Civil forfeiture in the United States, sometimes called civil judicial forfeiture, is a controversial legal process in which police take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between police and a thing such as a gold crucifix, a pile of cash, a house or sailboat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. Police take the thing; to get it back, owners must prove that it was not involved in criminal activity. Sometimes it can mean a threat to seize property as well as the act of seizure itself.
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"It's kind of like pennies from heaven, you buy toys you want"