The House has unanimously approved the Senate-amended version of bipartisan civil asset forfeiture reform legislation, sending it to the governor’s desk. “I think the heart of the bill is still there,” said Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise. “I think it’s a really important check and balance, and now, to my knowledge, there is no known opposition.
Among other changes, HB 202aaS, would no longer allow civil forfeiture of the vehicle of a person who merely possessed a controlled substance, without using the vehicle in connection with trafficking offenses or obtaining it with drug-trafficking proceeds; property that’s merely in proximity to illegal drugs couldn’t be seized simply for that reason; simply possessing cash couldn’t be grounds for forfeiture; and courts must determine whether a property seizure is proportionate to the crime alleged, as case law currently requires. The bill also absolves innocent owners from having to pay the state’s costs associated with an attempted seizure; and requires record-keeping.