To the Governor: Tennessee Bill Modestly Reforms Asset Forfeiture Laws; Federal Loophole Remains

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 9, 2018) – Last week, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill that modestly reforms the state’s asset forfeiture laws, but leaves a loophole in place allowing police to circumvent stricter state laws by passing cases off to the feds.

Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) introduced House Bill 2021 (HB2021) in January. The legislation requires law enforcement agencies to provide formal notification within five days of a property seizure or of a forfeiture-warrant hearing. Authorities must provide notice whether or not the owner was present at the time the property was taken. The bill also requires the state to pay attorney fees if a person proves police wrongfully seized their property. Additionally, HB2021 stipulates that merely possessing large amounts of cash is not considered a crime.

The House passed HB2021 88-0 on April 4. The Senate passed the bill 30-0 the next day. The bill now moves to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk for his consideration.

A House committee effectively tabled a bill featuring more robust reforms in order to advance HB2021. HB4021 would have required a criminal conviction before prosecutors could proceed with asset forfeiture and closed a federal loophole. The bill was never given a …

Read more at The Tenth Amendment Center
(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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