LANSING, Mich. — Legislation to ensure innocent Michigan residents don’t lose their personal property to civil asset forfeiture was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, said committee chairman Sen. Peter J. Lucido.
“Senate Bill 2 is a commonsense reform to protect the due process rights of innocent property owners, while still empowering law enforcement to be tough on crime,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “The current process has been abused for too long and has unnecessarily ruined too many people’s lives.”
Under current law, police have authority to take and keep the property of individuals who haven’t even been charged, let alone convicted. SB 2 would require that an individual be convicted of or plead guilty to a crime before law enforcement could take ownership of personal property through the civil asset forfeiture process. Seized personal property would be returned if a person is not convicted of a crime.
“I thank the committee for its support and look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to get this bill passed,” Lucido said.
SB 2 now advances to the Senate floor for consideration.