Yesterday, IJ won our fastest victory ever. Just hours after we launched our latest civil forfeiture case with an exclusive feature in The Washington Post, the government agreed to drop all charges against our clients and returned every cent that it had wrongfully seized.
This case involves one of the most outrageous forfeiture actions we’ve seen yet. During a routine traffic stop for a broken tail light, the Muskogee, Oklahoma, sheriff’s department seized more than $53,000 from our clients—a church and a Burmese Christian band on tour in the U.S. trying to raise funds for charity. The full Washington Post story is here, and you can find more information about the case, including IJ’s video, on our website.
Law enforcement nationwide continues to use civil forfeiture to steal property and hard-earned cash from innocent owners. But with your support, we were able to act quickly and marshal resources across time zones—and, in this case, continents—to come to their defense. Despite its short duration, this case involved a great deal of work and hustle by IJ attorneys. Indeed, I suspect this is the first time anyone has had to chase down notaries in Burma, rural Thailand, Omaha, and Dallas all on the same day. This victory brings us one step closer to our goal of abolishing forfeiture, and we are grateful to you for making it possible.
Scott Bullock | email@example.com | Institute for Justice | 901 North Glebe Road, Suite 900 | Arlington, Virginia 22203