The Supreme Court recently issued a decision in Timbs v. Indiana, a forfeiture case and held that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fine Clause applies to state forfeitures. In 2015, Tyson Timbs plead guilty in the State of Indiana to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft. At the time of Timbs’ arrest, police seized his 2012 Land Rover SUV with a value of $42,000. The State of Indiana brought a civil forfeiture against Timbs for forfeiture of the vehicle, arguing it had been used to facilitate the sale of heroin. Timbs had paid for the vehicle with proceeds received from his father’s life insurance policy.
The maximum monetary fine assessable against Timbs in his criminal action was $10,000. Timbs claimed that the value of his vehicle was four times more than the maximum fine that could be imposed against him, and that forfeiture of his vehicle would be a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause. The Indiana State Court determined that the Excessive Fines Clause constrains applied to only to federal actions, and not to state actions. The Supreme Court reversed and held that the Eighth Amendment is “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty,” and is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore, applies to both state and federal actions. The Supreme Court concluded that the Excessive Fines Clause “is incorporated [and] remains unchanged.” Therefore, the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause is an incorporated protection applicable to the States under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
The Supreme Court protected the Defendant and his property from the overreaching conduct of the state government. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (248) 799-9100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.