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United States v. Rashid

April 6, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
AMIN A. RASHID



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jan E. Dubois, J.

ORDER AND MEMORANDUM

ORDER

AND NOW, this 6th day of April, 2009, upon consideration of Interveners' Motion for Reconsideration of Order and Memorandum Denying Permission to Intervene and Motion to Void Criminal Forfeiture of Premises Known as 444 East Mount Pleasant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144 ("Motion for Reconsideration") (Document No. 487, filed March 31, 2009) filed by Amir A. Rashid and Anwar A. Rashid, for the reasons stated in the attached Memorandum, IT IS ORDERED that the Motion for Reconsideration of Amir A. Rashid and Anwar A. Rashid is DENIED.

MEMORANDUM

I. BACKGROUND

A detailed factual and procedural history is included in this Court's Order and Memorandum of March 17, 2009. See United States v. Rashid, Nos. 93-cr-264 & 95-cv-7396, 2009 WL 723382 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 17, 2009). Accordingly, this Memorandum sets forth only the factual and procedural history necessary to explain the Court's ruling.

On December 27, 1993, after a jury trial, defendant was convicted of 54 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering in this District. At that time, the jury also returned a special verdict of forfeiture, finding that, inter alia, defendant's house at 444 E. Mount Pleasant Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was traceable to his criminal activity.

On May 19, 1994, the Court enforced the jury's special verdict of forfeiture and issued an order forfeiting to the United States, inter alia, defendant's right, title, claim, and interest in the Mount Pleasant Avenue house. As part of that order, the Court required that notice of the forfeiture be published, and that the United States give direct notice to all known interested parties so third parties might assert any possible interest in the property before the United States took final control over the property. Defendant did not appeal from that order. See In re Rashid, 2004 WL 2861872, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 13, 2004) (Diamond, J.); United States v. Amin A. Rashid, 2000 WL 1622761, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 30, 2000) (Giles, J.).

On May 16, 1997, following the notice period, the Court entered a Judgment and Final Order of Forfeiture. SeeUnited States v. Rashid, 2000 WL 1622761, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 30, 2000) (Giles, J.). Thereafter, the property was sold by the Government.

On January 20, 2009, defendant and his sons, Amir A. Rashid and Anwar A. Rashid ("interveners"), filed three motions: Amin A. Rashid's Motion for Reconsideration of Denial of Rule 60(b)(6) Motion Due to Fraud on the Court ("Rule 60(b)(6) Reconsideration Motion"); Amir A. Rashid and Anwar A. Rashid's Motion for Permission to Intervene Pursuant to Rule 24(a) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule 24(a) Motion"); and, Amir A. Rashid and Anwar A. Rashid's Motion to Void Ab-Initio Criminal Forfeiture of 444 East Mount Pleasant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144 ("Motion to Void"). By Order and Memorandum dated March 17, 2009, the Court denied these three motions on the ground that they were untimely. Specifically, the Court found that it lacked jurisdiction over defendant's Rule 60(b)(6) Reconsideration Motion because it was filed over nine (9) years after this Court's disposition of defendant's Rule 60(b)(6) motion, and interveners' Rule 24(a) Motion and Motion to Void were time-barred because they were filed over eleven (11) years after the expiration of the thirty (30) day period provided in 21 U.S.C. § 853(n)(2) for the assertion of third party interests in property that is the subject of criminal forfeiture. United States v. Rashid, Nos. 93-cr-264 & 95-cv-7396, 2009 WL 723382, *2, 3 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 17, 2009).

Presently before the Court is interveners' motion seeking reconsideration of their Rule 24(a) Motion and Motion to Void. For the reasons discussed in Part III, infra, the Court denies interveners' Motion for Reconsideration.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The purpose of a motion for reconsideration of an order is to correct manifest errors of law or fact, or to present newly discovered evidence. Max's Seafood Café v. Max Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). A prior decision may be altered or amended only if the party seeking reconsideration establishes at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court issued its order; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Id. "Because federal courts have a strong interest in finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly." Continental Casualty Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F. Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995); see also Rottmund v. Continental Assurance Co., 813 F. Supp. 1104, 1107 (E.D. Pa. 1992).

Moreover, A motion for reconsideration "addresses only factual and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked. It is improper on a motion for reconsideration to ask the Court to rethink what it had already thought through-rightly or wrongly." Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of Glendon, 836 F. Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993); see also United States v. Jasin, 292 F. Supp. 2d 670, 676 (E.D. Pa. 2003) ("Parties are not free to relitigate issues which the court has already decided."). "The motion for reconsideration should ...


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