‘Outrageous’: Confiscation of $40,000 in life savings finally decided

A federal case against the nearly $40,000 a trucker was carrying to buy a new rig for his company, but was confiscated by the government, has been dismissed.

WND reported only a few weeks ago that the money, actually $39,500, had been returned to business owner Jerry Johnson.

But the case was continuing over issues of interest and lawyers’ fees, and now the Institute for Justice says those have been resolved and the case has been dismissed.

The cash was confiscated when Johnson was at the Phoenix, Arizona, airport in 2020. There was no reason for the confiscation, except that he was carrying money, the IJ said.

“Jerry flew to Phoenix with the goal of purchasing a semi-truck for his Charlotte, North Carolina, trucking company in August 2020. At baggage claim, Jerry was questioned by police and his money was seized and subjected to civil forfeiture. An Arizona trial court ruled that he failed to prove the cash was his and, therefore, he could not contest the civil forfeiture of his money. IJ took over Jerry’s case on appeal and in May 2022 the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the lower court’s ruling violated Jerry’s right to due process and that his case needed to be more carefully considered,” the IJ said.

The legal team now has confirmed that the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County has found that the forfeiture case against Jerry Johnson’s life savings will be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.

The court also said Johnson not only gets his money back, but also 9% interest for the time the government held it, and he is eligible to be compensated for his attorneys’ fees.

The IJ reported, “The decision marks the end of a legal saga that left Jerry Johnson without his money for more than 2.5 years during the COVID-19 pandemic. After a trial court originally ruled that Jerry could not even contest the forfeiture of his money, the Institute for Justice (IJ) intervened in May 2022 and successfully appealed Jerry’s case, securing a published opinion holding that property owners do not have to prove their own innocence just to contest a forfeiture.”

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Johnson said, “I’m so happy to finally have this case dismissed, to get my money back, and to receive interest for the years that the government refused to return my money without proving I did anything wrong. And I am also eager to get back the money I paid out of pocket for my first attorney.”

“We’re ecstatic that Jerry has been awarded interest for the time he was left without the operating expenses for his business,” said IJ Senior Attorney Dan Alban. “It’s outrageous that Jerry had to wait this long to get his own hard-earned money back, but this shows just how unjust the entire civil forfeiture system is. Even when a property owner ultimately wins their case, it takes years of litigation to get their property back, and the government fights to avoid any responsibility for making them whole after upending their life.”

In civil forfeiture cases, government agents simply confiscate cash or assets – usually cash. But they often don’t file any charges against the owners, who are forced to go to court to prove the “innocence” of their money to get it returned.

Often that doesn’t happen, and the agencies that confiscate the money get to divide it up.

The court’s ruling for Johnson found that his rights to due process were violated.

The IJ said it also has fought similar cases in New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Ohio and more.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Question: Why do the political and corporate leaders of America – long the freest, most successful, most prosperous and most Christian nation in history – bow and scrape before China, a ruthless, communist, totalitarian and explicitly atheistic dictatorship openly committed to ruling the world, including America?

The astonishing answers come into focus only when one contemplates both the unprecedented level of political and financial corruption in America’s ruling class (multiple Biden family members received $31 million in payola from China), and simultaneously the communist Chinese government’s brilliantly devious methods of unconventional total warfare, by which China is stealthily infiltrating, subverting, corrupting and colonizing the United States of America.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.