In United States v. One 1967 Cadillac El Dorado, 453 F.2d 396 (9 Cir. 1971), this court held that the operative facts of a forfeiture proceeding were the same as those in a prior criminal proceeding so that the judgment of acquittal foreclosed the forfeiture proceeding.Summary of this case from Standlee v. Rhay
December 27, 1971.
Jonathan K. Golden (argued), Burton Marks, of Marks, Sherman London, Beverly Hills, Cal., for appellant.
Larry L. Dier, Asst. U.S. Atty., (argued), Robert L. Meyer, U.S. Atty., Frederick M. Brosio, Jr., Asst. U.S. Atty. Chief, Civil Division, Los Angeles, Cal., for appellee.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Appellant Cadillac was forfeited on the ground that it had been used to facilitate transportation of illegally imported marihuana ( 19 U.S.C. § 1595a). The owner of the Cadillac had been tried and acquitted of the charge of transporting or facilitating the transportation of marihuana before the forfeiture proceeding had been commenced. (21 U.S.C. § 176a.) The facts upon which the charges against the owner were made were the same as those upon which the forfeiture proceeding depended.
In Coffey v. United States (1886) 116 U.S. 436, 6 S.Ct. 437, 29 L.Ed. 684 cited with approval in Ashe v. Swenson (1970) 397 U.S. 436, 443 n. 7, 90 S.Ct. 1189, 25 L.Ed.2d 469, the Supreme Court held that a prior judgment of acquittal of the owner of property forecloses a proceeding to forfeit that property when the operative facts of both the criminal and the forfeiture proceedings are the same. The conclusion follows from the combined impact of collateral estoppel and the double jeopardy clause. ( See also United States v. U.S. Coin Currency (1971) 401 U.S. 715, 721-722, 91 S.Ct. 1041, 28 L.Ed.2d 434; McKeehan v. United States (6th Cir. 1971) 438 F.2d 739, 746-747.)
The judgment is reversed with directions to dismiss the complaint.