This bill would establish the Alabama Forfeiture Accountability and Integrity Reform Act and would set out the exclusive process for asset forfeitures in the state, such as requiring the conviction of a crime to seize assets.
We support this bill because the civil forfeiture system undermines constitutional policing, violating due process rights and property rights and is fundamentally unjust. Civil forfeiture allows police to seize — and then keep or sell — any property they allege is involved in a crime. Owners need not ever be convicted of a crime for their cash, cars, or even real estate to be taken away permanently by the government. Law enforcement can confiscate property from people and businesses without any criminal conviction. Because of deeply flawed federal and state laws, many police departments use forfeiture to benefit their bottom lines, making seizures motivated by profit rather than public safety.
This bill was filed on April 2, 2019 and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It received a unanimous vote in favor on April 3. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
- 4/16/2019 - Controversy boils over asset forfeiture bill [Rocket City Now]
- 4/15/2019 - Bill would change civil asset forfeiture's predatory practices by law officers [AL.com]
- 4/4/2019 - How Alabama's civil forfeiture laws left a couple living in a storage shed [Alabama Political Reporter]
- 2/28/2019 - After Supreme Court ruling, how will Alabama press civil asset forfeiture reform [AL.com]