This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/09/2016 at 16:13:30 (UTC).

MARK RODRIGUES VS. NICOLAS STEELE ET. AL.

Case Summary

On 04/04/2013 MARK RODRIGUES filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against NICOLAS STEELE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Santa Monica Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are ALLAN J. GOODMAN, NANCY L. NEWMAN and H. CHESTER HORN, JR.. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0499

  • Filing Date:

    04/04/2013

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Santa Monica Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

ALLAN J. GOODMAN

NANCY L. NEWMAN

H. CHESTER HORN, JR.

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

RODRIGUES MARK

Claimant

JETEX FZCO

Defendants

STEELE AVIATION INC.

STEELE NICOLAS

CURRENT AVIATION GROUP INC.

STEELE LILIA

Other

WILHEIM & WILHEIM PC

Not Yet Classified

HONORABLE ROBERT W. THOMAS ADR SERVICES

Interested Party

STEPANOVA LILIA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

BOESCH PHILIP W. JR.

Claimant Attorney

STETTIN JACOB

Defendant Attorneys

WASSERMAN LAW GROUP

MARSHALL KATHRYN S.

DANIELS VICTOR J.

Court Documents

Court documents are not available for this case.

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/02/2016
  • Notice (NOTICE OF POST-MEDIATION STATUS CONFERENCE 4-29-16 9:00 AM ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 01/26/2016
  • Consent (AND CERTIFICATION ) Filed by ADR Clerk

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  • 12/08/2015
  • Report of Referee (THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF DISCOVERY REFEREE: THE HONORABLE ROBERT W. THOMAS - THE ORDER IS SIGNED BY THE HONORABLE NANCY NEWMAN, AND FILED THIS DATE. ) Filed by Referee

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  • 11/24/2015
  • Opposition (JOINT ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 09/28/2015
  • Notice of Ruling Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 09/21/2015
  • Declaration (RE EX PARTE NOTICE ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 09/21/2015
  • Ex-Parte Application (FOR CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS TO AND MODIFICATION OF COURT'S ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 09/18/2015
  • Notice of Ruling Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 09/04/2015
  • Reply to Opposition (TO COMPEL DEPOSITION OF LILIA STEPANOVA & FOR AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: CONTEMPT ) Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 09/02/2015
  • Opposition Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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132 More Docket Entries
  • 09/03/2013
  • Opposition (TO DEFENDANTS' EX PARTE APPLICATION; ) Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 09/03/2013
  • Declaration (RE NOTICE OF EX PARTE ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 09/03/2013
  • Ex-Parte Application (FOR AN ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO TURN OVER THE ORIGINAL SHARE CERTIFICATES OF STEELE AVIATION, INC. FOR ANALYSIS BY AN INK-DATED EXPERT; ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 07/30/2013
  • Demurrer (TO THE COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF MARK RODRIGUES ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 07/30/2013
  • Motion to Strike (THE ENTIRE COMPLAINT OR ALTERNATIVELY, TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAITNIFF'S COMPLAINT ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 07/03/2013
  • Statement-Case Management Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 07/01/2013
  • Statement-Case Management Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 06/27/2013
  • Motion to Compel (INSPECTION BY SHAREHOLDER OF CORPORATE RECORDS PURSUANT TO CORP CODE 1601(A) AND 1603 AND REQUEST FOR ATTORNEYS FEES ) Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 05/30/2013
  • Notice of Filing (PROOF OF SERVOCE OF SUMMONS ) Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 04/04/2013
  • Complaint Filed

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: SC120499    Hearing Date: March 13, 2020    Dept: P

 Tentative Ruling

Mark Rodrigues v. Nicolas Steele, et al. Case Number SC120499

Hearing Date: March 13, 2020

Judgment Creditor’s Application for Sale of Dwelling – Supplemental Briefing

Judgment creditor Rodrigues holds a judgment of nearly $9 million against judgment debtors. Creditor seeks to enforce the judgment via a sale of debtors’ dwelling; debtors oppose the sale. On February 20, 2020, the court continued a hearing on creditor’s application for an order of sale to allow both parties to provide additional briefing regarding the issue of title.

Title

If a trust’s settlor holds the power to revoke a trust, the trust property is subject to the claims of the settlor’s creditors. Cal. Probate Code §18200. Neither party disputes title is currently held by the N&L Steele Revocable Family Trust. Defendant presented unrefuted evidence that debtors Lilia and Nicolas are the settlors of the trust. Judgment Creditor’s Exhibit A, pgs. 1-2. Since judgment creditor has a judgment against the trust’s settlors, he is able to enforce the judgment via the trust’s assets. Defendant has shown the property is subject to judgment enforcement.

Procedure

Under Los Angeles County Superior Court Rule 3.223, “[a]n application for an order for sale of a dwelling must provide at the hearing competent evidence of the following:

(1) The fair market value of the property by a real estate expert;

(2) Litigation guarantee or title report that contains a legal description of the property, the names of the current owners, a list of all deeds of trust, abstracts of judgments, tax liens and other liens recorded against the property, whether a declaration of homestead has been recorded, whether a current homeowner’s exemption or disabled veteran’s exemption has been filed with the county assessor, and the persons claiming such exemption.”

The initial application was not supported by an expert’s estimate of the property’s value, a litigation guarantee or title report. Creditor has not provided such evidence in subsequent motions. As the application failed to comply with the evidentiary requirements set, it is DENIED without prejudice. The application must comply with rule 3.223.

Case Number: SC120499    Hearing Date: February 20, 2020    Dept: P

 

Hearing Date: February 20, 2020 Judgment Creditor’s Application for Sale of Dwelling to Enforce Judgment

TENTATIVE RULING

Judgment creditor Rodrigues holds a judgment of $8,230,663.02 against judgment debtors Nicholas Steele, Lillia Stepanova Steele and Steele Aviation, Inc. Creditor seeks to enforce the judgment by obtaining a sale of the Steeles’ dwelling. The Steeles oppose, arguing they do not own the property.

All property of a judgment debtor is subject to enforcement of a money judgment. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §695.010. The interest of a natural person in a dwelling may not be sold to enforce a money judgment except pursuant to a court order. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §704.740. A judgment creditor must apply for such a court order within 20 days of serving notice of a levy on the dwelling. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §704.750. The application must include a declaration stating whether the records of the county tax assessor indicate that there is a homeowner’s exemption, whether the dwelling is a homestead and the amount of the homestead exemption, and summarizing existing liens and encumbrances. Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §704.760.

Creditor’s application is supported by the declaration of Amy Nash, which contains the sworn statements required under §704.760. Judgment debtors argue they have been deprived of due process, since creditors have not complied with the service requirements and no order to show cause hearing has been conducted pursuant to Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §7740.770(a). Evidence before the court shows that debtors received adequate notice of creditor’s application. Reply at pg. 4. The court rejects the due process arguments.

Debtors argue the property cannot be sold because title is held by a trust, not the judgment debtors. Opposition to ex parte application at pg. 5. Creditor states that under Blue v. Superior Court 147 Cal. App. 2d 278 the court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate title in a hearing based on an application for sale of dwelling. Plaintiff’s reply at pgs. 2-3. While Blue does stand for that proposition, later cases have narrowed the rule and found it is appropriate for a court ruling on an application for sale of dwelling to determine whether the judgment debtor has any “right, title or interest” in the targeted property, since “serious problems would result from permitting sale . . . without first determining what interest could be sold.” Lauer v. Rose (1976) 60 Cal.App.3d 493, 498. Relevant secondary sources confirm this, stating “it is proper for the court to determine any question of title and to ascertain the extent of the debtor’s interest in the property” before ordering sale of a dwelling to satisfy a judgment. 12 Cal. Real Est. § 43:46 (4th ed.)

Since the issue of title has not yet been briefed, the court will schedule a hearing to determine title and will allow the parties to provide briefs, not to exceed five pages, regarding whether judgment debtors have any right, title, or interest in the targeted property, such that it can be sold to enforce the judgment.

Case Number: SC120499    Hearing Date: November 04, 2019    Dept: P

 

Mark Rodrigues v. Steele Aviation, Inc.et al. CASE NUMBER: SC120499

HEARING DATE: 11/4/2019

Motion to Quash or Modify Deposition Subpoena

TENTATIVE RULING

Terminating sanctions were issued and judgment entered against defendants in March 2018. Plaintiff issued a third-party subpoena seeking documents related to defendants’ alleged lease of an airplane hangar. Plaintiff alleges these documents will show defendants are managing aircraft for profit and are concealing that business’ existence to avoid judgment enforcement. Defendants move to quash.

Under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §1985.3(c), a party in an action where a subpoena for personal records has been filed may move to quash or modify the subpoena. CCP §1987.1 allows the court to issue an order quashing or modifying the subpoena “upon those terms and conditions as the court may declare,” and explicitly provides for the issuance of an order to prevent “unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.”

The California constitution protects the right to privacy, including privacy in financial records. Cobb v. Superior Court (1979) 99 Cal.App.3d 543, 550. In determining whether a discovery request should be quashed to protect privacy, “[i]f there is a reasonable expectation of privacy privacy balance privacy

Plaintiff did not file an opposition to the motion to quash. In ruling on the motion, however, the court considered arguments made in plaintiff’s October 24 opposition to the ex parte motion for protective order.

The subpoena seeks “all” of the following documents from third party Atlantic Aviation (AA):

- Documents signed by Nicolas Steele

- Documents signed by Lilia Steele

- Electronic correspondence between AA and Nicolas Steele

- Electronic correspondence between AA and Lilia Steele

- All written correspondence between AA and Nicolas Steele

- All written correspondence between AA and Lilia Steele

Defendants seek to quash the subpoena on the grounds it is overbroad, vague, seeks irrelevant information and violates defendants’ and third parties’ privacy rights. The court agrees privacy rights are implicated. Nonetheless, besides a general invocation of the right to privacy, defendants provide few details as to how and to what extent production of these documents might violate their privacy. Additionally, plaintiff shows a strong interest in the requested documents. If, as plaintiff alleges, an ongoing business relationship exists between defendants and AA, the documents would be relevant to proving its existence and using it as a means of judgment enforcement. When this specific and compelling interest is weighed against defendants’ generalized privacy interest, plaintiff prevails. The documents are discoverable.

The request for “all” documents without time constraints, however, is overly burdensome. Defendants will be required to produce documents from 2017 through the present day. Additionally, the names of any third-party employees may be redacted.

DENIED, subject to the above conditions.

The temporary protective order preventing production of the documents ordered by the court on 10/25/19 pending the hearing on this motion is LIFTED.