On Wednesday, April 26th, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Tyler v. Hennepin County, Minnesota. Hennepin County foreclosed on Geraldine Tyler’s home to cover her delinquent property taxes, selling the home for $40,000 and keeping the $25,000 surplus as profit. Tyler argues that the county cannot take the equity in her home and has asked the Supreme Court to declare the forfeiture of her home’s equity an unconstitutional taking and excessive fine. The county maintains that Tyler had time to pay her taxes and is not entitled to any refund.

The Supreme Court will consider whether the county’s actions violate the Takings Clause and whether the forfeiture of property worth far more than the debt plus interest, penalties, and costs is an excessive fine within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment. After the oral argument, Christina Martin, Counsel of Record in the case for Pacific Legal Foundation, joined us to break down the proceedings.

— Christina Martin, Senior Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation

— Moderator: Tony Francois, Partner, Briscoe Ivester & Bazel

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