- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to take property on the mere allegation it was involved in a crime, and the Institute for Justice is using all of the tools in our public interest arsenal to end this practice. Our work will reinvigorate constitutional protections for private property and limit government power.
Property rights are the foundation of the free-market system. Civil forfeiture, however, undermines the rule of law by giving law enforcement at all levels of government broad power to take property from individuals who haven’t committed any wrongdoing. Moreover, police and prosecutors often get to keep at least some of the proceeds from civil forfeiture for themselves, which incentivizes them to pursue innocent owners at the expense of legitimate law enforcement priorities. The Institute for Justice’s civil forfeiture initiative is reinvigorating the property rights protections enshrined in the Constitution and ensuring that all Americans have the due process legal protections they need to participate in a vibrant free-market system.
Civil forfeiture is a national problem that threatens every American’s property. IJ’s strategic research has shown that few states provide adequate protections against civil forfeiture, and federal law makes the problem even worse by giving state-level law enforcement officials opportunities to bypass those state-level protections that do exist. Police and prosecutors should not be able to take property from innocent people, and IJ is engaging courts, policymakers, activists, and media figures to end civil forfeiture at all levels of government.
(Check sent: 6/7/2016)