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Alvarez v. Smith

Docket No.: 08-351
Certiorari Granted: 2/23/2009
Argued: October 14, 2009
Decided: December 8, 2009

PartyNames: Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney v. Chermane Smith, et al.
Petitioner: Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney
Respondent: Chermane Smith, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney
v.
Chermane Smith, et al.
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 1 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION

Question Presented:

1. In determining whether the Due Process Clause requires a State or local government to provide a post-seizure probable cause hearing prior to a statutory judicial forfeiture proceeding and, if so, when such a hearing must take place, should district courts apply the "speedy trial" test employed in United States v. ยง8,850, 461 U.S. 555 (1983) and Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972) or the three-part due process analysis set forth in Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976)? 2. In light of this Court's holding in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-561 (1992), may a court of appeals order a district court to enter permanent injunctive relief enjoining the application of a State statute based simply upon Plaintiffs' allegations in a complaint, where the parties are not at issue as no answer was filed in the district court and no evidence was ever heard in that court?

Question:

In determining whether the Due Process Clause requires a state or local government to provide a postseizure, probable cause hearing, prior to a forfeiture of property, should the district court apply the test employed in United States v. $8,850 or that in Mathews v. Eldridge?

Holding: vacated and remanded
Decision: Decision: 8 votes for Alvarez, 1 vote(s) against
Opinion By:
Read ALVAREZ V. SMITH opinion (PDF)