PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed bipartisan legislation to ensure innocent Arizonans do not have their property permanently forfeited without a criminal conviction.
House Bill 2810 was approved by decisive majorities in the Arizona House and Senate. It becomes law 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.
Currently there is no requirement that the government prove that seized property is connected to a crime, which has resulted in property being taken from innocent people. This legislation protects Arizonans’ rights while maintaining law enforcement’s ability to hold criminals accountable.
“Arizona’s Constitution provides broad protections for personal rights and property — broader so than the United States Constitution. As such, when reviewing legislation, I have a constitutional responsibility to provide a balance between those rights and ensuring that law enforcement has the tools necessary to protect our state,” the Governor said in a letter. “HB 2810 provides this balance. And it ensures that law enforcement has the ability to seize property pending forfeiture or if the property is evidence of a crime. It ensures that property being taken is truly connected to criminal activity while innocent persons have the ability to get their property back.”
The legislation requires that property can only be seized if it is evidence of a crime, has been abandoned, is subject to forfeiture, or it is illegal for a person to possess it. It also includes provisions that ensure that an innocent person has a process to get it returned.
HB 2810 was sponsored by Representative Travis Grantham.
View the Governor’s signing letter HERE.