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Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 17, 2005

EDWENA R. HEGNA, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: William W Schwarzer Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On July 21, 2003, on the motion of Plaintiffs Edwena R. Hegna and her children, Steven A. Hegna, Craig M. Hegna, Lynn Marie Hegna Moore, and Paul B. Hegna (the Hegnas), the district court (White, J.) issued a Writ of Execution pertaining to property located at 3400 Washington Street in San Francisco and owned by Defendant Islamic Republic of Iran. On November 19, 2003, the United States Marshals Service levied on the Writ by posting the property. On December 1, 2003, the United States, custodian of the property, moved to quash the Writ and void the levy on the ground that following the issuance of the Writ the Hegnas relinquished all of their rights to execute against or attach the property. The Hegnas oppose the motion and have filed a motion to strike parts of two declarations the United States offered in support of its motion. The parties have stipulated to waive oral argument. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the United States' motion to quash and rejects the Hegnas' objections to evidence.

BACKGROUND

I. STATUTORY BACKGROUND

Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), foreign states are generally "immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States and of the States." 28 U.S.C. § 1604. In 1996, as part of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), Congress created an exception to this immunity for states sponsoring terrorist organizations.

28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(7). In 1984, then-Secretary of State George Shultz had designated the Islamic Republic of Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. See 49 Fed. Reg. 2836-02 (Jan. 23, 1984).

In 2000, Congress enacted the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VPA). Pub. L. No. 106-386, § 2002, 114 Stat. 1464, 1541 (2000). The VPA authorized certain parties who had secured judgments under § 1605(a)(7), upon application, to receive payment in satisfaction of their judgments from the Secretary of the Treasury, provided the judgment creditors relinquished certain rights to pursue other avenues to satisfaction of their judgments. VPA § 2002(a)(2).

In 2002, Congress amended the VPA by enacting the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). Pub. L. No. 107-297, § 201, 116 Stat. 2322 (2002). TRIA expanded the group of plaintiffs authorized to receive satisfaction of their judgments. TRIA § 201(c). TRIA also reflects the recognition that funds set aside by the United States to pay these plaintiffs might not be sufficient to satisfy all qualifying plaintiffs' judgments. The amendment expressly permits certain successful plaintiffs to attach and execute against the "blocked assets" of terrorist parties to satisfy qualifying judgments. Id. § 201(a). TRIA defines a "blocked asset" to include "any asset [of a state sponsor of terrorism] seized or frozen by the United States" under certain statutes but excludes from the definition "property subject to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations . . . that . . . is being used exclusively for . . . consular purposes." Id. § 201(d)(2). Alternatively, TRIA provides that successful plaintiffs may receive from the Secretary of the Treasury direct pro rata payment of their compensatory damage awards. Id. § 201(c). But plaintiffs receiving such payment must, as a condition of receiving even "less than the full amount of" payment, id. § 201(c), relinquish any claim to punitive damages, id.

§ 201(c); VPA § 2002(a)(2)(C), as well as "all rights to execute against or attach property that is at issue in claims against the United States before an international tribunal," TRIA § 201(c); VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D).

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs are the widow and surviving children of Charles Hegna, an American killed in a 1984 plane hijacking. The hijacking was committed by Hezbollah, a terrorist group sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security (collectively, Iran). Plaintiffs sued Iran in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under 28 U.S.C. § 1607(a)(7), seeking damages for Charles Hegna's death. In 2002, that district court entered a default judgment in the Hegnas' favor for $42 million in compensatory damages and $333 million in punitive damages. See Mem. Op., Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 00-00716 (HHK), 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27544 (D.D.C. Jan. 22, 2002).

The Hegnas subsequently pursued attempts to obtain satisfaction of this judgment under TRIA § 201(a) through attachment of Iranian real property in several cities across the country, including San Francisco. Before 1980, Iran had used the properties in question as residential property for diplomatic, consular, and political personnel. In 1980, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran and took custody of all Iranian diplomatic and consular real property. See Decl. of Francis X. Taylor ¶¶ 6, 14-15. Arguably, the properties pursued by the Hegnas then became "blocked assets" subject to attachment under TRIA § 201(a). Currently, all of the property in question is managed and leased, and the rental proceeds retained, by the United States. None of the action taken by the Hegnas against this property, however, has resulted in satisfaction of their judgment; in each case, the writ of execution the Hegnas have sought has been either denied or quashed on the United States' motion. See Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 402 F.3d 97 (2d Cir. 2005) (addressing attempts to attach property in New York City); Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 380 F.3d 1000 (7th Cir. 2004) (addressing attempts to attach properties in Chicago); Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 376 F.3d 485 (5th Cir.) (addressing attempts to attach properties in Houston and Lubbock, Texas), reh'g and reh'g en banc denied, 121 Fed. Appx. 59, ___ F.3d ___, 2004 WL 2255334 (5th Cir. 2004); Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 376 F.3d 226 (4th Cir. 2004) (addressing attempts to attach property in Bethesda, Maryland); Hegna v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 00-00716 (HHK), 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15947 (D.D.C. Mar. 22, 2004), aff'd, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 7062 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 22, 2005) (addressing attempts to attach property in the District of Columbia).

In March 2003, while the above litigation was under way, the Hegnas also applied for direct payment of part of their compensatory damages award under TRIA § 201(c). They do not dispute that on or around July 29 and November 13, 2003, pursuant to this application, they received from the United States payments totaling at least $8 million.

Just before the first of these payments, on July 21, 2003, the district court for the Northern District of California (White, J.), upon the Hegnas' application, issued a writ of execution on property located at 3400 Washington Street in San Francisco and formerly used as the residence for the Consul General of Iran in San Francisco. See Notice of Issuance of Writ of Execution, No. FJ 03-00038 JSW (N.D. Cal. Mar. 25, 2004); U.S. Mot. to Quash at I. The Hegnas contend that this Writ was delivered to the United States Marshal on August 11, 2003, but that the Marshal, at the direction of counsel for the Marshals Service, refused to levy it on the property until November 19, 2003, despite the Hegnas' requests. Pls.' Opp'n at 20. The parties do not dispute that the Writ was levied on the property as of the November date, nor do they dispute that the Marshals have taken no further action in relation to the Writ.

The parties also do not dispute that the property at issue in San Francisco was formerly used as an Iranian consular residence. See Pls.' Opp'n at 2. As noted, in 1980, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran and took custody of all Iranian diplomatic and consular real property. See Taylor Decl. ¶¶ 6-7. According to the declaration of Francis X. Taylor, who was until early 2005 Director of the State Department's Office of Foreign Missions, this property included the property at 3400 Washington Street. Id. ¶ 15. According to the same declaration, the United States' control of this property is currently the subject of claims by Iran against the United States before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague. Id. ¶ 16.

On December 1, 2003, the United States moved to quash the Writ and void its levy on the grounds that (1) in accepting payment under TRIA § 201(c), the Hegnas relinquished any claims to the property named in the Writ; and (2) the Writ did not properly issue in the first place because the Washington Street property is immune from attachment under the FSIA, 28 U.S.C. § 1602, the Foreign Missions Act, 22 U.S.C. § 4301, the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, and the "blocked assets" exemption for consular property contained in TRIA § 201(d)(2)(B)(ii). The Hegnas oppose the government's motion; they have also filed a paper titled "objections to evidence" and requesting that the Court strike portions of declarations by government officials submitted by the United States in support of its motion.

DISCUSSION

I. OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATIONS

In their filing styled "objections to evidence" and dated March 19, 2004, the Hegnas "seek to have stricken" portions of the Taylor Declaration pertaining to the functions of the Office of Foreign Missions, an office within the State Department headed by Taylor, and to the status of the San Francisco property before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. Pls.' Objections to Evidence at 1. According to the Hegnas, these assertions fall short of the standards established in the Federal Rules of Evidence and California case law.*fn1 Id. The Hegnas also appear to contend that portions of the Declaration of R. Richard Newcomb, Director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), relating to the 2003 payments the Hegnas received under TRIA § 201(c) should be stricken for similar reasons.*fn2 Id. In response, the United States contends, inter alia, that the Court should decline to treat the Hegnas' paper as a motion to strike, since the Hegnas failed to notice the motion for a hearing as required by Civil Local Rule 7-2, and that the Court should therefore refuse to consider the Hegnas' contentions. Because the Court concludes that the Hegnas' contentions regarding these documents would not prevail even if presented in conformity with the Local Rules, the Court need not direct the Hegnas to comply with the Local Rules or solicit formal opposition from the United States on this issue.

As the United States notes in its reply memorandum, and as the Hegnas appear to presume in their own filings, as a rule it is proper for the Court to consider assertions contained in sworn declarations in deciding the United States' motion to quash. See U.S. Reply at 4; Pls.' Opp'n at 5 (citing Taylor Declaration as supporting recited background facts). The Hegnas' central contention is that the United States has not shown any basis or foundation for Taylor's and Newcomb's assertions and that the declarations themselves do not assert such a basis. The Court concludes, to the contrary, that facts regarding the consular properties may be presumed to have been within Taylor's knowledge as Director of the State Department office with responsibility for management of the properties at issue. See Taylor Decl. ¶¶ 1, 2, 15, 16. The same is true of Newcomb's knowledge of the application procedures related to disbursements made by his office. See Newcomb Decl. ¶¶ 2-5.

Aside from their contentions of insufficient foundation, the Hegnas offer no specific, concrete "basis to doubt" either declarant's assertions. Hegna, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15947, at *11 (D.D.C. Mar. 22, 2004) (rejecting substantially identical argument concerning assertions in a declaration by Taylor). Without a specific reason to conclude otherwise, the Court has discretion to assume the truth of the assertions contained in these declarations. See U.S. Reply at 4 (citing Beverly Enters., Inc. v. Herman, 130 F. Supp. 2d 1, 16 (D.D.C. 2000) ("[A] government official is presumed to be telling the truth when making a sworn statement.") (citing United States v. Ventresca, 380 U.S. 102 (1965))). Moreover, all of the information provided to the Court, including the written opinions of federal courts in other jurisdictions addressing analogous circumstances, supports both the conclusion that the Washington Street property, as one of Iran's former consular properties, is indeed among those at issue before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, as Taylor asserts, see Hegna, 380 F.3d at 1008-09 (7th Cir.); Hegna, 376 F.3d at 492 (5th Cir.); Hegna, 376 F.3d at 235 (4th Cir.); Hegna v. Islamic Rep. of Iran, 299 F. Supp. 229, 231 (S.D.N.Y. 2004), aff'd, 402 F.3d 97 (2d Cir. 2005), and the conclusion that the Hegnas knowingly relinquished those rights they were required to relinquish in accepting payment under TRIA § 201(c), see Hegna, 376 F.3d at 232 (4th Cir.); Hegna, 376 F.3d at 489-90 (5th Cir.); Hegna, 380 F.3d at 1004-05 (7th Cir.) (quoting at length from OFAC application for disbursement under TRIA § 201(c), including language effecting relinquishment). In the absence of any indication that the facts are other than as recited in the Taylor and Newcomb Declarations, the court accepts the assertions contained in those declarations as true and declines to entertain the Hegnas' objections.

II. MOTION TO QUASH WRIT OF EXECUTION AND VOID LEVY

The primary matter before the Court is the United States' motion to quash the Writ of Execution and void its levy on the Washington Street property in 2003. The United States' main contention is that by requesting and receiving partial payment of their compensatory damages award under TRIA § 201(c) in 2003, the Hegnas relinquished any right to proceed with attachment or execution against Iran's property, including the Washington Street property, and are therefore no longer entitled to any rights under the Writ. The Hegnas respond that they have not relinquished anything, arguing that (1) "the levy [against the property] is in progress and nothing in TRIA compels a judgment creditor to relinquish an execution lien," Pls.' Opp'n at 14; (2) the United States has not shown that the Hegnas have received a payment that would trigger their relinquishment of "all rights to execute or attach against" the property under TRIA § 201(c) and VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D); and (3) the United States has not shown that the property in question is "at issue in claims against the United States before an international tribunal," as is required for the property to fall within the relinquishment clause of TRIA § 201(c) and VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D). The United States also argues that the Writ should not have been issued in the first place, because the property at issue is immune from attachment; the Hegnas argue that it is in fact a "blocked asset" within the meaning of TRIA §§ 201(a) & (d)(2)(A) and therefore may properly be attached. The Court need not and does not consider this argument, however, because it finds dispositive the Hegnas' relinquishment, through their acceptance of payment under TRIA § 201(c), of "all claims" to proceed with attachment of property that is at issue before an international tribunal.

A. Argument That Relinquishment Does Not Apply After Issuance of Writ or Levy

The Hegnas advance three related arguments pertaining to their allegedly ongoing rights under the Writ levied on the Washington Street property in November 2003. According to the Hegnas, (1) they have not "relinquished their right to complete their levy pursuant to the Court's Writ of Execution," Pls.' Opp'n at 18 (emphasis added); (2) "the relinquishment provisions of the [VPA and TRIA] have no application once enforcement proceedings have commenced under the Writ of Execution," id. at 20, 22; and (3) "the levy accomplished on November 19, 2003, should be deemed completed nunc pro tunc on August 11, 2003 when the Writ of Execution was delivered to the United States Marshal," id. at 20. All three arguments depend on the validity of the proposition that the statutory provisions for relinquishment of "all rights to execute against or attach property," VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D), extend only to rights to initiate attachment of or execution against property, and do not require recipients of payment under TRIA § 201(d) to relinquish their right to proceed with attachment or execution attempts already under way at the time of payment. Because this is not the case, none of the Hegnas' arguments can stand.

The Hegnas have made nearly identical arguments regarding the meaning and scope of the relinquishment provisions before each of the other courts to have considered the Hegnas' various attempts to force the sale of Iranian consular property. Each court has rejected these arguments. In the Fourth Circuit, for instance, the Hegnas argued that "[a]fter a levy . . . a property is formally 'attached' and . . . . the judgment creditor has no rights of execution or attachment remaining" to be relinquished. See Hegna, 376 F.3d at 233. The Fourth Circuit concluded, to the contrary, that by their receipt of a payment from the United States Treasury, the Hegnas relinquished "all rights to execute against or attach" certain properties. See Victims Protection Act § 2002(d)(5) (as amended by TRIA § 201(c)). These rights include not only the rights that the Hegnas had already exercised at the time of relinquishment, the rights to obtain a writ of attachment on judgment and to have a marshal levy against the property under that writ, but also rights of 'execution' that the Hegnas had not yet exercised, such as the rights to proceed under that writ of attachment on judgment and, eventually, to have the property sold by the marshals and to receive the proceeds of that sale. . . . Thus, while the marshal's levy on the Bethesda properties represented an important step in the Hegnas' execution of those properties, it did not exhaust the Hegnas' bundle of rights "to execute against" the properties because it did not complete the sale of the properties in satisfaction of the Hegnas' judgment.

Id. The Seventh Circuit reached a similar conclusion concerning the meaning of the VPA's "all rights to execute against or attach" language, stating:

The word "all" [in VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D)] communicates that no right to execute against or attach property survives the acceptance of payment, regardless of when the claimant initiated the attachment process. . . . [T]he Hegnas argue that § 2002(a)(2)(D) precludes only efforts to "execute against or attach [tribunal] properties," but does not intend to preclude the post-levy sale or turnover of those properties. Under this theory, the Hegnas would have us believe that Congress intended to allow one type of execution proceeding-the post-levy sale-while precluding all others. The policy behind § 2002(a)(2)(D) does not support the Hegnas' reading of the statute. The payments offered by the amended § 2002 are to serve as a substitute, rather than as a supplementary, method for the collection of compensatory damages awarded in § 1605(a)(7) lawsuits. . . . [T]he plain language of the statute compels the relinquishment of the right to pursue all forms of execution against tribunal property, including the post-levy turnover of such property. 380 F.3d at 1006-07.*fn3 No court to have considered this argument has interpreted the language of the VPA or TRIA otherwise.

These courts' unanimous conclusion regarding the scope of the relinquishment provisions finds further support in the language used to amend the VPA in 2002. See TRIA § 201(c). TRIA provides that recipients of partial payments in satisfaction of their judgments need not relinquish all of the rights that recipients of full payment must relinquish, but that recipients of partial payment must nevertheless relinquish rights "with respect to enforcement" of their rights to attach or execute against property "at issue in claims . . . before an international tribunal." TRIA § 201(c) (emphasis added). TRIA's reference to "enforcement" indicates that, contrary to the Hegnas' contentions, Congress intended the scope of the relinquishment clause to extend beyond relinquishment of the rights to initiate attachment or execution proceedings.

In the present case, the Hegnas can point to facts arguably distinguishing their San Francisco execution attempts from similar attempts elsewhere, such as the delay of several months between issuance and levy of this Writ. See, e.g., Pls.' Opp'n at 20-21. But the Hegnas' arguments relying on these factual differences all depend on a particular interpretation of the statutes at issue; the arguments require that the statutes' relinquishment provisions be read to exclude relinquishment of "rights" to complete attachment against and recovery of the proceeds of sale from property. See, e.g., id. As discussed above, all of the courts to have considered the meaning of these provisions have reached the opposite conclusion. See Hegna, 376 F.3d at 233 (4th Cir.); Hegna, 376 F.3d at 491 (5th Cir.); Hegna, 380 F.3d at 1006-07 (7th Cir.). These courts' conclusion is supported both by the plain language of the statutes, see TRIA § 201(c) (referring to "enforcement"); VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D) (referring to relinquishment of "all" rights), and by their evident purpose, see Hegna, 380 F.3d at 1007. The factual differences the Hegnas note do not affect this statutory meaning. Accordingly, the Court rejects this argument and holds that in applying for and accepting payment under TRIA § 201(c) the Hegnas relinquished "all rights" to proceed with execution and attachment against the Washington Street property.

B. Argument That Only Full Payment Triggers Relinquishment

The Hegnas also argue that because they received their disbursements from the United States in installments, and thus had not received full payment of their entire compensatory damages award before levy of the Writ, they cannot be deemed to have relinquished anything. See Pls.' Opp'n at 21-22. Alternatively, they may be taken to be arguing that they cannot be deemed to have relinquished anything before receiving full satisfaction of their judgment. Both arguments, like those addressed above, are foreclosed by the language of the applicable statutes.

The Hegnas repeatedly cite TRIA's reference to the "full amount of payment authorized by Congress." See Pls.' Opp'n at 21, 22. While the relevant subsection of TRIA includes this phrase, the statute does not do so to guarantee that until judgment creditors receive such full payment they retain their rights to execute or attach against consular property that is at issue before an international tribunal. To the contrary, the language of the statute plainly provides that any payment triggers relinquishment of both claims to punitive damages and all rights to attach or execute against such property:

Any person receiving less than the full amount of compensatory damages awarded to that party in a judgment [against Iran] shall not be required to [relinquish claims to compensatory damages or rights to execute or attach against "blocked asset" property] . . . except that such person shall be required to relinquish rights set forth-

(A) in [VPA § 2002](a)(2)(C) [providing for relinquishment of "all rights and claims to punitive damages"]; and

(B) in [VPA § 2002](a)(2)(D) [providing for relinquishment of "all rights to execute against or attach property that is at issue in claims against the United States before an international tribunal, that is the subject of awards rendered by such tribunal, or that is subject to" 28 U.S.C. § 1610(f)(1)(A)] with respect to enforcement against property that is at issue in claims against the United States before an international tribunal or that is the subject of awards by such tribunal.

TRIA § 201(c). Like the Fourth Circuit, the Court takes this provision "to mean . . . what it says," namely, that "whenever an eligible judgment creditor . . . receives a payment of 'less than the full amount of compensatory damages' . . . he must relinquish the rights described." Hegna, 376 F.3d at 236. As the Fifth Circuit noted, "the statute does not draw a distinction among types of partial payments," or between partial payments representing full pro rata payment under TRIA § 201(d) and partial payments of only a portion of such pro rata payment. Hegna, 376 F.3d 485. Like the Fifth Circuit, this Court sees no reason to read such a distinction into the statute. See id.; accord Hegna, 380 F.3d at 1008 (7th Cir.), Hegna, 299 F. Supp. 2d at 230 (S.D.N.Y.).

Here, as in the other jurisdictions where the issue has arisen, the Hegnas do not dispute that they have received from the Treasury at least $8 million in satisfaction of their judgment. This receipt of "less than the full amount of compensatory damages awarded to" the Hegnas "required" them to relinquish "all rights to execute against or attach property that is at issue in claims against the United States before an international tribunal." TRIA § 201(c), VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D). Since, as discussed below, the materials before the Court indicate that the Washington Street property fits this description, the Court concludes that in accepting payment the Hegnas relinquished "all rights to execute against or attach" the property, VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D), and all "rights . . . with respect to enforcement against" it, TRIA § 201(c).

C. Argument That the Property Is Not "At Issue" Before the Claims Tribunal

The Hegnas' final argument is that the United States "has failed to establish that the [Washington Street p]roperty is at issue in a proceeding before any international tribunal." Pls.' Opp'n at 18. The Hegnas note that the United States' only support for its contention regarding the "at issue" status of the Washington Street property is the Taylor Declaration, and that the United States "has failed to file a certified copy of any such proceeding." Id.

As discussed above in connection with the Hegnas' objections to the Taylor Declaration, the Hegnas have supplied no reasons for the Court to doubt the veracity of the specific assertions it contains. They have offered neither specific allegations to the contrary nor documentary evidence suggesting that the Washington Street property is in fact not at issue before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. And they cite no legal authority in support of their implicit contention that the Taylor Declaration is insufficient support for the United States' position regarding the status of the Washington Street property. See Pls.' Opp'n at 18, 25.

This Court would not be the first court to find a declaration by Mr. Taylor adequate to establish the "at issue" status of residential consular property pursued by the Hegnas. See Hegna, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15947, at *10-*11 (D.D.C); Hegna, 376 F.3d at 235 (4th Cir.); see also Hegna, 376 F.3d at 492-93 (5th Cir.) (accepting declaration from State Department legal adviser Mark Clodfelter for analogous purposes); Hegna, 299 F. Supp. 2d at 230-31 (accepting declaration of Lynwood M. Dent, Jr., for analogous purposes). The Court finds persuasive the unanimity of these other courts regarding the sufficiency of a State Department official's declaration on this question, together with the Hegnas' failure to provide any support for the inference that the Washington Street property is not at issue before an international tribunal. The Court accepts the Taylor Declaration as containing the truthful assertions of a government officer with knowledge of the status of foreign diplomatic properties in the United States and consequently as establishing the "at issue" status of the Washington Street property. Since the property thus falls within the relinquishment clause of TRIA § 201(c), the Court concludes that the Hegnas have relinquished their right to proceed with attachment of the property.

CONCLUSION

The Hegnas do not dispute that they have received at least $8 million in satisfaction of their compensatory damages award against Iran. By accepting this payment they relinquished "all rights" to execute against or attach the Washington Street property, including the rights to "enforce[]" the Writ previously issued by this Court. TRIA § 201(c); VPA § 2002(a)(2)(D). The Court therefore GRANTS the motion of the United States to quash the Writ of Execution previously issued and to void its levy on the property at 3400 Washington Street in San Francisco, California.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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