US Judge Blocks Seizure in $85 Million Raid

US Judge Blocks Seizure in $85 Million Raid

( – A federal judge has pushed back against government overreach after the FBI tried to seize hundreds of safe deposit boxes from a Florida vault. It’s a shocking exposure of how casually greedy the government has become.

On June 22, Judge R Gary Klausner of the US District Court for California’s central district issued a temporary restraining order against a government attempt to impose civil asset forfeiture against four individuals who haven’t been charged with any crime. The plaintiffs had stored belongings in rented boxes at the Beverly Hills, CA-based US Private Vaults (USPV), raided by the FBI on March 22.

USPV owners have been indicted on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, but none of their customers have been charged. So customers were outraged on May 20, when the FBI informed them that the government planned to seize their property when they tried to recover the contents of their boxes.

Now, Judge Klausner has given the government until June 29 to justify seizing the boxes. He threatened to issue an injunction to freeze the seizures for months if he doesn’t get this explanation.

The government is arguing that it doesn’t have to provide a factual or legal basis for forfeiture and says the plaintiffs haven’t shown that they would suffer “irreparable injury” from the loss of their belongings. The plaintiff’s lawyer has raised the issues of Fourth Amendment due process, while Judge Klausner has mentioned that the government’s move appears to be violating the plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment Rights, as well.

Is this really what the government has come to at this point? Does our government really believe it’s up to us to prove why they shouldn’t steal our property?

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