Bennett v. Islamic Republic of Iran

Filing 55

ORDER lifting stay of enforcement of judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge Nandor J. Vadas on 12/23/2011. (njvlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/23/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 Not For Citation 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 EUREKA DIVISION United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 MICHAEL BENNETT and LINDA BENNETT, 12 No. CV 11-80065 MISC CRB (NJV) ORDER LIFTING STAY OF ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT Plaintiffs, 13 v. 14 ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, 15 16 Defendant. / 17 18 The factual and legal background of this action is set forth in earlier orders of this Court, and 19 is incorporated here by reference. See Doc. Nos. 25, 38. On November 17, 2011, this Court granted 20 Plaintiffs’ application for writs of execution and stayed enforcement of judgment except for post- 21 judgment discovery sufficient to establish that an exception to sovereign immunity applied to the 22 funds upon which Plaintiffs sought to levy. Doc. No. 38. Plaintiffs sought to levy upon assets held 23 by Franklin Resources, Inc., d/b/a Franklin Templeton Fiduciary Trust (“Franklin”) that had been 24 blocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Plaintiffs conducted discovery and determined that 25 the assets held by Franklin are owned by Bank Melli. Bank Melli has been determined to be an 26 instrumentality of Iran, and its funds have been seized in at least one other case to compensate 27 victims of terrorism. See Weistein v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 609 F.3d 43 (2d Cir. 2010). Pursuant 28 to this Court’s order of October 24, 2011, Plaintiffs have in in camera submissions identified the 1 account number, identity of the account holder, and the nature of the assets held in the account upon 2 which they seek to levy. They have described the nexus the account holder has with the judgment 3 debtor. Plaintiffs also have sufficiently addressed why the assets do not appear to be immune from 4 execution under TRIA and 28 U.S.C. section 1610(f)(1)(A) at this point. See Doc. No. 25 at 8. 5 Accordingly, the Court lifts the stay of enforcement of judgment. Plaintiffs may serve their writ of 6 execution on Franklin. Plaintiffs are further ordered to file the submissions they provided to the 7 Court in camera under seal. See Doc. No. 54. 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Dated: December 23, 2011 ___________________________ 12 Nandor J. Vadas United States Magistrate Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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