In a giant win for the little folks, Philadelphia final week agreed to rein in its civil-forfeiture program and pay $three million to innocents whose property it wrongly confiscated.
Attorneys with the Institute for Justice sued in 2014 over insurance policies that allow legislation enforcement take property “suspected” of being tied to crime — even when the proprietor clearly wasn’t a part of the crime.
The lead plaintiffs have been Markela and Chris Sourovelis, whose residence was seized after their son was busted for promoting $40 price of medicine outdoors it. Neither dad or mum ever did something unsuitable. The truth is, they have been driving their son to a court-ordered rehab program the day the police took their residence.
From 2002 to 2014, Philadelphia’s forfeiture machine pulled in over $72 million, vs. $102 million for the state’s 66 different counties.
Town agreed to place new limits on seizures, maintain quicker hearings for challenges and impose judicial oversight earlier within the course of. And to cease sending the proceeds to the DA’s Workplace and Police Division. (Forfeitures lined greater than a fifth of the funds for the DA’s Workplace because it seized 300-plus houses and different properties every year.)
“I’m glad that there’s lastly a measure of justice for folks like me,” Chris Sourovelis stated. “Nobody in Philadelphia ought to ever must undergo the nightmare my household confronted.”
In Philly — or anyplace.