The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.
GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE; GRANTING THE
PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR A DEFAULT JUDGMENT; GRANTING THE
PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR A DECREE OF FORFEITURE
In February 1999, a joint task force including the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan
Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development initiated an investigation of a large heroin
trafficking organization run principally by Mr. Earl Garner,
Sr.,*fn1 the claimant's significant other. Compl. at 4, 6.
The investigation allegedly revealed that the claimant assisted
Mr. Garner in various aspects of his drug trafficking. Id. at
6. Court-authorized telephone monitoring of several members of
the drug trafficking organization allegedly shows that the
claimant, in addition to serving as Mr. Garner's confidant and
advisor, stored contraband and/or drug proceeds at her residence
in North Bethesda, Maryland. Id. Despite these allegations,
and after considering the evidence against the claimant, the
jury returned its verdict acquitting the claimant of the charge
On December 21, 2000, the plaintiff filed a verified complaint
for civil forfeiture in rem against the claimant's bank
account funds and money order totaling $41,091.86.*fn3 The
plaintiff alleges that the funds constitute proceeds traceable
to violations of Title II of the Controlled Substances Act, as
amended, 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq., and the anti-money
laundering provisions under Title 18 U.S.C. § 1956. Pl.'s Mot.
to Treat as Conceded at 2.
On January 25, 2001, the claimant responded to the verified
complaint for forfeiture in rem. Id. at 3. According to the
plaintiff, however, the claimant filed an unverified claim that
fails to state her interest in the $41,091.86 of funds as is
required by Rule C(6) of the Supplemental Rules of Certain
Admiralty and Maritime Claims ("Supplemental Rules"). Id.;
FED. R.CIV.P. C(6). Additionally, the claimant failed to file an
answer on or before the February 14, 2001 deadline. Pl.'s Opp'n
Claimant's Mot. to Late File Answer and Mot. to Strike ("Pl.'s
Opp'n") at 3, Ex. IV; Pl.'s Mot. to Treat as Conceded at 2. On
March 5, 2001, the plaintiff sent a letter to the claimant and
an attorney representing her in the related criminal matter.
Pl.'s Mot. to Treat as Conceded at 3. The plaintiffs letter
stated that the claim was defective and the time for filing an
answer on February 14, 2001 had passed. Id.
In the March 5, 2001 letter, the plaintiff gave its consent
for the claimant to have two additional weeks to file an answer,
thereby extending the filing deadline to March 19, 2001. Id.
The attorney representing the claimant in the related criminal
matter responded to the March 5, 2001 letter, stating in a March
16, 2001 facsimile that he did not represent the claimant in the
civil forfeiture matter at bar. Pl.'s Opp'n at 4, Ex. VII.
On April 27, 2001, the claimant, "on behalf of herself," filed
an amended verified claim, a motion and incorporated memorandum
to late-file an answer to the complaint, an answer, and a jury
demand. Answer at 1. On May 1, 2001, the plaintiff filed an
opposition to the claimant's motion to late-file her answer and
a motion to strike the claimant's claim. According to the
plaintiff, any opposition by the claimant to the plaintiffs
motion to strike was due on or before May 21, 2001. Pl.'s Mot.
to Treat as Conceded at 3. Consequently, on June 25, 2001, the
plaintiff filed a motion to treat as conceded its motion to
strike the claimant's claim, request for a default judgment, and
a decree of forfeiture.*fn4
Through the claimant's alleged failure to provide an answer to
the plaintiffs motion to strike, the plaintiff asks this court
to do the following: (1) treat its motion to strike the
claimant's claim as conceded; (2) order default judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55, and; (3) enter a
decree of ...