Caswell Family Wins Three-Year Battle With Feds

Judge rules that motel is not subject to forfeiture.

The Motel Caswell is remaining under the ownership of the Caswell family for the forseeable future.

On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein ruled that the Tewksbury motel was not subject to forfeiture, as argued by Federal law enforcement officials.

In her 59-page ruling dismissing the forfeiture action, Dein stated, in part:

"After careful consideration of the evidence, pleadings, and argument of counsel, this Court concludes that the Government has failed to meet its burden of establishing that the Motel is subject to forfeiture."

The U.S. Attorney's Office first took action to seize the Motel Caswell back in September 2009, claiming it had long been a hotspot for srime in Tewksbury, particularly drug activity. Government attorneys cited 15 specific incidents that had taken place between 1994 and 2008 and argued that since owner Russ Caswell lived in a home adjacent to the motel itself, he must have known about the illegal activities engaged in by his guests.

Caswell was being represented pro bono by lawyers from the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based organization that specializes in government forfeiture cases. IJ attorneys argued that Caswell himself had never been accused of any crime or of being involved in any illegal activity. They further argued that over that same 14-year period, the Motel Caswell served roughly 196,000 guests.


Honest Joe January 29, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Janellen27: Bullying? Really? Wow, your a real card. There, now you can you can say I was bullying.
Reality Bites February 02, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Not for nothing but how many of the other hotel/motel facilities would take in a person or family who had next to nothing for funds that just lost everything or have very little left? I'd bank the hotel chains would tell you "oh well nothing we can do" while Russ wouldn't think twice given that same person/family a second chance to get back on their feet. With that being said while his venue has a terrible reputation with the characters a bind eye has been turned to there needs to be more like this. You negative nelly's are going to have your opinion about it but think about the worst case scenario.. you just lost everything, you have no where to go, it's cold out, your kids are whiney, you need a day to recoop and get a game plan set up... Russ would be the best bet to take you in no questions asked. I agree Russ needs to come up with a better way to keep these junk bags out.. I agree TPD and Russ should set up monthly meetings to coordinate the safety of the venue and town. Lets face it Tewksbury is going to Hell in a handbasket and quickly. When authorities work together with business owners there's a way to make a bad situation into a better one. P.S. We're all entitled to our opinions whether anyone likes it or not. This is my opinion - like it or hate it doesn't matter to me. I expressed my opinion just like the rest of you. Perhaps you should realize this happens everywhere.
Joe Gandhi February 02, 2013 at 05:20 AM
You want to say that again in English maybe? Tewksburys a great town. everyone loves it here. Realize what "happens everywhere"? A little conflicted among your many selves, RB?
TONY D February 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM
RB's statement was not that bad. Except for a few spelling and grammatical errors. It is his opinion. Tewksbury is not a great Town and everyone does not love it. And Janellen27 don't jump all over me. I'm not saying I like it or not. Just stating a fact. And yes, bad or unfortunate events happen to people everywhere. Joe Ghandhi get your head out of the sand.
Janellen27 February 02, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Pretty clear you don't like it here, Tony. That's why I asked you where you grew up and what landed you here. I think it's more like people who grew up here love it--probably because most of us tend to love our home towns and the memories they hold. Nevermind, beating a dead horse on this thread.


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