JOINT STATUS REPORT; STIPULATION FOR STAY OF FURTHER PROCEEDINGS; AND ORDER [PROPOSED
Plaintiff United States of America ("Plaintiff") and claimants Eric Engstrom ("Engstrom") and Mona Colomb ("Claimants"), by and through their respective counsel, hereby submit the following Joint Status Report in accordance with the Court's Order Requiring Joint Status Report in this matter as filed in this action on November 25, 2009.
(a) Summary of the Claims
On July 28, 2009, Plaintiff filed a verified complaint in this action ("Complaint"). The defendant in this action is described as Approximately $16,923.70 in U.S. Currency ("defendant currency"). The defendant currency was seized on or about February 20, 2009, at 14964 Lake Lane, Nevada City, California, and is in the custody of the United States Marshals Service, Eastern District of California. As set forth in the Complaint, the defendant currency constitutes money or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for a controlled substance or listed chemical in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 et seq., proceeds traceable to such an exchange, and/or moneys used or intended to be used to facilitate any violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 et seq.
On November 12, 2009, Claimants filed a Claim to the defendant property. On November 23, 2009, they filed an Answer to the Complaint.
(b) Status of Service on All Defendants and Cross Defendants
All known potential claimants have been served with the Complaint, Notice of Complaint, Application and Order for Publication, and Court Notices. Accordingly, service is complete.
(c) Possible Joinder of Additional Parties None.
(d) Contemplated Amendments to the Pleadings None.
(e) Statutory Basis of Jurisdiction and Venue
This Court has jurisdiction in this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 28 U.S.C. § 1355(a). Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1355(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 1395.
(f) Written Report Outlining Proposed Discovery Plan under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f)
As of the December 1, 2006, amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, civil forfeiture actions are exempt from the initial disclosure requirements applicable to most other civil actions. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1)(E)(ii).
Rather than fully schedule this case at this time, the Parties jointly request a stay of further proceedings in this matter pending the state prosecution of Claimant Eric Engstrom in Superior Court of California for the County of Nevada, Case No. SF09-079. The stay is requested pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1) and 981(g)(2) and 21 U.S.C. § 881(i), based on the following reasons:
The United States contends that the defendant currency constitutes money or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for a controlled substance or listed chemical in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 et seq., proceeds traceable to such an exchange, and/or moneys used or intended to be used to facilitate any violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 et seq. The United States intends to depose Engstrom about the claim he filed in this case; his involvement in and/or knowledge of drug-trafficking; the source of the funds seized; and other facts as alleged in the Complaint. If Engstrom as a claimant in this action invokes his Fifth Amendment rights, the United States ...