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More Civil Forfeiture Lunacy

King crab taken in violation of Russian fishing regulations is subject to forfeiture under the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3374(a), on a strict liability basis. The question before us is whether an importer of such crab may assert an 'innocent owner defense' in forfeiture proceedings. Under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. § 983, the innocent owner defense cannot be asserted when the property to be forfeited is 'contraband or other property that it is illegal to possess.'" 

U.S. v. Deep Sea Harvester, No. 03-36006 (9th Cir. Jun. 9, 2005).

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