This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/15/2019 at 11:11:32 (UTC).

DONE VENTURES LLC VS JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/30/2017 DONE VENTURES LLC filed a Contract - Business lawsuit against JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MARK V. MOONEY. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4357

  • Filing Date:

    08/30/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MARK V. MOONEY

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

DONE! VENTURES LLC

COASTAL LAUNDROMAT INC.

Defendants

JAMGOTCHIAN JERRY

EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES LP

THETA HOLDINGS IV INC.

THETA HOLDING IV INC.

EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

HIX CLAYTON J

KRISTENSEN JOHN PETER ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

ANDRADE SEAN ADRIAN ESQ.

BATES ANDRE YANNICK ESQ.

 

Court Documents

PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO DEMURRER OF JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN AND EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P. TO THE COMPLAINT

1/12/2018: PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO DEMURRER OF JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN AND EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P. TO THE COMPLAINT

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES & INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (1) NEGLIGENT INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC RELATIONS; ETC

1/19/2018: FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES & INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (1) NEGLIGENT INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC RELATIONS; ETC

NOTICE OF RELATED CASES

1/24/2018: NOTICE OF RELATED CASES

Minute Order

1/26/2018: Minute Order

DEFENDANTS' JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN, EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P. AND THETA HOLDING IV INC.'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

2/20/2018: DEFENDANTS' JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN, EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P. AND THETA HOLDING IV INC.'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Minute Order

3/20/2018: Minute Order

Unknown

3/26/2018: Unknown

NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

3/26/2018: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDENTS' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

3/28/2018: PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDENTS' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDENTS' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

3/28/2018: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDENTS' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

DEFENDANTS' JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN, EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P. AND THETA HOLDING IV INC.'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

4/4/2018: DEFENDANTS' JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN, EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P. AND THETA HOLDING IV INC.'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF DONE! VENTURES, LLC'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

4/5/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

Unknown

4/5/2018: Unknown

ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

4/11/2018: ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

Minute Order

4/11/2018: Minute Order

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED UPON DEFENDANT EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P.; DECLARATION OF JOHN P. KRISTENSEN

4/13/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED UPON DEFENDANT EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P.; DECLARATION OF JOHN P. KRISTENSEN

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED UPON DEFENDANT JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN; DECLARATION OF JOHN P. KRISTENSEN

4/13/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED UPON DEFENDANT JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN; DECLARATION OF JOHN P. KRISTENSEN

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED UPON DEFENDANT EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P.; DECLARATION OF JOHN P. KRISTENSE

4/13/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED UPON DEFENDANT EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES L.P.; DECLARATION OF JOHN P. KRISTENSE

100 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketMotion to Quash; Filed by Jerry Jamgotchian (Defendant); EL SEGUNDO PLAZA ASSOCIATES LP (Defendant); Theta Holding IV, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketMotion to Quash (Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records to Preferred Bank); Filed by Jerry Jamgotchian (Defendant); Theta Holding IV, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/12/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 68, Mark V. Mooney, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 06/12/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by DONE! VENTURES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 68, Mark V. Mooney, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for a Trial Continuance) - Held

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  • 05/31/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for a Trial Continuance)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/31/2019
  • DocketEx Parte Application (Trial Continuance); Filed by DONE! VENTURES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/09/2019
  • DocketStipulation and Order (Protective Regarding Confidentiality and Other Materials); Filed by DONE! VENTURES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/22/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 68, Mark V. Mooney, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Compliance) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/19/2019
  • DocketBrief (Defendants' Compendium of Evidence in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication; Declaration of Andre Y. Bates); Filed by Jerry Jamgotchian (Defendant); El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P. (Defendant)

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200 More Docket Entries
  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS, COMPLAINT & ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS ON DEFENDANT JERRY JAMGOTCHIAN

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  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketNotice; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 09/21/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 09/21/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 09/21/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by DONE! VENTURES, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/08/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/08/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 08/30/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by DONE! VENTURES, LLC (Plaintiff); Coastal Laundromat Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/30/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 08/30/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES & INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (1) NEGLIGENT INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC RELATIONS; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****4357 Hearing Date: November 9, 2022 Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge Kevin C. Brazile

Department 20


Hearing Date: November 9, 2022

Case Name: DONE! Ventures, LLC v. Jamgotchian, et al.

Case No.: ****4357

Matter: Motion to Compel Deposition

Moving Party: Plaintiff DONE! Ventures, LLC

Responding Party: (1) Defendants El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV,

Inc.

(2) Non-party John Sadd

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motion to Compel is denied.

Moving party to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly

encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff DONE! Ventures, LLC filed the Second Amended Complaint against Defendants Jerry Jamgotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV, Inc. for (1) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage and (2) violation of the UCL. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants interfered with Plaintiff’s attempt to purchase a laundromat by unreasonably denying an assignment of their lease and then forcing the sale to themselves.

Plaintiff seeks to compel the deposition of non-party John Sadd and for Sadd to produce documents. Plaintiff provides, “Mr. Sadd is the accountant for defendants Jerry Jamgotchian, L.P. (the other defendants, El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P. and Theta Holdings IV, Inc. are controlled small holdings of defendant Jerry Jamgotchian). This Court has already ruled that the income and expenses of the laundromat at issue are discoverable. Plaintiff is not seeking the final tax returns, but all other documents sent to or from Mr. Sadd related to this case.”

Defendants El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV, Inc. oppose the Motion on a number of grounds. Sadd has filed a separate opposition making many of the same arguments.

Defendants first argue that Defendant Jerry Jamgotchian has not been served and any mail service on October 18, 2022, would make the Motion late. However, the proof of service for the Motion indicates email service. Further, Jamgotchian filed a declaration in support of the Opposition. Finally, the Court has also reviewed Jamgotchian’s motion to quash the instant subpoena, which is set for March 2023. This motion to quash makes arguments virtually identical to those made in the Oppositions herein.

Defendants next argue the subject subpoena is virtually identical to a subpoena Plaintiff issued in 2021—a subpoena as to which Plaintiff failed to pursue a motion to compel. Therefore, Defendants contend the instant Motion has been waived.

The Court respectfully disagrees. This is because, as acknowledged by Defendants, the subject subpoena apparently contains some limiting language narrowing its scope. That is, the subject subpoena is a new subpoena partly reflecting the Court’s prior orders.

Defendants also argue that Sadd is only involved in tax return preparations such that the subpoena seeks only privileged or irrelevant information. However, Sadd can testify under oath as to the extent of his involvement with Defendants.

Defendants further argue that “Plaintiff has not limited its 2022 Subpoena to financial documents relating only to ‘Coast Laundry’ (the business at issue in this litigation, purchased by Defendant Theta Holding IV, Inc. in March of 2017). Therefore, the 2022 subpoena is nothing more than a second attempt by Plaintiff to go on a last-minute, eve-of-trial ‘fishing expedition’ . . . .”

The subpoena requests all documents, including income documents and communications, involving “Jerry Jamgotchian/Patricia Jamgotchian/El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P./Theta Holding IV, Inc.” and “El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P ./Theta Holding IV, Inc., Theta Holding III, Inc., El Segundo Plaza I, Inc. and/or El Segundo Plaza II, Inc.” The Defendants in this lawsuit are Defendants Jerry Jamgotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV, Inc.

Plaintiff has not justified why documents as to the aforementioned non-parties should be produced. There are privacy rights for financial documents—this also applies to a certain extent to corporate entities.

The Court would narrow the document requests to pertain only to the parties in this lawsuit. Further, documents relating to third-party tenants should not seemingly be produced because the documents at issue should relate to the laundry business at issue, Coast Laundry.

Defendants’ motion to quash indicates that Plaintiff’s notice to consumer apparently did not give notice to Defendants El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P. and Theta Holding IV, Inc. Plaintiff’s Motion and reply do not substantively address this notice of consumer issue, which was also raised by Sadd.

Because the notice to consumer was apparently invalid, the subpoena cannot be enforced. Therefore, the Motion to Compel is denied.

Moving party to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Case Number: ****4357 Hearing Date: September 16, 2022 Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge Kevin C. Brazile

Department 20


Hearing Date: September 16, 2022

Case Name: DONE! Ventures, LLC v. Jamgotchian, et al.

Case No.: ****4357

Matter: Motion to Compel

Moving Party: Plaintiff Coastal Laundromat, Inc.

Responding Party: Defendant Theta Holding IV, Inc.

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motion to Compel is denied.

Moving party to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly

encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Plaintiff Coastal Laundromat, Inc. seeks to compel Defendant Theta Holding IV, Inc. to provide responses to its requests for production, set three. Plaintiff contends that Defendant failed to provide any responses.

In its opposition to an ex parte application, Defendant contends it never received the subject discovery.

As it is not apparent that Defendant received the subject discovery, the Motion to Compel is denied. Defendant should provide responses within thirty days.

Moving party to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Case Number: ****4357 Hearing Date: July 7, 2022 Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge Kevin C. Brazile

Department 20

Hearing Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022

Case Name: Done! Ventures, LLC, et al. v. Jamgotchian, et al.

Case No.: ****4357

Motion: Motion for Sanctions

Moving Party: Plaintiff Done! Ventures, LLC

Responding Party: Defendant Jerry Jamgotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV, Inc.

Notice: OK

Ruling: The Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The motion is GRANTED as to a monetary sanction, and DENIED as to an evidentiary sanction.

Moving party to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Done! Ventures, LLC (Done) filed a complaint on August 30, 2017, against Defendants Jerry Jamgotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV, Inc. A second amended complaint was filed on May 8, 2018, asserting causes of action for (1) negligent interference with prospective economic relations and (2) violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law. Plaintiff sought to purchase a laundromat from a third-party, Coastal Laundromat, Inc. that was located in a property leased to it by Defendant Jamgotchian. Plaintiff’s claims arise from Defendant Jamgotchian’s refusal to allow the lease to be assigned from Coastal Laundromat, Inc. to Plaintiff, thereby interfering with the sale of the laundromat business.

Plaintiff’s motion arises from this Court’s October 1, 2020, Order compelling Defendant Jamgotchian to provide further responses to Plaintiff’s Requests for Production. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Jamgotchian has failed to comply with the Order and seeks monetary and evidentiary sanctions.

DISCUSSION

Applicable Law

Where a party willfully disobeys a discovery order, courts have discretion to impose terminating, issue, evidence, or monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., 2023.010, subd. (g), 2025.450, subd. (h); R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 495.) An evidence sanction prohibits a party that misused the discovery process from introducing evidence on certain designated matters into evidence. (Code Civ. Proc., 2023.030, subd. (c).) Ultimate discovery sanctions are justified where there is a willful discovery order violation, a history of abuse, and evidence showing that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with discovery rules. (Van Sickle v. Gilbert (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, 1516.) “[A] penalty as severe as dismissal or default is not authorized where noncompliance with discovery is caused by an inability to comply rather than willfulness or bad faith.” (Brown v. Sup. Ct. (1986) 180 Cal.App.3d 701, 707.)

Application to Facts

The Court’s October 1, 2020, Order that is the subject of Plaintiff’s motion ordered Defendant Jamgotchian to serve further responses to Requests for Production, Set Two, Nos. 34 through 40. (Minute Order, October 1, 2020.) Requests 34, 35, 36, and 37 seek documents concerning “the Coastal Laundry’s sale” to Bruce Nye— Plaintiff’s principal —(RFP 34), Nye’s proposed sale of Coastal Laundry to Plaintiff (RFP 35), Jamgotchian’s purchase of Coastal Laundry from Nye (RFP 36), and any proposed sales or marketing by Jamgotchian of Coastal Laundry after March 2017 (RFP 37). Requests 38, 39, and 40 concern Coastal Laundry’s income and expenses after March 2017; Plaintiff seeks both documentary evidence and “native format data” from Quickbooks and other programs.

Plaintiff claims that Defendant Jamgotchian’s production in response to the Court’s order is deficient. Plaintiff’s counsel avers that Defendant Jamgotchian produced 12 pages of documents on November 10, 2020. (Decl. Kristensen, 4; Exh. 3.) Defendant Jamgotchian then produced more documents after Plaintiff filed a previous motion for sanctions, which was subsequently taken off calendar. (Decl. Kristensen, 5.) Plaintiff’s counsel avers that the following documents have still not been produced: (1) bank statements showing income and expenses of Coast Laundry since March 2007, (2) records from the accountant showing income and expenses of Coast Laundry since March 2007, (3) daily deposits of credit card earnings since March 2007, (4) records for credit cards used for Coast Laundry, (5) the loan documents and invoices from either the Preferred Bank or Eastern Funding Loans, (6) Documents related to the payroll, and (7) data from accounting software. (Kristensen Decl., 5.)

Defendant Jamgotchian’s position is that it complied with the Court’s Order. Defendant produced responsive documents in its November 5, 2020, response and a subsequent response (when this subsequent response was made is not provided by either party). Additionally, on June 21, 2022, after the instant motion was filed, Defendant again produced documents that consisted of bank statements, as required by the Court’s Order. (Declaration of Jamgotchian, 6.) As to various other categories of documents that were ordered to be produced in the Court’s Order, Defendant Jamgotchian avers that he does not have such documents in his possession. (Decl. Jamgotchian, 7-10.)

Here, Defendant has engaged in misuse of the discovery process for disobeying a court order to provide discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., 2023.010, subd. (g).) This is made certain by the fact that Defendant produced responsive documents on June 21, 2022, after Plaintiff filed the instant motion on June 15, 2022. The Court’s October 1, 2022, Order required Defendant to serve responses within 25 days of the issuance of the Order. (Minute Order, October 1, 2020.)

Plaintiff requests sanctions in the form of its costs for bringing the instant motion as well as evidentiary sanctions. The Court will award sanctions for Plaintiff’s costs in bringing the instant motion, as Defendant effectively concedes that it necessitated the filing of this motion by producing responsive documents after the motion was filed. As for evidentiary sanctions, the Court declines to impose an evidentiary sanction as Defendant now avers that all responsive documents have been produced. (Declaration of Jamgotchian, 4-15.) Sanctions should be suitable and necessary to enable the party seeking discovery to obtain the objects of the discovery it seeks, but the court may not impose sanctions which are designed not to accomplish the objects of discovery but to impose punishment. (Vallbona v. Springer (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 1525, 1545.) Here, an evidentiary sanction would serve no purpose other than an improper punitive purpose because Defendant avers that he has produced all documents responsive to Plaintiff’s discovery requests that he was ordered to produce pursuant to the Court’s October 1, 2020, Order.

Sanctions

The Court awards sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.020, subdivision (a), which permits the Court to award sanctions against a party engaging in misuse of the discovery process in favor of a party who incurred attorney’s fees as a result of that misconduct. (Code Civ. Proc., 2023.020, subd. (a).) Here, Defendant Jamgotchian necessitated the filing of the instant motion because he had not fully complied with the Court’s October 1, 2020, Order until after Plaintiff filed the instant motion.

The Court finds that two hours of attorney time is a reasonable amount of time expended to bring the instant motion and that an hourly rate of $400 is a reasonable rate, resulting in a total sanction of $800. Plaintiff requests that the sanctions be made payable by Defendant Jamgotchian only and not Defendant’s counsel.

CONCLUSION

The Motion for Sanctions is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff Done! Ventures, LLC’s request for monetary sanctions is GRANTED. Plaintiff Done! Ventures, LLC’s request for an evidentiary sanction is DENIED. Defendant Jamgotchian is ORDERED to pay $800 to Plaintiff Done! Ventures, LLC within 20 days of the issuance of this order.

Moving party to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the CO


Case Number: ****4357 Hearing Date: March 24, 2022 Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge Kevin C. Brazile

Department 20


Hearing Date: March 24, 2022

Case Name: DONE! Ventures, LLC v. Jamgotchian, et al.

Case No.: ****4357

Matter: Motions to Quash Subpoenas (2x)

Moving Party: Defendants Jerry Jamgotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and

Theta Holding IV, Inc.

Responding Party: Plaintiff DONE! Ventures, LLC

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motions to Quash are granted in part.

Moving parties to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly

encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff DONE! Ventures, LLC filed the Second Amended Complaint against Defendants Jerry Jamgotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P., and Theta Holding IV, Inc. for (1) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage and (2) violation of the UCL. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants interfered with Plaintiff’s attempt to purchase a laundromat by unreasonably denying an assignment of their lease and then forcing the sale to themselves.

Defendants seek to quash two business records subpoenas issued by Plaintiff. One subpoena was issued to Defendants’ accountant, The Accountancy, and the other to their bank, Preferred Bank. Defendants argue that (1) the subpoenas are overbroad to the extent they seek private and potentially privileged documents relating to third-parties, including other tenants of Defendant El Segundo Plaza Associates L.P.; (2) the subpoenas, which seek documents from January 2017 until the present, are temporally overbroad, particularly to the extent they seek documents after March 2017 when the subject laundromat was significantly expanded; and (3) the notices to consumer were only served on Jerry Jamgotchian, such that the subpoenas are invalid because they also seek documents as to other parties and non-parties, as mentioned above.

Plaintiff argues the documents are relevant to its damages in this matter.

Code of Civil Procedure 1987.1 authorizes courts to quash a subpoena entirely, modify it, or direct compliance with it upon the court’s own terms and conditions, including protective orders. In addition, the court may take other appropriate means to protect parties or nonparties “from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy.” (Code Civ. Proc. 1987.1(a).) Discovery devices are meant to facilitate litigation, not wage it. (Calcor Space Facility, Inc. v. Superior Court (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 216, 221.)

Here, the two subpoenas are nearly identical. The subpoena issued on Defendants’ accountant provides as follows:

1. Produce all communications and documents (including, but not limited to, emails, text messages, and WhatsApp communications) that you sent to or received from Jerry Jamgotchian/Patricia Jamgotchian/El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P./Theta Holding IV, Inc. (collectively referred to herein as “Jamgotchian”), from January 1, 2017 to the present.

2. Produce all communications and documents created since January 1, 2017 to the present related to the income or expenses of El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P./Theta Holding IV, Inc., Theta Holding III, Inc., El Segundo Plaza I, Inc. and/or El Segundo Plaza II, Inc.

3. Produce all communications and documents (including, but not limited to, emails, text messages, and WhatsApp communications) sent between Jerry Jamgothcian and YOU (including all accountants) regarding El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P./Theta Holding IV, Inc., Theta Holding III, Inc., El Segundo Plaza I, Inc. and/or El Segundo Plaza II, Inc.

4. Produce all communications and documents (including, but not limited to, emails, text messages, and WhatsApp communications) sent between Jerry Jamgothcian and Natalie Tsoi regarding , El Segundo Plaza Associates, L.P./Theta Holding IV, Inc., Theta Holding III, Inc., El Segundo Plaza I, Inc. and/or El Segundo Plaza II, Inc. from January 1, 2017 to the present.

The Court will not consider Defendants’ argument about the notices to consumer because this argument was first raised in Defendants’ reply brief such that Plaintiff did not have an opportunity to address it.

The Court also sees no problem with the temporal limit of the subpoenas, which is only about five years. Defendants have failed to establish that documents existing after the subject laundromat’s expansion cannot include relevant information or information reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence.

On the other hand, Defendants are correct that the subpoenas are overbroad to the extent they seek documents unrelated to the subject laundromat, Coast Laundry. This issue was not addressed in Plaintiff’s Opposition. Further, the Court will not require production of tax returns, which are subject to the taxpayer privilege.

In sum, the Motions to Quash are granted in part. The subpoenas are narrowed to only seek documents pertaining to Coast Laundry and to exclude tax returns.

Moving parties to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LACourtConnect rather than in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Case Number: ****4357    Hearing Date: April 19, 2021    Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge Kevin C. Brazile

Department 20


Date: Monday, April 19, 2021

Case Name: DONE! Ventures, LLC v. Jerry Jamagotchian, et al.

Case No.: ****4357

Motion: Quash Subpoenas

Moving Party: Defendants Jamagotchian, El Segundo Plaza, Theta Holding IV

Responding Party: Plaintiff DONE! Ventures, LLC

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motions to Quash are DENIED AS MOOT.

Plaintiff to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LA Court Connect rather than in person in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.


 

BACKGROUND

On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff DONE! Ventures, LLC filed a Complaint against Defendants Jerry Jamagotchian, El Segundo Plaza Associates LP, Theta Holding IV, Inc., and Does 1 through 100, stating causes of action for negligent interference with prospective economic advantage and unfair business practices under Bus. & Prof. Code sec. 17200.

On January 20, 2021, Plaintiff served deposition subpoenas for production of business records on nonparty Debbie Kong of Preferred Bank, “Defendants’ banker,” and nonparty The Accountancy, “Defendants’ accountant.”

On February 8, 2021, Defendants filed two Motions to Quash Deposition Subpoenas.

On April 12, 2021, Defendants filed Notices of Non-Opposition declaring that no opposition was received to the Motions to Quash.

On April 13, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Declaration re: Notices of Non-Opposition arguing Defendants failed to meet and confer before filing the Motions and arguing the Motions are now moot because the subpoenas were voluntarily withdrawn on February 10, 2021.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff argues the Motions to Quash are moot because the relevant deposition subpoenas were voluntarily withdrawn on February 10, 2021. (Kristensen Decl., Exh. 1 (“We received your Motions to Quash our subpoenas to Preferred Bank and The Accountancy. . . . We hereby withdraw the subpoenas issued on January 20, 2021.”)) The Court finds the Motions are moot— in the absence of a request for sanctions, all the relief requested herein has already been achieved via the voluntary withdrawal of the subpoenas. (Lincoln Place Tenants Assn. v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 425, 454 (controversy moot “when a court ruling can have no practical effect…”)) Had Defendants sought sanctions under CCP sec. 1987.2, the withdrawal of the subpoenas would not necessarily be dispositive here; however, as no sanctions were requested, the withdrawal resolved all issues raised in the Motions to Quash and thus mooted the Motions. Therefore, the Motions are DENIED.

CONCLUSION

The Motions to Quash are DENIED AS MOOT.

Plaintiff to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LA Court Connect rather than in person in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Case Number: ****4357    Hearing Date: October 01, 2020    Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge David J. Cowan

Department 20


Hearing Date: Thursday, October 1, 2020

Case Name: Done! Ventures, LLC v. Jerry Jamgotchian et al.

Case No.: ****4357

Motion: Compel Further Responses to Requests for Production

Moving Party: Plaintiff Done!

Responding Party: Defendant Jamgotchian

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motion to Compel Further Responses to Requests for Production is GRANTED.

Jamgotchian shall prepare and serve Further Responses to Requests 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40 within 25 days of this Order.

Plaintiff to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LA Court Connect rather than in person in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.


 

DISCUSSION

After review of the Motion to Compel Further Responses filed by Plaintiff Done! Ventures, LLC (“Plaintiff”), the Opposition filed by Defendant Jerry Jamgotchian, and the Reply filed by Plaintiff, the Court rules as follows:

Relevant Background

Plaintiff seeks to compel further responses to Requests for Production from Jamgotchian. A motion to compel further responses must be supported by “specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought,” and a supporting declaration showing the moving party made a good faith attempt to meet and confer before filing the motion. (CCP sec. 2031.310(b)) “To establish good cause, a discovery proponent must identify a disputed fact that is of consequence in the action and explain how the discovery sought will tend in reason to prove or disprove that fact or lead to other evidence that will tend to prove or disprove the fact.” (Digital Music News, LLC v. Superior Court (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 216, 224) “[I]f a timely motion to compel has been filed, the burden is on responding party to justify any objection.”  (Fairmont Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.4th 245, 255.)

Plaintiff seeks to compel further responses by Jamgotchian to Requests for Production 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40. Requests 34, 35, 36, and 37 seek documents concerning “the Coastal Laundry’s sale” to Bruce Nye (RFP 34), Nye’s proposed sale of Coastal Laundry to Plaintiff (RFP 35), Jamgotchian’s purchase of Coastal Laundry from Nye (RFP 36), and any proposed sales or marketing by Jamgotchian of Coastal Laundry after March 2017 (RFP 37). Requests 38, 39, and 40 concern Coastal Laundry’s income and expenses after March 2017; Plaintiff seeks both documentary evidence and “native format data” from Quickbooks and other programs. Jamgotchian assert the same slate of objections against all seven Requests:

“Responding Party incorporates by reference the Preliminary Statement and General Objections as though fully set forth herein. Responding Party objects to this Request on the grounds that it is overbroad. Responding Party further objects to the extent that this request seeks information which is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Responding Party objects to this request to the extent that it seeks information that may violate the attorney work product doctrine and/or attorney-client privilege. Responding Party objects to this [request] on the grounds that it seeks information that is private, privileged, and/or confidential that, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of the privacy rights of Responding Party or third parties under the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, and/or any statutory or common law rights of privacy or confidentiality.”

(See Separate Statement.) However, in objecting to Requests 34-37, Jamgotchian adds:

“Subject to and without waiving the foregoing objections, Responding Party hereby responds as follows: After a diligent and reasonable inquiry, Responding Party believes that all responsive documents in his possession, custody or control have been previously produced by the parties in this consolidated action and/or third parties; those documents will not be produce again as they are equally available to the parties and to avoid duplication of the production.”

(See Separate Statement.)

To summarize: Jamgotchian objects that Requests 38, 39, and 40 are (1) overbroad, (2) not reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence, (3) violative of attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrine, and (4) violative of privacy rights. Jamgotchian further objects to Requests 34, 35, 36, and 37 that all responsive documents have already been produced to Plaintiff, though not necessarily produced by Jamgotchian, and refuse to produce any further documents “to avoid duplication.”

Each of these objections lacks merit, but the Court notes at the outset that Defendant makes no attempt to support the attorney-client privilege and privacy objections. Once a motion to compel has been filed, “the burden is on responding party to justify any objection.”  (Fairmont, supra, 22 Cal.4th at 255.) The “party claiming the privilege has the burden of establishing its existence” before the burden shifts to the party seeking discovery. (Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. v. Superior Court (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1384, 1393.) Jamgotchian’s privilege and privacy objections are unsupported by a privilege log or factual showing. Jamgotchian does not attempt to justify the objections in the Opposition, even though the privilege log issue was raised in Plaintiff’s moving papers. The Court therefore OVERRULES the privilege and privacy objections as meritless.

 

Financial Information After Laundromat Expansion

Jamgotchian argues discovery should be restricted only to financial records for March 2017 to June 2017 because Jamgotchian finished expanding the laundromat in June 2017, contending post-June records would be irrelevant. Jamgotchian argues the nearly four-year period of financial records sought is overbroad due to the expansion and suggests this is an improper attempt to examine Jamgotchian’s financial condition before trial.

Evid. Code sec. 210 defines relevant evidence as “having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action.” “The test of relevance is whether the evidence tends ‘logically, naturally, and by reasonable inference’ to establish material facts.” (People v. Garceau (1993) 6 Cal.4th 140, 177.)  “A party seeking the protective order must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the issuance of a protective order is proper.” (Stadish v. Superior Court (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1130, 1145.)

Here, information regarding Coastal Laundry’s post-expansion income and expenses would still be relevant to Plaintiff’s calculation of damages. Provided Plaintiff’s damages analysis accounts for alterations to income and expenses attributable to the expansion, then evidence of income and expenses will be relevant to demonstrate losses incurred by Plaintiff. Jamgotchian will be able to contest Plaintiff’s analysis later, but have not shown that such discovery would be so obviously irrelevant to warrant denying discovery. Jamgotchian’s act of expanding the laundromat does not in itself deprive Plaintiff of the ability to assess the business after expansion. Therefore, Jamgotchian has not shown good cause to limit this discovery to pre-June records. Plaintiff’s counsel was reasonably justified in declining a discovery compromise that would have limited discovery on this subject.  

Financial Condition Discovery Before Trial

Jamgotchian construes this discovery as an attempted pre-trial financial condition examination and argue this motion is preempted by Judge Mooney’s September 16, 2019 ruling denying Plaintiff’s motion for leave to conduct financial condition discovery. (See Bates Decl., Ex. A.) Jamgotchian claims Judge Mooney “stated that he saw no reason why the usual trial subpoena procedure permitted under Civil Code section 3295(c) would not suffice for obtaining Defendant’s financial records.” (Opposition, p. 2:16-17.) Upon review, the Court notes the statement attributed to Judge Mooney is not found in the attached ruling. Jamgotchian did not attach a transcript of the hearing to substantiate their account of Judge Mooney’s ruling. Plaintiff’s account of Judge Mooney’s ruling permitting certain net worth discovery is similarly unsubstantiated. The ruling merely denies the motion for leave to conduct financial discovery “without prejudice” without further elaboration. (Bates Decl., Ex. A.)

The Court therefore concludes that, because the motion was denied without prejudice, Judge Mooney’s ruling does not preclude the Court from now authorizing such discovery. Though collateral estoppel is not claimed here, the Court notes that Judge Mooney’s order would have no collateral estoppel effect where it denied the motion without prejudice. The order itself also does not make any findings which would be contradicted here. Further, there is no evidence Judge Mooney had an opportunity to consider whether Coastal Laundry’s income and expenses would be relevant for the first phase of trial. Jamgotchian does not claim Judge Mooney rejected the same arguments Plaintiff makes now. Thus, in the absence of evidence Judge Mooney rejected Plaintiff’s arguments here, the Court does not find the September 16, 2019 ruling dispositive. Indeed, as Civ. Code sec. 3295(c) concerns the financial condition of defendants, the Court suspects Judge Mooney dealt with discovery of Jamgotchian’s financial condition more generally rather than the income and expenses of Coastal Laundry specifically.

Finally, upon review of the meet and confer correspondence, the Court finds Jamgotchian’s counsel agreed to provide financial documents. Jamgotchian’s counsel agreed to provide supplemental responses after Plaintiff’s counsel stated he “do[es]n’t want supplemental responses that don’t provide the financials.” (Kristensen Decl., Ex. 4.) Therefore, the Court rejects as improper the condition that Jamgotchian will not provide financial records already produced in other actions. Such documents must be reproduced, as agreed.

The Court has now rejected each argument asserted by Jamgotchian. The discovery sought is relevant and Plaintiff has shown good cause for each request. Jamgotchian failed to support the privilege and privacy objections. (Fairmont, supra, 22 Cal.4th at 255.) It does not appear that Judge Mooney’s order addressed the issues currently before the Court; moreover, Judge Mooney’s order has no preclusive effect on a later motion where Judge Mooney denied the original motion without prejudice. Therefore, the Motion to Compel is GRANTED.  Plaintiff does not seek monetary sanctions against Jamgotchian, so the Court does not reach the issue of whether monetary discovery sanctions are warranted here.

CONCLUSION

The Motion to Compel Further Responses to Requests for Production is GRANTED.

Jamgotchian shall prepare and serve Further Responses to Requests 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40 within 25 days of this Order.

Plaintiff to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear by LA Court Connect rather than in person in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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