City Nat. Bank, Lawton, Okl. v. United States

Decision Date29 October 1953
Docket NumberNo. 4624.,4624.
Citation207 F.2d 741
PartiesCITY NAT. BANK, LAWTON, OKL., et al. v. UNITED STATES et al.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit

Lynn Adams, Oklahoma City, Okl. (Luther Bohanon, Oklahoma City, Okl., Lawton Burton, Lawton, Okl., of counsel), for appellants.

B. Andrew Potter, Blackwell, Okl. (Robert E. Shelton, Oklahoma City, Okl., on the briefs), for appellees.

Before PHILLIPS, Chief Judge, and MURRAH and PICKETT, Circuit Judges.

PICKETT, Circuit Judge.

The United States instituted this proceeding for the forfeiture of a 1951 Cadillac Sedan and 26 gallons of whiskey for violation of 18 U.S.C.A. § 1262.1 Central Motor Co., Inc., and the City National Bank of Lawton, Oklahoma intervened and asserted a lien on the automobile for the balance due on the purchase price. The Bank had purchased the lien from the Motor Company with recourse. They sought a remission or mitigation of the forfeiture under 18 U.S.C.A., § 3617(b) (3).2 After trial without a jury, the district court denied the claim for remission or mitigation and ordered the automobile forfeited under the provisions of 18 U.S.C.A. § 3615. 107 F.Supp. 491. The claimants appeal from that order.

It is admitted that the lien against the automobile was acquired on the 21st day of January, 1952 through a note and mortgage given by Lee Roy Walker to secure the balance due on the purchase price. The parties stipulated that the automobile was seized in Oklahoma from the possession of Walker while he was transporting 11 cases of whiskey from Electra, Texas to Lawton, Oklahoma in violation of 18 U.S.C.A. § 1262. It was also stipulated that Walker had a record for liquor law violations extending from January 31, 1935 to July 1, 1944. The evidence is without conflict that the law enforcement officers believed that Walker discontinued his activities in the liquor business after July 1, 1944, and that he did not have a reputation for liquor law violation when the purchase was made. The President of the Motor Company knew that Walker had previously been in the liquor business and that he had a record for violation of the liquor laws. Prior to the sale of the automobile, the President called the deputy sheriff of the county where the parties resided and inquired of him if there had been "any recent complaints of Mr. Walker being in the whiskey business." The deputy advised that he knew of no such complaints during the 44 months that he had been in the sheriff's office. The deputy testified that Walker did have a record and a past reputation as a liquor law violator and that he would have so advised the President of the Motor Company if inquiry had been made. The sheriff of the county and the chief of police of Lawton, Oklahoma testified to the same effect.

The appellants' position on this appeal is that "record and reputation" of the purchaser of an automobile for liquor law violations as contemplated by the statute, must be of such a character as to indicate that the purchaser is likely to violate the liquor laws again. They contend that, "If the record and reputation is so remote at the time of the sale of the automobile, and all the intervening circumstances in the defendant's life repel against the possibility of his resuming law violation, then remission of forfeiture should be granted." We think this contention is untenable.

The statute authorizes remission or mitigation to a claimant only when it is shown that at the time the interest was acquired, the one conveying the interest had neither a reputation nor record for liquor law violations. If an individual about to acquire an interest in an automobile makes inquiry of one of the officers named in the statute as to the record and reputation relating to violation of liquor laws by the person from whom the interest is being acquired, and receives an answer that that person has a record or reputation for such violations, then the court is without power or discretion to remit or mitigate the forfeiture. United States v. One 1950 Lincoln Sedan, 5 Cir., 196 F.2d 639; United States v. One 1939 Model DeSoto Coupe, 10 Cir., 119 F.2d 516; United States v. One 1937 LaSalle Sedan, 10 Cir., 116 F.2d 356; Universal Credit Co. v. United States, 4 Cir., 111 F.2d 764. The forfeiture may be remitted or mitigated in cases where the statutory inquiry was...

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  • General Motors Corporation v. Blevins
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Colorado
    • 7 Agosto 1956
    ...22 Southern S.S. Co. v. N. L. R. B., 1942, 316 U.S. 31, 44, 62 S.Ct. 886, 86 L.Ed. 1246; City National Bank, Lawton, Okl. v. United States, 10 Cir., 1953, 207 F.2d 741, 744; cf. 62 Cases, More or Less, Each Containing Six Jars of Jam v. United States, 1951, 340 U.S. 593, 600, 71 S.Ct. 515, ......
  • United States v. ONE 1955 CADILLAC ELDORADO CONVERT., Civ. No. 1391-D.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Illinois
    • 1 Marzo 1957
    ...United States v. One 1951 Cadillac Sedan, D.C.Okl., 107 F.Supp. 491, affirmed sub nom. City National Bank, Lawton, Okl. v. United States, 10 Cir., 207 F.2d 741, and United States v. One Buick Automobile, D.C.Vt., 21 F.2d Furthermore, the weight of authority is that an illegal search and sei......
  • United States v. Interstate Securities Company, 4927.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • 18 Diciembre 1954
    ...any such record or reputation with any of the law enforcement officers enumerated in the statute. City Nat. Bank, Lawton, Okl. v. United States, 10 Cir., 207 F.2d 741; United States v. One 1949 Chevrolet Coach, 10 Cir., 200 F.2d 120; Aetna Finance Co. v. United States, 10 Cir., 191 F.2d 63;......
  • United States v. Chieftain Pontiac Company, 4949.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • 21 Diciembre 1954
    ...automobile was acquired had neither a "record or reputation" with any of the designated officers. City Nat. Bank, Lawton, Okl. v. United States, 10 Cir., 207 F.2d 741; United States v. One 1949 Chevrolet Coach, 10 Cir., 200 F.2d 120; Aetna Finance Co. v. United States, 10 Cir., 191 F.2d 63;......
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