Measure 53

Senate Joint Resolution 18-Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the 2007 Legislative Assembly to be voted on at the Primary Election, May 20, 2008.

Ballot Title

AMENDS CONSTITUTION: MODIFIES PROVISIONS GOVERNING CIVIL FORFEITURES RELATED TO CRIMES; PERMITS USE OF PROCEEDS BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE

"Yes" vote amends constitution to allow civil forfeitures for crimes similar to crime of conviction, permits proceeds to be used for law enforcement; other changes.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE

"No" vote retains constitutional provisions prohibiting civil forfeitures unless property is directly related to crime of conviction and prohibiting use of proceeds by law enforcement.

SUMMARY

Oregon's Constitution generally requires that property may be forfeited only if the owner is convicted of crime involving the property. Constitution currently prohibits use of proceeds for law enforcement purposes. Measure would allow civil forfeiture of property for crimes that are substantially similar to crime of conviction. Measure would permit forfeiture without conviction if the person took property with intent to defeat forfeiture, knew or should have known that the property constituted proceeds or instrumentality of criminal conduct, or acquiesced in criminal conduct. The measure requires proof by preponderance of evidence to forfeit personal property, and by clear and convincing evidence to forfeit real property. The measure provides an exemption for forfeiture of animals. The measure would allow using forfeiture proceeds for law enforcement purposes.

ESTIMATE OF FINANCIAL IMPACT

The direct financial impact of this measure to state and local governments is indeterminate due to the inability to accurately predict the number of civil forfeitures that may occur. If the frequency of civil forfeitures increases, then the amount of money going to the state and local jurisdictions will increase correspondingly. Any assets forfeited under this measure are distributed as follows: to the satisfaction of any foreclosed liens, security interests and contracts in the order of their priority; to the state or any of its political subdivisions for actual and reasonable expenses; and to the state or any of its political subdivisions for drug treatment programs. This measure will increase the revenue to the state and its political subdivisions, but the extent of the increase is unknown.