In 2016, the New Hampshire legislature passed a bill that strengthened the due process rights of Granite Staters.
The law, RSA 617:1-a (passed into law by a GOP majority in 2016), requires a conviction before agencies can start forfeiture proceedings.
Unfortunately, the federal equitable sharing loophole is being used by agencies throughout the state to go around state law.
But, thankfully, the legislation before this committee would close the federal loophole. House Bill 331 forbids state and local law enforcement from transferring seized property to federal agencies unless the property contains at least $100,000 in cash — ensuring most forfeiture cases must abide by New Hampshire law. The bill also excludes joint federal/local task forces, so New Hampshire’s law enforcement can still combat the opioid epidemic.
HB 331 will protect New Hampshire citizens’ property rights and require Granite State law enforcement to comply with state rules for forfeiture, preventing state and local agencies from taking assets for their own use without criminal proceedings or due process.
Urge lawmakers to respect our rights to due process and support HB 331!