- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A newly proposed bill would make it harder for Ohio 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 bill introduced Tuesday in the Ohio House 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.

Lawmakers have considered similar bills in states including Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico and Virginia.

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