This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/31/2022 at 03:29:56 (UTC).

AMRAM YAHALOM, ET AL. VS 1ST POINT LENDING, INC., ET AL.

Case Summary

On 08/18/2020 AMRAM YAHALOM, filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against 1ST POINT LENDING, INC ,. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Van Nuys Courthouse East located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are VIRGINIA KEENY, VALERIE SALKIN and BERNIE C. LAFORTEZA. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0913

  • Filing Date:

    08/18/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

VIRGINIA KEENY

VALERIE SALKIN

BERNIE C. LAFORTEZA

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

AMRAM YAHALOM AS TRUSTEE OF THE AMRAM YAHALOM TRUST

YAHALOM AMRAM

Defendants

1ST POINT LENDING INC.

NELSON ALEX

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

DAVIDOVICH NIV

Defendant Attorney

GREENBLATT FREDRIC

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS AGAINST ATTORNEY NIV DAVIDO...)

12/15/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS AGAINST ATTORNEY NIV DAVIDO...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE)

11/10/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER) OF 11/04/2022

11/4/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER) OF 11/04/2022

Request for Judicial Notice

11/4/2022: Request for Judicial Notice

Notice of Related Case

11/4/2022: Notice of Related Case

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO DEEM CASES RELATED OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO STAY THIS ACTION PENDING THE RESOLUTION OF CASE NO. 20VECV00489

11/4/2022: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO DEEM CASES RELATED OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO STAY THIS ACTION PENDING THE RESOLUTION OF CASE NO. 20VECV00489

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 11/04/2022

11/4/2022: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 11/04/2022

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE) OF 10/28/2022

10/28/2022: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE) OF 10/28/2022

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6

10/28/2022: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6

Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 8

10/28/2022: Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 8

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

10/28/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE)

Notice - NOTICE OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING OF NOTICE OF NO OPPOSITION TO MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 2, 3, 4 AND 5

10/27/2022: Notice - NOTICE OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING OF NOTICE OF NO OPPOSITION TO MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 2, 3, 4 AND 5

Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7

10/27/2022: Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7

Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFFS REPLY TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1

10/27/2022: Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFFS REPLY TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1

Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFFS REPLY TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2

10/27/2022: Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFFS REPLY TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2

Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1

10/27/2022: Reply - REPLY OF DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7

10/21/2022: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 7

Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #2 TO ALLOW TESTIMONY REGARDING LOANS BROKERED BY DEFENDANTS FOR NAZARET CHAKRIAN, ET

10/21/2022: Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFENDANTS ALEX NELSON AND 1ST POINT LENDING'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE #2 TO ALLOW TESTIMONY REGARDING LOANS BROKERED BY DEFENDANTS FOR NAZARET CHAKRIAN, ET

79 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/30/2023
  • Hearing01/30/2023 at 09:30 AM in Department W at 6230 Sylmar Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91401; Status Conference

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  • 12/15/2022
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions against attorney Niv Davido...)

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  • 12/15/2022
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Sanctions against attorney Niv Davidovich for failure to file a Notice of Related Case in this department in violation of Cal. Rule of Court 3.30 scheduled for 12/15/2022 at 08:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department W updated: Result Date to 12/15/2022; Result Type to Held

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/10/2022
  • DocketStatus Conference scheduled for 01/30/2023 at 09:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department W

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/10/2022
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Sanctions against attorney Niv Davidovich for failure to file a Notice of Related Case in this department in violation of Cal. Rule of Court 3.30 scheduled for 12/15/2022 at 08:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department W

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  • 11/10/2022
  • DocketMinute Order (Status Conference)

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  • 11/10/2022
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Status Conference scheduled for 11/10/2022 at 08:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department W Held - Continued was rescheduled to 01/30/2023 09:30 AM

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  • 11/04/2022
  • DocketEx Parte Application to Deem Cases Related or, in the Alternative, to Stay This Action Pending the Resolution of Case No. 20VECV00489; Filed by: 1st Point Lending, Inc. (Defendant); As to: Amram Yahalom (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/04/2022
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by: 1st Point Lending, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/04/2022
  • DocketHearing on Ex Parte Application to Deem Cases Related or, in the Alternative, to Stay This Action Pending the Resolution of Case No. 20VECV00489 scheduled for 11/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department U

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
114 More Docket Entries
  • 10/01/2020
  • DocketNotice Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by: Amram Yahalom (Plaintiff); As to: 1st Point Lending, Inc. (Defendant); Alex Nelson (Defendant)

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  • 10/01/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: 1st Point Lending, Inc. (Defendant); Alex Nelson (Defendant); As to: Amram Yahalom (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by: Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketCase Management Conference scheduled for 02/16/2021 at 08:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department U

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Amram Yahalom (Plaintiff)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketCase Management Conference scheduled for 04/14/2021 at 08:30 AM in Van Nuys Courthouse East at Department U

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Theresa M. Traber in Department U Van Nuys Courthouse East

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  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Amram Yahalom (Plaintiff); Amram Yahalom, as Trustee of The Amram Yahalom Trust Dated August 2, 2000 (Plaintiff); As to: 1st Point Lending, Inc. (Defendant); Alex Nelson (Defendant)

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  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Amram Yahalom (Plaintiff); As to: 1st Point Lending, Inc. (Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less

Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: *******0913 Hearing Date: November 3, 2021 Dept: U

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - NORTHWEST DISTRICT

AMRAM YAHALOM, an individual; AMRAM YAHALOM, as Trustee of THE AMRAM YAHALOM TRUST DATED AUGUST 2, 2000,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

1st POINT LENDING, INC., a California corporation; ALEX NELSON, an individual; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive,

Defendants.

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CASE NO: *******0913

REVISED [TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING FURTHER RESPONSES FROM DEFENDANT 1st POINT LENDING, INC. TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

Dept. U

8:30 a.m.

November 3, 2021

I. BACKGROUND

This action alleges a series of fraudulent transactions perpetrated on plaintiff Amram Yahalom as an individual and as Trustee of the Amram Yahalom Trust Dated August 2, 2000 by defendants 1st Point Lending, Inc. (1st Point), Alex Nelson, and Does 1 through 100. On August 18, 2020, plaintiff filed his complaint against defendants, alleging: (1) breach of fiduciary duty; (2) elder financial abuse; and (3) violations of Business and Professions Code ; 17200, et seq.

On January 28, 2021, plaintiff served Special Interrogatories, Set One (SROGS) on 1st Point. On April 21, 2021, 1st Point served responses on plaintiff, and on June 11, 1st Point served supplemental responses on plaintiff.

On July 28, 2021, plaintiff filed a motion for order compelling further responses to SROGS from 1st Point.

On October 21, 2021, 1st Point filed opposition to plaintiff’s motion, as well as its request for judicial notice (RJN).

On October 27, 2021, plaintiff filed reply, as well as its own RJN.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Under Code of Civil Procedure[1] ; 2030.300(a), a motion to compel further responses to form or specially prepared interrogatories may be brought if the responses contain: (1) answers that are evasive or incomplete; (2) an unwarranted or insufficiently specific exercise of an option to produce documents in lieu of a substantive response; or (3) unmerited or overly generalized objections. In such a case, the party to whom interrogatories were directed “waives any right to … any objection to the interrogatories, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product.” (; 2030.290(a).)

Under ; 2030.300(b—c), the motion must be made within 45 days of the service of the verified response, and the motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration and a separate statement or concise outline of the discovery request and each response in dispute.

And under ; 2030.300(d), “The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with [; 2023.010]) against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a further response to interrogatories, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”

III. REQUESTS FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

a. 1st Point’s RJN

With its opposition to plaintiff’s motion, 1st Point filed RJN, asking that the Court take judicial notice of the following items pursuant to Evidence Code ; 452, et seq.:

1. Plaintiff’s Complaint. (Attached as Exhibit 1.)

2. 1st Point’s Informal Discovery Conference Statement. (Attached as Exhibit 2.)

3. Declaration of Darya Malomuzh. (Attached as Exhibit 3.)

4. National Association Realtors Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. (Attached as Exhibit 4.)

1st Point’s request for RJN is granted.

b. Plaintiff’s RJN

With his reply to 1st Point’s opposition to his motion, plaintiff also filed RJN, asking that the Court take judicial notice of the following items pursuant to Evidence Code ;; 452 and 453:

1. Bankruptcy Petition of Nazaret Chakrian. (Attached as Exhibit 1.)

2. Chakrian Bankruptcy Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse. (Attached as Exhibit 2.)

3. Chakrian Bankruptcy Statement of Financial Affairs. (Attached as Exhibit 3.)

4. Bankruptcy Summary of Assets and Liabilities. (Attached as Exhibit 4.)

Plaintiff’s request for RJN is granted.

IV. DISCUSSION

a. Plaintiff moves to compel further responses to SROGS Nos. 8—11 on grounds that 1st Point’s objections thereto fail to state a basis and authority in law.

Plaintiff moves for an order compelling 1st Point’s further responses to SROGS on the grounds that the responses served on plaintiff on April 21, 2021, and June 12, 2021, contain objections that are without merit, are too general, and warrant further responses pursuant to ; 2030.300, et seq. (Motion, p. 9, ¶ 1.)

Each of these SROGS for which plaintiff seeks an order compelling 1st Point’s further responses requests information regarding the quantity of mortgage loans taken out by non-party Nazaret Chakrian (Chakrian) in his different capacities and for which 1st Point acted as the loan broker. (Separate Statement (SS), SROGS Nos. 8—11.)

1st Point’s objections to SROGS state that each of them seeks “confidential information of a borrower which [1st Point] cannot disclose.” (SS, Responses to SROGS Nos. 8—11.) 1st Point further explains that such disclosure of information as is sought here by plaintiff is not permitted without the client’s permissions or a court order, but 1st Point does not cite legal authority for this. (Ibid.) 1st Point further explains that such disclosure absent a release would expose it to liability. (Ibid.) 1st Point thereupon invites plaintiff to obtain such a release from Chakrian, upon which it states it would further respond to plaintiff’s SROGS. (Ibid.)

Plaintiff nonetheless maintains his entitlement to and motion for order compelling 1st Point’s further responses to SROGS, asserting that “1st Point Lending, Inc.’s supplemental objection is too general, and are without merit. The objection fails to set forth any statute, privilege, case law, regulation, act, or law of any kind in support of the assertion that 1st Point Lending cannot respond to this interrogatory.” (SS, Statements of Reasons Compelling Further Responses, Nos. 8—11.)

Plaintiff goes on to explain that he found on his own effort authority in consumer privacy laws which limits the type of disclosure sought regarding just consumer loans. (SS, p. 3, ¶ 1 (citing Financial Code ; 4050, et seq.).) Plaintiff asserts this is not a limitation that applies here because, “as alleged in the Complaint,” Chakrian was a commercial rather than consumer borrower from plaintiff. (Id. at p. 3, ¶ 2.)

Having restated plaintiff’s motion and his stated grounds therefor, the Court now turns to the issue of plaintiff’s untimeliness in filing the motion.

b. Plaintiff’s motion for order compelling further responses to SROGS is denied for procedural noncompliance.

Here, plaintiff’s motion is procedurally noncompliant for untimeliness, and this fact removes it from the Court’s jurisdiction. The Court being therefore powerless to grant plaintiff’s motion, it declines to issue a ruling on the merits and instead rules as follows.

“Unless notice of this motion is given within 45 days of the service of the verified response, or any supplemental verified response, or on or before any specific later date to which the propounding party and the responding party have agreed in writing, the propounding party waives any right to compel a further response to the interrogatories.” (; 2030.300(c).) This time requirement should be strictly adhered to, as the court lacks jurisdiction to grant a motion to compel further responses to SROGS which was filed more than 45 days after service of responses to same. (See Vidal Sassoon, Inc. v. Superior Court (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 681, 683 (Vidal Sassoon) (“This statute [; 2030.300(c)] is mandatory and the court may not entertain a belated motion to compel.”).)

Here, 1st Point served responses to SROGS on plaintiff on April 21, 2021. 1st Point then served supplemental responses to SROGS on plaintiff on June 11, 2021. But plaintiff filed his motion to compel further responses from 1st Point on July 28, 2021, which is 47 days after 1st Point served supplemental responses to SROGS on plaintiff. As this is beyond the 45 days allowed by statute, and as the statute requires strict adherence to the time requirement, the Court lacks authority to order further responses to SROGS from 1st Point. (See Vidal Sassoon, supra, 147 Cal.App.3d at p. 683.)

Thus, the Court has no discretion but to deny plaintiff’s motion as untimely filed. Accordingly, plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also denied.

c. 1st Point’s opposition to the motion is therefore moot, and its request for monetary sanctions is denied for stating no authority therefor.

In its opposition to plaintiff’s motion, 1st Point convincingly argues that disclosure of the information being sought is prohibited by law absent, for example, obtaining a release from the party that stands to be affected thereby. (See, e.g., Opposition, p. 11, ¶ 4 (citing federal law which prohibits disclosure); see also, e.g., Opposition, p. 12, ¶ 4 (citing California law which further prohibits disclosure).) But 1st Point also alleges that in filing the instant motion to compel, plaintiff has somehow gone beyond his rights to seek discovery, calling plaintiff’s motion “meritless” and “unnecessary and improper.” (Opposition, p. 4, ¶ 3.)

As an initial point, the Court has not seen evidence (besides being untimely filed) that plaintiff’s motion was meritless, unnecessary, or improper. Plaintiff’s motion stated grounds sufficient to warrant the Court’s consideration of his motion to compel, i.e., that 1st Point had improperly asserted objections without stating their basis in law.

Upon receiving plaintiff’s motion, 1st Point has filed its opposition, which states with appropriate force and authority a collection of laws which provide that 1st Point is prohibited from disclosing the further responses sought by plaintiff’s motion. Thus 1st Point has convincingly asserted a legal defense to plaintiff\'s grounds for his motion, but this does not automatically render plaintiff\'s motion "unnecessary and improper," "meritless," etc. To the contrary, plaintiff’s motion was effectively merited by defendant’s failure to state legal authority for its objections to SROGS, and, despite convincingly stating its case in opposition, 1st Point has not been able to show otherwise to be the case regarding its initial objections.

More significant to 1st Point’s request for monetary sanctions, however, is that it cites no statutory or other authority for such an award. It does not, for example, assert that plaintiff\'s motion warrants sanctions under ;; 128.5(a), (b)(2), which provide that the court may order sanctions against a party who files a motion which is unnecessary or meritless if done so in an effort to delay proceedings. Nor does 1st Point assert its right to sanctions under ; 2023.010, et seq., which provides that the Court may impose sanctions for a party "[p]ersisting over objection and without substantial justification, in an attempt to obtain information or materials that are outside the scope of permissible discovery."

Either of these grounds for monetary sanctions would require at least some other allegation regarding plaintiff’s conduct in pursuing his motion than what 1st Point has stated as grounds for its request for sanctions in its opposition, page 4, paragraph 3. ;; 128.5(a), (b)(2) would require a showing that plaintiff intended to delay proceedings by filing his motion to compel further before the Court would be justified to award such sanctions, and ; 2023.010, et seq. would require more of a showing that the information plaintiff requests is outside the scope of permissible discovery.

On this last point regarding whether 1st Point has shown that plaintiff breached the scope of permissible discovery in bringing his motion to compel further responses to SROGS, the Court notes the record is not so clearly stacked against plaintiff as 1st Point seems to believe it is, at least with regard to the impermissibility of plaintiff’s motion. 1st Point has cited legal authority which requires its own refusal to disclose the relevant information as a banking institution. (See, e.g., Opposition, p. 7, ¶ 1 (stating limitations for “financial institutions”); see also, e.g., Opposition, p. 8, ¶ 6 (stating prohibitions for financial institutions). But none of the authorities cited in 1st Point’s opposition impose an obligation or prohibition on individuals and non-banking institutions with regard to what they may seek in litigation. Stated another way, the law makes a clear case that 1st Point is prohibited from disclosure; the case is not so clear that plaintiff is prohibited from advocating for such disclosure.

Of course, there are other grounds under which 1st Point might have also sought monetary sanctions, the important point being not to identify each of them but to show that 1st Point stated none of them as authority for its request for sanctions in opposition to plaintiff’s motion. 1st Point merely requested sanctions, for which the Court has found no applicable basis after a thorough review of the record and relevant law.

V. CONCLUSION

Plaintiff’s motion for order compelling further responses from defendant 1st Point to special interrogatories is DENIED.

Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions against 1st Point is DENIED.

Defendant 1st Point’s request for monetary sanctions against plaintiff is DENIED.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

DATED: November 3, 2021

_____________________

Hon. Bernie C. LaForteza

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] Hereafter, undesignated statutory references are to the Code of Civil Procedure.

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - NORTHWEST DISTRICT

AMRAM YAHALOM, an individual; AMRAM YAHALOM, as Trustee of THE AMRAM YAHALOM TRUST DATED AUGUST 2, 2000,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

1st POINT LENDING, INC., a California corporation; ALEX NELSON, an individual; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive,

Defendants.

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CASE NO: *******0913

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING FURTHER RESPONSES FROM DEFENDANT 1st POINT LENDING, INC. TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

Dept. U

8:30 a.m.

November 3, 2021

I. BACKGROUND

This action alleges a series of fraudulent transactions perpetrated on plaintiff Amram Yahalom as an individual and as Trustee of the Amram Yahalom Trust Dated August 2, 2000 by defendants 1st Point Lending, Inc. (1st Point), Alex Nelson, and Does 1 through 100. On August 18, 2020, plaintiff filed his complaint against defendants, alleging: (1) breach of fiduciary duty; (2) elder financial abuse; and (3) violations of Business and Professions Code ; 17200, et seq.

On January 28, 2021, plaintiff served Special Interrogatories, Set One (SROGS) on 1st Point. On April 21, 2021, 1st Point served responses on plaintiff, and on June 11, 1st Point served supplemental responses on plaintiff.

On July 28, 2021, plaintiff filed a motion for order compelling further responses to SROGS from 1st Point. As of October 28, 2021, plaintiff’s motion remains unopposed.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Under Code of Civil Procedure ; 2030.300(a), a motion to compel further responses to form or specially prepared interrogatories may be brought if the responses contain: (1) answers that are evasive or incomplete; (2) an unwarranted or insufficiently specific exercise of an option to produce documents in lieu of a substantive response; or (3) unmerited or overly generalized objections. In such a case, the party to whom interrogatories were directed “waives any right to … any objection to the interrogatories, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2030.290 (a).)

The motion must be made within 45 days of the service of the verified response, and the motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration and a separate statement or concise outline of the discovery request and each response in dispute. (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2030.300(b—c).)

Under Code of Civil Procedure ; 2030.300(d), “The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a further response to interrogatories, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”

III. DISCUSSION

Here, plaintiff seeks a court order compelling 1st Point’s further response to SROGS on the grounds that the responses served on plaintiff on April 21, 2021, and June 12, 2021, contain objections that are without merit, are too general, and warrant further response pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure ; 2030.300, et seq. (Motion, p. 9, ¶ 1.) However, plaintiff’s motion is fatally untimely, and the Court is powerless to grant it.

“Unless notice of this motion is given within 45 days of the service of the verified response, or any supplemental verified response, or on or before any specific later date to which the propounding party and the responding party have agreed in writing, the propounding party waives any right to compel a further response to the interrogatories.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2030.300(c).) This time requirement should be strictly adhered to, as the court lacks jurisdiction to grant a motion to compel further responses to SROGS which was filed more than 45 days after service of responses to same. (See Vidal Sassoon, Inc. v. Superior Court (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 681, 683 (Vidal Sassoon) (“This statute [Code Civ. Proc. ; 2030.300(c)] is mandatory and the court may not entertain a belated motion to compel.”).)

Here, 1st Point served responses to SROGS on plaintiff on April 21, 2021. 1st Point then served supplemental responses to SROGS on plaintiff on June 11, 2021. But plaintiff filed his motion to compel further responses from 1st Point on July 28, 2021, which is 47 days after 1st Point served supplemental responses to SROGS on plaintiff. As this is beyond the 45 days allowed by statute, and as the statute requires strict adherence to the time requirement, the Court lacks authority to order further responses to SROGS from 1st Point. (See Vidal Sassoon, supra, 147 Cal.App.3d at p. 683.)

Thus, the Court has no discretion but to deny plaintiff’s motion as untimely filed. Accordingly, plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also denied.

IV. CONCLUSION

Plaintiff’s motion for order compelling further responses from defendant 1st Point to special interrogatories is DENIED.

Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions against 1st Point is DENIED.

The Court shall give notice of this ruling.

DATED: November 3, 2021

_____________________

Hon. Bernie C. LaForteza

Judge of the Superior Court

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Case Number: *******0913    Hearing Date: April 14, 2021    Dept: U

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - NORTHWEST DISTRICT

AMRAM YAHALOM, an individual; AMRAM YAHALOM, as Trustee of THE AMRAM YAHALOM TRUST DATED AUGUST 2, 2000,

Plaintiffs,

vs.

1st POINT LENDING, INC., a California corporation; ALEX NELSON, an Individual; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive

Defendants.

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CASE NO: *******0913

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANT ALEX NELSON’S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES FROM PLAINTIFF AMRAM YAHALOM INDIVIDUALLY TO REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION REGARDING GENUINENESS OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE NOS. 1-5

Dept. U

8:30 a.m.

April 14, 2021

I. BACKGROUND

This is a breach of fiduciary duty and financial elder abuse action.

On August 18, 2020, Plaintiffs Amram Yahalom, an individual, Amram Yahalom, as Trustee of The Amram Yahalom Trust Dated August 2, 2000 filed their complaint against Defendants 1st Point Lending, Inc., Alex Nelson, and Does 1-100 for: (1) breach of fiduciary duty; (2) elder financial abuse; and (3) violation of business and professions code section 17200 et seq.

Defendant Alex Nelson (“Defendant”) now moves to compel further responses from Plaintiff Amram Yahalom individually (“Plaintiff”) to Requests for Admission Regarding Genuineness of Documents, Set One (“RFA”) Nos. 1-5. Defendant also seeks $4,110.00 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff and his counsel jointly and severally.

Defendant opposes and seeks $5,810.00 in monetary sanctions against Defendant and his counsel jointly and severally.

On April 8, 2021, the Court conducted an informal discovery conference but the discovery dispute was not resolved.

As of April 8, 2021, Defendant did not file a reply. A reply was due on April 7, 2021, i.e., five court days before the scheduled hearing date.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Failure to timely respond to requests for admissions does not result in automatic admissions. Rather, the propounder of the requests for admissions must “move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction” under ; 2023.010 et seq. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2033.280, subd. (b).)

Where responses to requests for admissions have been timely served but are deemed deficient by the requesting party (e.g., because of objections or evasive responses), that party may move for an order compelling a further response. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2033.290, subd. (a).)

III. DISCUSSION

a. Merits

Defendant seeks further responses to RFA Nos. 1-5.

The Court examines the subject requests. The requests seek admission of genuineness of certain documents, namely:

(1) Perjury Letter;

(2) Disclosure Notices;

(3) Borrower Certification – Business Purposes of Investment Property;

(4) 1-4 Family Rider (Assignment of Rent); and

(5) Occupancy and Financial Status Affidavit.

These documents all related to Plaintiff’s involvement with a loan on investment property through 1st Point Lending, Inc., where Defendant was the licensed broker.

Plaintiff responded in the same way to each request:

After making a reasonable inquiry to obtain information concerning the matter stated in the request, the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable responding party to admit or deny this request.

Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s responses are evasive, incomplete, and make a mockery of the discovery process.

The Court disagrees.

First, the Court notes that Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff fails to acknowledge his signature on some of the documents is misplaced. The requests do not ask Plaintiff whether the documents contain his signature. The requests simply ask Plaintiff to admit that “[t]he original of each of the following documents, copies of which are attached, is genuine.” (Greenblatt Decl. Ex. 1.)

More problematically for Defendant, Plaintiff’s responses are consistent with the Discovery Act. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2033.220, subd. (c) [“If a responding party gives lack of information or knowledge as a reason for a failure to admit all or part of a request for admission, that party shall state in the answer that a reasonable inquiry concerning the matter in the particular request has been made, and that the information known or readily obtainable is insufficient to enable that party to admit the matter.”].) Defendant is correct that the Discovery Act requires Plaintiff to undertake a good faith obligation to investigate sources reasonably available to him when formulating his responses. However, Plaintiff’s response is consistent with his position throughout this action that he could not read the documents presented to him in a medically fragile state, some of which Defendant claims that he signed and are the subject of the requests. Plaintiff cannot go back in time to re-witness his review of the documents now in a different, composed and lucid state in such a way to respond to the requests as desired by Defendant.

Simply put, Defendant’s unhappiness with how Plaintiff responded is not a grounds for a further response when Plaintiff responded to the best of his ability based on his lack of awareness of the documents when originally presented to him. Defendant’s unhappiness goes to the heart of Plaintiff’s theory of the case, and Plaintiff is not compelled to abdicate his theory just because Defendant has a competing theory even if it is ultimately well-founded. The fact that the documents are presented to Plaintiff now in a different, more composed state does not mean that Plaintiff is in a position to admit or deny whether they are the documents he reviewed and are genuine. A further “reasonable inquiry” will not change his underlying position.

Accordingly, the Court denies Defendant’s motion.

b. Monetary sanctions

The Court denies Defendant’s request for monetary sanctions because Defendant did not prevail on the merits.

The Court grants Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions because Defendant did not act with substantial justification in making this motion considering Plaintiff’s discovery responses informed Defendant why Plaintiff responded in this way and no new information would be able to change his response. However, the Court reduces the amount of monetary sanctions because the stated amount of time is excessive, e.g., 13.6 hours to prepare the opposition and 3 hours to review the reply, prepare for the hearing, and appearance of the same.

Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions against Defendant and his counsel is GRANTED in the reduced amount of $2,100.00 (6 hours at $350 per hour). Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 20 days.

IV. CONCLUSION

The Court denies Defendant’s motions in part.

The Court denies Defendant’s request for monetary sanctions.

The Court grants Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions in the reduced amount of $2,100.00.



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