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United States v. All Assets Held at Bank Julius

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 17, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALL ASSETS HELD AT BANK JULIUS, Baer & Company, Ltd., Guernsey Branch, account number 121128, in the Name of Pavlo Lazarenko et al., Defendants In Rem.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          PAUL L. FRIEDMAN United States District Court, Judge

         This matter is before the Court on three motions: (1) the United States' motion for clarification of filing deadline or, in the alternative, for a three-day enlargement of time to respond to claimant Pavel Lazarenko's second motion for leave to amend his answer to the amended complaint [Dkt. 778]; (2) the United States' motion for leave to file under seal its opposition to claimant Pavel Lazarenko's second motion for leave to amend his answer to the amended complaint [Dkt. 780]; and, (3) claimant Pavel Lazarenko's motion requesting a status conference [Dkt. 782]. Upon consideration of the parties' papers and the relevant legal authorities, the Court will grant all three motions.

         The Court notes, however, that the United States' motion for clarification is plainly frivolous and a waste of the Court's time. In this motion, the United States seeks clarification of the deadline that the Court imposed in a September 8, 2016 minute order, which directed the United States to “file its opposition, if any, to claimant Lazaranko's Second Motion for Leave to Amend His Answer to the Amended Complaint within 10 days of the Court's ruling on claimant Lazarenko's Motion for Leave to File Under Seal.”[1] The Court granted claimant Lazarenko's motion for leave to file under seal on September 23, 2016 and therefore expected the United States to file its opposition on or before October 3, 2016 pursuant to the terms of Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[2] The United States' motion asks the Court to clarify whether Rule 6(d) affords it three additional days to file its opposition. Dkt. 778 at 2.

         The United States' opposition was due on or before October 3, 2016. Rule 6(d) states that “[w]hen a party may or must act within a specified time after service and service is made under Rule 5(b)(2)(C), (D), (E), or (F), 3 days are added after the period would otherwise expire under Rule 6(a).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(d) (emphasis added). Courts are not in the business of “service”; parties and lawyers are. The Rule therefore is clear on its face. It “extend[s] deadlines following the service of documents by an opposing party in specified circumstances to accommodate time needed to effect service; [it] do[es] not apply to filing deadlines following entry of court orders[.]” Lorenzo v. Prime Communications, L.P., 806 F.3d 777, 783 (4th Cir. 2015) (emphasis in original).

         Despite the United States' frivolous argument under Rule 6(d), the Court will grant the United States' request for a three-day extension nunc pro tunc up to and including October 6, 2016 to file its opposition to Lazarenko's second motion for leave to file under seal, Dkt. 778. The Court therefore will also grant the United States' motion for leave to file under seal the opposition that it ultimately filed on October 6, 2016, Dkt. 780.

         In addition to those two motions, claimant Lazarenko moves for a status conference to address “a number of matters which require the Court's prompt attention.” Dkt. 782-1 at 1. The Court will grant Lazarenko's motion and order the parties to provide the Court in advance a list of issues to be discussed at the status conference. In addition to those issues, the parties should be prepared at the status conference to provide to the Court an update, accompanied by any relevant documentary support, on the most recent status of claimant Lazarenko's attempts to settle his in rem proceeding in the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda.

         Accordingly, it is hereby

         ORDERED that the United States' motion for clarification of filing deadline or, in the alternative, for a three-day enlargement of time nunc pro tunc to respond to claimant Pavel Lazarenko's second motion for leave to amend his answer to the amended complaint [Dkt. 778] is GRANTED; it is

         FURTHER ORDERED that the United States' motion for leave to file under seal its opposition to claimant Pavel Lazarenko's second motion for leave to amend his answer to the amended complaint [Dkt. 780] is GRANTED. The opposition may be filed under seal and the Clerk of the Court is directed to docket it. The United States shall within five business days file on the public record a copy of its opposition in which the confidential material is redacted; it is

         FURTHER ORDERED that claimant Pavel Lazarenko's motion requesting a status conference [Dkt. 782] is GRANTED. The parties are directed to appear for a status conference at 10:30 a.m. on October 27, 2016; and it is

         FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report on or before October 24, 2016 listing the issues to be discussed at the October 27, 2016 status conference; and it is

         FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall be prepared at the status conference to provide to the Court an update, accompanied by any relevant documentary support, on the most recent status of claimant Lazarenko's attempts to settle his in rem proceeding in the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda.

         SO ...


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