United States District Court, D. Idaho
DECISION AND ORDER RE: MOTION FOR DISCOVERY INCLUDING
DEPOSITIONS (DKT. 126); MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE OF DISPOSITIVE
MOTIONS (DKT. 128); MOTION TO QUASH DISCOVERY, OR,
ALTERNATIVELY, MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER (DKT. 133); MOTION
FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AS TO NICHOLAS CORSON (DKT. 144); MOTION
TO ENFORCE CLAIMANT PACE'S PRODUCTION OF STIPULATED
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PONZO'S CHILDREN (DKT. 145); AND
MOTION TO EXTEND TIME TO REPLY TO RESPONSE (DKT.
Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge.
Maple Leaf Gold Coins; a 2002 Harley Davidson Motorcycle,
Idaho License MSM731; a 1952 Willey's Jeep, Idaho License
1A2D138; and a 2002 Subaru Outback, VIN: 4S3BE896327203958,
before the Court are seven motions: (1) Claimant Ponzo's
Motion for Discovery Including Depositions (Dkt. 126); (2)
Ponzo's Second Motion for Continuance of Dispositive
Motions (Dkt. 128); (3) the United States' Motion to
Dismiss (Dkt. 132); (4) the United States' Motion to
Quash Discovery, or alternatively, Motion for Protective
Order (Dkt. 133); (5) the United States' Motion for
Default Judgment as to Nicholas Corson (Dkt. 144); (6)
Ponzo's Motion to Enforce Claimant Pace's Production
of Stipulated Contact Information for Ponzo's Children
(Dkt. 145).; and (7) Ponzo's Motion to Extend Time to
Reply to Respond (Dkt. 148). The Court will first address the
status of the motion to dismiss before it addresses the other
motions separately below.
Notice of the Court Re: United States' Motion to Dismiss
United States filed a motion seeking to dismiss certain
defendant property items and seeking also to dismiss the
claims of Ponzo for lack of standing. (Dkt. 132.) In
consideration of footnote five in the motion and upon review
of the record to date, the Court may consider matters outside
the pleadings, and thus, may treat the motion as one for
summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(d). As such, the Court will provide Ponzo the
opportunity to present any materials that are pertinent to
the motion, i.e., any evidence that supports Ponzo's
ownership interest in the Jeep, motorcycle, and the Subaru.
If Ponzo chooses to file additional materials, he must do so
with his sur-response to the United States' motion to
dismiss on or before February 27, 2017.
Discovery Motions (Dkt. 126, 133)
October 24, 2016, Ponzo filed a motion seeking discovery and
for leave of the Court to depose ten witnesses. (Dkt. 126.)
The same day, Ponzo filed his First Set of Interrogatories,
Request for Production of Documents and Request for
Admissions addressed to the United States and various other
individuals who are not parties to this civil forfeiture
action. (Dkt. 127).
United States objects to Ponzo's motion for discovery and
his request to depose ten witnesses and seeks an order
quashing Ponzo's First Set of Interrogatories, Request
for Production of Documents and Request for Admissions on the
grounds Ponzo's discovery requests are not relevant and
not proportional to the needs of the litigants in this civil
forfeiture action. (Dkt. 133.) Alternatively, the United
States seeks a protective order under Rule 26(c)(A) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure forbidding the discovery
requested by Ponzo until the Court resolves the United
States' pending motion to dismiss. For the reasons that
follow, the Court will deny Ponzo's discovery motion and
his request for leave to take depositions, and will grant the
United States' requested protective order as to
Ponzo's First Set of Interrogatories, Request for
Production of Documents and Request for Admissions.
amended effective December 1, 2015, Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1)
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
longer is it good enough to hope that the information sought
might lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. In fact,
the old language to that effect is gone. Instead, a party
seeking discovery of relevant, non-privileged information
must show, before anything else, that the discovery sought is
proportional to the needs of the case.” Dao v.
Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston, 2016 WL 796095, at
*3 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 23, 2016) (quoting Gilead Scis., Inc.
v. Merck & Co, Inc., 2016 WL 146574, at *1 (N.D.
Cal. Jan. 13, 2016)).
threshold matter in a civil forfeiture action, a claimant
must have both statutory standing and Article III standing to
assert a claim of interest in defendant property. United
States v. One 1985 Cadillac Seville, 866 F.2d 1142, 1148
(9th Cir. 1989). Statutory standing can be established by
meeting the filing requirements in Supplemental Rule G(5). To
establish Article III standing, the claimant must
“demonstrate a colorable interest in the defendant
property, for example, by showing actual possession, control,
title, or financial stake.” Real Prop. located at
5294 Bandy Rd., Priest River, Bonner Cty., 2014 WL
5513748, at *5, quoting 5208 Los Franciscos Way, 385
F.3d at 1191. Only if the claimant ...