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Tennessee asset forfeiture reform

Tenth Amendment Center:

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.

2 Responses to “Tennessee asset forfeiture reform”

  1. rickn8or Says:

    I hope there is some provision in this legislation to prevent “We’ll just hang onto this until the trial is over. / Whoops. Can’t find it in the Property Room.” situations

  2. Fred Says:

    I sent this note to the reps. (obtw it’s HB421 or 0421)

    Dear Representative Martin Daniel and Senator Todd Gardenhire, I want to thank you both for introducing this legislation. The practice of seizing assets here is ruining the otherwise outstanding reputation of Tennessee. We are becoming world famous as a place that does not welcome travelers and visitors. But what is worse is we now have a reputation of being unfriendly to legitimate cash businesses. People are mocking our great state and avoiding it for both leisure and capital formation of private enterprise. I pray this measure will become law this session because our present condition is harming our future growth prospects. Trust and respect in the rule of law are essential to our future. Godspeed.