Michigan House Passes Bill to Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture; Federal Loophole Remains

LANSING, Mich. (May 10, 2018) – On Tuesday, the Michigan House passed a bill that would reform asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking property without a criminal conviction in most cases. But the legislation leaves a loophole in place allowing police to circumvent stricter state laws by passing cases off to the feds.

Rep. Pete Lucido (R-Shelby Township) introduced House Bill 5779 (HB5779) on Apr. 11. The legislation would reform Michigan law by requiring a criminal conviction before prosecutors could proceed with asset forfeiture in cases involving an aggregate net equity value of property less than $50,000. Under current law, the state can seize assets even if a person is never found guilty of a crime. The $50,000 threshold would cover most forfeiture cases in Michigan. A study in Colorado found that 85 percent of cases fell below the $50,000 level.

The House passed HB5779 by an 83-26 vote.

According to the Institute for Justice, the state of Michigan earned a D- grade for its civil asset forfeiture laws. Michigan law enforcement agencies may presently keep up to 100% of all the forfeiture proceeds that come from seized assets.

Passage of HB5779 would not …

Read more at The Tenth Amendment Center
(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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