Civil Asset Forfeiture in the 2019 Legislative Session

During debate in the Minnesota House of Representatives, the A76 amendment was proposed, which establishes a task force to study civil asset forfeiture.  The A76 amendment (click here to read it) is clearly a better option than the current proposal, which destroys the civil asset forfeiture process and prevents law enforcement from being able to hold criminals accountable for certain crimes. 

Civil asset forfeiture is a powerful tool used by police and prosecutors in Minnesota and across the country to break the drug trafficking cycle and deprive the criminals of their ill-gotten gains through seizure of drug money. 

The forfeiture of property used by persons to commit crimes, and the forfeiture of monies and other profits derived from criminal activity has long been recognized by the legislature and criminal justice professionals as a valuable means to enforce the law, deter crime, and reduce economic incentives for persons to engage in criminal activity 

Unfortunately, the current proposal will dismantle civil asset forfeiture, and, in essence, say to sophisticated drug traffickers – come do business here in Minnesota. 

We know this proposal would dramatically and adversely impact the public safety of Minnesotans by making our state a safe-haven for criminals participating in the illegal distribution of drugs and even repeat drunk drivers that take lives, destroy families and wreak havoc on our roadways. 

It’s important to understand that property seized in Minnesota under forfeiture laws, such as drug money and vehicles driven in DWI cases, must be connected to ongoing criminal behavior. 

Current law allows for a person to engage in a simple process and be heard either in conciliation or district court about why the property should not be forfeited. 

To find your Minnesota House representative, follow this link: