United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
the Court is Claimant Mary Smith's “Motion for
Reconsideration of Court's Order and Reasons” (Rec.
Doc. 497), which seeks reconsideration of the Final Order of
Forfeiture (Rec. Doc. 494) issued on April 17, 2018. The
Government did not file an opposition. For the following
reasons, IT IS ORDERED that the motion (Rec.
Doc. 497) is DENIED.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
located at 536-38 South Broad Street in New Orleans,
Louisiana, was ordered forfeited to the United States on
August 25, 2017, in a Preliminary Order of Forfeiture issued
in conjunction with Defendant Rufus Johnson's
sentencing. See Rec. Doc. 417. In October
2017, Claimant sought to assert her allegedly superior
interest in the property via an ancillary proceeding pursuant
to 21 U.S.C. § 853(n). See Rec. Doc. 446. The
Court dismissed Claimant's motion to assert an interest
in the property because her pleadings (1) conceded that she
had previously sold the property and (2) contained no facts
suggesting that Claimant had later regained ownership of the
property. See Rec. Doc. 470.
then filed a motion to reconsider the dismissal of her claim
to the property. See Rec. Doc. 474. The Court denied
Claimant's motion because Claimant failed to show any
newly discovered evidence that might produce a different
result. See Rec. Doc. 486. The Government then moved
for a final order of forfeiture, see Rec. Doc. 493,
which the Court granted because the only asserted third-party
interest in the party had been dismissed, see Rec.
Doc. 494 (citing Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(c)(2)). Claimant then
filed the instant motion to reconsider the Final Order of
Forfeiture. See Rec. Doc. 497.
Mary Smith lacks standing to challenge the Final Order of
Forfeiture; Defendant Rufus Johnson “is the only party
that has standing to challenge the forfeitability of [his]
assets.” United States v. Holy Land Found. for
Relief & Dev., 722 F.3d 677, 689-90 (5th Cir. 2013);
see also Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(c)(2) (“[A]
third party [may not] object to the final order [of
forfeiture] on the ground that the third party had an
interest in the property.”). “[T]he only way in
which a third party may assert an interest in the forfeited
property is through an ancillary proceeding.” Holy
Land Found., 722 F.3d at 684 (referring to 21 U.S.C.
§ 853(k), (n)).
a third party is unable to satisfy either § 853(n)(6)(A)
or (B), it cannot prevail in the ancillary proceeding”
and “the United States acquires clear title to the
property.” Holy Land Found., 722 F.3d at
684-85. Notably, an ancillary proceeding, “‘does
not involve relitigation of the forfeitability of the
property; its only purpose is to determine whether any third
party has a legal interest in the forfeited
property.'” Id. at 689-90 (quoting Fed. R.
Crim. P. 32.2 advisory committee's note)). An attempt to
assert an interest in forfeited property outside of an
ancillary proceeding “is an impermissible third-party
challenge to the forfeiture of [a criminal defendant's]
assets.” Id. at 689.
sought to initiate an ancillary proceeding to assert an
interest in the property. Rec. Doc. 446. Her claim was
dismissed because she failed to allege facts that could
establish an interest in the property under either section
853(n)(6)(A) or (B). Rec. Doc. 470. Claimant then moved for
reconsideration based on newly discovered evidence. Rec. Doc.
474. But that motion was denied because, even if the evidence
was actually newly discovered, it did not cure the
deficiencies in Claimant's allegations. Rec. Doc. 486.
Claimant did not appeal the dismissal of her ancillary
proceeding or the denial of her motion to reconsider. Having
failed to prevail in an ancillary proceeding, Claimant cannot
now challenge the Final Order of Forfeiture and so her Motion
for Reconsideration is denied. See Holy Land Found.,
722 F.3d at 689-90; Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(c)(2).
 The full description of the property,
as described in the Preliminary Order of Forfeiture (Rec.
Doc. 417) follows. “Property currently recorded in the
name of R.H.J. Entertainment, LLC and described as follows:
All buildings and improvements thereon a certain lot or
portion of ground, together with all the buildings and
improvements thereon, and all of the rights, ways,
privileges, servitudes, appurtenances and advantages
thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining, situated in
First District of the City of New Orleans, in Square 585,
bounded by S. Broad, Gravier, South Dorgenois Streets and
Tulane Avenue, designated as Lot 22-A on a survey made by
Gilbert & Kelly, Surveyors, dated June 10, 1950, a blue
print is attached to act before Rene' Lehmann, Notary
Public, dated July 3, 1950, according to which said lot
measures thirty feet (30') front on S. Broad Street, the
same width in the rear, by a depth between equal and parallel
lines of one hundred eighty one feet, one inch, three lines
(181'1”3”'). Said lot No. 22-A commences
at a distance of one hundred twenty two feet, three inches,
seven lines (122'3”7”') from the corner
of Gravier Street and South Broad Street, subject to
restrictions, servitudes, rights-of-way and outstanding
mineral rights of record affecting the property. The
improvements thereon bear the municipal number: 536-38 South
Broad Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.” Rec. Doc. 417 at
1-2. This description matches Claimant's description of
the property. See Rec. Doc. 446-4 (sales contract
between Claimant and JaRuVa, Inc.).
 Claimant alleges that she did not
receive a copy of the Government's motion for a final
order of forfeiture, see Rec. Doc. 497-1 at 1, but
the Court's electronic filing system indicates that a
copy of the motion was mailed to Claimant at the address ...