Assigned on Briefs November 1, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. P-41223 J.
Robert Carter, Jr., Judge
appeal involves an in rem forfeiture proceeding which was
initiated after the appellant's property was seized as
proceeds of illegal drug sales. The appellant did not file a
claim in the forfeiture proceedings. On appeal, she asserts
that she was denied due process because she did not receive
notice of the forfeiture proceedings. The record does not
support the appellant's assertion that she was not
afforded adequate notice. We, therefore, affirm the decision
of the trial court forfeiting the appellant's interest in
the seized property.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Randall James Spivey, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Twyla Miles.
Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Andrée Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Michael A.
Meyer, Special Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
D. Bennett, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., and J. Steven Stafford, P.J.,
D. BENNETT, JUDGE.
and Procedural Background
Miles was the purported co-owner of a piece of real estate on
Parkland Road in Memphis, a 2002 Chevrolet van, and two bank
accounts at the Bank of America. On April 23, 2015, the State
of Tennessee filed a Complaint for Forfeiture in Rem and
Notice of Lien Lis Pendens regarding the real property, the
van, and the two bank accounts alleged to belong to Ms.
Miles. The complaint sought forfeiture of the property
pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-11-701 et seq.
and includes the following pertinent allegations:
In 2014, Twyla Miles was identified as a supplier in a drug
ring network during "Operation Whitehaven Dilaudid
Family" conducted by the Memphis Police Department's
Organized Crime Unit. . . . . . . .
Det. N. Payne of the Memphis Police Department's
Organized Crime Unit prepared and swore to an Affidavit of
Complaint wherein Twyla Miles was charged with Possess
Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture/Deliver Sell,
to wit: Dilaudid, pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-17-417,
Possess Controlled Substance with Intent to
Manufacture/Deliver/Sell, to wit: Xanax, pursuant to T.C.A.
§ 39-17-417, Possess Controlled Substance with Intent to
Manufacture/Deliver/Sell, to wit: Oxycodone, pursuant to
T.C.A. § 39-17-417 and Money Laundering Act of 1996
pursuant to T.C.A. § 39-14-903 that sets forth the
narrative as follows: . . . . . . .
Three Notices of Property Seizure were prepared in this case
for Twyla Miles and mailed to her on March 16, 2015, as
receipt for the certain real property located at 1052
Parkland Road, the 2002 Chevrolet Workhorse P42 . . . and all
bank accounts, funds and safe deposits associated with
defendant Miles. Copies of the Notices of Property Seizure
are attached hereto and incorporated by reference as though
recited in full.
An Affidavit in Support of Forfeiture Warrant was issued in
this matter on March 16, 2015. A copy of the Affidavit in
Support of Forfeiture Warrant is attached hereto and
incorporated by reference as though recited in full.
A State of Tennessee Forfeiture Warrant was issued in this
matter on March 16, 2015. A copy of the State of Tennessee
Forfeiture Warrant is attached hereto and incorporated by
reference as though recited in full.
The State of Tennessee, through the District Attorney
General, petitions this court to declare the real property
that is the subject of this petition forfeit pursuant to
T.C.A. § 39-11-70 et seq.
with the complaint, the record includes notices of property
seizure dated March 16, 2015 for the Parkland Road property,
the bank accounts, the van, and the seized drugs. The record
also contains a forfeiture warrant and supporting affidavit
dated March 16, 2015 regarding all of the seized property. As
requested in the complaint, the criminal court issued a
notice of lien lis pendens with respect to the real property.
April 23, 2015, the clerk of the criminal court sent a letter
to Ms. Miles informing her that the State had filed a
petition for forfeiture and enclosing a copy of that
document. The letter further states:
The State is seeking the forfeiture of certain real property
located at 1052 Parkland Road, Memphis, Tennessee, a 2002
Chevrolet Workhorse P42, . . . and a total of $1, 532.85 for
two Bank of America Accounts . . ., that were seized from
Twyla Miles between the dates of March 12, 2015 and March 16,
T.C.A. § 39-11-708(b) provides in the forfeiture of
proceeds of criminal activity as follows: In the event
the owner or possessor of the property does not answer the