USJAN Commends House Judiciary Committee for Passing Asset Forfeiture Reform

May 25, 2016

Today, our 8 bipartisan partner organizations signaled their support for the civil asset forfeiture reform legislation that passed the House Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan vote.

In a letter co-signed by our partner organizations to Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, the organization commended Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers for taking up the Due Process Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, that would strengthen due process protections for property owners. The letter further urged the lawmakers to continue working on improvements to the civil asset forfeiture process, including addressing the embattled equitable sharing program that allows agents of the government to usurp state laws that protect property and due process rights.

Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “Today the House Judiciary Committee took a significant step toward protecting innocent property owners who so often become entangled in a flawed process that allows agents of the government to forfeit property, even when the property owner has never been charged with a crime. There is no doubt that this legislation, the first of its kindin 15 years, will help reign in troubling government overreach.  We look forward to working with House leadership to advance this legislation, and to develop more comprehensive reform to address the federal equitable sharing loophole.”

You can read the letter in full here.