Dear friends:

On Thursday, August 26,1999 I received a denial of the return of my videotapes from customs (retyped below). This is the FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION from Customs, meaning I have now exhausted administrative venues to retrieve my tapes.
On the bright side, the memorandum attached from the Chicago customs office, for the first time, refers to my stuff as "informational materials," though they claim that there is no exemption in the embargo for such materials.
My attorney and I beg to differ, which is why I have filed
a lawsuit against the USA.


Department of the Treasury

U.S. Customs Service
Detroit, Michigan

Aug 20, 1999

Dear Mr. Handelman:

Your supplemental petition, dated December 27, 1998, was referred to the national Seizures & Penalties Officer in Chicago, Illinois for review and decision. On December 3, 1997, assorted items were seized on your return trip from Iraq. These items were seized under authority of 19 USC 1595 a (c) (2) B) for violation of 31 CFR Part 575.204, which prohibits the importation of goods or services of Iraqi origin. At the time of the seizure, you were returning from an unlicensed trip to Iraq in violation of CFR 575.207.

After a complete review of the case file and supplemental petition, it is the determination of the National Seizures & Penalties Officer that relief is not warranted. Accordingly, your supplemental petition is denied.

This is the final administrative review available under part 171 of the Customs Regulations.

A copy of the decision letter is enclosed for your records.

The Customs Service will forfeit the merchandise by posting a notice in the Customs House lobby Detroit, Michigan for three successive weeks beginning on or about September 23, 1999.

Under authority of title 19, United States Code, section 1608 if forfeiture proceedings are instituted, you have the right to seek judicial condemnation by posting a costs bond within twenty days from the date of the first publication in the sum of $5000.00 or ten percent of the value of the property, whichever is lower, but not less than $250.00. Upon the posting of such bond, we shall refer the matter to the United States Attorney for institution of condemnation proceedings.

If you wish the government to seek judicial forfeiture proceedings but cannot afford to post the bond, you must contact the Fines, Penalties & Forfeiture Officer of Customs prior to the expiration of the twenty day period to obtain a waiver of the bond requirement. You must fully disclose you [sic] finances in a signed statement. Upon receipt of satisfactory proof of your financial inability to pay the bond, it will be waived.


Darrell E Woodard
FP&F Officer


July 27, 1999


TO: Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures Officer, Detroit, MI 48226

FROM: National Seizures and Penalties Officer, Chicago, Illinois 60607-4523

SUBJECT: Supplemental Petition, Case No. 98-2801-000235

This is in response to the supplemental petition submitted in Port of Detroit Case 98-2801- 000235. Various articles were seized from Mr. Daniel Handelman by U.S. Customs in Detroit under the provisions of 19 USC 1595 a (c) (2) (B) for violation of CFR 575.204. The violation occurred on December 3, 1997, when Mr. Handelman returned from an unlicensed trip to Iraq with various goods of Iraqi origin. Upon review of the petition for relied, you advised the petitioner that no relief was authorized.

After a complete review of the case file and supplemental petition, it is my determination that additional relief is not warranted. As per information provided by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, there is no provision to exempt informational material such as that seized. Information has not been provided which was not available at the time of the original decision in this matter and that decision comports with Customs Service guidelines for this type of violation. Please advise the petitioner of my final decision in this matter as per the administrative review available under the provisions of Part 171 of the Customs Regulations.

Jerome F. Gothelf

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