This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/28/2019 at 01:39:11 (UTC).

EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ VS. HUGO PEREZ, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 02/14/2018 EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against HUGO PEREZ. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Compton Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MAURICE A. LEITER. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9057

  • Filing Date:

    02/14/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MAURICE A. LEITER

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

VASQUEZ EDGAR ALVAREZ

Defendants

DOES 1-10

PEREZ HUGO

PEREZ ADRIANA

Other

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

FREDKIN STEPHEN H.

FREDKIN STEPHEN HARRY

Defendant Attorneys

TREJO RICHARD L.

TREJO RICHARD LOUIS

 

Court Documents

Summons

2/14/2018: Summons

Other -

2/14/2018: Other -

Notice of Case Management Conference

2/14/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference

Complaint

2/14/2018: Complaint

Legacy Document

2/22/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

2/22/2018: Legacy Document

Answer

3/19/2018: Answer

Case Management Statement

7/3/2018: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/3/2018: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/30/2018: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/30/2018: Case Management Statement

Minute Order

8/1/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

8/1/2018: Minute Order

Other -

8/3/2018: Other -

Legacy Document

8/3/2018: Legacy Document

Minute Order

12/12/2018: Minute Order

Stipulation and Order

12/12/2018: Stipulation and Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/12/2019: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/26/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Dismissal Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1385(b) and (c) with the Court to Retain Jurisdiction Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure 664) - Held

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  • 04/26/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal Pursuant to California Rule...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/03/2019
  • Declaration (of Stephen Fredkin In Support of Request to Permit Filing Dismissal 6 Months After The Conditional Settlement Agreement); Filed by EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/02/2019
  • Notice of Settlement; Filed by EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/26/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Post-Mediation Status Conference - Held

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  • 03/26/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Post-Mediation Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/18/2019
  • at 09:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/12/2019
  • Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/12/2019
  • Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/11/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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12 More Docket Entries
  • 07/03/2018
  • Case Management Statement

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  • 04/16/2018
  • at 00:00 AM in Department A; (Case Ordered Reassigned; Case Reassigned for all purposes) -

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  • 04/10/2018
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/19/2018
  • Answer; Filed by HUGO PEREZ (Defendant); ADRIANA PEREZ (Defendant)

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  • 02/22/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/22/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/14/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet- Unlimited; Filed by EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/14/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/14/2018
  • Summons; Filed by null

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  • 02/14/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by EDGAR ALVAREZ VASQUEZ (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: TC029057 Hearing Date: July 12, 2021 Dept: A

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TC029057 Edgar\r\n Alvarez Vasquez v. Hugo Perez, Adriana Perez

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Monday,\r\n July 12, 2021

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Plaintiffs’\r\n Motion for an Order to Show Cause re: Contempt of Court Against Defendants

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TENTATIVE

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TC029057 Edgar\r\nAlvarez Vasquez. v. Hugo Perez, Adriana Perez

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Plaintiff’s\r\nMotion for an Order to Show Cause re: Contempt and for Monetary Sanctions and\r\nAttorney Fees Against Defendants is DENIED.

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This\r\nis an action for breach of contract. The complaint alleges that Plaintiff\r\nVasquez leased from Defendants commercial real property located at 11206 S.\r\nWilmington Ave in Los Angeles pursuant to a written contract. Plaintiff\r\nintended to use the space as a dessert shop. However, the property was legally\r\nauthorized to be used as office or retail space, not restaurant space. Defendants\r\nallegedly breached the agreement by failing to submit an application to the Los\r\nAngeles Building department to change the building’s use. Plaintiff alleges a\r\nclaim for breach of contract and fraud.

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The\r\nCourt’s file reflects that on 12/17/20, the Court granted Plaintiff’s opposed\r\nMotion to Enforce Settlement Agreement. The Court ordered Defendants to file\r\nthe necessary applications and permits to change the use of the property from\r\nretail/office to food processing, and to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for\r\nthat use within three months.

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On\r\n4/26/19, the Court ordered the complaint dismissed without prejudice in light\r\nof the parties’ settlement agreement. Pursuant to that agreement, the Court\r\nretained jurisdiction to make orders to enforce any and all terms of\r\nsettlement, including judgment, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section\r\n664.6.

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On\r\n12/17/20, the Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Settlement Plaintiff\r\ncontended that Defendants did not comply with their obligations under the\r\nagreement. The Court entered judgment on 1/21/21 pursuant to the terms of the\r\nsettlement agreement and awarded attorneys’ fees to Plaintiff.

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Plaintiff\r\nnow moves for an order to show cause for Defendants to establish why they\r\nshould not be held in contempt of this Court’s order granting the Plaintiff’s\r\nMotion to Enforce Settlement Agreement. Plaintiff argues that Defendants failed\r\nto apply with the Public Health Department to obtain a new Certificate of Use,\r\nfailed to file the necessary application with the Building and Safety\r\nDepartment to obtain a building permit authorizing an unlawful extension to the\r\nleased premises, and failed to pay attorneys’ fees awarded to Plaintiff. For\r\nthese three acts of contempt, Plaintiff asks the Court to impose a fine of\r\n$1,000 and to pay attorneys’ fees for having to file this motion.

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In\r\nopposition, Defendants argue they did not willfully disobey the Court’s order,\r\nbut rather, Defendants contend they lacked the ability to timely comply.\r\nDefendants contend they eventually signed an addendum to the lease agreement.\r\nDefendants hired an architect to assist them in preparing plans and complete\r\napplications for building permits and for a change in occupancy. The architect,\r\nRuben Avalos, represented that applications and plans would be submitted by the\r\nfirst week of January 2021, but were not submitted on 2/9/21. It was not within\r\nDefendant’s abilities to comply with the order; Defendants relied on their\r\narchitect.

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Finally,\r\nDefendants argue they did not willfully fail to pay attorney’s fees. Defense\r\ncounsel informed Defendants that counsel would move for relief under Code Civ.\r\nProcedure § 473.5 since Counsel mistakenly thought the 12/17/20 hearing was\r\nscheduled for 9:30 a.m., not 9:00 a.m. In anticipation of that motion,\r\nDefendants did not pay the fees.

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In\r\nreply, Plaintiff concedes that only two of the three elements of contempt have\r\nbeen met.

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Defendants\r\nfiled a status report on 6/10/21 stating that they met with the Department of\r\nBuilding and Safety regarding their permit application. Defendants reported\r\nthat they have corrected the defects and resubmitted their application, which is\r\ncurrently under review.

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Analysis

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Acts\r\nor omissions constituting contempt of the authority of the court include\r\n“[d]isobedience of any lawful judgment, order, or process of the court. Code\r\nCiv. Proc., § 1209 (a)(5).

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To\r\nestablish contempt, there must be “(1) a valid order, (2) knowledge of the\r\norder, (3) ability to comply with the order, and (4) willful failure to comply\r\nwith the order.” In re Ivey (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 793, 798.\r\nAdditionally, “[c]ontempt is a proper sanction only for willful misconduct.” Runnion\r\nv. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 277, 286.

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Plaintiff\r\nconcedes in reply that Defendants complied with their obligations by submitting\r\nan application for a new Certificate of Use and for building permits on 2/9/21.\r\nReply 4:3-6. Thus, Defendants did not willfully fail to comply, but rather were\r\n35 days late. The building permits and applications for Certificate of Use were\r\ndependent on plans to be created and \r\nsubmitted by Defendants’ architect, Ruben Avalos. Declaration of Reyes\r\nValenzuela, ¶ 21.

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Those\r\nplans were ultimately submitted, albeit, belatedly.

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Defendants\r\nadmit that they did not pay the $4,200 in sanctions previously ordered by the\r\nCourt based on their counsel’s intention to make a motion presumably to\r\nchallenge the sanction. Defense counsel declares that he asked Defendants to\r\nwait to pay the fees until his motion had been heard. Declaration of Valenzuela\r\n¶ 30. Defense counsel could not make that motion because he was involved in a\r\ntrial from late January 2021 through late February 2021. Id., ¶ 31.

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The\r\nCourt continued the hearing on this motion three times to allow Defendants\r\nadditional time to complete the permit process and obtain the necessary\r\ncertificate of occupancy.

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Plaintiff\r\nfiled a new status report on 7/6/21 stating that Defendants have not complied\r\nwith the Court’s 12/30/20 order and asks that the Court set a contempt hearing.\r\n

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Given\r\nDefendants’ status report filed on 6/10/21, Defendants have not willfully failed\r\nto comply. Their corrected application for a permit has been resubmitted for\r\nreview. Accordingly, the Court will set an OSC re compliance for\r\n__________________________. Both parties are to file status reports five Court\r\ndays prior to the hearing.

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Plaintiff’s\r\nrequest for the imposition of additional sanctions under Code Civ. Procedure §\r\n1218 is DENIED. Such fines are permitted if a person is found guilty of\r\ncontempt.

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tdl

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Case Number: TC029057    Hearing Date: December 17, 2020    Dept: A

# 8. Edgar Alvarez Vasquez, v. Hugo Perez, et al.

Case No.: TC029057

Matter on calendar for: motion to enforce settlement

Tentative ruling:

  1. Background

Plaintiff Edgar Alvarez Vasquez alleged in his complaint that on March 7, 2016 defendant Hugo Perez and Plaintiff entered into a written lease agreement in which Perez agreed to lease to Plaintiff the restaurant formerly known as “Flavor & Flames” at 11206 S. Wilmington Ave., Los Angeles, CA to be used as a dessert shop. Plaintiff alleges that prior to March 7, 2016, Perez did not disclose that the restaurant had been closed for more than 90 days, and that the only permitted use of the building was as an office or retail space.

The parties eventually entered into a settlement agreement. The Court retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement under Code of Civil Procedure § 664.6.

Plaintiff now moves to enforce settlement agreement. Defendants oppose. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.

  1. Standard

Courts are empowered to enter judgments pursuant to oral settlements made before the court or written settlements signed by the parties. (Code Civ. Proc., § 664.6; Elyaoudayan v. Hoffman (2003) 104 Cal.App.4th 1421, 1428.) In deciding motions made under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6, judges “must determine whether the parties entered into a valid and binding settlement.” (Kohn v. Jaymar-Ruby (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 1530, 1533.) In deciding whether the enforce a settlement, courts have the power to decide disputed facts, and to interpret the agreement. (Fiore v. Alvord (1985) 182 Cal.App.3d 561, 566.) Judges may receive evidence, determine disputed facts including the terms the parties previously agreed upon, and enter the terms of a settlement agreement as a judgment, but may not newly create material terms. (Osumi v. Sutton (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 1355, 1360.) Judges also cannot address ambiguities in material terms by filling in the gaps, or adjudicate differences between the parties, as distinguished from just settling or interpreting the settlement provisions. (Terry v. Conlan (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 1445, 1460.)

  1. Analysis

The Settlement Agreement states:

(a) The defendants Perez will file the necessary applications and permits with the City and County of Los Angeles including but not limited to the Department of Building and Safety to change the use of the Wilmington property from retail/office to food processing use, and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy that allows the Wilmington property to be used as a food processing facility that can legally make Mexican desserts.

(b) The defendants Perez will file the necessary applications and obtain the necessary permits with the City and County of Los Angeles including but not limited to the Department of Building and Safety to approve their prior 5 foot extension of the Wilmington Ave property.

(c) The defendants Perez will pay for all of the expenses, fees and costs to obtain the new Certificate of Occupancy that allows food processing at Wilmington property, and allows Vasquez to make Mexican desserts as contemplated by their lease agreement.

(d) The defendants Perez will also pay for all of the expenses, fees and costs to obtain the permits and approval by the City of Los Angeles for the unauthorized 5 foot extension to the Wilmington property.

(e) Once the defendants Perez have obtained the new Certificate of Occupancy and retroactive approval from the City of Los Angeles for the 5 foot extension, the new lease of the premises located at 11206 S. Wilmington Ave, Los Angeles will take effect under the following terms and conditions:

1. Vasquez will pay Perez no rent for the first year of the new lease;

2. Vasquez will pay Perez $1250 per month rent for the second year of the lease;

3. Vasquez will have an option to lease Wilmington for a third year at the rate of $1,500 per month for the third year of the lease; and,

4. Vasquez must inform Perez by email or regular mail of his intention to exercise the option for the third year of the lease by no later than 45 days prior to the expiration of the second year of the lease. Vasquez will send notification of the exercise of the third year option to Perez at the following address:

Hugo Perez

3128 Wisconsin Avenue

South Gate, CA 90280

Since the Parties do not know when Perez will obtain the necessary change in the use of the Wilmington building as reflected in the new Certificate of Occupancy, and the approval of the 5 foot extension to the building, the Parties are not able to indicate the actual start of the new lease. It is anticipated and agreed by the Parties that Perez will act promptly to obtain these necessary permits and Certificate of Occupancy no later than 6 months from the execution of this agreement. However, if reasonable progress towards obtaining this change in the use and the Certificate of Occupancy for this property is being made, the parties agree to extend that 6 month period as necessary.

(f) Concurrently with the execution of this settlement agreement and mutual release, Perez’s attorney will prepare a lease for all of the Parties to sign that reflects the terms and conditions of this settlement agreement. This lease will be prepared and submitted for approval by all parties no later than 30 days from the date of execution of this agreement.

[1](h) Perez will pay Vasquez $10,000 in full no later than 30 days from the date of the execution of this settlement agreement. The $10,000 will be paid by cashier’s check, and issued to both Edgar Alvarez Vasquez, and his attorney Stephen Fredkin. The settlement check will be mailed to Stephen Fredkin, 209 Bay Hill Drive, Newport Beach, California 92660 or Mr. Fredkin will arrange to pick up the check from Perez’s attorney.

(i) Vasquez will prepare a dismissal with prejudice but will not file the dismissal prior to the completion of all of the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement as noted above.

(j) In the even the defendants Perez do not obtain the necessary Certificate of Occupancy, and permits authorizing use of the Wilmington property as a food processor to make Mexican desserts, and the 5 foot extension as noted above within 6 months of the date of execution of this settlement agreement, then this case will proceed to trial and be resolved by trial of this case unless the Parties mutually agree to a further extension to complete this settlement agreement.

(k) Each Party to this settlement agreement agrees to pay their own attorney fees and costs incurred in litigating this court proceeding, and waive any right to seek payment of their attorney fees and costs from the other Party.

(Fredkin Decl., Exh. 3.)

Plaintiff argues in his motion that Defendants failed to honor their obligations under the Settlement Agreement in two ways.

First, Defendants did not submit to Plaintiff a new lease agreement, pursuant to paragraph (f) of the Settlement Agreement, until August 29, 2019 – more than five months after the mediation. The proposed new lease agreement included several terms which were not agreed to in the original lease agreement. (See Fredkin Decl., ¶ 10, Exh. 6.) Negotiations to resolve the issues ultimately failed. On February 2, 2020, Plaintiff saw a large sign on the front window of the Wilmington Avenue property which stated, “FOR LEASE” and included Defendant’s telephone number. (Id., Exh. 10.)

Second, Defendant has not filed the necessary applications and permits with the City and County of Los Angeles to change the use of the Wilmington property from retail/office to food processing use, or obtained a Certificate of Occupancy that allows the Wilmington property to be used as a food processing facility.

Plaintiff requests a Court Order requiring: (1) specific performance of Paragraph 2 of the Settlement Agreement; (2) Defendants to file the necessary applications within 15 days of the hearing, and to complete the terms of the Settlement Agreement within 90 days; (3) Defendants to sign the lease as revised by Plaintiff within 5 days of the hearing of this motion as set forth in Exhibit 9 of the Declaration of Stephen Fredkin; and (4) a Court hearing on the status of this case set 90 days following this motion at which time the Court would either grant Defendants additional time to complete this Settlement Agreement if reasonably warranted, set aside the dismissal and re-set the matter for trial, or issue any other orders the Court considers necessary to enforce the Settlement Agreement.

In opposition, Defendants contend they complied with the Settlement Agreement by submitting a draft of the written lease agreement on August 29, 2019. (Defendants do not dispute that their first draft of the proposed lease agreement was tardy.) But Plaintiff has demonstrated that Defendants’ draft lease agreement contained terms that were not consistent with the Settlement Agreement, and not consistent with the parties’ prior lease agreement. (See Fredkin Decl., Exhs. 6-10, 14.)

Defendants also contend their failure to submit applications with the L.A. Dept. of Building and Safety has been a result of Plaintiff’s refusal to cooperate. Defendants hired an architect named Ruben Avalos to comply with the requirement to submit applications with the L.A. Dept. of Building and Safety. (Valenzuela Decl., ¶ 11.) The L.A. County Health Department informed Mr. Avalos that it would conduct a “plan check” when all these items were submitted to the Health Department: (a) a complete floor plan, (b) mechanical exhaust ventilation plans (if required), (c) a finish schedule for floors, walls and ceilings, (d) a site plan which includes a proposed waste storage receptacle location, (e) equipment manufacturer’s specification sheets, (f) a copy of the proposed menu, and (g) a copy of the current Public Health operating permit. (Valenzuela Decl., ¶ 16, Exh. 2.) Defendants contend that Mr. Avalos has prepared a complete floor plan, a finish schedule for floors, walls and ceilings, and a site plan, but does not have the information to prepare an equipment manufacturer’s specification sheet (item 5) nor a menu of the foods being prepared and offered to the public (item 6). (Id., ¶ 18.) Defendants contend that since Plaintiff is the person opening and operating the dessert shop, Plaintiff has the required information on the equipment that will be installed or was installed in the Wilmington Property, but refuses to provide that information to Defendants and their attorney. (Id., ¶¶ 19-20.)

In Plaintiff’s reply brief, Plaintiff argues that Mr. Avalos has had the requisite information concerning Plaintiff’s equipment to complete the application to the Public Health Department since June 12, 2019.

The Court finds that, pursuant to paragraph (a) of Section 2 of the Settlement Agreement, Defendants were to file the necessary applications and permits with the City and County of Los Angeles to change the use of the Wilmington property from retail/office to food processing use, and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy that allows the Wilmington property to be used as a food processing facility that can legally make Mexican desserts. Pursuant to paragraph (f) of Section 2 of the Settlement Agreement, Defendants’ counsel was to prepare a lease for all of the parties to sign that reflects the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement, submitted for approval by all parties no later than 30 days from the date of execution of this agreement.

Defendants have not timely complied with paragraphs (a) and (f) of Section 2. The evidence shows that Defendants’ architect had the information needed to file the necessary applications and permits with the L.A. Dept. of Building and Safety or could have requested any additional information from Plaintiff. And the draft lease agreements do not reflect the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement as well as terms and conditions consistent with the original lease agreement.

The motion is GRANTED.

Plaintiff also requests attorney’s fees in the amount of $9000, pursuant to the Settlement Agreement. Section 6 of the Settlement Agreement states that “[i]n an action to enforce any term or terms of this Settlement Agreement or to seek damages for breach of this Settlement Agreement, the prevailing party in that action shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.” (Fredkin Decl., Exh. 3.)

Plaintiff’s request is based on Counsel’s spending 30 hours to prepare the motion at an hourly rate of $300. (Fredkin Decl., ¶ 21.) The Court agrees that counsel’s hourly rate is reasonable, but finds that 30 hours of work is excessive. The Court finds that 10 hours of attorney time for preparing the motion and 4 hours for preparing the reply brief is reasonable. The Court grants Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees in the amount $4200.00.

  1. Ruling

    The motion to enforce settlement is GRANTED.

    Plaintiff’s request for attorneys’ fees is granted in the amount of $4200.00 against Defendants, jointly and severally, payable within 30 days.

    Next dates:

    Notice: Plaintiff to give notice.


[1] The Settlement Agreement does not include a subsection (g).