KindHearts, Government To Settle Case Challenging Process to Shutter Charity

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January 16, 2012

In late December 2011 an Ohio based charity whose assets were frozen by the Treasury Department in 2006 "pending investigation" into possible ties to terrorism  announced it is dissolving, the Associated Press reports. KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development (KindHearts) successfully challenged the constitutionality of Treasury's process in shutting it down and the court ordered further proceedings to decide on a remedy. According to a Dec. 31, 2011 court filing, KindHearts and the government have reached a settlement that “provides for a number of preliminary steps prior to dismissal of this case. The parties anticipate completing those steps by July 1, 2012.” No other details of the agreement have been made public.

The leaders of KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development deny being connected to any terrorist group and sued the government after it refused to say why the charity’s assets was frozen. Treasury had frozen KindHearts’ funds and seized all its assets on Feb. 19, 2006, pending an investigation into whether the group provided material support to Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States government.  KindHearts has never been designated and its efforts to defend itself have been hampered by lack of specific allegations to respond to and lack of deadlines or procedures for Treasury reconsideration. A U.S. District Court judge sided with the charity in a 2009 ruling, saying the government violated the Constitution by not notifying KindHearts of the reason for freezing its assets or giving it a chance to respond.