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UNITED STATES v. ONE 1954 "98" OLDSMOBILE CONVERTI

June 6, 1957

UNITED STATES of America
v.
ONE 1954 '98' OLDSMOBILE CONVERTIBLE, Serial No. 549W2548, Motor No. U85183, Registered to Mrs. Nancy Calla, 1100 North Sixth Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FOLLMER

In this action the United States of America seeks to forfeit the defendant automobile under the provisions of 49 U.S.C.A. 782, upon the ground that it had been used to transport and conceal a certain contraband commodity, to wit: 6 packages of heroin containing an aggregate of 7.3 grains of heroin hydrochloride, in violation of the laws and regulations of the United States of America dealing therewith.

The automobile was seized by the police of the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on October 14, 1955, and the seizure was adopted by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics on the same day, to wit: October 14, 1955.

 On December 14, 1955, the Libel of the United States of America was filed, to which Nancy Calla as the registered owner of the automobile, filed an Answer on December 27, 1955.

 On November 28, 1955 the said Nancy Calla filed a petition for the Remission of Forfeiture. Both the Answer and the Petition for Remission were sworn to and in both the affiant stated: 'At the time of the convertible's seizure it had been in the temporary custody of Nicholas J. Calla,' son of claimant-petitioner.

 Several pre-trial conferences were held at this point in an effort to effect an amicable adjustment of the matter. These efforts broke down and the claimant, Nancy Calla, then changed counsel and such new counsel was granted leave to amend the Answer. This amendment consisted of three additional paragraphs, 6, 7 and 8. Paragraphs 7 and 8 quote respectively a portion of an Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Act of 1929, May 1, P.L. 905, Article VI, Section 620 as amended, 75 P.S. § 231) and an Act of Congress (49 U.S.C.A. § 782). Paragraph 6 reads as follows:

 'Sixth: That at the time complained of in Paragraph 3 of the Libel, to wit: On or about October 14, 1955, the aforesaid vehicle was unlawfully in the possession of one Nicholas J. Calla, son of the claimant, who acquired possession thereof in violation of the criminal law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, * * *'

 Upon consideration of the pleadings, the testimony of witnesses taken orally before the Court, the exhibits offered by the respective parties, and the briefs and oral arguments of counsel of the respective parties, the Court now makes the following

 Findings of Fact

 1. The petitioner, Nancy Calla, resides at 1100 North Sixth Street, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where she operates a small grocery store.

 2. Nicholas J. Calla lived with his mother, Nancy Calla, at the above address.

 3. The petitioner is the owner of one 1954 '98' Oldsmobile Convertible, Serial No. 549W2548, Motor No. U85183, hereinafter referred to as the automobile.

 4. Said automobile was bought by the petitioner for $ 4,300, the down payment of $ 1,429.50 was made out of the petitioner's funds, and all payments to date have been made by the petitioner from her own funds.

 5. The financing of the purchase of the automobile was evidenced by a note of the said Nancy Calla dated May 10, 1954, in the sum of $ 3,080, payable in twenty-four consecutive monthly payments of $ 128.33 beginning June 10, 1954.

 6. From some time during the month of August, 1955, until October 14, 1955, the automobile was parked on Herr Street just west of Sixth Street in the City of Harrisburg, which location ...


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