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United States v. 2

IN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 30, 2009

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
2,560 ACRES OF LAND, MORE OR LESS, SITUATED IN IMPERIAL COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, DONALD L. CRAWFORD, M. ALICIA CRAWFORD, AND RAYMOND KONG, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

FINAL ORDER OF JUDGMENT APPROVING SETTLEMENT AS TO JUST COMPENSATION

Upon consideration of the Settlement Agreement (Document No. 84) filed by Plaintiff United States of America ("United States") and Defendants Donald & M. Alicia Crawford, Raymond Kong, and California Earth Minerals, Corp. (collectively,"Defendants"), and after examining the record of all the proceedings in this action, this Court makes the following findings:

1. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this action.

2. Donald and M. Alicia Crawford and Raymond Kong are the owners of fee simple title to the property described in Schedule "B" of the Complaint and Declaration of Taking (Doc. Nos. 1, 4).

3. The estate described in Schedule "C" of the Complaint and Declaration of Taking, namely a one-year leasehold commencing October 1, 2006, and ending September 30, 2007, extendible yearly thereafter until September 30, 2011, at the sole election of the United States, was taken by the United States. Under the terms of said condemned lease, the Defendants may continue use of Defendants' clay placer (surface) mining operations on Parcel 52C for two weeks every quarter, subject to the requirements that (i) the Defendants provide the United States a 2-week advance written notice of Defendants' proposed schedule of clay placer (surface) mining on Parcel 52C and (ii) the United States approves Defendants' requested mining schedule, provided that military exercises have not already been scheduled for a requested date or that there has been no national emergency declared by the President. The United States exercised its options to extend said leasehold from October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008, and from October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009. Title to said leasehold estate has been properly acquired.

4. The United States deposited $136,969.41 into the registry of the Court for the benefit of the persons entitled to just compensation for the taking of the estate described in Schedule "C" of the Complaint and Declaration of Taking.

5. All record title owners of the Property described in the Complaint and the Declaration of Taking have been served with process.

6. As of the date of this judgment, Donald and M. Alicia Crawford and Raymond Kong are the sole owners in fee simple of the Property described in the Complaint and Declaration of Taking and are the only persons or entities entitled to compensation for the taking of the Property described in the Complaint and Declaration of Taking.

7. As to the just compensation claim of Donald and M. Alicia Crawford and Raymond Kong and California Earth Minerals Corp., there exists a $94,848.09 deficiency between the deposited estimated just compensation of $136.969.41 and the stipulated just compensation of $231,817.50, inclusive of interest.

IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

I.

The Settlement Agreement between the United States and Donald and M. Alicia Crawford, Raymond Kong, and California Earth Minerals Corp. is approved and incorporated herein.

II.

The title to the leasehold estate condemned in this proceeding vested in the United States retroactively on October 1, 2006. Title to the leasehold estate, as specifically set forth in the Complaint and Declaration of Taking, is vested in the United States of America, free and clear of any liens or claims whatsoever.

III.

The sum of $231,817.50, inclusive of interest, is full and just compensation and in full satisfaction of any and all claims of whatsoever nature that Defendants may have against the United States by reason of the institution and prosecution of this action and taking of the Property described in the Complaint and Declaration of Taking. Should the United States elect to exercise one or both of its remaining one-year options, $79,567.50 is ordered as additional just compensation for each option-year so exercised. As to any future condemnation action regarding the subject property, nothing herein shall limit Defendants' right to (1) plead any particular affirmative defense, or (2) raise any particular just compensation valuation argument.

IV.

The United States shall pay into the registry of the Court the sum of $94,848.09, which is the difference between the deposited estimated just compensation of $136,969.41 and the stipulated just compensation of $231,817.50. Upon receipt of the deficiency in the amount of $94,848.09, the Clerk of this Court shall disburse $94,848.09 to Donald and M. Alicia Crawford and Raymond Kong, care of Raymond Kong. Should the United States elect to exercise one or both of its remaining one-year options, the United States shall pay directly to Defendants $79,567.50, inclusive of all interest and escalating factors, for each option-year so exercised. No additional rental compensation shall be due for any option-year not so exercised by the United States.

V.

In the event that any other party is ultimately determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to have any right to receive compensation for the property taken in this case, Defendants Donald and M. Alicia Crawford and Raymond Kong shall refund into the Registry of the Court the compensation distributed herein, or such part thereof as the Court may direct, with interest thereon calculated in accordance with the provisions of 40 U.S.C. § 3116, from the date of receipt of the deposit by Defendants Donald and M. Alicia Crawford and Raymond Kong to the date of repayment into the Registry of the Court.

VI.

The parties shall be responsible for their own legal fees, costs and expenses (including attorneys' fees, consultants' fees, appraisers' fees and any other expenses).

VII.

Upon payment and disbursement as detailed in paragraph IV of this Final Judgment Approving Settlement as to Just Compensation this case may be closed.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090630

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