United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT BE GRANTED
ECF NO. 10 OBJECTIONS DUE WITHIN FOURTEEN (14) DAYS
STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.
On March 16, 2010, Plaintiff United States of America ("Plaintiff") filed a motion seeking default judgment in this forfeiture action. (ECF No. 10.) This matter has been referred to the undersigned magistrate judge for findings and recommendations pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 302.
The hearing on this matter took place on April 15, 2015. Jeff Spivak appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. No one appeared on behalf of any claimant. For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that Plaintiff's motion for default judgment be granted.
This action is an in rem forfeiture action pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) relating to currency traceable to a violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, et seq. The property named as a defendant in this action is Approximately $36, 950.00 in U.S. Currency ("the Defendant Currency"). The Defendant Currency was seized out of a U.S. Mail Parcel ("the Parcel") on March 20, 2014. The Parcel was addressed to Terrance Tucker, 5564 W. Indianapolis, Fresno, CA 93722. The return address on the Parcel was John Rembert, 401 N.W. 9th Street, Hallandale, FL 33009.
On March 20, 2014, Postal Inspectors and local law enforcement officials went to the W. Indianapolis address and spoke to Mr. Tucker, who gave consent for the officers to open the parcel. Inside the Parcel, officials found five DVD cases with marijuana related titles. The Defendant Currency was found inside the DVD cases. No letter, invoice, or receipt was found in the Parcel.
Another person at the address, Dewayne Taylor, claimed that the Defendant Currency was from t-shirt sales outside California. However, based on the amount of currency, lack of documentation, and the fact that the Defendant Currency was hidden inside DVD cases, Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant Currency was money furnished in exchange for a controlled substance. Plaintiff further alleges that both Mr. Tucker and John Rembert have extensive criminal histories including numerous arrests and convictions for drug related charges.
On November 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed the complaint in this action. (ECF No. 1.) On November 13, 2014, a warrant for the arrest of the Defendant Currency was issued. (ECF No. 4.) The warrant was executed on December 17, 2014. (ECF No. 5.)
Public notice of this action and the arrest of the Defendant Currency was published on the official internal government forfeiture site for at least 30 consecutive days. Plaintiff also delivered notice to Mr. Taylor at the W. Indianapolis address and his last known business address of 5261 E. Kings Canyon Rd., Bldg. C, Suite 101, in Fresno, California. Plaintiff delivered notice to RLF Print Shop at the E. Kings Canyon Rd. address. Notice was also sent to attorney Randolf Krbecheck, who filed a claim on behalf of Dwayne Taylor and RLF Print Shop in the administrative forfeiture action. Plaintiff also sent notice to Terrance Tucker at the W. Indianapolis address and John Rembert at the N.W. 9th Street address in Hallandale, Florida.
To date, the Court's records show that there have been no claims filed by any person or entity in this action. On February 5, 2015, default was entered against RLF Print Shop, John Rembert, Dwayne Taylor, and Terrence Tucker. (ECF No. 8.)
A. Sufficiency of the ...