UPDATE: House Bill 1286 went “without recommendation” from the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 12-9.  It passed 57-33 and was referred to Senate Judiciary. 

Description: 

House Bill 1286 would would deposit all civil forfeiture proceeds into the state school fund, redirecting those funds away from law enforcement coffers. Second, HB 1286 would strengthen due process for property owners facing civil forfeiture. The bill would require a conviction in criminal court before property can be forfeited in civil court.

ACLU position:

The ACLU of North Dakota supports this bill. House Bill 1286 would substantially overhaul one of the greatest threats to private property rights in North Dakota: civil forfeiture. Through civil forfeiture, law enforcement agencies can confiscate property suspected of involvement in criminal activity. Unlike criminal forfeiture, with civil forfeiture, the government can permanently seize and keep property without charging, let alone convicting, anyone of a crime. In fact, North Dakota has the worst civil forfeiture laws in the nation, a dubious honor it shares only with Massachusetts.Currently, North Dakotans who have not been convicted of a crime can have their property taken away by law enforcement on the mere suspicion of criminal activity. By passing HB 1286 and requiring a conviction before forfeiture, the North Dakota Legislature can rectify serious flaws in state law and establish significant safeguards for innocent North Dakotans.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}
span.s1 {font: 8.0px Helvetica}

Sponsors

Reps. Becker, Blum, Johnston, Paur, Pyle, Satrom, Simons, Strinden and Sens. Hogue, Kannianen, Luick, Unruh

Status

Introduced

Session

2019

Bill number

Position

Support

Stay informed

ACLU of North Dakota is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National