Civil asset forfeiture
|wikipedia=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil forfeiture in the United States
|image=Civil asset forfeiture.jpg
|description=A "controversial" US government policy in which property is forcibly transferred to government agencies from its legal owners because they suspect it may have been derived from criminal activity.
'''Civil asset forfeiture''', or '''Civil seizure''' is the forced removal of property by [[authorities]] without having to prove that it was gained illegally. While people are assumed innocent unless proved guilty, this is not sufficient in some countries (notably the [[USA]]) to prevent their property being forfeit. If they wish to try to get back the seized property, owners must prove, at their own expense, that it was not accrued through criminal activity. In 2014, the total value of property taken by USA government agencies exceeded the amount stolen from USA citizens by burglars.
As of 2017, even [[Wikipedia]] admits that the practice is "controversial".<ref>https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States&oldid=765229752</ref>
[[image:asset forfeitures surpass burglaries.png|left|480px|thumbnail|Image credit: Washington Post]]
The practice is widespread in USA, but was abolished in [[New Mexico]] in 2015. Different standards of proof are required in different states. [[NYPD]] has draconian civil asset forfeiture laws.<ref>http://theantimedia.org/nypd-steals-18000-knife-law/</ref>
==Rise and rise==
In USA, according to official statistics, some $93.7 million of property were seized in []. By 2004, this had risen to $567 million,<ref>http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/08/property-civil-forfeiture.html</ref> and $1.6 billion by 2008. In 2010, it was $2.5 billion. The ''[[Washington Post]]'' reported in November 2015 that "in 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did."<ref>https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/</ref>