Ban on Asset Forfeiture without Conviction

     A proposed bill in Michigan would rein in asset forfeiture abuse by prohibiting it unless there is a conviction:

“[T]he primary goal of asset forfeiture is “to deter and punish drug criminals by taking away the goods, property, and money obtained through illegal activity.” But… it can also serve as an ‘important supplement’ to police funding.


“‘Police departments right now are looking for ways to generate revenue, and forfeiture is a way to offset the costs of doing business,’ Sgt. Dave Schreiner, who runs Canton Township’s forfeiture unit [said]… ‘You’ll find that departments are doing more forfeitures than they used to because they’ve got to — they’re running out of money and they’ve got to find it somewhere.'”

     This is particularly pernicious since, in Michigan, property that is less than $50,000 can be taken “administratively” without any court involvement whatsoever.

     So much for the increasingly proverbial “day in court”…

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