Supreme Court Changes Civil Asset Forfeiture Procedures to the Benefit of Poker Players

Over the years, police have had the ability to seize civil assets without charges brought on the individual. Such seizures were used to increase revenues locally. Individuals may never be charged with a crime involving the seizure, but they still never receive their property or money returned. This issue affected poker players as they travel state to state, taking part in poker tournaments.

In the past, poker players as well as gamblers would be traveling with large sums of money. Such players can be caught up in a civil asset forfeiture, losing the money they rightfully won. Instances of this have taken place in the past. Take for example, William Davis and John Newmerzhycky. The two were poker players who were driving in Iowa with plates from out of state. They were pulled over and found tao have $100,000 on their person.

The money was seized and was one instance where gamblers were in the news for not having committed a crime but had their money seized. They were able to recover $150,000 from the state, but that was not enough really when you consider the ordeal overall. Thankfully, the Supreme Court has now ruled that the prohibition of excessive fines in the Constitution now applies to local as well as state governments.  

This means that both local and state law enforcement agencies will now have more limits on their ability to impose a fine or seize property. During the decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recalled the case against a man named Tyson Timbs.

Mr. Timbs sold a few hundred dollars worth of drugs in Indiana and had his $42,000 Land Rover seized. This was considered an excessive seizure by the Supreme Court and unnecessary.

With the law change, gamblers will now be better protected as they travel from state to state taking part in poker tournaments or other events.  

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