UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION
July 23, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
REAL PROPERTY LOCATED IN ORANGE, CALIFORNIA, DEFENDANT.
ELIZABETH LARA, CLAIMANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Florence-marie Cooper, United States District Judge
AND CONSOLIDATED ACTIONS
CONSENT JUDGMENT [NOTICE OF LODGING LODGED CONCURRENTLY HEREWITH] [THIS DOCUMENT PERTAINS TO United States v. Real Property Located in Orange, California, CV 06-6758-FMC (PLAx); and United States v. $15,781.76 in U.S. Currency, et al., CV 07-1962-FMC (PLAx), ONLY]
On October 24, 2006, plaintiff United States of America ("plaintiff" or the "government") filed a Complaint for Forfeiture alleging that the defendant real property located at 305 North Batavia Street, Orange, California*fn1 (the "defendant real property") was subject to forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(7).
Claimant Elizabeth Lara ("claimant") filed a State of Interest on December 8, 2006 and then an Answer of December 26, 2008. No other claims, statements of interest, or answers have been filed, and the time for filing claims, statements, and answers has expired.
On March 26, 2007, plaintiff filed a related Complaint for Forfeiture against the defendant properties as follows: $15,781.76 in US Currency (the "defendant currency"); one 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe (the "2002 Chevrolet"); one 2003 Chevrolet Impala (the "2003 Chevrolet"); and one 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe (the "1998 Chevrolet")(collectively the "defendant properties"). The government alleged that the defendant properties were subject to forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(4) and (6).
Claimants Maricela Cortez, Mario Cortez Orozco, and Elizabeth Lara (collectively "claimants") filed Statements of Interest. Claimants Maricela Cortez and Mario Cortez Orozco filed their Statements of Interest on April 30, 2007. Likewise, claimant Elizabeth Lara file her Statement of Interest on May 10, 2007. No other claims, statements of interest, or answers have been filed, and the time for filing claims, statements, and answers has expired.
The government and claimants have agreed to settle these consolidated forfeiture actions and to avoid further litigation.
The Court having been duly advised of and having considered the matter, and based upon the consent of plaintiff and claimants,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED: 1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355.
2. The Complaint for Forfeiture states a claim for relief pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(4) and (6).
3. Notice of this action has been given as required by law. Claimants filed the only statements of interest or claims. Claimants are relieved of their duty to file answers in this action. The Court deems that all other potential claimants admit the allegations of the Complaint for Forfeiture to be true.
4. Claimants agree to forfeiture as set out below. A judgment of forfeiture is hereby entered in favor of the United States, which shall dispose of the following defendant properties in accordance with the law:
(A) The action against the defendant property is hereby dismissed. The government will record a withdrawal of lis pendens within 30 days of the entry of judgment.
(B) The 2002 Chevrolet is hereby forfeited to the United States of America, and no other right, title, or interest shall exist therein.
5. Claimants hereby waive attorneys' fees and cost.
6. Claimants will execute further documents, to the extent necessary, to convey clear title to the defendant properties and to further implement the terms of this Consent Judgment.
7. Claimants waive the redacting and sealing requirements of L.R. 79-5.4.
8. Claimants hereby release the United States of America, its agencies, officers, and employees, including employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local law enforcement agencies, their agents, officers, and employees, from any and all claims, actions, or liabilities arising out of or related to this action, including, without limitation, any claim for attorneys' fees, costs, or interest on behalf of claimants, whether pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465 or otherwise.
9. The Court finds that there was reasonable cause for the institution of these proceedings against the defendant real properties. This judgment shall be construed as a certificate of reasonable cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465.
10. The Court further finds that claimants did not substantially prevail in this action, and the parties shall bear their own attorneys' fees and other costs of litigation.