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Fri May 20, 2016, 09:13 PM

Maryland Governor Signs Sweeping Civil Forfeiture Reform Package

Some good news out of Maryland.

Today, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 336, which enacts an important overhaul of the state’s civil forfeiture laws. The bill, which overwhelmingly passed both the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates, creates transparency requirements and a long list of new protections for property owners. Sponsored by Del. Joseph Vallario and Sen. Michael Hough, the new law will take effect October 1.

“Civil forfeiture is one of the most serious assaults on due process and property rights in America,” said IJ Attorney Rob Peccola, who testified in favor of HB 336 before the House and Senate earlier this year. “The new reporting requirements in HB 336 mean the public will no longer be in the dark about civil forfeiture in Maryland. And by raising the evidentiary standard of proof, the bill will better defend owners from unjust forfeitures.”

HB 336 increases protections for Marylanders by:
•Raising the standard of proof to forfeit property to “clear and convincing evidence;”
•Establishing new reporting requirements for seizures and forfeitures, which oblige agencies to report how they spent forfeiture funds, whether or not criminal charges or convictions accompanied a forfeiture case, and the race and gender of property owners affected by a seizure;
•Requiring a criminal conviction to forfeit an owner’s principal family home;
•Repealing a provision that allowed money to be forfeited in relation to drug possession. (Forfeiting money related to the unlawful manufacture, distribution or dispensing of controlled substances would still be authorized.);
•Requiring that property owners be given a receipt when their property is seized;
•Instituting new deadlines for agencies to file forfeiture complaints. (Failing to file would mean the government would have to promptly return seized property);
•Directing 20 percent of forfeiture proceeds from the general fund to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to fund drug treatment and education programs; and
•Banning the transfer of seized cash to federal agencies, unless the amount seized is greater than $50,000 or if the transfer follows a federal warrant.

“For too long, local and state law enforcement have used ‘equitable sharing’ to bypass Maryland state law because the federal government offers substantially higher payouts to law enforcement than what state law allows,” said IJ Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath. “The legislation, unfortunately, did not solve this problem. The warrant exception creates a loophole allowing Maryland law enforcement to continue circumventing state law; legislators should close it. Law enforcement should not be able to contract freely with the federal government because it pays police and sheriffs more forfeiture proceeds.” Despite the large, bipartisan consensus in favor of reform, the Justice Department decided to resume equitable sharing.

Balance of article at the link: http://ij.org/press-release/maryland-governor-signs-sweeping-civil-forfeiture-reform-package/

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Reply Maryland Governor Signs Sweeping Civil Forfeiture Reform Package (Original post)
Muddling Through May 2016 OP
foia May 2016 #1
Muddling Through May 2016 #2
Daves Not Here Man May 2016 #3
LeeCPTINF May 2016 #4
Doctor_R May 2016 #7
Doctor_R May 2016 #8
Muddling Through May 2016 #9
LeeCPTINF May 2016 #10
I814U2CY May 2016 #5
Muddling Through May 2016 #6

Response to Muddling Through (Original post)

Fri May 20, 2016, 09:33 PM

1. Good to see government actually protecting citizens' rights instead of taking them away

I'm a states' rights kind of guy but the seizing and sharing (between state and federal) of property without due process is WAY out of control. This sort of reform needs to enacted at a federal level.

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Response to foia (Reply #1)

Fri May 20, 2016, 09:41 PM

2. Journey of a thousand miles..............

.............single step...........

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Response to foia (Reply #1)

Sat May 21, 2016, 07:03 AM

3. 👍🏼

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Response to Muddling Through (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 08:18 AM

4. A start

I don't understand how Americans have become such passive pussies that this hadn't sparked a revolution. Two hundred years ago we were killing folks for messing with our breakfast beverage. The government doesn't fear the people enough.

2nd Amendment solutions.

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Response to LeeCPTINF (Reply #4)

Sat May 21, 2016, 08:07 PM

7. Alerted.

Results when available.

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Response to LeeCPTINF (Reply #4)

Sat May 21, 2016, 08:16 PM

8. Results:

REASON FOR ALERT

This post is uncivil, off-topic, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

"2nd Amendment solutions" means "shoot people". There is nothing else it means or can mean. This is a recommendation to shoot someone in government. It is violent / promotes illegal activity (TOS) and hardly civil. And it is stupid.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of Discussionist members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Sat May 21, 2016, 05:13 PM, and the Jury voted 0-7 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Senate candidates use the same phrase and nothing happened. Why go after a poster on a message board?
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: there are other meanings to "second amendment solutions" that alerter is not considering but it's not a juror's job to try to explain it. Sorry. No vote to hide
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Nah. Leave it.
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Alerter is stupid for not comprehending what they read. Alert FAIL.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Waaaaahhhhhhh.no hide for you.
Juror #7 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given

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Response to Doctor_R (Reply #8)

Sat May 21, 2016, 08:38 PM

9. Awwww..........

Someone has a sadz.

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Response to Doctor_R (Reply #8)

Sun May 22, 2016, 12:13 AM

10. I'd like like to thank the jury

I'm honored and humbled.

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Response to Muddling Through (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 05:42 PM

5. I'm okay with forfeiture laws but the fact these reforms were just enacted shows how poorly written

 

the original laws were.

A receipt? How was this not part of the original law.

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Response to I814U2CY (Reply #5)

Sat May 21, 2016, 07:39 PM

6. Like the Income Tax

this was sold as a tool to attack "those at the top", yet when implemented has been used to go after those with less power and fewer resources to contest abuse.

This is a good start, hopefully more progress will be made.

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