d7f0f2a0-7e0c-4d08-9b2b-8e44da18f8a9.doc 392 United States v. 1500 Lincoln Avenue, US Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, 1991 Does the innocent owner defense bar an action for forfeiture? Issue Reasoning Statute is open to many interpretations. But it clear that congress wanted to attack the economic aspects of the crime. Forfeiture was such a mechanism. But by inserting the innocent owner defense, Congress did not want to extinguish the interests of innocent owners. Adopt interpretation that serves both goals: Forfeiture preserving the rights of innocent owners. W has right to possess and use whole property during her life. Creditors of H only can not attach. Gov may file a lis pendens and preserve its right to seek forfeiture of any separate interest in the property that might later be acquired by the guilty spouse due to death or severance. Rule Statute: drug offense results in ‘forfeiture of any interest in property except for the interest of innocent owner.’ Facts H&W owned a pharmacy in TBTE. H pled guilty and was convicted of selling drugs without a prescription and the gov sought forfeiture of the pharmacy. The wife claimed she had nothing to do with it and did not know of the illegal activities and claimed: ‘innocent owner defense’ Held Procedure P argues D argues Remanded. Court should determine if H’s interest is subject to forfeiture irrespective of W’s innocent owner defense. If so, order forfeiture preserving W’s interests District court dismissed: innocent owner defense bars actions against property held in TBTE. Illegal activity of H does not result in severance. Gov then tried to alter judgment: Gov should be able to obtain any separate interest which H would be entitled to should he survive or divorce. Denied by allowed gov to file a lis pendens (suit pending). Gov Appeals. H’s illegal activities resulted in severance of the entireties estate. W entitled to keep half. Gov then tried to alter judgment: Gov should be able to obtain any separate interest which H would be entitled to should he survive or divorce. Innocent owner defense. Should be dismissed. Lis Pendens: (1) Latin for "a suit pending." The term may refer to any pending lawsuit. (2) A written notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning real estate, involving either the title to the property or a claimed ownership interest in it. The notice is usually filed in the county land records office. Recording a lis pendens against a piece of property alerts a potential purchaser or lender that the property’s title is in question, which makes the property less attractive to a buyer or lender. After the notice is filed, anyone who nevertheless purchases the land or property described in the notice takes subject to the ultimate decision of the lawsuit.