This is finally it. Joe Francis has run out of gas. The Court, after deliberating for ten days, DENIED the Girls Gone Wild founder’s final legal hooray. The minute order reads like this:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL
Case No. CV 09-09449 RGK (FFMx) Date March 8, 2010
Title JOSEPH R. FRANCIS v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CV-90 (06/04) CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL
Present: The Honorable R. GARY KLAUSNER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Sharon L. Williams Not Reported N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Not Present Not Present
Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) Order Re Motion for Reconsideration (DE 46)
On January 13, 2010, the Court issued an Order Re Complaint (“Order”). In the Order, he Courtfound that (1) Defendant’s jeopardy assessment and levy of accounts was reasonable under the circumstances, and (2) the amount of the assessment was appropriate under the circumstances. Therefore, the Court denied Plaintiff’s Complaint for Abatement of Jeopardy Assessments, Release of Levy on Rothwell Limited Account, or Alternatively, Reduction and Return of Excessive Amounts Levied.
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration. Plaintiff’s motion is based on the following grounds: (1) the Court has failed to consider material facts and law, based on a misunderstanding of the Plea Agreement and settled tax law; (2) Defendant misrepresented the evidence regarding the Rothwell account to the Court; and (3) Plaintiff has discovered materially different facts he could not have earlier presented to the Court that demonstrate Defendant’s misrepresentation.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) a party may bring a motion for relief from a judgment due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Absent unusual circumstances, reconsideration is only appropriate where the court is presented with newly discovered evidence, the court committed clear error or the decision was manifestly unjust, or there has been an intervening change in controlling law. Beentjes v. Placer County Air Pollution Control Dist., 254 F. Supp. 2d 1159, 1161 (E.D. Cal. 2003) (citing School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County v. AC&S,Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993)). A motion for reconsideration should not be used to reargue the motion or present evidence which should have been presented previously. Beentjes, 254 F. Supp. 2d at 1161.
Additionally, Local Rule 7-18 states that a motion for reconsideration may only be made on the ground of :
(a) a material difference in fact or law from that presented to the Court before such decision that in the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been known to
the party moving for reconsideration at the time of such decision, or (b) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such
decision, or (c) a manifest showing of a failure to consider material facts presented to the Court before such decision. No motion for reconsideration shall in any
manner repeat any oral or written argument made in support of or in opposition to the original motion.
C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-18.
Regarding the first ground for reconsideration, the Court finds Plaintiff’s argument unavailing. First, the underlying argument set forth by Plaintiff is not new. It was clear from Plaintiff’s original briefing, as it is in the his current briefing, that based on the form of the organizational structure, Plaintiff is not the direct, legal owner of Rothwell. However, this fact was already considered by the Court when it found that the assessment was reasonable and the amount assessed appropriate. As to the new facts and arguments related to the Rothwell account, the Court has considered such evidence and finds them unconvincing for purposes of changing the Court’s original ruling. Even if there was no attempt to liquidate the Rothwell account for purposes of moving the funds out of the
United States, all the other evidence, in the aggregate, still warrant the same finding.
In light of the foregoing, the Court denies Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
This means that unless Joe has another $22M in cash lying around, it will take a long time under the government microscope for him to ever recover. You will not see coverage about this anywhere but here because the average celebrity media does not have acces to the Court records like I do. Joe is finally out of legal options. Sure, he can appeal, but by the time the appeal happens, the IRS will have finished dissecting his assets and it will be almost imposible for him to recover. Let’s face it, people are buying less not more Girls Gone Wild DVD’s. In addition, the technical aspects of this case create a high barrier to assign a reporter to cover these type of actions.
A paper copy of the minute order is here if you want a wall decoration, CLICK HERE: FRANCIS DENIAL ORDER