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For 8 Years, This Couple Has Been Fighting The Government To Get Back Their Seized Property

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For eight years, Michiganders Gerald and Royetta Ostipow have been fighting the seizure and forfeiture of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of their property.

Last month they prevailed when a judge ordered the return of virtually everything that had been taken from them. But the Ostipows’ victory was short-lived, for they soon discovered that the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office had sold their property years ago, while their forfeiture case was still being actively litigated.



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Michigan is really bad about asset forfeiture.  One of the worst in the nation, and it got worse under Snyder.  It used to be that all proceeds had to go to the general fund, and some may trickle back, but Snyder made it so easy, the local cops who seize the property get to keep it.  And your property is guilty until proven innocent.  So, they can take your house, sell it, and even if you prove they were wrong, little chance you will get back more than they got for it at auction.


this is 100% over reach of power, once it is sold, you won't get it back.  And it is completely legal for them to sell it while it is in litigation.  They found it too troublesome to have to hold onto a persons home while it was being proven innocent.  The property taxes, repairs, etc required to return it in the same condition was too costly.


Just remember, cops now take more assets than burglars do...  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/


it's over $5 BILLION dollars a year taken under asset forfeiture.  And you hope that it is mostly cartels, etc that they are taking from.  But honestly it isn't.  It's normal people losing a gun here, a car there, a house once in a while, we are the ones taking the burden.  It's the Ostipows who lost their homes that pay this.  All so cops can get better pensions and health insurance than the rest of us.  And it is just getting worse.


Sorry, asset forfeiture is a hot button for me... It should be reserved for a guilty verdict

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