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Defs Reply Brief in Support of Their Joint Disclaimer of Interest.pdf

Defs Reply Brief in Support of Their Joint Disclaimer of Interest.pdf

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Published by: rickystokesnews on Dec 06, 2012
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04/05/2013

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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LOWNDES COUNTY, ALABAMASTATE OF ALABAMA, LOWNDES )COUNTY, ))Plaintiff, ))v. ) Case No. CV-09-900027)$549,981.28 IN U.S. CURRENCY, )et al., ))Defendants. )DEFENDANT/INTERVENORS
REPLY BRIEF IN FURTHERSUPPORT OF THEIR JOINT DISCLAIMER OF INTEREST/ MOTION FOR ENTRY OF JUDGMENT AND
 
IN RESPONSE TOTHE STATE
S ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR ENTRY OF JUDGMENT
Defendant/Intervenors Bally Gaming, Inc., Nova Gaming, LLC, AGS LLC, andEclipse Gaming Systems, LLC (
Defendants
), in further support of their JointDisclaimer of Interest/Motion for Entry of Judgment and in response to the State
sMotion for Entry of Judgment, state as follows:The State
s alternative motion for entry of judgment, offered in response to theDefendants
earlier motion, is essentially an attempt to have this Court enter a findingthat property formerly at issue in the case was
used or possessed
in violation of Alabama law, and that the State is therefore entitled to forfeiture. Now that theDefendants have disclaimed an interest in the property, there is no longer a controversy,because the only relief that the State may seek under the forfeiture statute is a judgmentof forfeiture. Because the State is entitled to a judgment of forfeiture by virtue of the
 
ELECTRONICALLY FILED11/21/2012 3:08 PMCV-2009-900027.00CIRCUIT COURT OFLOWNDES COUNTY, ALABAMARUBY JONES, CLERK
 
2
Defendants
disclaimer, the State
‟s request
for this Court to pass on anything else isnothing more than a request for an advisory opinion.Now that the Defendants have disclaimed an interest in the property, there cannotpossibly be a justiciable controversy, because there is no statutory or other basis forproviding the State with any relief. That the State is entitled to possession of the propertyis undisputed. As noted above and in previous filings, A
LA
.
 
C
ODE
§ 13A-12-30 providesthat property used or possessed in violation of the Code must be forfeited to the State, butsection 13A-12-30 does not provide for any type of relief other than forfeiture. Becausethere is no relief that the Court could fashion in the event the State prevailed in its questfor an advisory opinion, there is no justiciable controversy and the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction.
“„
A party establishes standing . . . when it demonstrates the existenceof (1) an actual, concrete and particularized
injury in fact
--
an invasion of a legallyprotected interest
; (2) a
causal connection between the injury and the conductcomplained of 
; and (3) a likelihood that the injury will be
redressed by a favorabledecision.
”‟”
 
 Muhammad v. Ford 
, 956 So.2d 1158, 1162 (Ala. 2007) (quoting
 Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife
, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)). The State
s alleged injury is thatthe equipment was allegedly used or possessed in violation of Alabama law, and theremedy for that injury is forfeiture pursuant to A
LA
.
 
C
ODE
§ 13A-12-30. Now that theproperty is indisputably the State
s, there is no remedy that this Court can fashion
 
otherthan that to which the State is already entitled. There is, accordingly, no case orcontroversy.
 
3
The State‟s pursuit of an advisory opinion, moreover, is
inconsistent with thecourse of events leading to the disposition of seized currency and seized equipment inwhich former defendant Multimedia initially claimed an interest. With regard to thecurrency, after former defendants Cornerstone and FTV disclaimed any interest in thatproperty, the State moved for summary judgment merely upon the showing that no partythen claimed a right to that property and no party could thereafter claim a right to that
 property under the Court‟s intervention Order. State‟s Motion for Summary Judgment a
sto $549,981.28 in United States Currency at 3. On that basis alone, the State claimed it
was “
entitled to the forfeiture of the Currency.
 Id.
This
Court‟s
summary judgmentOrder awarding the State possession of the seized funds was consistent with thedisposition suggested by Defendants with respect to seized machines, merely stating:With no opposition having been filed, the pending summary judgmentmotion of the plaintiff, State of Alabama, referable to the $549,981.28 incurrency previously seized, is granted. The Court declares that the State of Alabama is entitled to these funds, which are deemed forfeited to the State.August 28, 2012 Order.
The same is true with respect to this Court‟s Order 
regarding seized Multimediaequipment. That Order, having declared that the seized property to belong to the State,
directed that the State “proceed to
destroy the seized property,
August 8, 2012 Order ¶¶1-2, even though the Order included the further s
tipulation that “
[a]ll issues relating to theseized property are hereby fully and finally resolved without trial or further adjudicationof any issue of fact or law
.”
 Id.
¶ 3. This Court importantly entered that Order upon jointmotion of the State and Multimedia, suggesting at a minimum that the State is well aware

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