32 votes

U.S. Attorney, Carmen Ortiz, infamous for harassing Aaron Swartz to death, loses major forfeiture case-a major win for property

rights.

UPDATE: Court's opinion- http://www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/private_property/forfeit...

59 pages which boils down to this: The govt's only strategy was to throw the CAFRA book at the Caswells and the Property. The judge threw it back at them finding in each instance...NO PROOF...NO EVIDENCE. Lots of witnesses from the Tewksbury PD, but not one piece of paper was offered into evidence to back their testimony.

A telling quote from Judge Dein, p.50: "...this case is distinguishable from virtually every other even remotely similar case in which a forfeiture was upheld."

The case was Dismissed without prejudice meaning the Gestapo could conceivably move to reopen it. Why they would sure beats me since they've already spent more, incl. the court and legal fees, than the Property's worth. It'll depend on how sore a loser Ortiz is, probably. The forfeiture fund is currently about $1.6 Billion... what's another pawltry $1.3 Million?

(Originally posted on DP last October by 'fishy' as the case was preparing to go to trial. http://www.dailypaul.com/261068/outrageous-civil-forfeiture-... )

The judge has DISMISSED the govt's case against the Caswells:
http://www.wbur.org/2013/01/24/tewksbury-motel-foreclosure

Judge Dein faulted the government for engaging in “gross exaggeration,” misstatements of fact and “highly derogatory argument.”

“Punishing Mr. Caswell by forfeiting the Motel obviously would not punish those engaged in the criminal conduct,” Judge Dein wrote.

During the four-day trial in November, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz released a statement saying her office wanted to send a message by going after the motel. But just up the street from the mom-and-pop-run Motel Caswell, the Motel 6, Walmart and Home Depot had all experienced a similar rate of drug crimes, according to Caswell’s attorneys, without the government going after them.

“I mean, the government’s got all the money in the world to throw at these things and they just bully people is what it is,” Caswell said. “And it’s completely wrong. It’s just not American.”

The idea to go after the Motel Caswell sprung from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the trial revealed. The DEA has an agent who testified his job is to seek out targets for forfeiture by watching television news and reading newspapers. When he finds a property where drug crimes occur he goes to the Registry of Deeds. Finding the Motel Caswell had no mortgage and was worth almost $1.5 million, the DEA teamed up with the Tewksbury Police, who were offered 80 percent of the taking, the agent testified.

After widespread criticism following the death of defendant Aaron Swartz, Ortiz has been dealt a second major setback in two weeks. Bullock accuses her of abusing a draconian power of civil forfeiture.

“This case epitomizes what an aggressive U.S. attorney wielding these laws can do to a small and even innocent property owner like Russ Caswell,” Bullock said.

The U.S. attorney’s office says it is reviewing the decision. Having lost its effort to take the Motel Caswell, the government is now obligated to pay for both Caswell’s legal expenses and the legal work of the Institute of Justice, which will come to at least $500,000.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

bump

for the light

Distributed Responsibility

Interestingly, the guy who does the research probably assumes that he is passing along the information (and being paid for it and approved of), to someone who will investigate whether there is a crime being committed by the owner of the property.

He probably doesn't consider himself responsible for any injustice. It's not his job.

I'm sure most of the people doing this think they're doing their jobs.

This is why, I think, we find some libertarians working for the state. Some of them see, first hand, how broken the system is, and they often will bend rules, quit, or advocate for change, or become whistle-blowers, when the see they big picture. Some libertarians are born, and the government makes the rest.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Saddest of All

The sad thing is, they've been doing this for decades, and getting away with it, by picking on minorities and the weak (meaning people with no resources or public backing).

When they finally get to someone "sympathetic" - and someone like the Institute for Justice takes them on as clients (which they also do based on their sympathetic image because they can't afford to lose), so many people have already been victimized.

That's why we all need to support these organizations all the time: without these efforts on the front lines, the line will eventually cross you even if you don't cross it.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

And will the taxpayers have to pay out half a million

because the DOJ pursues frivilous lawsuits? They should make Ortiz and crew pay out of pocket for doing pushing this.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

One way or another-

DOJ has a treasury chest now of $1.6 Billion from forfeitures. But they probably have much better uses for it... like a billion other foreclosures.

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

First

the government seizes your property in the war on drugs, then the government seizes you in the war on terror.

But it's nothing personal...yuk yuk-

I wish I had the asst attny's pretrial statement to the press, where she said, quote: "We don't have anything against the Caswells." So sweet of her to say.

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

A ruling for law and justice.

Watch for it to be overturned...
The bankster bailout is proof positive that our legal system is there to protect the rich.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

The Gestapo could reopen the case-

but they've already fabricated every possible legal avenue available to them under CAFRA and failed- costing them close to what the Property is worth. But it's just money and there are plenty of other ducks in the barrel. I guess we'll have to wait to see how bad a loser Ortiz is.

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

Yep , That was Some Admission :

Business as usual tho. Been observing such for 30 years at least with IRS terrorism.

Glad such a plain statement is out. Deserves viral attention.

The Constitution is a Trust : http://www.The-Legacy.Info

Glancing at the comments on

Glancing at the comments on the story (at the link) it appears most people still think this sort of thing is just a bad person, this time. Not an institutional problem. Not that the laws are bad. Just one bad individual. Arg.

Bump

.

This just makes me sick:

This just makes me sick:

"The DEA has an agent who testified his job is to seek out targets for forfeiture by watching television news and reading newspapers. When he finds a property where drug crimes occur he goes to the Registry of Deeds. Finding the Motel Caswell had no mortgage and was worth almost $1.5 million, the DEA teamed up with the Tewksbury Police, who were offered 80 percent of the taking, the agent testified."

Bitter sweet that this case gives evidence that they actively shop for victims and assess the value of the loot before they strike. They are worse than mafia. This criminal cartel must be stopped. And this U.S. Attorney is pure evil and should be run out of the country.

Does anyone get that this is the rich give bones to there lap

Does anyone get that this is like the rich giving bones to there lap dogs

Assets forfeiture with out a trial! how American is that.
I guess that the new USA... all you have to do is take it then they can't get a lawyer to get it back.
Some how like most crooks they find a way to make it ok and sleep.
Most go to some right wing Christian church.

My Question: to the confiscators and prosecution.\

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO

Or are my old values so out of date you thing I am wrong.

And to the Prosecutors of whistle blower and people who release the truth.
This country was made great based on the goal of truth and justice for all.

Just want what seems to be missing, Truth and Justice for ALL
What is fraud except creating “value” from nothing and passing it off as something?

Question what kind of law maker even made such a law

Who where the lawmakers that even thought they need such a law???
Kind of like the Obama kill list.
Whole deal seem worst than the crime they say they are trying to stop!
Just doesn't pass the smell test with my 8yr old.

some one post a list.

and the banks Scot free???

"Ron Paul" one chance to get USA back on track.

Just want what seems to be missing, Truth and Justice for ALL
What is fraud except creating “value” from nothing and passing it off as something?

If I recall, forfeiture started back

in the '80s along with the 'War on Drugs'. No one had a problem with it since it only applied to Drug Kingpins.

Today it's all about profit from forfeiture - and the means - justify the end. It really is a major victory that the judge threw the case out.

I'd like to get a hold of the whole decision. I don't think the judge went far enough based on IJ's article.

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

That was a hellova admission-

which is probably a major reason for the dismissal. But isn't there a crime in there somewhere? Or two or three?

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

Yes, there is a crime... and it smells of, and spells of...

Can we have an 'R', an 'I', a 'C', and an 'O'...

spells...

R I C O !

Ron Paul 2016... Get use to it!

Precisely-

This is RICO. Unfortunately, those who apply and enforce the law today are also immune. But I never say never.

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

TwelveOhOne's picture

Reminds me of a Kennedy quote

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

Sure, they may have legislated themselves immune from the commoners fighting back, but they aren't immune to lead.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

Finally - some good news!

.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace." - Jimi Hendrix

Gotta second that!

Darn good news: Dismissed no less!

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina

TwelveOhOne's picture

I'll do more than second it; I'll stay there

I live in MA and have been following this story with interest.

I intend to reward the owner by staying there this weekend, and inform him why. He is not alone, and we will root out tyranny. Justice is slow, but it happens.

Personal liability suit against this Ortiz, let's all get in on it, death by a thousand cuts. Not a class action, just several individual suits for pain and suffering and fear caused by these actions, I was going to buy a hotel but now I'm not, so there's economic suffering caused by their actions as well that can be sued for. (Anyone can sue for any reason in the US; and in small claims there are fewer costs.)

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

awesome gesture

have fun!

"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before." Debra Medina