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CIVIL FORFEITURE, RULE 60(B), ALA. R. CIV. P. & RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT - BHARARA SEGAR LLC V. STATE OF ALABAMA

Bharara Segar LLC v. State of Alabama, [Ms. 2150663, Nov. 4, 2016] __ So.3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2016). The Court of Civil Appeals reverses a judgment of the Etowah Circuit Court entered pursuant to an agreement between the Etowah County District Attorney on behalf of the State of Alabama and Subeet Arora, a member of Bharara Segar LLC, involving condemnation and forfeiture of $5,000 cash and a 2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 vehicle pursuant to § 20-2-93, Ala. Code 1975. The court concludes the LLC's due process rights were violated when the Etowah Circuit Court entered judgment based upon the settlement agreement prior to the time within which the LLC was required pursuant to Rule 12(a), Ala. R. Civ. P., to file its answer to the complaint for civil forfeiture. When publication of the notice of the action is given pursuant to § 28-4-286, Ala. Code 1975, individuals who have an interest in the property at risk of condemnation and forfeiture are entitled by due process to the time prescribed by law to file an answer and contest the claim.

In this case, while Mr. Arora may have been a member of the LLC when he personally entered the settlement agreement with the district attorney, there was no showing that the LLC itself agreed to the purported settlement agreement. Thus, the LLC's Rule 60(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., motion for relief from judgment was due to be granted, and the Etowah Circuit Court's order and judgment reversed and remanded.

Related Documents: Segar v. State of Alabama

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