Timbs v. Indiana could open floodgates of asset forfeiture cases
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case which could have a profound impact on the ability of states to seize the property of ordinary citizens.
The case, Timbs v. Indiana, is expected by some court watchers to continue the court's steely-eyed suspicion of state laws that concern the seizing of property allegedly associated with criminal activity.
Directly at issue in the case is whether or not the state of Indiana was justified in seizing plaintiff Tyson Timbs's 2012 Land Rover. Timbs, who has a history of opioid abuse, used the car several times in the process of selling heroin to undercover narcotics officers in Indiana. The third time he attempted such a sale, he was pulled over and arrested. The Land Rover, which contained no drugs and was worth some $31,000, was seized.