Michigan Omnibus Forfeiture Act

Michigan's Omnibus Forfeiture Act specifically targets certain offenses and requires a conviction before forfeiture. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office cautions prosecutors to frequently discuss ongoing criminal cases with the forfeiture attorneys because time deadlines apply to the prosecutor's office under the Omnibus Forfeiture Act. Insidiously, they also warn prosecutors that:

When discussing potential disposition of criminal case w/ APA docket attorney or Diversion Unit, be aware of potential undermining of forfeiture case by any disposition that does not result in a conviction of a statutory enumerated crime.

--Walter H. Bentley III
Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

In other words, the prosecutor in charge of the criminal case should keep in mind that the Wayne County Asset Forfeiture Unit wants to get paid, so assistant prosecutors are told to keep the money in mind.  

The Michigan Omnibus Forfeiture statute aims to forfeit the 1) instrumentality of an offense and 2) proceeds of the offense such as property (both personal property and real property such as homes and land) that has been obtained through proceeds of the crime. NOTE: Prosecutors prefer to use the expedited pre-conviction asset forfeiture measures and procedures set forth in other forfeiture statutes, but those other forfeiture statutes only target drugs, prostitution, and nuisance abatement. (Drunk driving vehicle seizures, which fall under MCL 257.625n, are unlawfully treated by police and prosecutors as if the drunk driving statute permits pre-adjudication forfeiture.)

Qualifying Offenses under the Michigan Omnibus Forfeiture Act:

Accepting Bribe – Public Official
Arson – Insured Property
B & E Building
Bank Robbery
Bribery – Public Official (MCL 750.117 and 750.121)
Burglary w/ explosives
Child Sexually Abusive Activity
Computer Internet Crimes
False Pretenses
Fighting Animals
Financial Transaction Device – Forgery
Financial Transaction Device – Use or Sale
Larceny from a Person
Larceny in a Building
Possession Dangerous Weapon
Receiving or Concealing Stolen Property
Robbery Armed
Robbery Unarmed
Uttering & Publishing

The Michigan Omnibus Forfeiture Act:

Section 600.4701     Definitions.

Section 600.4702     Property subject to seizure and forfeiture; exception; encumbrances; substituted proceeds of crime.

Section 600.4703     Order of seizure; seizure without process; order authorizing filing of lien notice; return of property to victim; property in custody of seizing agency; powers of seizing agency; disposition of seized money; title to property subject to forfeiture.

Section 600.4703a   Seizure of computer or computer information storage device; copy provided to court; retention as confidential record; “computer” and “computer storage device” defined.

Section 600.4704     Notice generally.

Section 600.4705     Motion to return property or discharge lien; grounds; hearing; burden of proof; order; filing lien against vehicle and returning vehicle to owner; admissibility of testimony in criminal prosecution.

Section 600.4706     Return of personal property to owner; discharge of lien against real property or motor vehicle; time limitation.

Section 600.4706a    Notice that property returned or lien discharged.

Section 600.4707     Notice of seizure of property or filing of lien and intent to begin forfeiture and disposal proceedings; time limitation; filing claim; civil action for forfeiture; burden of proof.

Section 600.4708     Sale of property; disposition of proceeds or other things of value; priority; appointment, compensation, and authority of receiver.

Section 600.4709     Jurisdiction.