I firmly believe in the foundation in which our justice system was built: every citizen is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers. Until proven guilty the State has no right to take possession of a persons assets. Allowing civil forfeiture has opened the door for local and state authorities to legally steal from its citizens, whether or not they have committed a crime. As a result, many municipalities have set goals of money collected from civil forfeiture and that money is used towards department expenses. This practice can lead to corruption within organizations who's mission is to serve and protect. By preventing the practice of civil forfeiture until after a guilty verdict is rendered, this will not only protect the innocent, but also provide and check and balance.
It's been in the news for years that police departments have been abusing the civil forfeiture laws to deprive people of property without any evidence of wrongdoing. The Montana court's ruling helps put a restriction on this practice. It shouldn't hurt the fight against crime, as anyone proven guilty of criminal activity can still have their property forfeited.
Too often, law enforcement officers are motivated by civil forfeiture. They do not want to stop the war on drugs. They want to arrest someone that is selling drugs so that they can take their car and make the bottom line look good. If anything, this will make the state's fight against crime more honest, and ultimately better.
The case only permits that every individual has a trial of peers. This is not an obstacle for the state government, but a safety for the innocent. Those guilty of a crime will be found guilty and have their property seized, but if a person has their property seized while innocent, then this is a much greater negative impact on the individual than the positive impact of seizure of a criminal before a trail.