Civil Asset Forfeiture Amendment Passes House

Sep 13, 2017

The House of Representatives passed an amendment that would defund the Department of Justice civil asset forfeiture program. The amendment has the support of Democrats and Republicans. Under the program, law enforcement “can seize property without formally convicting or even charging its owner.” The seizure is “based on the suspicion that the property has been involved in illegal activity.” Civil asset forfeiture was originally conceived as a tool against gang members so law enforcement could “seize drugs and cash without arresting their owners.” The federal government encouraged the use of the law by letting local law enforcement agencies keep 80 percent of money and assets seized. It created tremendous abuse and many innocent people have had their property stolen. Former Attorney General Eric Holder shut down the federal forfeiture program, but Attorney General Sessions re-implemented the rule in July.