An important decision is providing renewed momentum into the fight against civil forfeiture actions involving doctors accused of improperly prescribing controlled substances. The Excessive Fines Clause now covers doctors in both the federal and state courts.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 9-0 decision in Timbs v. Indiana gives new hope to doctors who have been facing the civil forfeiture of assets that took them a lifetime to earn.
In Timbs, the state sought civil forfeiture of property valued at more than four times the maximum monetary fine that could even be assessed for a criminal drug conviction. The Indiana Supreme Court held that the Excessive Fines Clause applied only to federal action and was inapplicable to the individual States.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that decision and unequivocally held that the protections of the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause also apply to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment.
This important decision breathes new life into the fight against civil forfeiture actions involving doctors accused of improperly prescribing controlled substances.
The U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled years ago in Austin v. United States that civil in rem forfeitures in the federal context fall within the protection of the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause when they are at least partially punitive.
Now, Timbs extends that protection to state civil in rem forfeitures.
In light of this groundbreaking decision, the argument can now be made that the civil forfeiture of an excessive amount of a doctor’s assets amounts to nothing more than an unconstitutionally excessive punitive fine.
If you are a doctor facing a civil forfeiture action in a state or federal court, act right away to protect your hard-earned assets by calling the national healthcare-based criminal defense attorneys at Chapman Law Group now.
We have extensive experience in defending health professionals across the U.S. who are faced with criminal charges, including:
We represent licensed medical professionals throughout the U.S., including:
For more than three decades, we have provided top legal service for licensed healthcare professionals throughout the U.S. Our offices are in Detroit (where we serve Dearborn, Troy, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, and the rest of Michigan); Miami and Sarasota, Florida (for Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and all of Florida); Los Angeles/Southern California; and Chicago.
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