To: Sen. Weiler, T.,
Subject: HB 384
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:
I would appreciate hearing back from you and learning what you are doing to better protect the rights of property owners like myself.