Over the past three years, Melisa Ingram, a 50-year-old Detroit resident, has had her 2017 Ford Fusion seized twice by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. The officers claimed that Ingram’s ex-boyfriend, who had her car at the time of the seizures, was involved in illegal activity.
Under Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture law, the police could seize and sell the car if they suspected it was involved in a crime—even though Ingram hadn’t been arrested for, let alone convicted of, anything at all.
“They told me they observed him doing something with a prostitute and I explained to them that it wasn’t me driving the car,” Ingram told Stateline. “All I wanted was my car because I had no way to get home from work. It was just a case of bad luck.”
Ingram, a supervisor at Blue Cross Blue Shield, paid more than $1,300, including towing and fees, to get her car back in January 2019, according to The Detroit News. After the second incident, in…