media attention. (See Sipiora Dec. P 5). A newspaper reporter has already this week contacted not only counsel to the parties but a Government witness at home to request information about this case.
7. The Building is the clubhouse for the New York Chapter of the Club and, as admitted by the Chapter's President in a newspaper article, this action has left the Club "financially pressed". (Exhibit F to the Sipiora Dec.). The importance of the Building to the Club is underscored by the fact that part of the claimants' defense will be that special precautions were taken not to involve the Building in any illegal activities after the forfeiture laws were passed in October 1984.
Based on the foregoing, I conclude that "there is strong reason to believe the jury needs protection". United States v. Paccione, 949 F.2d 1183, 1192 (2d Cir. 1991). The history of violence perpetrated by members and associates of the Church of Angels demonstrates that they "possess the means to harm the jurors," United States v. Thomas, 757 F.2d 1359, 1365 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 819, 106 S. Ct. 66 (1985), and the serious consequences of this action to the Church of Angels may provide them ample motive to do so. The prior efforts of some members and associates of the Church of Angels to obstruct the judicial process, and the extensive publicity this case is likely to receive, further demonstrate the need for an anonymous jury in this case. United States v. Persico, 832 F.2d 705, 717 (2d Cir. 1987) (impanelling of anonymous jury warranted where Government alleged a history of violence and a willingness to corrupt and obstruct the judicial process, and case was likely to attract extensive publicity), cert. denied, 486 U.S. 1022, 108 S. Ct. 1995 (1988); United States v. Vario, 943 F.2d 236, 240 (2d Cir. 1991) (impanelling anonymous jury warranted where defendants were charged with grand jury tampering and the trial was expected to attract publicity), cert. denied, U.S. , 112 S. Ct. 882 (1992); United States v. Tutino, 883 F.2d 1125, 1133 (2d Cir. 1989) (impanelling anonymous jury justified where the defendant had history of jury tampering and a serious criminal record) cert. denied, 493 U.S. 1081, 110 S. Ct. 1139, 107 L. Ed. 2d 1044 (1990).
While I have not found a reported decision in this district ordering that an anonymous jury be impanelled in a civil case, I do not believe that the governing standards should be any different from those applied in the criminal context. The gravity of the consequences to affected individuals and their potential for retaliatory violence, rather than the nature of the action, should control the inquiry. Cf. Paccione, 949 F.2d at 1192-93 (anonymous juries appropriate where defendants charged with "serious crimes" with "potential for long prison terms"); United States v. Gambino, 809 F. Supp. 1061, 1065 (S.D.N.Y. 1992) (in determining whether there was a strong reason to impanel anonymous jury courts have considered, inter alia, the seriousness of the offenses charged and the defendants' ability to harm jurors). Property rights are constitutionally protected interests, cf. United States v. James Daniel Good Real Property et al., 126 L. Ed. 2d 490, U.S. , 1993 U.S. LEXIS 7941, 1993 WL 505539 (U.S. Dec. 13, 1993) (Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires Government give owners of real property notice and an opportunity to be heard before seizing property pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)), and loss of these rights, like a long prison term, may have a grave impact on those affected. Here, the importance of the Building not only to the Church of Angels but also to the individual claimants is clear. The Building was the home of the individual claimants, Sandy and Colette Alexander, and still serves as the meeting place for Club members. Given the grave impact loss of the Building would have on Club members, and the history of violence committed by them, I believe that the risk posed is sufficient to warrant the use of an anonymous jury.
I have taken reasonable precautions to minimize any prejudicial effect posed to the claimants by use of an anonymous jury and other protective measures. I will work with the parties in fashioning an instruction to the jury during voir dire concerning these procedures, and the extensive questionnaire I have devised for the jurors as well as my individual questioning of them will ensure that the claimants' fundamental rights are protected. Cf. Paccione, 949 F.2d at 1192 (court should not order the impanelling of an anonymous jury without, inter alia, "taking reasonable precautions to minimize any prejudicial effects on the defendant and to ensure that his fundamental rights are protected").
Finally, claimants, concerned that publication of the Government's anonymous jury motion and the opinion of the court granting such motion might prejudice potential jurors against the them, have asked that I seal the record on this motion. However, I recently have been advised that at least one major newspaper has already had access to, and is in possession of, the motion papers. Thus, the motion to seal is moot. I will, however, question prospective jurors about any publicity that may have occurred by the time they appear for jury selection.
For the reasons discussed, I order the impanelling of an anonymous jury and order, as requested by the Government, that (1) the jurors be kept together during the trial day and during lunch under the supervision of a United States Marshall and that (2) the United States Marshall's office escort the jury to and from the courthouse in a group and collect and disperse them from a central location away from the courthouse. The transport service to be used should be Security Leasing of 1084 Bay Street, Staten Island, New York 10305.
Dated: New York, New York
December 30, 1993