Policing for Profit – No More?

The Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Timbs v. Indiana that finally imposes the Excessive Fines Clause on all 50 states. From time to time someone will call me asking for help to regain the moneys or car seized by law enforcement as alleged proceeds of criminal activity. The Excessive Fines Clause is part of the Eight Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” but before the Timbs case, it was not implemented in all 50 states. Rather than challenge the constitutionality of the seizure, which no client I encountered could afford, we instead worked to provide law enforcement with proof that the seizure was of items lawfully gotten. It remains to be seen how the Supreme Court’s ruling will be implemented in the states.