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Blog

Nebraska is Making Crucial Moves for Asset Forfeiture Reform

Many states are awakening to infringements on liberty being committed through civil asset forfeiture, and Nebraska could become the latest to protect the rights of its citizens.

02/12/2016
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Blog

IRS Will Pay Legal Fees of Business Owner Whose Money Was Wrongfully Seized

A federal judge has ordered the Internal Revenue Service to pay the legal fees of Lyndon McLellan, a convenience store owner based in Fairmont, North Carolina, whose bank account was wrongfully seized by the powerful tax agency in July 2014. The IRS had previously agreed to drop the attempted forfeiture of the $107,702.66 it stole from McLellan.

02/05/2016
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Blog

Oklahoma Senator Seeks CAF Reform: Round 2

State Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) seeks to introduce SB 838, the Personal Asset Protection Act, for the upcoming Oklahoma legislative session which begins February 1, 2016. Sen. Loveless originally introduced his bill for civil asset forfeiture reform last year on May 6, 2015, towards the end of the 2015 session. While SB 838 died in committee for 2015, Sen. Loveless used the legislature’s recess period as a time to conduct research and promote discussion regarding the state of civil asset forfeiture in Oklahoma. He strongly believes that abuse through use of civil asset forfeiture "[I]s something that is happening in states across the country, so it would be naïve to believe that it could not happen in Oklahoma."

02/01/2016
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Blog

Georgia Rep. Advances Asset Forfeiture Reform

Georgia has become the latest in a long line of states looking to reform its civil asset forfeiture program. A growing number of people are apparently waking up to the common sense idea that the government shouldn’t seize private property from people when they haven’t been convicted of - or even charged with - a crime.

01/27/2016
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Blog

Illinois: A State that Steals

Seventy-one-year-old grandmother, Judith Wiese, is just now getting back her car months after it was stolen. The thief? The state of Illinois.

01/21/2016
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Blog

Maryland to Vote on Asset Forfeiture Reform

As states’ legislative sessions start up, asset forfeiture reform appears to be a high priority for many. As the practice by which law enforcement agencies can seize people’s property without due process gains more exposure to the broader public, a demand to return to constitutional principles and the “innocent until proven guilty “ standard seems to be having an effect.

01/19/2016
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Blog

Now Is the Time to Act on Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Santa Claus came a little earlier for those who have been urging for changes to federal civil asset forfeiture laws. The Department of Justice sent a letter to state and local law enforcement agencies notifying them that it would defer equitable sharing payments due to budget constraints. The step is temporary, as the Department of Justice wants to resume the program at a later time.

12/28/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Fix Forfeiture Laws in Buckeye State

“I had no idea something like this could happen in America.” That’s what Antoinette Lattimore, a resident of North College Hill near Cincinnati, said about the seizure of the $19,660 in cash she was carrying on a road trip in 2013 to Tucson, Arizona, where she hoped to purchase African art.

12/04/2015
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Wyoming Renews Efforts to Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture

Members of the Joint Judiciary Committee in Wyoming have chosen to sponsor a bill which will introduce reforms to civil asset forfeiture practice within the state. The bill does not contain changes as extensive as a previous bill in early 2015.

11/12/2015
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Blog

Where Does Your State Rank?: New Report Offers Look at State Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, has released an update of its groundbreaking 2010 report, Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture. The report offers a detailed look at state civil asset forfeiture laws and grades them based on the standard of evidence prosecutors need to subject property and cash to forfeiture, whether the burden of proof falls on the government or the property owner, and the percentage of funds law enforcement received from forfeited property.

11/10/2015

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