United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. YOUCHAH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion for Writ of Attachment and Objection
to Attorney Liens (the “Motion”) filed by George
D. Karalis (ECF No. 158). The Court is also in receipt of
Defendant Kelly D. Carn's Opposition to the Motion (ECF
No. 160), the Supplement to the Motion filed by Dr. Karalis
(ECF No. 162), and the Motion for Joinder to Defendant's
Opposition to the Karalis Motion filed by Craig K. Perry
& Associates (EFC No. 163). The Motion for Joinder (ECF
No. 163) is granted. The Motion for Writ of Attachment and
Objection to Attorney Liens (ECF No. 158) is granted in part
and denied in part. The reasons are set forth below.
not Dr. Karalis' first attempt to obtain the return or
value of property seized by the United States in the
underlying criminal case. At a minimum, Dr. Karalis
previously filed a Lien Against Award to Defendant (ECF No
114) and a Motion for Writ of Attachment (ECF No. 120), both
of which he sought to withdraw (ECF No. 141), without giving
a reason, and which were withdrawn on November 15, 2017 (ECF
No. 142) after the Court issued an Order and Report and
Recommendation on the lien and motion (ECF No. 133 filed on
August 15, 2017). Currently, in addition to stating that the
attorney liens (ECF Nos. 153 and 154) are invalid, Dr.
Karalis seeks a writ of attachment in the amount of $20, 000
based on a settlement agreement entered into between Dr.
Karalis and Carn, for the same amount, resolving a civil
dispute filed in the federal court (Case No. 2:12-cv-0064) by
Dr. Karalis against Carn (the “Civil Dispute”).
ECF 158 at 3:8-9. The Civil Dispute was dismissed by the
Court on November 28, 2017. Id. at 158-1, page 18 of
41. To date, Dr. Karalis has not been paid any portion of the
$20, 000 due under the agreement with Carn.
unexecuted settlement agreement Dr. Karalis attaches to his
Motion as an exhibit states, in pertinent part, that the
settlement amount is to be paid by The Gun Vault, and that:
Karalis will become a judgment creditor of Gun Vault and will
be entitled to claim as a liquidated creditor and not an
undisputed creditor. In the event Gun Vault or Carn are
successful in recovery of any property through a 41(g) motion
in Federal Court case number 2:13-cr-346 . . ., and should
that property be sold consistent with the Court Order and any
amounts recovered through those sales, the same will be
credited to Karalis as a judgment creditor consistent
with preference as set forth in the appropriate
Id. at page 12 of 41 (emphasis added).
Karalis argues that if his writ of attachment is denied by
the Court “it is certain he will never recover
anything.” ECF No. 158 at 3:12-13. In support of his
Motion, Dr. Karalis cites NRS 200.5092 (an Elder Abuse
statute), NRS 31.013 and 31.020 (pertaining to writs of
attachment), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54 and 64, and
28 C.F.R. § 9.6. Dr. Karalis argues that the
attorney's liens, filed respectively on October 9 and 16,
2018, will not be prejudiced by his writ, which should be
superior to the liens, because the attorneys were aware of
his settlement with Carn, were aware that there were only 13
guns to be marketed, that the fair market value of those guns
would never cover the liens and his settlement,
has a higher priority claim than the liens, and, in any
event, the attorney liens are invalid. ECF No. 158 at
attached as an exhibit to the Motion is Dr. Karalis'
“Affidavit, ” which is signed as a declaration
under “penalty of perjury.” ECF No. 158-1, pp
34-40 of 41. In the Affidavit, Dr. Karalis states the amount
of his claim ($20, 000), the basis for his claim (a
settlement agreement reached in a separate civil action for
this same sum, which has not been paid), and that “it
is probably impossible for Karalis to obtain satisfaction of
his SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT's $20, 000 award if Karalis
fails to obtain the $20, 000” through his writ.
Id. at 158-1, p. 35. Dr. Karalis also states that
the money he seeks is in an “escrow-type account
maintained” by the Clerk of Court, and that the account
is funded through proceeds of sales made by the consignee
approved by the Court to sell 13 firearms seized by the
Government. Id. at 36. In his Affidavit, Dr. Karalis
again argues that his “claim takes priority over any
attorney liens filed in the instant action.”
Id. at 37. Finally, Dr. Karalis claims that if there
is not enough money to pay him the $20, 000 he seeks, he will
take the remainder in goods, but he clearly would prefer
“cash/money, not goods.” Id.
opposition to Dr. Karalis' Motion, Carn argues that Dr.
Karalis' citations to law and statutory authority is
misplaced, and that the attorneys' liens filed were
properly perfected and are superior to Dr. Karalis'
claims. ECF No. 160. Mr. Van, one of Carn's former
attorneys who filed a lien, points out that NRS 18.015 is the
proper statutory authority for the attorneys' liens
filed, the requirements of that statute were followed in this
case, his lien was filed on October 16, 2018, that Muije,
Ltd v. North Las Vegas Cab Co., 799 P.2d 559, 561 (Nev.
1990) holds that “once a net judgment is determined,
then the attorney's lien is superior to any later lien
asserted against the judgment, ” and that Dr. Karalis
fails to demonstrate that his settlement agreement with Carn
is automatically a lien with a perfected interest superior to
his attorney lien. ECF No. 160.
motion filed by Craig K. Perry joins in each of the arguments
filed by Mr. Van and adds that he, Mr. Perry, was not
involved in the settlement agreement between Dr. Karalis and
Carn, and that he also filed a Notice of Lien that was
properly noticed as required by statute. ECF No. 163.
18.015 is titled “Lien for attorney's fees: Amount;
perfection; enforcement.” This ...