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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/13/2017 at 08:59:06 (UTC).

MATTHEW ROBERSON VS COMMUNITY BANK

Case Summary

On 12/02/2016 MATTHEW ROBERSON filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against COMMUNITY BANK. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is OKI, DAN THOMAS. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8904

  • Filing Date:

    12/02/2016

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Pomona Courthouse South

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

OKI, DAN THOMAS

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ROBERSON MATTHEW

Defendant

COMMUNITY BANK

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

CABANDAY ORLANDO F. ESQ

Defendant Attorney

BRISCOE ESQ. JOHN P.

Court Documents

Court documents are not available for this case.

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/03/2017
  • Declaration Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 04/03/2017
  • Motion for an Order ( VACATE DISMISSAL ) Filed by Petitioner

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  • 04/03/2017
  • Declaration Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 03/23/2017
  • Notice ( OF ENTRY OF ORDER ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 03/22/2017
  • Order (SUSTAINING DEMURRER WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND AND DISMISSING CASE ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 03/16/2017
  • Notice ( in lieu of reply of non-opp to defendant's demurrer and motion to strike ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 02/27/2017
  • Declaration ( OF DEMURRING PARTY REGARDING MEET AND CONFER ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 02/15/2017
  • Notice of Hearing Filed by Court

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  • 02/07/2017
  • Motion to Strike Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 02/07/2017
  • Demurrer Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 02/01/2017
  • Notice ( of appearance of Mollie M. Burks on behalf of defendant Community Bank ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 01/27/2017
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/20/2017
  • Declaration ( of demurring party in support of automatic extension ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 12/06/2016
  • Notice-Case Management Conference Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/02/2016
  • Complaint Filed

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: KC068904    Hearing Date: October 22, 2020    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Thursday, October 22, 2020

NOTICE: See below[1]

RE: Suyen, LLC v. Teufenkjian, et al. (KC068904)

______________________________________________________________________________

Plaintiff Suyen, LLC’s MOTION TO ENFORCE JUDGMENT[2]

Responding Party: Defendant, Meher Teufenkjian

Tentative Ruling

Plaintiff Suyen, LLC’s Motion to Enforce [Settlement Agreement] is GRANTED, in the reduced amount of $93,000.00.

 

Background

This is an unlawful detainer action involving the real property located at 10701 and 10709 Garvey Avenue in El Monte.

On December 8, 2015, Plaintiff Suyen, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint, asserting a cause of action against Defendants Meher Teufenkjian aka Michael Teufenkjian dba Autosports European, Inc. (“Teufenkjian”), Scuderia Investments, LLC (“Scuderia”), Autosports European, Inc. (“Autosports”) and Does 1-10 for Unlawful Detainer.

On January 15, 2016, Scuderia’s and Autosports’ defaults were entered. The court’s December 16, 2019 minute order indicates that a settlement was reached on that date. On February 18, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed the complaint without prejudice, with the “[c]ourt to retain jurisdiction pursuant to CCP 664.6.”

Legal Standard

“If parties to pending litigation stipulate, in a writing signed by the parties outside the presence

of the court or orally before the court, for settlement of the case, or part thereof, the court, upon

motion, may enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement. If requested by the parties,

the court may retain jurisdiction over the parties to enforce the settlement until performance in

full of the terms of the settlement.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 664.6.)

Section 664.6 was enacted to provide a summary procedure for specifically enforcing a settlement contract without the need for a new lawsuit. (Weddington Productions, Inc. v. Flick (1998) 60 Cal. App. 4th 793, 810.) In order to be enforceable pursuant to the summary procedures of section 664.6, a settlement agreement must either be entered into orally before a court or must be in writing and signed by the parties. (Id.)

Discussion

Plaintiff move the court for an order enforcing the settlement and entering judgment against Teufenkjian in the amount of $96,000.00 pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 664.6.

Plaintiff’s managing member Ta Cheng Tung (“Tung”) declares as follows: On December 16, 2091, Plaintiff and Teufenkjian entered into a settlement of the lawsuit which was subsequently memorialized and executed by the parties. (Tung Decl., ¶3, Exh. A.) The Settlement and Release Agreement (“Agreement”) states, in relevant part, as follows:

“. . . [T]he Parties hereby agree to resolve, settle, and dispose of all claims each may have against the other arising out of, or related to, the Lease, Dispute and Action.

  1. Defendant agrees to execute and deliver to Plaintiff a stipulation for entry of judgment for Plaintiff and against Defendant for one hundred two thousand and 00/100 dollars ($102,000.00) in the form set forth as Exhibit ‘A’ attached hereto and incorporated by reference.

  2. Upon Defendant’s delivery of a signed copy of the Release Plaintiff shall filed a request for dismissal of the Action without prejudice. The parties agree that the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the Release pursuant to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 664.6

  3. Plaintiff agrees to hold and not file the stipulated judgment so long as Defendant timely pays the sum of fifty-one thousand and 00/100 dollars ($51,000.00, the ‘Settlement Payment’) to Plaintiff, as follows:

    1. One thousand and 00/100 dollars ($1,000.00) on or before February 1, 2020;

    2. One thousand and 00/100 dollars ($1,000.00) on or before the first of each month thereafter until fully paid.

  4. If Defendant fails to fully and timely perform any and all his obligations set forth above, Plaintiff shall give notice of Defendant’s default by e-mail to Defendant’s attorney, Kambiz Tom Kohan, at tom@kohanlawfirm.com or such other person as Defendant may designate in writing. Should Defendant fail to cure any such default after seven days written notice, Plaintiff shall be entitled to make application for entry of the stipulated judgment less any amounts paid. The fact of Defendant’s default and the amounts of any payments made shall be established by the declaration of Ta Cheng Tung, Plaintiff’s manager. . .” (Id.)

Teufenkjian failed to make the payment due on August 1, 2020. (Id., ¶10.) On August 5, 2020, Tung e-mailed a notice of default to Teufenkjian’s attorney at tom@kohanlawfirm.com. (Id., ¶10, Exh. C.) Teufenkjian failed to make the payment due on August 1, 2020 or any other sum as of the date of the declaration (i.e., September 1, 2020). (Id., ¶11.) Prior to the payment due August 1, 2020, Teufenkjian had made a total of $6,000.00 in payments towards the agreed settlement amount. (Id., ¶12, Exh. D.) The amount of the stipulated judgment due and unpaid is $96,000.00. (Id., ¶13.)

Teufenkjian, in opposition, claims that the Agreement in this case providing for a stipulated judgment operates as a penalty and liquidated damages and is thus unenforceable. “[T]he determination of whether a contract provision is an illegal penalty or an enforceable liquidated damage clause is a question to be determined by the trial court.” (Krechuniak v. Noorzoy (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 713, 715.) “A liquidated damages clause will generally be considered unreasonable if it ‘bears no reasonable relationship to the range of actual damages that the parties could have anticipated would flow from a breach.’” (Red & White Distribution, LLC v. Osteroid Enterprises, LLC (2019) 38 Cal.App.5th 582, 584, quoting Ridgley v. Topa Thrift & Loan Assn. (1998) 17 Cal.4th 970, 977.)

Here, under the circumstances that existed at the time of the settlement, its terms were reasonably related to Plaintiff’s damages. At the time of trial Teufenkjian owed $73,409.89. (Hirano Decl., ¶4.) The Lease specifies a 10% interest rate. (Id., Exh. H., Lease, § 13.5, pp. 11-12.) The accrued interest to the date of trial at the rate of 10% on $73,409.89 was $26,729.24 (i.e., $72,409.89 x 0.1 x 3.64 years). (Id.) Plaintiff’s total damages as a proximate result of Teufenkjian’s breach of the Lease is $100,139.13. (Id.) Teufenkjian’s defense to the claims was that he had an oral agreement with Plaintiff wherein Plaintiff waived his right to any claims, in spite of a written Agreement for Surrender of Possession dated January 4, 2016 signed by

Teufenkjian in which Teufenkjian expressly acknowledged Plaintiff’s reservation of the right to assert claims against him. (Id., ¶2, Exh. G.)

Plaintiff, in reply, acknowledges that Teufenkjian has now paid $9,000.00, such that the judgment against Teufenkjian should be for the reduced amount of $93,000.00. (Tung Decl., ¶¶4, 5 and 8.)

The motion is granted, in the reduced amount of $93,000.00. The declines Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees in the amount of $1,998.75, inasmuch as this request was not made in the moving papers.


[1] The motion was filed on September 1, 2020; no proof of service appears to have been concurrently filed or filed since (i.e., as of October 20, 2020 at 9:17 a.m.) The motion, however, is opposed on the merits; as such, it is evident notice was provided.

[2] The motion is labeled “Motion to Enforce Judgment;” however, it is a “Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement.”

Case Number: KC068904    Hearing Date: December 30, 2019    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Monday, December 30, 2019

NOTICE: OK[1]

RE: Roberson v. Community Bank (KC068904)

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Plaintiff Matthew Roberson’s MOTION TO SEAL COURT RECORD, OR IN THE

ALTERNATIVE, TO SEAL DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

AND RELATED DOCUMENTS

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 12/9/19)[2]

Tentative Ruling

Plaintiff Matthew Roberson’s Motion to Seal Court Record is DENIED. Plaintiff’s

alternative request to seal Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Related

documents is DENIED.

Background

Plaintiff Matthew Roberson (“Plaintiff”), a Caucasian male, is the former First Vice President—Senior Relationship Manager Team Leader for Defendant Community Bank (“CB”). CB’s Senior Vice President, Wanda Jones (“Jones”), is female and African-American. Plaintiff claims that Jones did not like that Plaintiff was “thriving” within CB and making more money than her and so, with the assistance of a departing colleague, concocted a scheme to terminate his employment based on false claims of sexual harassment. Plaintiff further claims that he was defamed, post-termination, when Jones and other CB managers allegedly informed other banks and Plaintiff’s customers that his employment had been terminated for sexual harassment. On August 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint, asserting causes of action against CB and Does 1-50 for:

  1. Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy
  2. Violation of Labor Code Section 1050
  3. Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
  4. Defamation Per Se
  5. Discrimination in Violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act

On July 5, 2018, the court granted CB’s Motion for Summary Judgment. On July 18, 2018, an “Order Granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment” was filed. On August 8, 2018, judgment was filed. On April 3, 2019, Plaintiff dismissed the entire action, with prejudice.

Legal Standard

California Rules of Court (“CRC”) Rules 2.550 and 2.551 govern records sealed or proposed to be sealed by court order. “Unless confidentiality is required by law, court records are presumed to be open.” (CRC Rule 2.550(c).)

A party requesting that a record be filed under seal must file a motion or application for an order sealing the record. (CRC Rule 2.551(b)(1).) The motion or application must be accompanied by a memorandum and a declaration containing facts sufficient to justify the sealing. (Ibid.) “A request to seal a document. . . must be supported by a factual declaration or affidavit explaining the particular needs of the case.” (In re Marriage of Lechowick (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1406, 1416.)

“The court may order that a record be filed under seal only if it expressly finds facts that establish: (1) There exists an overriding interest that overcomes the right of public access to the record; (2) The overriding interest supports sealing the record; (3) A substantial probability exists that the overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed; (4) The proposed sealing is narrowly tailored; and (5) No less restrictive means exist to achieve the overriding interest.” (CRC Rule 2.550(d).)

“An order sealing the record must: (A) Specifically state the facts that support the findings; and (B) Direct the sealing of only those documents and pages or, if reasonably practicable, portions of those documents and pages, that contain the material that needs to be placed under seal. All other portions of each document or page must be included in the public file.” (CRC Rule 2.550(e)(1) [emphasis added].)

Discussion

Plaintiff moves the court for an order to seal the entire court file or, in the alternative, for an

order sealing documents related to the Motion for Summary Judgment.

The court finds that Plaintiff has failed to make a sufficient factual showing in support of his

sealing requests; accordingly, the motion is DENIED.

Even if the court were to conclude that an overriding interest existed based on Plaintiff’s right to privacy, Plaintiff has not demonstrated a substantial probability of prejudice if the entirety of the court file or, in the alternative, the documents related to the Motion for Summary Judgment is not sealed. Plaintiff attests, “I am fearful that the public dissemination of the contents of Defendant’s motion will expose me to harm in the form of future employers or other future business associates may review [sic] the allegations made in the motion to be true. As a result, I will lose potential employment and business opportunities. Indeed, I have seen a chilling effect on my ability to locate new employment once I identify the lawsuit to potential employers. . .” (Plaintiff’s Decl., ¶9.) Plaintiff does not provide the court with any further details as to what he refers to as a “chilling effect” on his employment.

Moreover, the proposed sealing of the entirety of the court file or, in the alternative, the sealing

of documents related to the Motion for Summary Judgment is not narrowly tailored. With respect

to the alternative request, Plaintiff has made no attempt to offer redacted public versions of these

documents. Plaintiff, then, has not shown that there are no less restrictive means.


[1] The motion was filed and mail-served on August 28, 2019 and originally set for hearing on December 10, 2019. On December 5, 2019, the court continued the hearing, on its own motion, to December 30, 2019 and provided notice to the parties.

[2] No opposition was filed with respect to the original December 10, 2019 hearing (due November 25, 2019).

Case Number: KC068904    Hearing Date: December 10, 2019    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

NOTICE: OK

RE: Roberson v. Community Bank (KC068904)

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Plaintiff Matthew Roberson’s MOTION TO SEAL COURT RECORD, OR IN THE

ALTERNATIVE, TO SEAL DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

AND RELATED DOCUMENTS

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 12/3/19, 2:57 p.m.; due 11/25/19)

Tentative Ruling

Plaintiff Matthew Roberson’s Motion to Seal Court Record is DENIED. Plaintiff’s

alternative request to seal Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Related

documents is DENIED.

Background

Plaintiff Matthew Roberson (“Plaintiff”), a Caucasian male, is the former First Vice President—Senior Relationship Manager Team Leader for Defendant Community Bank (“CB”). CB’s Senior Vice President, Wanda Jones (“Jones”), is female and African-American. Plaintiff claims that Jones did not like that Plaintiff was “thriving” within CB and making more money than her and so, with the assistance of a departing colleague, concocted a scheme to terminate his employment based on false claims of sexual harassment. Plaintiff further claims that he was defamed, post-termination, when Jones and other CB managers allegedly informed other banks and Plaintiff’s customers that his employment had been terminated for sexual harassment. On August 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint, asserting causes of action against CB and Does 1-50 for:

  1. Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy
  2. Violation of Labor Code Section 1050
  3. Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
  4. Defamation Per Se
  5. Discrimination in Violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act

On July 5, 2018, the court granted CB’s Motion for Summary Judgment. On July 18, 2018, an “Order Granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment” was filed. On August 8, 2018, judgment was filed. On April 3, 2019, Plaintiff dismissed the entire action, with prejudice.

Legal Standard

California Rules of Court (“CRC”) Rules 2.550 and 2.551 govern records sealed or proposed to be sealed by court order. “Unless confidentiality is required by law, court records are presumed to be open.” (CRC Rule 2.550(c).)

A party requesting that a record be filed under seal must file a motion or application for an order sealing the record. (CRC Rule 2.551(b)(1).) The motion or application must be accompanied by a memorandum and a declaration containing facts sufficient to justify the sealing. (Ibid.) “A request to seal a document. . . must be supported by a factual declaration or affidavit explaining the particular needs of the case.” (In re Marriage of Lechowick (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1406, 1416.)

“The court may order that a record be filed under seal only if it expressly finds facts that establish: (1) There exists an overriding interest that overcomes the right of public access to the record; (2) The overriding interest supports sealing the record; (3) A substantial probability exists that the overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed; (4) The proposed sealing is narrowly tailored; and (5) No less restrictive means exist to achieve the overriding interest.” (CRC Rule 2.550(d).)

“An order sealing the record must: (A) Specifically state the facts that support the findings; and (B) Direct the sealing of only those documents and pages or, if reasonably practicable, portions of those documents and pages, that contain the material that needs to be placed under seal. All other portions of each document or page must be included in the public file.” (CRC Rule 2.550(e)(1) [emphasis added].)

Discussion

Plaintiff moves the court for an order to seal the entire court file or, in the alternative, for an

order sealing documents related to the Motion for Summary Judgment.

The court finds that Plaintiff has failed to make a sufficient factual showing in support of his

sealing requests; accordingly, the motion is DENIED.

Even if the court were to conclude that an overriding interest existed based on Plaintiff’s right to privacy, Plaintiff has not demonstrated a substantial probability of prejudice if the entirety of the court file or, in the alternative, the documents related to the Motion for Summary Judgment is not sealed. Plaintiff attests, “I am fearful that the public dissemination of the contents of Defendant’s motion will expose me to harm in the form of future employers or other future business associates may review [sic] the allegations made in the motion to be true. As a result, I will lose potential employment and business opportunities. Indeed, I have seen a chilling effect on my ability to locate new employment once I identify the lawsuit to potential employers. . .” (Plaintiff’s Decl., ¶9.) Plaintiff does not provide the court with any further details as to what he refers to as a “chilling effect” on his employment.

Moreover, the proposed sealing of the entirety of the court file or, in the alternative, the sealing

of documents related to the Motion for Summary Judgment is not narrowly tailored. With respect

to the alternative request, Plaintiff has made no attempt to offer redacted public versions of these

documents. Plaintiff, then, has not shown that there are no less restrictive means.

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