By WND. The Institute for Justice is reporting lawmakers in Wyoming have banned the practice by officers of “badgering” drivers stopped on traffic infractions to sign pre-written waivers transferring title to property, including cash.
The bill, “Roadside waiver of property rights prohibited,” was signed recently by Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead.
It states plainly, “A law enforcement officer may not request, require, or in any manner induce any person to execute a document purporting to waive, for purpose of forfeiture under this section, the person’s interest in or rights to property seized.”
And finally, it allows confiscation “after a hearing and a finding of probable cause as required” by the law . . .
IJ reported the law was in response to a case in which Wisconsin musician Phil Parhamovich had his “entire life savings” of $91,800 seized by highway patrol officers. (Read more from “This Driving Law Just Prompted Cops to Seize $92,000” HERE)
Wyoming Bans Roadside Waivers Used to Seize Cash on Highways
By IJ. Last week, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed a bill that bans law enforcement from using roadside waivers to pressure motorists to give up their own hard-earned cash. During traffic stops, officers have badgered drivers into signing pre-written waivers that not only waive their rights to their property, but also waive their right to the limited protections offered by the state’s civil forfeiture laws.
Wyoming now joins Texas and Virginia in banning roadside waivers. Sponsored by Rep. Charles Pelkey, the bill, HB 61, passed the legislature with only two votes against it. HB 61 will take effect on July 1.
“Due process doesn’t happen on the side of a road and we’re pleased to see Wyoming ban this abusive tactic,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Dan Alban. “But the state’s civil forfeiture laws remained unchanged, and still need major reform. No one should lose their property without being convicted of a crime.”
The new law is a direct response to a case in which the Institute for Justice represented Wisconsin musician Phil Parhamovich, who had his entire life savings—$91,800—seized on I-80 near Cheyenne. In March 2017, Phil was pulled over by the Wyoming Highway Patrol for not wearing his seatbelt. During the stop, several law enforcement officers searched Phil’s minivan and found no drugs or anything illegal. But they did find his cash. Phil had spent years saving up that money and planned to use it as the down payment for a recording studio in Madison once used by Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins. (Read more from “Wyoming Bans Roadside Waivers Used to Seize Cash on Highways” HERE)