an interview, reach Nicole Tardif at NTardif@afphq.org or (571) 329-0161.