The nation's civil forfeiture laws grew out of an effort to attack the assets of drug kingpins, but too often they have been abused by local, state and federal agencies to seize cash, cars, real estate and more from people who are never charged with a crime. Worse, in order to recover those assets, the burden of proof is on the individual to prove that the assets are not ill-gotten gains, rather than on the government to prove that they are tied to illicit activity. Such a system is probably unconstitutional, but it is nonetheless the law. Senate Bill 528 contains important reforms that restore proper legal protections for individuals' assets. It specifies that the burden of proof is on the government to show that assets are tied to violations of drug laws committed with the owner's knowledge, and it requires law enforcement officials to notify those whose assets are seized of the process to retrieve them.