Harjo v. City of Albuquerque: A Road Map for Challenging Government Forfeiture Programs

The city of Albuquerque seized Arlene Harjo’s car after her son borrowed it and was arrested for DUI. Her case shows that a forfeiture statute may appear constitutional on its face but, in actuality, may provide improper financial incentives to prosecutors and police to seize citizens’ property for their own or their organization’s benefit. The Harjo case offers lessons on how to successfully mount a due process challenge to forfeiture statutes.