USJAN Praises Ohio House for Passing Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms

May 25, 2016

The Ohio House of Representatives passed with an overwhelming 67-24 bipartisan vote HB 347– legislation that would reform the civil asset forfeiture process, which currently allows agents of the government to seize and forfeit property from individuals who are never even charged with a crime. This legislation strengthens protections for Ohio property owners and ensures property seized by a government agency cannot be forfeited without due process of law.

Recent polling shows 90% of Ohioans agree civil asset forfeiture laws are in desperate need of reform, after hearing both sides of the issue, including 92% of Republicans, 90% of Democrats, and 91% of Independents. The bipartisan U.S. Justice Action Network worked alongside the bill’s sponsors, including Reps. Robert McColley and Thomas Brinkman, and partners such as FreedomWorks and ACLU-Ohio to introduce and advance these reforms.

Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network / Fix Forfeiture: “When 90% of Ohio voters agree that the civil asset forfeiture process is broken, it’s time for lawmakers to make changes to the system to protect innocent property owners from government overreach. We applaud members of the Ohio House on both sides of the aisle, especially Reps. McColley and Brinkman, for their steadfast commitment to property rights and due process of law.  Now, we turn to the Senate and urge members to take up this bill, make it even stronger, and push it one step closer to the Governor’s desk.”