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Any advice re: serving incarcerated defendants in asset forfeitures? Login/Join 
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I have three separate asset forfeitures in which the defendants are incarcerated. One is in federal custody and two are in TDCJ. One of the fellas in TDC has been served with the petition and filed an answer. The other two haven't even been served with their suits. Any advice on how best to serve them while they're in prison? I've tried certified mail but the returns come back unserved. As for the one who has answered, I assume I have to bench him up for any hearings, thereby making him default-proof. Anyone dealt with similar problems?
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Bonham, Fannin County, Texas | Registered: August 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just a suggestion, but if you send the citation by BOTH Certified Mail and 1st Class and the certified one comes back, but the 1st class does not - you have effective service.

I think the name of the case on this one is Hines vs. Hash - it's on old banking law case, but that was one of the issues.

Most of our Defendant / Respondents are in our local jail, so it's not normally an issue. However, where we've had someone incarcerated out of County, I've never had it challenged.

Good Luck
 
Posts: 32 | Location: Littlefield, Texas | Registered: June 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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With regard to whether the respondent has a right to be bench-warranted back for the forfeiture hearing, look at $13,720 v. State, 2004 Tex. App. LEXIS 9029 (Tex. App. � Dallas, 2004), in which a forfeiture respondent argued that his Sixth Amendment right to a "fair and impartial proceeding" was violated because his request for a bench warrant to attend the forfeiture hearing was not granted. The Court of Appeals in Dallas held that the Sixth Amendment pertains to a defendant's rights in "all criminal prosecutions," and does not pertain to a civil proceeding in forfeiture. The Court found no merit to the respondent�s complaint that he was not allowed to attend the forfeiture hearing.

You can also look to One 2000 Chevrolet Pickup v. State, 2003 Tex. App. LEXIS 3859 Tex. App. � San Antonio, 2003) in which the Court of Appeals held that the Court is under no affirmative duty to secure the attendance of an incarcerated forfeiture respondent. The Court further held that the respondent waived any right to appear by failing to request either a bench warrant or writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum. (If the respondent does ask to be brought back for the hearing, cite to $13720, cited above.)

Good luck!
 
Posts: 188 | Location: Lubbock, Texas USA | Registered: October 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What about a guy in federal custody? He's served. He filed a pro se answer. There's no pending state case. He's sent a motion for a court appointed attorney. I know he's not entitled to a court appointed.

What do you do with that guy?
 
Posts: 286 | Registered: February 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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