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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eternal Rest Not Coming Soon for Ka Nefer Nefer Mummy Mask as Motions are Once Again Filed in Missouri Forfeiture Case

"This Court has previously denied the Government’s motion for reconsideration of its Order of Dismissal, and this latest filing by the Government amounts to little more than a second motion to reconsider."  That is what lawyers for the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) write in their Motion to Strike the Motion of the United States to File First Amended Verified Complaint.  SLAM's latest motion and memorandum to the Missouri federal court in the forfeiture case of United States v. Mask of Ka Nefer Nefer comes on the heels of the government's filing of a new complaint alleging that the mummy mask should be forfeited.

SLAM's lawyers argue that the parties should not have to keep coming back to court to argue an issue that has already been put to rest:

"The Government’s renewed attempt to re-open this case is unsettling. Not only has this Court dismissed this case, this Court has already once denied the Government’s request to reopen this case on the very same bases now reasserted in the Government’s Motion, and effectively denied the Government’s previous requests for leave to amend post-judgment. The Government now asserts that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”) grant it limitless attempts to reexamine and to re-open this case until they are successful. The Government’s misinterpretation of these Rules would result in an abuse of procedure, a waste of judicial resources and burden on this Court, and a continued strain on the Claimant Museum’s limited resources."

Attorneys for the government counter in their Memorandum of Opposition that its recent petition asking the court's permission to accept a new forfeiture complaint is timely filed.  They argue:

"The Museum’s Motion to Strike is merely its latest attempt to generate procedural confusion in this case in order to avoid a decision on the merits. In any other setting, one would expect the Museum’s arguments to be presented in the form of a memorandum in opposition to the United States’ Motion for Leave to Amend. Instead, the Museum declined to respond and sought instead to strike the United States’ motion, presumably in the hopes of delaying this Court’s decision on the motion until after July 1, 2012, when the United States’ time to file notice of appeal might arguably run."

The pleadings, published on June 15, are expected to be ruled on by the court.

Hat tip to Gary Nurkin.

CONTACT: http://www.culturalheritagelawyer.com/