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No ‘nay’ votes on Senate seizure bill

March 1, 2019 at 4:30 a.m.

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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