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.1 By enacting HB 1286, the legislature can rectify serious flaws in state law and establish significant safeguards for the innocent.

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





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