D.A. Defends Drug Forfeitures

We told you Tuesday about a lawsuit by three property owners against the city over its drug-forfeiture practices — seizing property suspected to be used in the drug trade and keeping it, regardless of whether any criminal convictions emerge from the case.

Late Tuesday, District Attorney Seth Williams‘ office released a defense of forfeiture in Philadelphia, saying the practice helps the city close down drug properties and improve the quality of life in surrounding communities. The Public Nuisance Task Force handles such forfeitures for prosecutors:

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Philadelphia Sued Over Civil Forfeiture Practices

An anti-civil forfeiture group and a civil rights law firm have teamed up to sue the city over its civil forfeiture practices. The Institute for Justice — the libertarian, anti-civil forfeiture group — has even set up a pretty-but-distracting website about the civil rights lawsuit and how civil forfeiture works in Philadelphia.

Criminal forfeiture happens when the government seizes assets after a person is convicted of a crime. Generally, it is a punitive act against the convicted offender. But civil forfeiture can happen in the absence of a criminal conviction — indeed, it can happen before a trial even takes place. In civil forfeiture, the government sues the property, alleging the item or items were gained due to illegal activity.

In 2011, the Institute of Justice writes on its site, Philadelphia filed 6,560 petitions to acquire the cash or property of city residents. Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, filed 200 such petitions between 2008 and 2011.

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Dissed Doctor Sues Stephanie Stahl and CBS 3 for Libel

You know Stephanie Stahl. She’s the medical reporter and sometimes investigative reporter for CBS 3 in Philadelphia, the woman who mongers fear over the perils of buying prescription drugs without a doctor, the potential for an Ebola outbreak in Philadelphia, and doctors who allegedly implant cardiac stents into patients who don’t need them. Well, the last of those stories has her being hauled into Federal Court. Read more »

Donald Trump Sues to Get His Name Off Atlantic City Casinos

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Donald Trump is in the news again, because Donald Trump is good about exploiting slow news periods to get his name in the press. Wait until this time next year, when he’s going on TV to talk about how he’s exploring a presidential bid. With the election still a bit too far away to start a run for president — okay, maybe not — Trump has turned his gaze back toward the town he’s associated with in name only now: Atlantic City.

There’s actually a much more interesting story here than Trump talking about politics or ebola: The Donald is suing the company that runs the two casinos bearing his name, demanding his name be taken off the properties. Trump Entertainment Resorts is a descendant of the company he founded in the 1980s; he holds a 10 percent stake in the it. The piece of the company he owns allows the two casinos to use his name.

In 2009, Trump said he was “not thrilled about” his name being on the casinos.

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The Garden State Parkway-Boardwalk Pizza Suit Is the Dumbest Lawsuit New Jersey Has Ever Filed

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The author at Boardwalk Pizza.

In 2009, a friend and I were driving from Key West to Fort Lauderdale. The night before had been a long one (is there any other kind of night in Key West? Especially on your last night of vacation?) so we were looking for a greasy lunch.

“STOP!” I cried when I saw a green and yellow circular sign on the side of the road. “We’re eating here.”

That place was Jersey Boardwalk Pizza, which is now being sued by the state of N.J. [read the full suit]. because of their logo has the same shape and color scheme as the Garden State Parkway emblem.

This is ridiculous. How ridiculous? As ridiculous as saying Flying Fish promotes drunk driving with their Exit Beer series. As ridiculous as AAA not being able to service cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, Atlantic City Expressway or Garden State Parkway. As ridiculous as only having six bathrooms for women in what replaced the Oceanview Service Area rest stop.

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N.J. Sues Fla. Pizza Shop Over Garden State Parkway-Like Logo

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New Jersey has sued a Florida pizza shop for misappropriating the Garden State Parkway logo for its own pizza-related logo. Let’s get to the best sentence in the lawsuit now: “Over the years, many third parties have attempted to trade off of the fame and notoriety associated with Plaintiff’s Garden State Parkway Logo and Plaintiff has actively and successfully policed against infringing third-party uses of its mark.” Notorious G.S.P.!

The state has filed a lawsuit against Jersey Boardwalk Pizza, claiming its Garden State Parkway knockoff logo — and a similar mark used for franchising — is attempting to piggyback off the “fame” of the Parkway and could confuse customers into thinking the Parkway is running the pizza shop. (Wouldn’t that be bad for the business? That new rest stop barely has any bathroom stalls!)

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City Pays $1.4 Million for Posting Gun Permit Appeal Data Online

Two years ago, the city posted a list of Philadelphia citizens who had been denied a gun permit in the state. It eventually took the information down, after outcry from those whose information had been posted. (“I was wrongly accused of being a bartender,” one appeal read.)

Two of those listed sued on behalf of all 3,265 gun permit applicants who had their names and addresses posted on the city website. Last month, they reached a settlement that was announced today: The city is paying $1.4 million to settle the suit.

As part of the settlement (below), the Nutter administration says it still believes the information is not confidential and it had done nothing wrong.

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Rapper Sued for Allegedly Slapping Woman at Made in America

Rapper A$AP Rocky has been sued by a woman who says he slapped her at last year’s Made in America concert on the Parkway. She’s seeking at least $75,000 in damages.

In the lawsuit, which also names Live Nation and unnamed security members, Lisamarie Wade says A$AP Rocky and his entourage walked toward her and slapped her for no reason on August 31st of last year. Rocky is the most prominent member of the Brooklyn-based A$AP Mob hip-hop collective, which has 16 members with confusingly similar names.

Wade attempted to file a private criminal complaint against Rocky last year, but she eventually decided to withdraw an attempt for criminal charges.

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