Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/25/2019 at 23:00:13 (UTC).

22136 CLARENDON LLC VS. WATT ENTERPRISES, LTD., ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/15/2017 22136 CLARENDON LLC filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against WATT ENTERPRISES, LTD . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Van Nuys Courthouse East located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MICHAEL J. CONVEY. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5415

  • Filing Date:

    03/15/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Van Nuys Courthouse East

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MICHAEL J. CONVEY

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

22136 CLARENDON LLC

Defendants

DOES 1-10

S.L. BROSIO LLC

WENDY WATT TRUSTEE OF THE WENDY WATT

RYAN WATT TRUSTEE OF THE RYAN WATT TRUST

BRADY WATT TRUSTEE OF THE BRADY WATT

CHARLES E. WATT TRUSTEE OF THE BRADY

CHARLES E. WATT TRUSTEE OF THE RYAN

CHARLES E. WATT TRUSTEE OF THE WENDY

WATT ENTERPRISES LTD.

ALL PERSONS UNKNOWN CLAIMING ANY LEGAL

WATT PROPERTIES LLC

WATT ENTERPRISES LTD

HILAIRE BROSIO LLC

Not Classified By Court

PASTERNAK DAVID J

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

LIEBER JEFFREY EDWARD

Defendant Attorneys

ATALLAH JOHN J.

WOLF VICTOR LOREN

HOWETT TIMOTHY MICHAEL

SAGHIAN ANDREW GEORGE

TOOTELL TONY

 

Court Documents

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING PARTITION REFEREE'S SECOND INTERIM REPORT FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2019

6/24/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING PARTITION REFEREE'S SECOND INTERIM REPORT FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2019

Summons

3/15/2017: Summons

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

5/17/2017: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Notice - Notice to Attorneys Re: Continuance of Hearing

6/2/2017: Notice - Notice to Attorneys Re: Continuance of Hearing

Notice - Notice to Attorneys Re: Continuance of Hearing

6/2/2017: Notice - Notice to Attorneys Re: Continuance of Hearing

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

6/8/2017: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Case Management Statement

7/27/2017: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/28/2017: Case Management Statement

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

8/14/2017: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Stipulation-Order

11/28/2017: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Stipulation-Order

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Order

4/18/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Order

Trial Brief

12/28/2018: Trial Brief

Notice - Notice of Defendants' Joint Final Status Conference Report

1/3/2019: Notice - Notice of Defendants' Joint Final Status Conference Report

Trial Brief

1/4/2019: Trial Brief

Notice - Notice Proposed List of Partition Referees

1/24/2019: Notice - Notice Proposed List of Partition Referees

Order - Order ORDER APPOINTING REFEREE

2/25/2019: Order - Order ORDER APPOINTING REFEREE

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Appointment of Referee; Case Manageme...) of 02/25/2019 and Order Appointing Referee

2/25/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Appointment of Referee; Case Manageme...) of 02/25/2019 and Order Appointing Referee

Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Appointment of Referee; Case Manageme...)

2/25/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Appointment of Referee; Case Manageme...)

53 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/05/2019
  • Hearing12/05/2019 at 08:30 AM in Department U at 6230 Sylmar Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91401; Case Management Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/05/2019
  • Hearing12/05/2019 at 08:30 AM in Department U at 6230 Sylmar Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91401; Order to Show Cause Re: (name extension)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/26/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Michael J. Convey, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/26/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Michael J. Convey, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Appointment of Referee) - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/26/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference; Order to Show Cause Re: Appointme...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/16/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (Status report); Filed by 22136 Clarendon LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/24/2019
  • DocketNotice of Lodging (Partition Referee's Second Interim Report for the Month of May, 2019); Filed by David J Pasternak (Non-Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/04/2019
  • DocketNotice of Lodging (Partition Referee's First Interim Report for the time period through April 30, 2019); Filed by David J Pasternak (Non-Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/25/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Michael J. Convey, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Appointment of Referee) - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/25/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Michael J. Convey, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
69 More Docket Entries
  • 05/17/2017
  • Docketat 00:00 AM in Department U; Unknown Event Type

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/17/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/17/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/15/2017
  • Docketat 00:00 AM in Department U; Unknown Event Type

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/05/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Hilaire Brosio LLC (Defendant); S.L. Brosio LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/23/2017
  • DocketNotice of Lis Pendens; Filed by 22136 Clarendon LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/15/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/15/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by 22136 Clarendon LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/15/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by 22136 Clarendon LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/15/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by 22136 Clarendon LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: LC105415    Hearing Date: April 12, 2021    Dept: U

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - NORTHWEST DISTRICT

22136 CLARENDON LLC,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

WATT ENTERPRISES, LTD., et al.

Defendants.

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

) )

CASE NO: LC105415

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PARTITION REFEREE BLAKE ALSBROOK’S MOTION FOR ORDER TO APPROVE RECEIVER’S FINAL REPORT AND ACCOUNT

Dept. U

8:30 a.m.

April 12, 2021

I. BACKGROUND

a. The Complaint

On March 15, 2017, Plaintiff 22136 Clarendon LLC (“Plaintiff”) commenced this action against various Defendants. Plaintiff filed its operative pleading, the First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), on July 17, 2017 for (1) partition and sale, (2) an accounting, and (3) negligence.

Per the FAC, Plaintiff is an owner of a 25% interest in the real property located at 14106 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, California 91423 (“Property”). Defendants own the remaining interest in the Property, and the parties are tenants in common. The parties disagreed upon future plans pertaining to ownership, management, and disposition of the Property.

b. The Partition Referee and the Instant Matter

On February 25, 2019, the Court appointed David J. Pasternak (“Former Referee”) as its Partition Referee. Upon Former Referee’s passing, the Court appointed Blake C. Alsbrook (“Partition Referee”) on December 5, 2019.

On January 14, 2021, the Court entered an “Order Confirming Sale of Real Property” (“Sale Order”). The Property was sold in February 2021 to Buyer 14106 Ventura LLC (“Buyer”).

On March 4, 2021, Partition Referee filed a motion for order to approve receiver’s final report and account. Specifically, Partition Referee seeks an order: (1) approving and settling Partition Referee’s final report and account, (2) approving and settling Partition Referee’s final compensation and reimbursement of costs and authorizing Partition Referee to pay fees and costs from estate, (3) approving and settling Former Referee’s final compensation and reimbursement of costs, and authorizing Partition Referee to pay fees and costs from estate, (4) directing disbursement of partition estate funds, (5) terminating Partition Referee’s appointment and discharging Partition Referee from any further duties of responsibilities in this action, (6) retaining jurisdiction over any matters or claims which may arise concerning the Partition Referee, (7) authorizing Partition Referee to discard all files and records regarding this matter, and (8) for such other orders as the Court deems proper. (“Partition Referee’s Motion”).

On March 12, 2021, Plaintiff filed a memorandum of points and authorities in support of its response to Partition Referee’s Motion (“Plaintiff’s Response”). Plaintiffs’ Response requests that 75% of Plaintiff’s attorney fees and costs and all Partition Referee’s fees and costs be attributed to Defendants.

On March 18, 2021, Defendants Brady Watt, Wendy (Wende) Watt, and Watt Properties,

LLC (“Watt Defendants”) filed a notice of non-opposition to Partition Referee’s Motion. However, they reserved the right to raise objections to Plaintiff’s Response.

On March 24, 2021, Defendants S.L. Brosio LLC, Hilaire Brosio LLC, Brady Watt, Wende Watt, and Ryan Watt (“Defendants”) filed a joint reply to Plaintiff’s Response. Defendants ask the Court to grant Partition Referee’s Motion and deny Plaintiff’s Response.

On April 1, 2021, Buyer filed a declaration regarding Partition Referee’s Motion (“Buyer’s Declaration”). Buyer requests that the Court order $52,960 to be set aside from the settlement funds to compensate Buyer for the damage seller caused to the Property. Defendants Ryan Watt, Watt Enterprises, Ltd., Hilaire Brosio LLC, and S.L. Brosio LLC and Plaintiff responded to Buyer’s Declaration.

On March 24, 2021, Partition Referee filed a reply. Partition Referee notes it was in receipt of Plaintiffs’ Response, Defendants’ non-opposition/joint reply, and Buyer’s Declaration. Based on these papers, Partition Referee requests the Court to grant Partition Referee’s Motion as to request numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.

c. Only Request Number Four is at Issue (Directing Disbursement)

In his reply, Partition Referee notes that the only dispute amongst the parties is the manner in which the sales proceeds held by the Partition Referee should be distributed.

The Court agrees. For the sake of efficiency, the Court analyzes only the merits of Plaintiff’s Response and Buyer’s Declaration.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The trial court may appoint a receiver, as the agent of the court, to carry a judgment into effect, to dispose of property according to the judgment, or to do such acts respecting property as the court may authorize. (O’Flaherty v. Belgum (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1044, 1092.) The receiver is the agent of the court and not of any party and, as such, is neutral, acts for the benefit of all who may have an interest in receivership property and holds assets for the court rather than the parties. (Id.)

To be relieved of his duties, a receiver must be discharged by the court. (Brockway Co. v. County of Placer (1954) 124 Cal.App.2d 371, 375.) The court makes the order of discharge after approving a final report, accounting, and final disbursements completed by the receiver. (See Macmorris Sales Corp. v. Kozak (1967) 249 Cal.App.2d 998, 1005 [It is of course an indispensable part of the receiver’s duties to file an accounting and submit himself to inquiry and attack by those beneficially interested in the estate].) The receiver must give notice of his/her final report and accounting to all interested parties. (Aviation Brake Systems, Ltd. v. Voorhis (1982) 133 Cal.App.3d 230, 235.)

The decision to approve a receiver’s conduct rests upon the sound discretion of the appointing court to be judicially exercised in view of all the surrounding facts and circumstances and in the interest of fairness, justice and rights of the respective parties. (People v. Riverside University (1973) 35 Cal. App. 3d. 572, 582.) As long as the receiver has acted in good faith, for the benefit of the interested parties, and reasonably under the circumstances, the court should approve his conduct. (Id., at 582, 586). The court also has the authority to determine the compensation and expenses of the receiver, along with related attorney fees, within its sound discretion. (Venza v. Venza (1951) 101 Cal.App.2d 678, 680; Maggiora v. Palo Alto Inn, Inc. (1967) 249 Cal.App.2d 706, 713.)

III. DISCUSSION

a. Plaintiff’s Response

Plaintiff requests the following: (1) 75% of Plaintiff’s attorney fees and costs be allocated

to Defendants, and (2) all Partition Referee’s fees and costs be attributed to Defendants. (Plaintiff’s Response, p. 6.)

Plaintiff makes the above requests on grounds that it had the absolute right to partition as a tenant in common (CCP § 872.710(b)), Defendants resisted this concept (Paley Decl., ¶¶ 8-29; Lieber Decl. ¶¶ 5-18), and permissible costs of partition include compensation and expenses allowed the referee and reasonable attorney’s fees (CCP § 874.010.)

Defendants, including Watt Defendants, object to Plaintiff’s Response on the following grounds: (1) Plaintiff is seeking affirmative relief without complying with the applicable procedural, notice, and service requirements, and (2) Plaintiff is not entitled to recovery of attorney’s fees or a reallocation of the payment of the referee’s fees and costs. (Joint Reply.)

i. Plaintiff’s Attorney Fees

Plaintiff’s request fails procedurally and substantively.

Attorney fees are allowable upon a noticed motion, at the time a statement of decision is rendered, upon application supported by affidavit made concurrently with claim for other costs, or upon entry of default judgment. (CCP § 1033.5(5)(A).) A noticed motion is required where the court is required to determine whether the requested fee is reasonable. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1702; Hardie v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC

A trial court can only award attorney fees and costs based on contract or statute. (Finney v. Gomez (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 527, 545.) CCP § 874.010 states that the court may award reasonable attorney fees incurred or paid by a party for the common benefit and costs. (Id.)

What constitutes “for the common benefit” is to be determined based on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. (Id. at 548.) Typically reviewing courts do not find the fees and costs incurred in adjudicating contentious issues between parties to a partition to be for the common benefit. (Id. at 548-549; See also Stewart v. Abernathy (1944) 62 Cal.App.2d 429, 432-433 [In a partition action, the trial court erred awarding attorney fees and costs to defendant, reasoning his counsel’s services were not for the common benefit since they did not protect any interest but his own, did not contribute any benefit to the other cotenants, or make the proceedings any more advantageous to the plaintiff]; See further Stutz v. Davis (1981) 122 Cal.App.3d 1, 4 [In a partition action, appellate court did not award other defendants’ attorney fees and costs because their counsel did not perform services for the common benefit of all the parties in the partition].)

CCP § 874.040, states the court must apportion the costs and fees of partition among the parties in proportion to their interests or make such other apportionment as may be equitable. (Finney, supra, 111 Cal.App.4th at 545.) So, CCP § 874.040 gives courts only two options in apportioning the costs and fees of a partition action. (Id.) The court may apportion the fees and costs based on the parties’ respective interests in the property, or it may apportion the costs and fees based on some other equitable apportionment. (Id.) Although normally the costs of partition are apportioned in proportion to the interests of the parties, there may be cases in which some other arrangement will be equitable. (Id. at 546.)

Here, Plaintiff requests reasonable attorney fees, but it does not bring a noticed motion.

The Court finds that no contentious issues were adjudicated in this case, other than the parties’ interests and rights in the Property and the need for sale of the Property in order to protect those interests and rights.  The case, therefore, was initiated “for the common benefit,” within the meaning of CCP § 874.010.

Nonetheless, the Court finds that the equitable arrangement, given the evidence submitted by the parties, is an apportionment in which each party is made to bear the burden of its own fees and costs. ((Paley Decl., ¶¶ 8-29; Lieber Decl. ¶¶ 5-18; Watt Decl., ¶¶ 6-8; Wolf Decl., ¶¶ 2-5; Brosio Decl., ¶¶ 3-11; Orien v. Lutz

Plaintiff’s request to shift apportionment of its attorney’s fees is denied.

ii. Partition Referee’s Fees and Costs

Permissible costs of partition include the fee and expenses of the referee. (CCP § 874.010(b).) Generally, the costs of a receivership are paid from the property in the receivership estate. (Andrade v. Andrade (1932) 216 Cal. 108, 110.) However, courts may also impose the receiver costs on a party who sought the appointment of the receiver or “‘apportion them among the parties, depending upon circumstances.’”  (Baldwin v. Baldwin (1947) 82 Cal.App.2d 851, 856.) Courts are vested with broad discretion in determining who is to pay the expenses of a receivership, and the court's determination must be upheld in the absence of a clear showing of an abuse of discretion.  (Id).  

For the same reasons discussed above, Plaintiff’s request to shift apportionment of Partition Referee’s fees and costs is denied.

iii. Plaintiff’s Other Requests

Plaintiff also requests the following: (1) Defendant Serena Brosio’s income tax in the amount of $26,015.63 be borne by her, and (2) Defendant Brady Watt’s collection of $10,050 in security deposits be restored and reallocated to all of the parties. (Plaintiff’s Response, p. 7; Partition Referee’s Motion, ¶¶ 28(g), 30.)

Defendants do not dispute the first request. Defendant Brady Watt disputes the second request. He intends to provide evidence that the request is without merit. (Joint Reply, fn. 6.)

Plaintiff’s first request is denied as moot. Partition Referee’s Motion provides, “The FTB distribution [of $36,015.63] made related to Ms. Brosio’s ownership interest reflected in (g) should be a charge against Ms. Brosio’s interest.” (Partition Referee’s Motion, ¶¶ 28(g), 29.)

Plaintiff’s second request is also denied as moot. In his supplemental declaration, Partition Referee states he spoke to Defendant Brady Watt and Counsel regarding the deposits. (Partition Referee Supp. Decl. ¶ 3.) After that conversation, Partition Referee received a wire from Defendant Brady Watt in the amount of $14,996.48. Partition Referee states, “I am informed and believe that these are the funds that were contained in Mr. Watt’s operating account for the business. These funds more than make up for the credit for security deposits provided to the purchaser of the Property, and I do not believe there is any need for the Court to calculate an offset against Mr. Watt and in favor of the other owners in light of my receipt of these funds.”(Partition Referee Supp. Decl. ¶ 4.)

b. Buyer’s Declaration

Buyer requests that the Court order $52,960 to be set aside from the settlement funds to compensate Buyer for the damage seller caused to the Property. (Buyer’s Decl., ¶ 6.)

The Court denies Buyer’s request. The Court’s Sale Order states that the sale is “made on a where-is/as-is basis; with no warranties or representations…” (Sale Order, ¶ 1.)

IV. CONCLUSION

Partition Referee’s Motion is granted. Plaintiff’s Response is denied.

Buyer’s Request is denied.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases represented by Lawyer LIEBER JEFFREY EDWARD