Forfeiture Reform

NACDL believes that civil asset forfeiture represents one of the most fundamental threats to the individual liberties of those accused of criminal activities as well as citizens not charged with any crime. State and federal agencies that can seize property of an individual who has not been charged with a crime; tears at the heart of justice and fairness in our system.  

NACDL strongly encourages the reform of systems that seek to undermine the basic principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


John Oliver on Civil Forfeiture

Comedian John Oliver recently discussed civil asset forfeiture on his program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, highlighting some of the consequences of the current law in various cases.


The Washington Post's Multi-Part Series on Forfeiture Reform

Part 1: Stop and seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes - After Sept. 11, 2001, a cottage industry of private police trainers emerged to teach aggressive techniques of highway interdiction to thousands of local and state police.

Part 2: Police intelligence targets cash: Reports on drivers, training by firm fueled law enforcement agressiveness - One training firm started a private intelligence-sharing network and helped shape law enforcement nationwide.

Part 3: They found the law. Who won?: Many drivers faced a long ordeal in court to try to get their money back from police - Motorists caught up in the seizures talk about the experience and the legal battles that could take over a year.

Part 4: Asset seizures fuel police spending - Police agencies nationwide routinely buy vehicles and weapons with money and property seized under federal civil forfeiture law from people who were not charged with a crime.

News Of Interest

"Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent," by Howard Fischer, Arizona Capitol Times, February 22, 2017.

"A power that lets police take property for themselves — even when there’s no crime," by Editorial Board, The Washington Post, February 16, 2017.

"Opinion - Civil asset forfeiture: Fund public defenders instead of the police," by Jennifer Earl, The Hill, February 15, 2017.

"E. Clinton Bamberger Jr., pioneer in legal aid for poor," by Doug Donovan and Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun, February 13, 2017.

"Watching Donald Trump Try to Puzzle Out What ‘Asset Forfeiture’ Means Is Deeply Discomfiting," by Jesse Singla, New York Magazine, February 9, 2017.

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