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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2840

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 04/26/2019 03:50pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to public safety; creating the Forfeiture Reform Task Force; appropriating
money.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. new text beginFORFEITURE REFORM TASK FORCE.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin A task force on forfeiture reform is established to develop
a comprehensive plan to reform procedures relating to the seizure and forfeiture of property
associated with criminal activity in Minnesota, including proposals for model policies and
legislative action. Proposed legislation and model policies must ensure that no forfeiture
take place without a criminal conviction; all owners have access to a meaningful hearing
within a reasonable time after property is seized; the value of forfeited property is not
excessive in relation to the underlying criminal offense; proceeds from forfeiture proceedings
do not directly fund the entity that seized the property or represented the government agency
in forfeiture proceedings; local law enforcement agencies are prohibited from circumventing
state laws; and local law enforcement agencies have access to sufficient sources of funding
that are not connected to forfeiture.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Membership. new text end

new text begin (a) The task force consists of the following members:
new text end

new text begin (1) the commissioner of public safety or a designee;
new text end

new text begin (2) one chief of police appointed by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association;
new text end

new text begin (3) one sheriff appointed by the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association;
new text end

new text begin (4) two rank and file peace officers, at least one of whom must serve a jurisdiction outside
the seven-county metropolitan area, appointed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers
Association;
new text end

new text begin (5) one conservation officer appointed by the commissioner of natural resources;
new text end

new text begin (6) the superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or a designee;
new text end

new text begin (7) the state public defender or a designee;
new text end

new text begin (8) one defense attorney appointed by the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers;
new text end

new text begin (9) one county attorney appointed by the Minnesota County Attorneys Association;
new text end

new text begin (10) one district court judge appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court;
new text end

new text begin (11) one attorney representing the ACLU of Minnesota, appointed by its executive
director;
new text end

new text begin (12) one attorney with a nonprofit public interest law firm focusing on property rights,
free speech, educational choice, and economic liberty; and
new text end

new text begin (13) two persons who had property seized pursuant to Minnesota's forfeiture laws.
new text end

new text begin (b) Unless otherwise specified, members shall be appointed by the commissioner of
public safety. Appointments must be made no later than July 30, 2019.
new text end

new text begin (c) Members are eligible for compensation and expense reimbursement consistent with
Minnesota Statutes, section 15.059, subdivision 3.
new text end

new text begin (d) Members of the task force serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority or until
the task force expires. Vacancies shall be filled by the appointing authority consistent with
the qualifications of the vacating member required by this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Officers; meetings. new text end

new text begin (a) The task force shall elect a chair and vice-chair and
may elect other officers as necessary.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner of public safety shall convene the first meeting of the task force
no later than August 1, 2019, and shall provide meeting space and administrative assistance
as necessary for the task force to conduct its work.
new text end

new text begin (c) The task force shall meet at least monthly, or upon the call of its chair. The task force
shall meet sufficiently enough to accomplish the tasks identified in this section. Meetings
of the task force are subject to Minnesota Statutes, chapter 13D.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Duties. new text end

new text begin (a) The duties of the task force shall, at a minimum, include:
new text end

new text begin (1) reviewing current state laws relating to the forfeiture of property in connection with
criminal activity;
new text end

new text begin (2) reviewing state and federal court decisions relating to forfeiture of property in
connection with criminal activity;
new text end

new text begin (3) reviewing the financial impact of forfeiture on state and local law enforcement
agencies;
new text end

new text begin (4) reviewing laws and policies adopted and proposed in other jurisdictions relating to
forfeiture of property in connection with criminal activity; and
new text end

new text begin (5) developing proposed model policies and legislation which are consistent with the
following goals:
new text end

new text begin (i) prohibiting forfeiture from taking place without a criminal conviction;
new text end

new text begin (ii) ensuring that all owners have access to a meaningful hearing within a reasonable
time after property is seized;
new text end

new text begin (iii) ensuring the value of forfeited property is not excessive in relation to the underlying
criminal offense;
new text end

new text begin (iv) preventing proceeds from forfeiture from directly funding the entity that seized the
property or represented the government agency in forfeiture proceedings;
new text end

new text begin (v) preventing local law enforcement agencies from circumventing state laws by pursuing
forfeiture under other laws that provide fewer protections than Minnesota law; and
new text end

new text begin (vi) ensuring that local law enforcement agencies have access to sufficient sources of
funding that are not connected to forfeiture.
new text end

new text begin (b) At its discretion, the task force may examine other related issues consistent with this
section as necessary.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Report. new text end

new text begin On or before February 15, 2020, the task force shall report to the chairs
and ranking minority members of the legislative committees and divisions with jurisdiction
over public safety finance and policy on the work of the task force. The report shall include
proposed model policies and legislation.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Expiration. new text end

new text begin This task force expires upon submission of the report required
under subdivision 5.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2019.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginFORFEITURE REFORM TASK FORCE; APPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $218,000 in fiscal year 2020 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner
of public safety to implement the Forfeiture Reform Task Force.
new text end