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UNITED STATES v. ONE 1986 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO

March 26, 1993

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ONE 1986 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO, Vehicle Identification Number 1G1GZ37G2GR201549, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is the plaintiff United States of America's (the "government") motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

 FACTS

 On February 1, 1990, Barbara D'Andrea ("Mrs. D'Andrea") purchased the defendant vehicle, a 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (the "Chevy"), for $ 6,000. The purchase of the Chevy had been arranged by Robert D'Andrea ("Robert"), the only son of Mrs. D'Andrea. Robert recommended the purchase of the Chevy as a small investment; according to Mrs. D'Andrea, Robert, a mechanic, was to maintain, improve, and resell the Chevy, at which time Robert and Mrs. D'Andrea would each enjoy a 50% share of any profit. Consistent with her investment plans, Robert installed a larger, more powerful engine in the Chevy, which subsequently improved the value of the car. The purchase price of the Chevy was financed entirely by Mrs. D'Andrea, who also insured it and paid for the license plate renewal. Although Mrs. D'Andrea carried the financial burdens of owning the Chevy, Robert was entrusted with its exclusive use.

 On July 8, 1991, Robert used the Chevy to transport certain laboratory glassware that he purchased under a fictitious name. According to the government, Robert knew the glassware was to be used in the manufacturing of a Grignard reagent, *fn1" an interim reagent used in the manufacturing of phencyclidine ("PCP"). On December 2, 1991, the government seized the Chevy on the basis of its transportation of equipment intended to be used in the processing of a controlled substance. On May 19, 1992, Mrs. D'Andrea filed a verified claim to the Chevy, to which the government has filed the instant motion for summary judgment.

 DISCUSSION

 Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that for a party to prevail on a summary judgment motion "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, [must] show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Even though all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the party opposing the motion, Beraha v. Baxter Health Care Corp., 956 F.2d 1436, 1440 (7th Cir. 1992), a scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmovant's position will not suffice to oppose a motion for summary judgment. Brownell v. Figel, 950 F.2d 1285, 1289 (7th Cir. 1991). Instead, the nonmoving party must elucidate specific facts demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Moreover, to preclude summary judgment the disputed facts must be those that might affect the outcome of the suit, First Indiana Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 508 (7th Cir. 1992), and a dispute about a material fact is "genuine" only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims and defenses . . . ." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). Accordingly, the nonmoving party is required to go beyond the pleadings with affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions to designate specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. Bank Leumi Le-Israel, B.M. v. Lee, 928 F.2d 232, 236 (7th Cir. 1991).

 The government seized the Chevy pursuant to the forfeiture provision of the Controlled Substances Act (the "Act"), which states in part:

 
(a) The following shall be subject to forfeiture:
 
. . .
 
(2) All raw materials, products, and equipment of any kind which are used, or intended for use, in manufacturing, compounding, processing, delivering, importing, or exporting any controlled substance in violation of this subchapter.
 
. . .
 
(4) All conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles, or vessels, which are used, or are intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, receipt, possession, or concealment of ...

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