Civil asset forfeiture is a pernicious practice that allows the cops to steal property on the grounds it might have been used in the commission of a crime. Doesn’t matter if the property owner is charged (often not) or the property owner was even aware of illegal activities on or using his/her property.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court said that civil asset forfeiture can be considered excessive fines under the Eighth Amendment. While not a death knell to the practice, this ruling gives a strong weapon to those fighting not only civil asset forfeiture, but jurisdictions that use fines as revenue generators.
Best of all, it was 9-0. When your actions are so egregious that the entire SCOTUS signs on, you done fucked up good.
I’m hoping this is the first step to the courts ruling the whole practice of seizing property without a criminal conviction of the owner unconstitutional and demands restitution.