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Rochester Woman Retrieves 8K Seized by Police After Lengthy Court Fight

Written by on February 11, 2024

After a long-fought legal battle, Cristal Starling of Rochester successfully reclaimed $8,040 that police seized during a 2020 raid on her apartment. No drugs were found in her residence, but the money was seized, and her then-boyfriend was arrested on unrelated charges, from which he was later acquitted. With assistance from the Institute for Justice, Starling challenged the seizure, highlighting the difficulties many face when attempting to retrieve assets taken through civil forfeiture. The case underscores broader concerns about the use of civil forfeiture and the obstacles to reclaiming seized property, even when there is no evidence linking it to criminal activity. The Drug Enforcement Administration eventually returned the funds to Starling, who is now seeking interest on the seized amount while the Institute for Justice pursues legal fees. This incident raises questions about the fairness and transparency of the civil forfeiture process.

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Source: Democrat & Chronicle


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