1

Bob's Plan...

A man, who I will call Bob, decides that he is going to remove his savings from his bank account and place it in a fireproof safe in his home. Bob makes his decision to place his money in his home due to his concerns over the current economic instability of the banking industry. Bob has to drive through a section of town where there have been frequent car-jackings. For safety reasons, Bob decides to transport the money in amounts of $20,000.00 per trip. Because Bob drives a Porsche, and fears being car-jacked, he drives a rental car during such trips.

2

Bob Gets Stopped by the Police...

On his third trip home from the bank, Bob encounters a road-block set up by the police. Bob stops to hand the officer his license and registration. A police dog is nearby and detects cocaine residue on the cash in the back of the rental vehicle. Bob does not know that a large percentage of money contains drug residue. The police seize the money, the vehicle, and take Bob in for questioning.

3

Bob's Property Gets Seized...

During the seizure the officer asks Bob if he has any more money and Bob replies "Yes. At my Home." Another officer then obtains a warrant and searches Bob's home and finds the safe containing $40,000.00 in U.S. Currency. This cash is also seized along with Bob's home and furnishings. A week prior to the incident Bob's friendly neighbor reported suspicious activity to the police stating that Bob was carrying plastic grocery bags containing large sums of money. She reported that she thought he might be selling drugs but did not know for certain. Bob must now get his home, money and belongings back. They have been seized by the U.S. Government under Admiralty and Maritime Law. How did this happen?

4

Property Subject to Government Forfeiture under 21 U.S.C. ?881 (a)(1)-(4)

21 U.S.C. ?881 (a) states as follows: (a) Subject property The following shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States and no property right shall exist in them: (1) All controlled substances which have been manufactured, distributed, dispensed, or acquired in violation of this subchapter. (2) All raw materials, products, and equipment of any kind which are used, or intended for use, in manufacturing, compounding, processing, delivering, importing, or exporting any controlled substance or listed chemical in violation of this subchapter. (3) All property which is used, or intended for use, as a container for property described in paragraph (1), (2), or (9). (4) All conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles, or vessels, which are used, or are intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, receipt, possession, or concealment of property described in paragraph (1), (2), or (9).

5

Property Subject to Government Forfeiture under 21 U.S.C. ?881 (a)(5)-(7)

(5) All books, records, and research, including formulas, microfilm, tapes, and data which are used, or intended for use, in violation of this subchapter. (6) All moneys, negotiable instruments, securities, or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for a controlled substance or listed chemical in violation of this subchapter, all proceeds traceable to such an exchange, and all moneys, negotiable instruments, and securities used or intended to be used to facilitate any violation of this subchapter. (7) All real property, including any right, title, and interest (including any leasehold interest) in the whole of any lot or tract of land and any appurtenances or improvements, which is used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, a violation of this subchapter punishable by more than one year's imprisonment.

6

Property Subject to Government Forfeiture under 21 U.S.C. ?881 (a)(8)-(11)

(8) All controlled substances which have been possessed in violation of this subchapter. (9) All listed chemicals, all drug manufacturing equipment, all tableting machines, all encapsulating machines, and all gelatin capsules, which have been imported, exported, manufactured, possessed, distributed, dispensed, acquired, or intended to be distributed, dispensed, acquired, imported, or exported, in violation of this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter. (10) Any drug paraphernalia (as defined in section 863 of this title). (11) Any firearm (as defined in section 921 of title 18) used or intended to be used to facilitate the transportation, sale, receipt, possession, or concealment of property described in paragraph (1) or (2) and any proceeds traceable to such property.

7

21 U.S.C. ?881's Applicability to the Seizure of Bob's Property (The Money in the Car and Home)

The property in Bob's car and home was seized and is now subject to government forfeiture under section 881 (a) (6) which reads as follows: "All moneys, negotiable instruments, securities, or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for a controlled substance or listed chemical in violation of this subchapter, all proceeds traceable to such an exchange, and all moneys, negotiable instruments, and securities used or intended to be used to facilitate any violation of this subchapter." Now that the property has been seized, Bob will have to maneuver a number of procedural steps to file a claim and for return of his money. He will also need a solid understanding of admiralty and maritime law, drug forfeitures, in rem procedures and more.

8

21 U.S.C. ?881's Applicability to the Seizure of Bob's Property (Bob's Home)

The Government claimed Bob's home under 21 U.S.C. ?881 (a) (7) which states that "(7) All real property, including any right, title, and interest (including any leasehold interest) in the whole of any lot or tract of land and any appurtenances or improvements, which is used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, a violation of this subchapter punishable by more than one year's imprisonment." Again, while the Government still has to prove it's case by a preponderance of the evidence, Bob must meet essential time deadlines in order to even have a claim and chance of recovering his property.