Police power to confiscate


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zahc
June 2, 2005, 02:53 AM
Whilst pushing plywood in areas plywood pushing is not technically allowed, I have happened upon police officers who have threatened to confiscate my skateboard. Which got me thinking.

In general, when can the police confiscate your property, under what conditions? Do they have to charge you with something or is it just at their discretion, whatever they feel like goes? Can they use confiscation as punishment without official citation? What happens to confiscated property?

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joab
June 2, 2005, 02:59 AM
Can they use confiscation as punishment without official citation? In the old days they used to confiscate in lieu of citation or make you pour the beer out or break your knife on the curb. A friend once bought a Colt snubby from a guy the cops had picked up. He was told to sell it to this guy or face another charge. Or so the story goes

rick_reno
June 2, 2005, 03:23 AM
When can the confiscate your property? This is the "War on Terror" son, they can confiscate YOU anytime they want. Property can be replaced, when you start bunking with Jose Padilla it's time to get worried.

happy old sailor
June 2, 2005, 03:26 AM
here, the sheriff holds an auction every year. got a few buys there self. few years back, fellow bought a motot home, ratty, tore out inside to remodel and found a load of pot. did not touch, called sheriff and gave the pot back. everything turned out ok all around, just one thing that can happen at these auctions. i only bid on knives, guns and such.

Vernal45
June 2, 2005, 03:37 AM
If it, the property, can be related to Drugs, if the cop can articulate that it, the property, may have someting to do with drugs, its, the property, gone.

Welcome to the war on drugs. And for G*ds sake, dont keep property in, or near a coffee can. ;)

WT
June 2, 2005, 08:41 AM
Okay, you admitted or implied doing something illegal by riding a skateboard where it is not allowed.

In my state police officers are allowed by statute to seize "conveyances intended to facilitate the perpetration of illegal acts."

Yes they can take your board. You may have to go to court to get it back.

Better they seize the board than they seize you.

whm1974
June 2, 2005, 08:46 AM
Better they seize the board than they seize you.

More so if by arresting you would cost much more then seizing your skateboard.

-Bill

centac
June 2, 2005, 10:20 AM
If it is contraband, fruits of a crime, or thing otherwise criminally possessed. The final clause would account for a skateboard in a no-skateboarding area.

RavenVT100
June 2, 2005, 10:32 AM
Or soon in NJ, they're trying to make it so they can take away your house if an unregistered handgun is present (even if you didn't know about it).

zahc
June 2, 2005, 10:38 AM
In my state police officers are allowed by statute to seize "conveyances intended to facilitate the perpetration of illegal acts."


I figured as much, but what keeps said cop from seizing my skateboard, and giving it to his son for christmas? Seems some leeway for abuse here.

Control Group
June 2, 2005, 10:43 AM
And for G*ds sake, dont keep property in, or near a coffee can.
You just made me inhale coffee.

Thanks. ;)

Control Group
June 2, 2005, 10:47 AM
I figured as much, but what keeps said cop from seizing my skateboard, and giving it to his son for christmas? Seems some leeway for abuse here.
Sure is. But it's really no worse than the police keeping the proceeds from traffic citations, and certainly not as inherently abuse-prone as asset forfeiture in drug cases.

It's all part of the same problem. We've got law enforcement that's funded in part on a commission basis. Or at least, I think it's a problem; many people disagree with me. YMMV.

bakert
June 2, 2005, 11:07 AM
Think I would just take the cop's word and ride somewhere else. Why challenge them about something this. You would probably have to go to court to get your board back. In some smaller towns the cop's son might very well wind up with it.

Derek Zeanah
June 2, 2005, 11:48 AM
On TFL a few years back (before THR) someone mentioned a case something like this: he was travelling in a motor home when it ran out of gas/broke down. While it was "abandoned" (he walked to get fuel/hoses/whatever) a CHP officer broke into it to insure that nothing was wrong, found some pricy firearms (I believe a PSG-1 was one of them) and hauled them off.

This was "policy" you see -- temporary domicile and all that. Yet if I remember correctly, the arms never made it into the CHP's arms locker.

Don't know if he ever got them back...

dolanp
June 2, 2005, 12:19 PM
Police often do what they want and then if it turns out to be illegal they've lost nothing but the case.

Also once they get their hands on it you're lucky if you get it back, especially undamaged.

para.2
June 2, 2005, 02:58 PM
On a similar note... I'm frequently advised when I purchase a new/used firearm to keep a copy of the receipt in my wallet/glovebox, "So if you're stopped, you can prove it's yours." :uhoh:

I have to prove I legally own it, and the police don't have to prove I don't before confiscating/impounding/whatever? :mad:

Vernal45
June 2, 2005, 03:07 PM
I have to prove I legally own it, and the police don't have to prove I don't before confiscating/impounding/whatever?

Sad, but in most cases, its true. :cuss:

M109A6 Paladin
June 2, 2005, 03:49 PM
Did you get a receipt for your skateboard?

Chances are you could pick it up at the station. The offense is long over.

RevDisk
June 2, 2005, 04:07 PM
On TFL a few years back (before THR) someone mentioned a case something like this: he was travelling in a motor home when it ran out of gas/broke down. While it was "abandoned" (he walked to get fuel/hoses/whatever) a CHP officer broke into it to insure that nothing was wrong, found some pricy firearms (I believe a PSG-1 was one of them) and hauled them off.

This was "policy" you see -- temporary domicile and all that. Yet if I remember correctly, the arms never made it into the CHP's arms locker.

Don't know if he ever got them back...

I ponder how illegal it is to keep doublecharged or uhm, "malfunctioning" ammo nearby. I suppose filling a case with Comp B would be hard to justify if someone swipes your weapon/ammo, then gets blown up when he fires it.

Just a thought. I would never do something like that, as I believe it is a felony to booby trap your own possessions or property.

cidirkona
June 2, 2005, 04:25 PM
If I were speeding and I get pulled over, I accept the ticket and pay for it.

I've been caught skating in not-so-OK places before, and as long as you're honest and respectful to the officers around here, they don't try to take your board. Thank them for being polite, shake their hands.

-Colin

kel
June 2, 2005, 09:00 PM
It's up to you to prove they did something wrong. In the case of confiscation you cannot seek redress if they give it back to you after the court has ordered them to return it. Sure you can try to sue them for pain, suffering, emotional distress (it distresses me), and economic loss. but you won't have much luck. Police are allowed unlimited "mistakes" and misinterpretations of the law and they can enforce laws that don't even exists thanks to judicial activism. Good luck finding a court system that gives a crap about such abuses of power, especially if you are one of the ostracized non-PC groups like gun owners, boarders, alchoholics, smokers etc. that no one PC considers human.

I struggle not to use harsher language to describe LE. Where I come from they offer no services or protection, just this.

O.F.Fascist
June 2, 2005, 09:43 PM
Personally I would rather get a ticket and be charged with something than to give up my personal property a law enforcment officer.

I'm glad I live in Texas where it is your right to have a jury trial for any offense.

halfacop
June 2, 2005, 10:01 PM
What keeps them from taking your board and giving it to their kid?

Lets try HONESTY, INTEGRITY, TRUSTWORTHINESS, shall I go on?

Who was the one in the wrong here?

Why does it seem that the first impression about "officers of the law" seems to be that they are crooked as a tree branch? They are simply out doing the job that most wouldn't think of doing. They go out and do a job that requires stapping on a bullet resistant vest - they deserve a touch of respect for that - they were not the ones out getting caught doing something they were not suppose to be doing in the first place.

The question was a good one but it went down hill from there!

gringolet
June 2, 2005, 10:07 PM
some new stuff is developing in areas of confiscation and forfeiture...for example the courts distinguish between "punitive" and "remedial" forfeitures...remedial is to reimburse government for costs of criminal conduct..punitive is a forfeiture intended as punishment...a forfeiture as punishment may be double jeopardy to criminal prosecution...and a remedial forfeiture must generally be "proportionate", that is they may not be able to forfeit a new mercedes for a single marijuana cig.....and, of course there is also contraband...this is a little different, if legally declared contraband is not viewed as forfeiture and possession is not lawful and "ownership" is not permitted...it's an interesting area of the law and one that drew quite a bit of attention a few years ago...you might see if you can find the book "lost rights" which has some interesting discussions and expamples.

zahc
June 3, 2005, 01:45 AM
Why does it seem that the first impression about "officers of the law" seems to be that they are crooked as a tree branch?

Because in my experience, they are. Simply put.

That said, everyone likes to turn my threads into cop bashing threads until they get locked, when all I asked was a general question that can be discussed within the tos.

halfacop
June 3, 2005, 07:16 AM
I find it hard to believe that in your dealing's with the police that they all managed to do you wrong. I can safely say that every officer I have ever dealt with and worked with have been good cops. They took a oath to up hold the law and protect the public, they put themselves into harms way so that you and yours can sleep at night without worry. With that said......

You started this thread saying officers had threatened to confiscate your board. This meaning that they had not taken it yet, correct? Sounds like even though they caught you "bending the law" they gave you a warning instead of straight up taking your board. How is this giving you the impression of being "crooked"? Sounds to me like they gave ya a break.

I never said a word about cop bashing - I even stated that the original question was a good one. However, if your having problems being "locked" for allegedly cop bashing all the time, perhaps you should set aside a little time apart from breaking ordinances and spend it talking to a officer and ask him the question yourself.

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