Trump Threatens to “Destroy” Career of Lawmaker Supporting Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

At a listening session with sheriffs President Donald Trump threatened to “destroy” the career of a lawmaker in support of civil asset forfeiture reform.

Asset forfeiture is a law enforcement practice in which cash and property is seized from someone who is charged of a crime – typically a drug-related crime – but before they are actually convicted. Opponents of this practice argue that it’s unconstitutional as it strips an individual of their rightful property without due process. Most of the time the cash and property is never returned, even if the individual is never convicted.

During the listening session Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson stated his concerns regarding a measure that would end such practices without a conviction (a change many states are considering, or have already made).

Read moreTrump Threatens to “Destroy” Career of Lawmaker Supporting Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Florida Governor Signs Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Into Law

By Drug Policy Alliance

(Photo: ACLU-WI.org)
(Photo: ACLU-WI.org)

Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a bill aimed at reforming the practice of civil asset forfeiture, following unanimous passage in both the House and Senate.

Momentum Builds Nationally as Numerous States Consider Similar Reforms

The bipartisan unanimity of passage in both chambers was driven by a diverse and disparate coalition of law enforcement and reform advocates, including the Drug Policy Alliance, which retained attorney Ron Book to lobby on their behalf for the legislation, the Florida Sheriff’s Association, the Florida Association of Police Chiefs, Americans for Forfeiture Reform, the Florida ACLU, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Institute for Justice, the James Madison Institute and the Grover Norquist-led, Americans for Tax Reform.

Read moreFlorida Governor Signs Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Into Law

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

U.S. Attorney General: Feds Can No Longer Accept Property Seized by State and Local Police

By Drug Policy Alliance

Property Seizures by Local and State Police Often Conducted Under Pretext that Property Is Connected to Illegal Drugs

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

WASHINGTON, DC — [On Friday], Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order establishing a new policy prohibiting federal agencies from accepting civil asset forfeiture assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies unless the owner is convicted of a crime. The U.S. Treasury Department, which has its own forfeiture program, is issuing a similar policy.  The Department of Justice becomes involved after a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law.

Read moreU.S. Attorney General: Feds Can No Longer Accept Property Seized by State and Local Police