The Ninth Circuit today rejects a challenge to a judicial forfeiture proceeding in which the U.S. seized some money from appellants. It resolves the case fairly easily:
"The district court
construed the appellants’ motion for return of the seized
funds as a motion under Rule 41(g). The appellants could
have challenged in that proceeding the lawfulness of the
government’s seizure (and retention) of the $100 million.
They could have argued, for example, that the seized funds
lack any connection to criminal wrongdoing and thus are not
subject to forfeiture, or that the government’s lengthy delay
in initiating judicial forfeiture proceedings violates their due
process rights. But they raised no such arguments. They
instead asserted as the sole basis for relief a violation of the
notice deadline imposed by § 983(a)(1)(A), a provision
which, as we have explained, simply does not apply in this
You knew about the seizure immediately once it transpired, and say on appeal only that there's also a statute that says that the government has to give you formal notice of the seizure within 60 days, but that statute doesn't apply. That's a pretty straightforward resolution.
Ordinarily, such a resolution might not even merit special mention. Appellant makes an argument, it's not a very good one, and it gets rejected.
But here's the somewhat unusual fact:
The seizure at issue involved the United States seizing $100 million.
For that amount of money at stake, you'd think that the appellant might be able to come up with some better arguments on appeal.