Texas provides no exclusionary remedy for illegal search and seizure in forfeiture cases. $102,450.00 in United States Currency v. State, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5761 (Tex. App. – Beaumont June 22, 2017):
Vang argues that the Texas Supreme Court’s decision in State v. One (1) 2004 Lincoln Navigator, 494 S.W.3d 690, 701 (Tex. 2016), in which the Court held that “Chapter 59 neither provides for exclusion of illegally obtained evidence nor requires the state to prove lawful seizure as a prerequisite to commencing a forfeiture proceeding[,]” compels a different conclusion in his case because the officers’ conduct was illegal and involved non-isolated or recurring instances of police misconduct. Lincoln Navigator, 494 S.W.3d at 701. According to Vang, the holding in Lincoln Navigator does not apply if bad faith on the part of police exists. We disagree.
In Lincoln Navigator, the Court held that Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure does not require the State to show lawful procedure as a prerequisite to commencing a Chapter 59 proceeding for civil forfeiture of the property seized. Id. at 702. The Court explained that trial courts considering civil-forfeiture proceedings do not need to conduct a Fourth Amendment reasonableness inquiry because Chapter 59 contains neither an exclusionary rule nor a procedural prerequisite requiring the state to show a legal search. Id. at 702. The Court also held that the exclusionary rule in the Code of Criminal Procedure only applies in criminal proceedings. Id. at 701; see Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 38.23 (West 2005). In Lincoln Navigator, the Court concluded that the legality of the search is not an issue in a civil forfeiture proceeding because it does not preclude forfeiture. See Lincoln Navigator, 494 S.W.3d at 701. Thus, we reject Vang’s argument that the Court’s decision in Lincoln Navigator does not apply in his case. See id. at 695-96, 702. We overrule issue one.