STIPULATION FOR STAY OF FURTHER PROCEEDINGS AND ORDER [PROPOSED] Date: August 24, 2009 Time: 2:00 p.m. Courtroom: 5
Plaintiff United States of America, and Claimants Reginald Bowers and Dorothy Williams, by and through their respective counsel, hereby stipulate that a stay is necessary in the above-entitled action, and request that the Court enter an order staying all further proceedings for a period of six months pending the outcome of a related criminal case against claimants Bowers and Williams (U.S. v. Reginald Bowers and Dorothy Williams, 2:06-cr-00288 WBS). A status conference in the related criminal case is scheduled for September 14, 2009.
1. Claimant Bowers filed a claim to the defendant property on January 18, 2007, and filed an Answer to the complaint on February 2, 2007. Claimant Williams filed a claim on February 7, 2007, and an Answer on February 27, 2007.
2. The stay is requested pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1) and 981(g)(2). The plaintiff contends that the defendant currency is the proceeds of drug trafficking and is forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6). Claimants deny the allegations.
3. The plaintiff intends to depose claimants regarding their claim to the defendant property and their involvement in drug trafficking. If discovery proceeds at this time, claimants will be placed in the difficult position of either invoking their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and losing the ability to pursue their claims to the defendant real property, or waiving their Fifth Amendment right and submitting to depositions and potentially incriminating themselves. If either person invokes their Fifth Amendment right, the plaintiff will be deprived of the ability to explore the factual basis for the claims they filed with this court.
4. In addition, claimants intend to depose the law enforcement agents involved in this investigation. Allowing depositions of the law enforcement officers at this time would adversely affect the ability of federal authorities to prosecute the pending criminal action.
5. The parties recognize that proceeding with this action at this time has potential adverse affects on the government's ability to prosecute the underlying criminal conduct and/or upon claimants' ability to prove their claims to the property and assert any defenses to forfeiture. For these reasons, the parties jointly request that this matter be stayed for six months. At that time the parties will advise the court of the status of the related criminal action, and will advise the court whether a further stay is necessary.
For the reasons set forth above, this matter is stayed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1) and 981(g)(2) for a period of six months. On or before February 3, 2010, the parties will advise the court whether a further stay is necessary. A scheduling conference is scheduled for February 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM.
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