If between April 25, 2010 and June 15, 2015, the District of Columbia, through its Metropolitan Police Department, either seized your vehicle for a forfeiture determination and held your vehicle for more than thirty days; or seized your currency for civil forfeiture and did not provide you with adequate notice within one year, you may be entitled to receive money.
What is this lawsuit about?
Hoyte, et al. v. District of Columbia is a class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit challenges the way the District provided notice to vehicle owners and owners of currency seized between April 25, 2010 and June 15, 2015, for forfeiture who did not receive prompt notice. The plaintiffs and the defendant have written down their agreement in a document called a “Settlement Agreement.” On October 6, 2020, the judge granted preliminary approval to the agreement, but the settlement is NOT FINAL. The settlement will be final only after the judge approves it after holding a public hearing called a “fairness hearing.” A final fairness hearing is set for March 9, 2021.
Who is included?
There are two potential classes involved in this case, the Vehicle Forfeiture Class and the Forfeiture Notice Class.
Vehicle Forfeiture Class: You are a member of this class if the District of Columbia, through its Metropolitan Police Department, seized your vehicle for a forfeiture determination pursuant to one of its civil forfeiture statutes and held your vehicle for more than thirty days (or more than 15 but less than 30 days if the vehicle was not held as evidence) at any time from April 25, 2010 through June 15, 2015.
Forfeiture Notice Class: You are a member of the this class if the District seized your currency for civil forfeiture pursuant to one of its civil forfeiture statutes at any time from April 25, 2010 through June 15, 2015, did not return it, and did not provide you with adequate notice within one year.
What Benefits are Available?
To qualify for a payment from the settlement, you need to complete and submit a claim form to the Settlement Administrator. If you are a member of both classes, you should submit one claim for each class. You can submit your form(s) online or mail it to the administrator so that it is received no later than March 22, 2021.
Vehicle Forfeiture Class Members whose vehicle was held more than 30 days may receive $30 for each day their vehicle was held after the first 30-day grace period, or $50 if their vehicle was a specialty vehicle. Each Class Member whose vehicle was held more than 15 but less than 30 days and not classified as evidence may receive a flat payment of $250. The District will also return any Class Member vehicle remaining in its possession, provided that the Class Member holds good title to that vehicle.
Forfeiture Notice Class Members whose money was seized during the Class Period (and not returned by the District) may receive 75% of the amount seized by the District for forfeiture.
Settlement Class Member payments for either class may be reduced if the amounts to be paid for all valid claims in that class is greater than the amount set aside for that class.