The Office of the Attorney General of North Dakota filed a report detailing the properties seized through civil asset forfeitures from August 2019 to June 2020. The report was made in compliance with the state House Bill 1480, which amended the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws in 2019. The bill was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives, with officials acknowledging that a change in North Dakota’s state forfeiture laws is in need.
Prior to HB 1480, the Institute for Justice rated North Dakota an F rating in their “Policing for Profit” survey. The poor rating was due to the state’s controversial asset forfeiture laws. The minimum standard for seizing an individual’s property in the state was simply probable cause, with no charges required. Property owners also had the burden to prove their innocence in order to take back their forfeited assets. Law enforcement agencies were not required to file reports of asset seizure at all.