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United States v. One Ruger 10/22 .22 Caliber Rifle

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville

July 2, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ONE RUGER 10/22 .22 CALIBER RIFLE, SN 0002-54692 and 2928 ROUNDS ASSORTED AMMO., and ONE GLOCK INC., 42 PISTOL .380 CALIBER, SN ABCM271 Defendant Properties.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          CLIFTON L. CORKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court by an Order of Reference [Doc. 17] for a Report and Recommendation on the Motion for Default [Doc. 16] filed by Plaintiff, United States of America, by and through Anne-Marie Svolto and Gretchen Jenkins Mohr, Assistant United States Attorneys. The United States has moved for a Default Judgment and Final Order of Forfeiture forfeiting the defendant properties to the United States of America pursuant to Rule 55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         1. On June 8, 2016, the United States filed a Verified Complaint In Rem alleging that the defendant properties should be forfeited to the United States of America pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(d)(1), for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). [Doc. 1, Complaint].

         2. On June 8, 2016, the United States filed a Motion to Stay Civil Forfeiture In Rem Proceeding [Doc. 2] until after the related criminal case was closed. The motion was granted and a stay was ordered on June 9, 2016 [Doc. 4].

         3. On January 5, 2018, the stay was lifted [Doc. 5].

         4. A written notice of civil forfeiture against the defendant properties with a copy of the Verified Complaint In Rem, Notice and Warrant of Arrest In Rem was sent to Rhonda Blanton Sherman and her attorney Richard A. Spivey on July 25, 2018 via United States certified mail, return receipt requested and was received and signed for on July 27, 2018, pursuant to Rule G(4)(b)(i) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Supplemental Rule G).

         5. Notice of this civil forfeiture action against the defendant properties as required by Supplemental Rule G(4)(a) was published for 30 consecutive days on an official Government internet site (www.forfeiture.gov) beginning on July 27, 2018 and ending on August 25, 2018. A Declaration of Publication was filed with the clerk of this court on September 21, 2018 [Doc. 9].

         6. A Warrant of Arrest In Rem [Doc. 7] was duly executed on the defendant properties by ATF Special Agent Jamie L. Jenkins on August 13, 2018, pursuant to Supplemental Rule G(3)(b) and (c).

         7. Any claimant to the defendant properties is required to file a claim no later than 35 days after the written notice was sent, or 60 days after the first day of publication on the official Government website, www.forfeiture.gov, and shall serve an answer within 21 days after filing a claim, pursuant to Supplemental Rule G(5)(a) and (b). No. extensions to these time limits have been requested, consented to, or granted by this Court.

         8. No person or entity has filed either a claim or an answer to the complaint for forfeiture, or has otherwise appeared or answered in this regard, and the time to do so has expired.

         9. Upon information and belief, no person or entity thought to have an interest in the above named defendant properties is an infant, incompetent, or presently engaged in military service.

         10. On January 3, 2019, the United States filed a Request for Entry of Default [Doc. 14] against the defendant properties, Rhonda Blanton Sherman, and all persons claiming an interest in the defendant properties.

         11. On January 24, 2019, the Clerk of the Court entered an Entry of Default (Doc. 15, Entry of Default) pursuant to Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         12. The United States has now moved for entry of a Default Judgment and Final Order of Forfeiture, and this Court is of the opinion that the Motion of the United States for Default Judgment should be granted and Default Judgment be entered against Rhonda Blanton ...


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