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Kansas

Kansas

Kansas earns a D- for its civil forfeiture laws:

Standard of Proof

Low bar to forfeit: Prosecutors must prove by preponderance of the evidence that property is connected to a crime.

Innocent Owner Burden

Poor protections for the innocent: Third-party owners must prove their own innocence to recover seized property.

Financial Incentive

Large profit incentive: 100% of forfeiture proceeds go to law enforcement.

Recent Reforms

  • (2018) HB 2459: Adopted IJ’s model reporting legislation, giving Kansas one of the best forfeiture transparency laws in the country.

Recommendations

  • End civil forfeiture
  • Direct all forfeiture proceeds to a non-law enforcement fund
  • Strengthen protections for innocent third-party owners
  • Close the equitable sharing loophole
  • Strengthen transparency and accountability requirements

State and Federal Forfeiture Revenues, 2000-2019

In the second half of 2019, Kansas law enforcement agencies forfeited more than $939,000 under state law. Between 2000 and 2019, they generated an additional $78 million from federal equitable sharing, for a total of at least $79 million in forfeiture revenue. Kansas ranks 29th for its participation in the Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program. The state does not prevent state and local agencies from using equitable sharing to circumvent state forfeiture law.

At least $79 million in state and federal forfeiture revenue
2000–2019

Year Kansas Forfeiture Revenues Dept. of Justice Equitable Sharing Proceeds Treasury Equitable Sharing Proceeds Total
2000 Unknown $1,690,336 $22,000 $1,712,336
2001 Unknown $3,137,162 $0 $3,137,162
2002 Unknown $1,442,719 $12,000 $1,454,719
2003 Unknown $1,992,796 $0 $1,992,796
2004 Unknown $5,039,777 $0 $5,039,777
2005 Unknown $3,279,147 $26,000 $3,305,147
2006 Unknown $1,805,375 $9,000 $1,814,375
2007 Unknown $2,091,681 $17,000 $2,108,681
2008 Unknown $2,874,235 $192,000 $3,066,235
2009 Unknown $5,449,087 $21,000 $5,470,087
2010 Unknown $3,065,997 $293,000 $3,358,997
2011 Unknown $6,620,392 $88,000 $6,708,392
2012 Unknown $9,285,114 $357,000 $9,642,114
2013 Unknown $5,041,781 $375,000 $5,416,781
2014 Unknown $2,664,544 $243,000 $2,907,544
2015 Unknown $4,781,945 $150,000 $4,931,945
2016 Unknown $3,612,914 $345,000 $3,957,914
2017 Unknown $1,978,999 $7,000 $1,985,999
2018 Unknown $4,762,906 $52,000 $4,814,906
2019 $939,391 $3,697,252 $2,046,000 $6,682,643
Totals $939,391 $74,314,159 $4,255,000 $79,508,550

All revenue figures include both civil and criminal forfeitures. Revenues are not adjusted for inflation.

Kansas's Forfeiture Transparency and Accountability Report Card

Tracking Seized Property

A-

Accounting for Forfeiture Fund Spending

A

Statewide Forfeiture Reports

A

Accessibility of Forfeiture Records

A

Penalties for Failure to File a Report

B*

Financial Audits of Forfeiture Accounts

F

* Agencies must file even when they have nothing to report.

For full transparency and accountability grades, visit www.ij.org/TransparencyReportCards.

Forfeitures Under Kansas Law: Key Facts

Median Value

$2,591

In the second half of 2019, half of Kansas’ currency forfeitures were worth less than $2,591 per case.

Property Types

In the second half of 2019, 57% of Kansas’ forfeitures were of currency.

Civil vs. Criminal

UNKNOWN

Kansas does not report whether forfeitures are processed under civil or criminal forfeiture law.

Expenditures

UNKNOWN

Kansas expenditure data were not used for this report.

Data Notes and Legal Sources

Data Notes

Case-level data are from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation website. Because the state’s reporting requirements are new, only a limited time frame of data was available. Figures represent July 2019 through December 2019. Counts and median figures represent case-level forfeitures. Figures are based on the calendar year in which revenues were disbursed. Equitable sharing data are from DOJ’s and Treasury’s annual forfeiture reports. Due to differences in reporting and accounting practices, state figures may not match aggregate numbers produced by the state and do not cover the same time period as the federal data.

Legal Sources

Standard of proof: Preponderance of the evidence.

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-4113(h).

Innocent owner burden: Owner.

Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 60-4112(h), (l), 60-4113(h).

Financial incentive: 100%.

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-4117; Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2018-14, 2018 WL 4922703, at *4 (Oct. 5, 2018) (concluding that forfeiture proceeds may not be used for normal operating expenses such as salaries for regular employees); cf. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2007-15, 2007 WL 2021740, at *2 (July 6, 2007) (determining that forfeiture proceeds may be applied to special law enforcement projects but cannot be used as a regular funding source).

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