Driving Politics
Home >Police Enforcement > Seizure/Confiscation > Florida Supreme Court Allows Car Seizure Without Trial 
Print It Email It Tweet It

Florida Supreme Court Allows Car Seizure Without Trial
The Florida Supreme Court allows cities to enact ordinances allowing seizure of vehicles belonging to those accused, not convicted, of misdemeanors.

Florida Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Florida last Thursday issued a ruling allowing local jurisdictions to seize automobiles that belong to individuals accused, but not convicted, of misdemeanor crimes. Mere "probable cause" is a sufficient basis for the impoundments.

The ruling focused narrowly on whether the city of Hollywood's local ordinance conflicted with a state statute that authorized seizures for serious felony crimes and provided for more substantial due process protections. The Supreme Court remanded more serious questions about the seizure ordinance to a lower court.

"We agree with the Fourth District that the ordinance's procedures raise serious constitutional concerns," the decision stated. "However, we do not address these concerns... The Fourth District is free to address these issues on remand, if appropriate."

The case began when Hollywood Police arrested Colon Bernard Mulligan for allegedly soliciting a prostitute. This accusation gave police sufficient authority to seize his automobile. A "special master" paid by the city -- not a judge or jury -- turned down Mulligan's appeal and forced him to pay $500 to the city plus significant towing and storage fees for the car's return. At this point, Mulligan had not been convicted of any crime.

A full copy of the decision is available in a 115k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Hollywood v. Mulligan (Supreme Court of Florida, 7/6/2006)

Permanent Link for this item
Return to Front Page

Related News
Illinois: Federal Lawsuit Takes On Towing For Profit

New York City To Confiscate Cars Over Speed Camera Tickets

Innocent Motorist Fights Alabama Car Confiscation

Alabama Cop Busted For Towing Cars From Lawn

US House Moves To Limit Car Seizures

View Main Topics:

Get Email Updates
Subscribe with Google
Subscribe via RSS or E-Mail

Back To Front Page

Front Page | Get Updates | Site Map | About Us | Search | RSS Feed Driving politics