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Civil Forfeiture Reform

Concerning civil forfeitures.
2024 Regular Session
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

The bill makes the following changes to forfeiture actions:

  • A forfeiture order must not be entered unless:
  • The civil complaint is filed within 90 days after the property is seized; and
  • The plaintiff establishes that the seized property is an instrumentality of, or proceeds derived directly from, the crime for which the owner is convicted;
  • When feasible, the court hearing the criminal proceeding also hears the civil forfeiture action;
  • All proceedings in the forfeiture action are stayed until a criminal conviction is obtained;
  • Any party to a forfeiture action may appeal an order concerning disposition of seized property except the defendant in the criminal action, who may only appeal after the final judgment;
  • A forfeiture order must not be entered until there is a criminal conviction, unless a specified exception is met;
  • Any person with an interest in the seized property may request a prompt post-seizure hearing within 14 days after the seizure; and
  • 25% of the proceeds of a forfeiture are deposited in a new forfeiture defense fund created in the bill rather than the law enforcement community services grant program fund.

The bill also authorizes the judge in a forfeiture proceeding to appoint an attorney to represent an indigent owner of an interest in seized property. Fees and costs of the appointed attorney may be charged against other parties to the proceeding or may come from the new forfeiture defense fund if a party is indigent.

The bill prohibits a Colorado law enforcement agency from transferring seized property to a federal agency for forfeiture unless the Colorado law enforcement agency is part of a joint task force with the federal government, and then only if the seized property includes at least $50,000 in U.S. currency.

The bill makes conforming amendments.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)




Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Rep. K. DeGraaf
Sen. M. Baisley



The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details