There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/10/1997)

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act - Amends the Federal criminal code to require that in any nonjudicial civil forfeiture proceeding under a civil forfeiture statute, with respect to which the agency conducting a seizure of property must give written notice to interested parties, such notice shall be given within 60 days after the later of the date of the seizure or the date the identity of the interested party is first known or discovered by the agency, with exceptions.

Allows a person entitled to written notice in such proceeding to whom written notice is not given to void, on motion, the forfeiture with respect to that person's interest in the property unless the agency shows good cause for the failure to give notice or that the person otherwise had actual notice of the seizure.

Provides that if the Government does not provide notice of a seizure of property in accordance with this Act, it shall return the property and may not take any further action to effect the forfeiture of such property.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) filing deadlines; (2) persons filing claims who are financially unable to obtain representation by counsel; and (3) the burden of proof.

Prohibits an innocent owner's interest in property from being forfeited under any civil forfeiture statute.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to provide that Federal criminal code provisions applicable to civil forfeiture procedures shall apply to civil forfeitures proceedings relating to the condemnation or forfeiture of property for violation of the customs laws.

(Sec. 5) Makes the Federal Tort Claims Act applicable to claims based on the negligent destruction, injury, or loss of goods, merchandise, or other property while in the possession of any officer of customs or excise or any other law enforcement officer, if the property was seized for the purpose of forfeiture but the interest of the claimant is not forfeited.

Authorizes the Attorney General to settle, for not more than $50,000 in any case, certain claims for damage to or loss of privately owned property caused by an investigative or law enforcement officer who is employed by the Department of Justice and acting within the scope of his or her employment, subject to specified limitations.

(Sec. 6) Makes the United States liable for post-judgment interest upon entry of judgment for the claimant in any proceeding to condemn or forfeit property seized or arrested under any Act of Congress, but not for prejudgment interest (with exceptions). Specifies that the United States shall not be required to disgorge the value of any intangible benefits nor make any other payments to the claimant not specifically authorized.

(Sec. 7) Makes the amendments made by this Act applicable to claims, suits, and actions filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, with exceptions.