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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78853 Find in a Library
Title: Characterization of Treble Damages - Conflict Between a Hybrid Mode of Recovery and a Jurisprudence of Labels (From Techniques in the Investigation and Prosecution of Organized Crime - Materials on RICO, P 428-532, 1980, G. Robert Blakey, ed. - See NCJ-78839)
Author(s): K Goering
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 105
Document: PDF
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Troublesome issues in the implementation of the treble damages provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) are examined.
Abstract: One of the most difficult concepts to characterize in the history of the law of damages is that of treble damages, which combines aspects of both tort and criminal law, while serving purposes of both punishment and compensation. Because of the hybrid nature of treble damages, courts often struggle to fit the concept into the traditional conceptual framework. Because the treble damages provision of RICO has received little attention from private litigants, the construction which courts will give to section 1964(c) is as yet uncertain. Given the confusion in litigation under older treble damage provisions, however, characterization is sure to vary among jurisdictions. The issue is important, since the courts' characterization could greatly affect the RICO plaintiff's ability to recover under section 1964. Moreover, fulfillment of the congressional purposes underlying the provision may depend largely on the resolution of the characterization issue. Courts should avoid attaching neat labels to the concept on the basis of its being a hybrid mode of recovery. Commitment to countering the entrenchment of organized crime and the systematic violation of the law by others should promote a broad remedial approach to section 1964(c). Careful scrutiny of what judges are really saying rather than what they appear to be saying on the surface will help litigants avoid the pitfalls inherent in the characterization problems. About 300 footnotes are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Civil remedies; Organized crime; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act
Note: Available in microfiche from NCJRS as NCJ-78839.
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