United States District Court, D. Oregon
LAURA L. UNDERWOOD, Plaintiff,
1450 SE ORIENT, LLC dba KALEAFA, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
A. Russo United States Magistrate Judge.
Laura Underwood originally sued 226 defendants alleging
violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations ACT (RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1962, related to
marijuana production on property (The Candy Farm) adjacent to
her property. Plaintiff grouped defendants into three
categories and on March 18, 2019, the Court severed the
retail defendants and dismissed them from this action. On
April 23, 2019, April 30, 2019, May 3, 2019, May 6, 2019, May
7, 2019, and May 20, 2019, the Court entered judgments as to
certain dismissed retail defendants (ECF# 404, 416, 428, 429,
30, 2019, the Court granted a motion to dismiss filed or
joined by the remaining defendants. The Court also granted
plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint to allege
concrete financial loss due to decreased property value
caused by the alleged acts prohibited by RICO.
retail defendants now move for an award of attorney fees as
prevailing parties (ECF# 442, 466, 473, and
492). For the reasons stated below, the motions
should be denied.
noted above, plaintiff sued 226 defendants for alleged
violation of RICO primarily via violation of various
provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.
initially grouped the defendants as follows:
(1) Defendants who purchased and developed the Candy Farm
Property for marijuana production, and produced marijuana
products on the Candy Farm Property and the entity Defendants
owned by them; (2) Defendants who cultivated marijuana for
the Marijuana Operation on properties other than the Candy
Farm Property; and (3) Defendants who sold marijuana products
produced by the Marijuana Operation at their retail outlets.
See, e.g., Plaintiff's Response to Motion to
Sever (ECF# 243) at p. 18.
the retail defendants were still part of the case, plaintiff
alleged the defendants who purchased the Candy Farm were
primarily responsible for the marijuana production near her
property. See First Amended Complaint (ECF#
127) at ¶¶ 231-35. Plaintiff also alleged
the off-site producing defendants provided marijuana to
defendants directly linked to the Candy Farm for production
of concentrated marijuana extracts. See, e.g., id.
at ¶¶ 423-24. The retail defendants were not
alleged to have had any role in the cultivation and farming
practices necessary to produce marijuana at the Candy farm.
Rather, plaintiff alleged those defendants joined the
operation to sell the product at the retail level. See,
e.g., id. at ¶¶ 243-45.
alleged all defendants engaged in the production and sale of
a controlled substance, through the marijuana operation, in
violation of the Controlled Substances Act. 21 U.S.C.
§§ 812, 823, 841, 844. Plaintiff further alleged
violation of the Controlled Substances Act and other criminal
statutes via the operation by advertising the sale of
marijuana products, facilitating financial transactions, and
reinvesting proceeds from the sale of marijuana. 21 U.S.C.
§§ 843, 854; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957.
First Amended Complaint (doc. 127) at ¶ 453. Plaintiff
alleged defendants' violation of the Controlled
Substances Act and money laundering constituted a conspiracy
to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity. Id.
at ¶¶ 457-558. Accordingly, plaintiff asserted all
defendants violated RICO by conspiring together to conduct
the affairs of the marijuana operation. Id. at
alleged defendants injured her by:
interfering with Plaintiff's use and enjoyment of
Plaintiff's Property, burdening it with noxious odors,
diminishing its market value and making it more difficult to
sell. As a direct result of Plaintiff's Property's
diminished market value, the amount of credit Plaintiff was
able to obtain based upon the value of Plaintiff's
Property was materially decreased.
First Amended Complaint (doc. 127) at ¶ 566; see also
¶¶ 447-452 (detailing the impact on ...