Thursday, June 14, 2012

Government Seeks Third Bite at the Apple

The Government has filed a second motion for reconsideration of a US District Court's decision to dismiss its forfeiture complaint against the Ka Nefer Nefer mask owed by the St. Louis Museum of Art (SLAM).  The Government now claims that the Court should accept an amended complaint that questions the mask's provenance.  Even if one accepts the Government's claim that the mask's provenance was false, I'm not sure that establishes that the mask is "stolen" so that it may be forfeited.

In any event, the Court should deny this second motion for reconsideration as it did the first.  If the Government believes that it has a good faith basis to appeal the Court's dismissal of its forfeiture complaint, it should do so.  Filing multiple motions for reconsideration seems little more than an effort to drive up SLAM's legal costs and to buy more time for the multiple federal agencies involved to decide whether to file an appeal.  (Filing of such motions typically tolls the time in which an appeal may be filed.  As it is, the Government gets 60 days-- rather than the usual 30 days-- to appeal.)

The Government's motion is available on-line for those with a "Pacer" account with the federal court system.

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