KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development

AUGUST 20, 2009

U.S. Chief District Judge Carr, of the Northern District of Ohio, recently issued a favorable ruling in a case brought by the KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, a client of Bernabei & Wachtel, who are working with co-counsel David Cole, Fritz Byers, and the ACLU. KindHearts challenged the freezing of its assets by the Office of Foreign Assets Control for more than three years, without a warrant or probable cause, and challenged the government's failure to provide it with sufficient notice of the reasons for the freezing or the proposed designation.

Judge Carr agreed with KindHearts that the Fourth Amendment requires both a judicial warrant and probable cause for the freezing of assets. Judge Carr also agreed with KindHearts that its constitutional rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment were violated by the government's failure to respond to KindHearts' submissions and requests for information, and the government's delay in returning documents. This is the second court decision to address these issues, and our firm also represented the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, which obtained a similarly favorable court decision in its challenge to the OFAC designation process. The New York Times and the Toledo Blade both reported on this important decision.