If you are attempting to get your seized currency back from Customs by filing a petition for remission there are several legal requirements written into the Customs laws and regulations. Some do-it-yourselfers come to our customs law firm’s website looking for a sample currency seizure petition they can use to submit to Customs. Customs publishes its own set of forms for use in a wide variety of different customs enforcement/forfeiture contexts; for petitions there is a form called Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred (Customs Form 4609 (click to access)). The form is extremely basic and we do not recommended it for use in the context of a customs money seizure. It can be used as a starting point, though, because any petition must have at least the information from that form.
But any good petition for seized currency should have a lot more information to be effective. When we file a petition on behalf of our currency seizure clients they are at least 10 pages long because petitioning for the return of seized currency is a serious legal issue (read more about it here). Many people think it’s easy and sometimes Customs will lead you to believe it is. But why would you believe the people who just took your money? Here’s some of the questions that you should ask yourself before doing it yourself. Any lawyer you hire to help get your seized currency back should be able to answer these questions.
15 Questions to Ask Before Filing a Petition for Remission of Seized Currency with U.S. Customs:
- Was the search of your baggage or person constitutional?
- Was the currency seizure constitutional?
- Who has the burden of proof?
- What is the standard of proof that must be met by the party with the burden of proof?
- Does the currency seizure constitute an excessive fine in violation of the constitution?
- How do the federal courts in your state/circuit interpret the currency reporting requirement?
- Did you violate the currency reporting requirement?
- Are you admitting you violated the law? Are you saying too much? Are you not saying enough?
- Are you admitting other violations of laws you are unaware of? (unlawful currency structuring, bulk cash smuggling, conspiracy, FCPA violations (bribes), or false statement to law enforcement, among others)
- Did you bring the money from a country under economic sanctions, like Iran? If so, did you violate those sanctions or are you unintentionally admitting you violated those sanctions?
- Were there any recognized mitigating factors or aggravating factors?
- Are there mitigating factors that Customs has authority to recognize even though not in a written policy?
- Did you make an oral amendment of your declaration the Customs did not honor?
- Are documents properly notarized?
- Are documents properly translated?
If your money was seized by CBP/customs call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page (see our case results here). Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orlando.
Please read these other articles about money seizures by customs:
- Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
- Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
- Structuring currency imports and exports
- Is it $10,000 per person? Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
- Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
- Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
- How do I get my seized money back from customs?
- Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
- How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
- Targeted Enforcement for Customs Money Seizures
- Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
- Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
- Don’t Talk About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case
- Understanding CBP’s Election of Proceedings Form