Civil Forfeiture Case Study

Decent Essays
In April of 2013, a woman from Pinal County, Arizona named Rhonda Cox purchased a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado for $6,000 (Sibilla, 2015, p. 1 & ACLU, 2015). After the purchase, she lent her vehicle to her twenty-year-old son named Chris (Miriam, 2015). In August of 2013, Ms. Cox was contacted by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department stating that her son was arrested after they suspected that he installed a stolen car hood on Ms. Cox’s vehicle (Sibilla, 2015, p. 1). When Ms. Cox arrived at the scene she observed a deputy sitting in her vehicle. Ms. Cox proceeded to inform the deputy that the vehicle belonged to her. The deputy responded by stating “…that she would never be getting her truck back,” because the sheriff’s office had “decided to seize…show more content…
50). Civil Forfeiture allows law enforcement to fund themselves without any controls, which can shift their priorities from policing to making profit (Carpenter, Lisa, Angela, & Jennifer, 2015, p. 11). Specifically, Ariz. Rev. Stat.13-4311 and Ariz. Rev. Stat.13-4304 make legal proceedings unfair as property owners have the burden of proving that their property should not be forfeited while the government only has to show minimal evidence showing that the property was used is some form of illegal activity. This means law enforcement agencies are more incentivised to seize property as their legal counsel holds the advatage against those who try to regain their property in…show more content…
As a policy analyst for Arizona State Representative Bob Thorpe I seek to answer the question, what policy options exists to reduce Arizona’s law enforcement’s abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws? The first part of this memorandum will provide an assessment of Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture laws and its abuses. For the second section, I will provide a literature review providing information about civil asset forfeitures and the best practices to reduce law enforcrment’s abuses of the law. I will then provide a stakeholder analysis presenting their perceptions of the problem. Lastly, I will conclude by providing and analyze three options to reduce law enforcements’ abuse of the civil asset forfeitures laws and provide a
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