Serrano v. Customs and Border Patrol

Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Cato Institute, and Due Process Institute in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Brief filed: 04/23/2019


Serrano v. Customs and Border Patrol

5th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 18-50977

Prior Decision

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Del Rio Division, No. 2:17-cv-00048-AM-CW, Honorable Alia Moses, Presiding


Unfair and abusive uses of asset forfeiture by government agencies underscore the importance of due process protections in this case. Due process requires a prompt post-deprivation hearing when the government seeks forfeiture of a vehicle. Relevant Supreme Court and federal court precedent generally require a pre-deprivation hearing, but still require a post-seizure hearing for seizure of vehicles. The factors in Mathews v. Eldridge weigh strongly in favor of a prompt post-seizure hearing.

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Cynthia Eva Hujar Orr, Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr, San Antonio, TX; Nicole Deborde Hochglaube, Houston, TX; Nathan C. Pysno, NACDL, Washington, DC.

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