Copyright (c) 2005 University of Nebraska
Nebraska Law Review
NOTE*: Passing the Buck: An Analysis of State v. Franco, 257 Neb. 15, 594 N.W.2d 633 (1999), and Nebraska's Civil Forfeiture Law
(C) Copyright held by the NEBRASKA LAW REVIEW.
* Jason R. Humke, B.A. 2002, University of Northern Iowa; J.D. 2005, University of Nebraska College of Law.
83 Neb. L. Rev. 1299
Jason R. Humke
On June 5, 2000, a young African-American businessman named Jacob King was waiting to catch a plane at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska. 1 King was planning on flying from Omaha to Phoenix to purchase a car for his car cleaning and detailing business. He had decided to purchase the car with cash so that he would not have to wait for a check to clear from an out-of-state bank. When King went to the Southwest Airlines desk at Eppley Airfield, he paid cash for his ticket. He was then immediately questioned by a sheriff's deputy who worked at the airport. The deputy asked whether King had a large amount of cash with him. When King told him that he was carrying approximately $ 7,000, the deputy took King's money into another room and had it sniffed by a drug dog. When the deputy returned, he told King that the drug dog had detected the odor of narcotics on the money. 2 The deputy then told King that his money was being seized on the suspicion that it had been utilized in drug trafficking. His money was seized through a process known as civil forfeiture, where property is "condemned" and then taken by the State. King, however, was not arrested by the deputy and he was never charged with a crime.
King went to the Nebraska branch of the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to seek legal assistance in getting his money returned to him. The ...
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