In Ga., a push to change civil forfeiture laws - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

In Ga., a push to change civil forfeiture laws

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By RAY HENRY
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Lawmakers in Georgia and several other states are trying to make it harder for police to seize money and property, and requiring more transparency when they do.

Stiff resistance from elected sheriffs caused a senior Republican lawmaker in Georgia to withdraw a bill that would have required more proof before law enforcement officials could seize people's property without convicting them of a crime. It also would have penalized law enforcement agencies that did not follow financial disclosure rules.

The effort is backed by the Institute For Justice, a libertarian group that opposes allowing police to seize property unless the owner has been convicted of a crime.

Tennessee this year passed a law giving people more rights in forfeiture cases. Other measures have been debated in Minnesota, Michigan and Texas.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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