On 02/28/2018 EMMANUEL TROUSSE filed a Contract - Business lawsuit against LYNNE A DELANEY. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DEIRDRE HILL and JAMES R. DUNN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
JAMES R. DUNN
DELAGO ENTERPRISES LLC
ESTATE INVESTMENTS LLC
DELANEY LYNNE A.
GOMEZ RUBEN R.
DOES 1 THROUGH 20
DELANEY LYNNE A.
GOMEZ RUBEN R.
LANDER TODD M.
LANDER TODD M
PLATTNER GABRIELLA B
PLATTNER LAW OFFICES
2/20/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Preliminary Injunction)
7/18/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC))
7/22/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC))
7/31/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF LYNNE DELANEY SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
7/31/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF GABRIELLA PLATTNER SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
7/31/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
7/31/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF RUBEN GOMEZ SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
7/31/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
8/6/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF TODD M. LANDER IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE CONTEMPT OF COURT, ETC.
8/6/2019: Objection - OBJECTION EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF LYNNE DELANEY SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
8/6/2019: Objection - OBJECTION EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF RUBEN GOMEZ SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
8/6/2019: Objection - OBJECTION EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATION OF GABRIELLA PLATTNER SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
8/6/2019: Reply - REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS EMMANUEL TROUSSE AND LARA TROUSSE MOTION FOR OSC RE CONTEMPT
8/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF LISA DEARDEN TREPANIER SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER ADVANCING HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DOCUMENT DEMANDS
8/12/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
8/12/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER ADVANCING HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL DOCUMENT DEMANDS
8/12/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER ADVANCING HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DOCUMENT DEMANDS
8/12/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF LISA DEARDEN TREPANIER IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DOCUMENT DEMANDS
Hearing06/01/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
Hearing05/25/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status ConferenceRead MoreRead Less
Hearing01/28/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Summary JudgmentRead MoreRead Less
Hearing12/10/2021 at 08:31 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery ResponsesRead MoreRead Less
Hearing12/10/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery ResponsesRead MoreRead Less
Hearing08/10/2021 at 3:00 PM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Informal Discovery Conference (IDC)Read MoreRead Less
Hearing08/04/2021 at 08:31 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to BifurcateRead MoreRead Less
Hearing08/04/2021 at 08:31 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion - Other Renewed Motion re Enforcement of the March 19, 2019 Court Order Re: Preliminary InjunctionRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:31 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Rescheduled by PartyRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 49; Status Conference (ReService of Cross-Defendant Martine Trousse) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Emmanuel Trousse (Plaintiff); Lara Trousse (Plaintiff); Corelsun, LLC (Plaintiff) et al.Read MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARINGRead MoreRead Less
DocketOSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1) BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY (TRUSTEES); ETC.Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Emmanuel Trousse (Plaintiff); Lara Trousse (Plaintiff); Corelsun, LLC (Plaintiff) et al.Read MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC695842 Hearing Date: August 4, 2021 Dept: 49
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Emmanuel Trousse et al. ) Case No. BC695842
) [Tentative] Ruling
Lynne A. Delaney et al. )
Hearing Date: August 4, 2021
Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice
Moving Party: Plaintiffs Emmanuel Trousse, Lara Trousse, Corelsun, LLC, Estate Investments, LLC, and Delago Enterprises, LLC
Responding Party: Defendants Lynne A. Delaney and Ruben R. Gomez
Ruling: Motion deferred to the May 25, 2022 Final Status Conference.
Plaintiffs Emmanuel Trousse, Lara Trousse, Corelsun, LLC, Estate Investments, LLC, and Delago Enterprises, LLC (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) move to bifurcate trial of their affirmative claims against defendants Lynne A. Delaney and Ruben R. Gomez (collectively, “Defendants”) from Defendants’ cross-claims against cross-defendant Martine Palmaro-Trousse.
In this lawsuit, the Trousses claim that in 2002, their mother Martine entrusted to Defendants some $14.8 million (the “Inheritance Money”) that the Trousses had inherited from their late father, to be invested on the Trousses’ behalf because they were minors. Defendants are the Trousses’ godparents. To hold the Inheritance Money, Defendants established Delago Enterprises, LLC, Corelson, LLC, and Estate Investments, LLC (the “LLCs”). The Trousses allege that Defendants mishandled the Inheritance Money, misrepresented the state of affairs to the Trousses, and misappropriated millions of dollars from the LLCs.
On April 5, 2018, Defendants filed a cross-complaint against Plaintiffs, and on December 31, 2019, filed a First Amended Cross-Complaint (the “FACC”). Defendants filed requests for dismissal of various cross-claims on January 20, 2021 and February 4, 2021, the result of which was that only cross-claims against cross-defendant Martine Palmaro-Trousse for declaratory relief, breach of contract, fraud, and contractual interference remain.
“The court, in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials will be conducive to expedition and economy, may order a separate trial of any cause of action, including a cause of action asserted in a cross-complaint, or of any separate issue or of any number of causes of action or issues, preserving the right of trial by jury required by the Constitution or a statute of this state or of the United States.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 1048(b).) “The court may, when the convenience of witnesses, the ends of justice, or the economy and efficiency of handling the litigation would be promoted thereby, on motion of a party, after notice and hearing, make an order, no later than the close of pretrial conference in cases in which such pretrial conference is to be held, or, in other cases, no later than 30 days before the trial date, that the trial of any issue or any part thereof shall precede the trial of any other issue or any part thereof in the case, except for special defenses which may be tried first pursuant to Sections 597 and 597.5.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 598.)
Plaintiffs urge that the Court should bifurcate the claims against Ms. Palmaro-Trousse for reasons including that they are not related to Plaintiff’s affirmative claims, raise problems of jurisdiction and choice of law, and threaten to delay the action, as Ms. Palmaro-Trousse has not yet even been served. Defendants, meanwhile, argue that the issues of the cross-complaint are inextricable from the issues in the affirmative complaint, as they form part of Defendants’ defense as well as being affirmative claims.
As Defendants note, there is no need for the Court to decide on bifurcation at this time. The issues Plaintiffs identify involving jurisdiction, choice of law, and delay are essentially speculative at this point. It is simply not known what Ms. Palmaro-Trousse might do once served with process, and until the action and cross-action are closer to trial, bifurcation is premature. The Court will therefore defer decision on this motion to the Final Status Conference, pending further developments in this case.
Although the Court is not ruling on these issues now, Defendants raise legitimate concerns regarding Ms. Palmaro-Trousse’s willingness to testify, but not to accept service of the FACC. The parties are urged to meet and confer to determine whether Plaintiffs’ counsel, who is apparently able to obtain declarations from Ms. Palmaro-Trousse, can accept service of the FACC on her behalf. The Court also wonders whether the parties might reach at least some stipulation concerning deposition of Ms. Palmaro-Trousse, given that Plaintiffs apparently intend to call her at trial. The Court remains at the parties’ disposal for informal conferences concerning these issues.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will not rule on the motion to bifurcate at this time. The motion is instead continued to May 25, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., to be heard during the Final Status Conference. Plaintiffs to give notice.
Date: August 4, 2021
Honorable Stuart M. Rice
Judge of the Superior Court
Superior Court of\nCalifornia
County of Los\nAngeles
Emmanuel\nTrousse, et al. ) Case\nNo. BC695842
Lynne\nA. Delaney et al. )
Hearing\nDate: August 4, 2021
Department\n49, Judge Stuart M. Rice
Moving\nParties: Plaintiffs Emannuel\nTrousse and Lara Trousse
Responding\nParties: Defendants Lynne A. Delaney\nand Ruben R. Gomez
Ruling: Motion granted in\npart. Defendants to provide certain\nrecords to Plaintiffs pursuant to the PIO as further specified below. The parties are advised that certain records\nand information are discoverable regardless of whether they come within the PIO\nas discussed herein.
Plaintiffs\nEmmanuel Trousse and Lara Trousse (the “Trousses”) move to enforce the Court’s\nMarch 19, 2019 preliminary injunction order against defendants Lynne A. Delaney\nand Ruben R. Gomez (“Defendants”)
In this lawsuit, the Trousses claim that in\n2002, their mother Martine entrusted to Defendants some $14.8 million (the\n“Inheritance Money”) that the Trousses had inherited from their late father, to\nbe invested on the Trousses’ behalf because they were minors. Defendants are the Trousses’ godparents. To hold the Inheritance Money, Defendants\nestablished Delago Enterprises, LLC, Corelson, LLC, and Estate Investments, LLC\n(the “LLCs”). The Trousses allege that\nDefendants mishandled the Inheritance Money, misrepresented the state of affairs\nto the Trousses, and misappropriated millions of dollars from the LLCs.
On March\n19, 2019, the Court entered an order (the “PIO”) on the Trousses’ application\nfor preliminary injunction. The Court\nordered:
Defendants\nshall turnover control and management of the LLCs to Plaintiffs at the earliest\npracticable opportunity, including by immediately returning and furnishing to\nPlaintiffs (i) originals, or, if and only if originals no longer exist, copies,\nof all books, records and other documents maintained pursuant to California\nCorporations Code section 17701.13(d); (ii) assets of the LLCs; (iii) keys to\nany properties owned by the LLCs; (iv) logins and access to any e-mail accounts\nestablished or maintained in the name of, or belonging to, the LLCs, and (v)\nbank accounts established or maintained in the name of, or belonging to, the\nLLCs or containing LLC funds. Defendants shall cooperate as necessary in\neffectuating said turnover, including through the execution of documents\nnecessary to effectuate the transfer of management of the LLCs.
Defendants,\nand their agents, employees, representatives, and all those acting under, for,\nor in concert with them shall be enjoined and restrained from doing,\ncommencing, continuing, or maintaining any action to:
(1)\nImpair or frustrate Plaintiffs’ right and ability to exercise management and\ncontrol over the LLCs;
(2)\nTake or attempt to take any action on behalf of the LLCs;
(3)\nImpair or frustrate Plaintiffs’ right and ability to access any and all books,\nrecords, financials and transactional records of the LLCs, including making\navailable to Plaintiffs immediately all such books, records, financials and\ntransactional records of the LLCs;
(4)\nAccess any and all bank accounts belonging to the LLCs and bank accounts\ncontaining LLC funds;
(5)\nImpair or frustrate Plaintiffs’ exercise of their rights to control all assets\nand bank accounts of the LLCs;
(6)\nPay, distribute, or in any way disburse Plaintiffs’ records and assets; and
(7)\nSell, transfer, or in any way convey any assets, including interests in such\nassets, belonging to Plaintiffs.
Through\nthis Order, the Court makes no findings with respect to any alleged wrong doing\non the part of Defendants or the merits of the Parties’ other claims, rights and\ndefenses as asserted in their respective pleadings in this matter.
On May 30, 2019, Plaintiffs moved\nthe Court to issue an order to show cause re: contempt concerning Defendants\nand their then counsel, Gabriella Plattner, and their purported violations of\nthe PIO. On November 1, 2019, pursuant\nto the parties’ representations at the hearing, the Court declined to set an\nOSC, and instead directed the parties to submit a stipulation for the Court’s\nsignature concerning certain funds in Defendants’ possession. On November 18, 2019, the Court entered an\norder on the parties’ stipulation. The\nstipulation provided, in pertinent part:
1. That prior to the entry of the PIO,\nDefendants had transferred approximately $1.2 million out of the bank accounts\nof the LLCs (the “Funds”), but had set them aside in bank accounts they\ncontrolled pending the outcome of this litigation;
2. That no further payments could be\nmade from the funds as of November 1, 2019, even for legal fees;
3. That no person could access the\nfunds without court order or an agreement by all the parties to this action;\nand
4. That within 10 days of entry of the\norder, that Defendants’ counsel “shall provide an accounting…of i) the amounts\ntaken out of the Funds for any purpose, including, without limitation, for\npurposes of paying Defendants’ attorneys’ fees, in the above-entitled action,\nii) the specific payee and purpose for any amount that was at any time removed\nfrom the Funds; and iii) the amounts remaining in the Funds as of November 1,\n2019.”
Code Civ. Proc. § 527 empowers\ncourts to issue preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders before\njudgment. The general purpose of a\npreliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo pending a determination on\nthe merits of the action. (Jamison v. Department of Transportation (2016)\n4 Cal.App.5th 356, 361.) The\ngranting or denial of a preliminary injunction does not amount to an\nadjudication of the ultimate rights in controversy, but merely is a\ndetermination that in light of the respective equities of the parties, the\ndefendant should or should not be restrained from exercising a claimed\nright. (Ibid.)
Requests for Judicial Notice
Plaintiffs’ Request for Judicial\nNotice is granted. The Court will\ntake judicial notice of items 1-15 attached thereto, but not the truth of their\ncontents. (See Arce v. Kaiser\nFoundation (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 471, 483.)
Plaintiffs contend that Defendants\nhave violated and are violating the March 19, 2019 PIO by a litany of acts and\nomissions, many of which predate the PIO. \nThe PIO is a provisional remedy which was intended to preserve the\nstatus quo and prevent Defendants from sequestering or dissipating the funds or\nassets held by the LLCs until the parties’ rights in this case were\nadjudicated. “Assets of the LLCs” and\n“LLC funds” as those phrases are used in the PIO refer to the assets and funds\nheld by the LLCs at the time the PIO issued. \nWhatever else the parties may contest, it is not disputed that\nPlaintiffs are entitled to have ownership of the LLCs and the assets contained\nin them.
Plaintiffs largely claim that\nDefendants themselves (or other entities under their control) are holding or\nhave disposed of money or property which rightly belongs to the LLCs, and\ntherefore to Plaintiffs. That very well\nmay be, but the propriety of transfers Defendants made from the LLCs, and the\ndiversion of funds destined for the LLCs, are ultimate disputed issues in the\ncase. By issuing the PIO, the Court was\nexpressly not making a finding of Defendants’ wrongdoing or ruling on the\nmerits of the parties claims, rights, or defenses. (See 3/19/2019 PIO, p. 3.) It therefore cannot be a violation of the PIO\nfor Defendants to allegedly withhold disputed funds that the Court has not yet\nadjudicated. There are other procedures,\nsuch as summary adjudication, trial, or binding ADR procedures which are proper\nto resolve these issues.
That said, Plaintiffs do identify\nseveral matters which constitute violations of the PIO, which the Court will\nnow address.
1. Books, Records, Financials, and\nTransactional Records of the LLCs
Plaintiffs contend that Defendants\n“have produced no invoices, no demands, no profit share records” for transfers\nof $423,000 from the LLCs to Defendants in 2009-2012, transfers of $304,000\nfrom the LLCs to Defendants in 2013-2015, and approximately $1.5 million in\nmanagement fees paid from the LLCs to Shangri-La Properties, LLC (“Shangri-La”)\nbetween 2006 and 2018. Invoices,\ndemands, and profit share records of these transfers from the LLCs are “transactional\nrecords” within the meaning of the PIO and must be turned over if they\nexist.
Plaintiffs also contend that\n“emails and correspondence with the LLC accountants, Fox Accounting, Wells\nFargo, the LLC attorneys were withheld (the third parties produced more) or\n‘edited’.” To the\nextent that these communications are not attorney-client communications, they\nare indisputably records of the LLC and must be provided. To the extent they are with attorneys, the\nCourt does not have a sufficient record to address the issue at this time,\ngiven the issue of attorney-client privilege and the differing privileges that\nmight be held by Defendants (who are no longer in control of the LLCs) or\nPlaintiffs (who now control the LLCs). \nThe Court does not know what the documents at issue are, who is privy to\nthem, or other information necessary to rule on the matter.
Plaintiffs’ claims that Defendants\nhave refused to disclose how many bank accounts they themselves opened and\nclosed is concerning, but not necessarily a breach of the PIO. It is not clear to the Court that these\naccounts contained LLC assets, as opposed to Defendants’ personal\naccounts. These would therefore be the\nproper subject of a discovery motion, rather than a motion to enforce the PIO.
That said, the parties are advised\nthat in light of the allegations in this case, all financial records and\ninformation of the Defendants from the time they were entrusted with the\nInheritance Money is relevant and reasonably calculated to lead to admissible\nevidence.
2. Money in the Blocked Account
Plaintiffs contend that there is\nnow approximately $1.2 million in a blocked account that, considering\nDefendants dismissing their cross-complaint, should be released to\nPlaintiffs. The PIO does not authorize Plaintiffs\nto collect the money in the blocked account; indeed, the blocked account was\nnot apparently created until after the Court signed the parties’ stipulation in\nNovember 2019. While it may be that\nPlaintiffs will establish an entitlement to the funds in the blocked account,\nthe Court cannot adjudicate that issue at this time.
Plaintiffs argue that the PIO\ndemands “that the Defendants provide an accounting including (1) any\ntransactional records they maintain concerning the LLCs; (2) the disclosure of\nspecific detail concerning the transactions mentioned above, and any other transactions\nin which they engaged over the relevant period; (3) correspondence between\nDelaney and all financial institutions, accountants and counsel concerning the\nLLCs; (4) information and documentation concerning the payments to Shangri-La,\nthe purported assignment to Shangri-La, and the use of Inheritance funds by\nShangri-La; and (5) any and all information that will enable the Trousses to\ntrace the funds Delaney spent over the years, including the name and identity\nof all bank accounts opened and closed in the name of the LLCs, any and all\nassets purchased with LLC/Trousse funds, and any other pertinent information\nconcerning the LLCs finances and Delaney’s conduct.” Plaintiffs also request an order compelling\nthe immediate return of any assets subject to the PI order still in the\npossession of the Defendants, and that Defendants appear for follow-up\ndepositions and produce a deponent for Shangri-La.
Category (1), transactional records maintained\nby Defendants concerning the LLCs, are “transactional records of the LLCs”\nunder the PIO, as Defendants were the managers of the LLCs. Defendants must provide these documents to\nPlaintiffs and are hereby ordered to do so within 30 days or face potential\nsanctions.
Category (2) is too broad for the\nCourt to address in this motion to enforce the PIO. Plaintiff’s counsel’s declaration is so\nfar-reaching as to make it impossible to determine what documents in this\ncategory are documents of the LLCs, as opposed to Defendants’ personal\nfinances. All of these are likely\ndiscoverable, but not all of them come within the PIO. Plaintiffs should seek these documents in\ndiscovery. Although the Court is ruling\nthat not all of the documents in this category are subject to the PIO, the\nparties should be advised that as noted above, all records of\nDefendants’ financial dealings from the time they were entrusted with the\nInheritance Money are relevant and reasonably calculated to lead to\ndiscoverable evidence. If a protective\norder is necessary, the parties are encouraged to stipulate to one, and to meet\nand confer on a privilege log if Defendants intend to assert any privilege.
As for category (3), as discussed\nabove, the Court cannot make orders on communications with counsel on the\nrecord before it. The vehicle for adjudicating\nassertions of privilege is not a motion to enforce the PIO. However, communications between Defendants\nand accountants or financial institutions for the LLCs are records of the LLC\nunder the PIO and must be provided within 30 days or face potential sanctions.
Concerning category (4) and\nShangri-La in general, Plaintiffs’ submissions raise serious concerns. From the deposition transcripts submitted as\nExhibits 13-15, Shangri-La was a property management company that Defendants\nset up to manage properties owned by the LLCs. \nShangri-La collected rent from the properties and received a purported\nmanagement fee from the LLCs. It\ntherefore appears reasonable to consider Shangri-La’s records to be those of\nthe LLCs and to order them turned over. Defendants’\nretention of these records undoubtedly impairs Plaintiffs’ right to control all\nassets of the LLCs, which includes the rents collected from the LLCs’\nproperties and money spent to manage those properties. Defendants must provide\nthese documents within 30 days or face potential sanctions.
Category (5) contains several\nsubcategories that are ostensibly already subject to discovery. Like category (2), the PIO may be implicated\nas well as other discoverable documents in Defendants’ possession. “[T]he name and identity of all bank accounts\nopened and closed in the name of the LLCs, any and all assets purchased with\nLLC/Trousse funds” are records of the LLCs and must be turned over within 30\ndays or face potential sanctions. The\nother requests are not subject to the PIO and should be sought in\ndiscovery. To the extent Plaintiffs\nclaim that Defendants have not been cooperating in discovery (see, e.g., Lander\nDecl., ¶ 108), Plaintiffs must file a discovery motion. Again, all financial information of\nthe Defendants from the time they were entrusted with the Inheritance Money is\nrelevant and reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible\nevidence in this matter.
Plaintiffs also request that “[t]o\nthe extent that accounting reveals assets subject to the PI Order still in the\npossession of the Defendants, the Trousses additionally request an Order\ncompelling the immediate return of those assets in accordance with the\nPIO.” As discussed above, property or\nmoney that is currently in Defendants’ possession is apparently the central\ndispute in this action. The PIO applied\nto the property and money actually held by the LLCs, not those assets which\nPlaintiffs contend should be held by the LLCs. The Court cannot summarily adjudicate that\nPlaintiffs are entitled to have property or money from Defendants in the guise\nof a motion to enforce the PIO. That is\nthe proper matter for a dispositive motion.
Plaintiffs also contend that\nDefendants are refusing to submit to follow-up depositions or produce a\nShangri-La deponent for deposition. \nAgain, the Discovery Act prescribes the methods of obtaining\ndepositions. The PIO is not a substitute\nfor the enforcement provisions in the Code of Civil Procedure.
4. Defense Counsel’s Purported\nConflict
Plaintiffs contend that Defendants’\ncounsel, Michael Wallenstein, has a conflict in this matter because Defendants\nare using LLC funds to pay him. For a\nstart, Plaintiffs present no evidence in support of this contention, only their\nown counsel’s letter to Mr. Wallenstein. \nMoreover, as stated above, only the assets actually held by the LLCs are\nsubject to the PIO, and those have been turned over to Plaintiffs. The Court\nwill not order counsel to account to Plaintiffs at this time. Counsel for\ndefendants, however, are put on notice that any fees received that are\ntraceable back to the LLCs and/or the property of the Plaintiffs may be subject\nto a future claim.
For the foregoing reasons,\nPlaintiffs’ motion is granted in part. \nDefendants are to provide to Plaintiffs within 30 days of this order:
1) All invoices, demands, or profit\nshare records pertaining to any transfers of funds from the LLCs to Defendants\nbetween 2009 and 2015;
2) All invoices, demands, or profit\nshare records pertaining to transfers or payments made to Shangri-La\nProperties, LLC since that entity was organized;
3) All e-mails and correspondents with\nany accountants for any of the LLCs, or with Fox Accounting or Wells Fargo\npertaining to the LLCs;
4) Any transactional records\nDefendants maintain concerning the LLCs;
5) Any correspondence between Lynne\nDelaney and any financial institutions or accountants concerning the LLCs;
6) All information and documentation\nconcerning payments from the LLCs to Shangri-La Properties, LLC;
7) All information and documentation\nconcerning any assignments in favor of Shangri-La Properties, LLC;
8) All information and documentation\nconcerning the use of any funds from the estate of Jean-Michel Trousse.
9) The name and identity of all bank\naccounts opened or closed in the name of any of the LLCs; and
10) A description of any property\npurchased with funds from the LLCs.
All other requests are denied\nwithout prejudice. Plaintiffs to give\nnotice.
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Date: August\n 4, 2021\n
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Honorable Stuart M. Rice\n
Judge of the Superior Court\n
Case Number: BC695842 Hearing Date: November 09, 2020 Dept: 49
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Emmanuel Trousse, et al.,
Lynne A. Delaney, et al.
Hearing Date: November 9, 2020
Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice
(1) Defendant Ruben Gomez’s Motion to Compel Emmanuel Trousse to Produce Further Responses to Requests for Production
(2) Gomez’s Motion to Compel Emmanuel Trousse to Produce Further Responses to Special Interrogatories
(3) Gomez’s Motion to Compel Lara Trousse to Produce Further Responses to Requests for Production
(4) Gomez’s Motion to Compel Lara Trousse to Produce Further Responses to Special Interrogatories
Moving Party: Defendant Ruben Gomez
Responding Party: Plaintiffs Emmanuel Trousse and Lara Trousse
Ruling: The motions to compel further are granted in part and denied in part. Plaintiffs are ordered to provide complete and verified responses to the subject discovery requests within 20 days of this ruling. Defendant’s request for sanctions is denied.
Tax Information/Returns and Forms K-1
Although defendants assert that plaintiffs already agreed to provide the responsive documents, a review of plaintiffs’ actual discovery responses shows that they asserted objections, including that the requests were not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and agreed to provide responsive documents subject to those objections. Accordingly, plaintiffs preserved their objections for the purpose of these discovery motions. Further, as plaintiffs observe in their oppositions, defendants raise the tax-related issues for the first time without having met and conferred. For all of these reasons, the motions are denied to the extent they seek the LLC’s tax information, returns, and K-1 forms.
Facts Supporting Improper Transaction Allegations
Defendants’ request for an evidentiary sanction based on plaintiffs’ refusal to provide this information is denied. Plaintiffs raised their work-product doctrine objection in good faith, despite the court’s conclusion that the work-product doctrine does not protect the information sought from discovery.
Defendants’ request for sanctions is denied. The parties have had IDCs with the court and it is their own failure to work together to resolve these discovery issues that has led to the necessity of this ruling. While defendants have raised some legitimate, they have also requested information that is harassing to plaintiffs. Further, plaintiffs acted with substantial justification in making certain objections and in refusing to provide some of the information sought. Therefore, the court will award no sanctions to defendants.
Date: November 9, 2020
Honorable Stuart M. Rice
Judge of the Superior Court
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