Judge Ruled Police Violated the Eighth Amendment When They Seized a Land Rover During a Drug Bust – Civil Forfeiture
Judge Jeffrey D. Todd ruled police violated the Eighth Amendment when officers seized Tyson Timbs’ $35,000 Land Rover during a drug bust in May of 2013. The Eighth Amendment bars excessive bail and excessive fines.
Timbs pleaded guilty to selling $400 worth of heroin from his Land Rover. He served a year of house arrest and paid $1,200 in court costs.
However, lawyers from the state of Indiana filed a “Civil Forfeiture” lawsuit to take the title to Timbs’ Land Rover. Timbs purchased his vehicle with part of a $70,000 life insurance policy left to him from his dad.
“The State sought forfeiture of his only asset; an asset he purchased using life insurance proceeds rather than drug money, and a tool essential to maintaining employment, obtaining treatment, and reducing the likelihood that he would ever again commit another criminal offense,” Judge Todd said in court documents issued Monday.
Although a trial court ruled in 2015 the state should return Timbs’ vehicle, the Indiana State Supreme Court ruled state and local authorities are not bound by the Eighth Amendment.
Timbs’ appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which ordered the Indiana Supreme Court to re-hear the case. The state’s high court sent Timb’s case back to Judge Todd’s courtroom last October.