Tennessee asset forfeiture reform
Bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature would reform asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking property without a criminal conviction. The legislation also takes on federal forfeiture programs by banning prosecutors from circumventing state laws by passing cases off to the feds in most situations.
Rep. Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville) introduced House Bill 4021 (HB4021) on Feb. 2. Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) introduced the companion bill in the Senate (SB316). The legislation would reform Tennessee law by requiring a criminal conviction before prosecutors can proceed with asset forfeiture. Under current law, the state can seize assets even if a person is never found guilty of a crime and sometimes without even filing charges.
Due process of law is a novel concept.