Law Grade
State Law Evasion Grade  Final


Forfeiture Law
Delaware has terrible civil forfeiture law, scoring an F on the law grade.  The state’s final grade is pulled up to a C only by limited use of equitable sharing (an evasion grade of A) to date.  In Delaware, the government only needs to show probable cause to forfeit property.  If an innocent owner objects, the owner has the burden of showing that the property was wrongfully seized or not subject to forfeiture.  These problems are compounded by the fact that law enforcement in Delaware keeps 100 percent of the revenues generated by civil forfeitures, creating a perverse incentive to seize as much property as possible.  Fortunately for Delaware citizens, law enforcement in the state does not seem to have used forfeiture as aggressively as the law permits.  It is hard to know the extent of forfeiture in Delaware, though, because there is no provision under state law that requires data to be collected or reported.



Forfeitures as Reported to LEMAS (Drug-related only)

Total Assets

Assets Forfeited per
Law Enforcement Agency














Equitable Sharing Proceeds from the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF)

Proceeds Returned to State

FY 2000


FY 2001


FY 2002


FY 2003


FY 2004


FY 2005


FY 2006


FY 2007


FY 2008




Average per Year



Freedom of Information Data
No Data Available; Not Required to Collect


Learn how states were graded and how data was collected

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