DUE PROCESS ACT Introduced in the Senate
The DUE PROCESS Act builds upon changes made in the 2000 Civil Action Forfeiture Reform Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Deterring Undue Enforcement by Protecting Rights of Citizens from Excessive Searches and Seizures (DUE PROCESS) Act – the companion bill to Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s legislation, which was passed in the House of Representatives last month.
Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Civil asset forfeiture is a critical component of the overall effort to fix our broken criminal justice system, and the DUE PROCESS Act makes common sense changes to federal forfeiture laws that help innocent Americans. Its introduction today in the U.S. Senate brings us one step closer toward meaningful reform that will tamper abuse and protect citizens’ Constitutional rights.”
The DUE PROCESS Act builds upon changes made in the 2000 Civil Action Forfeiture Reform Act by increasing transparency in the civil asset forfeiture process, adding protections for innocent property owners, and implementing additional protections to ensure property owners have the opportunity to contest seizures. The legislation also improves the notice that the government must give property owners and makes it easier for them to be heard by a judge.
Additionally, the DUE PROCESS Act entitles property owners to an initial hearing, where they can retrieve confiscated property immediately if it was not seized according to the law. It increases the availability of attorney fees for innocent owners, and places a higher burden of proof on the government.