Bramble v. Kleindienst, Civ. A. No. C-4549.

CourtU.S. District Court — District of Colorado
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation357 F. Supp. 1025
PartiesArthur T. BRAMBLE, Plaintiff, v. Richard KLEINDIENST, Attorney General of the United States of America, and John E. Ingersoll, Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, an Agency of the Department of Justice of the United States of America, Defendants.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. C-4549.
Decision Date30 March 1973

357 F. Supp. 1025

Arthur T. BRAMBLE, Plaintiff,
v.
Richard KLEINDIENST, Attorney General of the United States of America, and John E. Ingersoll, Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, an Agency of the Department of Justice of the United States of America, Defendants.

Civ. A. No. C-4549.

United States District Court, D. Colorado.

March 30, 1973.


357 F. Supp. 1026

Blewitt, Bisbee & Geil by John H. Bisbee, Boulder, Colo., for plaintiff.

James L. Treece, U. S. Atty., and Pepe J. Mendez, Sp. Asst. U. S. Atty., Denver, Colo., for defendants.

Before DOYLE, Circuit Judge, and WINNER and FINESILVER, District Judges.

PER CURIAM.

In his complaint plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that the statutory scheme here involved1, which authorizes summary seizure of property used in violation of the law and under which his automobile was seized, is unconstitutional on its face. He further seeks injunctive relief. The sole issue which the plaintiff argued at the trial was the constitutionality of the statute on its face.

On the motion of plaintiff, a three-judge court was convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284. A hearing has been held, and the three-judge panel is of the opinion that the federal question here posed as a basis for the three-judge court is insubstantial; that the case is not properly cognizable by a three-judge court; and that the three-judge panel should be dissolved and the matter referred to Judge Winner, the District Judge to whom the case was first assigned for disposition.

On April 6, 1972, the plaintiff was arrested by officers of the State of Colorado

357 F. Supp. 1027
and the City of Boulder on a charge of possessing for sale a narcotic drug, marijuana. On the date of his arrest, federal agents of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs seized plaintiff's 1969 Volkswagen automobile, Motor Number 45760000, Serial Number XXXXXXXXX, on the grounds that the automobile had been used in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 881.2 However, plaintiff was not prosecuted. The District Attorney of the Twentieth Judicial District of the State of Colorado deferred the plaintiff's prosecution for a period of one year running to August 17, 1973. The condition is that if the plaintiff successfully completes the one year probationary period, the state's charges will be dismissed

Under 19 U.S.C. § 1618, the plaintiff pursued a statutory remedy in an attempt to regain possession of his automobile. He petitioned the Attorney General of the United States through his appointed agent, the Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, for remission and mitigation of the forfeiture perfected pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(b)(4). This petition was denied as was a subsequent petition for reconsideration.

The plaintiff was relegated to his petition for remission and mitigation as a result of his bypass of other statutory remedies. 19 U.S.C. § 1607 authorizes the customs officer to initiate an administrative procedure to summarily forfeit a vehicle the value of which is less than $2,500. Plaintiff's statutory remedy (which he waived) allowing him to contest the forfeiture is set forth in 19 U.S.C. § 1608:

Any person claiming such . . . vehicle . . . may at any time within twenty days from the date of the first publication of the notice of seizure file with the appropriate customs officer a claim stating his interest therein.
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3 practice notes
  • Bramble v. Kleindienst, No. C-4549.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • April 2, 1973
    ...§ 1346(a)(2). A three-judge court was convened, a hearing held and the panel dissolved for want of a substantial federal question, 357 F.Supp. 1025. The case is now ready for the disposition of the various pending Considering this case in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, we accept......
  • Bramble v. Richardson, No. 73-1500.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • June 17, 1974
    ...a substantial federal question. It was ordered that the case be presented to a single district judge. Bramble v. Kleindienst, D.C.Colo., 357 F.Supp. 1025. The case was subsequently submitted to a single district judge as an action for declaratory judgment, temporary injunction, permanent in......
  • Doles v. State, No. S-07-0002.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 31, 2007
    ...transporting sugar intended for use in unlawful manufacture of distilled spirits barred forfeiture proceedings); Bramble v. Kleindienst, 357 F.Supp. 1025, 1028 (D.Colo.1973) (deferred prosecution arguably the equivalent of an acquittal in legal effect, therefore barring subsequent forfeitur......
3 cases
  • Bramble v. Kleindienst, No. C-4549.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • April 2, 1973
    ...§ 1346(a)(2). A three-judge court was convened, a hearing held and the panel dissolved for want of a substantial federal question, 357 F.Supp. 1025. The case is now ready for the disposition of the various pending Considering this case in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, we accept......
  • Bramble v. Richardson, No. 73-1500.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • June 17, 1974
    ...a substantial federal question. It was ordered that the case be presented to a single district judge. Bramble v. Kleindienst, D.C.Colo., 357 F.Supp. 1025. The case was subsequently submitted to a single district judge as an action for declaratory judgment, temporary injunction, permanent in......
  • Doles v. State, No. S-07-0002.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 31, 2007
    ...transporting sugar intended for use in unlawful manufacture of distilled spirits barred forfeiture proceedings); Bramble v. Kleindienst, 357 F.Supp. 1025, 1028 (D.Colo.1973) (deferred prosecution arguably the equivalent of an acquittal in legal effect, therefore barring subsequent forfeitur......

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