This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/11/2019 at 00:42:08 (UTC).

DANIEL W. HOPP VS 33428 CALVEST MALIBU, LLC, ET AL.,

Case Summary

On 12/19/2016 DANIEL W HOPP filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against 33428 CALVEST MALIBU, LLC, . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are NANCY L. NEWMAN and MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6840

  • Filing Date:

    12/19/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

NANCY L. NEWMAN

MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HOPP DANIEL W.

Defendants

33428 CALVEST MALIBU LLC

RIECK KAY

INFINITY II LIMITED A GUERNSEY NON-CELLULAR COMPANY

DEUTSCHE OEL & GAS AG A GERMAN AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

SMITH KARINA

SHAPIRO JONATHAN

BAKER BOTTS

SHAPIRO JONATHAN ACKER

BENNETT MICHAEL

ASHBY JOSEPH R.

Defendant Attorneys

DUCKERS EDWARD CHARLES

STRUHAR MATTHEW THOMAS

DUCKERS EDWARD C.

 

Court Documents

Summons

12/19/2016: Summons

Minute Order

12/21/2016: Minute Order

Unknown

1/25/2017: Unknown

Request for Judicial Notice

1/31/2017: Request for Judicial Notice

Brief

3/2/2017: Brief

Unknown

3/7/2017: Unknown

Minute Order

3/14/2017: Minute Order

Unknown

3/24/2017: Unknown

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

3/24/2017: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Unknown

5/18/2017: Unknown

Unknown

5/18/2017: Unknown

Affidavit

5/23/2017: Affidavit

Minute Order

5/25/2017: Minute Order

Unknown

10/2/2018: Unknown

Motion for Leave to Amend

5/1/2019: Motion for Leave to Amend

Opposition

5/8/2019: Opposition

Opposition

5/8/2019: Opposition

Reply

5/14/2019: Reply

95 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/29/2019
  • Summons (on Complaint); Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/23/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion for Leave to Amend (Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 05/23/2019
  • First Amended Complaint for Fraudulent Transfer (Civil Code 3439 et. Seq.); Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Leave to Amend Motion for Leave to Amen...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/21/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 05/21/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Order (Proposed Protective Order - Confidential Designation Only); Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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212 More Docket Entries
  • 12/21/2016
  • Ex-Parte Application (FOR MICHAEL B. BENNETT TO APPEAR AS COUNSEL PRO HAC VICE ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 12/21/2016
  • Order; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/21/2016
  • Minute Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/21/2016
  • Notice; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/21/2016
  • Ex-Parte Application; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/19/2016
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/19/2016
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 12/19/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by DANIEL W. HOPP (Plaintiff); 33428 CALVEST MALIBU, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 12/19/2016
  • Complaint Filed

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  • 12/19/2016
  • Summons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: SC126840    Hearing Date: August 11, 2020    Dept: M

Case Name: Daniel W. Hopp v. 33428 Calvest Malibu, LLC et al.

Case No.: SC126840

Motion: Defendant Credit Suisse Trust Limited’s Motion to Quash Service of Second Amended Complaint

LEGAL STANDARD

“A defendant, on or before the last day of his or her time to plead or within any further time that the court may for good cause allow, may serve and file a notice of motion for one or more of the following purposes: To quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over him or her.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 418.10 (a)(1).)

Personal jurisdiction takes two forms—general and specific. (Vons Companies, Inc. v. Seabest Foods, Inc. (1996) 14 Cal.4th 434, 445.) General jurisdiction exists when a nonresident defendant has “substantial . . . continuous and systematic” contacts in the forum state. (Id.) General jurisdiction only exists when a defendant’s contacts with the forum state “are so constant and pervasive as to render it essentially at home” there. (Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014) 571 U.S. 117, 122.) “A court may exercise specific jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant only if: (1) the defendant has purposefully availed himself or herself of forum benefits [citations.]; (2) the controversy is related to or arises out of [the] defendant's contacts with the forum [citations.]; and (3) the assertion of personal jurisdiction would comport with fair play and substantial justice [citations.].” (Pavlovich v. Superior Court (2002) 29 Cal.4th 262, 269 (internal quotations omitted).)

“Although the defendant is the moving party and must present some admissible evidence (declarations or affidavits) to place the issue before the court (by showing the absence of minimum contacts with the state), the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, a basis for jurisdiction (minimum contacts between the defendant and the forum state) . . . .” (School Dist. of Okaloosa County v. Superior Court (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 1126, 1131.) “The plaintiff must come forward with affidavits and other competent evidence to carry this burden and cannot simply rely on allegations in an unverified complaint. (Buchanan v. Soto (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 1353, 1362 (citing In re Automobile Antitrust Cases I & II (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 100, 110.)) If the plaintiff meets this burden, “it becomes the defendant's burden to demonstrate that the exercise of jurisdiction would be unreasonable.” (Ibid.)

Analysis

  1. Specific Jurisdiction

Credit Suisse Trust Limited argues that it did not purposefully avail itself of the benefits of California law and that the Court does not have specific jurisdiction over it because CST Bahamas does not currently own Infinity Malibu's shares, Calvest Malibu's membership interests, or the Malibu Property. In opposition, Plaintiff argues that Credit Suisse purposefully availed itself of the benefits of California law when it contracted to receive a transfer of the member interests of Calvest Malibu from Rieck via the Trust in an agreement governed by California law.

“A trust is a fiduciary relationship with respect to property in which the person holding legal title to the property—the trustee—has an equitable obligation to manage the property for the benefit of another—the beneficiary.” (Higgins v. Higgins (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 648, 661 (quoting Moeller v. Superior Court

Here, Plaintiff provides evidence in the form of Exhibit 8 to the declaration of Michael Bennett that on August 17, 2015, individuals for and on behalf of Credit Suisse Trust Limited as Trustee of the Oil Hunter Trust signed an agreement for the transfer of control of 33428 Calvest Malibu LLC. In that agreement, Credit Suisse Trust Limited was the sole trustee of the Oil Hunter Trust (“Trust”), of which Kay Rieck is the sole settlor and beneficiary. The Trust owns 100% of the shares of Infinity Malibu Ltd. Before this transfer, Kay owned 100% of 33428 Calvest Malibu LLC, a California limited liability company. As a result of this transfer, Kay transferred his 100% interest in 33428 Calvest to Infinity Malibu Limited, a Guernsey company, held by the Trust. The agreement treated Kay’s transfer as a transfer to the Oil Hunter Trust, of which Credit Suite was the trustee.

“[A]mong the ordinary powers and duties of a trustee of a private trust are those of doing all acts necessary and expedient to collect, conserve and protect the property of the trust, to maintain and defend the integrity of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries and to employ such assistants as may be necessary for said purposes.” (Terry v. Conlan (1939) 14 Cal.2d 563, 574.)) Plaintiff also presented evidence that Infinity Malibu filed a statement of Change in Control and Ownership of Legal Entities with the California Board of Equalization and that a representative of Credit Suisse, Alec Bain, signed the statement on behalf of Infinity Malibu on December 20, 2016. (Ex. 7 to Bennett Decl. at RIECK_000313.) “[I]t is the trustee or trustees who hold title to the assets that make up the trust estate and who enter into contracts necessary to the management of the estate, subject to fiduciary obligations to manage and use the assets for the benefit of the trust beneficiary.” (Greenspan v. LADT, LLC (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 486, 521 (quoting another source).) As trustee of Infinity Malibu, Defendant Credit Suisse had to execute the forms necessary to inform the State of California of the change in control and ownership of a legal entity. From these facts, the Court concludes that Defendant Credit Suisse purposefully availed itself of the benefits of California law when it was acting in its capacity as a trustee under the trust.

As to the second prong, the three causes of action alleged against Credit Suisse arise out of Defendant's contacts with the forum. Plaintiff seeks to void the transfer of Rieck’s member interests in Calvest Malibu to the Trust, and then to Infinity Malibu, where Credit Suisse was the trustee of the trust at the time of the transfer, and Rieck was the settlor and sole beneficiary of the trust. In addition to the declaratory relief action against Credit Suisse, Plaintiff also filed a common law fraudulent transfer action as well as a statutory California Uniform Voidable Transactions Act cause of action related to the above-mentioned transfers.

Since Plaintiff met his burden as to the first two prongs, the burden shifts to Defendant to show that exercising jurisdiction does not comport with fair play and substantial justice. Defendant argues that since Plaintiff sued Defendant in its capacity as a trustee, and that since it no longer is a trustee of the trust, Plaintiff sued the wrong party because the responsibility of representing the Trust has passed to the successor trustee. The court agrees that the “powers of a trustee are not personal to any particular trustee but, rather, are inherent in the office of trustee. It has been the law in California for over a century that a new trustee ‘succeed[s] to all the rights, duties, and responsibilities of his predecessors.’” (Fiduciary Trust Internat. of California v. Klein Defendant is not a necessary party to this lawsuit, and even without their appearance in this action, Plaintiff can achieve the sought-after relief. Since Defendant provides evidence that it is no longer the trustee of the Trust, it would be unfair to require it to be a party to a lawsuit when it no longer manages trust assets.

Since jurisdiction over Defendant would not comport with fair play or substantial justice, Defendant’s motion to quash is tentatively granted. For these same reasons, Plaintiff’s request for jurisdictional discovery is denied.

Case Number: SC126840    Hearing Date: March 17, 2020    Dept: M

LEGAL STANDARD

“A defendant, on or before the last day of his or her time to plead or within any further time that the court may for good cause allow, may serve and file a notice of motion for one or more of the following purposes: To quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over him or her.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 418.10 (a)(1).)

Personal jurisdiction takes two forms—general and specific. (Vons Companies, Inc. v. Seabest Foods, Inc. (1996) 14 Cal.4th 434, 445.) General jurisdiction exists when a nonresident defendant has “substantial . . . continuous and systematic” contacts in the forum state. (Id.) General jurisdiction only exists when a defendant’s contacts with the forum state “are so constant and pervasive as to render it essentially at home” there. (Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014) 571 U.S. 117, 122.) “A court may exercise specific jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant only if: (1) the defendant has purposefully availed himself or herself of forum benefits [citations.]; (2) the controversy is related to or arises out of [the] defendant's contacts with the forum [citations.]; and (3) the assertion of personal jurisdiction would comport with fair play and substantial justice [citations.].” (Pavlovich v. Superior Court (2002) 29 Cal.4th 262, 269 (internal quotations omitted).)

“Although the defendant is the moving party and must present some admissible evidence (declarations or affidavits) to place the issue before the court (by showing the absence of minimum contacts with the state), the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, a basis for jurisdiction (minimum contacts between the defendant and the forum state) . . . .” (School Dist. of Okaloosa County v. Superior Court (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 1126, 1131.) “The plaintiff must come forward with affidavits and other competent evidence to carry this burden and cannot simply rely on allegations in an unverified complaint. (Buchanan v. Soto (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 1353, 1362 (citing In re Automobile Antitrust Cases I & II (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 100, 110.)) If the plaintiff meets this burden, “it becomes the defendant's burden to demonstrate that the exercise of jurisdiction would be unreasonable.” (Ibid.)

Analysis

  1. Specific Jurisdiction

Credit Suisse Trust Limited argues that it did not purposefully avail itself of the benefits of California law and that the Court does not have specific jurisdiction over it because CST Bahamas does not currently own Infinity Malibu's shares, Calvest Malibu's membership interests, or the Malibu Property. In opposition, Plaintiff argues that Credit Suisse purposefully availed itself of the benefits of California law when it contracted to receive a transfer of the member interests of Calvest Malibu from Rieck via the Trust in an agreement governed by California law.

“A trust is a fiduciary relationship with respect to property in which the person holding legal title to the property—the trustee—has an equitable obligation to manage the property for the benefit of another—the beneficiary.” (Higgins v. Higgins (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 648, 661 (quoting Moeller v. Superior Court

“[A]mong the ordinary powers and duties of a trustee of a private trust are those of doing all acts necessary and expedient to collect, conserve and protect the property of the trust, to maintain and defend the integrity of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries and to employ such assistants as may be necessary for said purposes.” (Terry v. Conlan (1939) 14 Cal.2d 563, 574.)) Plaintiff also presented evidence that Infinity Malibu filed a statement of Change in Control and Ownership of Legal Entities with the California Board of Equalization and that a representative of Credit Suisse, Alec Bain, signed the statement on behalf of Infinity Malibu on December 20, 2016. (Ex. 7 to Bennett Decl. at RIECK_000313.) “[I]t is the trustee or trustees who hold title to the assets that make up the trust estate and who enter into contracts necessary to the management of the estate, subject to fiduciary obligations to manage and use the assets for the benefit of the trust beneficiary.” (Greenspan v. LADT, LLC (2010) 191 Cal.App.4th 486, 521 (quoting another source).) As trustee of Infinity Malibu, Defendant Credit Suisse had to execute the forms necessary to inform the State of California of the change in control and ownership of a legal entity. From these facts, the Court concludes that Defendant Credit Suisse purposefully availed itself of the benefits of California law when it was acting in its capacity as a trustee under the trust.

As to the second prong, Plaintiff seeks to void the transfer of Rieck’s member interests in Calvest Malibu to the Trust, and then to Infinity Malibu, where Credit Suisse was the trustee of the Trust at the time of the transfer, and Rieck was the settlor and sole beneficiary of the Trust. In addition to the declaratory relief action against Credit Suisse, Plaintiff also filed a common law fraudulent transfer action as well as a statutory California Uniform Voidable Transactions Act cause of action related to the above-mentioned transfers. As such, the controversy is related to or arises out of Credit Suisse’s contacts with California.

For these same reasons, Plaintiff’s request for jurisdictional discovery is denied.