Civil Asset Forfeiture

Utah Quietly Rolls Back Asset Forfeiture Reform

Guts ballot initiative approved by voters in 2000


One of my last projects for my previous employer was a six-part series on an emerging police reform movement in Utah. While I was in Salt Lake City to report the series, I talked to several state legislators who expressed interest in reining in police excesses in the state, though none of them were ready to let me quote the by name.

But perhaps Utah isn't ready for reform after all. Last month, the state's legislature quietly changed some reforms to the state's civil asset forfeiture laws that Utah voters approved via referendum back in 2000. The changes will make it much easier for Utah police and prosecutors to take property away from the state's citizens, often without ever charging them with a crime.