Connecticut’s civil forfeiture laws are not as bad as the laws in many states. For the government to forfeit your property, it must have clear and convincing evidence that the property in question is related to criminal activity and thus subject to forfeiture. However, once property has been seized, innocent owners have the burden of proving that they did not know the property was being used in connection with criminal activity. Connecticut law enforcement keeps 60 percent of the proceeds from civil forfeiture. There is no requirement that the state collect data on forfeitures or proceeds from them.These laws, however, can still lead to abuse. For instance, in 2001, Debbie Kerpen had $2.76 million, her cars, horse trailers, boat and tractor seized because of her alleged role as head of a call girl service—all without a single charge being filed against her. Unfortunately for Debbie, as ACLU President Nadine Strossen put it, “She’s facing a greater penalty than she would under any applicable criminal law, without any of the constitutional protections.”
1 Pagnozzi, A. (2001, July 24). ‘Legal’ excuse to steal. Hartford Courant, p. A3.
Forfeitures as Reported to LEMAS (Drug-related only)
Assets Forfeited per
Law Enforcement Agency
Equitable Sharing Proceeds from the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF)