$4, 076.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY AND NATHANIEL ADAM WALTERS APPELLANTS
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72CV-16-1941]
HONORABLE CRISTI BEAUMONT, JUDGE.
Nathaniel Walters, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't
Att'y Gen., and Brad Aldridge, Law Student Admitted to
Practice Pursuant to Rule XV of the Rules Governing Admission
to the Bar of the Supreme Court under the Supervision of
Darnisa Evans Johnson, Deputy Att'y Gen., for appellee.
F. VIRDEN, JUDGE.
appellant Nathaniel Adam Walters appeals from the Washington
County Circuit Court's "Order of Forfeiture"
with respect to $4, 076 seized from his vehicle during a
traffic stop. Because Walters's notice of appeal is
untimely, we dismiss with prejudice.
September 14, 2016, the State filed an "In Rem
Complaint for Forfeiture of Seized Items." The complaint
indicates that on August 3, 2016, Deputy Velasco of the
Washington County Sheriff's Office stopped Walters for a
traffic violation. In a subsequent search of Walters's
vehicle, Velasco found drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine,
and $4, 076. The State alleged in its complaint that the
currency was subject to forfeiture pursuant to Ark. Code Ann.
§ 5-64-505 (Supp. 2017). The record indicates that
Walters was served with a summons, along with a copy of the
State's complaint, on September 20, 2016.
November 30, 2016, the trial court entered an order of
forfeiture of the $4, 076, concluding that the money
"was all intended to be used in exchange for controlled
substances, or was the proceeds and profits traceable to such
exchanges of controlled substances, or were intended to be
used to facilitate a violation of Ark. Code Ann. §
5-64-505." It was noted in the order that Walters had
been served with a proper summons and file-marked copy of the
complaint but that he had not filed an answer.
filed pro se "motions" on December 2 and 9, 2016,
seeking the return of his money. The trial court took no
action with respect to Walters's motions. Walters filed a
notice of appeal on January 25, 2017.
as otherwise provided in subdivisions (b) and (c) of this
rule, a notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days
from the entry of the judgment, decree, or order appealed
from. Ark. R. App. P.-Civ. 4(a). Upon timely filing in the
circuit court of a motion to vacate, alter, or amend the
judgment made no later than ten days after entry of the
judgment, the time for filing a notice of appeal shall be
extended for all parties. Ark. R. App. P.-Civ. 4(b). The
notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days from entry
of the order disposing of the last motion outstanding.
Id. However, if the circuit court neither grants nor
denies the motion within thirty days of its filing, the
motion shall be deemed denied by operation of law as of the
thirtieth day, and the notice of appeal shall be filed within
thirty days from that date. Id.
motions filed on December 2 and 9, 2016, Walters sought the
return of "his life savings," arguing that the
money was not subject to forfeiture for various reasons,
including that it was not related to any drug offense, and
that the seizure of his money was the result of an illegal
search. These motions were essentially answers to the
State's complaint for forfeiture, but they were untimely
because they were filed beyond the sixty-day period
prescribed by Ark. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1). Although these
posttrial motions were filed within ten days of the order of
forfeiture on November 30, 2016, they do not constitute any
of the motions listed in Ark. R. App. P.-Civ.
4(b)(1). Looking at the substance of his posttrial
motions, Walters did not ask for a new trial; he did not use
words such as "vacate" or "set aside";
and he did not reference the order of forfeiture or any
Walters's posttrial motions did not serve to extend the
time for filing a notice of appeal pursuant to Ark. R. App.
P.-Civ. 4(b)(1), his notice of appeal filed on January 25,
2017-fifty-seven days after entry of the order of
forfeiture-was untimely. A timely notice of appeal is a
jurisdictional requirement. Kankey v. State, 2013