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North Dakota Senate passes civil asset forfeiture bill

April 1, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Senate has passed a bill that would require a criminal conviction before authorities can seize cash or valuables they believe were ill-gotten.

The civil asset forfeiture bill passed the Senate 46-1 on Monday with some amendments. The House endorsed the measure in February.

The bill also seeks to establish a reporting system on seized and forfeited property.

The bill will return to the House for approval of the Senate changes before heading to Gov. Doug Burgum.

Representatives approved the measure the same day the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines applies to the states. That’s an outcome that could help efforts to rein in police seizure of property from criminal suspects.

Senators killed a similar bill in 2017.