Rotten Reporting in the Peach State

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Rotten Reporting in the Peach State:

Civil Forfeiture in Georgia Leaves the Public in the Dark

By Dick M. Carpenter II, Ph.D. and Lee McGrath
January 2013

Georgia has some of the worst civil forfeiture laws in the nation, a problem compounded by law enforcement agencies’ routine failure to report forfeiture revenue and expenditures as required by law. But a 2011 Institute for Justice lawsuit forced some agencies to begin filing reports, and a new requirement that agencies post these reports online is starting to take effect.

This interim report examines reports made public so far and concludes that forfeiture in reporting in the Peach State is still rotten. Reports filed by 58 law enforcement agencies for the year 2011 reveal $2.76 million in forfeitures under state law. By contrast, federal reports show 147 agencies taking in $32 million in forfeiture revenue in the same year under federal law. Moreover, many state reports that have been filed lack even basic details necessary for proper public oversight.

Georgia’s civil forfeiture laws desperately need reform, but they also need greater transparency.


Press Releases

Related IJ Cases

Release: Civil Forfeiture Reporting Rotten in the Peach State (January 29, 2013)

Georgia Civil Forfeiture - VanMeter v. Turner

Massachusetts Civil Forreiture - United States v. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Mass.

Texas Civil Forfeiture - State of Texas v. One 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
California Civil ForfeitureUnited States v. 2601 West Ball Road, Anaheim, Calif., No. 12-CV-01345 AG-MLG 

Related Videos

Other Research
Video: Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respecting Property Rights; (January 29, 2013) Report: Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture
Video: Georgia Law Enforcement Often Refuses to Report Forfeiture Funds, a Violation of GA Law

Report: Forfeiting Accountability: Georgia Law Enforcement's Hidden Civil Forfeiture Funds

Video: Policing for Profit - The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

Report: A Stacked Deck: How Minnesota's Civil Forfeiture Laws Put Citizens' Property at Risk

Video: POLICING FOR PROFIT: Feds try to take innocent elderly couples' Mom-and-Pop motel  

Report: Arizona's Profit Incentive in Civil Forfeiture: Dangerous for law enforcement; Dangerous for Arizonans

Report: Inequitable Justice
Report: Public Opinion and Civil Forfeiture 
Report: Forfeiting Justice: How Texas Police and Prosecutors Cash in on Seized Property

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