Articles Posted in Money

Published on: case of civil asset forfeiture involving a Hoosier’s seized Land Rover may end up on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket. If they agree to hear the case, it could transform the approach of law enforcement to civil asset forfeiture across the nation.

Civil asset forfeiture is the process where law enforcement can seize property suspected of being involved in a crime. It is legal in most states, and few states require a criminal conviction for the property to be seized. Proceeds from the profits of civil asset forfeiture are often used to fund law enforcement, leading to accusations of policing for profit. Continue reading

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Tennessee_Highway_Patrol_vehicle-300x190A bill giving new protections for people involved in civil asset forfeiture has now passed both houses of the Tennessee legislature. If Governor Haslam signs it into law, it may become easier for people to regain property seized by law enforcement.

The bill passed the State Senate with unanimous support and was supported by both civil rights and libertarian groups. “This is a rare bill because you had the ACLU on one side and the Beacon Center on the other, and they both agreed on it,” said Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), who cosponsored the bill. Continue reading

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Kansas_state_trooper-2-300x201In Kansas, Governor Jeff Coyler has signed a bill into law imposing strict reporting requirements on law enforcement in cases of civil asset forfeiture. The changes bring transparency to the state’s forfeiture procedures and may lead to further reforms.

In a statement, Coyler said the new law, “will allow us to better protect Kansans’ property rights while also ensuring law enforcement have the tools they need to be effective.”

State Rep. Gail Finney (D–Wichita), who spearheaded the state’s reform, says the law represents a good first step but that more far-reaching changes will be needed. Continue reading

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Fbi_badge-231x300Dan Johnson, a Fifth Circuit Solicitor in South Carolina, is under investigation by the FBI after an investigation into questionable use of funds from civil asset forfeiture funds.

Johnson’s spending records were recently obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the watchdog organization, Public Access to Public Records (PAPR). They show that on April 14, 2017, Johnson moved $10,000 from a fund containing the proceeds from civil asset forfeiture to a credit card which he used to pay for travel in South America. Continue reading

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Wyoming_Capitol_Exterior-300x213The Wyoming state legislature has passed a bill outlawing a process where law enforcement in the state would encourage people to sign away the rights to their property during roadside searches.

The bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the Wyoming legislature and has now been signed into law. It will come into effect on July 1 and is designed to stop abuses of civil asset forfeiture law. Continue reading