Press Release

In Alabama, a Step into Government Transparency

Dan Reynolds

In Alabama, a Step into Government Transparency

Civil asset forfeiture was left unchecked because it was mostly unknown, not anymore

Montgomery, AL – (February 28, 2019) The Alabama District Attorneys Association, in partnership with Alabama state legislators announced today the creation of a statewide Civil Asset Forfeiture Database, a major step forward for government transparency. The creation of the database follows a model originally proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation’s oldest and largest membership organization of limited-government-minded state legislators.

The database information will guide lawmakers as they review seizures made by law enforcement agencies. The database includes references to underlying criminal activity, cases, location data, descriptions of the seized property, the claims and claimants, and the disposition of the case and property. These pieces mirrors provisions found in the American Legislative Exchange Council model policy Reporting of Seizure and Forfeiture Act. In 2017, this transparency-based policy was taken up in part by Alabama’s neighbor, Mississippi, with the passage of House Bill 812.

“Since asset forfeiture confiscates property from individuals – often without a trial and sometimes without a charged crime – today’s announcement should be celebrated as a good direction for Alabamians,” said Lisa B. Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). “The goal of government should be to increase freedom and protect the rights of individuals. The move by the Alabama District Attorneys Association is a great example of nonpartisan, limited government principles at work.”

“This move by the Alabama District Attorneys Association is a step in the right direction to protect individual rights and ensure the presumption of innocence – a fundamental American principle,” said ALEC Alabama State Chair Representative Arnold Mooney. “Civil asset forfeiture flips the presumption of innocence on its head, and it’s about time we take more steps to curb the practice which presumes guilt in advance of a trial.”

To hear more about civil asset forfeiture transparency from Criminal Justice Task Force Director Ronald Lampard, please click here.


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit:

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