PEITHMAN v. UNITED STATES
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
Allen E. Peithman, Jr., et al. v. United States
on petition for writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the eighth circuit
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
Justice Sotomayor, dissenting from denial of certiorari.
In Honeycutt v. United States, 581 U. S. ___ (2017), this Court held that joint-and-several liability is not permitted under 98 Stat. 2045, 21 U. S. C. §853(a)(1), which mandates forfeiture of “property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, as the result of ” certain drug crimes. 581 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 1). The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has since held that the reasoning of Honeycutt “appl[ies] with equal force” to 18 U. S. C. §981(a)(1)(C), which is worded almost identically to 21 U. S. C. §853(a)(1). United States v. Gjeli, 867 F. 3d 418, 428 (2017).
In this case, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reached a contrary conclusion. 917 F. 3d 635, 652–653 (2019). It upheld a joint-and-several forfeiture order against petitioners under §981(a)(1)(C), reasoning that Honeycutt does not apply to that provision. See 917 F. 3d, at 652–653. The Government now concedes error. According to the Government, there is no “distinguishing 18 U. S. C. 981 from 21 U. S. C. 853 for purposes of joint and several liability.” Brief in Opposition 6; see also id., at 10 (“[T]he government has agreed that Honeycutt’s reasoning applies to Section 981(a)(1)(C)”). Nevertheless, the Government maintains that there is an independent ground for the imposition of joint-and-several liability under §981(a)(1)(C). See id., at 6–9. The Eighth Circuit, however, never addressed that proffered alternative ground for affirmance.
Because the Government now concedes that the rationale of Honeycutt applies equally to §981(a)(1)(C) as it does to §853(a)(1), I would grant the petition for certiorari, vacate the judgment below, and remand the case to allow the Eighth Circuit to reconsider its decision in light of the Government’s concession.