Sunday, June 30, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up a case this fall over whether the government can freeze the assets of people who have been accused of a crime.
The case involves Kerri and Brian Kaley, who came under federal investigation for allegedly stealing medical devices. The Kaleys took out a $500,000 line of credit on their New York house to hire lawyers. Yet after their indictment in 2007, prosecutors sought to prevent the Kaleys from using the money because the government intended to seize the house.
The case involves both the Fifth Amendment's due process clause and the Sixth Amendment's right to counsel, and could potentially affect thousands of cases each year in which the Justice Department seeks to seize defendants' property.