United States of America v. Currency
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 7/14/14. (SAC )
2014 Jul-14 PM 02:37
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
$16,990.00 IN UNITED STATES
CIVIL ACTION NO.
The United States brings this action in rem for forfeiture of
the subject property, which is money alleged to have been furnished
in exchange for a controlled substance in violation of federal law.
A hearing was held on this matter today, July 14, 2014, at 10:30
a.m., at which the government requested by oral motion an entry of
The government’s grounds for default are well-taken.
government served notice of this action on four potential claimants
on May 21, 2014.
The potential claimants were required to assert
their interests in the subject property by verified claim no later
than June 25, 2014.
None did so. One potential claimant, Valencia
Complaint for Forfeiture and Counterclaim for Return of Funds” on
July 7, 2014.
To the extent this paper is intended to assert an
interest in the confiscated property, it suffers fatal procedural
defects. It was submitted thirteen days past the June 25 deadline,
and was not verified.
Despite these procedural defects, the court scheduled today’s
hearing to give claimant Baltazar-Sanchez an opportunity to clarify
A notice of the was served electronically on July 7,
2014, on Baltazar-Sanchez’s counsel.
Neither counsel nor anyone
else appeared at the hearing on Baltazar-Sanchez’s behalf.
a grim irony that, as explained to this court’s courtroom deputy by
telephone, counsel was out of town to attend a seminar on criminal
This court is deeply uneasy in granting a default judgment
that results, in short, in the government taking a considerable
amount of money from its citizens without ever making an arrest or
Nevertheless, because Baltazar-Sanchez failed properly to assert a
claim to the property, and because he declined to defend his
government’s motion must be granted.
Judgment by default will
therefore be entered in the government's favor by separate order.
DONE this 14 day of July, 2014.
WILLIAM M. ACKER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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