Madewell v. Downs, No. 94-2612

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore McMILLIAN, FAGG; BENNETT
Citation68 F.3d 1030
Decision Date29 August 1995
Docket NumberNo. 94-2612
PartiesTerry L. MADEWELL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Mike DOWNS, Anthony P. Grootens, and John Prine, Defendants-Appellees.

Page 1030

68 F.3d 1030
Terry L. MADEWELL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Mike DOWNS, Anthony P. Grootens, and John Prine, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 94-2612.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eighth Circuit.
Submitted April 14, 1995.
Decided Aug. 29, 1995.

Page 1033

Gary Owens, Kansas City, MO, argued for appellant.

Cynthia Hyde, Assistant U.S. Attorney, argued (Timothy W. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, on the brief), for appellees.

Before McMILLIAN, FAGG, Circuit Judges, and BENNETT, * District Judge.

BENNETT, District Judge.

In this lawsuit, Terry L. Madewell, pro se, brought a Bivens action against agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 against members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP). Madewell alleged violation of his Fifth Amendment right to due process in the DEA's "adoption" and administrative forfeiture, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Sec. 881, of currency seized by the MSHP during Madewell's arrest on a state charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine, and violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process in the MSHP's transfer of the seized property to the DEA. Madewell sought actual and punitive damages and return of the currency. In an unpublished opinion, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, 1 granted summary judgment in favor

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of all defendants, and Madewell appealed. We affirm.

I.

A. Factual Background

During the winter of 1988-89, plaintiff Terry Madewell was one of the subjects of an investigation by several county sheriff's offices and police departments in southwestern Missouri concerning a major drug conspiracy operating in the area. A warrant was eventually issued by the Missouri state district court for Lawrence County for Madewell's arrest on a charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. On January 17, 1989, Madewell was arrested by members of the MSHP in the town of Springfield, in Greene County, Missouri, on the warrant issued by the Lawrence County district court. During the arrest, a small quantity of marijuana was found in the pocket of Madewell's jacket. In addition, $9,400 in U.S. currency was found on the seat of Madewell's truck. Madewell initially denied any knowledge or ownership of either the marijuana or the money. However, he later testified that he was taking the money to his attorney. The truck and the currency were both seized by the MSHP. Additional charges for possession of the marijuana were filed against Madewell in Greene County district court.

On March 29, 1989, Madewell filed a motion pursuant to MO.REV.STAT. Sec. 542.301 2 in the course of his criminal prosecution in Lawrence County for return of the seized property. The Lawrence County court held a hearing on the motion on June 7, 1989, and on June 16, 1989, ordered the State and "any of its officers or agents" to return the truck and the currency to Madewell. The defendants here were not parties to that proceeding. No appeal of the order entered by the Lawrence County court was ever filed, nor has any proceeding been instituted to enforce that court's order.

During the pendency of Madewell's motion in state court in Lawrence County, the MSHP's seizure was "adopted" by the DEA. The details and timing of this "adoption" are of particular interest on this appeal. The suggestion that the seizure of the currency be adopted by the DEA arose in a telephone conversation between members of the MSHP, including defendant Prine, and DEA agent Mike Downs, who is also one of the defendants here. In a letter dated April 10, 1989, an Assistant United States Attorney, Richard Monroe, requested that defendant Prine "present [the property seized during Madewell's arrest] to the DEA for adoptive administrative forfeiture" pursuant to discussions the correspondents had had with

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Downs. On April 18, 1989, the commanding officer of the MSHP, John H. Ford, wrote to Downs stating that the seized currency had been deposited in the MSHP's Criminal Forfeiture Fund at a Missouri bank, and requesting that the MSHP receive 50% or more of the seized money because the MSHP had conducted that share of the investigation leading to the seizure. The money was turned over to the DEA on May 1, 1989, in the form of two cashier's checks drawn on the Missouri bank, which show the remitter as the MSHP and the payee as the U.S. Marshal Service. The uncontradicted testimony of defendant Prine in the Lawrence County proceedings was that the checks were drawn by his supervisor, whom he identified as "Lt. Bob Asher." There was no court order requiring or allowing the transfer from the state officials to the DEA.

William J. Snider, forfeiture counsel for the DEA, affirmed that DEA administrative forfeiture proceedings concerning the seized currency were initiated in April of 1989 pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Sec. 881. A report on the forfeiture of the seized property was forwarded from Snider's office to the DEA on July 13, 1989, and, finding that sufficient evidence to support administrative forfeiture had been provided by the DEA field office, the case was "accepted" for administrative forfeiture. On July 21, 1989, the DEA sent a notice of seizure letter by certified mail to Madewell at his last known address in Springfield, Missouri. Notice to Madewell was sent to the address in Springfield, Missouri, because that was the address Madewell had given upon his arrest in Greene County. That letter was returned marked "Moved. Left no address." Pursuant to regulations, the DEA then published the notice of seizure for three consecutive weeks in U.S.A. Today, beginning on July 26, 1989. No claims to the seized currency were ever received, and the money was administratively forfeited on December 7, 1989, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Sec. 881.

B. Procedural Background

Madewell filed his federal lawsuit on December 15, 1993, to recover the seized currency and damages for violation of his Fifth Amendment due process rights. Madewell named as defendants DEA agents Mike Downs and Anthony P. Grootens, and MSHP officers John Prine and Robert Asher. Madewell never obtained service on defendant Asher, because the MSHP notified Madewell that there was no such person by that name employed by the MSHP. Madewell also named as defendants two Lawrence County prosecutors, Scott Sifferman and Robert George. Madewell claimed that defendants violated his due process rights by improperly allowing DEA adoption of the seizure of the currency when the Missouri district court was entertaining proceedings concerning disposition of the property. Madewell also claimed that the DEA violated his due process rights, because the notice of the administrative forfeiture proceedings was sent to Madewell at the wrong address when his proper address was known to state and federal agents.

On December 16, 1993, the United States District Court dismissed George and Sifferman on the ground that they had no legal obligation to enforce the Lawrence County court's order for return of the currency to Madewell and on the ground that as prosecuting attorneys they were immune to a suit for damages brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. Madewell does not appeal that ruling here.

On March 31, 1994, the federal defendants, Downs and Grootens, moved to dismiss Madewell's complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) on the ground that there was no factual dispute and no legal basis for liability. It is the United States District Court's grant of this motion on June 3, 1994, that Madewell appeals here. Although defendant Prine did not join in the motion to dismiss, he had sought dismissal for failure to state a claim in his answer to Madewell's complaint. The district court included the MSHP defendants in its grant of summary judgment against Madewell.

C. The Decision Below

After a statement of the facts to which the parties had stipulated for the purposes of the

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summary judgment motion, the district court's disposition of the motion, in its entirety, was as follows:

Patrolmen Asher and Prine turned the seized currency over to the Missouri State Highway Patrol which they were obligated to do. At that point they no longer had any obligation in regard to the seized currency. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is not subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. Aubuchon v. Missouri, 631 F.2d 581, 582 (8th Cir.1980). Based upon the cases of United States v. $12,390.00, 956 F.2d 801 (8th Cir.1992) and Conrod v. Missouri State Highway Patrol, 810 S.W.2d 614 (Mo.App.1991). [Sic] The Patrol had the right to transfer the seized currency to the DEA and the DEA had the right to accept it. The defendants are entitled to summary judgment in this case. The order for summary judgment shall not be a bar to plaintiff's attempt to enforce the Lawrence County judgment against the State of Missouri. It is

ORDERED that the defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted without prejudice to plaintiff if he chooses to try to enforce the Lawrence County judgment against the State of Missouri.

A timely appeal followed.

D. The Appeal

On appeal, Madewell asserts that the grant of summary judgment was erroneous on three separate grounds. 3 First, Madewell asserts that, contrary to the district court's conclusions, his due process rights were violated by the DEA's adoption of the seizure and transfer of the currency by the MSHP to the DEA. Specifically, in his brief Madewell states that the adoption was improper when "(a) a state court action had been filed before the transfer, in which the Appellant sought return of the property, (b) an order was issued by that court requiring return of the property to the Appellant, and (c) at no point did the Appellees pursue a state court order permitting turnover of the...

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120 practice notes
  • Timm v. Delong, No. 8:98CV43.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Nebraska
    • June 22, 1998
    ...filing no. 7, the "Rule 12 Motion," filed by the defendant, Russell L. DeLong, as a motion for summary judgment. See Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1048 (8th Summary judgment, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P. 56, is appropriate when, viewing the facts and inferences in the light most favorable t......
  • Banks v. Department of Motor Vehicles for Cal., No. CV 05-2037-JVS(RC).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • February 17, 2006
    ...on an LAPD accident report, and there was no due process violation. Mullane, 339 U.S. at 314, 70 S.Ct. at 657; cf. Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1047 (8th Cir.1995) ("Any confusion about [plaintiffs] actual residence was the result of [plaintiffs] own conduct, not the result of a willful......
  • Serverside Grp. Ltd. v. Tactical 8 Techs., L.L.C., No. C 12–2016–MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • December 9, 2013
    ...raised forecloses as a matter of law the claim on which the court wishes to grant summary judgment sua sponte ); Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1048 (8th Cir.1995) (explaining that a district court may enter summary judgment sua sponte where the parties had an adequate opportunity to addr......
  • City of Concord v. Robinson, No. 1:11–CV–734.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • November 28, 2012
    ...upon the specific statutes in the particular state. See, e.g., $506,231, 125 F.3d at 444–45, 450 n. 6 (Illinois law); Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1042–45 (8th Cir.1995) (Missouri law); United States v. $12,390, 956 F.2d 801, 805–06 (8th Cir.1992) (Missouri law); One 1986 Chevrolet Van,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
120 cases
  • Timm v. Delong, No. 8:98CV43.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Nebraska
    • June 22, 1998
    ...filing no. 7, the "Rule 12 Motion," filed by the defendant, Russell L. DeLong, as a motion for summary judgment. See Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1048 (8th Summary judgment, pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P. 56, is appropriate when, viewing the facts and inferences in the light most favorable t......
  • Banks v. Department of Motor Vehicles for Cal., No. CV 05-2037-JVS(RC).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • February 17, 2006
    ...on an LAPD accident report, and there was no due process violation. Mullane, 339 U.S. at 314, 70 S.Ct. at 657; cf. Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1047 (8th Cir.1995) ("Any confusion about [plaintiffs] actual residence was the result of [plaintiffs] own conduct, not the result of a willful......
  • Serverside Grp. Ltd. v. Tactical 8 Techs., L.L.C., No. C 12–2016–MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • December 9, 2013
    ...raised forecloses as a matter of law the claim on which the court wishes to grant summary judgment sua sponte ); Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1048 (8th Cir.1995) (explaining that a district court may enter summary judgment sua sponte where the parties had an adequate opportunity to addr......
  • City of Concord v. Robinson, No. 1:11–CV–734.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • November 28, 2012
    ...upon the specific statutes in the particular state. See, e.g., $506,231, 125 F.3d at 444–45, 450 n. 6 (Illinois law); Madewell v. Downs, 68 F.3d 1030, 1042–45 (8th Cir.1995) (Missouri law); United States v. $12,390, 956 F.2d 801, 805–06 (8th Cir.1992) (Missouri law); One 1986 Chevrolet Van,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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