Michigan House Passes Bill Eliminating Forfeiture Bonding

The Michigan House passed a bill eliminating bonds for forfeited property. According to MichiganVotes.org, House Bill 4629, sponsored by Rep. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township), would “repeal a requirement for a property owner whose property has been seized by police and is subject to ‘civil forfeiture’ to provide a cash ‘bond’ to contest the taking, and if unsuccessful to pay all the expenses of the proceedings.” It passed 100-7.

In Michigan, law enforcement can forfeit someone’s property without convicting them of criminal activity – the property goes through the civil system rather than the criminal system. A bond is cash that someone has to pay to start the process for getting their property back.

Only five states have explicit bond requirements in order for someone to litigate to get their own property back. This bill is another step in the right direction towards solving Michigan’s civil forfeiture problem, and the Senate should quickly take it up.

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