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WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) reintroduced an enhanced version of the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act, H.R. 1525, which would enact a sweeping overhaul of federal civil forfeiture laws. The bill would remove the profit incentive that drives so many federal forfeitures, end the federal “equitable sharing” program that is used to circumvent state law protections for property rights, and eliminate the unfair administrative forfeiture process.
“The new FAIR Act takes an even stronger stand against abusive forfeitures than in the past by ending administrative forfeitures,” said IJ Senior Attorney Dan Alban, who heads IJ’s National Initiative to End Forfeiture Abuse. “Protecting Americans’ property rights isn’t a partisan issue and we’re glad to see lawmakers from across the aisle working together to pass true reforms.”
Earlier this week, IJ filed a new lawsuit against the FBI over its attempt to forfeit Linda Martin’s savings. Linda has not been charged with any crime, but her $40,200 cash savings were seized as part of an FBI raid on the safe deposit box company from which she had rented a box. Her case illustrates how the FAIR Act’s reforms could protect innocent property owners.