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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2019 at 07:48:35 (UTC).

MAHVASH MAZGANI VS HOFFMAN LA BREA LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/19/2016 MAHVASH MAZGANI filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against HOFFMAN LA BREA 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 BARBARA M. SCHEPER and ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7465

  • Filing Date:

    01/19/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

BARBARA M. SCHEPER

ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

MAZGANI MAHVASH AN INDIVIDUAL

MAZGANI MAHVASH AS TRUSTEE OF THE

MAZGANI NAZANIN

MAZGANI NEYAZ

MAZGANI MAHVASH TRUSTEE

MAZGANI MAHVASH

Claimant

COURTCALL LLC

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

DOES 1 100

MODA KEVIN

HOFFMAN LA BREA LLC

JKDM LLC - DOE 1

DOES 1 - 100

JKDM LLC [DOE 1]

DAVOODI HOOMAN

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

MAZGANI NAZANIN

MAZGANI NEYAZ

MAZGANI MAHVASH TRUSTEE

MAZGANI MAHVASH

MAZGANI HOSHANG

Not Classified By Court

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

WELLS FARGO BANK N.A.

S.B.S. TRUST DEED NETWORK INC.

HAGHANI STEVE

MORDECAI NOTIS

5 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

GUSSNER J. WALTER ESQ.

HALPERIN IVAN W.

MA STEPHEN

NEWELL FELTON THOMAS

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

ROODBARI DANYAL ESQ

BRONNER DEBORAH R. ESQ.

MINK LYLE RICHARD

Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

BRONNER DEBORAH RACHEL

DIULIO KRISTOPHER P.

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

NEWELL FELTON THOMAS

MAZGANI NAZANIN

Not Classified By Court Attorney

LILLY MATTHEW E.

 

Court Documents

Declaration

6/24/2019: Declaration

Notice

7/3/2019: Notice

PLAINTIFFS' RESPONSES TO DEFENDANTS' EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO PLAINTIFFS' EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

4/11/2018: PLAINTIFFS' RESPONSES TO DEFENDANTS' EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO PLAINTIFFS' EVIDENCE SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE

5/23/2018: AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE

RULING

7/19/2018: RULING

Notice

3/28/2019: Notice

Minute Order

3/28/2019: Minute Order

Reply

4/22/2019: Reply

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/26/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

5/9/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION BY PLAINTIFF TO QUASH DEFENDANT'S DOCUMENT SUBPOENA TO NON-PARTY BANK OF AMERICA

9/9/2016: SEPARATE STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION BY PLAINTIFF TO QUASH DEFENDANT'S DOCUMENT SUBPOENA TO NON-PARTY BANK OF AMERICA

EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHORTENING TIME TO HEAR MOTIONS TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL; POINTS & AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHORTENING TIME

10/27/2016: EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHORTENING TIME TO HEAR MOTIONS TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL; POINTS & AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHORTENING TIME

RULING

11/21/2016: RULING

Minute Order

11/29/2016: Minute Order

NOTICE OF RULING: 1. CONTINUING HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT; ETC.

3/24/2017: NOTICE OF RULING: 1. CONTINUING HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT; ETC.

DEFENDANT, KEVIN MODA'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF NAZANIN MAZGANI'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT KEVIN MODA'S FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORY NO. 15.1 SET ONE; ETC

9/1/2017: DEFENDANT, KEVIN MODA'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF NAZANIN MAZGANI'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT KEVIN MODA'S FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORY NO. 15.1 SET ONE; ETC

SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF JEROME H. FRIEDBERG IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION BY DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT KEVIN MODA TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

9/11/2017: SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF JEROME H. FRIEDBERG IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION BY DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT KEVIN MODA TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE

DEFENDANT KEVIN MODA'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENA SERVED ON COMERICA BANK; ETC

10/13/2017: DEFENDANT KEVIN MODA'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENA SERVED ON COMERICA BANK; ETC

994 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/22/2019
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 10/11/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 08/19/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 08/13/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Status Conference (ReDiscovery Referee)

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  • 08/13/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (Striking the Pleadings of the Mazganis filed on August 2, 2019 and Barring them from Utilizing eService)

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  • 08/13/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Continue Trial)

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  • 08/13/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketObjection (TO REPORT OF THE REFEREE TO MOTION NUMBER 211 IN NOT RECOMMENDING MONETARY SANCTIONS SOUGHT OF 12350_00 AGAINST MAHVASH, AND FELTON NEWELL FOR FORCING MODA TO INCUR FEES IN FILING A MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER ANSWERS TO DEPOSITIONS AND MOVING); Filed by Kevin Moda (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketObjection (TO REPORT OF THE REFEREE TO MOTION NUMBER 212 IN NOT RECOMMENDING ADVANCE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY DEPONENT NAZANIN MAZGANI); Filed by Kevin Moda (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketStatus Report; Filed by Kevin Moda (Cross-Complainant)

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1,819 More Docket Entries
  • 01/22/2016
  • DocketSUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

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  • 01/22/2016
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Mahvash Mazgani (Plaintiff); Mazgani, Mahvash, (Trustee) (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/21/2016
  • DocketNotice; Filed by Mahvash Mazgani (Plaintiff); Mazgani, Mahvash, (Trustee) (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/21/2016
  • DocketNOTICE OF ERRATA OF VERIFIED COMPLAINT

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  • 01/20/2016
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/20/2016
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 01/20/2016
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 01/19/2016
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 01/19/2016
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Mazgani, Mahvash, (Trustee) (Plaintiff); Nazanin Mazgani (Plaintiff); Neyaz Mazgani (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/19/2016
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR: 1. QUIET TITLE; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: May 19, 2021    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM DEFAULT

On October 23, 2020, the Court granted a motion by the counsel for Defendants Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC to be relieved as counsel because they were suspended companies, among other grounds. The Court set a hearing on an Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Retain New Counsel for January 7, 2021, stating that if those two defendants did not obtain new counsel before the hearing date, the Court might strike their answer and place them in default. By January 7, 2021, the two LLCs had not shown they had new counsel and had not shown good cause for failing to obtain new counsel. The Court continued the OSC to January 28, 2021 to give them additional time to obtain new counsel. The Court stated that by January 28, 2021, the LLCs need to retain counsel, and that if they had not retained new counsel by that date, the LLCs’ answers would be stricken and they would be put into default.

On January 28, 2021, counsel for Defendant Kevin Moda stated that he would be representing the two LLCs and would file a substitution of counsel form that day. The Court ordered the LLCs to file the substitution of counsel forms by January 29, 2021, and stated that if the forms were not filed by January 29, 2021, then on February 2, 2021, the Court would strike the answers and place the LLCs in default. No substitution of counsel form was filed, so on February 2, 2021, the Court ordered the answers of Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC stricken and placed them in default.

On April 22, 2021, counsel for Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC filed this motion to vacate the order striking their answers and placing them in default. The Court may relieve a party or counsel from a judgment resulting from mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).) The application for relief must be made within a reasonable time, not to exceed six months, after the judgment. (Ibid.) “Section 473 is often applied liberally where the party in default moves promptly to seek relief, and the party opposing the motion will not suffer prejudice if relief is granted. [Citations.] In such situations ‘very slight evidence will be required to justify a court in setting aside the default.’ [Citation.]” (Elston v. City of Turlock (1985) 38 Cal.3d 227, 233 (Elston).)

Defendants timely filed this motion less than three months after the entry of default. Defendants’ counsel declares that they filed and served the substitution of attorney form on January 28, 2021 at 8:25 p.m. (Sands Decl. ¶ 6.) On February 2, 2021 at 1:08 p.m., after the Court entered the order striking Defendants’ answers, the Clerk of the Court rejected the form because “Only One Named Party per Substitution of Attorney.” (Id. at ¶¶ 10-11.) Defendants filed new substitution of attorney forms on March 22, 2021.

The Court finds that Defendants have promptly sought relief and provided evidence of their mistake or excusable neglect, and Plaintiff has not shown prejudice if the default is set aside. (See Elston, supra, 38 Cal.3d at p. 233.)

However, Defendants have not shown that they are no longer suspended corporations. “[A] suspended corporation may not prosecute or defend an action in a California court.” (Timberline, Inc. v. Jaisinghani (1997) 54 Cal. App. 4th 1361, 1365.) “However, if the corporation’s status only comes to light during litigation, the normal practice is for the trial court to permit a short continuance to enable the suspended corporation to effect reinstatement (by paying back taxes, interest and penalties) to defend itself in court.” (Id. at p. 1366.)

According to the declarations filed with former counsel’s September 18, 2019 and September 28, 2020 motions be relieved as counsel, Defendants’ suspended status has been known since at least September 2019. At the hearing, defense counsel should be prepared to provide evidence of the corporations’ status and whether they have been reinstated. If the corporations are still suspended, defense counsel is to describes the steps being taken to reinstate the corporations, explain why those steps were not taken earlier, and state whether a continuance of this motion is warranted so that the corporations can be reinstated. Given the upcoming trial date and the fact that the corporations have been suspended for more than 1.5 years, any continuance will be very short.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: April 28, 2021    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

Defendant and Cross-Complainant Kevin Moda moves for terminating sanctions against Plaintiffs and Cross-Defendants Mahvash Mazgani, Nzanin Mazgani, and Neyaz Mazgani for failing to respond to discovery requests and not complying with discovery orders. Moda argues that the Mazganis failed to comply with discovery orders dated January 17, 2017, July 25, 2017, August 15, 2017, August 29, 2017, September 5, 2017, September 12, 2017, September 26, 2017, November 16, 2017, January 26, 2018, March 22, 2018, March 23, 2018, April 9, 2018, August 24, 2018, April 10, 2019, May 13, 2019, and May 17, 2019.

This is not the first time Moda has filed a motion for terminating sanctions. On June 7, 2019, Moda filed with the discovery referee a motion for terminating sanctions arguing that the Mazganis had failed to copy with discovery orders dated January 17, 2017, July 25, 2017, August 29, 2017, September 5, 2017, September 9, 2017, September 12, 2017, September 26, 2017, November 16, 2017, March 22, 2018, March 23, 2018, August 24, 2018, May 8, 2019 and May 17, 2019. The discovery referee issued long reports and recommendations on the motion. On August 28, 2019, the Court denied that motion for terminating sanctions.

Now, nearly two years later, Moda makes another motion asserting violations of a nearly identical list of old discovery orders. The Court again denies the motion because Moda previously made this motion targeting the same discovery orders unsuccessfully. Moda did not show any basis for reconsideration of the Court’s earlier decision or even that the Court can reconsider that earlier decision at this time. In addition, even assuming the merits of the motion are subject to reconsideration, the Court denies the motion for the following reasons:

January 17, 2017 order: Moda argues that after this order, Mazgani served responses that were incomplete and evasive, had objections, and did not have proper verifications. Moda does not identify the specific responses that were incomplete and evasive or the problem with the verification. In any event, this is not grounds for terminating sanctions.

July 25, 2017 order: Moda argues the responses served after this order had pages of unwarranted objections and an improper preliminary statement. Moda does not explain why the objections were unwarranted. Objections and a preliminary statement are not grounds for terminating sanctions.

August 15, 2017 order: Moda argues the responses contained an improper preliminary statement and general objections. That is not grounds for terminating sanctions.

August 29, 2017 order: Moda argues Mazgani served the supplemental responses very late. That is not grounds for terminating sanctions.

September 5, 2017 order: Moda argues Mazgani failed to serve a supplemental response to Request for Production No. 9 and No. 10. Mazgani contends she served supplemental responses to Nos. 9 and 10 and referred to the Bates numbers of previously-produced documents. Moda does not contest that in his reply. Moda has not proven Mazgani failed to serve supplemental responses or the documents requested in Nos. 9 and 10. Therefore the request for terminating sanctions based on a failure to response to Nos. 9 and 10 is denied.

September 12, 2017 order: Moda argues Mazgani served the supplemental responses very late. That is not grounds for terminating sanctions. Moda states the verification is improper but does not explain what is improper about it. The motion is denied.

September 26, 2017 order: Moda argues the verification is defective and the objections are frivolous. If Moda believed the objections were baseless, he should have met and conferred and filed a motion to compel further responses. It is now too late to file such a motion. Moda does not explain how the verification is defective or which objections are frivolous. The motion is denied on this ground.

November 16, 2017 order: Moda argues Mazgani’s supplemental responses are deficient and do not comply with the November 16, 2017 order. This order was already the subject of the August 28, 2019 order denying the earlier motion. If Mazgani’s supplemental responses were deficient, Moda should have raised the issue much earlier and not waited more than three years. Moda did not show Mazgani intentionally failed to serve proper supplemental responses. The motion for terminating sanctions is denied.

January 26, 2018 order: Moda argues Mazgani’s supplemental responses are deficient and do not comply with the January 26, 2018 order. If Mazgani’s supplemental responses were deficient, Moda should have raised the issue much earlier and not waited three years. Moda did not show Mazgani intentionally failed to serve proper supplemental responses. The motion for terminating sanctions is denied.

March 22, 2018 order: Moda argues Mazganis’ counsel did not respond to meet and confer efforts and that some undefined supplemental responses were deficient. This argument is vague and confusing. Moda did not provede a sufficient evidentiary basis for terminating sanctions. The motion is denied.

March 23, 2018 order: Moda argues Mazgani did not produce documents relating to certain accounts. In Moda’s separate statement, he argues the supplemental responses contained improper objections and preliminary statement. That is not grounds for terminating sanctions. He argues the verifications were improper but does not explain how. He argues the responsive documents were incomplete but does not identify the incomplete and missing documents. The motion is denied for these reasons.

April 9, 2018 order: Moda simply quotes this order and does not identify any specific deficient discovery response.

August 24, 2018 order: Moda argues Mazgani did not serve responses to Special Interrogatory No. 1 or Request for Production No. 5. Mazgani states she provided supplemental response on September 4, 2018. Therefore this is no basis for terminating sanctions.

April 10, 2019 order: Moda simply quotes this order and does not identify any specific deficient discovery response.

May 13, 2019 order: Moda argues that as of May 13, 2019, the Court had found Mazganis not incompliance with discovery order. Moda argues they are still not compliant, but does not submit any evidence showing any specific violation of the May 13, 2019 order.

May 17, 2019 order: Moda argues Mazgani served very late supplemental responses. That is not grounds for terminating sanctions.

The parties on all sides have over-litigated this case and are using litigation to conduct an intra-family war, thereby wasting judicial resources. Moda has not shown that the Mazganis have prevented him from obtaining discovery that he needs for trial. It is now time to prepare for trial instead of filing a duplicative discovery motion.  The motion is DENIED. 

The Court GRANTS the Mazganis' request for monetary sanctions. Moda did not provide any legal basis for bringing another motion for terminating sanctions based on the alleged violations of the same orders as his earlier motion for terminating sanctions, without at least establishing some new conduct that justified this most recent motion. Sanctions in the amount of $3,000.00 are awarded against Moda, to be paid within 20 days of the date of this order.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: December 08, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION TO QUASH

Cross-Defendant Mahvash Mazgani moves to quash a subpoena to Wells Fargo Bank for her bank records. Cross-Defendant contends Cross-Complainant Kevin Moda did not serve a Notice to Consumer before serving the subpoena. Cross-Defendant’s attorney states in his declaration that he was not served with the subpoena and first learned about it on October 16, 2020 from an attorney at the bank. He then asked Cross-Complainant’s attorney to serve the notice and reserve the subpoena.

Cross-Complainant contends he served the notice on Cross-Defendant’s attorney by mail and attaches the proof of service showing a date of mailing of September 29, 2020.

The Court GRANTS the motion in part as follows: Wells Fargo Bank is not to produce response documents until further order of the Court or a jointly signed statement from the parties. If Cross-Defendant objects to the requested documents being produced on grounds other than lack of service, the parties are to meet and confer on the phone by December 11, 2020 about the objections. If they do not resolve the objections, they are to attend an IDC on December 18, 2020 at 11 a.m. If the matter is not resolved at the IDC, Cross-Defendant is to file and serve a motion to quash by December 25, 2020.

All documents in this case are to be served by email to counsel in addition to any service by mail, except if the law requires personal service.

The request for sanctions is denied.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: November 17, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs filed this case against defendant Kevin Moda and others on January 19, 2016. On May 30, 2017 Kevin Moda (“Cross-Complainant”) filed a cross-complaint against Plaintiffs. On October 16, 2017, Cross-Complainant filed a first amended cross-complaint (“FACC”) against Plaintiffs. On October 21, 2020, Cross-Complainant filed a motion for leave to file a second amended cross-complaint (“SACC”).

“A party shall file a cross-complaint against any of the parties who filed the complaint or cross-complaint against him or her before or at the same time as the answer to the complaint or cross-complaint.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 428.50, subd. (a).) “Any other cross-complaint maybe filed at any time before the court has set a date for trial.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 428.50, subd. (b).) Otherwise, a party shall obtain leave of court, and leave may be granted in the interest of justice at any time during the course of the action. (Code Civ. Proc. § 428.50, subd. (c).) The new pleading cannot allege facts inconsistent with the prior allegations. (Smyth v. Berman (2019) 31 Cal.App.5th 183, 196.) A court may disregard inconsistent allegations. (State of California v CCC Information Services, Inc. (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 402, 412.) Leave to amend may be denied when there is no reasonable possibility that the plaintiff can amend the pleading to allege the necessary facts to state a valid cause of action. (Aroa Marketing, Inc. v. Hartford Ins. Co. of Midwest (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 781, 789.)

When a party waits many months to seek leave to amend and offers no excuse for the failure, leave to amend may be denied. (Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 486; Fisher v. Larsen (1982) 138 Cal.App.3d 627, 649.) A court will be more critical of proposed amendments “ ‘offered after long unexplained delay or on the eve of trial (citations), or where there is a lack of diligence, or there is prejudice to the other party (citations).’ [Citation.]” (Hulsey v. Koehler (1990) 218 Cal.App.3d 1150, 1159.) “There is a platoon of authority to the effect that a long unexcused delay is sufficient to uphold a trial judge’s decision to deny the opportunity to amend pleadings, particularly where the new amendment would interject a new issue which requires further discovery.” (Green v. Rancho Santa Margarita Mortgage Co. (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 686, 692.)

Cross-Complainant states he seeks “to add a single cause of action for reformation of the MMFT to name Cross-Complaint [sic] both a beneficiary as well as a Trustee of the MMFT.” (Motion at p. 2.) Cross-Complainant states the motion is made based on information that came to light in the bankruptcy proceedings. (Ibid.) The proposed SACC would add a thirteenth cause of action pursuant to Probate Code section 17200 and additional remedies available under Probate Code section 16420.

As an initial matter, sections 17200 and 16420 allow a trustee or beneficiary to commence proceedings. Under section 16420, subdivision (a), “a beneficiary or a cotrustee of the trust may commence a proceeding.” Under section 17200, subdivision (a), “a trustee or beneficiary of a trust may petition the court.” Cross-Complainant has not alleged facts showing he is a trustee or a beneficiary.

The proposed SACC alleges Mahvash Mazgani is the trustee. (SACC ¶ 190.) The trust documents attached to the FACC and SACC identify Mahvash Mazgani as both the trustee and trustor. (FACC, Ex. A; SACC, Ex. A.) The FACC and SACC allege Mahvash Mazgani falsely represented to Cross-Complainant that he was the beneficiary of the trust. (FACC ¶¶ 35, 37; see also SACC ¶¶ 34, 36 .) If that representation was false, that means that Cross-Complainant was not the beneficiary. The proposed SACC alleges, “Pursuant to Probate Code § 15210 Mr. Moda is the sole genuine line beneficiary and grantor of the Massachusetts property residing and titled sole to MMFT.” (SACC ¶ 188.) It is unclear what this sentence means, but section 15210 does not identify or create beneficiaries. Section 15210 merely states that a trust relating to real property may be recorded. Therefore, the SACC does not allege facts establishing that Mazgani is the trustee or beneficiary having standing under section 17200 or section 16420. If Cross-Complainant is ultimately determined to be a beneficiary of the trust, he can then seek to exercise his rights under sections 17200 and 16420 in the probate court.

Second, the proposed amendments do not add material new allegations. The new cause of action in the proposed SACC alleges that Plaintiff Mahvash Mazgani “withheld the name of the trust in which moneys of Mr. Moda were deposited.” (SACC¶ 185.) Cross-Complainant claims he is “entitled to ownership and profits and recovery of any losses” because Mahvash Mazgani “represented that Mr. Moda would be the sole beneficial beneficiary of the trusts that she had established by the name of them Mazgani Family Trust.” (SACC¶ 186.) Plaintiffs “did not deposit all of the money in one particular segregated account but instead co-mingled it with their petty amounts that they had and paid the mortgage of the Massachusetts property off 15 years earlier than when it was due, and have since 2106 paid nearly $1.5 million in attorney’s fees to obstruct the ability of Mr. Moda in getting access to his money and property when that 1,500,00 (estimate) is also Mr. Moda’s money and traceable as his.” (SACC¶ 187.) Cross-Defendant alleges Plaintiffs “engaged in suppression and concealment of the title to the Massachusetts property” and created the Wesson Trust “in order to purportedly transfer the Massachusetts property when in reality the trust that had transferred the Massachusetts property had no interest in the Massachusetts property to transfer. (SACC ¶ 180, 191.)

The gist of these allegations is not new. For example, the previous version of the pleading alleged that Mahvash Mazgani had falsely represented that Cross-Complainant was the beneficiary of the trust. (FACC ¶ 35.) The previous version asked for an award of the proceeds of the trust. (FACC at p. 41.) The previous version alleged Mahvash Mazgani did not deposit Moda’s money as she said she would and used the money for other purposes. (See, e.g., FACC ¶¶ 30, 35, 77, 78.) It alleged the Massachusetts property was transferred to the Wesson Trust to hinder, delay and defraud Cross-Complainant. (FACC ¶¶ 172, 175-178.) If Cross-Complainant believes the factual allegations support claims and remedies under sections 16420 and 17200, he could have alleged those claims and remedies in his earlier cross-complaints.

Likewise, as the Court already noted in previous orders on Cross-Complainant’s previous motions, Cross-Complainant has long had the trust documents supposedly showing a sham transfer (Motion at pp. 5-6) and attached those documents to briefs filed in past years. They are not new evidence discovered in the bankruptcy court.

Third, the motion states that Cross-Complainant seeks to add a cause of action for reformation to be named as a beneficiary. Section 17200 does not include a provision allowing the naming of a beneficiary. Section 17200, subdivision (b)(19) refers to “Reforming . . . compliance with the governing instrument of an organization pursuant to Section 16105.” That is the only reference to reformation in section 17200. Section 16105 concerns a proceeding under the federal Tax Reform Act of 1969, which this clearly is not.

In sum, the evidence Cross-Complainant argues he just learned during the bankruptcy proceeding either is not new evidence or is evidence concerning allegations already existing in the earlier cross-complaints. There is no right to amend pleadings simply to add new evidence discovered during the course of litigation that support existing allegations (if that were allowed, amended pleadings would never end and the case would never be at issue). If the evidence from the bankruptcy proceedings unveils Plaintiffs’ “grand scheme” as Cross-Complainant contends (Motion at p. 2), Cross-Complainant can use that evidence to prove the claims in his FACC (assuming the evidence is admissible).

Plaintiffs claim they would need to take additional discovery if the amendments were allowed. This case is almost five years old and had been the subject of intense litigation, discovery, and motion practice. The case would have gone to trial a year ago but for Mazgani’s bankruptcy proceedings and the pandemic. Allowing the amendment and reopening the pleadings would prejudice Plaintiffs by expanding the litigation and discovery at this late date.

Therefore, the motion is DENIED.

The moving party is to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: November 06, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

On October 15, 2020, Cross-Complainant Kevin Moda filed a motion for reconsideration of an August 27, 2019 order rescinding an order of reference to a discovery referee. However, Code of Civil Procedure section 1008 requires a motion for reconsideration to be made within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of entry of the order. The August 27, 2019 order was made more than a year ago. The Court mailed written notice of the August 27, 2019 order to counsel on August 27, 2019. Therefore, Cross-Complainant had until September 11, 2019 to bring this motion. The motion is too late and therefore is DENIED.

Moving party is to give notice.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: November 05, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

On October 14, 2020, Cross-Complainant Kevin Moda filed a motion to vacate an order of July 31, 2018 and adopted tentative ruling of June 25, 2018, granting in part and denying a motion for summary judgment or in the alternative for summary adjudication of “(1) Nazanin Mazgani and Neyaz Mazgani as individuals and trustees of the Wesson Trust, as a void order.”

As an initial matter, it is unclear what order is at issue. There is a June 25, 2018 order granting summary adjudication on cause of action five for quiet title and cause of action six for declaratory relief, as well as a signed August 17, 2018 order on that grant of summary adjudication. In those orders, the Court ruled Plaintiffs were entitled to quiet title in their favor as to the Massachusetts property. These June 25 and August 17, 2018 orders appear to be the subject of Cross-Complainant’s motion to vacate, which argues Plaintiffs “perjuriously obtained an order in their favor concerning the Massachusetts property.” (Motion at p. 4.)

Cross-Complainant argues the orders should be vacated because the Court lacked jurisdiction to make them, making the summary adjudication void. This is the same argument the Court addressed in its October 23, 2020 order. As the Court stated in the October 23, 2020 order: “Moda also argues the August 17, 2018 order is void because the trust dated March 19, 2007 never held the Property and because the Property was never transferred from the trust dated April 17, 2007. Moda does not explain why he did not make this argument at the time of the August 17, 2018 summary adjudication decision. Moda bases the argument on a trust transfer deed recorded on May 14, 2007 and a grant deed recorded on February 29, 2016. (Bronner Decl., Exs. 2, 4.) The parties referenced these same two recorded documents in the summary adjudication papers leading to the August 17, 2018 order. (See, e.g., Moda’s April 3, 2018 Opposition to Plaintiff’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts 62, 63 [referring to “quitclaim deed which was then recorded on May 14, 2007” and “a grant deed recorded on February 29, 2016”].) Thus, Moda knew about the two recorded documents when he filed his opposition in 2018.”

The Court will not vacate an order from more than two years ago based on documents Cross-Complainant cited in his 2018 opposition papers. Cross-Complainant could have made this argument two and half years ago when he opposed the motion for summary adjudication. It is too late to make this argument now.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: October 23, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION TO BE RELIEVED; MOTION TO EXPUNGE LIS PENDENS; MOTION TO DISMISS

Motion to be Relieved

Lyle R. Mink seeks to be relieved as counsel for Defendants Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC on the grounds that they are suspended corporations, Kevin Moda has failed to take the steps to remove their suspension, and Moda is suing Mink for malpractice creating a conflict. The original motion was filed on September 18, 2019 but continued for various reasons. On September 28, 2020,Mink filed a motion to revive the original motion to be relieved.

Kevin Moda opposed the original motion and new motion, arguing that Mink did not do much of anything on this case, had not returned a deposit, and did not serve the proper agent for service of process. Mink points out that Kevin Moda is the sole member of the LLCs. Also, Moda signed the verification on the September 13, 2016 answer on behalf of Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC. Therefore, service to Moda was sufficient. A motion to be relieved is not the proper place to litigate a fee dispute.

Absent a showing of resulting prejudice, an attorney’s request for withdrawal should be granted. (People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398, 406.) There is a conflict between Kevin Moda, the sole member of the LLCs, and Lyle Mink. There is no current trial date in this case and therefore no prejudice. The motion to be relieved is GRANTED and effective upon Mink (1) filing a completely filled out Form MC-053 for the Court to sign and (2) filing a proof of service showing service of this order and the signed Form MC-0053 on Kevin Moda for Defendants Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC and all parties who have appeared.

“[A] corporation cannot represent itself in a court of record either in propria persona or through an officer or agent who is not an attorney.” (Caressa Camille, Inc. v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Bd. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1101.) Therefore, an Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to Retain New Counsel is scheduled for January 7, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 48. If Defendants Hoffman La Brea, LLC and JKDM, LLC do not obtain new counsel before that date, the Court may strike their answer and place them in default.

Moving party to give notice.

Motion to Expunge Lis Pendens

On August 17, 2018, the Court ordered title to the property located at 10950 Massachusetts Avenue (“Property”) quieted and determined that Cross-Complainant Kevin Moda has no right, title, estate, lien or other interest in the Property. Thereafter, the property was transferred to Plaintiff Mahvash Mazgani (“Plaintiff”). On March 12, 2020, Moda recorded a Notice of Continued/Continuum of Pendency of Action on the Property. On September 30, 2020, Plaintiff filed a motion to expunge the March 12, 2020 lis pendens on the property. (The proposed order also contains language about expunging the October 17, 2017 notice of pendency of action, but the notice of motion did not mention that earlier notice.)

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 405.30, “At any time after notice of pendency of action has been recorded, any party . . . may apply to the court in which the action is pending to expunge the notice.” “[T]he court shall order that the notice be expunged if the court finds that the claimant has not established by a preponderance of the evidence the probably validity of the real property claim.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 405.32.) The claimant has the burden of proof under section 405.32. (Code Civ. Proc. § 405.30.)

Plaintiff argues that the August 17, 2018 order has the force of a final judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 1060 and is binding and conclusive under Code of Civil Procedure section 764.030, subdivision (a). That section states that in a quiet title action, the judgment “is binding and conclusive on . . . All persons known and unknown who were parties to the action and who have any claim to the property, whether present or future, vested or contingent, legal or equitable, several or undivided.” Therefore, Plaintiff contends Moda cannot show any interest in the Property.

Moda filed a 36-page opposition four days late and failed to email serve the opposition documents. The page limit for an opposition brief is 15 pages. The Court will not consider the 21 pages after page 15. Moda argues that on May 13, 2019, the prior judge ordered that Plaintiff could not engage in further proceedings due to discovery violations. However, the May 13, 2019 order “stays the taking of Moda’s deposition until the Mazganis present evidence to the Court that they have complied with all discovery orders whether the orders re compelling responses or production of genuine documents.” The order does not stay all proceedings or prevent Plaintiff from engaging in litigation other than Moda’s deposition.

Moda also argues the August 17, 2018 order is void because the trust dated March 19, 2007 never held the Property and because the Property was never transferred from the trust dated April 17, 2007. Moda does not explain why he did not make this argument at the time of the August 17, 2018 summary adjudication decision. Moda bases the argument on a trust transfer deed recorded on May 14, 2007 and a grant deed recorded on February 29, 2016. (Bronner Decl., Exs. 2, 4.) The parties referenced these same two recorded documents in the summary adjudication papers leading to the August 17, 2018 order. (See, e.g., Moda’s April 3, 2018 Opposition to Plaintiff’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts 62, 63 [referring to “quitclaim deed which was then recorded on May 14, 2007” and “a grant deed recorded on February 29, 2016”].) Thus, Moda knew about the two recorded documents when he filed his opposition in 2018.

Moda argues that Plaintiff is a narcissist and violated the rent stabilization ordinance, but that has no bearing on title to the Property. Moda objects to the June 24, 2020 transfer from the Wesson Trust to Neyaz Mazgani and Nazanin individually and then to Plaintiff, arguing that these were not actual transfers. Moda does not explain how any of the facts surrounding the June 24, 2020 transfers would give him an interest in the Property to support a lis pendens.

The August 17, 2018 order granting Plaintiff’s motion for summary adjudication stated regarding the Property, “the Court ORDERS, DECLARES, AND DECREES that Neyaz Mazgani and Nazanin Magani, as trustees of the Wesson Trust, are the sole owners of the Massachusetts Property, and title to the Massachusetts Property is hereby QUIETED in Neyaz Mazgani and Nazanin Mazgani, as trustees of the Wesson Trust as of May 10, 2016. The Court further ORDERS, DECLARES, AND DECREES that Kevin Moda possesses no right, title, estate, lien or other interest in the Massachusetts Property.” Moda has not shown that since the August 17, 2018 order, he had obtained any interest in the Property or has any real property claim to the Property that is probably valid.

The motion is GRANTED and the Notice of Continued Pendency of Action recorded on March 12, 2020 as Instrument No. 20200295147 is expunged. Plaintiff is to prepare an order.

Plaintiff requests sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 405.38, which requires a court to award reasonable attorney fees to a party prevailing on a motion to expunge unless the court finds that the other party acted with substantial justification or other circumstances make the imposition unjust. Here, Moda made this proceeding more expensive than it should have been by filing late the 36-page opposition containing much irrelevant commentary. Moda did not have substantial justification for opposing the motion. Therefore, the request for sanctions is GRANTED, and sanctions in the amount of $5,060.00 to be paid within 20 days of the date of this order.

The moving party is to give notice.

Motion to Dismiss

On September 17, 2020, Cross-Complainant Kevin Moda filed a motion to dismiss Neyaz Mazgani, Nazanin Mazgani and Mahvash Mazgani (individually and in their capacity as trustees) (collectively “Plaintiffs”) as plaintiffs in consolidated Case No. BC622117. Moda argues that Plaintiffs did not have standing to sue Moda when they filed their complaint to quiet title on May 31, 2016. Moda argues that the Wesson Trust does not have any interest in the property because the Mahvash Mazgani Family Trust dated March 19, 2007 had no interest in the property when it granted the property to the Wesson Trust. Instead, Moda asserts, the Mahvash Mazani Family Trust dated April 17, 2007 had the interest in the property. This assertion is based on a declaration by Moda’s attorney that “Mahvash Mazgani Family Trust Dated March 19, 2007, is a trust that has never had any interest in the Massachusetts Property” (Bronner Decl. ¶ 5) and recorded grant deeds. Counsel’s statement is a legal conclusion and not based on the personal knowledge of Bronner.

Plaintiffs argue that no Mahvash Mazgani Family Trust dated March 19, 2007 has ever existed and that the grant deed mistakenly referred to March 19, 2007 when the correct date of the trust was April 17, 2007. Plaintiffs contend the grant deed can be reformed.

This dispute cannot be decided on a motion to dismiss. In addition, on August 17, 2018, the Court ordered that Moda has no right, title, estate, lien or other interest in the property. Therefore, the motion is DENIED.

The moving party is to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

Case Number: BC607465    Hearing Date: July 30, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENATIVE] ORDER RE CLAIM OF EXEMPTION

On January 18, 2019, the Court issued an order compelling the deposition of non-party Davood Ahmadnia and sanctioning him $2,150.00. The Court issued a writ of execution on December 2, 2019. With additional costs and interest, the total amount on the writ of execution against Ahmadnia was $3,855.82 plus daily interest of $1.04.

Apparently in early March 2020, Ahmadnia filed a claim of exemption. No claim of exemption appears in the Court’s docket, and the Court does not have a copy of the claim of exemption. On March 3, 2020, Defendant Kevin Moda filed an objection to the claim of exemption and obtained a hearing date on the claim of exemption. The hearing date was continued to July 30, 2020.

On July 22, 2020, Plaintiff filed a notice of removal of this action and the consolidated case BC622117 to bankruptcy court.

When a state court action is removed to bankruptcy court, the state court loses jurisdiction and cannot act unless and until the bankruptcy court remands the action. (Fed. R. Bank. Proc. 9027, subd. (c); In re Princess Louise Corp. (Bank. Ct. C.D. Cal. 1987) 77 B.R. 766, 771.) When the entire case is removed, as happened here, “the Los Angeles County Superior Court [is] completely ousted of jurisdiction with respect to the case that was pending before it, and there is no case as to which it may proceed.” (Ibid.)

Accordingly, the Court cannot proceed with the hearing on the claim of exemption at this time. The hearing date is therefore vacated. If the case is remanded, the bankruptcy stay lifted, or this Court otherwise obtains jurisdiction, Defendant may set the a new date for the hearing.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

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