One Lot Emerald Cut Stones One Ring v. United States, No. 72-376

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation409 U.S. 232,34 L.Ed.2d 438,93 S.Ct. 489
PartiesONE LOT EMERALD CUT STONES and ONE RING v. UNITED STATES
Docket NumberNo. 72-376
Decision Date11 December 1972

409 U.S. 232
93 S.Ct. 489
34 L.Ed.2d 438
ONE LOT EMERALD CUT STONES and ONE RING

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 72-376.
Dec. 11, 1972.

PER CURIAM.

On June 5, 1969, Francisco Farkac Klementova entered the United States without declaring to United States Customs one lot of emerald cut stones and one ring. Klementova was indicted, tried, and acquitted of charges of violating 18 U.S.C. § 5451 by willfully and know-

Page 233

ingly, with intent to defraud the United States, smuggling the articles into the United States without submitting to the required customs procedures. Following the acquittal, the Government instituted a forfeiture action in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, under 18 U.S.C. § 545 and § 497 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 46 Stat. 728, 19 U.S.C. § 1497.2 Klementova intervened in the proceeding and argued that his acquittal of charges of violating 18 U.S.C. § 545 barred the forfeiture. The District Court held that the forfeiture was barred by collateral estoppel and the Fifth Amendment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed, 461 F.2d 1189, holding that a forfeiture action pursuant to 19 U.S.C. § 1497 was not barred by an acquittal of charges of violating 18 U.S.C. § 545. We grant certiorari, affirm, and thereby resolve a conflict among the circuits as to whether a forfeiture is barred in these circumstances.3

Page 234

Collateral estoppel would bar a forfeiture under § 1497 if, in the earlier criminal proceeding, the elements of a § 1497 forfeiture had been resolved against the Government. Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436, 443, 90 S.Ct. 1189, 1194, 25 L.Ed.2d 469 (1970). But in this case acquittal on the criminal charge did not necessarily resolve the issues in the forfeiture action. For the Government to secure a conviction under § 545, it must prove the physical act of unlawful importation as well as a knowing and willful intent to defraud the United States. An acquittal on the criminal charge may have involved a finding that the physical act was not done with the requisite intent. Indeed, the court that tried the criminal charge specifically found that the Government had failed to establish intent.4 To succeed in a forfeiture action under § 1497, on the other hand, the Government need only prove that the property was brought into the United States without the required declaration; the Government bears no burden with respect to intent. Thus, the criminal acquittal may not be regarded as a determination that the property was not unlawfully brought into the United States, and the for-

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feiture proceeding will not involve an issue previously litigated and finally determined between these parties.5

Moreover, the difference in the burden of proof in criminal and civil cases precludes application of the doctrine of collateral estoppel. The acquittal of the criminal charges may have only represented "an adjudication that the proof was not sufficient to overcome all reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused." Helvering v. Mitchell, 303 U.S. 391, 397, 58 S.Ct. 630, 632, 82 L.Ed. 917 (1938). As to the issues raised, it does not constitute an adjudication on the preponderance-of-the-evidence burden applicable in civil proceedings. See Murphy v. United States, 272 U.S. 630, 47 S.Ct. 218, 71 L.Ed. 446 (1926); Stone v. United States, 167 U.S. 178, 17 S.Ct. 778, 42 L.Ed. 127 (1897).

If for no other reason, the forfeiture is not barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment because it involves neither two criminal trials nor two criminal punishments. 'Congress may impose both a criminal and a civil sanction in respect to the same act or omission; for the double jeopardy clause prohibits merely

Page 236

punishing twice, or attempting a second time to punish criminally, for the same offense.' Helvering v. Mitchell, supra, 303 U.S., at 399, 58 S.Ct. at 633. See also United States ex rel. Marcus v. Hess, 317 U.S. 537, 63 S.Ct. 379, 8 L.Ed.2d 443 (1943).6 Forfeiture under § 1497 is a civil sanction. The provision was originally enacted as § 497 of the Tariff Act of 1922, 42 Stat. 964. The Tariff Act of 1930 reenacted the forfeiture remedy, 46 Stat. 728, and added § 593, 46 Stat. 751, which became 18 U.S.C. § 545. The forfeiture provision fell within Title IV of the Act, which contained the 'Administrative Provisions.' Part III of that title, of which § 1497 was a part, dealt with 'Ascertainment, Collection, and Recovery of Duties.' Section 545, on the other hand, was part of the 'Enforcement Provisions' and became part of the Criminal Code of the United States. The fact that the sanctions were separate and distinct and were contained in different parts of the statutory scheme is relevant in determining the character of the forfeiture. Congress could and did order both civil and criminal sanctions, clearly distinguishing them. There is no

Page 237

reason for frustrating that design. See Helvering v. Mitchell, supra, 303...

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434 practice notes
  • State v. Nunez, No. 23
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • December 30, 1999
    ...multiple punishment."). 12. See Halper, 490 U.S. at 449, 109 S.Ct. 1892 (rough justice); One Lot Emerald Cut Stones v. United States, 409 U.S. 232, 237, 93 S.Ct. 489, 34 L.Ed.2d 438 (1972) (liquidated 13. See Emerald, 409 U.S. at 237, 93 S.Ct. 489 (Civil forfeiture "prevents forbidden merch......
  • Gikas v. Zolin, No. S030724
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 23, 1993
    ...v. Ward (1980) 448 U.S. 242, 248, 250, 100 S.Ct. 2636, 2641, 2642, 65 L.Ed.2d 742; One Lot Emerald Cut Stones v. United States (1972) 409 U.S. 232, 234-236, 93 S.Ct. 489, 491-93, 34 L.Ed.2d 438; In re Coughlin (1976) 16 Cal.3d 52, 58, 127 Cal.Rptr. 337, 545 P.2d 249; Zitny v. State Bar (196......
  • U.S. v. Two Hundred Ninety-Five Ivory Carvings, NINETY-FIVE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 6, 1982
    ...is generally viewed as being a remedial civil sanction, not a criminal one. One Lot Emerald Cut Stones and One Ring v. United States, 409 U.S. 232, 237, 93 S.Ct. 489, 493, 34 L.Ed.2d 438 (1972); United States v. $31,697.59 Cash, 665 F.2d 903, 905 (9th Cir. 1982). We have no doubt that an ac......
  • Von Hofe v. U.S., No. 05-2969-cv.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • June 27, 2007
    ...Some forfeitures are remedial, compensating the government for lost revenues. See One Lot Emerald Cut Stones & One Ring v. United States, 409 U.S. 232, 237, 93 S.Ct. 489, 34 L.Ed.2d 438 (1972) (per curiam). Only if the forfeiture may be characterized, at least in part, as punitive will it b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
434 cases
  • State v. Nunez, No. 23
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • December 30, 1999
    ...multiple punishment."). 12. See Halper, 490 U.S. at 449, 109 S.Ct. 1892 (rough justice); One Lot Emerald Cut Stones v. United States, 409 U.S. 232, 237, 93 S.Ct. 489, 34 L.Ed.2d 438 (1972) (liquidated 13. See Emerald, 409 U.S. at 237, 93 S.Ct. 489 (Civil forfeiture "prevents forbidden merch......
  • Gikas v. Zolin, No. S030724
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 23, 1993
    ...v. Ward (1980) 448 U.S. 242, 248, 250, 100 S.Ct. 2636, 2641, 2642, 65 L.Ed.2d 742; One Lot Emerald Cut Stones v. United States (1972) 409 U.S. 232, 234-236, 93 S.Ct. 489, 491-93, 34 L.Ed.2d 438; In re Coughlin (1976) 16 Cal.3d 52, 58, 127 Cal.Rptr. 337, 545 P.2d 249; Zitny v. State Bar (196......
  • U.S. v. Two Hundred Ninety-Five Ivory Carvings, NINETY-FIVE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • October 6, 1982
    ...is generally viewed as being a remedial civil sanction, not a criminal one. One Lot Emerald Cut Stones and One Ring v. United States, 409 U.S. 232, 237, 93 S.Ct. 489, 493, 34 L.Ed.2d 438 (1972); United States v. $31,697.59 Cash, 665 F.2d 903, 905 (9th Cir. 1982). We have no doubt that an ac......
  • Von Hofe v. U.S., No. 05-2969-cv.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • June 27, 2007
    ...Some forfeitures are remedial, compensating the government for lost revenues. See One Lot Emerald Cut Stones & One Ring v. United States, 409 U.S. 232, 237, 93 S.Ct. 489, 34 L.Ed.2d 438 (1972) (per curiam). Only if the forfeiture may be characterized, at least in part, as punitive will it b......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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