Civil Forfeiture Legislative Highlights

In 2014, IJ launched its End Forfeiture initiative, an effort focused on radically reforming—or altogether ending—civil forfeiture laws throughout the country. Through this initiative, IJ fights against civil forfeiture in statehouses, courts of law and courts of public opinion.

Since 2014, 19 states and the District of Columbia have reformed their civil forfeiture laws:

Twelve states now require a criminal conviction for most or all forfeiture cases:

  • North Carolina
  • California
  • Missouri
  • Oregon
  • Minnesota
  • Vermont
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio

Five states and the District of Columbia have passed anti-circumvention legislation to close the equitable-sharing loophole:

  • New Mexico
  • Nebraska
  • Maryland
  • California
  • Ohio

Today, three states—North Carolina, New Mexico and Nebraska—have abolished civil forfeiture entirely.

Reforming civil forfeiture is an issue that crosses party lines. Since IJ launched its End Forfeiture initiative, over 175 editorials have called for reform. In 2016, the party platforms for both the national Republican and Democratic parties endorsed forfeiture reform. And polls have repeatedly shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose civil forfeiture.

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