HARRISBURG, Oct. 19, 2015 — Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ work to change how law enforcement officials may seize personal property during a criminal investigation will get a public hearing at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, in the State Capitol.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf, will convene the public hearing in Room 8E-B of the Capitol’s East Wing, and it will examine Senate Bill 869. The measure’s prime sponsors are Sen. Williams and Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon).
Civil forfeiture helps law enforcement agencies cripple drug cartels but the senators have been arguing that the current law has been misapplied, resulting in questionable property seizures before an accused person has been convicted of a crime.
Between 2010 and 2014, a study by Lancaster Online found that Philadelphia seized $18.8 million through civil asset forfeiture, which was nearly five times more than Montgomery County.
SB 869 would require a property owner be convicted of a crime before a district attorney could seize money, conveyances or real property. Additionally, the bill would require all seized cash and the proceeds from the sale of forfeited property to be deposited in Pennsylvania’s General Fund.
Media coverage is invited.
WHAT: Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on SB 869, civil asset forfeiture
WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20
WHERE: Room 8E-B, East Wing, State Capitol