Former heroin abuser's civil forfeiture case goes to Supreme Court

MARION, Ind. — Tyson Timbs works in a machine shop. He is a self-described former heroin junkie living with his aunt in a small home with two dogs. Inspirational messages — in the house, on his clothes and on a tattoo — help sustain his recovery.

It is a modest existence. That said, Timbs, 37, could see his name live on for decades in constitutional law. He is the plaintiff in a closely-watched case with far-reaching implications that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Nov. 28.

Five years ago, Timbs pleaded guilty to selling $260 worth of heroin and had his $42,000 Land Rover taken by the government in a process known as "civil asset forfeiture," which allows police to seize and keep property alleged to have been used in a crime.

By Indiana law, however, the maximum fine for Timbs' crime was $10,000 — well below the value of seized vehicle.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/10/29/tyson-timbs-institute-justice-civil-asset-forfeiture-us-supreme-court-eighth-amendment/1646693002/