Montgomery, Ala.-- The Alabama House passed Senate Bill 210, establishing stronger due process protections for property owners subject to civil asset forfeiture, today. The legislation reforms the procedures through which the state can seize and sell off assets because the owner is accused of criminal wrongdoing.
The bill creates a fairer process and returns the focus of law enforcement and district attorneys’ resources on pursuing serious crimes. The Bill already passed the Senate.
The following is a statement from Shay Farley, regional policy director with SPLC Action Fund.
“We have seen civil asset forfeiture occur when someone is only facing charges and hasn’t been convicted or when the value of the property forfeited is disproportionate to financial penalties under the law. Taking someone’s property is something that should only be done rarely, and this bill will help protect the rights of innocent property owners. While we maintain asset forfeiture should follow a criminal conviction - in criminal court - Senate Bill 210 will end some of the biggest ills seen in civil asset forfeiture. This is a significant step in the direction of fairness, and we urge Gov. Kay Ivey to sign it.”