RAFIIv.ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

United States District Court, D. ColumbiaFeb 14, 2005
Civil Action No. 01-850 (CKK) (D.D.C. Feb. 14, 2005)

Civil Action No. 01-850 (CKK).

February 14, 2005


ORDER


Plaintiff Rafii has served five writs of attachment in this action in her attempt to enforce her December 2, 2002, judgment entered by this Court: (1) a December 30, 2002, writ served on the Department of Treasury; (2) a December 30, 2002, writ served on Bank of America; (3) a May 5, 2003, writ served on the Department of Defense; (4) a May 5, 2003, writ served on the Department of State; and (5) a May 5, 2003, writ served on the Department of Treasury. On March 31, 2004, this Court issued an Order quashing (1) the December 30, 2002, writ served on the Treasury Department. See Rafii v. Islamic Republic of Iran, Civ. No. 01-850 (D.D.C. Mar. 31, 2004) (order quashing Dec. 30, 2002, Treasury Deparment writ).

On January 11, 2005, this Court issued an Order quashing (2) the writ of attachment served by Plaintiff on garnishee Bank of America, N.A, with respect to the accounts denominated as the "First Account" and "Second Account" in the filings made by the parties and in the Answers to Interrogatories in Attachment filed by the Bank of America. See Rafii v. Islamic Republic of Iran, Civ. No. 01-850 (D.D.C. Jan. 11, 2005) (order quashing writs with Bank of America). The Court issued this Order upon Plaintiff's explicit concession of any claim of attachment to the First and Second Accounts with the Bank of America. Pl.'s Opp'n to United States' Third Mot. to Quash ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 1-2 n. 1. In her filing, Plaintiff proffered that she

is not opposing the United States motion with respect to Rafii's writs of attachment of the so-called First and Second Accounts with the Bank of America which contain funds out of which Congress has specified that payment may be made to certain persons with judgment against Iran (Rafii's suit was not included in the Congressional legislation that authorized payment from these designed funds to certain claimants).
Id. at n. 1. According to Plaintiff, because of this concession, her writs of attachment "will not prevent the United States from making payment to the plaintiff in Kapar v. Islamic Republic of Iran et al, C.A. No. 02-CV-78-HHK." Id.

Both the United States' Motion for Clarification of the Court's January 11, 2005, Order, submitted on January 14, 2005, and the Motion of Charles Kapar to Intervene, filed on February 11, 2005, suggest that the Court's January 11, 2005, Order requires clarification, as (4) the May 5, 2003, State Department remains in place. According to both the United States and Mr. Kapar, this May 5, 2003, State Department writ also covers the First and Second Accounts; without the Court vacating this writ, Mr. Kapar remains unable to collect judgment resulting from his separate litigation. See United States' Mot. for Clarification at 2; Kapar Mot. to Intervene at 2 ("The Order appears inadvertently to have omitted reference to the writ of attachment served on the State Department on May 5, 2003, which also reaches the First and Second Accounts.").

The Court notes that Mr. Kapar's Motion to Intervene was filed clearly for a very limited purpose; essentially, Mr. Kapar seeks clarification of the Court's January 11, 2005, Order, which the Court is now attempting to address. Because the solution ordered by the Court in this Order might well obviate the need for Mr. Kapar's intervention, the Court shall deny his request without prejudice without ruling on the legal merits of his request to intervene. However, the Court does note that if Mr. Kapar's concerns remain extant after this Court's Order and Plaintiff Rafii's response, the Court will then address on the merits whether Mr. Kapar may intervene.

Contrary to the assertions made by the United States and Mr. Kapar, the Court did not "inadvertently" omit reference to (4) the May 5, 2003, State Department writ in its January 11, 2005, Order. Rather, the Court made it clear that it was not making any legal judgment as to the merits of Plaintiff Rafii's claims to the First and Second Accounts; the Court was only issuing the Order quashing the Bank of America writ because Plaintiff Rafii had consented to it. See Rafii v. Islamic Republic of Iran, Civ. No. 01-850, at 3 (D.D.C. Jan. 11, 2005) (order quashing writs with Bank of America). Importantly, Plaintiff Rafii only consented to the United States' Motion to Quash "with respect to Rafii's writs of attachment of the so-called First and Second Accounts with the Bank of America." Id. (quoting Pl.'s Opp'n to United States' Third Mot. to Quash at n. 1) (emphasis added). The Court — without making a legal determination — cannot issue an order exceeding Plaintiff Rafii's consent. Plaintiff Rafii clearly consented to quashing the Bank of America writ as to the First and Second Accounts, but she did not explicitly consent to quashing the May 5, 2003, State Department writ with respect to those accounts.

The Court does note that Plaintiff Rafii stated in her filing that this consent would ensure that her writs of attachment "will not prevent the United States from making payment to the plaintiff in Kapar v. Islamic Republic of Iran et al, C.A. No. 02-CV-78-HHK." Id. (quoting Pl.'s Opp'n at n. 1). However, by focusing only on the Bank of America accounts and writ, to the neglect of the May 5, 2003, writ served on the State Department, Plaintiff Rafii appears to have been mistaken, as Mr. Kapar's attempt to collect his judgment remains stymied by one of her existing writs. Plaintiff Rafii's Reply to the United States' Motion for Clarification, filed on January 19, 2005, provides no clarification as to the scope of her consent. Rather, Plaintiff simply focuses on the Court's September 24, 2004, Order providing that Plaintiff Rafii should show cause as to why her judgment should not be vacated in light of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Cicippio-Puleo v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 353 F.3d 1024 (D.C. Cir. 2004). According to Plaintiff Rafii, until this Court ruled on her May 13, 2004, memorandum of law in response, she is in a "state of legal limbo with respect to the validity of her judgment." Pl.'s Reply to Mot. for Clarification at 2.

Before the Court can conclusively rule on Plaintiff Rafii's judgment and the validity of her writs, it must know which writs are still extant. Clarifying exactly what writs of attachment remain is an essential step to the resolution of this case and the collection of any judgment. As such, it is hereby

ORDERED that [59] United States' Motion for Clarification of January 11, 2005 Order is DENIED; it is further

ORDERED that [61] Motion to Intervene by Charles Kapar is DENIED without prejudice; it is further

ORDERED that Plaintiff is to file a brief Notice with this Court explicitly specifying whether or not she consents to allowing the Court to vacate without prejudice the May 5, 2003 writ served on the Department of State with respect to the accounts denominated as the "First Account" and "Second Account" in the filings made by the parties and in Answers to Interrogatories in Attachment filed by Bank of America by Monday, February 21, 2005.

SO ORDERED.