National Security

ACLU Legal Actions

08.03.12

KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc. v. Geithner et al.
The ACLU and several civil rights lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development, Inc., an Ohio-based charity whose property was frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control based simply on the assertion that KindHearts was “under investigation.”  Get details in our legal docket.

Kindhearts’ assets were frozen for over three years, despite no formal charges and no evidence presented against them. Unable to function as a charity, the organization finally ceased operations in January 2012.

Kindhearts has maintained all along that they did not support terrorism. Along with the ACLU, the charity won a major victory in 2011 when the federal court, for the first time, struck down the post-September 11th government’s troubling record of seizing private property and condemning organizations without presenting evidence or providing any semblance of due process.

In May, 2012, the government settled the lawsuit brought by KindHearts, agreeing to remove the organization from their blacklist and to let it distribute the funds it has raised for humanitarian causes.

This is the first time the government has agreed to remove an organization from a watch list as a result of a lawsuit, and then allowed the organization to distribute its assets. The government also agreed to pay KindHearts’ attorney fees.