USA v. 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS ; adopting Report and Recommendations re 19 Report and Recommendations. Signed by Judge Clark Waddoups on 12/1/17. (jmr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
Case No. 2:16-cv-1145-CW-BCW
2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE,
Judge Clark Waddoups
Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells
Defendant in Rem,
The case was assigned to United States District Court Judge Clark Waddoups, who then
referred it to United States Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells (“Judge Wells”) pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). (ECF No. 8.)
On November 7, 2016, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office filed Complaint for Forfeiture in Rem
against a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. (ECF No. 1.) David Miramontes filed a Cross-claim
challenging forfeiture on December 13, 2016. (ECF No. 4.) Following discovery in the case, and
pursuant to motion, on April 13, 2017, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office filed an Amended Complaint.
(ECF No. 10.) On April 17, 2017, Mr. Miramontes filed a Motion for Extension of Time to
respond, which the court granted. See ECF Nos. 13 and 14, respectively. Instead of filing a
response to the Amended Complaint, Mr. Miramontes filed a document entitled “Request to
Deny Amended Complaint, or Notice Opposing Defendant’s Motion for Leave to Amend
Complaint.” (ECF No. 15.) On August 8, 2017, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office filed a Motion to
Strike Claim and Cross Claim of David Miramontes. (ECF No. 16.) The basis for the motion
was that despite the court’s extension, Mr. Miramontes had failed to answer the Amended
Complaint, and the deadline to do so had passed.
In a civil forfeiture matter, a claimant must file both a claim and an answer. See
Supplemental Rules, Rule G(5)(a) and 5(b). Where a claimant fails to file an answer he lacks
standing and the court should strike his claim. See U.S. v. All Assets Held at Bank Julius Baer &
Co., Ltd. 664 F. Supp.2d 97, 101-04 (D.D.C 2009) (granting Rule G(8)(c) motion to strike for
failure to file an answer); United States v. $12,126.00 in U.S. Currency, 2009 WL 2156960, 337
Fed. Appx. 818, 820 (11th Cir. 2009) (unpublished) (the Government may move under Rule
G(8)(c) to strike a claim for failure to comply with Rule G(5) or for lack of standing under Rule
Here, on September 5, 2017, Judge Wells issued an Order clarifying the record and
allowing Mr. Miramontes an additional 30 days to respond to the Amended Complaint, but the
Order was returned as undeliverable. (ECF No. 17.) Using the Bureau of Prisons’ Inmate
Locator, the Clerk’s Office located Mr. Miramontes and forwarded him the Court’s September
5th Order. (ECF No. 19.) As of November 13, 2017, Mr. Miramontes still had not answered the
Amended Complaint. Accordingly, on November 14, 2017, Judge Wells issued a Report and
Recommendation recommending that the Motion to Strike the Claim and Cross Claim be
granted. Mr. Miramontes did not file an objection to the recommendation and the time for doing
so has passed.
Having reviewed the Report and Recommendation, the court agrees that Mr. Miramontes
failed to respond to the Amended Complaint and that the Government’s request to strike the
claim and cross claim was proper. Accordingly, the court APPROVES AND ADOPTS Judge
Well’s Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 19) in its entirety.
SO ORDERED this 1st day of December, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
United States District Judge
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