Tennessee Supreme Court overturns forfeiture of home - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Supreme Court overturns forfeiture of home

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NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the government must show that it complied with state forfeiture laws - both procedurally and substantively - if it is going to seize someone's property.

Tennessee law says the state may seize land, homes, cash, cars or other property if they were used in the commission of a crime.

The decision involved a Cumberland County man who was convicted of possessing child pornography on his home computer. The state issued a forfeiture warrant for the home of Charles Sprunger after his 2008 arrest. The opinion overturned the forfeiture of the home, saying the state didn't follow the law.

The court said the Tennessee Constitution disfavors forfeiture, so the laws must be strictly interpreted.

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