From: Dallin Stephens
To: Todd Weiler,
Subject: HB 384
Date: 12/30/2013 1:46:55 PM
Body:
Todd,

I have recently become aware of the passing of the HB 384 passed by the legislature in 2013.  What I have learned so far about this bill gravely concerns me, and while I intend to continue my research of what power it gives to government agencies and takes away from property owners like myself, I feel that my voice needs to be heard now.

Particularly, my concerns are as follows:

1.  The change of the allocation of funds from the Uniform School Fund to the agencies performing the property seizures - this could encourage corruption of those agencies to obtain additional funding.
2.  The removal of the consequence of the prosecuting attorney's failure to file a complaint.
3.  Most importantly, the wording that the State "shall award reasonable attorney fees to a prevailing owner," has been changed to "may."  This concerns me because if my property is seized, and I prove that it was seized unlawfully, I may still have to pay attorney fees, which may exceed the value of my property and potentially bankrupt me.  The burden for these fees, if I am proven innocent, should be on the prosecutor as put forth in the former SB 175.  

Please review the summary of the concerns I have in the following link: 

http://libertasutah.org/drop/assetforfeiture.pdf

I would appreciate hearing back from you and learning what you are doing to better protect the rights of property owners like myself.

Thank you,

Dallin Stephens
435-229-6086 (C)