Motions for Return of Seized Property

Asset Forfeiture Lawyers Serving Clients Nationwide

Once a person’s property has been seized without probable cause, or otherwise illegally, by government agents, his or her chance of getting that property back usually diminishes with time, and the property often loses value while in the government’s custody. For these reasons, it is often essential to file a Rule 41(g) motion, summary judgment motion or motion to dismiss the complaint as soon as possible.

At David B. Smith, PLLC, our attorneys have the experience to help clients recover property that has been seized for both civil and criminal forfeiture. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, our firm represents clients and advises other lawyers in forfeiture matters nationwide.

Holding the Government Accountable to Show Probable Cause

Motions for return of seized property may be brought under Rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in both criminal forfeiture matters and, under the court’s general equity jurisdiction, in civil forfeiture matters. Civil forfeiture claimants may also pursue the return of seized property by filing motions for summary judgment or motions to dismiss the forfeiture complaint. Other issues can also be raised in a motion for summary judgment or a motion to dismiss.

Filing one of these motions forces the government to show that it has probable cause for the seizure of the property.

Our attorneys have helped many clients regain property that has been seized for forfeiture or for other reasons, such as evidence of a crime. Attorney David B. Smith is a nationally recognized authority on asset forfeiture law whose two-volume treatise, Prosecution and Defense of Forfeiture Cases (2022), is widely cited with respect to this topic.

Call us or schedule an appointment today to discuss how we can help you or your client pursue a Rule 41(g) or summary judgment motion.