US House Moves To Limit Car Seizures

The US House of Representatives decided last week to limit the federal government’s ability to work with local law enforcement to take cars away from motorists who have not been convicted of any crime. By a voice vote, lawmakers adopted an amendment to the Justice Department funding bill restoring a prohibition on “adoptive seizures” that allow local law enforcement to turn cases over to federal agents who operate with few restrictions on confiscation.

“These forfeiture options provide a loophole that helps local law enforcement evade stricter state laws — like my own in Michigan — governing civil asset forfeiture by seizing property and transferring it to federal authorities in exchange for up to 80 percent of forfeiture proceeds,” Representative Tim Walberg (R-Michigan) explained on the House floor. “For many years, I have worked in a bipartisan way to shine a light on civil asset forfeiture abuses.”