Catholic University Law Review


Daniel Reed


Civil asset forfeiture is an operation of legal fiction that enables the government to seize property without an underlying conviction of the property owner. Federal authorities bring thousands of civil asset forfeiture cases annually, often against the property of owners who have not been charged with a crime. Such cases can result in unjust outcomes and denials of due process to property owners. To address this controversy, Representative Tim Walberg proposed several reforms to federal civil asset forfeiture laws known as the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2014 (CAFRA 2014).

After discussing the history of civil asset forfeiture, this Note analyzes CAFRA 2014 and examines its potential impact on the civil asset forfeiture process. This Note then reviews some deficiencies with current federal civil forfeiture laws and will examine the proposed changes in CAFRA 2014. After considering the positive impact that the proposed changes could have on civil asset forfeiture, this Note argues that Congress should pass CAFRA 2014 to provide beneficial reforms to federal civil asset forfeiture laws.