United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge
action for civil forfeiture in rem was filed on
August 21, 2018. (Docket #1). The government seeks forfeiture
of the defendant property, which is titled to the claimant
World Burns, Inc. (the “Company”), because it is
traceable to the proceeds of wire fraud. Id. at 2.
Francis Burns (“Burns”), identified as a claimant
on the Court's docket sheet, has filed a number of
largely unintelligible documents in an apparent attempt to
assert a claim to the property, either on his own behalf or
that of the Company. See (Docket #9, #11, #12, #19).
matter was originally assigned to Magistrate Judge William E.
Duffin. While it was pending before Magistrate Duffin, the
government filed a motion to strike some of the putative
notices of claim filed by Burns. (Docket #13). Magistrate
Duffin granted the motion on November 29, 2018. (Docket #17).
The case was reassigned to this branch of the Court on
January 3, 2019. Prior to the reassignment, the government
filed a second motion to strike another of Burns'
filings. (Docket #18). There, the government sought to strike
a document docketed as a “notice of claim, ” even
though it does not qualify as such a notice. See
id., (Docket #9). On February 5, 2019, the Court granted
the second motion to strike, and sua sponte struck
some of Burns' other incoherent and frivolous filings.
February 8, 2019, the government filed a motion for default
judgment. (Docket #22). The motion explains that the
government complied with the notice requirements applicable
to this action, and that only the Company and Burns have
responded to those notices. However, with all of the putative
claimants' filings having been stricken, no valid claims
have been advanced, and the time in which to file a claim has
expired. Further, the time in which to respond to the
government's motion has also elapsed. Civ. L. R. 7(b).
The Court will, therefore, grant the government's motion
and enter default judgment in its favor. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b).
has made a number of submissions since the filing of the
motion for default judgment, but they do not change this
result. On February 8, 2019, Burns filed a set of documents
which appear very similar to those which struck by the Court
on February 5. (Docket #24). The government has moved to
strike this set of documents, and Burns has not responded to
that motion. (Docket #25). The Court will, for the same
reasons stated in its February 5 order, grant the
government's motion and strike Burns' February 8
February 20, 2019, Burns filed two additional motions. The
first asks that the Court dismiss this case for, as best the
Court can tell, a lack of jurisdiction, but Burns makes no
coherent argument as to why jurisdiction is lacking. (Docket
#26). Burns' second motion asks for discovery pursuant to
various rules of Wisconsin criminal procedure. (Docket #27).
But this is not a criminal case, and in any event, this is a
federal court. Both of Burns' February 20 motions will,
therefore, be denied.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to
strike (Docket #25) be and the same is hereby
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the documents filed on
February 8, 2019 (Docket #24) by Claimant Francis Burns be
and the same are hereby STRICKEN;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motions to dismiss
(Docket #26) and to compel discovery (Docket #27) by Claimant
Francis Burns be and the same are hereby
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for
default judgment (Docket #22) be and the same is hereby
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant property,
Certain Real Property commonly known as 4512 South Drexel
Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, be and hereby is forfeited to
the United States of America and that no right, title or
interest in the defendant property shall exist in any other
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Internal Revenue Service
or its duly authorized agent shall dispose of the defendant
property according to law;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Court shall retain
jurisdiction of this cause for the purpose of enforcing the
Judgment of Default and Forfeiture; and
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action be and the same