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Thursday, March 02, 2017

Ind. Law - More on "Could Indiana pass forfeiture reform this year?"

Updating this ILB post from Jan. 17th, and adding to this very long list of ILB posts on the issue, Senate Bill 8 passed the first house Feb. 28th.

The Institute for Justice issued this news release yesterday. Some quotes:

The Indiana Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 8 yesterday, an important overhaul of the state’s civil forfeiture laws. Currently, Hoosiers do not have to be convicted of a crime, much less charged with one, for the government to take their property through civil forfeiture.

Under the bill, the government would first need to secure a criminal conviction before forfeiture could occur. SB 8 would also shift the burden of proof from innocent third-party owners onto the government—where it belongs—and require “clear and convincing evidence” to forfeit property.

“SB 8 would go a long way toward securing the property rights of all Hoosiers,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Sam Gedge. “At the same time, the bill would still allow law enforcement agencies to ‘reimburse’ themselves using forfeited property. Indiana police and prosecutors have exploited this sort of loophole for years to funnel millions of dollars into their own budgets.”

To challenge this type of “policing for profit,” the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit in 2016 on behalf of forfeiture victims and concerned Hoosier families. That case is still ongoing.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 2, 2017 09:25 AM
Posted to Indiana Government