Michigan House votes to expand nuisance abatement
Lansing — The Michigan House has voted to expand local governments’ power to file nuisance complaints against homeowners and businesses suspected of illegal activity such as gambling and human trafficking.
State law lets the attorney general, county prosecutors and residents make a nuisance complaint. A bill approved 77-33 Wednesday and headed to the Senate would expand the authority to city, township and village attorneys.
Local governments use nuisance abatement laws to improve the quality of neighborhoods by threatening to padlock buildings and vehicles, seize the contents and sell them at auction.
Supporters say making human trafficking and gun violence a trigger for nuisance complaints would get trafficking victims some money and make neighborhoods safer.
Critics oppose expanding the circumstances for seizing private property regardless of whether owners are convicted of a crime.