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Published on Monday, November 13, 2017

Workgroup reviewing Washington’s civil asset forfeiture laws

Leaders in the House Democratic and Republican caucuses have initiated an informal workgroup to review the state’s laws on civil asset forfeiture. These laws allow law enforcement agencies to seize illegal property, property that was used in a crime, and property that is proceeds from a crime. There were multiple bills in the 2017 legislative session that sought reform to these laws but none were enacted into law.

AWC has been included in the workgroup along with other local government advocacy groups. We maintain that these laws are necessary to maintain public safety and that incidents of abuse are rare and often unsubstantiated. Given the bipartisan desire for reform, it is likely that legislation will again be pursued during the 2018 legislative session. AWC will continue to closely engage on this issue.