No. 1:17-cv-00592-DAD-BAM.


United States District Court, E.D. California.

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 21 U.S.C. § 881
Cause: 21 U.S.C. § 881 Forfeiture Property - Drugs
Nature of Suit: 625 Drug Related Seizure of Property
Source: PACER

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

United States of America, Plaintiff, represented by Patrick John Suter , Office of the US Attorney.

Jesus Velazquez-Juarez, Claimant, represented by Kevin Gerard Little , Law Office of Kevin G. Little.


(Doc. No. 8)

DALE A. DROZD, District Judge.

On July 10, 2017, the parties filed a stipulation jointly proposing to stay all further proceedings in the above-entitled action due ongoing criminal proceedings against Jesus Velasquez-Juarez in United States v. Jesus Velasquez-Juarez, 1:16-cr-00189-DAD-BAM. (Doc. No. 8.) The parties have moved to stay pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(g)(1), which provides that a stay of the civil forfeiture proceedings is proper "if the court determines that civil discovery will adversely affect the ability of the Government to conduct a related criminal investigation or the prosecution of a related criminal case." Further, § 981(g)(2) provides that stay is proper if the court determines: "(a) the claimant is the subject of a related criminal investigation or case; (b) the claimant has standing to assert a claim in the civil forfeiture proceeding; and (c) continuation of the forfeiture proceeding will burden the right of the claimant against self-incrimination in the related investigation or case."

Here, the government has indicated that it intends to depose Mr. Velasquez-Juarez in the event he files a claim in this civil forfeiture proceeding, and doing so would place him in the position of either invoking or waiving his Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination "and losing the ability to pursue any claim to the Defendant Currency . . . ." (Id. at 2, ¶ 3.) The government notes that should Mr. Valesquez-Juarez invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the United States would be unable to explore the factual basis of his claim. (Id.) In addition, the parties represent that in the event Mr. Valesquez-Juarez deposes law enforcement officers involved with this investigation, doing so "would adversely impact the ability of such law enforcement officers to investigate the alleged underlying criminal conduct." (Id. at ¶ 4.)

Having reviewed the parties' stipulation, the court finds good cause to stay further proceedings since this action has potential adverse consequences with respect to the pending criminal case and on Mr. Velasquez-Juarez's ability to raise any defense to forfeiture in this civil action. Accordingly,

1. Pursuant to the terms of the parties' stipulation, the court stays further proceedings until December 29, 2017; and 2. By that date the parties are directed to advise the court regarding the status of the criminal proceedings and indicate whether the stay of this action continues to be necessary.



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