Wyoming Liberty Group

We here at the Wyoming Liberty Group strive to bring you the latest information. Please enjoy the blogs and comment on them often.

WyLiberty Exposes Potential for Abuse by Law Enforcement Agencies

RAWLINS, WY – Wyoming Liberty Group staff attorney Steve Klein testified before the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee today to detail the potential for property rights abuse by police because of civil asset forfeiture in state law.

“The Controlled Substances Act allows the government to take property without ever convicting the owner of a crime,” said Klein. “In fact, the property owner does not even have to be charged with a crime. This law is supposed to help the police fight drug trafficking, but it can be used against innocent people far too easily.”

Klein published a policy paper, Reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture in Wyoming, in December 2013, and lobbied for a reform bill in the 2014 Budget Session. The bill passed the House 58-1 but was voted down in Senate committee. Since then, new information provided by the Wyoming Attorney General’s office has furthered the case for reform.

“We now know that the median value of property seized in a case—usually cash, cars and firearms—was about $2,000 from 2008 through 2013,” said Klein. “Property owners are not provided an attorney in forfeiture hearings, and when the amount at issue is so low it’s not worth hiring an attorney, anyway. Even if the property owner gets his or her property back, the process takes months and the state does not pay any fees, interest, or compensation for lost time.”

Klein emphasized that the flaws with civil forfeiture are in the law, not with Wyoming law enforcement.

“Civil forfeiture has been terribly abused in some states, and Wyoming should be proud it’s not one of them,” said Klein. “However, our law should ensure that can never happen here by adding protections for property owners and implementing strict oversight of the process.”

The interim committee will meet again in July and September before the 2015 General Session.

Time to Disinfect out the Common Core
Common Core: Peanuts or Peanut Butter?

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Search - Ohanah
Search - Tags
Search - Categories
Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links
Search - Blog

Blog Post Calendar

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar

tax button front