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United States v. One 2007 Jaguar XKR Coupe

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION


September 21, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ONE 2007 JAGUAR XKR COUPE, ONE 2006 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06, ONE 2006 MASERATI GRANSPORT, ONE 2004 DODGE DURANGO LIMITED, ONE 2005 ASTON MARTIN DB9; AND $58,983.10 IN BANK ACCOUNT FUNDS, DEFENDANTS.
JAMES D. MELTON, CLAIMANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Dale S. Fischer United States District Judge

AMENDED CONSENT JUDGMENT

The court having reviewed the stipulation between the United States of America and James Melton for entry of this Consent Judgment filed as document no. 39 in this matter, and the accompanying Stipulation and Request for Entry of Amended Consent Judgment,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. James D. Melton ("Melton") has filed a claim to contest the forfeiture of the remaining defendant assets in this case, which are more particularly described as follows:

a. One 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, bearing VIN 1G1YY26E265126228 and registered to James D. Melton;

b. One 2004 Dodge Durango Limited, bearing VIN 1D4HB58D44F210253 and registered to James D. Melton;

c. $40,000 seized from an account at Bank of America in the name of James D. Melton, bearing an account number ending in -2396;

d. $9,265.71 seized from an account at Bank of America in the name of Rhonda Melton at Bank of America, bearing an account number ending in -8555;

e. $9,557.39 seized from an account at Regions AM South Bank in the names of Null Perspiration/James D. Melton, bearing an account number ending in -8082; and

f. $160.00 seized from an account at Colonial Bank of Birmingham, Alabama, in the names of TV Delivered LLC, bearing an account number ending in -6284.

2. The government's complaint in this action was filed on December 14, 2007, alleging that the defendant assets were subject to forfeiture to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(a)(1)(C), 984. Plaintiff has notified other potential claimants of this action, including Rhonda Melton, pursuant to Supplemental Rule G for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Notice of forfeiture of the defendants was published on March 14, 21, and 28, 2008 and again on May 1, 8, and 15, 2008 in accordance with Supplemental Rule G(4)(a). No claims or answers have been filed to contest the forfeiture of the defendant funds by anyone other than Melton, and the time for filing claims and answers has expired. All potential claimants to the defendants other than Melton are deemed to have admitted the allegations of the complaint.

3. It is the intent of the United States and Melton to resolve all of their competing claims to the defendants by their Stipulation filed as docket no. 39 and this Amended Consent Judgment, which replaces the judgment previously entered by this Court on August 30, 2010 and filed as docket no. 40. By entering into such Stipulation, and its provisions, Melton has neither admitted nor denied any of the allegations of the complaint.

4. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the present action and over the parties to the Stipulation filed as docket no. 39.

5. The Complaint states a claim for relief against the defendants.

6. The parties have agreed to the following disposition of the defendants:

a. The United States shall have judgment in the present forfeiture action against the interests of James Melton and all other potential claimants in the following assets (the "Forfeited Defendants"):

i. One 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, bearing VIN 1G1YY26E265126228 and registered to James D. Melton;

ii. $40,000 seized from an account at Bank of America in the name of James D. Melton, bearing an account number ending in -2396, and all interest earned thereon since the time of seizure;

iii. $9,557.39 seized from an account at Regions AM South Bank in the names of Null Perspiration/James D. Melton, bearing an account number ending in -8082, and all interest earned thereon since the time of seizure; and

iv. $160.00 seized from an account at Colonial Bank of Birmingham, Alabama, in the names of TV Delivered LLC, bearing an account number ending in -6284, and all interest earned thereon since the time of seizure.

The Forfeited Defendants shall be condemned and forfeited to the United States of America upon entry of this Amended Consent Judgment. The United States Marshals Service shall dispose of the Forfeited Defendants in accordance with law.

b. The United States shall return the following defendants:

i. One 2004 Dodge Durango Limited, bearing VIN 1D4HB58D44F210253 and registered to James D. Melton;

ii. $9,265.71 seized from an account at Bank of America in the name of Rhonda Melton at Bank of America, bearing an account number ending in -8555, and all interest earned thereon since the time of seizure.

The United States Marshals Service ("USMS") shall return the 2004 Dodge Durango Limited to Melton not later than 30 days after the entry of this Amended Consent Judgment by delivering custody of the vehicle to Melton, or to such party as such Melton may designate in writing. The USMS shall return the $9,265.71 to the party from whom it was seized (Rhonda Melton) not later than 30 days after (a) the court enters this Amended Consent Judgment and (b) James Melton provides to government counsel Rhonda Melton's bank routing information and social security number, whichever is later.

7. Except as to such rights and obligations created by the parties' Stipulation filed as docket no. 39, Melton has released and agreed to hold harmless the United States, and any agents, servants, and employees of the United States (or any state or local law enforcement agency), including without limitation the Drug Enforcement Administration, acting in their individual or official capacities, from all claims, actions or proceedings, including, but not limited to, any claim for attorney's fees and/or costs, or interest, which may hereafter be asserted or brought by him or on his behalf which arise out of the present action.

8. Each party shall bear its own costs of litigation and attorney's fees. Each party has waived its right to appeal. This Amended Consent Judgment constitutes a certificate of reasonable cause pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465(a)(2).

9. At the time this case was filed, the complaint named as defendants in the case three additional vehicles encumbered by large liens held by third parties: One 2007 Jaguar XKR Coupe, bearing VIN SAJWA43C779B17296; One 2006 Maserati Gransport, bearing VIN ZAMEC38A360026690; and One 2005 Aston Martin DB9, bearing VIN SCFAD01A25GA00844 (collectively, the "Lien Vehicles"). Melton and the United States previously stipulated and agreed (the "Lien Stipulations") that the lienholders would sell the Lien Vehicles. No net proceeds remained from the sale of the Lien Vehicles after the payment of the amount owed to the lienholders. To the extent not already accomplished by the Lien Stipulations and the Orders entered thereon, the Lien Vehicles are hereby dismissed from this action.

10. The Court retains jurisdiction over this case and the parties hereto to effectuate the terms of this settlement.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100921

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