On 02/24/2015 MEHRDAD SETAREH filed a Contract - Debt Collection lawsuit against KAMRAN SETAREH. 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 A. MEIERS and SUSAN BRYANT-DEASON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
BARBARA A. MEIERS
3200 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY CORPORATION
DOES 1 TO 100
3200 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY CORPORATION
NEHORAY LEGAL GROUP
NEHORAY SIAMAK EBRAHIM
WEISS RICHARD ESQ.
1/22/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND FOR SANCTIONS; MEMORANDIJM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF SAM RYAN HEIDARI IN SUPPORT
3/8/2018: DECLARATION OF RICHARD WEISS, ESQ. IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT KAMRAN SETAREH'S OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANT 3200 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY CORPORATION'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO A
3/8/2018: DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT KAMRAN SETAREH'S OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANT 3200 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY CORPORATION'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO A REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENT; ETC.
3/15/2018: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORJES AND FOR
3/15/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR
4/23/2018: EX-PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER SHORTENING TIME FOR HEARING OF A VERIFIED PETITION TO REMOVE MEHRDAD SETAREH AS A DIRECTOR IN CROSS-DEFENDANT 3200 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY CORPORATION UNDER CALIFORNIA CORPO
2/4/2019: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order
3/6/2015: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
9/3/2015: DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLANANT KAMRAN SETAREH'S MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AGAINST PLAINTIFF/CROSS-DEFENDANT MEHRDAD SETAREH; ETC
9/18/2015: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL; ETC.
9/30/2015: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT
11/16/2015: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS; ETC.
11/20/2015: DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT KAMRAN SETAREH'S REPLY TO AN OPPOSITION TO HIS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO A REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AGAINST PLAINTIFF/CROSS-DEFENDANT MEHRDAD SETAREH
4/19/2016: Minute Order
6/9/2016: Minute Order
9/28/2016: Minute Order
5/2/2017: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO SET ASIDE CLERK'S ENTRY OF DEFAULT AGAINST CROSSDEFENDANT 3200 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY CORPORATION
8/21/2017: DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT KAMRAN SETAREH'S OBJECTION AND OPPOSITION TO CROSS-DEFENDANT MEHRDAD SETAREH'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE CLERK'S ENTRY OF DEFAULT; ETC.
at 08:30 AM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Non-Jury Trial (estimated 2 hours) - Not Held - Vacated by CourtRead MoreRead Less
Stipulation and Order (for Binding Arbitration); Filed by Mehrdad Setareh (Plaintiff); 3200 Imperial Highway Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Non-Jury Trial estimated 2 hours)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Trial Brief; Filed by Mehrdad Setareh (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice (of Continuance of Trial Date); Filed by 3200 Imperial Highway Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Final Status Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Notice (of Continuance of Final Status Conference); Filed by Mehrdad Setareh (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Jury Trial - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 52, Susan Bryant-Deason, Presiding; Final Status Conference ((Adv from 5/3/19) (cf 5/2/19- atty SiamaK Ebrahim to give ntc)) - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
Cross-Complaint; Filed by Kamran Setareh (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Kamran Setareh (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Cross-Complaint; Filed by Kamran Setareh (Cross-Complainant)Read MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Mehrdad Setareh (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Mehrdad Setareh (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR: 1) MONEY HAD AND RECEIVED; ETCRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC573118 Hearing Date: May 13, 2021 Dept: 52
Judgment Creditor Kamran Setareh’s Motion for Assignment Order and for Order Restraining Judgment Debtor
The court having read the papers and heard the arguments rules as follows:
Judgment creditor Kamran Setareh moves for an order that judgment debtor 3200 Imperial Highway Corporation (IHC) must assign its right to payments under its lease with Local Initiative Health Authority for Los Angeles dba L.A. Care Health Plan. Under their lease, L.A. Care owes judgment debtor at least $19,973.05 monthly in rent until 2028. (Vahedi Decl., Ex. 2.) After paying its expenses, IHC nets about $18,500 per month. On average, IHC disburses the following monthly payments to its shareholders: (1) $7,500 to Mehrdad Setareh, (2) $6,500 to Kamran Setareh, and (3) $4,500 to Daniel and Sepehr Setareh. (M. Setareh Decl., ¶ 7.)
CCP § 708.510(a) provides that courts may order a judgment debtor to assign to the judgment creditor all or part of a right to rent payments due or to become due. CCP § 708.510(c) provides that, in ruling on such motions, courts “may take into consideration all relevant factors,” including:
(1) The reasonable requirements of a judgment debtor who is a natural person and of persons supported in whole or in part by the judgment debtor.
(2) Payments the judgment debtor is required to make or that are deducted in satisfaction of other judgments and wage assignments.
(3) The amount remaining due on the money judgment.
(4) The amount being or to be received in satisfaction of the right to payment that may be assigned.
The court entered judgment of $206,623.83 jointly against Mehrdad Setareh and IHC, and $238,536.33 as to IHC only. Judgment debtors have not yet paid any of it. (Vahedi Decl., ¶ 3.)
Mehrdad Setareh is a person “supported in whole or in part” by judgment debtor IHC. Mehrdad claims he has “no source of income other than SSI and the money [he receives] from IHC.” But judgment Kamran Setareh, his brother and business partner, described several sources of income Mehrdad has not disclosed. (K. Setareh 5/5/21 Decl, ¶¶ 4-8.) On this issue, the court finds Kamran more credible than Mehrdad.
Under the lease, L.A. Care will pay IHC nearly $240,000 a year for about seven more years. Given the amounts involved, the court finds that assignment of the entire monthly rent payment is not necessary. Assigning 60% of the payments will suffice for judgment creditor to timely collect on his judgment.
Judgment creditor also moves for an order restraining 3200 Imperial Highway Corporation and Mehrdad Setareh “from encumbering, assigning, disposing, lending, or spending income, commission fees, bonuses, regular payments, and all other payments for services performed by or paid to judgment debtors, to the extent necessary to pay Judgment Creditor to satisfy the judgment herein.”
CCP § 708.520(a) provides that a judgment creditor may move for an order restraining the judgment debtor from assigning or otherwise disposing of the right to payment that is sought to be assigned. Courts may issue such an order “upon a showing of need for the order.” (CCP § 708.520(b).) Here, judgement debtor Mehrdad Setareh, the CEO of IHC stated he will “stipulate that he will not assign or otherwise dispose of the right to payment sought to be assigned.” (Opp., p. 10.)
The motion is GRANTED IN PART. Judgment debtor 3200 Imperial Highway Corporation is hereby ordered to assign 60% of rent payments from L.A. Care under the commercial lease to judgment creditor Kamran Setareh until the judgment is paid in full. Judgment debtor 3200 Imperial Highway Corporation is also enjoined and restrained from assigning, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of its interest in the rent payments from L.A. Care.
Plaintiff 3200 Imperial Highway Corp.’s Motion to Tax Costs
The court having read the papers and heard the arguments rules as follows:
Item 4: Deposition Costs
Plaintiff argues that the $3,702.80 in claimed costs should be offset by $2,500 that plaintiff already paid pursuant to a stipulation made on January 6, 2017. That stipulation, entered by order of the court on January 18, 2017, states, “Plaintiff/Cross Defendant Mehrdad Setareh and/or his counsel of record, Mac E. Nehoray, will pay to Defense counsel the sum of $2,500 (two Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars, and No Cents), representing the attorney fees and costs associated with the non-appearance at the Deposition and preparation, service, and filing of the Motion to Compel, plus the filing fees.” (¶ b.)
Attachment 4e claims costs including $454 spent on a court reporter for the deposition of Mehrdad Setareh on November 1, 2016. It claims no other deposition costs incurred before January 25, 2017. Because there were only $454 in deposition costs when the parties made the stipulation, all $2,500 could not have been applied to deposition costs. No reduction over $454 is necessary. In the opposition, defendant agrees to reduce the claim by $454 to $3,248.80.
Item 10: Attorney Fees
The judgment entered on February 5, 2021, specifies that defendant may seek attorney fees via a memorandum of costs instead of a noticed motion. (¶ 6, pp. 2:27-3:2.)
Generally, when a contract provides for reasonable attorney fees, a noticed motion (rather than a memorandum of costs) is required for a court to fix an amount. (CRC 3.1702(a); see CCP § 1033.5(c)(5)(A) [contractual fees allowable as costs “shall be fixed either upon a noticed motion or upon entry of a default judgment, unless otherwise provided by stipulation of the parties.”].) But courts have “substantial latitude in allowing fees to be awarded without strict compliance with statutory temporal and procedural limitations.” (Gunlock Corp. v. Walk on Water, Inc. (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1301, 1305.) In Gunlock Corp. v. Walk on Water, Inc., supra, the Court of Appeal held, “The trial court's perception that it lacked discretion to entertain appellant's fee request because appellant had not filed a noticed motion with its memorandum of costs thus was wrong.” (Ibid.)
Here, defendant claimed attorney fees of $220,156.50 in item 10 of his memorandum of costs. Attachment 10 to the memorandum includes over 15 pages of detailed billing records. Plaintiff’s motion argued on the substance of the claimed fees, and defendant’s opposition responded in kind. Any procedural error has not prejudiced plaintiff, so the court will proceed to the merits of the attorney fees.
Plaintiff incorrectly argues it is “fraudulent” that defendant’s former counsel Richard Weiss seeks a rate of $450 but actually charged $375. (Reply, p. 6:20-8:28.) “The reasonable market value of the attorney's services is the measure of a reasonable hourly rate” regardless of what the attorney actually charged. (Chacon v. Litke (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1234, 1260 [affirming award of $350 hourly when attorney charged $300].) Plaintiff even concedes that $450 hourly “by itself is not a problem and it is not unreasonable either.” (Reply, p. 7:7-8.) The court agrees and finds that former counsel Weiss’s rate was reasonable.
Plaintiff challenges many of Weiss’s 391.7 hours as duplicated work and asserts that only 246.7 hours of fees are proper. (Motion, 17:13-17.) Defendant concedes that 246.7 is the correct number. (Opp., 6:7.) The court therefore reduces the claimed fees for Weiss by $65,250 for 145.0 hours at $450 hourly.
Plaintiff objects to defense counsel Vahedi’s bill for 3.7 hours on August 14, 2020 for “Compile and organize exhibit binder; review documents; correspondence with all parties; correspondence with Avalon Hotel; calls with Setareh.” (Memorandum of Costs, p. 25.) Although Vahedi did not print hard copies of an “exhibit binder,” he spent 3.7 hours going through thousands of pages of documents to create a digital binder. (Vahedi Decl., ¶ 6.)
Finally, plaintiff argues that Vahedi could not have reasonably spent 14.4 hours on the reply to the opposition to defendant’s petition to confirm arbitration award. The court finds that Vahedi’s time working on the reply was reasonable and necessary. Plaintiff’s opposition raised numerous issues beyond those in the petition and attached 19 exhibits. The reply was important and required significant work even though it did not end up being very long.
Plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED IN PART. The court reduces defendant’s memorandum of costs as follows:
Item 4: $3,702.80 - $454 = $3,248.80
Item 10: $220,156.50 – (145.0 hrs x $450/hr) = $154,906.50
Total: $226,089.25 – $454 - $65,250 = $160,385.30
The clerk is ordered to enter costs of $160,385.30 on the judgment for defendant.
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