Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Takes Effect in Montana, New Mexico

A conviction is now required in New Mexico and Montana before assets can be seized.
A conviction is now required in New Mexico and Montana before assets can be seized.

Laws reforming Montana and New Mexico’s civil asset forfeiture laws have officially taken effect.

Montana’s new law requires a criminal conviction before civil asset forfeiture can proceed, a drastic change from prior law which allows police to confiscate and obtain funding from assets seized, even if the individual has yet to be charged with a crime.

New Mexico’s new law goes even further, abolishing civil asset forfeiture for police altogether, requiring that all seizures go into the general fund.

Read moreCivil Asset Forfeiture Reform Takes Effect in Montana, New Mexico

Montana Governor Signs Bill to Require Conviction for Civil Asset Forfeiture

Montanajustice24 Governor Steve Bullock has signed House Bill 463 into law, a proposal to drastically overhaul the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws.

Civil asset forfeiture is a tool used by police where they seize property suspected of being related to some form of criminal activity. The primary point of contention with this policy is that police can seizure the property without first obtaining a conviction, or even charging someone with a crime. Police can then use the seized property to turn a profit, which goes directly to the police department.

Read moreMontana Governor Signs Bill to Require Conviction for Civil Asset Forfeiture

Montana Legislature Votes to Require Conviction for Asset Forfeiture

By Scott Shackford, Reason.com

Anothermontana state legislature has massively voted in favor of reforming their asset forfeiture laws to require criminal conviction. Today Montana’s House of Representatives joined the state’s Senate in passing some major updates to its asset forfeiture laws to make it harder to take the property of its citizens—particularly the innocent ones. Only eight representatives and one senator voted against the changes. The bill is now on its way to the governor to sign (reformers hope).

Read moreMontana Legislature Votes to Require Conviction for Asset Forfeiture