Civil Forfeiture Abuse: Federal and Massachusetts Authorities Trying to Steal Motel From Owners

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
54,250
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438
Atlanta, GA
#1
Fucking scum.

http://www.ij.org/massachusetts-civil-forfeiture

Federal & Local Law Enforcement Agencies Try to Take Family Motel from Innocent Owners



IJ client Russ Caswell and his family have owned and operated the Motel Caswell in Tewksbury, Mass., for two generations. The Caswells may have their property taken from them by local and federal law enforcement officials through a process known as “civil forfeiture.”


Download the report: Inequitable Justice


Imagine you own a million-dollar piece of property free and clear, but then the federal government and local law enforcement agents announce that they are going to take it from you, not compensate you one dime, and then use the money they get from selling your land to pad their budgets—all this even though you have never so much as been accused of a crime, let alone convicted of one.

That is the nightmare Russ Caswell and his family is now facing in Tewksbury, Mass., where they stand to lose the family-operated motel they have owned for two generations.

Seeking to circumvent state law and cash in on the profits, the Tewksbury Police Department is working with the U.S. Department of Justice to take and sell the Caswells property because a tiny fraction of people who have stayed at the Motel Caswell during the past 20 years have been arrested for crimes. Keep in mind, the Caswells themselves have worked closely with law enforcement officials to prevent and report crime on their property. And the arrests the government complains of represent less than .05 percent of the 125,000 rooms the Caswells have rented over that period of time.

Despite all this, the Caswells stand to lose literally everything they have worked for because of this effort by federal and local law enforcement officials not to pursue justice, but rather to police for profit.

How widespread is the problem of civil forfeiture abuse nationwide? In 1986, the year after the U.S. Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund was created—the fund that holds the forfeiture proceeds from properties forfeited under federal law and available to be paid out to law enforcement agencies—took in just $93.7 million. Today it holds more than $1.6 billion.

The Institute for Justice, a national public interest law firm that fights civil forfeiture abuse nationwide, is now representing the Caswells in defense of their property and their constitutional rights.

Essential Background
Images
Backgrounder: Federal & Local Law Enforcement Agencies Try to Take Family Motel from Innocent Owners
Client Photo

Client Video
Related Video: Policing for Profit
Latest Release: IJ Puts Civil Forfeiture on Trial (October 31, 2012)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Decision denying the MSJ
Launch Release: IJ Challenges “Policing for Profit” in Massachusetts (October 4, 2011)


Case Timeline
Case Filed: September 29, 2009
IJ Begins Involvement in Case: September 15, 2011
Court Filed: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Decision(s): none available
Current Court: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Status: Pending
Next Key Date: November 5, 2012, Trial Begins.

Additional Releases
Reports, Maps, Charts and Facts
Release: Landmark Federal Forfeiture Case Will Go to Trial: Caswell Family Will Prove Innocence in Court to Save Family Motel (February 13, 2012)
Download Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture
Detail: State Forfeiture Grades and Map

Release: Civil Forfeiture Abuse Case to be argued (February 13, 2012)
Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Video: Forfeiture Abuse: Even Your Drums Aren't Safe From the Police; (February 28, 2011)
Release: Caswells File Motion to End Their American Nightmare of Civil Forfeiture Abuse (November 8, 2011)
Video: IJ's Scott Bullock discusses the Forfeiting Justice report; (November 18, 2010)

Video: Fox Business: IJ's Scott Bullock discusses "policing for profit" with David Asman; (August 10, 2010)

Article: Setting the Record Straight at the Motel Caswell Tewksbury Town Crier (May 30, 2012)
 
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Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
13,596
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#2
Unfortunately not entirely rare nowadays. This is becoming more commonplace all the time.
 

DanaReevesLungs

I can keep rhythm with no metronome...
Donator
Jun 9, 2005
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#3
Remember kids, the government's there to protect you.
 

jrsaint

Registered User
Feb 13, 2006
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#4
This is how homegrown terrorism against the government starts and I would fully support it. a well placed bullet in the prosecutor's head would prove a point that the government has to think before taking away the rights of the citizens.They destroyed the mans livelihood and confiscated all of his hard earned assets, so I believe it is a fair response to an unreasonable adversary.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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Mar 30, 2006
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#5
Are we ready to admit that the criminal justice system is nothing but a revenue stream?
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#7
Anyone who believes we still have a government of the people is delusional. The government has become an entity we have to ask permission from to practice basic rights, and to defend ourselves against when they arbitrarily try to take what is ours. You have very little right to personal property anymore... the simple fact that assets can be confiscated before being convicted of (or even charged with) a crime is slap in the face of the 5th Amendment. In case anyone forgot the exact wording:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The bold section seems pretty fucking simple.

Edit to add: This story represents, as per the Constitution, an act of theft by these governments (local and federal).
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#8
Due process and just compensation use to mean something.

It's well past time to tar and feather a bunch of dim wits in political office and wearing self serving badges.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#9
Not to go all Kirk, but this is why we have a 2nd Amendment. At some point the government starts being more concerned with how much power it can obtain, and realizes that, beyond utilizing other branches of the same government, we the people have no legal means for acquiring justice when we are wrong by it. People should really start getting scared when shit like this is going on.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
46,851
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#10
Not to go all Kirk, but this is why we have a 2nd Amendment. At some point the government starts being more concerned with how much power it can obtain, and realizes that, beyond utilizing other branches of the same government, we the people have no legal means for acquiring justice when we are wrong by it. People should really start getting scared when shit like this is going on.

Exactly, what I have told some cop acquaintances 15 or so years ago. Of course, they looked at me like I was insane (maybe a bit;) They didn't like the idea of 'citizens' having better firepower than them.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#11
Exactly, what I have told some cop acquaintances 15 or so years ago. Of course, they looked at me like I was insane (maybe a bit;) They didn't like the idea of 'citizens' having better firepower than them.
Another thing I hate... the whole concept that a militia is a bad thing is flawed. Some militias are bad (like the one that was actually plotting to kill police officers), but an armed, organized civilian populace is exactly what the founders desired. Of course if you say that in public you're automatically labeled as a crazy domestic terrorist.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
46,851
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#12
Another observation about cops is they believe they some how have superior firearm skills because they went through the Police Academy.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and they hate being show up on the range.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#16
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Carlo Gambino was never arrested much less tried for anything he did past the 1920s or 30s (with the exception of an immigration status hearing, Gambino being illegal and all. The hearing was shut down after the right pay-offs were made). Is he innocent in your eyes? :action-sm
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#17
Carlo Gambino was never arrested much less tried for anything he did past the 1920s or 30s (with the exception of an immigration status hearing, Gambino being illegal and all. The hearing was shut down after the right pay-offs were made). Is he innocent in your eyes? :action-sm
Yes and no. I believe he is innocent as far as the law is concerned, but my opinion is he committed the crimes.

Innocence in this context refers to the law, and if he was never convicted, he is innocent under the eyes of the law. If you're talking about being judged by society in general, God, or whatever, it's probably a different story. However no conviction = no government-enforced consequences.

Besides, that's getting off the point. This is about asset seizure, and the 5th Amendment clearly states that citizens cannot be deprived of property without due process. Due process never happened, so this is unconstitutional.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
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#18
This is how homegrown terrorism against the government starts and I would fully support it. a well placed bullet in the prosecutor's head would prove a point that the government has to think before taking away the rights of the citizens.They destroyed the mans livelihood and confiscated all of his hard earned assets, so I believe it is a fair response to an unreasonable adversary.
Due process and just compensation use to mean something.

It's well past time to tar and feather a bunch of dim wits in political office and wearing self serving badges.
Not to go all Kirk, but this is why we have a 2nd Amendment. At some point the government starts being more concerned with how much power it can obtain, and realizes that, beyond utilizing other branches of the same government, we the people have no legal means for acquiring justice when we are wrong by it. People should really start getting scared when shit like this is going on.
Exactly, what I have told some cop acquaintances 15 or so years ago. Of course, they looked at me like I was insane (maybe a bit;) They didn't like the idea of 'citizens' having better firepower than them.
Is the Race War still on for next week?
Reported, reported, reported, reported, and reported.....:cool:
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
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#19
Reported, reported, reported, reported, and reported.....:cool:
Rat!

Now we have to fall back to our farm north of Boise a full year ahead of schedule... and I only have 42,000 rounds for my Remington .22 "Liberty Rifle". Kirk! Get your homework done by tomorrow night so your mom will let you leave the house to defend the Constitution from globalist owls with us (his mom is a little overbearing, but she cooks us all delicious cookies, so we let him stay in our militia/Buffy fan club).
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
2,877
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#20
Yes and no. I believe he is innocent as far as the law is concerned, but my opinion is he committed the crimes.

Innocence in this context refers to the law, and if he was never convicted, he is innocent under the eyes of the law. If you're talking about being judged by society in general, God, or whatever, it's probably a different story. However no conviction = no government-enforced consequences.

Besides, that's getting off the point. This is about asset seizure, and the 5th Amendment clearly states that citizens cannot be deprived of property without due process. Due process never happened, so this is unconstitutional.
Exactly.
This motel owner might be the biggest piece of shit ever, and the neighborhood might be better off without him. Still can't end-run around due process to get rid of him.
That's a lot worse than anything the motel guy could be doing to piss people off.
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
5,755
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#22
As there a meth lab or something in one of the rooms

Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
 

jrsaint

Registered User
Feb 13, 2006
1,545
370
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right behind you
#23
Exactly.
This motel owner might be the biggest piece of shit ever, and the neighborhood might be better off without him. Still can't end-run around due process to get rid of him.
That's a lot worse than anything the motel guy could be doing to piss people off.
I think the guy has saved alot of poor souls from spending a night in the cold, out in the elements. regardless of the fact he charged to use his facility, he still provided shelter where there was no alternative and reported illegal behavior to the authorities when aware of it. He was not an active participant in the activity, so to charge him as if he was is a ham handed tactic perpetrated by thugs with badges.
 

Buster H

Alt-F4
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Dec 6, 2004
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#24
. Kirk! Get your homework done by tomorrow night so your mom will let you leave the house to defend the Constitution from globalist owls with us (his mom is a little overbearing, but she cooks us all delicious cookies, so we let him stay in our militia/Buffy fan club).
i proactively removed him from the thread