Kansan’s are a step closer to protecting their private property from civil asset forfeiture laws if Governor Jeff Colyer signs HB 2459 into law.
The bill has passed the House of Representatives and Senate.
In 2016, the Legislative Post Audit Division indicated the state’s current program showed some law enforcement agencies were lax in following reporting requirement regarding drug seizures or were not following rules on the use of proceeds.
In 2015 the Gardner Police Department’s Law Enforcement Trust fund stood at about $16,800; and a review at that time indicated GPD did follow proper procedures. Both chain of custody and notification were followed and proper reports with the state were filed.
Still, Kansas statute has been considered one of the most liberal in the nation; an individual’s property can be seized even if there is no charge or conviction. HB 2459 would require authorities show that the assets were directly tied to a criminal activity.
Because proceeds from asset forfeiture grew rapidly, in part, to help fund the “war on drugs,” this regulation is necessary to protect individual rights and to help avoid the potential for abuse.