Federal judge rules against Albuquerque civil forfeiture

This article reports a federal district court ruling that Albuquerque’s civil forfeiture procedure for vehicle seizure is unconstitutional. The city had a practice of seizing cars involved in DUI and driving while revoked cases even though the offending driver was not the owner, and then requiring the owner to prove their innocence in the case and pay heavy fines before getting the vehicle back. Also, the city used the revenue from the program to directly support program staff, creating a clear incentive to raise funds at the expense of vehicle owners.

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