Mandel Clinic Challenges Illinois Forfeiture Law Before the United States Supreme Court
The Clinic represents a group of low-income women, who despite not having been accused of doing anything wrong, their cars were seized and impounded for more than a year by police without any opportunity to seek the return of their property before a court. The Clinic brought a Constitutional Due process challenge to Cook County’s forfeiture scheme. The scheme provides powerful financial incentives to police and prosecutors to seize cars and other private property, but provides no check on those seizures by a neutral magistrate often for more than a year. Our clients, who lost their primary means of transportation for more than a year, seek an injunction that requires the state to provide prompt hearings after the government seizes personal property.
- University Web Feature: Law Students Help Build Supreme Court Case, 11/9/09
- Clinic students help see case to Supreme Court 10/13/09
- "Justices Hear Arguments on Property Seized by Police," Adam Liptak, New York Times, 10/15/09
- "Justices Weigh Rules on Recovering Assets," Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal, 10/14/09
- Woman Gets Car Back From Police After 3 Years, by Rob Wildeboer, Chicago Public Radio
- Read Clinic’s merits brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Alvarez v. Smith