Honda Sues Over Massachusetts Car Confiscation (Civil Asset Forfeiture)

Honda is asking a federal judge to strike down the car confiscation laws in Massachusetts. The Japanese automaker’s US car loan and leasing division is being deprived of its property whenever law enforcement officials grab cars that are ultimately owned by Honda Finance Corporation.

“It is beyond debate that the government cannot deprive plaintiff (or anyone) of property by unreasonable seizure and/or without first providing for notice and a hearing,” Honda lawyer Michael Lushan wrote. “Yet, that is exactly what occurred here, and exactly what is sanctioned by an outdated, facially unconstitutional Massachusetts state statute, which does not recognize that duly perfected security interest and lien in a vehicle is a constitutionally protected property right.”

This particular case was filed over a black 2016 Honda Civic LX CVT that was taken by the city of Revere. Shanasia Hackworth purchaed the sedan, worth $19,440, on November 2, 2016, with a loan from the carmaker which still holds a lien on the title. Less than two months after the car drove off the dealership lot, Revere police had it towed away and impounded as part of an investigation.