Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Asset Forfeiture Bill
Tennessee Lawmakers have passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Act. The bill modifies civil asset forfeiture processes, adding transparency and accountability to law enforcement practices and better protecting citizens; constitutional rights. Currently Tennessee law allows cash and property to be permanently seized from owners if it can be tied to an alleged crime. There is no requirement that anyone be charged with, much less convicted of a crime for the forfeiture to proceed. The bill would require notice of a probable cause seizure hearing within 5 business days and allow the property owner to speak on behalf of the property in court. In drug related cases, the seizing agency must proved test results and if no illegal drugs are determine, the seizure will be dismissed and the property returned to the owner. Finally the bill states that being caught with cash alone is not sufficient enough to trigger a civil asset seizure. The legislation now goes to final approval with Governor Haslam.