It can be difficult and burdensome for a person to fight the necessary legal battle to regain possession of their property, even if that person is innocent. Moreover, law enforcement agencies may profit from seized assets, allowing them to raise revenue at the expense of innocent citizens.
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.
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News of Interest
- "The DEA seized her father’s life savings at an airport without alleging any crime occurred, lawsuit says,"
- "New Jersey Passes Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms,"
- "Cops arrested a drug dealer and took his money. N.J. court said they went too far.,"
- "Defendant's Response to Civil Forfeiture Complaint Held Inadmissible in Criminal Trial,"
- "Missouri Cops Used Federal Loophole To Seize $2.6 Million From Drivers Who They Never Charged With Crimes,"