SC: Safe Haven For Government Theft

PALMETTO STATE GETS AN “F” FOR PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY || By FITSNEWS ||  We wrote recently on the issue of civil asset forfeiture … which is fancy term for government stealing from you without first convicting you of committing a crime.  Or, in many cases, stealing from you because someone used your…


|| By FITSNEWS ||  We wrote recently on the issue of civil asset forfeiture … which is fancy term for government stealing from you without first convicting you of committing a crime.  Or, in many cases, stealing from you because someone used your property to commit a crime without you knowing it.

Either way it’s wrong – at any level of government (see here and here).

Making matters worse?  Civil asset forfeiture is most often employed in conjunction with our country’s failed “War on Drugs” – a costly, anti-liberty, anti-free market campaign which this website has repeatedly argued should be abandoned.

So … how does South Carolina stack up when it comes to protecting its citizens from this flagrant violation of due process?  If you guessed “terribly,” you’d be correct.

According to the good folks at FreedomWorks – who have examined the quality of civil asset forfeiture laws around the country – South Carolina is one of nine states to earn an “F” when it comes to its laws.

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)


(Map: FreedomWorks)

“The standard of proof is extremely low; the government must only show probable cause to forfeit property,” FreedomWorks’ report noted of South Carolina’s laws. “The burden is on the property owner to prove his innocence to get his property back. Law enforcement keeps 75 percent of forfeiture funds, 20 percent goes to prosecutors and the remaining 5 percent goes to the general fund. There are no collecting or reporting requirements.”

The state with the best laws?  New Mexico – which recently enacted sweeping civil asset forfeiture reform.

“The state now requires a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited and all forfeiture funds now go directly to the state’s general fund,” the report found.  “Additionally, state and local law enforcement are prohibited from sending seized property to the federal government for ‘equitable sharing,’ where they would receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds.”

In other words New Mexico is removing the incentive to steal …

The only other state with an “A” grade?  North Carolina … which earned an “A-.”

South Carolina’s legislature needs to move quickly to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional government theft of their property.  Hopefully liberty-minded lawmakers – and “Republican” governor Nikki Haley – will get behind this issue in advance of the 2016 legislative session.


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festus jr. June 15, 2015 at 11:47 am

The government can’t steal anything me because I don’t own anything!All I do is post on Fits all day.LMAO!!!

pogo2 June 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Gosh, another person hacking me! I don’t even know what hacking is! LMAO!!! LMAO!!!

May my Allah Nikki raise your taxes tenfold! Perhaps she will grace me with more food stamps? LMAO!!!

shifty henry June 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Watch out! — They’ll confiscate your CapsLock Key….

erneba June 15, 2015 at 11:54 am

“The state(New Mexico) now requires a criminal
conviction before property can be forfeited and all forfeiture funds now
go directly to the state’s general fund,”
And it should be that way in all states. I do agree with the theory that the property or vehicle owner should take some responsibility for what happens on and in their property. Holding a property owner as absolutely responsible as the person offending(when they are not the same) without a trial is a violation of common sense and numerous civil liberties.
For a cop on the street to apprehend, judge, and declare justice is served is wrong. Cops should be a deterrent to crime, not committing a crime themselves.

festus June 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

Obama’s gal at DOJ…

In recent months, much has been written about the concept of “civil asset forfeiture,” in which police routinely steal billions of dollars worth of private property. Loretta Lynch is all for it, and her US attorney’s office has benefited from it to the tune of nearly a BILLION dollars.

As a prosecutor Ms. Lynch has also been aggressive in pursuing civil asset forfeiture, which has become a form of policing for profit. She recently announced that her office had collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal 2013, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Liberals and conservatives have begun to question forfeiture as an abuse of due process that can punish the innocent.

Civil asset forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to private property in modern America, and Lynch is one of the pioneering legal minds in the country advocating it.

Bible Thumper June 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

I agree with Dubya Bush. A “C” is good enough to pass.

erneba June 15, 2015 at 11:59 am

Something that I am unclear about is where does the revenue from these civil forfeitures go? Into the general fund or does law enforcement keep the money and/or property?

Tazmaniac June 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Back in the 80’s as a young married buck with 2 babies, I found myself on the side of the road in Georgia with a deputy accusing me of speeding. To be honest I wasn’t sure whether I was or not. He told me I could spend the night in jail while my family slept in the car at the jail parking for me to see a Judge. OR, if I had enough cash, my fine could be conveniently paid roadside. I pulled out my wallet and counted my money ($83), and amazingly my fine could be paid and leave me with $3 in my wallet. I kept that handwritten scribbled receipt for conversation on the gullibility of youth for many years after. Mike would probably be your best source for current info.

TroubleBaby June 16, 2015 at 8:00 am

The irony is today, the officer taking your forced bribe would be a gift compared to dealing with the justus system.

I like the Mexican way of doing things:

“Ok officer, tell me how much little Juan’s soccer league is going to need and I’ll hand over the cash and be on my way.”

No courts or mailing shit in. Everyone knows what it’s all about and it’s over and done with.

easterndumbfuckistan June 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Modern day bill of attainder, written to get around prohibitions in the constitution and bill of rights. These laws need to be removed from the books.

The word “attainder”, meaning “taintedness”, is part of English common law. Under English law, a criminal condemned for a serious crime, whether treason or felony (but notmisdemeanour, which referred to less serious crimes), could be declared “attainted”, meaning that his civil rights were nullified: he could no longer own property or pass property to his family by will or testament. His property could consequently revert to the Crown or to the mesne lord. Any peerage titles would also revert to the Crown. The convicted person would normally be punished by judicial execution—when a person committed a capital crime and was put to death for it, the property left behind escheated to the Crown or lord rather than being inherited by family. Attainder functioned more or less as the revocation of the feudal chain of privilege and all rights and properties thus granted.

TroubleBaby June 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm

One of the reasons I like your post(I have to admit, I’ve seen similar before, but many here might have not) is the one simple phrase:

“the revocation of the feudal chain of privilege and all rights and properties thus granted.”

See, most people think that feudal times were Lords ruling over serfs with the serfs having no rights.

Natural rights were far more heeded to back then, so in some ways they might have actually had more rights protections then, than we do today.

It’s an interesting topic. But in order to discuss it, you’d have to find someone without an agenda and then a firm understanding of feudal law & society. Good luck finding that.

Rocky June 15, 2015 at 12:01 pm

So a simple note to the many, many residents of NY, VA, NJ, CT, PA, MD and FL. Those trips back and forth to see Grandma or to see the grand kids? Fly over SC. It’s about the same cost, and a lot less risky.

Bible Thumper June 15, 2015 at 12:03 pm

“Rolling Thunder” in Spartanburg on I-85…

sparklecity June 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Look for it usually around August-September time frame when “Chuckie” feels like it’s time to ‘share the wealth’ but the pickings are getting smaller every year due to cell phones, etc.
Wouldn’t be surprised if he asked the courts for authority to block all cell phone communication between exits 72 & 60 on I-85 so he can get the till back to where it used to be.
If he could he sure as hell would and some in Spartanburg would cheer him on…..
When I see 3 or 4 helicopters trolling along I-85 I’ll put out the alert like I did last year. That’s how you can tell when Rolling Thunder is starting up.
You know as well as I do all they are catching are the dumb ones who don’t communicate.
Wellford PD got a BIG haul last year (around a million bucks from stopping a tractor trailer). Enough to buy all new fancy cars. of course they did not ask for their budget to be cut one fucking cent………………..
Ever notice the smaller the town, the more blue lights they have installed on their cop cars? The Wellford cop cars look like some show car with “ground effect” when they have someone pulled over – blue strobes flashing on the front, back and sides!!!!

You Know My Name June 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

While SC no doubt has much room for improvement, how did we get an F and TN only got a D-? Watch the YouTube videos about Tennessee’s abuse of these laws and we look downright Libertarian by comparison.

Only Guessing June 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Our laws could be worse than Tennessee’s but still be far less abused.

You Know My Name June 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Good point!

FastEddy23 June 16, 2015 at 4:17 am

Two wrong don’t make it right.

As long as the potential for financial rewards going to Gruberment and g’ment employees, the theft will certainly continue.

Out here in Taxifornia, the “successful” tax prosecutors all drive some pretty fancy second hand pimp-mobiles.

festus June 15, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Time to celebrate.I ran that evil liberal pervert Syntwit off this site.Got her scared of the truth! :-)

If Only You'd Leave June 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Why don’t you make good on your promise to leave and leave you disgusting loser?

Wigger Rachel June 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm

If GT can find a job, so can you….

The Only Job GT Can Get June 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Scrubbing toilets in prison to knock time off isn’t a legit job.

Fleece Johnson June 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Watch yourself. My bitches don’t work. I keep them in luxury. Their job is to take of me, that’s all, & Tango’s good at that.

festus June 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

I am only commenting on issues.I have NO idea what you are talking about. The more the merrier.

Have at hijacking mu s/n.

festus jr, June 15, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Fake “festus”!!!!!

FITSNews' Issue June 15, 2015 at 12:57 pm

You are the issue. You have issues.

The Buzzman June 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm

SYNTwist is here when she needs to be, and not here when she doesn’t. Funny how much she rattles your miserable ass.

SYNTwist June 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Still lurking, but focusing on another project right now. I can’t seem to stay off this site with Disqus, so I’ll be back another time, when I have more time.

The Buzzman June 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

Stay smart, wily, sassy, and safe, darlin’.

SYNTwist June 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Wily – yep that’s me…LOL. I really wanted to study this TPA, TPP and TAA among the other T’s, but I get bogged down with Disqus, feel like I have to respond to everything that comes in. Then I realized today – oh, it’s an election year. It would be just like that fetus/pogo dumb butt to steal my alias. Thought I might want to secure it and hope I can limit my time on this addictive site :)

SinSnitch June 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Reassignment…cover blown you fucking “narc” fuck!LMAO!!!!

Rocky June 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Where’s GT. I miss my GT. I wish GT was back. Is he still afraid of the worthless law suit?

Afraid of his own shadow June 15, 2015 at 1:04 pm

My money is on either his heart finally burst under all of his anger issues or he’s in a jail cell for being some kind of deadbeat loser.

shifty henry June 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Maybe his ‘asset’ was forfeited……

tomstickler June 16, 2015 at 9:29 am

His Disqus account has disappeared, so all his rants are gone. Except those saved elsewhere.

nitrat June 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Since civil forfeiture has evolved into a way to fund LE and government in general without raising taxes, it’s to be expected that the Red states with the most signatories of Grover’s pledge in the legislature make the most use of this shakedown.

Bible Thumper June 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm

While the Southeast is redder, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington and Delaware aren’t Norquist strongholds.

nitrat June 15, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Yes, the Southeast is redder….

sclefty June 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

This is why almost all enforcement on I95 is in the southbound lanes. They don’t want the drugs, just the cash heading back.

Mike at the Beach June 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Dope dealers would *much* prefer to lose the wholesale dope than the retail cash…

Manray9 June 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm

This is an outrageous result of the failed War on Drugs. We need some political leadership in Columbia and DC willing to stand up and say so.

You Know My Name June 16, 2015 at 4:12 am

Ha! Good luck with that! I agree with you but don’t hold your breath.

Before I hit the “enter” key, I happpened to think of something. Ron Paul has been speaking out for years, about how wrong and what a failure the War On Drugs is and has been. Problem is, so many want to lable him as a kook for saying it, even though he’s right about that and so much more.

Manray9 June 16, 2015 at 11:42 am

It would take courage to denounce the failed War on Drugs. That’s a trait lacking in politicians, both state and national. They’ll have to buck the big moneyed interests invested in the perpetuation of the War and the law enforcement and penal industries. You mentioned Paul. Another prominent figure in opposition has been Bernie Sanders.

You Know My Name June 17, 2015 at 10:39 am

I wasn’t aware that Mr Sanders had also denounced TWOD but thank you for enlightening me and good for him!

ELCID June 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Got to wonder why this has not gone to the Supreme Court.
It’s clearly illegal and unconstitutional.

anonymous June 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Beaufort Co. Sues MERS for Fraud, Filing False Mortgage Documents

Neighboring counties join Beaufort County in suing mortgage-services company
July 4, 2014
The other counties in the South Carolina’s 14th Judicial Circuit are following Beaufort County’s lead by filing lawsuits against a nationwide mortgage database (MERS) Mortgage Electronic Registration System, according to an attorney for those counties. Other Defendants that the Counties are suing include CitiMortgage, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Mortgage Network, HSBC Bank, SCB&T, Coastal States Bank, and Tidelands Bank.
Beaufort, Allendale, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties say Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), owned by nearly two dozen large banks and mortgage services, operates an electronic record-keeping system that parallels the counties’ deed records.
The counties contend the system hides who owns loans, often by listing only MERS as the owner, not a specific member bank or servicer. That constitutes fraud and undermines the county’s property-ownership records, which state law requires to list the exact owner of a property’s title, county attorney Josh Gruber said.
In extreme circumstances, that could mean homeowners are left in the dark about who owns their loans and would have no public records to turn to try to defend their homes against foreclosure, Gruber said.
“You’re talking about anticipating the worst-case scenario,” he said. “Your mortgage company is entitled to foreclose on the loan (if its agreement isn’t met), and if you don’t know who has that, you could find yourself in big trouble.”
The company also could have sidestepped several hundred thousand dollars in local Register of Deeds’ filing fees for recording transactions on deeds. Lawsuits against MERS to recoup those fees have failed in other states, so the 14th Judicial Circuit counties have avoided that claim, Gruber said.
Instead, the counties contend the MERS system has caused their register offices to break state law by not accurately updating deeds to reflect which specific servicer or bank owns a lien, according to Bluffton attorney Jim Scheider of Vaux & Marscher, who helped write all five lawsuits.
The counties seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, along with a court order for MERS to correct any inaccurate records. Vaux & Marscher will be paid only if MERS or other defendants are required to pay damages.
In Beaufort County, Scheider and county officials say, more than 50,000 mortgages have MERS on record.
The system instead has cracks that could leave people in extreme circumstances out of the loop on their mortgage. If their new bill is delivered to the wrong address or they’re sick in a hospital and miss a payment, they cannot use public records to find who they are in debt to, Gruber said. However unlikely, the counties want to plug those recording holes, he added.
“When you’re dealing with somebody’s home, which is usually the biggest investment anyone will make in their life, you don’t want to take any chances with that,” Gruber said.
Last month, the defendants attempted to move the case to federal court, but U.S. District Judge Sol Blatt Jr. of Charleston ruled the case should stay in the state courts, Scheider said.
Now the state’s business court will consider the defendants’ request to hear the case there later this year. Scheider said he has not decided whether to challenge that request or argue to keep the case in the 14th Circuit.
“Wherever we end up, we’re still entitled to a jury trial in the individual counties, and we want this to be heard by a group of borrowers,” Scheider said.

anonymous June 16, 2015 at 9:50 pm


Beaufort County lawsuit against mortgage registry moves ahead
May 29, 2015
A lawsuit filed by Beaufort County and four other counties against a nationwide mortgage database MERS can proceed, a judge has ruled.
The counties are suing Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (“MERS”) and its member banks, alleging the system hides who owns loans. That constitutes fraud and undermines the county’s property-ownership records, which state law requires to list the exact owner of a property’s title, county attorney Josh Gruber has said.
The counties are represented by the Bluffton law firm of Vaux, Marscher & Berglind PA.
MERS had filed to dismiss the suit, but Judge R. Lawton McIntosh of the S.C. Business Court has DENIED the request.
Other Defendants that the Counties are suing include CitiMortgage, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Mortgage Network, HSBC Bank, SCB&T, Coastal States Bank, and Tidelands Bank.

anonymous June 16, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Pre-trial ruling favors the plaintiffs Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties
May 29, 2015
A 10th circuit judge has issued a pre-trial ruling in a civil case brought on behalf of five low state counties. The counties of Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper are alleging that the national electronic registry MERS and its member banks have corrupted a traditional land records system and replaced it with a controversial electronic data registry.
Based on a recent hearing in Oconee County, Judge Lawton McIntosh denied the request by MERS and the banks to dismiss all claims made by the counties. McIntosh’s ruling is seen as an initial ruling that keeps the case alive and clears a hurdle on the way to trial.
One of the plaintiffs by name is Dale Butts, the Beaufort registrar of deeds who earlier held the same position in Oconee County. Oconee is not one of the plaintiffs, but Westminster businessman John Dalen has urged Oconee County Council to take an interest in the case because one of the potential outcomes could mean money for the county’s coffers.
According to a Beaufort law firm representing the plaintiffs, the counties also allege that MERS and the banks “have been and continue to file fraudulent and inaccurate documents in an attempt to push through home foreclosures and to deal with chain of title issues.”

Randy N. Gaston June 18, 2015 at 1:57 am

If New Mexico now requires a conviction then they no longer have civil asset forfeiture, but instead have criminal asset forfeiture.


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