Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hurt v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

June 7, 2019

CHARLES FRANCIS HURT, JR. PETITIONER
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MICHAEL P. MILLS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner complaint of Charles Francis Hurt, Jr., who challenges the forfeiture of his property under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (“CAFRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 983. The plaintiff alleges that the government improperly seized his property and that the procedure used during forfeiture was flawed. The government has moved for summary judgment, and Mr. Hurt has responded. For the reasons set forth below, the government's motion for summary judgment will be granted, and the instant case will be dismissed for want of standing.

         Facts and Procedural Posture

         Charles Francis Hurt, Jr. (“Hurt”) seeks the return of several items of personal property that were seized on June 5, 2015, from his residence in Southaven, Mississippi during the execution of a federal search warrant in connection with Mr. Hurt's arrest for violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b) (Attempted Coercion/Enticement of a Minor).[1] The property at issue was seized by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), under 18 U.S.C. § 2254, as the property was used in the transportation of sexually explicit visual depictions involving the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct and/or materials constituting or containing child pornography, and it was also used to attempt to engage in sexual contact with a minor. Hurt Motion, EX:15-B.

         On November 5, 2015, Mr. Hurt pled guilty to Count One of a superseding indictment that charged him with attempted Coercion/Enticement of a Minor in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b).[2] A copy of Mr. Hurt's Plea Agreement is attached to the Government's Motion for Summary Judgment as Exhibit A. He is currently serving a 120-month sentence. The property at issue was declared forfeited to the United States via a Declaration of Administrative Forfeiture on December 31, 2015. A copy of the Declaration of Administrative Forfeiture is attached to the Government's Motion for Summary Judgment as Exhibit B. An Order to Destroy and Record of Destruction of Forfeited, Abandoned, or Unclaimed Merchandise for the property at issue was executed on May 4, 2017. A copy is attached the Government's Motion for Summary Judgment as Exhibit C.

         Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the “materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials” show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) and (c)(1). “The moving party must show that if the evidentiary material of record were reduced to admissible evidence in court, it would be insufficient to permit the nonmoving party to carry its burden.” Beck v. Texas State Bd. of Dental Examiners, 204 F.3d 629, 633 (5th Cir. 2000) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1066 (1988)). After a proper motion for summary judgment is made, the burden shifts to the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2511, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Beck, 204 F.3d at 633; Allen v. Rapides Parish School Bd., 204 F.3d 619, 621 (5th Cir. 2000); Ragas v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, 136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 1998). Substantive law determines what is material. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. “Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted.” Id., at 248. If the non-movant sets forth specific facts in support of allegations essential to his claim, a genuine issue is presented. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 327. “Where the record, taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986); Federal Savings and Loan, Inc. v. Krajl, 968 F.2d 500, 503 (5thCir. 1992).

         The facts are reviewed drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Allen, 204 F.3d at 621; PYCA Industries, Inc. v. Harrison County Waste Water Management Dist., 177 F.3d 351, 161 (5th Cir. 1999); Banc One Capital Partners Corp. v. Kneipper, 67 F.3d 1187, 1198 (5th Cir. 1995). However, this is so only when there is “an actual controversy, that is, when both parties have submitted evidence of contradictory facts.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994); see Edwards v. Your Credit, Inc., 148 F.3d 427, 432 (5th Cir. 1998). In the absence of proof, the court does not “assume that the nonmoving party could or would prove the necessary facts.” Little, 37 F.3d at 1075 (emphasis omitted).

         The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (“CAFRA”)

         The forfeiture proceedings in this case are governed by the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (“CAFRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 983. Subsection (e) provides:

(1) Any person entitled to written notice in any nonjudicial civil forfeiture proceeding under a civil forfeiture statute who does not receive such notice may file a motion to set aside a declaration of forfeiture with respect to that person's interest in the property, which motion shall be granted if-
(A) the Government knew, or reasonably should have known, of the moving party's interest and failed to take reasonable steps to provide such party with notice; and
(B) the moving party did not know or have reason to know of the seizure within sufficient time ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.