Good Law | Bad Law #126 - Can the police really do that? w/ Louis Rulli

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Louis Rulli, to discuss a landmark Supreme Court case on the issue of civil forfeiture.


Imagine being pulled over and having the police take all of your money before sending you on your way. It doesn’t sound like something that would happen here in America but it does. It’s called civil forfeiture and our guest, University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Louis Rulli, joins us today to talk about it. Aaron and Professor Rulli discuss the ins and outs of civil forfeiture including a recent Supreme Court case that examined the law under the 8th and 14th Amendments.


The Supreme Court case specifically looked at a case where a man, Tyson Timbs, was convicted of selling $225 worth of heroin to undercover police officers. In addition to one year of house arrest, five years of probation, and $1,200 in fees and fines, Mr. Timbs’ $42,000 Land Rover was confiscated even though it was purchased with the inheritance from his father’s life insurance policy. There are also concerns that asset forfeiture has a racial component because minorities are more often subjected to these “fines.”


This is a fascinating, albeit scary, discussion with Professor Rulli about Civil Forfeiture and the role it plays in our criminal justice system.


Host: Aaron Freiwald
Guest: Louis Rulli