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Articles Tagged with North Dakota

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pexels-sora-shimazaki-5668772-300x192North Dakota recently scored an F for its civil asset forfeiture laws, according to the libertarian-leaning nonprofit Institute for Justice’s “Policing for Profit” survey. And it looks like lawmakers noticed.

Seizing assets using forfeiture is a legal prerogative of law enforcement agencies that was rationalized by the war on drugs. It allows authorities to take property if they believe it was used for a crime.

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silverado-2629366_1920-300x200Even though he was acquitted of the criminal charge leveled against him, Aaron Dorn still lost his truck to a process known as civil asset forfeiture. Inspired by the man’s case, a North Dakota state representative is introducing a bill to reform civil forfeiture in the state.

Last summer, I reported on the man’s situation. In the fall of 2016, he had traveled from his home in New York state to join the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The man was arrested by a police officer who claimed he had attempted to ram the officer’s police car with his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.
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On Thanksgiving Day, 2016, a man was arrested by state troopers in North Dakota. Aaron Dorn, who is from upstate New York, was in North Dakota protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. He was arrested in Mandan, to the west of state capital Bismarck. The officer who arrested him said the man had swerved his Chevrolet Silverado in order to ram his vehicle into traffic on Main Street.

The man was charged with reckless endangerment, and his truck was seized using a process known as civil asset forfeiture. This is a procedure used by law enforcement to take property or cash even if the owner has not been convicted of a crime. In June this year, the man was acquitted of all criminal charges related to his arrest. Despite this, he has been unable to get his truck back. Since the vehicle was seized in a civil process and not as part of the criminal case, it is regarded as a separate matter legally.
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