The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge
STIPULATION TO EXTEND STAY AND ORDER [PROPOSED]
The parties submit the following Stipulation to Extend Stay and Proposed Order pursuant to this Court's December 9, 2008, order.
The parties jointly request that the stay ordered on December 8, 2008, be extended for an additional six months. To date claimant Foster Cornelius, the owner of the property, has not been charged with any criminal offense by state, local, or federal authorities, and the statute of limitations has not expired on potential criminal charges relating to the marijuana. However, the federal investigation that led to the filing of the Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem against the defendant property is still underway.
The investigation has been time-consuming for many reasons, including but not limited to the fact that federal agents seized many computer hard drives that were difficult to examine forensically. Once the computers were examined, many e-mails between one of the potential defendants and an attorney were recovered. Those e-mails were segregated and reviewed by a third party (Thomas Flynn, former Assistant U.S. Attorney) to determine which, if any, of the e-mails are protected by the attorney-client privilege. Mr. Flynn recently completed his review, but has not yet provided a report to the assigned prosecutor. Once that report is provided to the prosecutor, he will be able to evaluate the evidence and make charging decisions.
Accordingly, the parties recognize that a further stay in this forfeiture action is necessary both to protect claimant Cornelius' right to contest this forfeiture without being required to waive his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and to protect the government's investigation from premature disclosure via civil discovery.
The stay is requested pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1), 981(g)(2), and 21 U.S.C. § 881(i).
LAWRENCE G. BROWN Acting United States Attorney
KRISTIN S. DOOR Assistant U.S. Attorney
DAVID WEINER Attorney for claimant Foster Cornelius (Original signature retained by plaintiff's counsel)
For the reasons set forth above, this matter is stayed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1), 981(g)(2) and 21 U.S.C. § 881(i) for an additional six months. On or before September 2, 2009, the parties will advise the Court whether a further stay is necessary.