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Published: Tuesday, 5/11/2010

Judge issues show-cause order in case against charity

A judge in U.S. District Court yesterday ordered the Treasury Department to show probable cause for freezing the assets of KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development Inc., a West Toledo charity whose $1 million was seized for alleged links to the militant group Hamas.

The Treasury Department used an executive order to padlock KindHearts' offices in February, 2006, while it investigated alleged ties to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group.

In his order, Judge James Carr said the government must give KindHearts the reason behind its "block pending investigation" action that effectively put the charity out of business while the government investigated links to the terrorist outfit.

The judge said it was within his power "to remedy constitutional violations" that KindHearts alleged, saying this was "an unusual and atypical remedy, but this is an unusual and atypical situation."

Judge Carr asked the Office of Foreign Assets Control to consider KindHearts' request to release money to pay its attorney fees.

On Aug. 18, Judge Carr ordered the Treasury Department to obtain a judge's permission before it could put a hold on an organization's funds.

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