BENJAMIN B. WAGNER, United States Attorney, KEVIN C. KHASIGIAN, ALYSON A. BERG, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Courthouse, Fresno, California, Attorneys for the United States.
DONALD R. FISCHBACH, STEPHANIE HAMILTON BORCHERS, Attorneys for Claimants Darrin Pattanumotana, Damrong Pattanumotana, Gavin Pattanumotana, Goon Pattanumotana, Somluck Pattanumotana, and the Pattanumotana Family Limited Partnership.
STIPULATION TO STAY FURTHER PROCEEDINGS AND ORDER
ANTHONY W. ISHII, Senior District Judge.
The United States of America and claimants, by and through their respective counsel, hereby stipulate that a stay is appropriate in the above-entitled action, and request that the court enter an order staying further proceedings until the conclusion of the related criminal case. The basis for the proposed stay is the related criminal action against several individuals charged with cultivating marijuana in violation of federal law at the defendant properties, United States v. Douangchanh Keovilayvanh, 1:10-CR-00476-LJO and United States v. Bouasangouane, et al., 1:11-CR-00357-AWI. None of the claimants have been charged with violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
United States v. Bouasangouane, et al., 1:11-CR-00357-AWI, is the only unresolved companion criminal case. Particularly, the parties understand that defendant Shavane Bouasangouane has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, 2013. The remaining defendant, Reney Bouasangouance, is set for trial on October 8, 2013.
1. Pattanumotana Family Limited Partnership, Darrin Pattanumotana, Damrong Pattanumotana, Gavin Pattanumotana, Goon Pattanumotana, and Somluck Pattanumotana filed claims on November 28, 2011.
2. Claimants filed their answer on January 30, 2012.
3. No other claimants have appeared in this action.
4. The stay is requested pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(i).
5. To date, several individuals have been charged with federal criminal crimes related to cultivation of marijuana on the defendant property, United States v. Douangchanh Keovilayvanh, 1:10-CR-00476-LJO and United States v. Bouasangouane, et al., 1:11-CR-00357-AWI. The United States intends to depose those charged with crimes connected to the drug offenses. If discovery proceeds at this time, these individuals, or some of them, will be placed in the difficult position of either invoking their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination or waiving their Fifth Amendment rights and submitting to a deposition and potentially incriminating themselves. If they invoke their Fifth Amendment rights, the United States will be deprived of the ability to explore the factual basis for the claims the claimants filed with this court.
6. In addition, claimants intend to depose, among others, the agents involved with this investigation, including but not limited to the agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Allowing depositions of the law enforcement officers at this time would adversely affect the ability of the federal authorities to prepare for the criminal trial and/or further investigate the alleged underlying criminal conduct. The parties recognize that proceeding with these actions at this time could have potential adverse effects on the investigation of the underlying criminal conduct and/or upon the claimants' ability to prove their claims to the defendant real properties and to assert any defenses to forfeiture. For these reasons, the parties jointly request that these matters be stayed until the conclusion of the related criminal case. The parties further agree that, subject to the court's approval, they may jointly request that the court lift the stay for the limited purpose of conducting an early settlement conference while the criminal matter is pending. At that time the parties will advise the court of the status of the criminal case and will advise the court whether a further stay is appropriate.
For the reasons set forth above, this matter is stayed until the conclusion of the related criminal case. At that time, the parties will advise the ...