November 6, 2013
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiffs,
REAL PROPERT LOCATED AT 2695 RAMSEY AVENUE, STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA, SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, APN: XXX-XXX-XX, INCLUDING ALL APPURTENANCES AND IMPROVEMENTS THERETO, Defendants,
PACHECO & SOMERA, CHARLES A. PACHECO, A Professional Law Firm, Sacramento, California, Attorney for Claimant, JAMES SHERMAN.
STIPULATION TO STAY FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS AND ORDER
MORRISON C. ENGLAND, Jr., Chief District Judge.
Claimant, James Sherman, and Plaintiff, the United States of America, by and through their respective, undersigned attorneys, hereby stipulate that a stay is necessary in the above-entitled action, and request that the Court enter an order staying all further proceedings until the resolution of the related criminal case against James Sherman, case number 2:13-CR-0302JAM, regarding allegations of drug trafficking involving the defendant property.
1. Claimant has filed a claim and answer in this in rem forfeiture action, asserting that he is an innocent owner of the defendant property.
2. The stay is requested pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1), 981(g)(2), and 21 U.S.C. § 881(i). The United States contends that the defendant property was used to facilitate the cultivation of marijuana and/or heroin trafficking.
3. The United States intends to depose the claimant regarding his ownership of the defendant property, as well as his knowledge of the marijuana grow and/or heroin trafficking at the defendant property. If discovery proceeds at this time, the claimant will be placed in the difficult position of either invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and losing the ability to pursue his claim to the defendant properties, or waiving his Fifth Amendment rights and submitting to a deposition and potentially incriminating himself. If he invokes his Fifth Amendment rights, the United States will be deprived of the ability to explore the factual basis for the claim he filed with this court.
4. In addition, the claimant intends 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 impact the federal prosecution.
5. The parties recognize that proceeding with the instant action at this time has potential adverse effects on the investigation of the underlying conduct and/or upon the claimant's ability to assert any defenses to forfeiture. For these reasons, the parties jointly request that this matter be stayed until the conclusion of the related criminal case. At that time, the parties will advise the court of the status of the criminal investigation, if any, and will advise the court whether a further stay is necessary.
For the reasons set forth above, this matter is stayed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 981(g)(1), 981(g)(2), and 21 U.S.C. § 881(i) until the conclusion of the related criminal case, at which time the parties will advise the Court whether a further stay is necessary.
IT IS SO ORDERED.