The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, District Judge.
Libel of Information was filed April 18, 1950, praying that the
vehicle involved herein be forfeited to the United States. At
that time the vehicle had an appraised value of $700.00.
G.G. Graves filed a response to the libel of information,
alleging that he was the owner of said vehicle, subject to
certain mortgages in the total sum of $1,000.00 held by Mrs.
Orene Taylor; denying the allegations of the libel; and praying
that the same be dismissed.
The issues thus joined were tried to the court on June 9, 1950,
and the court, by findings of fact and conclusions of law filed
June 12, 1950, determined that said vehicle should be declared
forfeited to the United States. Judgment to this effect was
entered June 12, 1950, conditioned, however, that since it
appeared that there were outstanding encumbrances in favor of
persons who might desire to apply for remission or mitigation of
the forfeiture, that the United States Marshal retain custody of
said vehicle for 30 days within which time any such person might
make application for remission or mitigation.
Accordingly, on July 8, 1950, Mrs. Orene Taylor made
application for remission, and alleged that she holds two
mortgages on said vehicle, each in the sum of $500.00, which were
acquired in good faith, and she had no knowledge or reason to
believe that Graves was using the vehicle in violation of any
laws of the United States or the State of Arkansas. On July 11,
1950, the court ordered the United States Marshal to retain
possession of said vehicle pending the further orders of the
court. The United States filed its response to the application on
October 9, 1950, in which it denied that the petitioner, Mrs.
Taylor, is entitled to said truck for purposes of enforcing the
liens she holds on the same, and affirmatively alleged that at
all times material to the action the said G.G. Graves had a
reputation in Columbia County, Arkansas, for violating laws of
the United States or the State of Arkansas relating to liquor and
had a record of violating said laws.
On October 16, 1950, claimant, Mrs. Orene Taylor, and the
United States filed a stipulation of facts, and agreed that the
issues raised by the application for remission and response
thereto be submitted to the court upon said stipulation and the
Conclusion of Law No. 3, of the Findings of Fact and
Conclusions of Law filed in this action on June 12, 1950,
"By carrying on the business of a liquor dealer without having
paid the required special tax imposed by law, G.G. Graves
violated the provisions of Section 3253, Title 26, United States
Code [26 U.S.C.A. § 3253].
"By having and possessing the 1947 International ¾-ton Pickup
Truck, Motor No. 136247, which was used and intended for use in
violating the provisions of Section 3253, Title 26, United States
Code, the said G.G. Graves forfeited all property rights in said
truck by virtue of Section 3116, Title 26, United States Code
[26 U.S.C.A. § 3116]."
In accordance with this conclusion, it was directed that the
said vehicle be declared forfeited to the United States. At the
time the Libel of Information was filed, April 18, 1950, said
vehicle had an appraised value of $700.00.
The claimant, Mrs. Taylor, first became acquainted with the
said Graves in the year 1937 and was married to him in the year
1939. They were divorced in 1943.
On June 14, 1948, Mrs. Taylor loaned to Graves, the then owner
of the vehicle involved herein, the sum of $500.00, without
interest, and to secure said loan the said Graves executed and
delivered to Mrs. Taylor a chattel mortgage dated June 14, 1948,
on said vehicle, which chattel mortgage was filed for record in
the office of the Circuit Clerk and Ex-Officio Recorder of
Columbia County, Arkansas, on April 5, 1949.
On April 14, 1949, Mrs. Taylor loaned to Graves the additional
sum of $500.00, with interest at three (3) per cent per annum,
and to secure said loan Graves executed and delivered to Mrs.
Taylor another chattel mortgage on the vehicle involved herein,
which mortgage was filed for record in the office of the ...