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State of Felonia
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Applying Concepts to State v. W81925 Oxford Road
Other Unique Aspects of State v. W81925 Oxford Road
Questions
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
It is regularly used.
In 2000, State Highway Patrols recovered more than $212 Million in drug forfeitures.
In 2006, $703 Million was recovered by United States Attorneys through asset forfeiture.
(Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online (2006 ed.); Bureau of Justice Statistics, Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS), (2000)
The U.S. Customs Service seizes and forfeits billions annually.
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Civil Forfeiture is Important Because
It can have serious consequences above and beyond a criminal conviction.
See, e.g., United States v. Dodge Caravan SE / Sport Van, 387 F.3d 758 (8th Cir. 2004)
Mrs. Clemons, a van owner, used van to pick up phony prescriptions for hydrocodone using one pharmacy’s drive-up window.
Pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substance by fraud under Nebraska state law.
Federal Government sought to forfeit her automobile, as the vehicle “facilitated” the commission of the offense.
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Forfeiture of property may be more of a “penalty” than the punishment issued in a criminal case
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
What Is Civil Forfeiture?
“The divestiture without compensation of property used in a manner contrary to the laws of the sovereign.”
United States v. Eight Rhodesian Statues,
449 F. Supp. 193, 195 (C.D. Cal. 1978))
The confiscation of property because it has been used in violation of the law or because it is the fruit of illegal conduct.
(United States v. Ursery,
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
What Is Civil Forfeiture?
A civil action brought by a governmental entity to acquire property, money or chattels (things) forfeitable pursuant to statute.
Property, money, or chattels are kept, destroyed, or sold, and the money is kept by the Government and used for a variety of purposes.
Victims’ compensation, police investigation expenses, etc.
Money creates incentives for forfeiture.
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Latin: “Against a thing.”
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Contraband (controlled substances, precursors, etc.)
Proceeds of illegal activity (or property traceable thereto).
Property that was used, intended for use, or facilitated, illegal activity.
See, e.g., Minn. Stat. § 609.5311 (controlled substances); 18 U.S.C. § 981 (general, financial crimes);
21 U.S.C. § 881 (controlled substances)
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Administrative Forfeiture
Criminal Forfeiture
(Minn. Stat. § 609.5314; Minn. Stat. § 169A.63; Minn. Stat. § 609.5312)
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
The Plaintiff Government
“Innocent Owners”
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
What Is a Typical Procedure for a Civil Forfeiture Action?
The Government files a civil complaint against the defendant property.
The Government seizes the property or provides notice.
The action is served/published on those who may have an interest.
Claimants answer the Complaint.
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
What does the Government have to prove to win its case?
(Jurisdiction, Venue, Statutory Formalities Complied with)
Property:
Facilitated, in whole or in part, the exchange of contraband *
Value of Goods / Underlying Crime
Not unconstitutional?
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Defining Civil Forfeiture
Prove an affirmative defense
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Applying Civil Forfeiture
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Applying the Rules
[A/k/a Red Fairfield’s House]
Claimants:
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Applying the Rules
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Applying the Rules
Plaintiff’s Burden
Retail value of controlled substance exceeds $1,000.
Property used or facilitated the exchanging of contraband or a controlled substance.
Not unconstitutional? *
Unconstitutional
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Applying the Rules
(Does it matter?)
How Does Red’s History Affect
Red’s credibility?
Jo Staid’s Evidence
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Applying the Rules
That this wasn’t just a one time deal?
Statute of Limitations
Elements
Statutory minimum and maximum fine that may be imposed for the underlying criminal act
Value of property to be forfeited
Strength of the nexus between underlying criminal act and property
Any other factors
Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Case Quirks
Get past the funny terms
Plan to educate your judges, who may have never heard of civil forfeiture.
Case Balance
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
State v. W81925 Oxford Road:
Case Quirks
Kelly Just’s?
Character of Each Witness (403, 404, 607, 608, 609)?
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Suite 3500 | 225 South Sixth Street | Minneapolis, MN 55402 | Main:(612)604-6400 | Fax:(612)604-6800 | www.winthrop.com
THANK YOU!
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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