Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Restraint of Twenty Real Properties in California

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 6, 2019

IN RE RESTRAINT OF TWENTY REAL PROPERTIES IN CALIFORNIA AND FLORIDA OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY FABRICE TOUIL OR RICHARD TOUIL

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Four entities have filed motions to intervene, vacate restraining orders, and, in one instance, dissolve a notice of lis pendens, pertaining to properties in California and Florida. ECF Nos. 27, 28, 29. Upon consideration of the pleadings, [1] the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court shall GRANT-IN-PART and DENY-IN-PART WITHOUT PREJUDICE each of these motions. These entities shall be permitted to intervene, but the Court shall not vacate the restraining orders or dissolve the notice of lis pendens at this time.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 2, 2016, the United States moved ex parte for enforcement of French restraining orders against twenty real properties, including the four presently at issue: 1040 Biscayne Blvd., #3504, Miami, Florida 33132 (“1040 Biscayne”); 1100 West Avenue, #1026, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 (“1100 West Avenue”); 1150 Kane Concourse, #2FL, Bay Harbor, Florida 33154 (“1150 Kane Concourse, #2FL”); and 2666 Hutton Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210 (“2666 Hutton”). A French court had imposed those restraints “to preserve specific property beneficially owned by Fabrice Touil or Richard Touil that is subject to confiscation (forfeiture) under French law in connection with a criminal investigation into the Touil brothers and others suspected of money laundering and other offenses in France.” Order, ECF No. 3, at 1-2.

         On August 16, 2016, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan granted the United States' motion in pertinent part, enforcing the French restraining orders against these four properties and others. Order, ECF No. 3, at 2-3. With respect to 1150 Kane Concourse, #2FL, she excluded an annotation of this property as “legally described as condominium no. 3” because that description appeared in the United States' proposed order but not in other materials, including the French restraining order itself. Id. at 2-3 & n.1.

         Judge Chutkan also granted the United States' request to seal proceedings in this matter but required that notice of the Court's restraining order be given to “the suspects and any affected person, including the nominal corporate owners of record of the twenty properties.” Order, ECF No. 4. Judge Chutkan lifted the seal on November 22, 2016, upon learning from the United States that, inter alia, “[b]oth Fabrice and Richard Touil have actual notice that the French Restraining Orders are now in force in the United States.” Ex Parte Mot. to Vacate Sealing Order, ECF No. 15, at 2; see also Order, ECF No. 17.

         The United States indicates that Fabrice Touil appealed the French court's restraining orders as to 1040 Biscayne and 1100 West Avenue. U.S. Opp'n at 5 n.7. Those orders were confirmed by the Paris Court of Appeals. Id. at 5. While he evidently also appealed restraining orders as to some other properties, the United States is unaware of any appeals covering 1150 Kane Concourse, #2FL, or 2666 Hutton. Resp. of the United States to Mot. to Vacate Restraining Order Re: 1150 Kane Concourse, Bay Harbor Florida [sic], ECF No. 38, at 7 n.8; Resp. of the United States to Mot. to Vacate Restraining Order Re: 2666 Hutton Drive, Beverly Hills, California, ECF No. 36, at 5 n.6. At least some of the appeals he did file were abandoned. U.S. Opp'n at 5 & n.7. “The United States is unaware of any successful appeal as to any property.” Id. at 5 n.7. Proposed Intervenors say nothing to the contrary.

         On October 4, 2018, Ocean 26 Holdings LLC and Mondrian 1026 LLC together moved to intervene and vacate restraining orders as to 1040 Biscayne and 1100 West Avenue, which they allege that they respectively own. Proposed Intervenors Ocean 26 Holdings LLC's and Mondrian 1026 LLC's Mot. to Intervene and Vacate Restraining Order, ECF No. 27, at 1. Ocean Five Office 400 LLC separately filed a similar request with respect to its alleged property, 1150 Kane Concourse, #2FL. Proposed Intervenor Ocean Five Office 400 LLC's Mot. to Intervene, Vacate the Restraining Order and Dissolve the Notice of Lis Pendens, ECF No. 28, at 2. Real Estate 26 Investments LLC likewise moved as to its alleged holding, 2666 Hutton. Proposed Intervenor Real Estate 26 Investments LLC's Mot. to Intervene and Vacate Restraining Order, ECF No. 29, at 1. The Court shall refer to these four entities collectively as “Proposed Intervenors” or simply “Intervenors.”

         Upon reassignment of the case to this Court, during briefing of the pending motions, the Court permitted the United States to file a surreply, which the Proposed Intervenors responded to in supplemental replies. Although the Court did not grant Proposed Intervenors permission to make these supplemental filings, the Court shall consider the supplemental replies in any case because they are helpful to the resolution of the pending motions.

         The United States indicates that Fabrice Touil's trial concluded on October 4, 2018, the date on which the Proposed Intervenors filed their motions, and that a verdict in Mr. Touil's case is expected on February 21, 2019. U.S. Opp'n at 2-3; U.S. Surreply at 2. Proposed Intervenors do not challenge either point.

         The briefing having concluded, the pending motions are now ripe for resolution. The differences in briefing between the three separate motions generally do not affect the disposition of these motions. Accordingly, except where otherwise indicated, the Court shall cite the parties' briefing of the motion filed by Ocean 26 Holdings LLC and Mondrian 1026 LLC.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Motion to Intervene

         Rule 24(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs intervention as a matter of right. That provision provides, in relevant part, that “[o]n timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who . . . claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing parties adequately represent that interest.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(2). Consistent with this language, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the “D.C. Circuit”) has recognized four criteria for intervention under Rule 24(a): “(1) the application to intervene must be timely; (2) the applicant must demonstrate a legally protected interest in the action; (3) the action must threaten to impair that interest; and (4) no party to the action can be an adequate representative of the applicant's interests.” Karsner v. Lothian, 532 F.3d 876, 885 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting SEC v. Prudential Sec. Inc., 136 F.3d 153, 156 (D.C. Cir. 1998)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         In addition to these four requirements, which emanate from the text of Rule 24(a) itself, the Court understands that a putative intervenor must generally establish constitutional standing. Fund for Animals, Inc. v. Norton, 322 F.3d 728, 731-32 (D.C. Cir. 2003).[2] “To establish standing under Article III, a prospective intervenor - like any party - must show: (1) injury-in-fact, (2) causation, and (3) redressability.” Id. at 732-33 (citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992); Sierra Club v. EPA, 292 F.3d 895, 898 (D.C. Cir. 2002)). With respect to the first prong of the Article III standing inquiry, the putative intervenor must show “an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” Deutsche ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.