- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia prosecutors say they’re no longer looking to take homes away from two residents whose lawsuit alleges the city illegally seizes $6 million worth of property annually to help fund operations.

The district attorney’s office agreed Thursday to drop civil forfeiture proceedings involving Doila Welch and Greek immigrant Christos Sourovelis.

Lawyers say they’ll continue leading the class-action challenging the city’s civil forfeiture practices.

Prosecutors forced Sourovelis and his wife out for a week in May after their son, who had no ownership stake, was charged in a $40 drug-possession case.

Civil forfeitures can occur without convictions based on a “preponderance of the evidence” standard - basically, a 51 percent finding.

District Attorney Seth Williams’ office said it uses the law appropriately to address nuisance properties and protect law-abiding neighbors.

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