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States Rsp to Defs Joint Disclaimer of Interest & Mtn for Entry of Judgm...

States Rsp to Defs Joint Disclaimer of Interest & Mtn for Entry of Judgm...

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Published by: rickystokesnews on Dec 06, 2012
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08/07/2013

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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LOWNDES COUNTY, ALABAMA
STATE OF ALABAMA,LOWNDES COUNTY,Petitioner v.$549,981.28 in U.S. Currency, et al.,Respondents)))))))))))))Case No.: CV-09-900027
STATE’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS/INTERVENORS’JOINT DISCLAIMER OF INTERESTAND MOTION FOR ENTRY OF JUDGMENT
COMES NOW the State of Alabama and responds to theDefendant/Intervenors’ Joint Disclaimer of Interest and Motion for Entry of Judgment and moves for the entry of judgment. The State says as follows:Intervenors’ disclaimer and purported “motion” has finally clarified wherethey stand. They have unconditionally and irrevocably disclaimed any interest inthe property that is subject to this action. They have also conceded that the entry of a forfeiture judgment pursuant to Section 13A-12-30(a) of the Code of Alabama isthe proper disposition of this action. The State does not object to their disclaimer of their interest in the property. The only question is what this Court should do about
ELECTRONICALLY FILED11/15/2012 5:16 PMCV-2009-900027.00CIRCUIT COURT OFLOWNDES COUNTY, ALABAMARUBY JONES, CLERK
 
it, and the State requests that the Court enter a judgment that is slightly differentfrom what Intervenors propose. In light of Intervenors’ disclaimer of interest, thisCourt should enter the proposed order attached as
Exhibit A.
 The Court should enter the order attached as
Exhibit A
for four reasons.First, Intervenors have no standing to be heard on the proper disposition of this case.
1
To be clear, the slot machines that the State seized unquestionably bear the names and logos of these manufacturers and were indisputably owned by themat one time.
See
Mot. for Sum. Judg., Exhibits. But Intervenors
 
have failed tointroduce any evidence that they have a lawful property interest in these devices,and they have irrevocably and unconditionally waived any interest that they mayhave in them. Accordingly, Intervenors have no more right to be heard on the proper disposition of this case than the proverbial “man off the street.”Second, the State’s proposed order correctly grants the State’s petition for forfeiture, but Intervenors’ proposed order improperly requests that the Court granttheir motion to
dismiss
the State’s petition.
See
Intervenors’ Proposed Order. Asthe State has previously explained, Intervenors’ proposed disposition is erroneous.Because the Intervenors have unconditionally withdrawn their claims to the property, the correct disposition is for this Court to grant the State’s petition for 
1
The Court may recall that it expressly directed the Intervenors at the November 8hearing to file a “simple vanilla” disclaimer of interest that did not seek the entry of any specificorder. In contravention of the Court’s direction, the Intervenors still improperly purport to styletheir “disclaimer” as a “motion” and still seek to control how this case is disposed.
 
forfeiture, not dismiss it. It would be erroneous for this Court to purport to“dismiss” the State’s forfeiture petition merely because these entities no longer claim an interest in the subject property. Instead, this Court should expressly grantthe State’s forfeiture petition.Third, the State’s proposed order correctly identifies the source of thisCourt’s power to declare the gambling devices to be forfeit. This Court can declarethe devices forfeit because the Alabama Code makes slot machines forfeit, becausethe State has alleged that these gambling devices are slot machines, because theState’s motion for summary judgment has established an evidentiary basis for itsallegations, and because (after receiving notice and the opportunity for a hearing)no one continues to claim an interest in these machines and to contest the State’sallegation that these devices are forfeit.
See
Ala. Code § 13A-12-30(a). To preventthis Court’s judgment from being challenged in future litigation, it is important thatthe Court identify the appropriate Code provision or other authority that gives it the power to order the forfeiture of the machines.Fourth, the State’s proposed order properly imposes the costs of this actionon the Intervenors. The Intervenors’ litigation tactics have imposed significant andunnecessary costs on the taxpayers of the State of Alabama. Rule 54(d) of theAlabama Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs, and this provision

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