Minnesota Criminal Forfeiture

Fighting Crime While Protecting Property Rights

Video: Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respect Property Rights

In America, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  But Minnesota’s asset forfeiture laws turn that principle on its head.  The state’s forfeiture laws say your property is guilty until you prove it innocent. Forfeiture reform would allow legislators to be tough on crime while still respecting property rights because convicted criminals will lose ill-gotten gains, while innocent people will not lose their property at the whim of a policeman and a prosecutor whose budgets benefit from the taking.  Forfeiture laws give law enforcement the wrong incentives and invite abuse.  Police and prosecutors should not be paid on commission.  We need to remove the direct profit incentive that civil forfeiture creates.

A coalition of concerned citizens, other legal organizations and the Minnesota Chapter of the Institute for Justice will work with state legislators to bring much needed reforms to Minnesota's civil forfeiture laws.


Essential Background


Backgrounder: Fighting Crime While Protecting Property Rights

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Client Video - none available

Release: New Report Shows Minnesota’s Forfeiture Laws Stack the Deck Against Property Owners (January 29, 2013)

Release: Minnesota’s House of Representatives Rejects Ending “Policing for Profit” (May 14, 2010) 
Victory: Conviction prerequisite, SF 874, enacted into law on May 6, 2014.

Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Reports, Maps, Charts and Facts

Op-Ed: Both Sides: Eliminate the perverse incentives for abuse (March 25, 2010) Post Bulletin

Report: A Stacked Deck: How Minnesota's Civil Forfeiture Laws Put Citizens' Property at Risk 

Op-Ed: Lee McGrath: Put it this way: The cops own their mistakes (March 21, 2010) Star Tribune 

Report: Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture

Article: Judge to Edina: Give back the car keys (October 28, 2009) Star Tribune

Report: Forfeiting Accountability: Georgia Law Enforcement's Hidden Civil Forfeiture Funds

Video: Ending Forfeiture Abuse: How States Can Be Tough on Crime and Respecting Property Rights; (January 29, 2013)  Report: Rotten Reporting in the Peach State: Civil Forfeiture in Georgia Leaves the Public in the Dark 
Report: Arizona's Profit Incentive in Civil Forfeiture: Dangerous for law enforcement; Dangerous for Arizonans
Report: Inequitable Justice
Report: Public Opinion and Civil Forfeiture
Report: Forfeiting Justice: How Texas Police and Prosecutors Cash in on Seized Property

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Institute for Justice
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Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
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