How ********* up is that ??!!
Quote has been trimmed
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new act introduced in the legislative assembly today will give the attorney general the power to apply to seize property acquired or used in unlawful activity even if no person has been charged with a crime.
The Civil Forfeiture Act will apply to land and personal property, including cash, and can be applied to unlawful activity up to 10 years prior to it coming into force. The unlawful activity can relate to the Criminal Code, federal drug legislation or provincial law.
The act will provide certain protections to innocent persons with interests in the property being forfeited, including lenders, mortgage holders and other interest holders.
Attorney General Kelly Lamrock said this legislation will give the legal system an additional tool to combat illegal activities in New Brunswick.
"There has been a growing concern that in some cases, there can be a piece of property that is clearly being used for illegal activity but the letter of the law makes it difficult to charge individuals," Lamrock said. "The classic example is a drug house in a neighbourhood where there can be many occupants, many of whom may not have been charged, but the home is a safe haven for drug activity nonetheless. This new act will make it easier for the attorney general to seize the house itself, even after the drug operation has been shut down, sell the property and use the proceeds to fight crime."
Now, this comment shown below is a discussion of the New Brunswick law, but it's similar to others in other provinces. Note, and this is the important thing, that property can be seized even if nobody has been charged (much less convicted) of a criminal offense.
While some here may see this as nitpicking, what it boils down to is that the government (ie, the police and the courts) can decide that your property has been used for criminal activity, and seize it, without having to have a criminal trial. It's a slippery slope when there is no need for any criminal trial for this sort of action. Sure, we can all say, 'but they'd never do that', but on the other hand, we all think the police won't kick a guy in the face, or kill him because he yelled and waved a stapler.