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Could this qualify as blackmail?

radcen

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Could this qualify as blackmail?
Taken

Sarah Stillman: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture : The New Yorker

From the article:
"...told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road."
 

longview

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I have always thought the Civil Forfeiture laws were an assault on our freedoms.
I am surprised they have not be challenged in federal court.
 

lolabird

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Those insufferable parasites are going to bully the wrong person or people one of these days and their retribution is going to be cataclysmic and justified.
 

Fisher

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I have always thought the Civil Forfeiture laws were an assault on our freedoms.
I am surprised they have not be challenged in federal court.
Bennis v. Michigan (94-8729), 517 U.S. 1163 (1996)

Bennis v. Michigan, 517 U.S. 1163 (1996)


We conclude today, as we concluded 75 years ago, that the cases authorizing actions of the kind at issue are "too firmly fixed in the punitive and remedial jurisprudence of the country to be now displaced." Goldsmith Grant, supra, at 511. The State here sought to deter illegal activity that contributes to neighborhood deterioration and unsafe streets. The Bennis automobile, it is conceded, facilitated and was used in criminal activity. Both the trial court and the Michigan Supreme Court followed our longstanding practice, and the judgment of the Supreme Court of Michigan is therefore

Affirmed.
 

CalGun

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This really bites, but if they are truly innocent as they suggest it would be easy to get an attorney and file a suit against the city. If I practiced in their state I'd take it in a contingency and probably be paid well.

Think about it. This city gets away with legal extrapolation. So when they are served a law suit demanding the return of the money and fair damages they will likely pay off under a legal extrapolation.

However remember you are reading one side of the story.
 

penn1954

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Could this qualify as blackmail?
IMO Yes !!

This is a sad state of affairs thats been going along for a long time,
both parties all departments.

It's just sad!!!:cry:
 

lolabird

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This really bites, but if they are truly innocent as they suggest it would be easy to get an attorney and file a suit against the city. If I practiced in their state I'd take it in a contingency and probably be paid well.

Think about it. This city gets away with legal extrapolation. So when they are served a law suit demanding the return of the money and fair damages they will likely pay off under a legal extrapolation.

However remember you are reading one side of the story.
If the scumbags took their money and forced them to sign a waiver, just how easy would it be to hire an attorney to fight the establishment?
The victims most likely are feeling scared and intimidated. Would you open your mouth and invite the scumbags to exact revenge upon you?
 

radcen

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If the scumbags took their money and forced them to sign a waiver, just how easy would it be to hire an attorney to fight the establishment?
The victims most likely are feeling scared and intimidated. Would you open your mouth and invite the scumbags to exact revenge upon you?
Which is the purpose of the waiver, of course... to prevent, or at least discourage... lawsuits. In my opinion, though, claiming that it was signed under duress would be a slam dunk, though in reality it's probably a high hurdle to overcome.
 

MaggieD

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No. Plea bargains involves charges and convictions. Neither are present here.
Yeah, I back off that position. I am wrong.
 

CalGun

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If I were as "innocent" as the article projected an attorney will jump at their case and take it with no money from the victims. There will be a huge settlement and the attorney will enjoy 40/50% of it for the time and energy.

When you note the "fear" of the victims why would they be afraid if they did nothing wrong. You have read the article, believed 100% of what you read, and have no idea what the other side of the story is. The attorney will find out quickly and if he/she learns he is dealing with drug mules that were posing as a happy family he'll drop them and likely sue them for his time wasted.


If the scumbags took their money and forced them to sign a waiver, just how easy would it be to hire an attorney to fight the establishment?
The victims most likely are feeling scared and intimidated. Would you open your mouth and invite the scumbags to exact revenge upon you?
 

Lutherf

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If I were as "innocent" as the article projected an attorney will jump at their case and take it with no money from the victims. There will be a huge settlement and the attorney will enjoy 40/50% of it for the time and energy.

When you note the "fear" of the victims why would they be afraid if they did nothing wrong. You have read the article, believed 100% of what you read, and have no idea what the other side of the story is. The attorney will find out quickly and if he/she learns he is dealing with drug mules that were posing as a happy family he'll drop them and likely sue them for his time wasted.
If you do some poking around you will find that this practice is pretty doggone common in certain areas and that the complaints have taken a lot of money and a lot of time to get through the courts. The reason this kind of thing can be done is because there is usually a chain of complicity up through the county level (at least). The whole thing is often rigged unless you can get at it from the state level.
 

CalGun

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I agree 100%. There are two issues at hand though. First people read the one sided article and assume the innocence of the so called victim. Their innocence is worthy of question before determining how "wronged" they were. Pursing it in court and getting it to the state level will require their innocence be without question. If the people were as pure as presented in this fluff piece of an article I think its quite likely the city will settle before letting it get to the state level - so they can keep their practice in play.


If you do some poking around you will find that this practice is pretty doggone common in certain areas and that the complaints have taken a lot of money and a lot of time to get through the courts. The reason this kind of thing can be done is because there is usually a chain of complicity up through the county level (at least). The whole thing is often rigged unless you can get at it from the state level.
 

Hard Truth

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Could this qualify as blackmail?
I don't have time read the whole article now and the excerpt isn't enough info, .....

BUT.....

the decision to put the kids into foster care should be based on the best interests of the kids and no other factor, except for lack of better options.

I oppose asset seizure without a conviction, but it can be legitimate as part of a plea bargain.
 
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Lutherf

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I agree 100%. There are two issues at hand though. First people read the one sided article and assume the innocence of the so called victim. Their innocence is worthy of question before determining how "wronged" they were. Pursing it in court and getting it to the state level will require their innocence be without question. If the people were as pure as presented in this fluff piece of an article I think its quite likely the city will settle before letting it get to the state level - so they can keep their practice in play.
I understand where you're coming from and I also question the innocence of someone driving along with $150k cash in a briefcase because they are going to buy a business or whatever the excuse is. I don't believe for a second that confiscating even that money without a damned good reason is good use of the law but it's sure worth taking a longer look. In this case, though, we're talking about $6k. That's probably more than one would expect to be carrying regularly but it's a long damned way from suspicious.
 

radcen

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I understand where you're coming from and I also question the innocence of someone driving along with $150k cash in a briefcase because they are going to buy a business or whatever the excuse is. I don't believe for a second that confiscating even that money without a damned good reason is good use of the law but it's sure worth taking a longer look. In this case, though, we're talking about $6k. That's probably more than one would expect to be carrying regularly but it's a long damned way from suspicious.
Two years ago I sold a car to someone from two states over via Craigslist. The car sold for $9000. I required $1500 down payment via Paypal, and the balance ($7500) in cash when he picked it up.

Why did I require cash? Too many stories of bogus cashier's checks that the bank can't even recognize are phony until three weeks after the fact. That, plus too many stories of buyers and/or PayPal themselves doing questionable crap and taking back payment. Due to the distance between the buyer and myself, cash, IMO, was the only secure method. Count the cash, sign over the title, wham-bam-done.

$6K, as in this case, is not common, but it's not unreasonable, either.
 

radcen

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I don't have time read the whole article now and the excerpt isn't enough info, .....

BUT.....

the decision to put the kids into foster care should be based on the best interests of the kids and no other factor, except for lack of better options.
If they truly believed the kids were being abused and/or neglected, wouldn't they have just filed the charges? Wouldn't the money be secondary to that? One would think.

But no, instead, they are ok with sending the kids on down the road to continue to be abused/neglected in exchange for cash.


I oppose asset seizure without a conviction, but it can be legitimate as part of a plea bargain.
I'm accepting of it in a criminal court and with a criminal conviction.

Part of a plea bargain as part of a conviction is acceptable. Instead of a conviction or even an official charge is, well... extortion.
 

CalGun

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No doubt - as noted the article suggests they are innocent victims and as I've said if they are this innocent I suspect a law firm will gladly take their case on a contingency and put Linden (was that the town) under a microscope they dont' want to be under. My guess is the city attorney will look at these "innocent" people and suggest a simple and fast settlement for the "officers and prosecutors" errors.

I'll be honest, I'm jaded by the fact the media has a tendancy to ignore falts in cases brought to them by "innocent" people. My home town had a very good one, a mom and daughter, victimes of a stalker. The police would do nothing. There was graffiti on their home, vandalism of other sorts, constant annoying phone calls - the darn police would do nothing. The media (TV) ran with this for 3 nights out of about two weeks belittling our small town police department for not getting to the bottom of it. The police finally did. The bottom of it was the mother was the primary suspect in her husband's murder in another state. Prior to the murder they'd be stalked, vandalized and harrassed by "someone." The daughter in this case was on the outs with her husband who had left and who they were blaming. The police finally caught mom and daughter vandalizing their own home and calling "son in law / husband" over for "help." Since police had the vandalism on video they got a warrant, arrested the women for vandalism and false claims and when they arrested them they found a loaded weapon - the same one used to kill the dad/husband in the other state and it was out and the insuation was they might have been at the point - ready to kill husband/son in our town. Pretty fascinating event - no? The TV station that belittled our police two weeks - never followed up - never ran the true story - not even a mention of the mom's extradition back to her home state for MURDER. That is only one - there are more - reasons not to trust the media when it comes to LE.


I understand where you're coming from and I also question the innocence of someone driving along with $150k cash in a briefcase because they are going to buy a business or whatever the excuse is. I don't believe for a second that confiscating even that money without a damned good reason is good use of the law but it's sure worth taking a longer look. In this case, though, we're talking about $6k. That's probably more than one would expect to be carrying regularly but it's a long damned way from suspicious.
 

ARealConservative

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This really bites, but if they are truly innocent as they suggest it would be easy to get an attorney and file a suit against the city. If I practiced in their state I'd take it in a contingency and probably be paid well.

Think about it. This city gets away with legal extrapolation. So when they are served a law suit demanding the return of the money and fair damages they will likely pay off under a legal extrapolation.

However remember you are reading one side of the story.
as the article pointed out, many times the cost of the lawyer exceeds the value of what was taken.
 

radcen

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No doubt - as noted the article suggests they are innocent victims and as I've said if they are this innocent I suspect a law firm will gladly take their case on a contingency and put Linden (was that the town) under a microscope they dont' want to be under. My guess is the city attorney will look at these "innocent" people and suggest a simple and fast settlement for the "officers and prosecutors" errors.

I'll be honest, I'm jaded by the fact the media has a tendancy to ignore falts in cases brought to them by "innocent" people. My home town had a very good one, a mom and daughter, victimes of a stalker. The police would do nothing. There was graffiti on their home, vandalism of other sorts, constant annoying phone calls - the darn police would do nothing. The media (TV) ran with this for 3 nights out of about two weeks belittling our small town police department for not getting to the bottom of it. The police finally did. The bottom of it was the mother was the primary suspect in her husband's murder in another state. Prior to the murder they'd be stalked, vandalized and harrassed by "someone." The daughter in this case was on the outs with her husband who had left and who they were blaming. The police finally caught mom and daughter vandalizing their own home and calling "son in law / husband" over for "help." Since police had the vandalism on video they got a warrant, arrested the women for vandalism and false claims and when they arrested them they found a loaded weapon - the same one used to kill the dad/husband in the other state and it was out and the insuation was they might have been at the point - ready to kill husband/son in our town. Pretty fascinating event - no? The TV station that belittled our police two weeks - never followed up - never ran the true story - not even a mention of the mom's extradition back to her home state for MURDER. That is only one - there are more - reasons not to trust the media when it comes to LE.
I get the jaded part, absolutely. But, IMO this particular scenario is wrong-headed no matter if the "innocent" person wasn't as innocent as portrayed or not. If they engaged in illegal activity they should be prosecuted for illegal activity. If not, or if it cannot be reasonably proven, then they should suffer no consequences. The issue here is the process, not so much guilt vs innocence.
 

CalGun

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Not necessarily true. If you take what is published as gospel truth the innocent victims would win punitive damages against the city, possibly the police officer and the district attorney. It is very likely that damage would far and exceed the "cost' of an attorney.


as the article pointed out, many times the cost of the lawyer exceeds the value of what was taken.
 
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