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Maine abolishes civil forfeiture

From Maine Republicans

AUGUSTA – Maine has become only the fourth state in the US to abolish civil forfeiture.

Civil forfeiture enables law enforcement to confiscate millions of dollars of property without ever filing criminal charges.

Sponsored by Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor), LD 1521, repeals Maine’s civil forfeiture laws, and bolsters its criminal forfeiture process. Under the new law, which took effect last week without the governor’s signature, civil forfeiture is only authorized after a criminal conviction, with some narrow exceptions, such as death or deportation. 

Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor) sponsored LD 1521, which abolishes civil forfeiture in Maine. It became law last week without the signature of the governor. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Faulkingham)

“It’s a very simple concept; you don’t lose your property unless you used it in the commission of a crime, or knowingly allowed someone else to use it in the commission of a crime,” Faulkingham said. “This new law provides due process protection to property owners and helps ensure that only convicted criminals, not innocent Mainers, lose their property to forfeiture.”

Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham serves Maine House District 136, which includes part of East Hancock, Fletchers Landing Township, Gouldsboro, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham & Winter Harbor.

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