Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most interesting, absurd, and concerning stories we are following this week.
New Zealand officially legalizes paying employees with crypto-currency
New Zealand issued a tax bulletin this month officially recognizing that it is legal for employers to pay employees with crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.
The crypto-currencies just have to be able to be converted into fiat currency… which is typically the case with every major crypto.
This is another step towards working crypto-currencies into the system, instead of killing their adoption due to ambiguity about legal issues.
Finally a judge rules sensibly in a Civil Asset Forfeiture case
Governments routinely seize people’s assets without any trial or due process. It’s called Civil Asset Forfeiture… and there are very few rules limiting their authority.
We’ve written about this a LOT over the years– police and various government agencies confiscating property like cash, cars, even houses, simply because they -suspect- someone of committing a crime.
Often the property’s owner is never even charged with a crime. The whole matter is dropped. But the government still keeps their stuff… and then an innocent civilian has to spend a boatload of money on lawyers to get their assets back.
In March 2017, Alabama police pulled a man over for a minor traffic violation and discovered that he had $52,000 of physical cash on him.
Bear in mind– having cash is NOT a crime. But the cops seized every penny of it.
They had no suspicion that the man was a criminal, or any evidence of any wrongdoing. They just took the money… yet did not file any charges.
The police even admitted in testimony that there was absolutely zero evidence that the driver had committed a crime.
Seriously, how is this not THEFT?
But finally, after a TWO YEAR legal battle, an Alabama state court sided with the driver.
This will hopefully set a minimum standard for the police: you can’t just steal from people… there has to be at least some evidence of a crime.
Man denied firearm due to 72-hour involuntary hospital stay
Many states have already enacted “red flag laws” targeting firearms owners. These allow the courts to confiscate guns from anyone deemed mentally ill by a judge.
What you may not know is the federal government already claims the power to deny gun ownership to anyone “adjudicated mentally ill or committed to a mental institution.”
So a man who was briefly and INVOLUNTARILY treated at a mental health clinic in 2003 for less than 72 hours was denied by the background check system when he tried to purchase a firearm 15 years later.
He sued, alleging his due process rights were violated. And the courts just agreed that his brief hospitalization did not meet the standard to take his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Simultaneously, however, the courts still said that had the man been involuntarily committed with a judge’s order, he could have been stripped of his rights.
So if, back in 2003, the judge had ruled he should be committed for even a single day, the man would have lost his rights to own a firearm forever.
This is starting to set a very clear legal precedent for how Red Flag laws can be applied.
Medical patient falls off table, sues his physician…
An elderly patient was sitting on the examination table in his doctor’s office.
Then when his physician left the room, the man fell off the table.
So the patient is suing his doctor, alleging negligence for leaving him alone on a table without a railing.
Apparently now in the Sue-nited States of America, you can’t even be expected to sit on a table by yourself anymore. That’s simply too much responsibility.
Just another example of why you might want to have some assets protected.
Injured cop can sue random Black Lives Matter activist
At a 2016 Black Lives Matter protest, a local police officer was attacked with a brick.
The officer was injured, and, to this day, they never found the assailant.
So instead the officer is suing a prominent Black Lives Matter organizer.
It’s obvious that assault and violence are wrong. But it’s also obvious that the organizer was clearly NOT the person who threw the brick.
Yet now this activist has to go to court to defend himself because of someone else’s actions.
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