Civil asset seizure by Federal and State law enforcement agencies has been, in recent decades, all to often followed by a declaration of forfeiture by the government, from which the owner of the property usually has no recourse. To his credit, Senator Rand Paul realizes that this practice is a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s “No person shall … be deprived of … property … nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” clause, and he has taken action to do something to rectify the situation.
According to an article in Friday’s Washington Post by Radley Balko:
Sen. Rand Paul yesterday introduced S. 2644, the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act, which would protect the rights of citizens and restore the Fifth Amendment’s role in seizing property without due process of law. Under current law, law enforcement agencies may take property suspected of involvement in crime without ever charging, let alone convicting, the property owner. In addition, state agencies routinely use federal asset forfeiture laws; ignoring state regulations to confiscate and receive financial proceeds from forfeited property.
The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property.
The details, HERE, are worth reading.