Ibarra v. U.S., No. 96-1458

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore WILKINSON, Chief Judge, MICHAEL; HILTON
Citation120 F.3d 472
PartiesMaria Jimena IBARRA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America; Unknown Government Officers, Defendants-Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 96-1458
Decision Date30 July 1997

Page 472

120 F.3d 472
Maria Jimena IBARRA, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES of America; Unknown Government Officers,
Defendants-Appellees.
No. 96-1458.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Argued Jan. 28, 1997.
Decided July 30, 1997.

ARGUED: Fred Parker Bingham, II, Miami Beach, FL, for Appellant. Richard Charles Kay, Assistant United States Attorney, Baltimore, MD, for Appellees. ON BRIEF: Peter S. Herrick, Miami, FL, for Appellant. Lynne A. Battaglia, United

Page 473

States Attorney, Baltimore, MD, for Appellees.

Before WILKINSON, Chief Judge, MICHAEL, Circuit Judge, and HILTON, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, sitting by designation.

Affirmed by published opinion. Judge HILTON wrote the opinion, in which Chief Judge WILKINSON and Judge MICHAEL joined.

OPINION

HILTON, District Judge:

This case comes before the Court on plaintiff-appellant's appeal of the district court's order dismissing her case for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and lack of subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

I.

On June 7, 1994 plaintiff-appellant Maria Jimena Ibarra ("Ibarra") was stopped by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") in Baltimore-Washington Airport while en route to Miami. The agents were accompanied by a drug-sniffing dog which detected trace amounts of narcotics on the $153,279.00 in currency that Ibarra was carrying. After interrogating her through the use of a Spanish language interpreter, the agents seized the currency on the basis that it was used in or acquired as the result of a drug-related offense. No drugs or drug paraphernalia were discovered on Ibarra and she was never charged with a crime in connection with her possession of the currency.

An administrative forfeiture action 1 was initiated by the DEA on June 27, 1994. Ibarra was served with a copy of the notice of the seizure and forfeiture in conformity with 19 U.S.C.A. § 1607(a) 2 and 21 C.F.R. § 1316.75 on July 2, 1994. The notice included information regarding how and when to file a claim to contest the forfeiture and how and when to file a petition to request remission or mitigation of the forfeiture. After receiving the notice, Ibarra sent several letters to the DEA concerning the forfeiture. She filed a "petition for relief" with the DEA on October 28, 1994. Her petition included a claim of ownership and declaration in support of her request to proceed in forma pauperis. 3 The DEA denied the petition on March 22, 1995. Ibarra requested reconsideration of the denial on May 4, 1995. On May 24, 1995 the DEA acknowledged receipt of the petition for reconsideration and advised that it may take up to 120 days to review the petition. As of the date of oral argument, Ibarra's request for reconsideration was still pending before the DEA.

While she was pursuing an administrative claim with the DEA, Ibarra filed a motion for return of seized property pursuant to Rule 41(e), Fed.R.Crim.P., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The court denied her motion on March 13, 1995. On February 20, 1996, Ibarra commenced this action in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland seeking the return of her property. Her complaint alleged that the DEA lacked probable cause for the seizure and forfeiture; the DEA unlawfully failed to refer her case to the United States Attorney for the institution of judicial forfeiture proceedings; the DEA violated her due process rights by unconstitutionally delaying the return of her property; and the DEA violated her due process rights by providing her an English language notice of the seizure. The Government responded by moving to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, the Government argued that Ibarra failed to exhaust the administrative remedies for recovering her seized property. On April 13, 1996, the district court granted the Government's motion to dismiss

Page 474

for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and also found that plaintiff had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

II.

We review de novo the district court's dismissal of the complaint. Ahmed v. United States, 30 F.3d 514, 516 (4th Cir.1994); Schatz v. Rosenberg, 943 F.2d 485, 489 (4th Cir.1991), cert. denied sub nom., Schatz v. Weinberg and Green, 503 U.S. 936, 112 S.Ct. 1475, 117 L.Ed.2d 619 (1992). Regarding dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), we accept the well-pled allegations of the complaint as true, and we construe the facts and reasonable inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Little v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1 F.3d 255, 256 (4th Cir.1993).

District courts clearly have original jurisdiction of any challenge to a seizure pursuant to federal law not within admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, except matters within the jurisdiction of the Court of International Trade under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1582. 28 U.S.C.A. § 1356. Additionally, district courts have original jurisdiction of any subsequent forfeiture. 28 U.S.C.A. § 1355. However, the...

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1281 practice notes
  • Finnin v. Board of County Com'Rs of Frederick, Civil Action No. RDB 06-3429.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • July 31, 2007
    ...inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Venkatraman, 417 F.3d at 420; Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 473 (4th Cir.1997); Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir.1993). The court must disregard the contrary allegations of the opposi......
  • Hyde v. Md. State Bd. of Dental Examiners, Civil Action No. ELH-16-2489
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • November 5, 2018
    ...complaint alleges sufficient facts to invoke subject matter jurisdiction." Kerns, 585 F.3d at 192; see also Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir. 1997). In a factual challenge, on the other hand, "the district court is entitled to decide disputed issues of fact with......
  • Middleton v. Balt. City Police Dep't, Civil Action ELH-20-3536
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • January 28, 2022
    ...Inc., 417 F.3d 418, 420 (4th Cir. 2005) (citing Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)); Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 473 (4th Cir. 1997). Whether a complaint states a claim for relief is assessed by reference to the pleading requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8......
  • Mullinax v. Radian Guar. Inc., No. 1:00CV01247.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • January 25, 2002
    ...the light most favorable to the plaintiff," Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged this element of injury. Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir.1997). Specifically, Plaintiffs' Complaint identifies that "the Kickback Scheme" refers to the practices of pool insura......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1261 cases
  • Finnin v. Board of County Com'Rs of Frederick, Civil Action No. RDB 06-3429.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • July 31, 2007
    ...inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Venkatraman, 417 F.3d at 420; Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 473 (4th Cir.1997); Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir.1993). The court must disregard the contrary allegations of the opposi......
  • Hyde v. Md. State Bd. of Dental Examiners, Civil Action No. ELH-16-2489
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • November 5, 2018
    ...the complaint alleges sufficient facts to invoke subject matter jurisdiction." Kerns, 585 F.3d at 192; see also Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir. 1997). In a factual challenge, on the other hand, "the district court is entitled to decide disputed issues of fact with respe......
  • Middleton v. Balt. City Police Dep't, Civil Action ELH-20-3536
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • January 28, 2022
    ...Inc., 417 F.3d 418, 420 (4th Cir. 2005) (citing Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)); Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 473 (4th Cir. 1997). Whether a complaint states a claim for relief is assessed by reference to the pleading requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8......
  • Mullinax v. Radian Guar. Inc., No. 1:00CV01247.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • January 25, 2002
    ..."in the light most favorable to the plaintiff," Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged this element of injury. Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir.1997). Specifically, Plaintiffs' Complaint identifies that "the Kickback Scheme" refers to the practices of pool insurance policie......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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