Civil Forfeiture Bill Benefiting Elk Grove to Be Heard By Assembly Public Safety Committee

April 16, 2018 |  

A piece of legislation that is working its way through the California Assembly will be heard in committee on Tuesday, April 16 that is being pursued for the benefit of the City of Elk Grove. 

The legislation, Assembly Bill 3220, sponsored by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) would, if enacted, "specifically authorize the City of Elk Grove to adopt an ordinance authorizing the city to confiscate and seek an order of civil forfeiture of real or personal property for violations of the city’s ordinances. The bill would require the ordinance to provide the owner of the property adequate notice and opportunity to challenge the forfeiture and to ensure that the property seized is reasonable in relation to the ordinance violation."

Although the text of the bill does not state the reasons Cooper sponsored the legislation, for several years Elk Grove has been plagued for several years by a proliferation of illegal marijuana grow houses that have tarnished efforts of city leaders to attract employers and high-end retailers to the south Sacramento County suburb. Cooper, who is retired from the Sacramento Sheriff's Department following a 30-year career, served as a council member for 14 years prior to his 2014 election to the California Assembly

Since their inception, civil forfeitures have seen bi-partisan scorn where right leaning-libertarian groups have found common ground with organizations like the American Civil Liberties Unions. Critics content law enforcement agencies have improperly used the laws to confiscate cash and real property without due process.

Critics have also argued the practice has been abused by local police departments who have seized cash from individuals who have not been arrested. USA Today reported that the "many police departments depend on such seizures to bolster their budgets, and have fought tooth and nail to defend the practice despite the public outcry."

Interestingly, USA Today also reported that 15 states are exploring a roll back of existing laws following outcry over repeated abuses by law enforcement agencies. The laws were originally passed as a way of battling drug cartels and organized crime syndicates. 

Tomorrow's hearing will be in front of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and will be held at the State Capitol Building, Hearing Room 126 and starts at 9 a.m. The hearing can also he heard by following this link

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

I'm not sure which is the greater, noblest exercise of government here:

The golden state of California greedily exacting its claws on the legitimate use of marijuana with a 15-20% sales tax on legal recreational marijuana; the counties and local governments who have tacked on additional sales taxes on top of the state tax; Elk Grove wanting to confiscate assets on illegal harvesting/sales; or the state assemblyman up for re-election pandering to his home district?

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