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United States of America v. Real Property Located At 331 N. Milpas

January 16, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 331 N. MILPAS, SANTA BARBARA, CA (MATILIJA), DEFENDANT.
MATILIJA INVESTMENT PROPERTY LLC AND FIRST CALIFORNIA BANK, CLAIMANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable John F. Walter United States District Judge

CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE AS TO CLAIMANT FIRST CALIFORNIA BANK ONLY [This consent judgment is not case-dispositive and only resolves the claim of one claimant in this action.]

This action was filed on May 2, 2012. Notice was given and published in accordance with law. Claimant and titleholder Matilija Investment Property LLC ("Matilija") filed a claim on May 25, 2012 (Court docket # 5) and by order of the court was provided an extension to file its responsive pleading to the complaint on or before February 11, 2013 (Court docket # 21). Claimant and lien holder First California Bank ("FCB") filed a claim on January 9, 2013. FCB holds a security interest in the defendant property pursuant to a deed of trust to secure an indebtedness by Matilija, in the original amount of $1,527,500.00, recorded on June 15, 2005 in the Santa Barbara County Recorder's Office as instrument no. 2005-0055870, in favor of FCB (the "Deed of Trust"). No other claims or answers have been filed, and the time for filing claims and answers has expired. Plaintiff United States of America ("the government") and FCB have reached an agreement that, without further litigation and without an admission of any wrongdoing, is dispositive of the government's claims against FCB's interest in this action, and hereby request that the Court enter this Consent Judgment of Forfeiture.

WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:

1. As used throughout, the following terms shall have the following meaning: (a) "defendant property" shall mean the defendant real property located at 331 N. Milpas, Santa Barbara, California; and (b) "illegal purpose" shall mean any purpose that furthers or facilitates the distribution or sale of marijuana in violation of federal law, including, but not limited to, renting space to a person or entity that sells or distributes marijuana or the renting of space to or permitting the continued tenancy of any person or entity that sells, distributes or facilitates the sale or distribution of marijuana.

2. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties to this judgment and the subject matter of this action.

3. On or about May 2, 2012, the government filed a Complaint for Forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7) against the defendant property.

4. Matilija and FCB filed a claim to the defendant property. No other claimant has appeared in this action.

5. Notice of this action has been given in accordance with law. No appearances having been made in this action by any person other than Matilija and FCB, the Court deems that all other potential claimants admit the allegations of the Complaint to be true. The Complaint states a valid claim for relief pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7).

6. FCB shall retain its security interest in the defendant property and in consideration thereof FCB agrees to abide by the terms of this Agreement. If FCB becomes the owner of the defendant property, whether as a result of foreclosure of the Deed of Trust or otherwise, FCB shall lawfully use and occupy the defendant property in accordance with the restrictions imposed by paragraph 7 below. If FCB fails to comply with any of the terms of paragraph 7, FCB's interest in the defendant property shall be forfeited to the government pursuant to paragraph 8 below.

7. In the event FCB becomes the owner of the defendant property, during the time it owns the defendant property, FCB:

a. shall not use or occupy the defendant property for any illegal purpose (as defined above), nor shall it knowingly allow the defendant property to be used or occupied for, or involved in, any illegal purpose.

b. shall take reasonable precautions to prevent any destruction to or diminution in value of the defendant property and any fixtures thereto resulting from any illegal purpose.

c. shall not knowingly rent, lease or otherwise allow the use or occupancy of the defendant property to (i) any former tenant who used or occupied the defendant property for any illegal purpose; or (ii) any person FCB has reason to believe may use or occupy the defendant property for any illegal purpose.

d. shall take reasonable steps to prevent the defendant property from being listed in any advertisement, publication, directory or internet site which advertises or indicates that marijuana is ...


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