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Ohio Bill May Make It Harder For Government To Seize Assets

The Ohio Statehouse
Creative Commons

An Ohio House committee continues to hear testimony on a bill making it harder for authorities to seize assets like cash or vehicles if the owners aren't involved in criminal activity.

At issue are state forfeiture laws that are often used to seize assets that were originally taken by police during crime investigations but are sometimes the property of innocent third parties.

The proposed bill getting a third hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday would raise the standard of evidence that prosecutors must prove to keep the property, and also place the burden of proof on the government instead of the property owner.

Republican Rep. Robert McColley says the goal is to make Ohio's judicial system fairer for everyone, including innocent third-party property owners.

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