Civil Asset Forfeiture in Medicine

Understanding the Risks


[By Dr. Charles F. Fenton III; Esq.] 

We have all heard stories of civil asset forfeiture run amok and out-of-control.  

For example, the family that lost their home because a child had marijuana in his bedroom; or the man who lost his boat because a friend who (unknown to the owner) borrowed it and used it to smuggle drugs. 


Unfortunately, these cases may pale in comparison to what can happen if civil asset forfeiture is applied to health care professions.  

Just like the drug dealer who has his Cessna plane seized because it was used to smuggle drugs, a health care provider may find that his practice was seized, because the office was the conduit for committing the crime.  

Furthermore, the practitioner’s house, furnishings, car, bank account, and retirement assets could likewise be seized. These assets could be seized because they constitute “fruits” of the illegal activities. 

“Seize now – Ask questions later 

Civil asset forfeiture is a “seize now, ask questions later” activity.  And, this appears on the surface to constitute punishment without due process.

However, in civil asset forfeiture there is due process, it just comes AFTER the seizure.  

Civil asset forfeiture is to property like an arrest is to the person. A warrant is issued stating in essence that the property did something wrong.  The property is “arrested” (i.e., seized) and then a hearing or trail will follow at some later date to determine the facts. 


And so, what has been you experience with CAF, if any? 


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One Response

  1. Civil Asset Forfeiture

    Jeff Sessions wants police to take more cash from American citizens.

    Dr. Kleine


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