Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kortlander Objects to Government's Motion to Dismiss

Christopher Kortlander's new attorneys yesterday filed a long awaited objection to the government's motion to dismiss filed in January.  Kortlander, along with his associated business entities (e.g. The Custer Battlefield Museum, Inc. in Montana), sued the government in the United States Court of Federal Claims once prosecutors declined to prosecute him for allegations of dealing with federally historical artifacts and eagle feathers.  A federal district court in Montana dismissed a separate lawsuit against a Bureau of Land Management agent in 2011.

Attorneys for the United States filed a motion to dismiss Kortlander's tort, criminal, and constitutional law claims.  They argued that Kortlander's case lacks jurisdiction, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, fails to meet the statute of limitations, and fails to meet certain pleading standards.  Kortlander objects to the government's claims.

Kortlander's lawyers argue that federal agents seized over $34 million of merchandise, including "historical relics," and that the government will not give it back.  Kortlander therefore wants compensation.  His attorneys argue that the seizure of the property is an unconstitutional taking without just compensation under the Fifth Amendment.  They add that the lawsuit was filed properly in court and brought in the time permitted by the statute of limitations.