A seizure and a forfeiture sound like the same legal concept but are not. Both types involve the forced repossession of property from an owner. In either case, the constitutional validity can be challenged in a court in California. Every person who owns assets must be aware of the basics of seizures and forfeitures.
Seizure is the physical taking of an asset, usually without the owner’s possession. The ownership is transferred into the custody of the police or government. It is often accompanied by a search warrant that is issued legally.
Although it sounds similar, an asset forfeiture is not exactly the same as a seizure. It is a procedure in which the asset is taken because it was never used legally and is directly involved in illegal activity. It is often tied into a civil or criminal proceeding.
How it pertains to land use
The Fourth Amendment sets conditions for seizing another person’s property whether it was obtained legally or illegally. A land or property owner has the right to sue when their land or property is wrongfully taken by the government or law enforcement. Owners have the right to apply land use litigation in their favor and seek justice in the local, state or federal courts.
Protections for all land and property owners
Property laws change often, but the Fourth Amendment never changes as it protects all types of property owners from unlawful seizures and forfeitures. A seizure often involves legal property while a forfeiture usually involves illegal property. A warrantless seizure can become illegal, especially with no prior notice, and violate a person’s rights to privacy. As a property owner, the above information may help you if you have a civil or criminal case on your hands that must be determined in court.