ANDRÉ BIROTTE JR., United States Attorney, ROBERT E. DUGDALE, Assistant United States Attorney Chief, Criminal Division, STEVEN R. WELK, Assistant United States Attorney Chief, Asset Forfeiture Section, JONATHAN GALATZAN, Assistant United States Attorney, California Bar Number 190414, Los Angeles, California, Attorneys for Plaintiff, United States of America.
CHRISTOPHER STEVEN BOTSACOS Claimant.
JANET SHERMAN, ESQ., SHERMAN AND SHERMAN, Attorney for Claimant, Christopher Steven Botsacos.
S. JAMES OTERO, District Judge.
This action was filed on January 16, 2013. Notice was given and published in accordance with law. Claimant and titleholder Christopher Steven Botsacos ("claimant") claims an interest in the defendant real property and has filed a claim in this case, but not answered the complaint. However, claimant would have filed an answer in this case absent this settlement. 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 claimant have reached an agreement that, without further litigation and without an admission of any wrongdoing, is dispositive of the government's claims against the defendant property, and hereby request that the Court enter this Consent Judgment.
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 4519 Village Road, Long Beach, California; and (b) "illegal purpose" shall mean any purpose that furthers or facilitates the growing, manufacturing, distribution or sale of marijuana in violation of federal law.
2. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties to this Consent Judgment and the subject matter of this action.
3. On or about January 16, 2013, the government filed a Complaint for Forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(7) against the defendant real property.
4. Claimant and titleholder Christopher Steven Botsacos claims an interest in the defendant real property and has filed a claim in this case, but not answered the complaint. However, claimant would have filed an answer in this case absent this settlement. No other claimant has appeared in this action.
5. Notice of this action has been given in accordance with law. No other appearances having been made, the Court deems that all potential claimants other than Christopher Steven Botsacos 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. Claimant shall retain possession of and title to the defendant property, and in consideration thereof, agrees to abide by the terms of this Agreement. Claimant shall lawfully use and occupy the defendant property in accordance with the restrictions imposed by paragraph 7 below. If claimant fails to comply with any of the terms of paragraph 7, his interest in the defendant property shall be forfeited to the government pursuant to paragraph 8 below.
7. Claimant shall not use or occupy the defendant property, nor shall he allow the defendant property to be used or occupied, for any illegal purpose (as defined in paragraph 1). Claimant shall take all reasonable precautions to prevent any destruction to or diminution in value of the defendant property and any fixtures thereto. Claimant shall not knowingly rent, lease or otherwise allow the use or occupancy of any of his property to any person claimant has reason to believe may use or occupy its property for any illegal purpose.
8. In the event that claimant fails to comply with any of the terms of paragraph 7 of this Consent Judgment during the four (4) year period following the entry of this Consent Judgment, the entirety of claimant's interest in the defendant property shall be ordered condemned and forfeited to the United States, subject to the "notice" and "cure" provisions set forth below. In the event of forfeiture, the Los Angeles County Recorder shall index this Consent Judgment in the grantor index under the name of Christopher Steven Botsacos, and in the grantee index in the name of the United States of America. If the government believes that claimant failed to comply with any provision of paragraph 7, it shall provide written notice of such failure to claimant (as well as his respective undersigned counsel), describing the provision believed to have been violated. Claimant shall have fifteen (15) days from his receipt of such notice to cure the violation. In order to cure the violation, claimant shall immediately complete all reasonable and necessary steps to produce compliance as soon as reasonably practicable. If the violation is not cured within the 15-day period by initiating such steps, the government shall file a Notice of Non-Compliance and Forfeiture with the Court, setting out the violation and the failure of claimant to timely cure the violation. The government shall provide claimant with all necessary proof and information that supports its allegation that there has been non-compliance. Claimant shall have fifteen (15) court days from the receipt of the Notice to file a motion to seek relief from forfeiture, wherein the moving party may argue that, among other things, he is an "innocent owner" pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 983(d). If such a motion is filed, the government shall take no further action until the motion has been determined. If no such motion is timely filed, the defendant property shall be forfeited to the United States on the sixteenth (16th) day after the filing of the Notice of Non-Compliance and Forfeiture, unless the Court orders otherwise. Upon forfeiture under the terms of this paragraph, the government shall have the right to take possession of the defendant property without further order of the Court, and the United States Marshals Service, or its representatives, shall, without further order of the Court, proceed to take physical possession of the defendant property and its fixtures, and may evict any and all persons, pets, livestock, and personal property from the defendant property as it deems necessary or appropriate. A "filed"-stamped copy ...