JOINT STATUS REPORT AND STIPULATION TO STAY FURTHER PROCEEDINGS AND ORDER THEREON
DATE: January 20, 2009 TIME: 10:00 a.m. COURTROOM: 4/Chambers
Plaintiff United States of America, claimant Rebecca Gayle Powell, and claimants/lienholder John and Yvonne Stanton, and claimant/judgment creditor Ford Motor Company, submit the following Status Report pursuant to the Court's October 2, 2008, order.
The plaintiff is the United States of America. Claimant Rebecca Gayle Powell alleges she is the owner of the defendant property although only Dean E. Teskey is listed as the owner in the title report for the defendant property. At this point in the litigation plaintiff is not prepared to concede that Rebecca Powell has any interest in the defendant property. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Powell is the daughter of Jess V. Brasier, one of the defendants in United States v. Jess V. Brasier and Dean Teskey, 2:08-cr-0453 LKK. The plaintiff believes that claimant Powell was involved in a scheme with her father to conceal the true ownership of the defendant property. Claimant Powell denies this contention.
Claimants John and Yvonne Stanton are the beneficiaries of a promissory note secured by a deed of trust recorded against the defendant property.
Claimant Ford Motor Credit Company is a judgment creditor of Jess V. Brasier and recorded an Abstract of Judgment against the defendant property on January 12, 2005.
(b) Summary of Facts and Legal Theories
The United States alleges this property is subject to forfeiture to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7) because it was used to facilitate a felony violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841. Specifically, on September 16, 2008, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and deputies from the Butte County Sheriff's Department executed a federal search warrant at the defendant property. During the search officers found approximately 90 large marijuana plants.
Claimant Powell denies the allegations. The Stantons allege they had no knowledge that marijuana was being grown on the property. Ford Motor Credit Company has not filed an answer to the complaint but will do so not later than January 20, 2009.
The plaintiff has served, or made reasonable attempts to serve, everyone known to have an interest in the defendant property with the Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem, Notice of Complaint, Application and Order for Publication, Lis Pendens, and Court Notices.
The plaintiff attempted to serve the owner of record, Dean Teskey, with the Complaint and related documents by certified mail, but the documents were returned by the Postal Service marked "unclaimed." Thereafter, plaintiff mailed the documents by certified mail to Shari Rusk, Teskey's attorney of record in United States v. Jess V. Brasier and Dean Teskey, 2:08-cr-0453 LKK. The PS Form 3811 (the "green card") shows that Rusk's office received the documents on November 10, 2008. To date Teskey has not filed a claim to the property or an answer to the complaint, and the time for doing so has expired.
Claimant Powell filed a claim to the property and an answer to the complaint on December 16, 2008. The Stantons (lienholders) filed a Claim to the property and an answer to the complaint on November 3, 2008.
Ford Motor Company filed a claim in this action on November 11, 2008, but has not yet filed an Answer to the Complaint. Because of the confusion over whether Jess V. Brasier and Jess R. Brasier are the same person, and over the true ownership of the defendant property, plaintiff is not prepared at this point to concede that Ford has a legitimate claim against the defendant property.
On October 17, 2008, the U.S. Marshal posted the Notice of Complaint and the Complaint on the real property.
Accordingly, service is complete.
In addition, notice of the forfeiture was posted on the official government internet site (www.forfeiture.gov) for at least 30 consecutive days, beginning on November 19, 2008, as required by Rule G(4)(a)(iv)(C) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset ...