Link to main pageLink to SenatorsLink to LegislationLink to ScheduleLink to CommitteesLink to PublicationsLink to NewsLink to Staff

Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2015

Printer-friendly version

Sen. Kyle Loveless
Sen. Kyle Loveless

Personal Asset Protection Act receives support

Less than a week after Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, filed Senate Bill 838, the Personal Asset Protection Act, it has garnered support from a wide range of organizations. The bill is aimed at reforming a practice known as civil asset forfeiture which the government uses to seize assets like cash and vehicles alleged to be part of a larger crime.

“With civil asset forfeiture, the concept of 'innocent until proven guilty' and the protections of the Bill of Rights go right out the window,” said Trent England, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. “If police and prosecutors believe someone committed a crime, they have an obligation to prove that in a criminal prosecution in a court of law before any punishment—including the confiscation of property—is inflicted on the accused.”

The practice has come under fire in recent years due to a lack of transparency and due process procedures. Currently, law enforcement must only suspect the property is involved in the commission of a crime. SB 838 will require clear and convincing evidence that the property was involved—ensuring the individual is innocent until proven guilty.

“Oklahoma must take action to curb civil assets forfeiture, which creates a dangerous precedent at the expense of constitutional due process protections,” said David Blatt, Executive Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute, a Tulsa-based think-tank. “We applaud Senator Loveless for taking the lead on this issue and look forward to working with him to come up with strong reforms to stop these abuses.”

“The FOP does not disagree that there is a need for civil asset forfeiture revision,” said Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police, during a recent congressional hearing.

“Reform of civil asset forfeiture is not a partisan issue, it is a constitutional issue,” Loveless said. “I look forward to working with law enforcement, district attorneys and legal experts to ensure these reforms protect due process without impeding drug interdiction. Justice should be dealt out in a courtroom not on the shoulder of the highway.”

SB 838 will be the subject of an interim study this fall.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Loveless: 405-521-5618

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

May Press Releases | Press Releases