This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/28/2019 at 10:23:33 (UTC).

FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD.. VS SELENE FINANCE, LP..; ET AL

Case Summary

On 06/30/2017 FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD filed a Property - Foreclosure lawsuit against SELENE FINANCE, LP. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2150

  • Filing Date:

    06/30/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Foreclosure

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Torrance Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

SHAFAEIAN-FARD FARZANEH AN INDIVIDUAL

SHAFAEIAN-FARD FARZANEH

Defendants

BARRETT DAFFIN FRAPPIER TREDER & WEISS...

BANK OF AMERICA N.A. A NATIONAL ASSOC..

SELENE FINANCE LP A LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

DOES 1 THROUGH 100 INCLUSIVE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

TIMOTHY G. MCFARLIN

NAKANO JARROD YUTAKA

MCFARLIN TIMOTHY GEORGE

Defendant Attorneys

GIFFORD KAELEE MICHELLE

WOZNIAK LUKASZ IWO

MCGUIREWOODS LLP

LEE JAMES T.

SUMMERFIELD ADAM FREDERICK

RIBAR GWEN HEATHER

 

Court Documents

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/28/2017: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

12/6/2017: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Minute Order

12/6/2017: Minute Order

Legacy Document

4/9/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

4/13/2018: Legacy Document

Declaration

8/2/2018: Declaration

Other -

8/6/2018: Other -

Minute Order

8/13/2018: Minute Order

Declaration

11/6/2018: Declaration

Certificate of Mailing for

1/3/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Declaration

2/1/2019: Declaration

Request for Judicial Notice

2/1/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Request for Refund / Order

2/8/2019: Request for Refund / Order

Notice

2/11/2019: Notice

Objection

3/21/2019: Objection

Reply

3/28/2019: Reply

Notice of Lodging

4/22/2019: Notice of Lodging

Objection

5/1/2019: Objection

123 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/11/2019
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Request for Judicial Notice; Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Declaration (of Kaelee M. Gifford in Support of Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/31/2019
  • Declaration (of Selene Finance LP in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • General Denial; Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/07/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Selene Finance LP, a LImited Partnership (Defendant)

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  • 05/06/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 05/06/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department M; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held

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170 More Docket Entries
  • 09/11/2017
  • at 00:00 AM in Department 11; Unknown Event Type

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  • 08/15/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/15/2017
  • Notice; Filed by FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/10/2017
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/10/2017
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/30/2017
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/30/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/30/2017
  • Summons; Filed by FARZANEH SHAFAEIAN-FARD (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/30/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/09/2016
  • Notice of Motion; Filed by SELENE FINANCE, LP, A LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: YC072150    Hearing Date: July 30, 2020    Dept: B

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka

Department B

Thursday – July 30, 2020

Calendar No. 9

PROCEEDINGS

Farzaneh Shafaeian-Fard v. Selene Finance, LP, et al.

YC072150

1. Selene Finance, L.P.’s Motion to Add Attorneys’ Fees and Costs to Plaintiff’s Loan Balance

TENTATIVE RULING

Selene Finance, L.P.’s Motion to Add Attorneys’ Fees and Costs to Plaintiff’s Loan Balance is granted.

Section 9 of the Deed of Trust states, in relevant part: “If … (b) there is a legal proceeding that might significantly affect Lender’s interest in the Property and/or rights under this Security Instrument … then Lender may do and pay for whatever is reasonable or appropriate to protect Lender’s interest in the Property and rights under this Security Instrument …. Lender’s actions can include, but are not limited to … (b) appearing in court; and (c) paying reasonable attorneys’ fees to protect its interest in the Property and/or rights under this Security Instrument …. Any amounts disbursed by Lender under this Section 9 shall become additional debt of Borrower secured by this Security Instrument. These amounts shall bear interest at the Note rate from the date of disbursement and shall be payable, with such interest, upon notice from Lender to Borrower requiring payment[.]” (Defendant’s Ex. 1, p.9.)

Thus, the Deed of Trust includes a provision allowing Defendant as the loan servicer to include its attorneys’ fees and costs to the loan balance. The provisions of the Deed of Trust authorizing a lender to recover its attorney fees have been held to be broad enough to encompass the loan servicer enforcing the rights of the lender under that agreement. The exact same language set forth under the Deed of Trust herein has been approved as authorizing the specific relief sought by moving party herein – to add attorneys’ fees to the balance of the loan. See, Chacker v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 351, 357; See, also, Hart v. Clear Recon Corp. (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 322, 327.

“California courts liberally construe the term ‘on a contract’ to extend to any action as long as an action involves a contract and one of the parties would be entitled to recover attorney fees under the contract if that party prevails in its lawsuit.” Mitchell Land & Improvement Co. v. Ristorante Ferrantelli, Inc., (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 479, 486. Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint sought to prevent U.S. Bank, through its loan servicer Selene, from exercising its rights under the Deed of Trust (i.e., foreclosing on the Property). Plaintiff herself sought to recover her attorneys’ fees under the Deed of Trust. (FAC, at pg. 12, ¶ 3). Selene incurred attorneys’ fees and costs in defending this action. Ultimately, Selene prevailed on its Motion for Summary Judgment and an Order of Dismissal with Prejudice was entered in its favor. (Decl., Joshua R. Hernandez, ¶¶ 7-8, Exhibits 2-3). “A dismissal with prejudice is a judgment on the merits between the plaintiff and the defendant dismissed.” Long Beach Grand Prix Assn. v. Hunt (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1195, 1203.

“The trial court has ‘broad authority’ to determine the amount of a reasonable attorneys’ fees.” PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095. “[T]he fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate.” Id. [“California courts have consistently held that a computation of time spent on a case and the reasonable value of that time is fundamental to a determination of an appropriate attorneys' fee award.”]. “The experienced trial judge is the best judge of the value of professional services rendered in his court, and while his judgment is of course subject to review, it will not be disturbed unless the appellate court is convinced that it is clearly wrong.” Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132 (internal quotation omitted.)

Thus, Defendant is entitled to attorneys’ fees under the lodestar method based on the reasonable amount of time the attorney spent multiplied by a reasonable rate. “It is well settled that the judicial determination of reasonable attorney fees . . . does not depend solely upon hourly rates and the number of hours devoted to the case. While these two factors are the starting point of every fee award, numerous other factors must also be considered, including the novelty and difficulty of the issues presented, the quality of counsel's services, the time limitations imposed by the litigation, the amount at stake, and the result obtained by counsel.” City of Oakland v. Oakland Raiders (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 78, 83 (internal quotations and citations omitted). Here, the attorneys’ services provided by Defendant’s counsel included: “(a) review and analysis of the Complaint and First Amended Complaint; (b) preparing and responding to written discovery requests, engaging in meet and confer efforts regarding deficient discovery responses, preparing and opposing Motions to Compel, and deposing Plaintiff and third parties; (c) preparing a Motion for Sanctions; (d) preparing Motion to Dissolve Preliminary Injunction; (e) drafting two Motions for Summary Judgment (one as against the original Complaint, and one as against the First Amended Complaint); (f) numerous correspondence with Selene and Plaintiff’s counsel regarding possible resolution of the action and case management; and (g) appearing for hearings in the action.” (Decl., Joshua R. Hernandez, ¶ 10.

The Court finds that, after reviewing the attorney billing records and in considering the difficulty of this case, the quality of services, and results obtained, the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in the sum of $81,540.29 is reasonable. The time expended in completing the tasks set forth in the billing records is reasonable and the hourly rates which range from $250 to $275 per hour is reasonable. The fact that the attorney billing records correctly redacted certain confidential information did not detract from the Court’s ability to review the records and accurately determine whether the tasks expended were reasonable and necessary.

Thus, Defendant’s motion to add attorneys’ fees and costs to the loan balance is granted.

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka

Department B

Thursday – July 30, 2020

Calendar No. 9

PROCEEDINGS

Farzaneh Shafaeian-Fard v. Selene Finance, LP, et al.

YC072150

  1. Selene Finance, L.P.’s Motion for Release of Bond

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Selene Finance, L.P.’s Motion for Release of Bond is granted.

    Defendant Selene Finance LP (“Selene”) moves for an order to release, to Defendant, the $10,000 bond amount deposited by Plaintiff. On January 16, 2018 the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction. Pursuant to CCP § 529, the Court ordered Plaintiff to post a bond in the sum of $10,000.00.

    “Section 529, subdivision (a), requires that the amount of the undertaking be sufficient to ‘pay to the party enjoined such damages ... as the party may sustain by reason of the injunction, if the court finally decides that the applicant was not entitled to the injunction.’ Thus, the trial court's function is to estimate the harmful effect which the injunction is likely to have on the restrained party, and to set the undertaking at that sum.” Abba Rubber Co. v. Seaquist, (1991) 235 Cal.App.3d 1, 14. Therefore, the Court determined that the sum of $10,000 was sufficient to pay Selene such damages that Selene may suffer if it was later determined that the injunction should not have been issued.

    Here, an Order of Dismissal with Prejudice was entered in favor of Selene on September 30, 2019. In addition, Plaintiff’s appeal of the judgment was dismissed on January 31, 2020. “A dismissal with prejudice is a judgment on the merits between the plaintiff and the defendant dismissed.” Long Beach Grand Prix Assn. v. Hunt (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1195, 1203. “[W]hen a judgment is entered in favor of the defendant, the preliminary injunction dissolves without the necessity of a formal motion to dissolve.” City of Oakland v. Superior Court (1982) 136 Cal.App.3d 565, 569. When a preliminary injunction is dissolved as having been improperly granted, defendant can recover damages by proceeding against the injunction bond. See, Dickey v. Rosso (1972) 23 Cal.App.3d 493, 497-498. Defendant has provided evidence that it incurred fees and expenses during the period of the injunction related to preservation of property, property taxes, and related fees in excess of the $10,000 bond amount. (Decl., Shay Winebarger, ¶¶ 6-25.)

    Thus, Defendant’s Motion for Release of Bond is granted.

    Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT – SOUTHWEST DISTRICT

Honorable Gary Y. Tanaka Thursday, July 30, 2020

Department B Calendar No. 9

PROCEEDINGS

Farzaneh Shafaeian-Fard v. Selene Finance, LP, et al.

YC072150

  1. Bank of America, N.A.’s Motion for Summary Judgment

    TENTATIVE RULING

    Bank of America, N.A.’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

    Objections

    The Court’s rules on Defendant’s evidentiary objections as follows:

    Declaration of Farzaneh Shafaeian-Fard:

    Objections 1 to 2 are overruled. Objections 3 to 17 are sustained.

    Motion for Summary Judgment

    Defendant moves for an order granting summary judgment on Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint (“FAC”).

    The purpose of a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication “is to provide courts with a mechanism to cut through the parties’ pleadings in order to determine whether, despite their allegations, trial is in fact necessary to resolve their dispute.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) “Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (c), requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal. App. 4th 1110, 1119.)

    “On a motion for summary judgment, the initial burden is always on the moving party to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact.” (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal. App. 4th 1510, 1519.) A defendant moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication “has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “Once the defendant . . . has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff . . . to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto.” CCP § 437c(p)(2). “If the plaintiff cannot do so, summary judgment should be granted.” Avivi v. Centro Medico Urgente Medical Center (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 463, 467.

    “When deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence set forth in the papers (except evidence to which the court has sustained an objection), as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment.” (Avivi, 159 Cal.App.4th at 467; CCP § 437c(c).)

    The Court finds that Defendant has met its burden of showing that the sole cause of action asserted against it – Breach of Contract - has no merit by showing that one or more elements of the cause of action, even if not separately pleaded, cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the causes of action. Therefore, the burden shifts to Plaintiff to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the causes of action or a defense thereto. CCP § 437c(p)(2). Plaintiff has not met her burden to provide specific facts to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact.

    To state a claim for breach of contract, a plaintiff must show: (1) the existence of a valid contract between the parties; (2) the plaintiff’s performance or excuse for non-performance; (3) the defendant's breach; and (4) resulting damages to the plaintiff. Careau & Co. v. Security Pac. Business Credit, Inc. (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 1371, 1388.

    First, Plaintiff fails to provide evidence to support the elements of performance or excuse for non-performance. In fact, Plaintiff failed to perform by breaching the terms of the loan modification. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 32-47.) Plaintiff argues that Defendant breached the agreement by increasing Plaintiff’s payments beyond the mere step-rate interest rate increases as mandated within the contract. However, Plaintiff presents no evidence to support her conclusion that Defendant breached the contract in this manner. The terms of the Deed of Trust expressly authorized Defendant to collect the sums necessary to cover the Escrow Items (taxes and insurance), as well as principal and interest. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Facts and Supporting Evidence, 6, 10-12.) Plaintiff provides no evidence to refute that any change to Plaintiff’s payment was properly accounted for and in accordance with the terms of the loan modification and deed of trust. There is no evidence to show that Plaintiff’s payment obligations changed between July 2013 to March 2014, and that any changes thereafter were not permitted under the contract. Thus, Plaintiff fails to establish the required elements of her own performance, Defendant’s breach, and resulting damages.

    The only evidence submitted in opposition is the self-serving declaration of Plaintiff herself which fails to properly refute the terms of the agreement. In fact, the bulk of Plaintiff’s declaration simply reiterates the dual tracking allegation which she levied upon co-Defendant Selene which was unsuccessful in defeating Selene’s own motion for summary judgment. “[I]t is not enough in opposing summary judgment to surmise reasons or make unfounded allegations: a party cannot avoid summary judgment by asserting facts based on mere speculation and conjecture, but instead must produce admissible evidence raising a triable issue of fact.” Christina C. v. County of Orange (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 1371, 1379 (internal quotations omitted).

    Plaintiff has not met her burden to provide specific facts to show the existence of a triable issue of material fact.

    Therefore, Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted.

    Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.