Asset Forfeiture

Tennessee Lawmaker Proposes Abolishing Civil Forfeiture

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A Tennessee state legislator has introduced a bill to abolish civil asset forfeiture, the controversial legal power that allows police to confiscate and keep property without ever charging the owner with a crime. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barrett Rich (R-Somerville), would require a criminal conviction of the owner to permit law enforcement to keep any property associated with the crime.

According to the libertarian law firm Institute for Justice, every state in the country has some version of a civil asset forfeiture law. Under Rich's bill, Tennessee would be the first to abolish it.