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Civil Asset Forfeiture Bills Protect Personal Property, Restores Constitutional Protections

Jan 10, 2019 by AFP

Grassroots group praises first bills of the legislative session that reform asset forfeiture laws

Lansing, Mich. – Americans for Prosperity-Michigan today urged support for the first bills of the legislative session, House Bills 4001 and 4002 sponsored by Rep. Jason Wentworth, that would reform Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture process. The group commended Speaker Chatfield for making it a top priority in the new session and said the Speaker would have full support for the reform from AFP’s grassroots capability.

Annie Patnaude, acting state director for the grassroots group, issued the following statement:

“The role of our government is to protect our personal property — not seize it without convicting or even filing charges against property owners. Our civil forfeiture process should be reformed into a criminal forfeiture system that protects innocent property owners, respects the constitutional right to due process, and discourages law enforcement from policing for profit.

“Right now, the legal test for taking property consists of a lot of ‘maybes’: The property may be related to a crime that may have occurred. When the government seizes someone’s property, that seizure should be subject to a much more rigorous test of evidence. This common-sense legislation takes Michigan in the right direction.”