Executive Weapons to Combat Infection of the Art Market
Washington University Law Review, Vol. 88, p. 1353, 2011
11 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 29, 2011
We all know that criminal proceedings implicate heightened constitutional protections in comparison to civil proceedings. Many of us also have at least heard of civil forfeiture, somewhat of a hybrid of criminal and civil process that has its roots in this country in the first session of Congress. A civil forfeiture proceeding is filed directly against a piece of real or personal property on the premise that its association with criminal activity has tainted it such that it is subject to forfeiture. In 1996, in Bennis v. Michigan, the Supreme Court ruled that the seizure of property, even one‘s residence, when the property owner had no knowledge of, and did not consent to, the illegal use of the property, was not prohibited by the Due Process or Takings Clauses, which drew widespread criticism from legal academia. Congress responded to Bennis by enacting the Civil Asset Forfeiture Recovery Act of 2000 (CAFRA), which raised the government‘s burden of proof in many civil forfeiture actions filed after 2000 from probable cause to preponderance of the evidence and codified a widely, but not universally, applicable innocent owner defense.
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