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Senate passes civil asset forfeiture bill

The Senate passed a bill today that would end civil asset forfeiture in New Mexico.

The bill, H.B. 560, passed on 37-0 vote. The bill would prevent law enforcement from seizing money and property from people on civil grounds during an arrest.

“This bill requires due process before civil forfeiture,” said Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, on the Senate floor.

The bill would not prevent law enforcement from seeking criminal forfeiture after someone was found guilty. It would, however, require proceeds from forfeitures to be put into the state’ general fund.