A federal judge has granted class certification to plaintiffs alleging that Philadelphia’s civil asset forfeiture program creates an unconstitutional conflict of interest for law enforcement agencies.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno Jr. of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled in Sourovelis v. City of Philadelphiato grant class certification on claims that the forfeiture program violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Although the ruling certified the class, which plaintiffs have characterized as involving more than 20,000 potential plaintiffs, Robreno also narrowed the definition of the class and the type of recovery the class could pursue.

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