The Story of Steve Carter: A Civil Asset Forfeiture Example

Throughout this guide, we will use a made-up situation to explain the process for a forfeiture lawsuit. Check the sidebar throughout the "Questions You May Have About Civil Asset Forfeiture" section of this guide to see how Steve Carter, our example Texan, might go through his civil asset forfeiture case. Here are the facts in this hypothetical story:

On June 15, a Texas resident named Steve Carter goes to a check casher to cash his paycheck. On his way home, Steve gets pulled over by a police officer named Anthony Potts in York County, Texas for running a stop sign. At that time, Steve is carrying the $900 in cash that he got from cashing his paycheck. Officer Potts asks Steve, “Are you carrying anything I should know about?” Steve tells the officer, “I have $900 in the car because I just cashed my paycheck.” Officer Potts orders Steve out of the car and takes the cash. Later, Officer Potts says that he smelled marijuana in the car, and that he took the cash because he was “sure that Steve’s money came from selling drugs.” Steve is Served with Notice of the forfeiture suit on July 7.