Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department E
In the Matter of: 1993 CHEVROLET BLAZER AS DESCRIBED IN THE ATTACHED APPENDIX.
JERRY BLUTH, Claimant/Appellant. STATE OF ARIZONA, Plaintiff/Appellee,
Not for Publication -Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court
Appeal from the Superior Court of Maricopa County Cause No. CV2011-019196 The Honorable Dean M. Fink, Judge
Jerry Bluth, Appellant In Propria Persona Tempe
Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney Phoenix By Natalie C. La Porte, Deputy County Attorney Attorneys for Appellee
JON W. THOMPSON, Judge
¶1 Jerry Bluth (Bluth) appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the state in this automobile forfeiture case concerning a 1993 Chevrolet Blazer (the Blazer) that was used in the commission of a theft in Tempe in August 2011. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2 On August 2, 2011, Michael Fulton (Fulton) used the Blazer, which was titled and registered in his name, to steal two air conditioning units from a church in Tempe. Witnesses to the theft later identified both Fulton and the Blazer. Fulton pled guilty to one count of felony theft in September 2011. In October 2011, the state seized the Blazer for forfeiture pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 13-4305 (2010) .
¶3 Bluth filed a claim in superior court in December 2011, claiming ownership of the Blazer. On March 29, 2012, the state filed a motion for summary judgment. Bluth did not file a timely response, and the state filed a motion for entry of order granting summary judgment on May 8, 2012. On May 11, Bluth filed a motion for enlargement requesting an extension of time to file a response, which the trial court subsequently denied in July 2013.
¶4 The trial court entered an order of forfeiture on May 14, 2012, finding no genuine issue of material fact, that the Blazer had been used in the commission of a theft, and that Bluth lacked standing to contest its forfeiture. Bluth filed a motion to vacate the order of forfeiture on May 18, 2012, which the trial court subsequently denied in July 2013. Bluth filed a motion to stay execution of the order of forfeiture on May 25, 2012; the trial court denied that motion on June 5, 2012.
¶5 On June 13, 2012, Bluth filed a timely notice of appeal "from the Judgment entered on May 14, 2012." In September 2012, Bluth filed a motion to suspend the appeal and revest jurisdiction in the superior court. On October 10, 2012, this court suspended the appeal "to and including November 26, 2012, and revest[ed] jurisdiction in the [trial court]" so that the trial court could rule on Bluth's motions to vacate the order of forfeiture and for enlargement, which were then still pending. Our order stated:
[O]n November 27, 2012, this appeal shall be automatically reinstated before this court, unless before that date appellant files a notice reinstating the appeal, a motion to dismiss the appeal, or a motion to continue the period of suspension of the appeal. If any party wishes for the rulings on the motions to be reviewed in this appeal, a timely notice or amended notice of appeal must be filed.
Before the trial court ruled on the two pending motions, our jurisdiction revested, because Bluth did not file any of the aforementioned pleadings in this court before November 27, 2012. Briefing was complete in this appeal in April 2013. On July 3, 2013, the trial court filed an unsigned minute entry denying Bluth's motion to vacate order of forfeiture and motion ...