skip to main content

H.R. 5212 (113th): Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2014

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 28, 2014 (Introduced).


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5212

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 28, 2014

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to civil asset forfeiture, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2014 .

2.

Representation by attorney

Section 983(a)(1)(A)(i) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: The Government shall include in any such notice that the person receiving the notice may be able to obtain free or reduced rate legal representation under subsection (b)..

3.

Burden of proof

Section 983(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking by a preponderance of the evidence and inserting by clear and convincing evidence; and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking by a preponderance of the evidence and inserting by clear and convincing evidence.

4.

Innocent owner defense

(a)

In general

Section 983(d) of title 18, United States Code, is amended so that paragraph (1) reads as follows:

(1)

The innocent owner defense shall be available to a claimant. Where a prima facie case is made for such a defense, the Government has the burden of proving that the claimant knew or reasonably should have known that the property was involved in the illegal conduct giving rise to the forfeiture.

.

(b)

Knowledge by owner of criminal activity

Section 983(d)(2)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in clause (i), by striking a person may show that such person did all that reasonably could be expected may include demonstrating that such person to the extent permitted by law and inserting the Government may show that the property owner should have had knowledge of the criminal activity by demonstrating that the property owner did not;

(2)

in clause (i)(I), by striking gave and inserting give; and

(3)

in clause (i)(II)

(A)

by striking revoked or made and inserting revoke or make; and

(B)

by striking took and inserting take.

5.

Proportionality

Section 983(g) of title 18, United States Code, is amended so that paragraph (2) reads as follows:

(2)

In making this determination, the court shall consider such factors as the seriousness of the offense, the extent of the nexus of the property to the offense, the range of sentences available for the offense giving rise to forfeiture, the fair market value of the property, and the hardship to the property owner and dependents

.

6.

Increased visibility

Section 524(c)(6)(i) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting from each type of forfeiture, and specifically identifying which funds were obtained from including criminal forfeitures and which were obtained from civil forfeitures, after deposits.

7.

Equitable Sharing Agreements

Section 524(c) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(12)

The Attorney General shall assure that any equitable sharing between the Department of Justice and a local or State law enforcement agency was not initiated for the purpose of circumventing any State law that prohibits civil forfeiture or limits use or disposition of property obtained via civil forfeiture by State or local agencies.

.