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Articles Tagged with Michigan

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pexels-photo-534204-300x167The Institute of Justice has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Wayne County, Michigan, alleging that county police seize vehicles from residents in Detroit simply because they have driven in or out of high-crime areas.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Melisa Ingram of Detroit. Police seized her vehicle twice after accusing her of committing crimes without ever formally charging her. Ingram had to pay thousands of dollars to get her vehicle back to prevent the county prosecutor from keeping it under civil asset forfeiture laws.

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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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