One 1958 Plymouth Sedan v. Pennsylvania

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One 1958 Plymouth Sedan v. Pennsylvania
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued March 31, 1965
Decided April 29, 1965
Full case nameOne 1958 Plymouth Sedan v. Pennsylvania
Citations380 U.S. 693 (more)
85 S. Ct. 1246; 14 L. Ed. 2d 170
Civil forfeiture could not apply when the evidence was illegally obtained.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Earl Warren
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · William O. Douglas
Tom C. Clark · John M. Harlan II
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Arthur Goldberg
Case opinions
MajorityGoldberg, joined by Warren, Douglas, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Stewart, White

One 1958 Plymouth Sedan v. Pennsylvania, 380 U.S. 693 (1965), was a Supreme Court of the United States case handed down in 1965. The Court ruled that civil forfeiture could not apply where the evidence used to invoke the forfeiture was obtained illegally.

Some police officers followed the suspect vehicle, and pulled over the car because it was "riding low." Without a warrant, they searched the trunk and found untaxed liquor. The car was seized, and the state also attempted to confiscate the automobile in question as a civil penalty. The Court ruled unanimously that the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, held applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, applies to civil actions by the states as well as criminal ones, noting that one could be subject to an even worse penalty in a civil proceeding, where the value of the items being forfeited might be more than the maximum possible fine in a criminal case.

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