GOP 14th District Supports End to Asset Forfeiture
Members Urge Legislature to End “In Rem” Civil Asset Forfeitures
Royal Oak, MI, June 22, 2015: Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard spoke “for” the notion of civil asset forfeiture and Jarrett Skorup, policy analyst and content manager for Michigan Capitol Confidential at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Midland, MI) spoke “against” the idea. After hearing from these experts, the 14 th District Republican Executive Committee overwhelming voted to support a resolution that would effectively end Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws.
“This is a serious issue for the citizens of Michigan and our deliberations treated the topic as such. We had the best experts available to educate both the Executive Committee and our community about the issue of civil asset forfeitures.” said Janine Kateff, 14 th District Chairwoman. The resolution was voted on after the expert presentations and after an informed debate.
“Perhaps the biggest part in passing this civil asset forfeiture resolution and what grabs our members the most is the notion that ‘you are innocent until proven guilty’ in a court. As things stand now, you are treated as ‘guilty’, need to hire an attorney and pay a bond merely to get your own assets back, potentially without ever being charged with any crime” added Kateff.
In part the resolution passed says:
“That the 14 th Congressional District Republican Committee urges…lawmakers to revoke the “In Rem” civil asset forfeiture laws………..to fully restore the natural and constitutional rights of every resident…whose….private property (is) entitled to be treated as innocent until proven guilty”.
The resolution goes on to say that “personal property seized as evidence for investigation …may not be forfeited, re-titled or disposed of until the defendant is proven guilty in a court of law” and proposes a 45 day time limit to resolve such civil asset seizures before any seized assets must be returned.
“Our resolution notes that the Michigan Legislature has recently passed bills which would partially reform the civil asset forfeiture process. However, the 14 th Executive Committee resolution calls for even more action to end the process of seizing assets without due process”, concluded Kateff.
About Michigan's 14th Congressional District Republican Committee: The Committee fosters, promotes and supports Republican clubs, associations, organizations and candidates that support the Republican Platform. Republicans, clubs and businesses are encouraged and welcome to attend our meetings and events to network, grow the Party and recruit great candidates. The District is a narrowly configured geography that includes Pontiac in the north, other portions of Oakland County, portions of Detroit in the south and on to the Grosse Pointes in the east. Cities in the 14th include all or portions of: the Grosse Pointes, Detroit, Hamtramck, Harper Woods, Southfield, Royal Oak, Oak Park, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor, Lathrup Village, Orchard Lake and Pontiac. For more information go to www.14cd.com.