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Gullers v. Bejarano

February 2, 2009

KARIN ELENA CAUSBIE GULLERS, PETITIONER,
v.
RAUL DAVID BEJARANO, UNITED STATES MARSHAL FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION SEEKING BAIL PENDING EXTRADITION/HABEAS PROCEEDINGS

Doc. No. 16

Pending before this court is a motion for bail by Petitioner Karin Elena Causbie Gullers ("Causbie"), who is currently incarcerated and awaiting extradition to Mexico. Petitioner requests bail in the amount of a $20,000 cash bond. (Doc. No. 16.) The matter was taken under submission by the court following oral argument on January 12, 2009. After a review of the papers submitted by the parties, the arguments made at the hearing, and the applicable authorities, the court DENIES Petitioner's motion for bail.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

On March 27, 2006, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a Complaint for Extradition against Causbie on behalf of Mexico, where she faces fraud charges stemming from an investment scheme to defraud American and Canadian retirees of over $700,000. (Doc. No. 16-2 at 2, Doc. No. 1 at 3-4.)

On March 29, 2006, Petitioner, a citizen of Mexico, the United States, and Sweden, was arrested at the San Diego airport while en route to her home in Sweden. (Doc. No. 20 at 2.) On July 20, 2006, Magistrate Judge Battaglia certified Causbie for extradition. (Case No. 06mj0603-AJB at Clerk's Record "CR" 16.) Causbie filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 2241, which was denied by this court on January 8, 2007. (Doc. Nos. 1 and 9.) Causbie then appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Case No. 07-55137). On September 16, 2008, the Ninth Circuit remanded the case for additional findings on whether the prosecution would be barred for lapse of the applicable statute of limitations under Mexican law. (Doc. No. 24.) Following the Ninth Circuit remand, the mandate was spread by this court and a review of the merits was set for hearing March 6, 2009. (Doc. No. 18.)

Petitioner now moves for release on bail pending the extradition hearing. In her motion, Petitioner argues her case presents "special circumstances" which warrant her release on bail and she poses no flight risk. (Doc. No. 16-2 at 3.) The government opposes the motion. (Doc. No. 20.)

II. Discussion

A. Legal Standards

Based on the government's strong interest in upholding its obligations under extradition treaties and the lack of an applicable bail statute, federal courts have developed case law establishing a presumption against bail in international extradition cases. Wright v. Henkel, 190 U.S. 40, 63 (1903); Salerno v. U.S., 878 F.2d 317, 317 (9th Cir. 1989). A potential extraditee may overcome the presumption by presenting clear and convincing evidence to show: 1) "special circumstances" justify his release; and 2) he is not a flight risk or a danger to the community. In re Extradition of Mainero, 950 F.Supp. 290, 294 (S.D.Cal. 1996); Salerno, 878 F.2d at 317; In re Extradition of Nacif-Borge, 829 F.Supp. 1210, 1215 (D.Nev.1993).

The "special circumstances" exception "should be exercised only in the most pressing circumstances, and when the requirements of justice are absolutely peremptory." In re Mitchell, 171 F. 289, 290 (S.D.N.Y. 1909). "Special circumstances must be extraordinary and not factors applicable to all defendants facing extradition." Mainero, 950 F.Supp. at 294 (citing In re Extradition of Smyth, 976 F.2d 1535, 1535-36 (9th Cir.1992)). The contours of the "special circumstances" standard have not been defined by the courts, but rather are addressed on a case-by-case basis. For example, the Ninth Circuit has held special circumstances may include "the raising of substantial claims upon which the appellant has a high probability of success, a serious deterioration of health while incarcerated, and unusual delay in the appeal process." Salerno, 878 F.3d at 317.

B. Analysis

1. Special Circumstances

Petitioner contends her case satisfies the "special circumstances" standard because she has faced lengthy delays in the legal proceedings and has demonstrated a ...


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