The opinion of the court was delivered by: McDADE, District Judge.
This case involves the U.S. Government's seizure of property
pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) and § 881(a)(7). Robert Lynn
Jones ("Jones") was part of a marijuana and cocaine
distribution ring operated in Hancock County, Illinois. Jones
allegedly exchanged motorcycle parts for marijuana at his
motorcycle repair shop in LaHarpe, Illinois, and used the
proceeds of his drug transactions to purchase motorcycles,
boats, jet skis, tools, and other personal items. To hide the
source of the money, Jones allegedly titled some of the
personal items in the names of his wife, daughter, and uncle.
On December 5, 1991, the United States obtained a judgment
of forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881 for Jones' 1988
Bayliner cabin cruiser. On May 29, 1992, the United States
obtained another judgment of forfeiture for $11,410 belonging
to Jones. In neither of these cases did Jones file a claim on
the forfeited property.
In 1991, Jones was charged with conspiracy to distribute
marijuana, 21 U.S.C. § 846 & § 841(b)(1)(A); distribution of
marijuana, 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B); conspiracy to distribute
cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 846 & § 841(b)(1)(B); distribution of
cocaine, 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B); and money laundering,
18 U.S.C. § 1956. In December 1992, a jury found Jones guilty of
conspiracy to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine.
In a separate jury trial in June 1993, another jury found Jones
guilty of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, distribution of
marijuana, and money laundering. On January 10, 1994, this
Court sentenced Jones to two hundred and forty months in prison
for all six counts.
In the present case, the Government is attempting to obtain
another civil forfeiture judgment against Jones. The
Government's Amended Complaint consists of eleven counts,*fn1
each one naming a different item of property. In Count 1, the
Government invokes 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7) to claim the real
estate encompassing Jones' motorcycle shop in which Jones
allegedly conducted his illegal activities. Counts 3 through 11
invoke 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) to claim six motorcycles, a jet
ski, a trailer, and miscellaneous tools and equipment. All of
these items were allegedly purchased with the proceeds of
Jones' marijuana sales.
Robert Jones and his wife, Jeanette Jones, each filed claims
to recover all of the property in question. The United States
filed separate motions for summary judgment against Robert
Jones and Jeanette Jones. In its summary judgment motion
against Jeanette Jones, the Government argued that Mrs. Jones
had no standing to file a claim on the property. Mrs. Jones
did not contest the Government's motion. Thus, the Court
grants the United States' Motion for Summary Judgment
Pertaining to Jeanette Jones.
"A motion for summary judgment is not an appropriate
occasion for weighing evidence; rather, the inquiry is limited
to determining if there is a genuine issue for trial."
Lohorn v. Michal, 913 F.2d 327, 331 (7th Cir. 1990); see
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 2510-11, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). This Court must "view the
record and all inferences drawn from it in the light most
favorable to the party opposing the motion." Holland v.
Jefferson Nat. Life Ins. Co., 883 F.2d 1307, 1312 (7th Cir.
1989). When faced with a motion for summary judgment, the
nonmoving party may not rest on its pleadings. Rather, it is
necessary for the nonmoving party to demonstrate, through
specific evidence, that there remains a genuine issue of
triable fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324,
106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Bank Leumi
Le-Israel, B.M. v. Lee, 928 F.2d 232, 236 (7th Cir. 1991).
Jones asserts that because the Government has "punished" him
for the same offense on three previous occasions, the Double
Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment now bars the United
States from obtaining a civil forfeiture over his property
under 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6)*fn3 & § 881(a)(7).*fn4 The three
prior punishments upon which Jones relies are: (1) the civil
forfeiture of his Bayliner cabin cruiser on December 5, 1991;
(2) the civil forfeiture of $11,410 which belonged to Jones;
and (3) this Court's sentence on January 10, 1994, of 240
months in prison for his six convictions.
The Civil Forfeiture Actions
Jones asserts that the Government's two previous forfeiture
actions constitute former punishment for purposes of the
Double Jeopardy Clause. However, Jones did not make any claim
to the property in either of those actions. In United States v.
Torres, 28 F.3d 1463 (7th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, ___ U.S.
___, 115 S.Ct. 669, 130 L.Ed.2d 603 (1994), the Seventh Circuit
encountered this exact situation. In that case, the defendant
tried to assert that the Government could not criminally
prosecute him a second time because a civil forfeiture
proceeding had already been brought against him. Id. at 1464.
The Government had sent Torres notice inviting him to make a
claim in the civil forfeiture proceeding, but he had not
responded. Id. at 1465. As a result, Torres did not become a
party to the forfeiture and a default judgment was entered
against him. Id. The court concluded, "There was no trial; the
$60,000 was forfeited without opposition, and jeopardy did not
attach. You can't have double jeopardy without a former
jeopardy. . . . As a non-party, Torres was not at risk in the
forfeiture proceeding, and '[w]ithout
risk of a determination of guilt, jeopardy does not attach.'"
Id. citing Serfass v. United States, 420 U.S. ...