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Articles Tagged with Michigan

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seedling-1062908_1920-300x200In 2013, Laurie Snyder was stunned when police raided her home. Living in a small town a little way north of Grand Rapids, MI, it was the last thing she was expecting to happen. Back then, Snyder was a caregiver who used medical marijuana—something which had been legal in Michigan since 2008. She grew it for herself as well as three others.

Never having been in trouble with the police before, Snyder was shocked. “I just was blown away that the police—it was like they came in and robbed me and said, ‘Have a great day!’ and left, and I was like—what just happened?”
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michigan-1191024_1920-300x200Yesterday, the Michigan Senate passed a bill which would require a criminal conviction before law enforcement can permanently take an individual’s assets using civil asset forfeiture.

This is the latest attempt by the legislature to reform civil asset forfeiture laws in the state. Last year, a similar bill passed the House but was never voted on in the Senate. Another bill introduced last year was intended to ensure police officers had adequate training when it came to seizing property. A third bill would have put local forfeiture processes under the domain of state law, making asset forfeiture consistent across the state.
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close-up-doctor-health-42273-300x200A year after a Michigan doctor was acquitted of criminally overprescribing medication, a judge has ordered that the $6.2 million in assets seized during the investigation be returned to him.

Dr. Joseph Edwin Oesterling of Saginaw in Central Michigan had been accused of running a “pill mill,” a term used by investigators to describe a doctor who inappropriately gives out medication, often for non-medical reasons.
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On July 2, 2015, police officers pulled Stephen Nichols over in Lincoln Park near Detroit, Michigan. When they discovered Stephen didn’t have valid insurance for his 1998 Toyota Avalon, they seized it and impounded it in a lot in nearby Brownstown Township.

In cases where property is seized, the law is clear: cases must be brought to court promptly. However, it is over three years since his car was taken, and Stephen still hasn’t had his day in court.
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On July 27, 2016, Ryan Chappell was driving his father’s Jeep back home on the west side of Detroit, Michigan. On his way, he stopped off at a medical marijuana dispensary. “I had just got off work,” said Ryan, “and stopped at the store sharing the parking lot with the dispensary. Then I stopped in the dispensary. Went in and walked right back out. I asked them a quick question.”

Police pulled Ryan over after he left the parking lot. They seized the 1996 Grand Cherokee Ryan had been driving. “They didn’t even search me. They didn’t give me a reason why they were towing my car,” said Ryan. Frustrated by events, Ryan asked an officer how he would be able to go to work without the vehicle. The police response was “figure it out.”
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