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Minnesota high court rules against the seizure of drug homes

Associated Press

OLIVIA, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled against Renville and Yellow Medicine counties in a housing dispute with two convicted drug dealers.

The state’s high court affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that the state Constitution prohibits the counties from seizing the drug dealers’ homes that are considered homesteads.

State law makes "real property used in the unlawful manufacturing of controlled substances subject to forfeiture." But the unanimous decision by the state Supreme Court on Thursday points to a part of the state Constitution that exempts homestead property from forfeiture.

Renville County Attorney David Torgelson says it would take an amendment to the state constitution to change Minnesota’s homestead protection to allow authorities to seize drug homes.

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Torgelson says he expects the decision will have an impact statewide.

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