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)
Assets Forfeited per
Law Enforcement Agency
Equitable Sharing Proceeds from the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF)