State v. $2,435 in U.S. CurrencyAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in this action seeking to confiscate money under Indiana's civil forfeiture statute, holding that the right to a jury trial applies in such an action.
The State filed a complaint to forfeit $2,435 in cash that police officers recovered after stopping Alucious Kizer for a traffic violation, alleging that the money had been "furnished or intended to be furnished" in exchange for a crime, that it had been "used to facilitate" a crime, or that it was "traceable as proceeds" of a crime. Kizer requested a jury trial. The State moved to strike the demand, arguing that no such right existed under either the Indiana or United States Constitution. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Kizer was not entitled to trial by jury. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals' opinion and affirmed the trial court, holding (1) Ind. Const. Art. I, 20 protects the right to a jury trial for in rem civil forfeitures; and (2) therefore, Kizer had a constitutional right to trial by jury.