Are Safe Deposit Boxes Not Only Useless but Dangerously Misleading?

Posted: May 14, 2008 in Your Liberty, Your Money
Tags: , , ,

This article is pegged to a current class-action lawsuit against the State of California. It appears state reps have admitted to seizing the contents of safe-deposit boxes under the excuse that the contents had been abandoned. The article also cites internal state memos that admit to wanting to reduce the time frame for abandonment from its current three years to only one (it used to be 15) and a desire to avoid alerting deposit-box owners lest they try to claim it. The article also shows how pervasive this problem is throughout other states within the union.

Stories of state seizures of safe-deposit boxes remind me of a blog post about a year back from someone who apparently resigned from a bank soon after attending a training course conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. According to the post: “At this point they were told that no weapons, cash, gold, or silver will be allowed to leave the bank – only various paperwork will be given to its owners. After discussing the matter with them at length, she and the other employees were then told not to discuss the subject with anyone.”

And two years ago there were also excerpts from a DHS memo circulating stating that DHS Agents:
” shall, at the discretion of the agent supervising the search, remove, photograph or seize as evidence” any of the following items”bar gold, gold coins, firearms of any kind unless manufactured prior to 1878, documents such as passports or foreign bank account records, pornography or any material that, in the opinion of the agent, shall be deemed of to be of a contraband nature. “

The posting goes on state that over 1500 seizures had already taken place within the state of California alone. That was over two years ago, so God knows how many more people have lost their nest eggs since then. Many may not even be aware of the loss yet since safe-deposit boxes are often left alone for years.

Perhaps the folks at DHS need to be sent back to school to learn the tenets of the United States Consitution, particularly when it comes to protection against search and seizure. After all, are they all not swearing an oath to preserve and protect this brilliant document?

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