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Civil Asset Forfeitures

Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Lt. Daron Brown explains how the truck he drives is used to eradicate marijuana May 24 in Twin Falls. The 2005 Dodge Ram 4X4 SLT was refitted for law enforcement use after it was seized in a drug bust. ‘If drug dealers are driving better trucks than police, we need to take them,’ Brown says.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's House has cleared a proposal designed to rein in when police can take a citizen's property.

House members on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation forbidding police officers from seizing cash or property simply because it was in close proximity to an illegal substance. It would also ban seizing vehicles unless they are in connection with trafficking offenses, while creating reporting requirements for forfeited property.

Idaho's current civil asset forfeiture law allows police to seize someone's cash or cars if they believe it's tied to a crime as a way to fight large-scale crime operations. A person doesn't need to be charged with a crime in order to have property seized.

Last year, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter vetoed a similar measure after arguing he was not aware of any allegations Idaho's law enforcement officers are inappropriately seizing citizen property

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HB 447 now moves to the Senate.


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