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TBoneTX

New Mexico: Governor Signs Bill on Civil Forfeiture

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[posted as a regular member]

Do you (dis)agree with the governor's signing of this bill? Do you (dis)agree that people's property and due-process rights are better protected? Discuss.

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New Mexico: Governor Signs Bill on Civil Forfeiture
By SHAILA DEWAN
APRIL 10, 2015
Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill Friday virtually ending the practice of civil forfeiture, making the state a leader in sharply restricting a contentious policy that critics say deprives citizens of due process and gives law enforcement a profit motive. “This is landmark legislation to protect people’s property and due process rights,” said Lee McGrath, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, a libertarian civil rights group that has long campaigned against the practice. The law preserves criminal forfeiture, in which assets tied to crime can be taken if the owner is convicted. In a letter to lawmakers, Governor Martinez said the law improved constitutional protections even as she said that forfeiture funds had helped “in keeping our communities safe and in protecting our officers from harm.” Only one other state, North Carolina, does not permit civil forfeiture, but law enforcement officials there can still profit from forfeitures by cooperating with federal agents, Mr. McGrath said. The New Mexico law seeks to end such profit-sharing in cases where the assets are valued at less than $50,000. Civil forfeiture, in which law enforcement officials can take possession of property they believe is tied to criminal activity without filing charges or winning a conviction, has come under fire as abuses have been widely chronicled in the news media and the federal government has taken steps to curb the process.

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Law enforcement should only be able to exact forfeiture when wrongdoing has been proven in a court of law. Anything else appears to be little more than legalized theft.


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

2011-11-15.garfield.png

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The Des Moines Register had a lengthy series of articles just last month about Iowa's civil-forfeiture laws, which are said to be among the worst in the nation. Most people simply gave in rather than fought, because the legal fees would have eaten up or exceeded whatever funds were taken from them.

Edited to add: Here's a master link to the various articles:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/search/forfeiture/

Edited by TBoneTX

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Law enforcement should only be able to exact forfeiture when wrongdoing has been proven in a court of law. Anything else appears to be little more than legalized theft.

It should also be made explicitly transparent what the money raised from the seized assets have been used for.

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In at least one instance, the funds were used for fish tanks and other decorations.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


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[posted as a regular member]

Do you (dis)agree with the governor's signing of this bill? Do you (dis)agree that people's property and due-process rights are better protected? Discuss.

---

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/us/new-mexico-governor-signs-bill-on-civil-forfeiture.html?_r=0

New Mexico: Governor Signs Bill on Civil Forfeiture

By SHAILA DEWAN

APRIL 10, 2015

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill Friday virtually ending the practice of civil forfeiture, making the state a leader in sharply restricting a contentious policy that critics say deprives citizens of due process and gives law enforcement a profit motive. This is landmark legislation to protect peoples property and due process rights, said Lee McGrath, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, a libertarian civil rights group that has long campaigned against the practice. The law preserves criminal forfeiture, in which assets tied to crime can be taken if the owner is convicted. In a letter to lawmakers, Governor Martinez said the law improved constitutional protections even as she said that forfeiture funds had helped in keeping our communities safe and in protecting our officers from harm. Only one other state, North Carolina, does not permit civil forfeiture, but law enforcement officials there can still profit from forfeitures by cooperating with federal agents, Mr. McGrath said. The New Mexico law seeks to end such profit-sharing in cases where the assets are valued at less than $50,000. Civil forfeiture, in which law enforcement officials can take possession of property they believe is tied to criminal activity without filing charges or winning a conviction, has come under fire as abuses have been widely chronicled in the news media and the federal government has taken steps to curb the process.

Good on him, he must be taking his cue from Eric Holder, who recently banned states from using Federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges.

Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Oct 22, 2010 I-130 application approved

Oct 22, 2010 packet 3 received via email

Nov 15, 2010 DS-230 part 1 faxed to US Embassy Seoul

Nov 15, 2010 Appointment for visa interview made on-line

Nov 16, 2010 Confirmation of appointment received via email

Dec 13, 2010 Interview date

Dec 15, 2010 CR-1 received via courier

Mar 29, 2011 POE Detroit Michigan

Feb 15, 2012 Change of address via telephone

Jan 10, 2013 I-751 packet mailed to Vermont Service CenterJan 15, 2013 NOA1

Jan 31, 2013 Biometrics appointment letter received

Feb 20, 2013 Biometric appointment date

June 14, 2013 RFE

June 24, 2013 Responded to RFE

July 24, 2013 Removal of conditions approved

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