Losing your home

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by Moriah, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Moriah

    Moriah Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone here think it's fair that your primary residence can be taken from you in a legal proceeding? Like if you lose a civil case and your home is the only thing of value that you own?
    I think a person's primary residence should be off limits.
     
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  2. yiostheoy

    yiostheoy Well-Known Member

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    Well O.J. lost his.

    Note how egregious the offense -- murdering someone's child.
     
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  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    In Northern California there have been numerous instances of federal courts confiscating entire houses through civil forfeiture proceedings when the inside of the houses had been turned into clandestine marijuana growing plantations. The homes were auctioned off before the cases ever went to trial.

    It does beg the question whether it could be possible in some cases for the owners not to have even been aware what was going on at their property. There are a lot of absentee landlords that rent out houses in other states and they don't get a chance to visit very often. (Some people have to move across to another region of the country for a job, so they rent out their old house to tenants while they are temporarily rent another place where they are working)

    In other cases someone may indeed have been involved in a criminal activity, but the court believes the extent of the criminal operation was much larger than it actually was, so the person gets caught ordered to pay a staggering debt that can never be repaid.

    Just three examples of how high some of these fines can be:
    Man fined $120 million for making automated telemarketing calls
    Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading 24 songs - she had paid 99 cents for each of them
    Man in Singapore fined $11 million for dealing and being caught with 3000 cartons of cigarettes which duty taxes had not been paid on
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  4. Moriah

    Moriah Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about paying my house off after I retire. Maybe I should leave it with a mortgage and keep my money in my 401k.
    They can't take your retirement accounts can they?
     
  5. Moriah

    Moriah Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting these stories. I am going to read them later.
     
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  7. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    I agree- unless that person becomes a permanent ward of the state, such as life in prison, a mental institution, nursing home, etc, and there are no heirs to the property. If that person is later released, the state should be obligated to reimberse plus interest the property that was taken.

    I believe this should apply to primary mode of transportation as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  8. Moriah

    Moriah Well-Known Member

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  9. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    A lot of times people who go to prison for five or six years lose their home anyway, since there there's no one to make the mortgage payments or pay the property taxes. Not everyone has close family or friends who could help them.

    (People who were raised in the foster system as children, older people who's parents may be dead or incapacitated, or the family members may be living in a different region of the country and be too poor to travel, there's a lot of different possible situations)
     
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  10. vman12

    vman12 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The problem is that it doesn't even require conviction.

    Civil forfeiture in the case of a conviction is one argument.

    Civil forfeiture in the case of allegation is something else entirely, but is done all the time.
     
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  11. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Even if one is convicted, the civil forfeiture may be out of proportion to what the crime actually was.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  12. vman12

    vman12 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'm just saying that it's two HUGELY different arguments.

    That they can take your property based on allegations is neon-sign flashing criminality.
     
  13. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    They're different but not hugely different. People can still theoretically be convicted of very serious laws for doing very trivial things.
    If you sell $1 worth of drugs, it's the same criminal law you're breaking as if you sold $1 million worth of drugs.
    A jury might find the defendant guilty of the breaking the law, but the judge is convinced the crime was a lot more serious. The law someone is convicted of doesn't necessarily tell how serious the crime was.

    The jury's only there to decide whether a law was broken, not whether everything the defendant is being accused of is true.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  14. vman12

    vman12 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    True, but not being convicted of a crime, and being punished anyway, is a realm all to itself.
     
  15. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    It happens all the time though. People are arrested, held in jail (under conditions even more uncomfortable than the prison they'll eventually go to after they are sentenced), and don't have their trials until more than a year later.
    The issue though is amount of punishment that can be dished out before someone is convicted. Obviously taking away someone's home that they've worked 15 or 20 years to own is a huge punishment, more so than simply being in jail for a year.

    Another big element to this, the cost of housing relative to average wages is a lot higher than it used to be 30 years ago. Taking away someone's home is going to make things much more difficult for a person today.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  16. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    depends on the offense committed.
    if the person in question defrauded others out of savings then yes show the sob's no mercy, sell it and give the proceeds to the victims... there was a pensioner here who was defrauded out of his life savings some $800K, now he's looking at being homeless
     
  17. Moriah

    Moriah Well-Known Member

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    That is tragic. Yes, someone in his place deserves to be compensated.
     

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