Law Grade
State LawEvasion Grade  Final


Forfeiture Law
Oregon civil forfeiture laws have been the subject of much controversy and litigation over the past decade.  In 2000, the voters passed a strong initiative that eliminated both the profit incentive and placed a high standard of proof on the government in civil forfeiture proceedings.  Unfortunately, that initiative was put on hold while its constitutionality was challenged in court by law enforcement, where it was eventually upheld in 2006.  By that time, however, law enforcement successfully advocated for both additional changes in the legislature and also for another initiative, which narrowly passed in 2008 and curtailed several of the strong reforms passed in the 2000 initiative.Thankfully for property owners, the burden has remained on the government for innocent owner claims regardless of which law or amendment was in effect.  Before statutory changes were made in 2005, the government needed to show only probable cause to forfeit property in the first instance.  Today, to secure forfeiture of personal property, the government has to prove, only by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property is proceeds or an instrumentality of a crime committed by another person.  If the property is real property, the standard of proof is clear and convincing evidence.  Before 2005, law enforcement was able to keep 92 percent of proceeds for its own use.  After 2005, the formula was changed so that law enforcement now keeps 63 percent.  That formula remains in place after the 2008 initiative.

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; Required to Collect, Data Provided Was Unusable


Learn how states were graded and how data was collected

Return to Policing for Profit main page