- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to expand local governments’ power to file nuisance complaints against homeowners and businesses suspected of illegal activity such human trafficking or gun crimes.

The signing announced Thursday would expand the authority to city, township and village attorneys. State law previously let the attorney general, county prosecutors and residents make a nuisance complaint.

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 illegal firearm use a way to set in motion 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.

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