Arizona Bill HB2032 Would End Civil Asset Forfeiture by the State

A bill prefiled in the Arizona House would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking a person’s property without a criminal conviction in most situations. The proposed legislation would build on important reforms signed into law in 2017.

Rep. John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction) prefiled House Bill 2032 (HB2032) on Nov. 19. Under the proposed law, Arizona prosecutors would not be able to proceed with the asset forfeiture process without a criminal conviction.

An AZCIR analysis in 2017 found that Arizona agencies seized nearly $200 million in property between 2011 and 2015 from people who may never have been charged or convicted of a crime.

In 2017, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that enacted modest reforms to the state’s forfeiture laws and closed a loophole that enabled prosecutors to circumvent state laws by passing cases off to the feds. HB2032 would build on the foundation set in that law and further reform the state’s asset forfeiture process.