589 F.Supp. 477 (N.D.Ga. 1984), Civ .A. C84-270, United States v. One 1979 Oldsmobile-Cutlass Supreme, Vin: 3M47P9M429787

Docket Nº:Civ .A. C84-270
Citation:589 F.Supp. 477
Party Name:United States v. One 1979 Oldsmobile-Cutlass Supreme, Vin: 3M47P9M429787
Case Date:June 19, 1984
Court:United States District Courts, 11th Circuit, Northern District of Georgia

Page 477

589 F.Supp. 477 (N.D.Ga. 1984)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,



Sherrie L. Christian, Claimant.

Civ. A. No. C84-270A.

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division.

June 19, 1984

Barbara V. Tinsley, Asst. U.S. Atty., Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiff.

Daniel L. Dean, Stokes & Dean, Atlanta, Ga., for defendant.


FORRESTER, District Judge.

This forfeiture action is before the court on plaintiff's motion to strike the answer and counterclaim of the claimant. Plaintiff's motion is based upon claimant's failure to comply with the provisions of Rule C(6), Supplemental Rules of Certain Admiralty and Maritime claims, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that a claimant must

Page 478

file his claim within 10 days after process has been executed, or within such additional time as may be allowed by the court, and shall serve his answer within 20 days after the filing of the claim. The claim shall be verified on oath or solemn affirmation, and shall state the interest in the property by virtue of which the claimant demands its restitution and the right to defend the action.

Plaintiff argues that at the time claimant filed her answer to the complaint of the United States against the defendant automobile, she had not filed in the district court her claim to the property. It is well established that the filing of such claim is an essential element of standing to contest a forfeiture. See United States v. $364,960, 661 F.2d 319 (5th Cir.1981); United States of America v. One 1967 Mooney M20-F Aircraft, FAA No. N9588M, Serial No. 670165, et al., No. C82-2268, (N.D.Ga. Sept. 30, 1983) (Forrester, J.). However, plaintiff has argued that she received a letter from the United States Customs Service instructing her to return a completed claim form to that office. Plaintiff avers that she completed the claim form and returned it to the Customs Service on August 30, 1983. She argues that she did not file an additional claim to the automobile before answering plaintiff's complaint on February 28, 1984 because she had previously filed such a claim with the Customs Service.

The court finds this case controlled by United States v. One 1967 Mooney M20-F Aircraft, FAA No. N9588M, Serial No. 670165, et al., supra. In that case the court found that the claimant had...

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