by Elena Broder, Esq., from the law firm of Jenner & Block,
I. Civil forfeiture under the drug laws: 21 U.S.C. § 881
II. Procedural overview of the seizure and forfeiture of items covered by § 881(a)
A. Seizure-- § 881(b)
B. Forfeiture Procedures
1. Administrative forfeiture
2. Forfeiture by judicial condemnation
III. Possible constitutional challenges to civil forfeiture under the drug laws
A. Section 881(b) and the Fourth Amendment
3. Cost bond
C. Judicial condemnation
1. Is the burden of proof established by 19 U.S.C. § 1615 unconstitutional?
2. Must the government use admissible evidence to make out its showing of probable cause?
IV. Possible statutory interpretation challenges under federal forfeiture law
A. The innocent owner defense
b. "Willful blindness"
d. Conjunctive or disjunctive requirements
B. Property-conduct nexus
1. Statutory language
2. Case law and legislative history
3. Extrastatutory limitations
b. Constitutional limitations