Civil forfeiture for mobbing

I just got off a phone call with a recruiter. The entire time I was on the call, one of the mobbers—a familiar female voice that I associate with the mobbing house to the south—harangued me on the cell phone. Get out! Move on! If anyone is coming in or out of the mobbing houses, they are doing it when at least I can’t see them. But the walls are alive with harassment this morning; I’ve stacked the windows so heavily with sound board as of late that they have difficulty getting in and generally create a commotion of some type in the wee hours, when I’m likely to be sleeping deeply, to disturb my rest. Over the months of the mobbing, I’ve been a light sleeper training myself to sleep heavily, to ignore the harassment, to move the pillow away from my ear, to sleep while the mobbing continues, to sleep while criminals watch and listen for my breath sounds, my swallow, signs that I can hear them, signs that I listen. But these last weeks without work, when they wake me I return to sleep, I sleep in and even have some dreams. This morning they’re hammering me as I sit at the computer, despite my having supplemented the sound board in the windows that can be accessed from north and south with some sheets from the bedroom. As I walk back and forth from kitchen to dining room making breakfast, they follow, shooting invective at me through some incompletely covered window pane. Get the fuck out. No matter how you scream and shout, we’re going to get you out! Now they take a break from voice harassment and project some mix of music and sound effects at the windows. As I once heard the owner of the house to the north say, Don’t give her any quiet.

Let’s talk about the penalties for mobbing as organized crime.

A few months back, I mentioned in a blog entry that I thought that houses that are used for real estate mobbing, in other words, houses that are used as sites from which to harass others from their houses so that the properties become available for speculation, should be legally seized or forfeited. This is called civil forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture. (Civil forfeiture in the United States, Wikipedia characterizes it as a “controversial” legal process that critics assail as a violation of property rights and due process. Proponents, on the other hand, see it as an “efficient” method of converting evil into good since the seizing of the goods not only harms the criminal but can aid in reparations to the harmed or for the harm done.

(I just went to use the bathroom. As I finished up, one of the male voices from the north side of the house said “Move on.” Now, as I write this, he’s whining and wailing in the background, or maybe I just don’t hear him as well with the sound board double-layered on some of the north side-facing windows here. Tous les mêmes, tous les mêmes, tous les mêmes et y en a marre—Stromae)

The interesting thing about legal forfeiture is its increasing incidence in the last few decades. A concise quote used in the Wikipedia article is made by Daniel C. Richman of Fordham Law School (1999): “The idea of going at people through their property has a long history…. The prevalence of the practice is comparatively recent.”

Civil forfeiture was codified in the 1600s with the evolution of maritime law in the British Navigation Acts. In these days of British empire, it’s not too surprising that seizing a vessel was seen as the remedy to disputes, particularly where the captain of a seaworthy vessel might run off to the colonies. Seizure was redeemed in the colonies during the years of prohibition, where it supported police confiscation of the tools used in bootlegging as well as its rewards. The most recent return of the seizure as legal recourse came with the war on drugs.

A key factor in the increased incidence of the use of seizure and civil forfeiture in the war on drugs was the relationship between drugs and organized crime. The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 revised U.S. criminal codes with stipulations supporting the seizure of assets of organized crime.

Although seizure was promulgated as a strategy against organized crime by the Reagan administration, the ACLU has long challenged its disproportionate application and effect on minorities and those of low income.

It is the application of seizure to organized crime which makes it especially interesting as a punishment of real estate mobbing in the United States.

Forfeiture can be civil or criminal. In civil forfeiture, the dispute is between police and the property, in Latin, in rem, “against the property.” In criminal forfeiture, on the other hand, the dispute is between the law and a defendant, in other words, “against the person,” in personam. Civil forfeiture has the lower standard of proof but both types of forfeiture apparently can be used against crimes.

As a woman who is a victim of a real estate mobbing in which the attempt to drive me out of my home deprives me of not only my quiet enjoyment within my home but, by monitoring, cyber-stalking and stalking me every moment of each of my days, of my experience of my solitude as a separate being unto myself, these criminal profiteers have effectively attempted to remove from me my life and to hold my life hostage in order to extort me from my home, without murder and with subterfuge that makes it difficult for my complaints of this serious crime to be heard.

The mobbers seek to commit a perfect crime, a crime that is not a crime. For a crime such as this, a crime deliberately constructed to make the reporting victim appear foolish, even crazy, the lower bar of civil judicial forfeiture may be apt. And for an organized crime like racketeering, in the words of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, let the punishment fit the crime.

RCW 10.105.010

Seizure and forfeiture.

(1) The following are subject to seizure and forfeiture and no property right exists in them: All personal property, including, but not limited to, any item, object, tool, substance, device, weapon, machine, vehicle of any kind, money, security, or negotiable instrument, which has been or was actually employed as an instrumentality in the commission of, or in aiding or abetting in the commission of any felony, or which was furnished or was intended to be furnished by any person in the commission of, as a result of, or as compensation for the commission of, any felony, or which was acquired in whole or in part with proceeds traceable to the commission of a felony. No property may be forfeited under this section until after there has been a superior court conviction of the owner of the property for the felony in connection with which the property was employed, furnished, or acquired.

One of the advantages of using civil forfeiture to combat organized crime is the ability to seize assets of those suspected in crime without charging them. This is what makes this penalty perfect for the crime of mobbing. After all, crimes that are not crimes should not be charged.

Take a house for the home the mobbers would take from their victim, take a house for a home. And when mobbers encircle the victim property from multiple others, when they “triangulate” the victim on every frequency and from north, south, and east, take all of their houses for the home they take from the victim every day, in her neighborhood, in the world, and of herself.





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