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United States v. 2012 GMC Savana Van

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

April 4, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
2012 GMC SAVANA VAN, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

MARTIN REIDINGER, District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Government's Motion for Interlocutory Sale and Expedited Decision [Doc. 35].

I. PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Government instituted the current civil forfeiture action on April 22, 2013. [Doc. 1]. A warrant was issued for arrest in rem of the property listed in the Government's Complaint on April 24, 2013. [Doc. 3]. In connection with an ongoing criminal prosecution, the Government had previously seized the subject property on December 3, 2012 and December 5, 2012, pursuant to warrants issued by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell on November 30, 2012 and December 4, 2012. [Doc. 2 at 2]. Among the property seized by the Government were five vehicles, as follows:

2012 GMC Savana Van, VIN 1GDS7DC40C1145561, which was seized on December 3, 2012, from Jackie Lee Rattler at 120 Elsie Rattler Road, Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina, pursuant to a Warrant to Seize Property Subject to Forfeiture issued by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell on November 30, 2012, W.D. N.C. Case No. 2:12mj17;
2012 F350 DRW Super Duty Pick Up Truck, VIN 1FD8X3HT4CEC90700, which was seized on December 3, 2012, from Jackie Lee Rattler at 120 Elsie Rattler Road, Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina, pursuant to a Warrant to Seize Property Subject to Forfeiture issued by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell on December 4, 2012, W.D. N.C. Case No. 2:12mj17;
2012 Toyota Tacoma, VIN: 5TFLU4EN0CX032827, which was seized on December 3, 2012, from Jackie Lee Rattler at 120 Elsie Rattler Road, Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina, pursuant to a Warrant to Seize Property Subject to Forfeiture issued by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell on December 4, 2012, W.D. N.C. Case No. 2:12mj17;
2007 Harley Davidson FLHX Motorcycle, VIN 1HD1KB4137Y627931, which was seized on December 3, 2012, from Jackie Lee Rattler at 120 Elsie Rattler Road, Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina, pursuant to a Warrant to Seize Property Subject to Forfeiture issued by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell on November 30, 2012, W.D. N.C. Case No. 2:12mj17;
2001 Harley Davidson FLSTC Motorcycle, VIN 1HD1BJY111Y025282, which was seized on December 5, 2012, from Jackie Lee Rattler at 120 Elsie Rattler Road, Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina, pursuant to a Warrant to Seize Property Subject to Forfeiture issued by Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell on December 4, 2012, W.D. N.C. Case No. 2:12mj17.

[Docs. 1, 35].

Jackie Lee Rattler is the owner of the subject vehicles. [Docs. 1-1, 18]. Rattler, who is a claimant in the present action, is currently incarcerated awaiting sentencing for six counts of drug trafficking, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841, and one firearms count, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), in Criminal Case No. 2:13-cr-00012-MR-DLH-1.

The present civil action is currently scheduled for trial during the Court's September 8, 2013 trial term. On April 1, 2014, the Government filed the present Motion for Interlocutory Sale and Expedited Decision, seeking an expedited ruling authorizing the sale of the aforementioned vehicles at an upcoming auction on April 15, 2014. [Doc. 35]. The Government indicates in its motion that Claimant Jackie Lee Rattler does not consent to the motion. [Id.].

II. ANALYSIS

Rule G(7)(b) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions provides, ...


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