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Legislation that would require a felony conviction before someone’s property could be seized as part of a civil judgment zipped through the Senate on Thursday.

The vote was 35-0 to send Senate Bill 308 by Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, to the House.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

Under the bill, a court may waive the conviction requirement in order to seize the property as part of a civil judgment if the prosecuting attorney has strong evidence: that the owner died; was deported; was granted immunity or reduced punishment in exchange for testifying or assisting a law enforcement agency or prosecution; fled the jurisdiction or failed to appear on the underlying criminal charge; failed to answer the complaint for civil asset forfeiture; abandoned or disclaimed ownership; or agreed in writing with the prosecuting attorney and other parties as to the property’s disposition.

— Michael R. Wickline


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Archived Comments

  • Knuckleball1
    March 1, 2019 at 7:02 a.m.

    This bunch of idiots, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on this but yet again the Crooks and Thieves are the Smartest in the Land...!!!!

  • Waitjustaminute
    March 1, 2019 at 7:48 a.m.

    Knuckleball, you swung and missed on this one. The US Supreme Court only said that forfeitures could not be "excessive." That rule won't apply to most forfeiture cases, but this bill will apply to all of them. The way it is now, a defendant could be found not guilty 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' but could still lose their forfeiture case because the standard of proof is lower. This bill changes that.

    March 1, 2019 at 8:47 a.m.

    I hope this seizure law includes WHITE COLLAR CRIME>