Minnesota's Supreme Court has ruled criminal forfeiture laws don't apply to homestead property.
The court said the state's Constitution bars authorities from seizing homestead property based on a person's criminal acts.
The ruling is based on two felony drug cases: one man pleaded guilty to possessing 23 pounds of marijuana in Renville county and the other pleaded guilty to selling meth in Yellow Medicine county.
Authorities tried to seize their homes and land in accordance with drug asset forfeiture laws, but the men appealed.
A unanimous Supreme Court said Minnesota's constitution bars authorities from seizing an individual's property for any debt or liability.
The justices based their reasoning on other states and a Minnesota opinion from 1932. That opinion said the homestead law was intended to help families stay in their homes, and it shouldn't be restricted only to so-called right-thinking or right-acting persons.