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In re Extradition of Tehrani

United States District Court, C.D. California

June 17, 2016


          EILEEN M. DECKER United States Attorney LAWRENCE S. MIDDLETON Assistant United States Attorney, DENNISE D. WILLETT Assistant United States Attorney GREGORY S. SCALLY (Cal. Bar No. 268073) Assistant United States Attorney Attorneys for Plaintiff UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



         The extraditee, FABIAN JALILVAND TEHRANI ("TEHRANI"), was arrested on June 2, 2016 pursuant to a complaint and warrant issued by the Honorable Karen E. Scott, United States Magistrate Judge, seeking TEHRANI's extradition to Germany, pursuant to an extradition treaty between Germany and the United States, and pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3184 et seq. Judge Scott signed the warrant for arrest for extradition on May 17, 2016. TEHRANI appeared before this Court on June 2, 2016. At that time the government submitted a brief requesting detention. At the request of counsel for TEHRANI, the matter was set for a detention hearing on June 10, 2016.

         Prior to the detention hearing, counsel for TEHRANI submitted a brief in opposition to the government's request for detention pending extradition proceedings, requesting bail in the amount of a $100, 000 bond, with $25, 000 justified by cash, arguing that TEHRANI neither poses a flight risk nor poses a risk of danger to the community, and that special circumstances exist warranting bail. The government also submitted a brief prior to the detention hearing, arguing that TEHRANI poses a flight risk and that no special circumstances exist warranting bail. The Court has reviewed all the written submissions. At the hearing the Court heard from counsel for TEHRANI and the government. The Court has also considered the initial and updated Pretrial Services Reports.

         The federal statute governing extradition procedures in the United States pursuant to treaties with other nations, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3184 et seq., does not provide for bail. Consequently, the Bail Reform Act, Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 3141 et seq., and its criteria governing the allowance and the amount of bail in United States criminal cases do not apply in extradition matters. Kamrin v. United States, 725 F.2d 1225, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). It is well-settled that a presumption against bail governs in an international extradition proceeding, and only "special circumstances" can justify release on bail. In re Extradition of Kirby, 106 F.3d 855, 858 (9th Cir. 1996) (quoting Wright v. Henkel, 190 U.S. 40, 63 (1903)); see also Salerno v. United States, 878 F.2d 317, 318 (9th Cir. 1989). This presumption "exists due to the foreign relations interest of the United States in successfully returning persons subject to criminal prosecution to the requesting country." In re Extradition of Nacif-Borge, 829 F.Supp. 1210, 1215 (D. Nev. 1993).

         The extraditee must demonstrate both that he is not a flight risk and that there are special circumstances warranting bail. See Salerno, 878 F.2d at 318; In re Extradition of Santos, 473 F.Supp.2d 1030, 1035-36 (C.D. Cal. 2006); United States v. Ramnath, 533 F.Supp.2d 662, 665 (E.D. Tex. 2008); In re Extradition of Molnar, 182 F.Supp.2d 682, 687 (N.D. Ill. 2002); In re Extradition of Nacif-Borge, 829 F.Supp. at 1215; In re Extradition of Chapman, 459 F.Supp.2d 1024, 1026-27 (D. Hawai'i 2006). The Court finds that TEHRANI has not successfully met his burden as to either prong.[1]

         As to risk of flight, TEHRANI has demonstrable ties to no less than five countries. Though he has lived in the Los Angeles area for some time, the timing of his departure from Germany in the aftermath of the execution of a search warrant at his residence there, coupled with his wide geographic ties, establishes his flight risk. TEHRANI's showing has not adequately demonstrated otherwise.

         Neither has he demonstrated special circumstances. The Ninth Circuit has stated that issues common to all incarcerated defendants do not qualify as "special circumstances." In re Extradition of Smyth, 976 F.2d 1535, 1535-36 (9th Cir. 1992). Regarding anticipated delay, TEHRANI has not shown circumstances that are different from "factors applicable to all defendants facing extradition." In re Extradition of Mainero, 950 F.Supp. 290, 294 (S.D. Cal. 1996). Accordingly, the anticipated delay in extradition proceedings is not a special circumstance warranting bail in this case.

         TEHRANI's claim of substantial delay by Germany also does not rise to the level of a special circumstance warranting bail. The Court finds that the timeline laid out in the government's brief, as supported by the exhibits thereto, does not support the inference that Germany chose not to make the extradition of the TEHRANI a priority, and finds no case law suggesting that any of the delays cited by TEHRANI in this case would constitute a special circumstance warranting bail. To the contrary, the case law supports the finding that no delay here warrants bail. See, e.g., Extradition of Drumm, ___ F.Supp.3d ___, 2015 WL 8492037, at *4 (D.Mass. 2015); Extradition of Drayer, 190 F.3d 410, 415 (6th Cir. 1999); Martin v. Warden, 993 F.2d 824, 830 (11th Cir. 1993).

         For the reasons set forth above, and the reasons mentioned by the Court on the record, the Court finds that TEHRANI's release on bail will pose an unacceptable risk of flight in the context of an extradition proceeding, and that TEHRANI has not demonstrated special circumstances warranting bail.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that TEHRANI be detained during the pendency of extradition proceedings.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that TEHRANI be committed to the custody of the Attorney General for confinement in a corrections facility separate, to the extent practicable, from persons awaiting or serving sentences or being held in custody pending appeal.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that TEHRANI be afforded reasonable opportunity for private consultation with counsel.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that on order of a Court of the United States or on request of any attorney for the government, the person in charge of the corrections facility in which TEHRANI is confined deliver TEHRANI to a United States Marshal for ...

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