Pennsylvania Takes First Steps To Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture System

September 28, 2016

Along with our sister organization Fix Forfeiture, we would like to commend the Pennsylvania Senate for passing SB 869 – reforms to the civil asset forfeiture process – on a 42-8 bipartisan vote. The bill streamlines into one law the asset forfeiture practices currently scattered across several sections of code and puts the burden of proof of criminal activity on the commonwealth, requiring clear and convincing evidence that the property was used unlawfully.

Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “Our organization is encouraged by the Senate’s overwhelming bipartisan vote on this bill, and we thank Sen. Mike Folmer for his tireless advocacy on behalf of Pennsylvania property owners. Supporters of this legislation voted with their constituents: 84 percent of Pennsylvanians support reforms to forfeiture laws when they are educated on the practice. This bill is a key first step towards protecting Pennsylvania property owners, and we look forward to pushing more aggressive reforms in the future.”