On 02/17/2016 KAMRAN NAIMI, filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against KAYVAN NAIMI, . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Santa Monica Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LISA HART COLE, H. JAY FORD III and BOBBI TILLMON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
LISA HART COLE
H. JAY FORD III
VAHDAT NILOFAR NAIMI
ENAYATI NIKOO NAIMI
CHASE COLORADO LLC
ENAYATI M.D. PEDRAM
TULLER TWO LLC
NAIMI FARINAZ SHAYAN
NAIMI RODD SHAYAN
TULLER ONE LLC
ENAYATI PEDRAM M.D.
ENAYATI NIKOO NAIMI
ENAYATI M.D. PEDRAM
TESORO SOUTH COAST COMPANY LLC
PURITSKY COURTNEY L.
GLASER PATRICIA L.
NOVIAN & NOVIAN
LEIPZIG SCOTT J.
ALLEN MATKINS LECK GAMBLE MALLORY & NATSI
ADAIR K. ERIC
GRAVELLE DOUGLAS ARTHUR
FARRELL MICHAEL ROBERT
SANDERS RACHEL M.
SHAKOURI JENNIFER CAROLINE
LEIPZIG SCOTT JASON
2/17/2016: Civil Case Cover Sheet
2/19/2016: Minute Order
2/23/2016: Notice of Lis Pendens
2/23/2016: Minute Order
at 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion - Other (for Judicial Supervision/Approve Dissolution Plan) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by CourtRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion to Expunge Lis Pendens - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by CourtRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion - Other (for Judicial Supervision/Approve Dissolution Plan) - Not Held - Continued - Party's MotionRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department O; Hearing on Motion to Expunge Lis Pendens - Not Held - Vacated by CourtRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department P; Ex-Parte Proceedings (FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING HEARING DATE ON DEFENDANTS? MOTION FOR JUDICIAL SUPERVISION OF DISSOLUTION AND CONFIRMATION OF PLAN OF DISSOLUTION) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Ex-Parte Proceedings by Plaintiffs and Cross-Defendants Kamra...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore (Josiane Goldman CSR#13132); Filed by Kamran Naimi (Plaintiff); Nilofar Naimi Vahdat (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (CONTINUING HEARING DATE ON DEFENDANTS? MOTION FOR JUDICIAL SUPERVISION) - Not Held - Clerical ErrorRead MoreRead Less
Declaration (DECLARATION OF SCOTT LEIPZIG IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' EX P ARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING HEARING DATE ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDICIAL SUPERVISION OF DISSOLUTION AND CONFIRMATION OF PLAN OF DISSOLUTION); Filed by Farinaz Shayan Naimi (Defendant); Kayvan Naimi (Defendant); Rodd Shayan Naimi (Defendant) et al.Read MoreRead Less
Ex Parte Application (FOR AN ORDER CONTINUING HEARING DATE ON DEFENDANTS? MOTION FOR JUDICIAL SUPERVISION OF DISSOLUTION AND CONFIRMATION OF PLAN OF DISSOLUTION); Filed by Kamran Naimi (Plaintiff); Nilofar Naimi Vahdat (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department O; Ex-Parte Proceedings (Exparte proceeding; Motion Denied) -Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 am in Department WEO, Lisa Hart Cole, Presiding; Exparte proceeding - Motion DeniedRead MoreRead Less
Ex-Parte Application (FOR AN ORDER RE: EXPEDITED DISCOVERY ); Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Ex-Parte Application; Filed by Kamran Naimi (Plaintiff); Nilofar Naimi Vahdat (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Minute order entered: 2016-02-19 00:00:00; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Civil Case Cover SheetRead MoreRead Less
Complaint Filed; Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Kamran Naimi (Plaintiff); Nilofar Naimi Vahdat (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Summons; Filed by PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Summons Filed; Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: SC125414 Hearing Date: September 24, 2020 Dept: P
Kamran Naimi et al. v. Kayvan Naimi et al., Case No. SC125414
Hearing Date September 24, 2020
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Sanctions, Including Terminating Sanctions; Motion to Compel Compliance with Deposition Subpoena
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Sanctions, Including Terminating Sanctions
Plaintiffs seek terminating and evidentiary sanctions, arguing defendants forged documents and obstructed discovery. Plaintiffs argue the multi-asset family partnership, including car dealerships and real estate, is shared 50/50 between brothers Kamran and Kayvan. Defendants argue it is split 35/35/15/15 between Kamran, Kayvan and sisters Soheyla and Pouran.
While terminating sanctions should not be applied unless the court concludes that lesser sanctions would not bring about the compliance of the offending party, they are available “in the first instance” for egregious abuses of the discovery process, including forgery and intentional spoliation of evidence. E.g. R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 496-497.
Plaintiffs allege defendants forged a ground lease for the Colby property showing that until recently Soheyla alone owned the property but rented it to the partnership pursuant to a ten-year lease. Plaintiffs argue the lease, allegedly formed in 2002, was forged during litigation.
Plaintiff’s typography expert Thomas Phinney (Plaintiff’s Exh. 10, pg. 3) states the lease uses the Calibri font, which was not available until 2007. Id. at pg. 25. Because Calibri was used, Phinney opined “the purported date of the document [is] impossible.” Id. at pg. 26. Plaintiffs argue Farinaz claimed the original lease was filed with the City of Los Angeles in 2002, but the City did not produce a copy of the lease in response to plaintiffs’ document subpoena.
Defendants note plaintiff Kayvan testified about the lease in an unrelated 2010 proceeding. Hsu Decl., Exh. E. This is very strong evidence – provided by plaintiff himself -- that the lease existed prior to this litigation. Regarding the font, defendants argue the version of the lease produced in this action was generated in 2010 because the original 2002 version was misplaced. Defendants do not explain why the City did not produce the lease. However, the court cannot base the extreme remedy of terminating sanctions on the fact that an unnamed City employee who extracted and produced documents in response to the subpoena did not produce the lease. There are many potential explanations for such, other than defendants’ forgery/fraud.
Soheyla’s 2017 declaration states “I am the only member of Colby Place, LLC.” Plaintiffs’ Exh. 3, ¶27. This declaration included a copy of the operating agreement for Colby Place, LLC identifying her as the sole member and Kayvan as the manager. Id. In response to a 2017 subpoena, Bank of America produced a copy of the Colby Place, LLC operating agreement identifying Kayvan, Farinaz, and Soheyla as members of Colby Place, LLC. Plaintiffs’ Exh. 26. Plaintiffs argue Kayvan and Farinaz’s membership in Colby Place, LLC constitutes evidence the Colby Property was a partnership asset, and defendants tried to conceal this.
Defendants acknowledge there are two versions but argue the original agreement, listing three members, was revised, making Sohelya the sole member. Defendants provided both operating agreements to Wells Fargo, and Wells Fargo employees testified it is not improper for an LLC operating agreement to be revised before a loan is finalized. Plaintiffs fail to establish that Kayvan and Farinaz ever had a meaningful ownership interest in Colby Place, LLC or defendants deliberately concealed that information. Defendants’ failure to inform plaintiffs that the initial version of the operating agreement listed Kayvan and Farinaz is not evidence of misconduct.
Plaintiffs argue defendants forged stock certificates reflecting Soheyla and Pouran’s ownership in Santa Monica Group, Inc., the entity that controlled the partnerships’ car dealership interests.
Stock certificates were initially produced by SM Group’s former counsel, MLB&B, and the firm sent unsigned copies to Kayvan and Farinaz, instructing them to sign each certificate and fax them to General Motors. Plaintiffs produce a joint “statement of ownership” between SM Group and GM, identifying Kayvan and Kamran as 50/50 holders of SM Group’s stock. Plaintiffs’ Exh. 31. Plaintiffs state the certificates defendants produced, reflecting a 35/35/15/15 division of SM Group’s stock, are different in form from the blank MLB&B certificates. They argue the MLB&B certificates reflecting a 50/50 split were signed, and the certificates produced by defendants are forged.
Defendants dispute they signed the MLB&B certificates. Though they concede the certificates they produced appear different from the blank certificates, they disagree this constitutes proof of fraud or forgery. Plaintiffs provide no clear evidence indicating the stock certificates sent by former counsel were signed or that the certificates presented by defendants are forgeries.
Finally, plaintiffs argue defendants refused to produce documents at the car dealership and removed documents. Plaintiffs performed onsite inspections in December 2019, February 2020 and March 2020. Plaintiffs argue defendants blocked full access to accounting data. Luna Decl. ¶¶4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9. While plaintiffs present evidence Soheyla removed documents, they present no non-speculative evidence that the boxes contained relevant evidence. Defendants offer a fourth inspection, including a requested after-hours inspection. The court has had extensive conversations with counsel about these inspections, and defendants have made multiple representations in court, showing a willingness to comply with all reasonable inspection requests.
Plaintiffs fail to prove defendants intentionally fabricated documents or obstructed discovery. Though plaintiffs present some evidence that casts doubt upon the reliability of defendants’ produced documents, this should be weighed by a fact finder at trial and is insufficient to serve as the basis for terminating or evidentiary sanctions. DENIED.
Motion to Compel Compliance with Deposition Subpoena (Arzani & Naimi records)
Defendants/cross-complainants allege plaintiffs/cross defendants Kamran and Nilofar Naimi embezzled from the partnership with the help of their son Omid and his law firm, Arzani & Naimi. Cross-complainants filed a document subpoena on US Bank, seeking evidence that cross-defendants transferred partnership funds into private accounts via Arzani & Naimi.
On September 1, 2020 the court issued a tentative ruling instructing cross-defendants to produce the requested documents while allowing redaction of the names of non-parties to protect attorney-client confidentiality. After oral argument the court continued the motion to 9/24/2020. On 9/17/2020 cross-complainants filed a reply arguing no redactions should be allowed, since without these names, there will be no way to determine whether payments from partnership customers were wrongfully redirected to cross-defendants via the firm. This is well-taken.
Cross-complainant adequately explained why the names of A&N’s clients are essential to discovery; proving or disproving alleged embezzlement requires the cross-referencing of names of partnership customers with the names of clients who made payments to A&N. Additionally, per People ex. Rel. Herrera v. Stender (2012) 212 Cal.App.4th 614, 648, clients’ identities are generally not protected by attorney-client privilege. The court modifies its prior tentative ruling. The documents will be produced without redaction, but all documents produced will be designated “Confidential” pursuant to the protective order. GRANTED.
Ex Parte re Discovery Referee
The parties should be prepared to discuss.
DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE ENCOURAGED TO AVOID IN-PERSON APPEARANCES AND TO APPEAR VIA LA COURT CONNECT.
Case Number: SC125414 Hearing Date: September 01, 2020 Dept: P
Kamran Naimi et al. v. Kayvan Naimi et al., Case No. SC125414
Hearing Date September 1, 2020
Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
OSC re: Defendants’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
Defendants/Cross-Complainants’ Motion for Leave to File a Fourth Amended Cross-Complaint
Plaintiffs’ Motion to Confirm Appointment of Dissolution Manager
Defendants’ Motion to Compel Compliance with Subpoena
In this dispute over control of a family business partnership’s assets plaintiff siblings accuse defendant siblings of embezzling, making unilateral financial decisions and denying plaintiffs access to funds. Defendants cross-complain, alleging plaintiffs engaged in various misconduct, including embezzlement.
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction
On May 27, 2020 the court issued a temporary restraining order preventing all parties from withdrawing funds from partnership bank accounts. Plaintiffs allege that in mid-June 2020 defendants wired $749,500 in Small Business Administration (SBA) loans from partnership-controlled LLCs to a bank account controlled by defendants. Defendants claim they withdrew the money to “earmark and segregate” funds so they would not be used for everyday business expenses (a prohibited use under the Act) and planned to add plaintiffs to the account. Though defendants returned the funds to a partnership account, plaintiffs seek new preliminary injunction to avoid future misappropriations.
When deciding whether to grant a motion for a preliminary injunction, the court weighs two interrelated factors: (1) the likelihood plaintiff will prevail on the merits at trial, and (2) the relative interim harm to the parties from the issuance or nonissuance of the injunction. SB Liberty, LLC v. Isla Verde Assoc., Inc. (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 272, 280.
Plaintiffs argue irreparable harm would occur if the injunction is not issued because continued misappropriation of funds would render a final judgment ineffectual. They also argue defendants will not be injured if the injunction issues, since they previously stipulated to an essentially identical TRO.
Defendants argue plaintiffs show no irreparable harm because the funds were returned. Funds withdrawn and then returned are insufficient to establish the likelihood of irreparable harm if no injunction issues. However, as both parties agree an injunction of some kind is necessary, an injunction will issue, applicable to both parties, preventing the non-approved withdrawal of funds from the partnership for non-business purposes. Any withdrawals should be submitted to the dissolution manager for approval. DENIED.
Defendants’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction (OSC RE: Preliminary Injunction)
Kayvan states Kamran attempted to withdraw $61,500 from the partnership to match the $61,500 paid to lease a showroom owned by defendant sister Soheyla. Kayvan alleges that if the money is withdrawn, it will cause a domino effect, rendering the partnership insolvent. Kayvan states the Chrysler dealership using the showroom has $585,000 cash on hand, but a similar amount in liabilities, and Kamran’s threatened withdrawal would trigger loan defaults, resulting in irreparable harm. Kamran argues the lease payments are misappropriations, intended to enrich Soheyla. Considering the court’s ruling above, this motion is MOOT. Whether a party is entitled to a distribution of partnership funds is an issue for the dissolution manager.
Defendants/Cross-Complainants’ Motion for Leave to File Fourth Amended Cross-Complaint
Cross-complainants/defendants Arzani & Naimi (A&N), the law firm of cross-defendant Omid Naimi, on April 6, 2020. Cross-complainants claim A&N asked them to amend the cross-complaint to clarify the factual and legal bases for naming A&N. Cross-complainants also seek leave to add new allegations regarding specific instances of embezzlement that occurred after this case was filed.
Trial courts must use their discretion liberally to allow amendment of pleadings at any stage of litigation. E.g. Mabie v. Hyatt (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 581, 596. Generally, a proposed amendment should not be denied unless it leads to prejudice. Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 486-488.
Cross-complainants argue no prejudice will result because cross-defendants have long been on notice as to the allegations against A&N. Cross-defendants/plaintiffs argue the proposed amendments are prejudicial because they seek to introduce new causes of action after discovery has closed, which would require postponing trial. It is true discovery must be allowed if the motion is granted. Since trial is not scheduled (and may not be for some time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic/General Orders), cross-defendants have not shown that reopening discovery would lead to an unjustifiable trial delay. Further, cross-defendants have not shown that any increased burden in discovery would be so extreme as to outweigh the strong public policy in favor of allowing amendment. The court will not address cross-defendants’ statute of limitations argument here. Once the fourth amended cross-complaint has been filed, cross-defendants may choose to bring the issue before the court. GRANTED.
Motion for Order Confirming Stephen J. Donnell’s Appointment
On August 29, 2019 the court granted defendant Kayvan Naimi’s motion for dissolution of partnership, ordering the parties to select and appoint a third party dissolution manager. See 8/29/2019 minute order. On January 29, 2020 the court confirmed the parties’ chosen manager, Stephen Donell. The parties now disagree as to the extent of Donell’s authority to interpret or adjust the dissolution plan approved by the court. Additionally, counsel for defendant Kayvan wrote Donell, alleging he attempted to “advance plaintiffs’ interests by filing improper applications with the court,” and stating Kayvan is “not willing to execute the engagement agreement” appointing him as manager. Because of this alleged bias, defendant Kayvan has not yet signed the term sheet or paid the retainer. Donell Exhibit L. Donell (who is not a party action) requests the court confirm his engagement and clarify the scope of his authority. Kamran Naimi joins the motion.
Kayvan argues Donell should not be confirmed because he has shown bias in favor of plaintiffs and improperly applied to third-party referee Judge Green for modifications to the court-approved dissolution plan. Kayvan states that since the court’s August 29, 2019 order approved Kayvan’s proposed dissolution plan, Donell and/or Judge Green lack authority to modify its terms. Defendant also argues this motion is improper because Donell is not a party.
It is a “fundamental principle that one who is not a party to a proceeding may not make a motion therein.” Brown v. Superior Court (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 320, 329. As a third party, Donell lacks standing to bring a motion and provides no authority allowing him to do so. However, for purpose of efficiency and considering plaintiff Kamran’s joinder, the court will treat this as a motion by Kamran and consider its merits.
At the January 29, 2020 case management conference, the parties represented they agreed to appoint Donell. Pursuant to that representation, the court confirmed the appointment. Kayvan affirmed the appointment via the notice of rulings filed January 29, 2020. Motion to confirm, Exhibit C. Defendant argues it would be improper to “force” Kayvan to accept Donnell, but by Kayvan’s own admission, the approintment was confirmed on January 29, 2020. As that appointment was final, Kayvan cannot withdraw his acceptance absent clear evidence of bias or unfitness. Kayvan provides no such evidence. The court declines to revisit or revoke its order.
Kayvan states Donell is improperly attempting to modify the approved dissolution agreement. The plan does not allow Donell to unilaterally modify its provisions. The motion does not seek such authority, but requests that Donell be allowed to apply to the Referee for interpretation or clarification. At the September 9, 2019 hearing, the court stated the referee has the authority to interpret the plan “with input from the broker.” Motion Exh. J, pgs. 17-18.
Further, while the plan states any issue regarding the sale of assets under the plan will be resolved “by the Referee,” its terms do not prohibit the manager from making suggestions as to the plan’s implementation. Since the original plan did not include a third-party manager, some modifications and/or clarifications – subject to the approval of the referee— must be made to accommodate the administrtor’s role. The most practical way to implement these is to allow Donell to suggest modifications, subject to referee approval. The motion is GRANTED. The $30,000 retainer will be paid from partnership funds within 20 days.
Motion to Compel Production
Even where relevant to information, information concerting a person’s confidential financial affairs is subject to a broad right of privacy. Valley Bank of Nevada v. Superior Court (1975) 15 Cal.3d 652, 658. Generally, financial information of an attorney’s clients is protected from disclosure. Hooser v. Sup.Ct. (2000) 94 Cal.App.4th 997, 1008. In discovery the constitutional right to privacy must be balanced against the public interest in disclosure. Vinson v. Superior Court (1987) 43 Cal.3d 833, 842.
Kayvan moves to compel a response to a third-party subpoena served on Bank of America, arguing the information sought is relevant to his allegation that Kamran’s son, Omid, assisted his father in redirecting insurance company reimbursements to Kamran, rather than to the partnership. Two discovery requests are at issue:
Request No. 3: “All DOCUMENTS, including but not limited to, monthly bank statements, check images front and back, deposit slip copies, signature cards, wire confirmation statements, and cashier’s receipts from January 1, 2005 to the present for which Omid Naimi is an account owner, holder or signatory.
Request No. 11: “All COMMUNICATIONS between YOU and Omid Naimi from January 1, 2005 to the present.”
Omid Naimi is a partner in the Arzani & Naimi, which opposes the motion, arguing it implicates the privacy rights of the firm’s clients. To balance clients’ rights to privacy with the moving party’s rights to wide-reaching discovery, the motion is GRANTED, but Arzani & Naimi may review any production to redact the names of non-party clients prior to disclosure.
DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO AVOID IN-PERSON APPEARANCES AND TO APPEAR REMOTELY. LA COURT CONNECT IS NOW AVAILABLE.
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