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United States v. Ramirez

submitted*fn* anchorage alaska: August 23, 1991.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ALBERTO RAMIREZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington; Barbara J. Rothstein, District Judge, Presiding; D.C. No. CR-85-339-BJR.

Tang, Reinhardt, and Rymer, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM

We affirm the denial of Ramirez's motion for return of property under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(e). Criminal proceedings in this case were closed long before his motion was filed. Furthermore, there has never been any claim that the property was illegally seized. Whether or not his attorney had adequate notice of denial of his petition for administrative relief from the forfeiture action, the district court had no obligation to exercise equitable jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 41(e) as an alternative to remedies at law, United States v. Elias, 921 F.2d 870, 873 (9th Cir. 1990), under either the Customs Enforcement Provision of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. §§ 1604-10, or the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1491.

Furthermore, "[Federal] Rule [of Criminal Procedure] 54(b)(5) expressly provides that the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 'are not applicable to . . . civil forfeiture of property for violation of a statute of the United States.'" United States v. United States Currency $83,310.78, 851 F.2d 1231, 1233 (9th Cir. 1988) (quoting Fed. R. Crim. P. 54(b)(5)). Ramirez's money was seized and administratively forfeited when he did not declare it and made false statements to customs agents in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001. Thus, Rule 41(e) is not applicable in this case, and the motion was properly denied.

AFFIRME ...


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