The Michigan Senate today unanimously approved legislation authored by state Rep. Brandt Iden to reform Michigan’s asset forfeiture laws and protect citizens’ rights across the state.
Rep. Iden applauded the Senate on its approval of the bill.
“Michiganders from Ann Arbor, Zeeland, and everywhere in between have been waiting for an overhaul of this magnitude to better protect their rights,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “I’m happy to see that all of my colleagues in the Senate supported this bill.”
House Bill 4507 aims to reform public nuisance abatement practices. As the law currently stands, courts can order the forfeiture of personal property to end public nuisances, regardless of whether or not the seized property was part of the nuisance itself. This can result in all furniture, fixtures, personal property, and contents of a property at issue to be seized.
In addition to nuisance law abatement, HB 4507 is part of a legislative package that also raises the minimum standard by which property can be seized, from a “preponderance of the evidence” connecting the property to a crime to “clear and convincing evidence.”
“This may seem like a small clarification, but this change will help citizens protect citizens’ personal property rights,” Rep. Iden said. “In addition to citizens and lawmakers, this package has seen support from public safety agencies and civil rights organizations looking to better clarify Michigan’s laws.”
HB 4507 now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for further consideration.