Oral Arguments Scheduled in Ka Nefer Nefer Mummy Mask Appeal

The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for January 13, 2013 in the case of U.S. v. Mask of Ka Nefer Nefer. 

The case involves federal prosecutors’ efforts to forfeit the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask from the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM). Government lawyers wrote in July 2011 that SLAM’s “claim of ownership is legally impossible, and as such the Mask is effectively contraband in the hands of the Museum.” 

Prosecutors allege that the ancient burial mask, which archaeologists discovered during an authorized excavation in 1952, was stolen from Egypt. SLAM purchased the cultural object in 1998 for approximately half a million dollars. 

A Missouri federal district court brought the government’s forfeiture case to an end in April 2012, concluding that the government’s complaint failed to specifically explain how the mask was allegedly stolen or smuggled, or how it was brought into the U.S. illegally. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a motion to reconsider the court’s decision, and in May 2012 the government revealed new information that it said would support a proposed amended complaint. Judge Henry Autrey denied the motion to reconsider, and federal prosecutors filed a proposed amended complaint anyway. The district court rejected the government’s case a second time. 

Source: Eight Circuit Court of Appeals
Attorneys for the government appealed to the Eight Circuit, arguing that the lower court abused its discretion by not allowing them to file an amended complaint. Lawyers for SLAM rebuffed their argument by contending that there is “no basis on which to find [that] the District Court abused its discretion in denying the Government’s fatally late and insufficient submission of its Proposed Amended Complaint.” SLAM chided federal officials for “the liberties the Government takes ….” 

The appellate case is expected to be heard by Circuit Judges James Loken, Diana Murphy, and Lavenski Smith. Loken is former chief judge of the appellate court, nominated to the bench by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. Murphy is a 1994 Clinton appointee, and Smith is a 2002 appointee nominated by George W. Bush.

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2010-2013 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited.  CONTACT: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com

Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire: Oral Arguments Scheduled in Ka Nefer Nefer Mummy Mask Appeal.

December 17th, 2013

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April 23rd, 2013

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Failed Negotiations Put Ka Nefer Nefer Forfeiture Case Back on the Docket

http://culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com/2013/04/failed-negotiations-put-ka-nefer-nefer.html

April 18, 2013
The U.S. Attorney in St. Louis today told the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals that negotiations have failed in the case of United States v. Mask of Ka Nefer Nefer. Federal authorities are attempting to seize and forfeit the mummy mask from the St. Louis Art Museum and hope to return it to Egypt.
The federal district court in St. Louis twice dismissed the case last year before prosecutors filed an appeal to the higher court. But prosecutors told the appeals court in a January 17, 2013 status report that negotiations might resolve the matter. “It is the hope of the parties that this meeting will result in the parties and the Republic of Egypt coming to terms that will settle this matter in its entirety, such that no further appellate proceedings will be required,” the report explained.
Today’s report, in contrast, closes the door on any negotiated settlement. It announces:
“In the interim between the United States’ last status report and the present date, the parties have continued to confer in good faith in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution of this case. Unfortunately, the parties’ attempts have so far been unsuccessful, and the United States no longer believes that a nonjudicial resolution of this case is likely in the foreseeable future.”
The case will be placed back on the court docket and proceed to litigation.

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire atculturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2010-2013 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT:www.culturalheritagelawyer.com  Photo credit woofwoof.

Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire: Failed Negotiations Put Ka Nefer Nefer Forfeiture Case Back on the Docket.

April 18th, 2013

Posted In: Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire, looting and illegal art traffickers, Saint Louis Art Museum

Ka Nefer Nefer Settlement Terms to be Discussed

http://culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.nl/2013/02/ka-nefer-nefer-settlement-terms-to-be.html

February 13, 2013

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The United States Attorney’s Office has informed the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals that a settlement may be possible between the federal government, Egypt, and the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) in the Ka Nefer Nefer forfeiture case.The federal district court in St. Louis twice dismissed the case last year before prosecutors filed an appeal to the higher court.  But federal attorneys told the appeals court in a January 17 status report that “the parties are planning to meet between February 25 and 27, 2013 at a location agreed upon by the parties, where Appellant, Appellee, and the Republic of Egypt will each be represented. It is the hope of the parties that this meeting will result in the parties and the Republic of Egypt coming to terms that will settle this matter in its entirety, such that no further appellate proceedings will be required.”

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire atculturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2012 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT:www.culturalheritagelawyer.com

Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire: Ka Nefer Nefer Settlement Terms to be Discussed.

February 13th, 2013

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June 4th, 2012

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May 10th, 2012

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United States Files Motion in SLAM Mummy Mask Case

http://culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com/2012/04/united-states-files-motion-in-slam.html

April 7, 2012

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis filed a motion today in response to a federal district court’s

ruling earlier this week dismissing the government’s forfeiture complaint against the Ka Nefer Nefer mummy mask located at the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM).  The prosecutor asks the court for an extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration of the court’s decision or to file an amended complaint.

The federal district court for the eastern district of Missouri on March 31, 2012 dismissed the government’s action, saying that the complaint failed to allege specific enough facts to support a claim for forfeiture.  The government’s response today sets the stage to either file a revised complaint that meets the court’s articulated demands or to appeal the court’s dismissal order if a motion to reconsider the decision proves unsuccessful. The prosecutor asks for extended time to pursue these objectives because he states, in part, that he is in a trial expected to last through April 20.

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Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire: United States Files Motion in SLAM Mummy Mask Case.

April 7th, 2012

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February 26th, 2012

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February 12th, 2012

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