Saturday, October 10, 2015

CA Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Fails (For Now)

Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Torrance) advanced wise and worthy legislation, to reform civil asset forfeiture in the state of California.

This reform is getting rave press from conservative think tanks all over the country, including the Heritage Foundation and their media affiliate, the Daily Signal.

Unfortunately, the legislation did not pass out of the state assembly, although the state senate approved the legislation on a near unanimous vote.

Assemblyman David Hadley (

Assembly rejects measure to limit police seizure of assets

Facing intense opposition from law enforcement groups, a measure to limit police seizures of cash, cars and other property from people not convicted of a crime fell flat in the Assembly on Thursday.

Another reason why public sector unions need to be curtailed. I agree with the assemblyman: our peace officers should not have to work on commission, and police departments should not have to rely on seizing then selling assets seized from individuals who may have (but have not been proven to have) committed crimes.

This legislation is a no-brainer.

The measure, by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would curb the use of a 1980s drug war-era U.S. law, which allows local agencies that work with federal officials to keep such assets if there’s suspicion they were used in a crime or are the proceeds of illegal activity.

The Los Angeles Times is wrong as usual. This legislation was bipartisan, with David Hadley's help attached to it. The media will stop at nothing to silence conservatives and diminish their achievements.

Critics of the forfeiture law say the practice is being abused to plug budget gaps in police departments. 

"I don’t like being on the opposite side of a bill from our law enforcement professionals ... but it is a core principle of American justice that each person has his or her day in court before his or her property is taken," said Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach), co-author of the measure.

Thank you. I could not have said it better myself.

The bill would require law enforcement to return confiscated property unless there is a criminal conviction.

Absolutely. Police power has gone rogue in some sections of this country, and this abuse is a clear example of it. I hope that more Republicans as well as Democrats place higher allegiance to the Constitution.

The proposal has been scaled back as it has journeyed through the Legislature. But it is still fiercely opposed by law enforcement groups, who argue the measure would constrain their partnerships with federal agencies.

Baloney. The real partnership needed should involve immigration enforcement. How about that?

"We need to make sure [law enforcement] has the tools to go after the real bad guys," said Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner (R-Irvine), adding that the bill "goes too far and completely takes those tools away."


The bill was opposed by Republicans and some Democrats, and failed on a 24-41 vote in the Assembly. It could be revived on the floor in the future, but the deadline to pass bills this year is Friday.

Let's see what happens next year.

One comment from the Los Angeles Times article says it all:

@ElMalcriado the cops are seizing the assets as they do not need to prove a crime. All they need to do is claim in their opinion it is the fruits of illegal activity. Than you have to go to court at your own expense and prove it was not illegal. This is government theft, pure and simply, the...
AT 9:22 PM SEPTEMBER 10, 2015

Yes indeed. Government is supposed to be of the people, for the people, and by the people. Simple as that.

Civil Asset Forfeiture reform fails for now, but I hope that it  comes back for another round of votes next term.

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