United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ray, Jr. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Petitioners' Petition for Adjudication of
Interest in Property (ECF No. 168), filed on February 27,
2017; and the United States and Petitioners' Joint
Stipulation (ECF No. 175), filed on March 13, 2017. United
States District Judge Reed O'Connor referred the Petition
and all related responses to the undersigned by Order entered
on February 28, 2017. ECF No. 171.
reviewing the pleadings and applicable law, the undersigned
RECOMMENDS that Judge O'Connor DENY the Petition (ECF No.
168) as moot and adopt the provisions of the Joint
Stipulation (ECF No. 175) when issuing the final order of
hearing on the Petition for Adjudication set for March 17,
2017 at 9:00 a.m. is CANCELLED.
September 29, 2016, Judge O'Connor issued an Order
granting the Government's Motion for Preliminary Order of
Forfeiture. ECF No. 106. The Order concerns the forfeiture of
Defendant's interest in real property located at 9722
Oakwood Drive, Dallas, Texas 75217. The Government published
notice of the Preliminary Order of Forfeiture, providing the
public with notice of the forfeiture of the real property for
at least 30 consecutive days, beginning on October 4, 2016.
ECF No. 126. The Petitioners filed their Third Party Petition
on February 2, 2017, claiming an interest in the real
property. ECF No. 168. The Court ordered a hearing to
determine whether Petitioners claimed a valid interest. ECF
No. 174. Before the hearing was held pursuant to 21 U.S.C.
§ 853(n), the United States filed a Joint Stipulation
reflecting an agreement to the issuance of a final order of
forfeiture containing a provision providing for payment of
the Petitioners' interest in the property after payment
of all costs incurred in preserving and/or selling the
property. ECF No. 175.
Legal Standard and Analysis
21 U.S.C. § 853(n) requires the United States, following
the entry of a preliminary order of forfeiture, to publish
notice of the preliminary order of forfeiture and its intent
to dispose of the property in such manner as the Attorney
General may direct. 21 U.S.C. § 853(n)(1). Third parties
asserting an interest in the property may then petition the
court for an adjudication of that interest. See Id .
§ 853(n)(2). The petition must be signed by the
petitioner under penalty of perjury and “shall set
forth the nature and extent of the petitioner's right,
title, or interest in the property, the time and
circumstances of the petitioner's acquisition of the
right, title, or interest in the property, any additional
facts supporting the petitioner's claim, and the relief
sought.” Id. § 853(n)(3). If the court
determines that the petitioner has a valid interest in the
property, the court shall amend the order of forfeiture in
accordance with its determination. Id. §
Findings and Recommendation
the Court held a hearing to establish the Petitioners'
interest, the United States filed a Joint Stipulation. ECF
No. 175. The Stipulation provides that the aforementioned
parties do not contest the Court entering a final order of
forfeiture. Id. Additionally, the Stipulation states
that all parties agree that Petitioners have a valid interest
in the ad valorem property taxes as well as any
penalties and interest through the date of entry of the final
order of forfeiture.
the parties agreed in the Joint Stipulation as to
Petitioners' interest in the property, the undersigned
RECOMMENDS that the Petition for Adjudication of Interest in
Property (ECF No. 168) be DENIED as moot. Furthermore, the
undersigned RECOMMENDS that Judge O'Connor include in his
final order of forfeiture for 9722 Oakwood Drive, Dallas,
Texas 75217, a provision granting Petitioners' payment
for all ad valorem property taxes owed and any
penalties or interest accrued through the date of the final
order of forfeiture, pursuant to the agreement of the
of this findings, conclusions, and recommendation shall be
served on all parties in the manner provided by law. Any
party who objects to any part of this findings, conclusions,
and recommendation must file specific written objections
within 14 days after being served with a copy. See
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1). In
order to be specific, an objection must identify the specific
finding or recommendation to which objection is made, state
the basis for the objection, and specify the place in the
magistrate judge's findings, conclusions, and
recommendation where the disputed determination is found. An
objection that merely incorporates by reference or refers to
the briefing before the magistrate judge is not specific.
Failure to file specific written objections will bar the
aggrieved party from appealing the factual findings ...