The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank C. Damrell, Jr. United States District Judge
JOINT STATUS REPORT AND STIPULATION TO STAY FURTHER PROCEEDINGS; ORDER
Pursuant to this Court's Order Requiring Joint Status Report the plaintiff United States of America and claimant Charles M. Hilkey submit the following report.
(a) Brief summary of the claims and legal theories under which recovery is sought or liability denied:
Plaintiff contends that the defendant currency is the proceeds of marijuana trafficking and is forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6). Claimant denies these allegations.
The facts are complicated, but the legal theories in this case are straightforward: Plaintiff United States of America contends the Charles M. Hilkey was engaged in the manufacture and distribution of marijuana, and that this currency is the proceeds of that criminal activity.
(b) Status of service upon all defendants and cross-defendants and claimants:
All potential claimants have been served, and the time for filing claims by potential claimants who received direct notice of the forfeiture has expired.
(c) Possible joinder of additional parties:
Plaintiff does not anticipate that there will be any additional parties, but it is possible that a person who sees the notice of forfeiture on the government website will file a claim and answer and will therefore become a party. Under Rule G (5)(a)(ii)(B) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions a person who did not receive direct notice of the forfeiture (e.g. by certified mail or personal service), but who sees the notice of forfeiture on the website, can file a claim as late as 60 days after the first day of publication on the government website. The Order for Publication has not yet been signed, but the plaintiff will arrange for publication as soon as the order is signed.
(d) Contemplated amendments to the pleadings:
The parties do not contemplate amending the pleadings. In light of the requested stay (see below) plaintiff does not object if claimant Hilkey files his Answer after the stay is lifted.
(e) Statutory basis for jurisdiction and venue: Jurisdiction is based on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355(a). Venue is based on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1355(b) and 1395, and 21 U.S.C. § 881(j).
(f) Anticipated discovery and the scheduling of discovery, including:
(1) what changes, if any, should be made in the timing, form, or requirement for disclosure under Rule 26(a), including a statement as to made or will be made; when disclosures under Rule 26(a)(1) were
As of the December 1, 2006, amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, civil forfeiture actions are now exempt from the initial disclosure requirements applicable to most other civil actions. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1)(B)(ii).
In addition, the parties request that a stay of further proceedings be entered at this time pending the outcome of the related criminal case now pending against claimant Hilkey. Hilkey is a defendant in U.S. v. Charles M. Hilkey, Jr., Rachelle Sari Garnitz, ...