Increasing lawsuits and allegations of civil right violations prompted the Illinois legislature to pass reforms of civil asset forfeitures that went into effect last year. Both federal and state civil asset forfeiture laws allow the seizure of property without a criminal charge being filed or case being filed in court. This Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting story is part of a collaborative reporting initiative supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. See all the stories at taken.pulitzercenter.org.Illinois reforms limited seizures by requiring police to have a slightly higher burden of proof to seize the property. For example, drug residue found in a person’s pocket is no longer grounds for Illinois police to take a car, said Ben Ruddell, criminal justice policy attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois in Chicago.