Tennessee Bill Would Abolish Civil Forfeiture

From IntelHub March 20, 2013

A new bill would eliminate civil forfeiture in Tennessee. Unlike criminal forfeiture, under civil forfeiture police do not need to convict or even charge a property owner before seizing his property. Civil forfeiture turns “innocent until proven guilty” on its head by forcing owners to prove their innocence to recover the seized property.

In good news for property owners across the Volunteer State, State Rep. Barrett Rich, a former Tennessee state trooper, has introduced HB 1078. If the bill passes, seizing property would require a warrant. In addition, forfeiture and title transfer of property would take place only under due process of law and if “the owner of the property in question is prosecuted and convicted.” The bill has one other cosponsor, Rep. Joey Hensley, and is currently in committee.

Speaking to a local news station, Rich outlined how civil forfeiture treatsinnocent owners worse than actual criminals: . . . Read Complete Report

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