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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Eighth Amendment Excessive Fines Clause Applies to State and Local Governments - Government Practice News

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Government Practice News

Posted on: Feb 27, 2019

From Frost Brown Todd LLC:

On February 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously in the case of Timbs v. Indiana that the Constitution’s prohibition on excessive fines applies to state and local governments, limiting their ability to impose fines and seize property.

The Supreme Court ruling centered on the arrest of Tyson Timbs, who pleaded guilty in Indiana state court to dealing a controlled substance (heroin) and conspiracy to commit theft. When Timbs was arrested, the police seized his Land Rover SUV, which he purchased for $42,000 with money he received from an insurance policy after his father passed away. Following his arrest, the State sought civil forfeiture of Timbs’s vehicle, stating that it was used to transport heroin.

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This article was submitted by Amy S. Johnson, Frost Brown Todd LLC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Government Practice Section, please email Kara Sikorski at


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