The federal government seizes property from a man who owes it money. He argues that the lack of a hearing violates his Fifth Amendment right to due process. The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Murray’s Lessee v. Hoboken Land and Improvement Co. that different processes may be legitimate in different circumstances.
To determine the constitutionality of a procedure, the Court looks at whether it violates specific safeguards in the Constitution and whether similar types of proceedings had been used historically, particularly in England. In this case, because a summary method for the recovery of debts had been used in England, the procedure is constitutional in the U.S.