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How To Recover Your Money Or Goods Confiscated By Customs Or Ice

by Robert J. DuPont

One problem with travel is that individuals often do not take notice of restrictions of the sort of items they may carry or fail to declare the amounts of currency they have with them when they travel. It is not unusual for travelers to take with them significant amounts of money for use in their homeland for purchase or improvements to property in their home country, to re-pay debts or simply provide financial aid to their loved ones back home.

There is no restriction on the amount of currency you may transport to or from the United States. You are however required to file a declaration on CBP form 4790 for transportation of any amount in excess of $10,000.00 to or from the United States. Failure to report currency can result in a civil and even criminal charge and forfeiture (confiscation) of moneys in an amount to be determined by Customs and Border Patrol and or Immigration Customs Enforcement officials.

Whether it is currency or goods which have been confiscated you may through a petition for remittance or mitigation of the forfeiture seek to recover your lost assets. Recent changes in regulations now require filing of the petition with Customs and Border Protection regardless of whether the confiscation took place through customs officials or through Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) Officers. It is not unusual for ICE officers to seize funds, personal items including foreign passports and other items at the time that an individual has been taken into custody.

It is possible to obtain return of personal property and return of all or nearly all of the funds seized by the government. Many individuals do not seek recovery of their assets which are rightfully theirs. Crucial to a successful petition for remittance is to show that the funds or assets were not used or obtained in the commission of a crime and that seizure of the funds would violate the excessive fines clause of the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In many cases individuals are reluctant to seek the return of their funds even though no crime has been committed in connection with the seizure of assets or belongings. The government however provides an orderly process to request and obtain the return of all items seized from an individual.

If you have had property or assets seized by ICE or Customs and wish to recover your property you should consult with a qualified attorney and explore your prospects for recovery.

About The Author

Robert J. DuPont is founder and principal of the Law Offices of Robert J. DuPont. He is a graduate of Yale University and USC Law School and is admitted to the California Supreme Court, Federal District Courts in the Central and Northern Districts of California as well as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. DuPont is a past chairman of the Immigration Law Committee with the Beverly Hills Bar Association. During the course of his 12 year practice in immigration law he has directly influenced Department of State and USCIS practices and policies through Federal District Court litigation including a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on V-Visas eliminating age-out of minor V-visa recipients

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.