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United States v. Walker

United States District Court, D. Idaho

May 22, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM LAVELLE WALKER, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. LYNN WINMILL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendant United States of America's Motion to Dismiss the Third-Party Petition of Randy Dalton for Lack of Standing and Failure to State a Claim. Dkt. 191. The Court finds these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument. For the reasons explained below, the Court will GRANT the motion to dismiss.

         BACKGROUND

         This is a forfeiture action arising from a criminal case against Defendant William Walker. On April 26, 2016, Walker and three co-defendants were indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Dkt. 1. Walker pled guilty to the conspiracy charges, drug forfeitures, and firearm forfeitures, and was sentenced to 87 months in prison. Dkt. 173. In total, thirty-eight firearms were forfeited.

         The United States published a notice of forfeitures on an official government website for thirty consecutive days. Dkt. 184. An ATF firearms records inquiry was conducted and Petitioner Randy Dalton's name was returned as being potentially connected to a Derringer .32 pistol with serial number 296245. The record indicated that the firearm was purchased from a Burley Pawn Shop in 1992, but did not indicate who was the current owner. Pl.'s Br. at 2, Dkt. 191. On October 26, 2017, Dalton was notified via certified mail of the items being forfeited. That notification advised Dalton of the procedures for filling a claim for any one of the thirty-eight forfeited firearms, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853(n).

         Dalton called the United States Attorney's office on November 2, 2017, and spoke with AUSA Kevin Maloney. Pl.'s Br. at 2, Dkt. 191. Maloney reviewed the procedures for filing a claim with Dalton and directed Dalton to the instructions in the Notice of Forfeiture. Maloney Aff. ¶ 5, Dkt. 191-1. Those instructions include the requirement that the petition be signed under penalty of perjury. Maloney Aff. ¶ 6, Dkt. 191-1.

         On November 13, 2017, Dalton filed his Petition with the Court. Dkt. 187. The Petition was signed, but not under penalty of perjury. In the Petition, Dalton asserted an interest in seven firearms, along with a brief description of each:

1. A .32 caliber (apparenty SN 6545) per letter make unknown chrome plated 2 shot Derringer last seen in a blue twill cloth type case, w/2 bullets purchase Burley or Twin or Pocatello;
2. A Black Powder 54 cal left hand wood stock - Cabella purchased - carbine muzzle loader - Cabella Sydney, NE;
3. A Black Powder - inline Boltaction Synthetic Stock - Muzzle loader .50 or .54 cal. Cabella purchase Syndney Nebraska;
4. A 9mm lever action Carbine, given to me by my foster sister after her daughters death (or hospitalization) I don't recall exactly - Brand unknown possibly Marlin, or Savage. Good shape from Vancouver, WA;
5. 1 - SKS 5.56 Nato Surles Rifle Purchase at yard sale in New Shop Idaho or Colorado;
6. A .22 Caliber Ruger Auto Rifle in almost new condition purchase CAL ...

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