Our federal, state, and local governments are raking in billions of dollars by seizing cash and taking property of innocent citizens and selling it in order to fill their coffers.
Civil asset forfeiture laws represent a serious abuse of private property rights, and this gross abuse will continue if we don’t act now.
Using civil asset forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your property, sell it, and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets. They also work with feds under an “equitable sharing” scheme to pocket a portion of the proceeds from the seizure, enabling local law enforcement to circumvent state law and continue to profit from civil asset forfeiture.
The owner of the property doesn’t need to be guilty of a crime, so authorities are able to seize your car, home, money, or valuables, with or without a warrant, even if you are innocent.
Referred to as “legal thievery”, civil asset forfeiture has become big business for government at all levels, and it is currently generating billions of dollars annually.
There are many examples of innocent people being stripped of their money and property by federal, state, and local authorities, without due process, and it is time to fight back.
Please take action TODAY by signing the petition below.
PETITION TO MY STATE REPRESENTATIVES
WHEREAS, civil asset forfeiture is being used to seize the property of innocent citizens, with or without a warrant; and
WHEREAS, property confiscated by the authorities is sold and the profits are kept by local and state agencies to fill their coffers; and
WHEREAS, through “equitable sharing”, local law enforcement agencies pocket a portion of the proceeds from the seizure and the feds keep the rest, providing a way for local law enforcement to circumvent state law and continue to profit from civil asset forfeitures; and
WHEREAS, under civil asset forfeiture, property owners are effectively guilty until proven innocent, as they are forced to bear the cost of going to court and the burden of proving their property’s “innocence”.
Therefore, be it resolved that I demand that our State Legislators support legislation that would end equitable sharing with federal authorities, ensure that a conviction or a guilty plea be required in order to keep seized property, ensure that property is returned if charges are dropped or the suspect is acquitted, and in the case of conviction, ensure that proceeds are placed in a general fund rather than department supplemental budget accounts to ensure transparency.
Therefore, be it also resolved that I demand Pennsylvania State Legislators actively support and vote “YES” on SB 869 in the Senate and companion bill HB 508 in the House, both as introduced.