United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
PHIL GILBERT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the Government's Motion to Dismiss Jessica
Stringer's Motion for Interest in Forfeiture, filed
August 29, 2019. (ECF No. 26). The Court finds that Jessica
Stringer lacks both Article III and statutory standing to
contest the forfeiture. Accordingly, the Court
GRANTS the Government's Motion to
Dismiss (construed as a motion to strike) and
STRIKES Stringer's Motion for Interest
in Forfeiture (construed as a claim for assets).
PROCEDURAL & FACTUAL HISTORY
2019, the Government brought this civil forfeiture action
after seizing a 2017 Toyota Tundra and $47, 000 from Claimant
William Lee Manns pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§
881(a)(4) and 881(a)(6), respectively. (ECF No. 1).
July, Jessica Stringer filed a Motion for Interest in
Forfeiture in the form of a remission petition. (ECF No. 8).
In the space provided to “explain why [she has] a
valid, good faith, and legally recognizable interest in the
asset(s) as an owner, ” Stringer stated that she is
“a beneficial owner to asset [sic] in this
petition.” She also checked a box asserting that she is
an “innocent owner” to the seized assets. In the
space provided for explaining the reason for the filing, she
stated the following:
My family has suffered in the previous 7 years, due to an
extramarital affair w/ individuals in Georgia. My mother
(Christine Goldberg) was left penniless.
. . .
Any and all granted petitions to myself will be used to help
mentor youth give back to the community for which it was
other filing on the record references Stringer or Goldberg.
August, the Government filed a Motion to Dismiss Jessica
Stringer's Motion for Interest in Forfeiture. (ECF No.
26). Stringer did not respond, nor did she attend the
LAW & ANALYSIS
preliminary matter, the Court notes that Stringer made
several similar filings in United States District Courts
across the country. See, e.g., In re 8 Pieces of
Assorted Jewelry, No. 19-CV- 01439, ECF No. 7 (D. Co.
May 21, 2019) (asserting that she is a beneficial owner
because she is “in school [and] could benefit using
assets to [her] advantage in education”) (under
consideration); In re 204 Thor Majestic 28A Motorhome
1FDXE4FS2DDA31230, No. 19-CV-01401, ECF No. 15 (D. Co.
May 16, 2019) (asserting the same) (filed after the case was
closed); In re $9, 017.69 in U.S. Currency, No.
16-CV-00705, ECF No. 26 (D. Co. Mar. 25, 2016) (asserting
that she is a beneficial owner because she “desire[s]
to be a recipient of the assets . . . [d]ue to being
adversely affected by the behavior of the prior owner and
those w/similar actions”) (Government motioned to
dismiss); In re $12, 929.29, No. 19-CV-02084, ECF
Nos. 5-6 (N.D.Ga. Mar. 8, 2019) (asserting the same) (court
struck from the record). Several of the filings were dated
June 27, 2019: the same date as Stringer's filing here.
Court construes Stringer's motion-submitted in the form
of a remission petition-as a claim for assets. Those with
“an interest in the defendant property may contest the
forfeiture by filing a claim in the court where the action is
pending.” Fed.R.Civ.P. Supp. R. G(5)(a). Claims need
not be made in any particular form. Here, Stringer filled out
the section of the remission petition entitled,
“INTEREST IN PROPERTY.” She also checked a box
asserting the innocent-owner defense. See 18 U.S.C.
§ 983(d) (referring to those asserting the defense as
“claimants”). And ...