IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
December 10, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
APPROXIMATELY $7,172.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge
FINAL JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE
Pursuant to the Stipulation for Final Judgment of Forfeiture filed herein, the Court finds:
1. This is a civil forfeiture action against defendant approximately $7,172.00 in U.S. Currency (hereafter "defendant currency").
2. A Verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem was filed on September 19, 2008, seeking the forfeiture of the defendant currency, alleging the currency constitutes moneys or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled substance or listed chemical, all proceeds traceable to such an exchange and/or was used or intended to be used to facilitate one or more violations of 21 U.S.C. § 841 et seq., and is subject to forfeiture to the United States of America pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6).
3. On September 23, 2008, in accordance with the Complaint, a Warrant for Arrest of Articles In Rem for the defendant currency was issued and duly executed on September 25, 2008.
4. Beginning on October 2, 2008, for at least 30 consecutive days, the United States published Notice of the Forfeiture Action on the official internet government forfeiture site www.forfeiture.gov. A Declaration of Publication was filed on November 4, 2008.
5. In addition to the public notice of forfeiture having been completed, actual notice was personally served upon Michael Anthony Leon, Sonia Rodriguez Leon, Elisa Loera, Kathy Lynn Ferguson, and Vanessa Bulgara. To date, only Michael Anthony Leon and Sonia Rodriguez Leon have filed a claim and answer to this action. No other parties have filed claims or answers in this matter, and the time for which any person or entity may file a claim and answer has expired.
6. The Clerk of the Court entered a Clerk's Certificate of Entry of Default against Elisa Loera, Kathy Lynn Ferguson, and Vanessa Bulgara on December 4, 2008. Pursuant to Local Rule A-540, the United States and claimants Michael Anthony Leon and Sonia Rodriguez Leon thus join in a request that as part of this Final Judgment of Forfeiture in this case the Court enter a default judgment against the interests, if any, of Elisa Loera, Kathy Lynn Ferguson, and Vanessa Bulgara.
7. Claimants Michael Anthony Leon and Sonia Rodriguez Leon represent and warrant that they are the sole owners of the defendant currency.
Based on the above findings, and the files and records of the Court, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:
1. The Court adopts the Stipulation for Final Judgment of Forfeiture entered into by and between the parties to this action.
2. Judgment is hereby entered against Michael Anthony Leon, Sonia Rodriguez Leon, Elisa Loera, Kathy Lynn Ferguson, Vanessa Bulgara, and all other potential claimants who have not filed claims in this action.
3. Upon entry of a Final Judgment of Forfeiture, $3,586.00 of the defendant approximately $7,172.00 in U.S. Currency, together with any interest that may have accrued on the whole amount of the defendant currency, shall be forfeited to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6), to be disposed of according to law.
4. Upon entry of a Final Judgment of Forfeiture herein, but no later than 45 days thereafter, $3,586.00 of the defendant approximately $7,172.00 in U.S. Currency shall be returned to claimants Michael Anthony Leon and Sonia Rodriguez Leon through their attorney Victor M. Perez, 1304 W. Center Avenue, Visalia, California 93291.
5. Plaintiff United States of America and its servants, agents, and employees, and all other public entities, their servants, agents, and employees, are released from any and all liability arising out of or in any way connected with the arrest, seizure, or forfeiture of the defendant currency. This is a full and final release applying to all unknown and unanticipated injuries, and/or damages arising out of said arrest, seizure, or forfeiture, as well as to those now known or disclosed. The parties to this stipulation agree to waive the provisions of California Civil Code § 1542.
6. Claimants Michael Anthony Leon and Sonia Rodriguez Leon hereby waive any and all claim or right to interest that may have accrued on the defendant currency, or any portion thereof.
7. There was reasonable cause for the seizure and arrest of the defendant currency and that the Court may enter a Certificate of Reasonable Cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465.
8. All parties will bear their own costs and attorneys' fees.
CERTIFICATE OF REASONABLE CAUSE
Based upon the allegations set forth in the Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem filed September 19, 2008, and the Stipulation for Final Judgment of Forfeiture filed herein, the Court enters this Certificate of Reasonable Cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465, that there was reasonable cause for seizure of the defendant currency.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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