Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

State’s forfeiture laws updated

Published (6/1/2010)
By Mike Cook
Share on: 

A few rogue cops led the state to make a change to its forfeiture laws.

The law comes in the wake of the Metro Gang Strike Force problems, when issues raised in a pair of 2009 reports indicated that officers illegally took some property from people with no gang connections, but who were searched and interrogated anyway; poor recordkeeping; and officers or their family members were permitted to purchase items from the evidence room at low prices.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul), the law requires the Board of Peace Officer Standards & Training and Minnesota County Attorneys Association to develop policies for best practices in forfeiture law to promote uniform application across the state. A copy of the policies is due the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2010.

By March 1, 2011, “the chief law enforcement office of every state and local law enforcement agency and every prosecution office in the state shall adopt and implement a written policy on forfeiture that is identical or substantially similar to the model policies developed.”

This section is effective July 1, 2010.

Other provisions in the law, each effective Aug. 1, 2010, include:

• an officer must give a forfeiture receipt when seizing property;

• the implementation of timelines for forfeiture notice and hearings;

• county attorneys can remit or mitigate the forfeiture if “the forfeiture was incurred without willful negligence or without any intention on the part of the petitioner to violate the law,” or there are extenuating circumstances;

• a cap of $50,000 is placed on the value of property that can be administratively forfeited;

• a contested controlled substance administrative forfeiture hearing must be held within 180 days of the claimant’s filing of the demand, unless a criminal proceeding is possible;

• law enforcement agencies cannot sell forfeited property to its employees or their family members; and

• before seized property can be forfeited administratively, a county attorney will need to review the file and ensure that everything has been done legally.

HF2610/ SF2634*/CH391

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

Turn your key and breathe
House approves ignition interlock bill that would let DWI offenders drive sooner
(view full story) Published 4/29/2010

Minnesota Index: Crime and punishment
Figures and statistics on crime in Minnesota.
(view full story) Published 3/18/2010

Red River Basin: ‘Here we go again’
Flood-prone communities look to keep their heads above water
(view full story) Published 3/4/2010

At Issue: Courts and corrections backing
Public safety finance bill awaits gubernatorial action
(view full story) Published 5/15/2009

At Issue: Corrections, courts funding concerns
Omnibus public safety finance bill gets mixed reaction from House
(view full story) Published 5/1/2009

At Issue: Sex offenders, courts and corrections
Omnibus public safety policy bill headed to conference committee
(view full story) Published 4/24/2009

At Issue: Helping to find missing adults
House vote expected soon on ‘Brandon’s Law’
(view full story) Published 4/17/2009

Minnesota Index: Keeping Minnesotans safe
Figures and statistics on the state patrol and fire marshals in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/20/2009

Minnesota Index: See you in court
Figures and statistics on Minnesota's court system
(view full story) Published 2/27/2009

Minnesota Index: 'The Graybar Hotel'
Figures and statistics on Minnesota's prison population
(view full story) Published 1/16/2009