Inmate’s Right to Lawyer Not Violated by Seizure of Trust Funds

Jan. 18, 2023, 3:15 PM

An inmate’s right to have the counsel of his choice wasn’t violated when the government seized the money in his prison trust account to pay a valid restitution order in a previous case, the Ninth Circuit said.

Lonnie Lillard argued that the seizure of the untainted funds—money not tied to the bank fraud charge he had just pleaded guilty to—violated his Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.

The opinion by Judge Jennifer Sung said that the government could seize the funds because the restitution order gave it a valid interest in “all” of Lillard’s property.

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Lillard was arrested in 2016 …

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