Justice Department Policy On Use Of Administrative Forfeiture Rather Than Judicial Forfeiture

"Before 1990, virtually all forfeitures of properties valued at more than $100,000 were conducted judicially. In 1990, however, the law was amended to permit the administrative forfeiture of cash and monetary instruments, without regard to value, and of other property up to a value of $500,000. See 19 U.S.C. § 1607.
"The legislative history of this law makes clear that Congress sought to increase the speed and efficiency of uncontested forfeiture actions and had confidence in the notice and other safeguards built into administrative forfeiture laws. Moreover, the due process protections enacted as part of the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) of 2000 ensure that the administrative forfeiture laws operate fairly. Accordingly, there is a preference for doing forfeitures administratively where it is possible to do so."

Source: 

Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual, US Department of Justice, 2013, Revised March 22, 2014, p. 47.
http://www.justice.gov/crimina...

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