United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
April 7, 2016, the United States Attorney filed this in
rem civil forfeiture proceeding pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 981(g) and 21 U.S.C. § 881(i). (Doc. No. 1.) On
September 24, 2018, the Court lifted a stay that had been
entered in the case until resolution of the underlying
criminal matter involving George Mack Bird. Prior thereto, on
March 19, 2018, a third-party claimant, Ms. Lisa Bird, filed
a Notice of Claim in this case. (Doc. No. 30.) One month
later, Ms. Bird filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint.
(Doc. No. 31.)
September 24, 2018 Order, the Court noted Ms. Bird's
verified claim and answer, and more importantly, that Ms.
Bird has asserted therein an interest in the captioned
properties. (Doc. No. 33.) The Court announced that the
resolution of any third-party claim, to include Ms. Bird,
would be announced in a Final Order and Judgment after due
process had been afforded to all interested parties.
(Id. at 5.) Finally, the Court ordered that "no
disposition of any of the captioned properties shall be made
except upon further Order of the Court." (Id.)
Court set an evidentiary hearing in the case for March 26,
2019, but upon a consent motion of the Government and Ms.
Bird, the hearing was continued to allow for discovery.
Discovery in the case closed on June 18, 2019.
19, 2019, Ms. Bird filed "Motion for Contempt to Enforce
a Court Order" wherein she complains that two captioned
properties - "Funds Seized from T. Rowe Price Account
Ending in XXXX5215" and "Funds Contained in
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program Account Ending in
XX2970" - "are in the process of being returned to
George Mack Bird." (Doc. No. 57, at 3.) With respect to
the T. Rowe Price account, Ms. Bird contends that she has
learned from the DEA Office of Chief Council, Asset
Forfeiture Section, that a check "is scheduled to be
paid out within the next two weeks." (Id. at
6.) She further contends that the United States
Attorney's Office, a party to this litigation, has
acquiesced to this disbursement. (Id. at 6-7.) Ms.
Bird asks the Court to enjoin any release or transfer of the
funds in these two accounts until further order of the Court.
(Id. at 7.)
consideration of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 and in
light of the Court's Order of September 24, 2018,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that there shall be no
disposition of any of the captioned properties, particularly
the aforementioned T. Rowe Price Account and Vanguard
Account, until further Order of the Court. IT IS
FURTHER ORDERED that the United States
Attorney's Office, the third-party claimant Ms. Bird, and
Attorneys Jason M. Ferguson and Robert R. McLendon IV shall
appear at a hearing before the Court to address this matter
at the J. Roy Rowland Federal Courthouse in Dublin, Georgia,
on a date to be determined.
Clerk of Court is directed to serve a copy of this Order upon
the United States Attorney's Office, who in turn shall
immediately notify the DEA Office of Chief Council, Asset
Forfeiture Section. Also, the Clerk is directed to serve a
copy of this Order upon Ms. Lisa Bird, Jason M. Ferguson, and
Robert R. McLendon IV, as well as T. Rowe Price, 4515
Painters Mill Road, Owings Mills, MD 21117-4903 and Vanguard
Capital c/o Matthew S. Miner, Esq., Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius LLP, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
 The Government filed an Amended
Complaint on April 18, 2016. (Doc. ...