REQUEST TO CONTINUE STATUS (PRETRIAL SCHEDULING) CONFERENCE AND ORDER DATE: May 18, 2009 TIME: 2:00 p.m. COURTROOM: 5
Plaintiff United States of America requests that the status conference now scheduled for May 18, 2009, be continued approximately 30 days. The reasons for this request are as follows:
1. All three people believed to have an interest in this property were served with the Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem and related court documents on or about February 24, 2009.
2. Publication of the Notice of Forfeiture Action has been done in accordance with Rule G(4)(a)(iv)(C) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions.
3. Attorney William Portanova contacted undersigned counsel in early March and requested an extension of time to file a claim on behalf of one or more potential claimants who had been served in this case. Mr. Portanova explained that the potential claimants speak only Chinese and that he was having difficulty communicating with his clients. Undersigned counsel gave him an initial extension of time to March 17, 2009, for the filing of claims.
4. Thereafter, undersigned counsel gave Mr. Portanova several additional extensions of time based on his representations that the language barrier was hampering his efforts to get the information from his clients that is necessary to file claims on their behalf.
5. As of today, May 4, 2009, no claim has yet been filed on behalf of any potential claimant. Accordingly, today undersigned counsel gave Mr. Portanova until May 8, 2009, to file claims to the defendant property.
6. Undersigned counsel further advised Mr. Portanova that defaults will be taken against his clients if claims are not filed by May 8, 2009.
7. Accordingly, plaintiff requests that the May 18, 2009, status conference be continued approximately 30 days. If anyone has filed a claim by May 8, 2009, the parties will submit a joint scheduling conference report two weeks before the next scheduling conference. If no claim is filed, plaintiff will take the defaults of all known potential claimants, and will thereafter seek a Final Judgment of Forfeiture forfeiting all right, title, and interest in the defendant property to the United States.
8. For these reasons the United States suggests that the May 18, 2009, status conference should be continued.
For the reasons set forth above, the scheduling conference now scheduled for May 18, 2009, is rescheduled to June 15, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. A joint status report is to be filed fourteen days prior to the hearing.