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J. Forfeiture of seized property

Henderson v. United States, USSC No. 13-1487, 2015 WL 2340840 (May 18, 2015), reversing  United States v. Henderson, Case No. 12-14628, 2014 WL 292169 (11th Cir. 2014) (unreported); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) The Supreme Court unanimously holds that a defendant convicted of a felony retains “a naked right of alienation” in any firearms… Read More

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Question presented: Does a felony conviction extinguish all of a defendant’s property interests in a firearm, such that he or she may not even arrange for the sale or other transfer of any surrendered or seized firearms to another person because doing so would constitute “constructive” possession and thus violate 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)’s ban on possession of a… Read More

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Aaron v. Ols v. City of Milwaukee, 2013AP1882, District 1, 6/24/14 (not recommended for publication); case activity Ols is entitled to the return of his firearm under § 968.20 because there is insufficient evidence that Ols used the firearm in the commission of a crime. Ols was charged with disorderly conduct while armed (later reduced to a municipal ordinance violation) for… Read More

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State v. One 2010 Nissan Altima, 2013AP2176, District 2, 6/11/14 (not recommended for publication); case activity Daughter’s possession of and control over a car titled and registered in her father’s name made her the “owner” of the car for purposes of the property forfeiture law, so the circuit court properly rejected her father’s claim that he was… Read More

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Kaley v. United States, USSC 12-464, 2/25/14 United States Supreme Court decision, affirming United States v. Kaley, 677 F.3d 1316 (11th Cir. 2012) In a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court holds that when a post-indictment, ex parte restraining order under 18 U.S.C. § 853(e) freezes assets that are potentially subject to forfeiture but which the defendant needs to retain counsel, the defendant is… Read More

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Question presented: When a post-indictment, ex parte restraining order freezes assets needed by a criminal defendant to retain counsel of choice, do the Fifth and Sixth Amendments require a pretrial, adversarial hearing at which the defendant may challenge the evidentiary support and legal theory of the underlying charges? Lower court decision: United States v. Kaley… Read More

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Forfeiture Action: Personal Jurisdiction

State v. Robert M. Schmitt, 2012 WI App 121 (recommended for publication); case activity Although “the summons, complaint and the supporting affidavit must each be authenticated as a condition of personal jurisdiction when commencing a forfeiture action,” ¶1,  an authentication defect attributable to a clerk’s error is merely technical and doesn’t impair jurisdiction. ¶4        In Schmitt’s case, the… Read More

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court of appeals decision (3-judge; not recommended for publication); pro se; Resp. Br. Forfeiture Refusal of request to return seized cash upheld, where Morton was convicted of drug offenses: separate forfeiture action was unnecessary (Leonard L. Jones v. State, 226 Wis.2d 565, 594 N.W.2d 738 (1999), controlling); trial court forfeiture decision is discretionary, and Morton’s… Read More

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