Sign the Petition for Civil Forfeiture Reform!
LET'S END CIVIL FORFEITURE!
Property Rights are fundamental in America -- or at least they are supposed to be.
Yet, each year, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies seize hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cars, homes, cash and other property, with no due process to determine guilt or innocence, or even without even filing charges against the property owner.
It’s called asset seizure or civil forfeiture, and it’s just wrong. By claiming that you or your property are related to criminal activity, the government just “takes your stuff”. It can be a police officer making a traffic stop and finding “suspicious” cash, or a prosecutor taking a person’s home, car or bank account, without a conviction or even filing criminal charges.
Once the government takes the property, getting it back usually requires a costly, complicated and humiliating process. And if you don’t get it back? The government keeps it or sells it -- and profits from the proceeds. Even worse, in many instances, the law enforcement agency gets a cut, creating an obvious incentive to seize as much property as possible.
As Americans learn -- or experience -- this obvious affront to property rights, polls show they overwhelmingly oppose it and want it stopped. Nevertheless, too many politicians and government agencies are addicted to the profits and don’t want to give them up.
Asset seizure and civil forfeiture happen at all levels of government: Local, State and Federal.
Our America is undertaking a nationwide effort to build pressure on state legislatures, city and county governments, and ultimately, the federal government to end these practices. Civil forfeiture must be brought to an end, and replaced with criminal forfeiture. In short, a person must be convicted of a crime before losing his property. And laws must be strengthened to insure police officers have real probable cause before seizing anyone’s property.
Our America’s property rights project includes:
-- Working with our state leaders, other organizations and sympathetic elected officials to identify states and municipalities where legislation or ballot initiatives are both needed and viable.
-- In coordination with other national and state organizations, develop “model” legislation that can be adapted and introduced.
-- Producing and placing targeted social media advertising to mobilize popular support and activism for common sense reforms of state and local asset seizure and civil forfeiture laws.
-- Organizing grassroots lobbying efforts at the state and local levels.
CALL TO ACTION:
If you want to help end civil forfeiture and asset seizure abuses -- or if you are aware of reform efforts in your city or state, let us know by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org