Asset Forfeiture Report: New York


 


 
Grades*
Forfeiture
Law Grade

State Law Evasion Grade

 Final
Grade
New York

 

Forfeiture Law
New York law provides some protection for property owners caught up in civil forfeiture, but the state’s law enforcement agencies are among the nation’s most aggressive in pursuing equitable sharing with the federal government.  Under New York civil forfeiture law, the government’s standard of proof to conduct a forfeiture depends on the property being pursued.  For real property that was used as an instrumentality of the crime, the government must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the property is related to the crime and can be forfeited.  For other property, the government only needs to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the assets were the instrumentality or proceeds of the crime.  Moreover, the property owner bears the burden in innocent owner claims.  Law enforcement may keep up to 60 percent of the proceeds seized.  The state received more than $237 million through equitable sharing between 2000 and 2008. 

Although New York “reformed” its asset forfeiture regime in 1990, it actually further encroached on the property rights of its citizens as a result of the reform.  For example, money located near controlled substances is now presumptively forfeitable—in effect, presumed guilty.  The property owner has a significant burden placed on him to overcome this presumption.



Press Releases and News

State Press Release

 

From the Report: Canine Sniffs Yield Unreliable Evidence for Forfeiture
 
   
   
     



 
 


 

 

Forfeitures as Reported to LEMAS (Drug-related only)

 

Total Assets
Forfeited

Assets Forfeited per
Law Enforcement Agency

1993

$36,474,284

$169,517

1997

$36,670,306

$59,784

2000

$45,574,079

$93,750

2003

$34,480,660

$79,647

 

Equitable Sharing Proceeds from the Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF)

 

Proceeds Returned to State

FY 2000

$31,690,678

FY 2001

$19,256,431

FY 2002

$26,982,890

FY 2003

$19,423,843

FY 2004

$21,847,333

FY 2005

$27,704,134

FY 2006

$16,613,808

FY 2007

$34,612,069

FY 2008

$39,370,757

Total

$237,501,943

Average per Year

$26,389,105

 

Freedom of Information Data

1990-2002:Reports of forfeitures from district attorneys and task forces;
2008: Reports of forfeitures by county 

1990-2002

District Attorneys

Task Forces

Total

Currency

$45,060,601

$44,304,289

$89,364,890

Vehicles

$3,424,657

$552,000

$3,976,657

Total

$48,485,258

$44,856,289

$93,341,547

 

Money

Other Property

Total

2008

$69,858,632

$402,890

$70,261,522



*Learn how states were graded and how data was collected

Return to Forfeiture Main Page

Email Address
Please enter a valid email address
Share

Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
© 1997-2014