Judge Jeffrey D. Todd ruled police violated the Eighth Amendment when officers seized Tyson Timbs’ $35,000 Land Rover during a drug bust in May of 2013.The Eighth Amendment bars excessive bail and excessive fines.
Timbs pleaded guilty to selling $400 worth of heroin from his Land Rover.He served a year of house arrest and paid $1,200 in court costs.
However, lawyers from the state of Indiana filed a “Civil Forfeiture” lawsuit to take the title to Timbs’ Land Rover.Timbs purchased his vehicle with part of a $70,000 life insurance policy left to him from his dad.
“The State sought forfeiture of his only asset; an asset he purchased using life insurance proceeds rather than drug money, and a tool essential to maintaining employment, obtaining treatment, and reducing the likelihood that he would ever again commit another criminal offense,” Judge Todd said in court documents issued Monday.
Although a trial court ruled in 2015 the state should return Timbs’ vehicle, the Indiana State Supreme Court ruled state and local authorities are not bound by the Eighth Amendment.