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Bennis v. Michigan - Significance, Michigan Courts Disagree On Seizure Of Vehicle, Question Of Whether Constitutional Rights Violated, Petitioner Asserted Fifth Amendment Rights Violated

respondent decision justices claim


Tina B. Bennis


State of Michigan

Petitioner's Claim

That she should be allowed to contest the confiscation of the car she jointly owned with her husband because she did not know her husband would use the car to violate Michigan's indecency law.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Stefan B. Herpel

Chief Lawyers for the Respondent

Larry L. Roberts, Richard H. Seamon

Justices for the Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Stephen Breyer, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

4 March 1996


Upheld the state of Michigan's claim that the uncompensated taking of property used as a public nuisance, from an innocent owner, does not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Van Oster v. Kansas, 272 U.S. 465 (1926).
  • United States v. Fuller, 409 U.S. 488 (1973).
  • Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co., 416 U.S. 663 (1974).
  • Foucha v. Louisiana, 504 U.S. 71 (1992).
  • Austin v. United States, 509 U.S. 602 (1993).
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