This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:21:49 (UTC).

GOVIND VAGHASHIA VS PRASHANT VAGHASHIA ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/01/2018 GOVIND VAGHASHIA filed a Contract - Business Governance lawsuit against PRASHANT VAGHASHIA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are RICHARD E. RICO and RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6133

  • Filing Date:

    03/01/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business Governance

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

RICHARD E. RICO

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Petitioners, Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

VAGHASHIA GOVIND

WELLS FARGO BANK N.A.

SHERMAN OAKS FIRST PLAZA LLC

COMERICA BANK N.A.

FIVE STARS HOSPITALITY LLC

ROES 1 TO 100 INCLUSIVE

VAGHASHIA SONAL

ATMASWAROOP INVESTMENTS LLC

OAK PARK FIRST PLAZA LLC

BELLFLOWER FIRST PLAZA LLC

AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES (DBA)

VAGHASHIA FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES DBA

Respondents, Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

VAGHASHIA PRASHANT

GTEK/ BYCAN SYSTEMS

DOES 1 TO 100

GRAPHIC RESEARCH INC.

GRAPHIC RESEARCH INC. DBA GTEK/BYCAN SYSTEMS

VAGHASHIA MITA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

ENENSTEIN DARREN S. ESQ.

ENENSTEIN DARREN S.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

BALISTOCKY SUSAN ESQ.

HORN VALERIE F

BALISTOCKY SUSAN

HORN STEVEN J.

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

HORN VALERIE F

HORN STEVEN J.

HORN STEVEN J. ESQ. ESQ.

ARMENTA MARIA CRISTINA

Cross Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorney

ARMENTA MARIA CRISTINA

Other Attorneys

HORN STEVEN J. ESQ.

HECK CHRISTOPHER JOHN

 

Court Documents

Stipulation and Order

7/31/2019: Stipulation and Order

Minute Order

7/31/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

7/29/2019: Minute Order

Notice

7/22/2019: Notice

Opposition

7/24/2019: Opposition

Declaration

7/11/2019: Declaration

Opposition

7/18/2019: Opposition

Summons on Cross Complaint

3/22/2018: Summons on Cross Complaint

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

3/22/2018: NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

301 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/16/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/31/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/31/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Vacated by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/31/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Vacated by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/31/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketStipulation and Order (STIOPULATION AND ORDER RE: INSPECTION OF COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES, AND TETRIEVAL OF ELECTRONICALLY STORED INFORMATION (ESI)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/30/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 07/29/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 07/29/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17, Richard E. Rico, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Plaintiff's Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel Resonse to Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records to Rakesh Kothari) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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428 More Docket Entries
  • 03/22/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION

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  • 03/16/2018
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17; Unknown Event Type - Held

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-03-16 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/12/2018
  • DocketNotice of Related Case; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/12/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF RELATED CASE

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  • 03/01/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 03/01/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. DECLARATORY RELIEF ;ETC

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  • 03/01/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by null

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  • 01/01/1970
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 17; Status Conference

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: BC696133 Hearing Date: September 28, 2021 Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

\r\n\r\n

County of Los Angeles

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

DEPARTMENT 17

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\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE\r\nRULING

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\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

GOVIND VAGHASHIA

\r\n

\r\n

vs.

\r\n

\r\n

PRASHANT VAGHASHIA, et al.

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Case No.: \r\n BC696133

\r\n

Related Case Nos.: BC696798 and\r\n BS172969

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

Hearing Date: Sep­tember 28, 2021

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\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

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Govind’s motion to compel further is\r\nGRANTED in part, DENIED in part, consistent with the Court’s ruling below.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Prashant’s motion to compel further is\r\nGRANTED in part, MOOT in part, consistent with the Court’s ruling below.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The motion to bifurcate is GRANTED in\r\npart, DENIED in part.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 7/3/2018,\r\nPlaintiffs Govind Vaghashia as an individual and on behalf of Graphic Research,\r\nInc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems filed a second amended complaint (SAC) against\r\nPrashant Vaghashia, Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems (GRI),\r\nalleging: (1) involuntary dissolution; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3)\r\naccounting; and (4) violation of Corporations Code sections 1601 and 1602.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 9/21/2018,\r\nGRI filed a cross-complaint against Graphic Research, LLC, alleging quiet title\r\nand declaratory relief.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Now, Govind\r\nmoves to compel further responses to inspection demands (set nine) and special\r\ninterrogatories (set two). Govind also moves to bifurcate this trial.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Prashant also\r\nmoves to compel the production of documents pertaining to Govind’s banking\r\ninformation, and pursuant to document subpoenas on third parties.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For ease, the\r\nCourt has consolidated its analysis of all three motions into a single ruling.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Factual Background

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

This\r\nmatter revolves around allegations that an oral general partnership has existed\r\nbetween Govind and Prashant Vaghashia since about 1984. While Govind disputes\r\nthat an such partnership ever existed, Prashant contends that this partnership\r\nexisted and includes all hotel and investment properties acquired by Govind.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind’s Motion to Compel Further

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind\r\npropounded Inspection Demands and Special Interrogatories on Prashant to\r\ndetermine (1) if Prashant owned or owns the below-listed entities either\r\nreflected in the public records as likely being related to Prashant or\r\notherwise believed to be related; and (2) whether Prashant contends those\r\nentities are assets of the partnership Prashant contends existed:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nCentury Hospitality, Inc. dba Econolodge Inn & Suites, an Arkansas\r\ncorporation, entity filing number 811084525;

\r\n\r\n

· Hot\r\nSprings Restaurant and Lounge Inc., dba Taste of India, an Arkansas\r\ncorporation, entity filing number 811089778;

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nEmpire Hospitality, Inc., dba Econo Inn, Rodeway Inn, an Arkansas corporation,\r\nentity filing number 811174789;

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nCastle Ranch Steakhouse, LLC., an Idaho corporation;

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nPioneer Hotel Group, Inc., an Idaho corporation;

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nVaghashia Family Management Inc., an Idaho corporation;

\r\n\r\n

· A-1\r\nHospitality Inc., a Washington corporation;

\r\n\r\n

· Best\r\nHospitality, LLC, a Washington corporation;

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nSundowner Motel, located in Washington.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind\r\nargues that there is strong evidence of Prashant owning these entities, and it\r\nis important to ascertain Prashant’s ownership because if a partnership exists\r\nas Prashant alleges then those properties would also be subject to partnership\r\nownership.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nopposition, Prashant argues that these nine out-of-state entities are “totally\r\nirrelevant,” “are not parties to the case, are not mentioned in the pleadings,”\r\nand “have never been alleged by anybody to be a party of the family business in\r\nterms of either ownership or operations.” (Opp., 4: 9-13.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

However,\r\nPrashant himself contends that the partnership was not limited to California\r\nbusinesses, but rather extended to the “acquisition, ownership, and management\r\nof certain business entities in California/USA/Worldwide”. (Prashant Opp., Exh.\r\nT, Pete Agreement.) Moreover, Prashant’s own opposition concedes that seven of\r\nthe nine entities are subject of a federal RICO lawsuit against Prashant. Finally,\r\nPrashant’s own FAXC alleges that the engine of the partnership was that the it\r\n“would acquire other hotel/motels and other investment properties, and take the\r\nequity from the newly acquired businesses to acquire additional hotels/motels\r\nand investment properties.” (FAXC ¶ 20.) Accordingly, the weight of evidence\r\nindicates that these entities are not “totally irrelevant” but may be owned, or\r\nhave been owned, by Prashant. If this is the case, these properties would be\r\nhighly relevant to determining the scope of the alleged partnership between\r\nPrashant and Govind.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The\r\nCourt agrees that the discovery sought by Govind is directly relevant to this\r\nmatter, Given that it is Prashant who alleges the existence of a partnership,\r\nit is clearly relevant to determine the extent of the alleged partnership’s\r\nholdings.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

However, the\r\nCourt finds that, as written, certain requests are overly broad. For example,\r\nInspection Demand No. 475 seeks “all DOCUMENTS sufficient to demonstrate the\r\nOWENRSHIP of CENTURY HOSPITALITY” and lists over 40 different types of\r\nresponsive documents including keypunch cards, art work, and diaries. Ownership\r\nis demonstrable through a much smaller subset of documents, and thus the Court\r\nlimits the request to contracts, agreements, and any electronic or written\r\ncorrespondence related to ownership. This\r\nlimitation does not apply to the definition of “charter documents” which the\r\nCourt finds to be sufficiently narrowed.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Based\r\non the foregoing, Govind’s motion to compel further discovery granted.

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Prashant’s Motion to Compel Further

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On June 14,\r\n2021, Prashant served thirteen business-record subpoenas to third parties that\r\nhe anticipates will have information relevant to showing that a partnership\r\nexisted. Prashant also requests Govind’s tax returns from the shared accounting\r\nfirm they used.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nopposition, Govind agreed to stipulate to produce a narrower subset of\r\ndocuments. Specifically, Govind contended that he would agree to produce all\r\nnon-privileged documents in response to the following requests:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

- \r\nAll documents, spreadsheets, data, notes,\r\nphotographs, videos, drawing and other materials and items in your possession,\r\ncustody or control that mention or concern any dispute between Prashant\r\nVaghashia and Govind Vaghashia.

\r\n\r\n

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- \r\nAll documents that show the source of\r\nany payments made to you on behalf of or for Govind, Sonal, Prashant or Mita\r\nVagashia or for any properties owned by them or for work directed by or on\r\ntheir behalf.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

- \r\nAny and all documents that concern the\r\nownership of any entities owned by any of the Vaghashias (Govind, Sonal, Mita or\r\nPrashant).

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

- \r\nAny partnership documents or corporate\r\nformation documents for any entities formed or owned by any of the Vaghashias,\r\nincluding the Vaghashia Family Limited Partnership.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind\r\ncontends that all other requests are either grossly broad, an unwarranted\r\ninvasion of privacy, or embraced by the other requests.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nreply, Prashant expressed that he was amenable to the stipulation, and as a\r\nresult the only remaining issues for purposes of this motion were: (1) Whether\r\n“Govind’s numbers” should be redacted from produced documents (Oppo. Br. at\r\n2-8); (2) Whether Govind’s “personal” financial information must be produced\r\n(Oppo. Br. at 9-11); (3) Whether documents from Pramukh Enterprise, Inc. should\r\nbe produced (Oppo. Br. at 9- 12); (4) Whether Govind’s argument that the “Pete\r\nAgreement” (i.e., the settlement agreement between the brothers) is a forgery\r\nshould shield Govind from discovery (Oppo. at 12-14); (5) Whether Govind’s\r\nargument that Prashant’s evidence is insufficient to prove a partnership should\r\nshield Govind from discovery (Oppo. at 14-16); and (6) Whether the trade secret\r\ndoctrine permits Govind to resist discovery related to details of the business\r\nthat the family operated together for more than 30 years (Oppo. at 17-18).

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As\r\nto the first, second, and third issues, Prashant argues that good cause exists\r\nfor the production of accounting, tax, franchise, and banking documents\r\ncomplete with “numbers” and including records that Govind has deemed “personal”\r\nbecause these documents speak to the critical issue of Govind’s degree of\r\nmanagerial control. Put another way, “if the CPA that represented both brothers\r\ntook directions and communicated with Prashant as transparently as she did with\r\nGovind prior to the brother’s dispute, this tends to show that Prashant had\r\nmanagerial control and was indeed a partner in the enterprise. The content of\r\nthe communications, the amount of control offered to and exerted by Vaghashia,\r\nall under Govind’s supposed watchful eye, are highly relevant to the facts that\r\ncould prove the existence of a partnership.” (Reply, 3:22-25.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The\r\nCourt agrees. While Govind has a protected interest in personal and financial\r\ninformation, this protection is qualified and must be carefully balanced\r\nagainst the propounding party’s need for discovery. (Williams v. Superior\r\nCourt (Marshalls of CA, LLC) (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 557.) Here,\r\nGovind relies on a blanket assertion of a privacy interest, but has not set\r\nforth sufficient evidence to show that this interest outweighs Prashant’s\r\nstrong interest in obtaining information that speaks the shape and form of the alleged\r\npartnership.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As\r\nto the fourth issue, there has been no determination on the merits as to\r\nwhether the so-called Pete Agreement is forged or not, and thus will not be a\r\ngrounds for avoiding discovery.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As\r\nto the fifth issue, all non-privileged discovery relevant to showing a\r\npartnership is fair game for discovery.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As\r\nto the sixth issue, Prashant notes that Govind bears the burden of proof to\r\nestablish that the information sought by the bank subpoenas is a protected\r\ntrade secret, and argues that Govind has not met his burden. The Court agrees.\r\nThe case cited to in support by Govind was an 11th Circuit opinion which was\r\nspecific to the Georgia Trade Secrets Act. Accordingly, the Court is without\r\npersuasive authority that would show this Court that the production of banking\r\ndocuments would constitute disclosure of a protected trade secret.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nsum, the Court concludes that the “numbers” are not to be redacted from the\r\ndiscovery Govind has agreed to produce pursuant to stipulation. Govind also\r\nmust produce all responsive documents pertaining to personal and family trust\r\nwhich fall within the categories of Request Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 8.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Accordingly,\r\nwhile Prashant’s motion to compel further discovery is partially mooted by the\r\nstipulation, the motion is granted with respect to the production of “numbers”\r\nand responsive documents relating to the personal and family trust which fall\r\nwithin the categories of Request Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 8. The Court encourages the\r\nparties to stipulate to a protective order that would adequately protect\r\nGovind’s personal and financial information.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Motion to Bifurcate

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind\r\nargues that the Court should bifurcate the issue of whether a partnership was\r\nformed between Govind and Prashant and stay discovery as to other issues.\r\nSpecifically, Govind proposes the following phases:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

- \r\nPhase One:\r\nA 7-10 day trial to determine the issues of (i) whether an (oral or implied)\r\npartnership existed between the parties and (ii) whether the Pete Agreement is\r\nauthentic and enforceable – beginning on March 28, 2022.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In the event the foregoing proceeding does not dispose of\r\nall of Prashant’s claims against Govind, the parties would have approximately\r\nsix to nine months to conduct complete financial discovery and discovery on the\r\nremaining claims and issues.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

- \r\nPhase Two:\r\nA trial on Govind’s claims and Prashant’s remaining crossclaims, if any, by the\r\nend of 2022 or early 2023, which would include the following:

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nGovind’s claims against Prashant relating to embezzlement and mismanagement of\r\nGraphic Research, Inc.;

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nPrashant’s claims against Govind for an accounting, breach of fiduciary duty,\r\nmisappropriation of funds, etc., relating to Govind’s alleged misuse of the\r\ncorporate form or breaches relating to the “partnership” (to the extent a\r\npartnership is proved to exist in Phase 1);

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nGovind’s claims against Prashant relating to breaches of the “partnership” (to\r\nthe extent a partnership is proved to exist in Phase 1);

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nThe Interpleader Case; and

\r\n\r\n

·\r\nThe Partition Case.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nsupport, Govind contends that the “crucial singular issue” between the parties\r\nhere is whether or not a general partnership has existed between Govind and\r\nPrashant since 1984. To support his view, Govind points to the statement by\r\nPrashant stating that “If Govind prevails on th[e] single factual issue [of whether\r\na partnership existed between the parties then], all of Prashant’s claims in\r\nthe [First Amended] Cross-Complaint are likely to fail.” (Motion to Bifurcate,\r\n1:3-5.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nopposition, Prashant agrees that bifurcation is appropriate but “opposes\r\nbifurcation to the extent it has the purpose or effect of limiting otherwise\r\nrelevant and important discovery.” (Opp., 1:4-5.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The\r\nCourt agrees that blocking otherwise legitimate discovery will only cause\r\nunnecessary delays, and could prevent the discovery of evidence relevant to\r\nPhase 1.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The\r\nCourt agrees that Govind’s proposed two-phase trial would promote judicial\r\neconomy and avoid unnecessary delay, confusion of issues, and the expenditure\r\nof substantial funds. In that regard, Govind’s motion to bifurcate is granted.\r\nHowever, to the extent that Govind’s motion seeks to freeze discovery, Govind’s\r\nmotion to bifurcate is denied.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

It is so ordered.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Dated: September \r\n, 2021

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Hon. Jon R.\r\nTakasugi\r\n Judge of the\r\nSuperior Court

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must\r\nsend an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org\r\nby 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court\r\nwebsite at www.lacourt.org. If a party submits\r\non the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must\r\nidentify the party submitting on the tentative. \r\nIf all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this\r\ntentative as the final order. If the department\r\ndoes not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the\r\ntentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed\r\noff calendar.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Due to Covid-19, the court is\r\nstrongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present\r\nare subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied\r\nentry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to\r\nargue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. \r\nFor more information, please contact the court clerk at (213)\r\n633-0517. Your understanding during\r\nthese difficult times is appreciated.

\r\n\r\n

Superior Court of California

\r\n\r\n

County of Los Angeles

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\r\n\r\n

DEPARTMENT 17

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\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE\r\nRULING

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

GOVIND VAGHASHIA

\r\n

\r\n

vs.

\r\n

\r\n

PRASHANT VAGHASHIA, et al.

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Case No.: \r\n BC696133

\r\n

Related Case Nos.: BC696798 and\r\n BS172969

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

Hearing Date: September 28, 2021

\r\n
\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The\r\nCourt grants the following temporary restraining order:

\r\n\r\n

Cross-Complaints,\r\ntheir agents, assigns, partners, employees, or individuals or entities are\r\nbarred from the lease, demise, sale, encumbrance, conveyance, or otherwise\r\ninterfering in the properties listed in the proposed order until an OSC: Re\r\nPreliminary Injunction is held.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A\r\npreliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for _____

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 7/3/2018,\r\nPlaintiffs Govind Vaghashia (Govind) as an individual and on behalf of Graphic\r\nResearch, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems filed a second amended complaint (SAC)\r\nagainst Prashant Vaghashia (Prashant), Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan\r\nSystems (GRI), alleging: (1) involuntary dissolution; (2) breach of fiduciary\r\nduty; (3) accounting; and (4) violation of Corporations Code sections 1601 and\r\n1602.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 9/21/2018, Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan (GRI)\r\nfiled a cross-complaint for quiet title and declaratory relief.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Now,\r\nGovind applies for an OSC Re: Preliminary Injunction.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Legal Standard

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A ‘temporary’ restraining order is of a limited\r\nduration (i.e. it is temporary) and is generally only issued to be in effect\r\nuntil a hearing can be held for a preliminary injunction. (See McManus\r\nv. KPAL Broadcasting Corp. (1960) 182 Cal.App.2d 558,\r\n562; see Integrated Lender Services, Inc. v. County of L.A. 92018)\r\n22 Cal.App.5th 867, fn. 2.1) A preliminary injunction is of indefinite\r\nduration, generally ‘until further order of the court’. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Discussion

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind\r\nasks the Court to issue an OSC requiring Cross-Complainants to show why an\r\ninjunction should not issue pending trial in this action prohibiting\r\nCross-Complainants and their agents, assigns, partners, employees, or\r\nindividuals or entities acting on behalf of or in concert with any of the same,\r\nfrom engaging in any of the following acts pending a hearing on Govind’s\r\nrequest for a preliminary injunction:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

1. \r\nThe lease, demise, sale, encumbrance,\r\nconveyance, or otherwise interfering with any of the following real properties\r\nunder dispute in this action as listed in Paragraph 29 of Cross Complainants’\r\nFirst Amended Cross-Complaint (collectively referred to herein as the\r\n“Properties”):

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

a. \r\n517 N. Avon St Burbank, CA 91505-3535;\r\nAPN: 2483-007-016 (Legal Title Held in the name of the Vaghashia Family Limited\r\nPartnership (“VFLP”))

\r\n\r\n

b. \r\n702 E. Fairmont, Burbank, CA 9150; APN:\r\n2459-003-010 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

c. \r\n984 W. Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo CA\r\n93010; APN: 230-0-142-025 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

d. \r\n984 W. Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo CA\r\n93010; APN: 230-0-142-115; 230-0- 142-105 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

e. \r\n1110 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA\r\n91505; APN: 2477-016-005 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

f. \r\n1112 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA\r\n91505; APN: 2477-016-007 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

g. \r\n1118 North Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA\r\n91505; APN: 2477-016-009 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

h. \r\n2111 E. Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA\r\n90059; APN: 6067-013-010 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

i. \r\n2215 North Brighton Street, Burbank, CA\r\n91505; APN: 2461-013-021 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

j. \r\n2247 North Buena Vista Street, Burbank\r\nCA 91504; APN: 2466-015-048 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

k. \r\n2255 N. Buena Vista Street, Burbank,\r\nCA; APN: 2466-014-041 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

l. \r\n2255 N. Buena Vista Street, Burbank,\r\nCA; APN: 2466-014-042 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

m. \r\n2302-2304 N. Frederic Street, Burbank,\r\nCA. 91504; APN: 2466-014-033 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

n. \r\n2309 N. Niagra Street, Burbank CA\r\n91504; APN: 2464-005-003 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

o. \r\n2313-2315 Niagra Street, Burbank, CA\r\n91504; APN: 2462-005-004 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

p. \r\n2529 N. San Fernando Boulevard,\r\nBurbank, CA 91504; APN: 2466-014-040 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

q. \r\n2943 Olney Place, Burbank CA 91504;\r\nAPN: 2471-047-029 (Legal Title Held by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

r. \r\n3205 Jeffries Avenue, Burbank CA 91505;\r\nAPN: 2437-006-012 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop Investments,\r\nLLC)

\r\n\r\n

s. \r\n3339 Durham Ct. Burbank, CA 91504-1600;\r\nAPN: 2471-053-077 (Legal Title Held 70% Govind)

\r\n\r\n

t. \r\n5150 and 5152 ½ Riverton Avenue, North\r\nHollywood, CA 91601; APN: 2419- 009-019 (Legal Title Held in the name of\r\nAtmaswaroop Investments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

u. \r\n5151 Denny Avenue, North Hollywood, CA\r\n91601; APN: 2419-009-018 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

v. \r\n7501 N. Glenoaks, Burbank, CA 91504;\r\nAPN: 2401-042-013 (Legal Title Held in the name of Five Stars Hospitality, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

w. \r\n10746 and 10746E/2 Magnolia Blvd.,\r\nNorth Hollywood; APN: 2419-009-003 (Legal Title Held in the name of Atmaswaroop\r\nInvestments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

x. \r\n17600 Bellflower Blvd Bellflower CA,\r\n90706-6612; APN: 7161-013-079 (Legal Title Held in the name of Bellflower First\r\nPlaza, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

y. \r\nCalifornia APN: 142-081-17 (Legal Title\r\nHeld by VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

z. \r\nSherman Oaks First Plaza, Sherman Oaks,\r\nCA 91423APN: 2265-014-012 and 2265-014-013 (Legal Title Held by Sherman Oaks\r\nFirst Plaza, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

aa. 634-664\r\nLindero Canyon Blvd., Oak Park, CA, 91377; APNs: 685-0-330-055/685-\r\n0-330-045/685-0-330-065 (Legal Title Held in the name of Oak Park First Plaza,\r\nLLC)

\r\n\r\n

bb. 210-216\r\nN. Florence Ave., Burbank, CA 91501; APN: 2484-006-003 (Legal Title Held in the\r\nname of Atmaswaroop Investments, LLC)

\r\n\r\n

cc. 984\r\nW. Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo CA 93010; APN: 230-0-142-115; 230-0- 142-105\r\n(Legal Title held in the name of VFLP)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

These\r\nproperties are currently titled in and controlled by Govind and his Business\r\nentities. Govind argues that an\r\ninjunction barring Prashant from leasing or otherwise interfering with these\r\nproperties is necessary based upon “recent acts of the Complainants.” (Motion,\r\n4: 9-10.) Specifically, Govind contends that on 7/1/2021 Prashant executed a\r\n“Renewal of Lease Agreement” for the property listed above in subpart (p) which\r\n“would bind Govind and the Business Entities to an employment agreement without\r\ntheir consent” and “purports to give possession of the property to a third\r\nparty for a period of five years” (Motion, 5: 14-17, original emphasis.)\r\nGiven that there is an active dispute as to whether Prashant has any management\r\nrights as to any of these properties, and given that Prashant’s actions could\r\ngive rise to a “multiplicity” of judicial proceedings with third-parties\r\nasserted a purported right in these properties, Govind argues that a\r\npreliminary injunction is necessary to prevent Prashant from causing\r\nirreparable injury to Govind and his Business Entities.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In\r\nopposition, Prashant argues Govind is also interfering with the status quo, and\r\nthus contends that he is entitled to his own injunction. Specifically, Prashant\r\nrequests that the Court:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

1) Order any\r\nand all parties and their agents to desist forthwith from withdrawing funds,\r\ncashing checks, dealing and/or tampering with any bank accounts for the\r\ndisputed partnership properties listed in the Proposed Order so as to dissipate\r\nthe funds therein until further order of this court.

\r\n\r\n

2) If the\r\nneed arises, the parties may apply to the court for an order to withdraw funds\r\nfrom the aforementioned account upon a showing of good cause.

\r\n\r\n

3) In the\r\nalternative, the court hereby appoint a temporary receiver to take over the\r\nbank accounts and financial matters of all the businesses and properties that\r\nare disputed and listed in the Proposed Order

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

However,\r\nthe Court may not properly consider a request for a TRO raised in an opposition\r\nto another motion for a TRO. If Prashant wishes to obtain a TRO so a motion for\r\npreliminary injunction can be heard on this matter, Prashant must move for such\r\nrelief separately.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A ‘temporary’ restraining order is of a limited\r\nduration (i.e. it is temporary) and is generally only issued to be in effect\r\nuntil a hearing can be held for a preliminary injunction. (See McManus\r\nv. KPAL Broadcasting Corp. (1960) 182 Cal.App.2d 558,\r\n562; see Integrated Lender Services, Inc. v. County of L.A. 92018)\r\n22 Cal.App.5th 867, fn. 2.1) A preliminary injunction is of indefinite\r\nduration, generally ‘until further order of the court’. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Given that Prashant\r\ndid not dispute that a TRO is necessary to preserve the existing status quo\r\n(though for different reasons) until a preliminary injunction hearing can be\r\nheld, the Court finds the appropriate course of action to be to award Govind’s\r\nrequest for a temporary restraining order barring Cross-Complaints their\r\nagents, assigns, partners, employees, or individuals or entities from the\r\nlease, demise, sale, encumbrance, conveyance, or otherwise interfering in the\r\nproperties listed above until an OSC: Re Preliminary Injunction can be held.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

It is so ordered.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Dated: September \r\n, 2021

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Hon. Jon R.\r\nTakasugi\r\n Judge of the\r\nSuperior Court

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must\r\nsend an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org\r\nby 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court\r\nwebsite at www.lacourt.org. If a party submits\r\non the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must\r\nidentify the party submitting on the tentative. \r\nIf all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this\r\ntentative as the final order. If the department\r\ndoes not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the\r\ntentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed\r\noff calendar.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Due to Covid-19, the court is\r\nstrongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present\r\nare subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied\r\nentry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to\r\nargue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. \r\nFor more information, please contact the court clerk at (213)\r\n633-0517. Your understanding during\r\nthese difficult times is appreciated.

\r\n\r\n

'b'

Case Number: BC696133 Hearing Date: August 5, 2021 Dept: 17

Superior\r\nCourt of California

\r\n\r\n

County\r\nof Los Angeles

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

DEPARTMENT 17

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE RULING

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

GOVIND\r\n VAGHASHIA

\r\n

\r\n

vs.

\r\n

\r\n

PRASHANT\r\n VAGHASHIA, et al.

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Case No.: \r\n BC696133

\r\n

Related\r\n Case Nos.: BC696798 and BS172969

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

\r\n

Hearing\r\n Date: August 5, 2021

\r\n
\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind’s motion to expunge lis pendens is GRANTED. Govind\r\nis awarded $4,882.50 in attorneys fees and costs.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 7/3/2018, Plaintiffs Govind Vaghashia as an individual\r\nand on behalf of Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems filed a second\r\namended complaint (SAC) against Prashant Vaghashia, Graphic Research, Inc. dba\r\nGtek/Bycan Systems (GRI), alleging: (1) involuntary dissolution; (2) breach of fiduciary\r\nduty; (3) accounting; and (4) violation of Corporations Code sections 1601 and\r\n1602.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 9/21/2018, Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan (GRI)\r\nfiled a cross-complaint for quiet title and declaratory relief.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 12/21/2018, GRI filed a lis pendens.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On 8/31/2020, GRI dismissed its cross-complaint.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Now, Govind moves to expunge the lis pendens recorded by\r\nDefendant. Govind also seeks to recover reasonable attorneys fees and costs\r\nincurred in bringing this motion.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The motion is unopposed.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Legal\r\nStandard

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

“A lis pendens\r\nis a recorded document giving constructive notice that an action has been filed\r\naffecting title or right to possession of the real property described in the\r\nnotice. Its effect is that anyone acquiring an interest in the property after\r\nthe action was filed will be bound by the judgment.” (BGJ Associates,\r\nLLC v. Superior Court (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 952, 967.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In a\r\nmotion to expunge a notice of lis pendens, the claimant who filed\r\nthe lis pendens has the burden of\r\nproof. (Code Civ. Proc. §405.30.) Thus, that claimant, in\r\nopposing the motion to expunge the lis pendens,\r\nmust demonstrate the following: (1) the action affects title to or right of\r\npossession of the real property described in the notice; (2) insofar as the\r\nsaid notice is concerned, the party recording the notice has commenced the\r\naction for a proper purpose and in good faith; and (3) the probable validity of\r\nthe real property claim by a preponderance of the evidence. (Hunting World,\r\nInc. v. Superior Court (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 67, 70; see also\r\nCode Civ. Proc., § 405.32.) A claim has “probable validity” where it is\r\nmore likely than not that the plaintiff will obtain a judgment against the\r\ndefendant on that claim. (Id., § 481.190.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Discussion\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Govind argues that GRI has no basis\r\nfor its lis pendens given that it was recorded as part of its cross-complaint,\r\nand GRI has since dismissed its cross-complaint.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A lis pendens is a recorded document giving constructive\r\nnotice that an action has been filed affecting title or right to possession of\r\nthe real property described in the notice. (BGJ Associates, LLC v. Superior\r\nCourt (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 952, 966, citing Urez Corp. v. Superior\r\nCourt (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 1141, 1144-1145.) A lis pendens notice may only\r\nbe recorded in an action which has a “real property claim,” which is defined by\r\nstatute as “the cause or causes of action in a pleading which would, if\r\nmeritorious, affect … title to, or the right to possession of, specific real\r\nproperty.” Code of Civ. Proc. § 405.4.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In a motion to expunge a notice of lis pendens,\r\nthe claimant who filed the lis pendens has the burden of\r\nproof. (Code Civ. Proc. §405.30.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Here, the motion is unopposed, and\r\nGRI has made no attempt to meet its burden. Moreover, following the dismissal\r\nof its cross-complaint, that action lacks a viable cause of action against\r\nGovind. Thus, none of\r\nGRI’s claims have “probable validity.”(See Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n481.190 [claim has probable validity where it is more likely than not that\r\nthe plaintiff/cross-complainant will obtain a judgment against the\r\ndefendant/cross-defendant on that claim].)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Based\r\non the foregoing, Govind’s motion is granted. Govind seeks $4,882.50. Given\r\nGRI’s failure to oppose this motion, the Court awards Govind’s request in\r\nfull.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

It is so ordered.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Dated: August \r\n, 2021

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Hon. Jon R.\r\nTakasugi\r\n Judge of the\r\nSuperior Court

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must\r\nsend an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org\r\nby 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court\r\nwebsite at www.lacourt.org. If a party submits\r\non the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must\r\nidentify the party submitting on the tentative. \r\nIf all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this\r\ntentative as the final order. If the department\r\ndoes not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the\r\ntentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed\r\noff calendar.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Due to Covid-19, the court is\r\nstrongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present\r\nare subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied\r\nentry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to\r\nargue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. \r\nFor more information, please contact the court clerk at (213)\r\n633-0517. Your understanding during\r\nthese difficult times is appreciated.

\r\n\r\n

'

Case Number: BC696133    Hearing Date: May 20, 2021    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

GOVIND VAGHASHIA

vs.

PRASHANT VAGHASHIA, et al.

Case No.: BC696133

Related Case Nos.: BC696798 and BS172969

Hearing Date: May 20, 2021

Plaintiff’s motion to compel further responses to his Inspection Demand, Set Two, Nos. 18 and No. 25 is MOOT. The Court declines to award sanctions at this time.

On 7/3/2018, Plaintiffs Govind Vaghashia as an individual and on behalf of Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems filed a second amended complaint (SAC) against Prashant Vaghashia, Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems (GRI), alleging: (1) involuntary dissolution; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3) accounting; and (4) violation of Corporations Code sections 1601 and 1602.

Now, Plaintiff moves to compel further responses from GRI to his inspection demand (set two). Plaintiff also seeks attorneys fees sanctions totaling $2,396.25 and terminating sanctions.

Discussion

Plaintiff seeks further responses to his Inspection Demand, Set Two, Nos. 18 and 35:

· Request No. 18 for All DOCUMENTS relied upon or referenced in responding to PLAINTIFF’S Form Interrogatories, Set One; and

· Request No. 35 for All DOCUMENTS in support of any affirmative defenses that YOU are asserting in response to PLAINTIFF’S Cross-Complaint for quiet title of the SUBJECT PROPERTY in this action.

In opposition, GRI explained that it has since served supplemental responses. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion to compel further responses is moot.

Because GRI served responses prior to this motion being heard on the merits, the Court declines to award sanctions at this time but will hear argument at the time of the hearing.

It is so ordered.

Dated: May , 2021

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

GOVIND VAGHASHIA

vs.

PRASHANT VAGHASHIA, et al.

Case No.: BC696133

Related Case Nos.: BC696798 and BS172969

Hearing Date: May 20, 2021

Plaintiff’s motion to compel further responses to his Form Interrogatories, Set One, Nos. 4.2, 15.1, and 17.1 is MOOT. The Court declines to award sanctions at this time.

On 7/3/2018, Plaintiffs Govind Vaghashia as an individual and on behalf of Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems filed a second amended complaint (SAC) against Prashant Vaghashia, Graphic Research, Inc. dba Gtek/Bycan Systems (GRI), alleging: (1) involuntary dissolution; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3) accounting; and (4) violation of Corporations Code sections 1601 and 1602.

Now, Plaintiff moves to compel further responses from GRI to his Form Interrogatories, Set One, Nos. 4.2, 15.1, and 17.1. Plaintiff also seeks attorneys fees sanctions totaling $4,570 and terminating sanctions.

Discussion

Plaintiff seeks further responses from GRI to his Form Interrogatories, Set One, Nos. 4.2, 15.1, and 17.1.

In opposition, GRI explained that it has since served supplemental responses. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion to compel further responses is moot.

Because GRI served responses prior to this motion being heard on the merits, the Court declines to award sanctions at this time but will hear argument at the time of the hearing.

It is so ordered.

Dated: May , 2021

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.

Case Number: BC696133    Hearing Date: September 28, 2020    Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

GOVIND VAGHASHIA

Plaintiff,

v.

PRASHANT VAGHASHIA, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.: BC696133 (consolidated with

Case Nos. BC704685 and EC068519;

related Case No. PC058529

Hearing Date: September 28, 2020

Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind R. Vaghashia’s Motions to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One is GRANTED. Graphic Research, Inc. is ordered to serve further verified responses within 10 days.

Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind R. Vaghashia’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Requests for Production, Set Two is GRANTED. Graphic Research, Inc. is ordered to serve further verified responses within 10 days.

Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind R. Vaghashia’s requests for monetary sanctions are GRANTED in the sum of $2,054 against Graphic Research, Inc. Sanctions are payable through counsel within 10 days.

This is an action by Govind Vaghashia, on behalf of himself and of his company, Graphic Research, Inc. dba GTEK/BYCAN Systems (“Graphic”), against Prashant Vaghashia and Graphic. This case has been consolidated with BC704685, which involves Govind and Govind’s wife Sonal as Plaintiffs, and Prashant and Prashant’s wife Mita as Defendants.[1] The case has also been related to PC058529, a case involving the accounting firm of Graphic.

BC696133

Plaintiff Govind initiated BC696133 against Defendants Prashant and Graphic Research, Inc. dba GTEK/BYCAN Systems (“Graphic”). Govind and Prashant are the sole shareholders of Graphic. Plaintiff alleges in the operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) that Prashant, who owns a majority 51% share of the company, is improperly withdrawing funds from Graphic and is otherwise mismanaging the company. It also alleges a corporate impasse and claims involuntary dissolution.

Prashant/Graphic filed a cross-complaint in BC696133 seeking to quiet title to the corporate headquarters of Graphic (the “GRI Property”) based on adverse possession. Govind then filed a cross-complaint, seeking to quiet title to the same property.

BC704685

Govind’s and Sonal’s Complaint in BC704685 seeks partition by sale of a particular piece of real property (the “Durham Property”). It is alleged in the Complaint that the Durham Property is currently held in joint tenancy in which Plaintiffs Govind and Sonal own a 70% interest and Defendants Prashant and Mita own a 30% interest.

Prashant and Mita cross-complained, seeking to quiet title to the Durham Property either (1) 100% in favor of a purported partnership between the parties, or, alternatively, (2) 100% in favor of Prashant. The basis of the Cross-Complaint is a document that Prashant claims Govind emailed to him on two occasions, referred to herein as the Memorandum of Partnership. (FAXC, ¶¶ 32, 34.) The document purports to be signed by both Prashant and Govind, and it purports to (1) memorialize and confirm the existence of a 35 year long legal partnership of Govind, Sonal, Prashant, and Mita and (2) execute a division of the partnership assets, which included a conveyance of the entirety of the Durham Property from Govind to Prashant. Prashant has produced only a copy of this document. Govind claims that the document and his signature are entirely fabricated.

On April 19, 2019, Govind served Form Interrogatories, Set One and Demands for Production of Documents and Other Tangible Things, Set Two on Graphic. After extensions were granted, Graphic served its responses, consisting of only objections, on June 7, 2019.

On November 25, 2019, Govind filed the subject motions to compel further responses. The motions are unopposed. On September 21, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Non-Opposition by Graphic. Graphic filed a Response to Plaintiff’s Notice of Non-Opposition on September 23, 2020.

The court has read the moving papers, Plaintiff’s Notice of Non-Opposition, and Graphic’s Response to Plaintiff’s Notice of Non-Opposition.

Meet and Confer Requirement

A motion to compel further responses must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing a “reasonable and good faith attempt” to resolve informally the issues presented by the motion before filing the motion. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2016.040; 2030.300, subd. (b)(1); 2031.310, subd. (b)(2).) This rule is designed “to encourage the parties to work out their differences informally so as to avoid the necessity for a formal order. . . .” (McElhaney v. Cessna Aircraft Co. (1982) 134 Cal.App.3d 285, 289. The court notes that the parties held an Informal Discovery Conference on August 13, 2020 and could not resolve the discovery issues pertinent to these motions.

Merits

Code of Civil Procedure Section 2030.300 provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

(a) On receipt of a response to interrogatories, the propounding party may move for an order compelling a further response if the propounding party deems that any of the following apply:

(1) An answer to a particular interrogatory is evasive or incomplete.

(2) An exercise of the option to produce documents under Section 2030.230 is unwarranted or the required specification of those documents is inadequate.

(3) An objection to an interrogatory is without merit or too general.

(b) A motion under subdivision (a) shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040. . . .

Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.310 provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

(a) On receipt of a response to a demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling, the demanding party may move for an order compelling further response to the demand if the demanding party deems that any of the following apply:

(1) A state of compliance with the demand is incomplete.

(2) A representation of inability to comply is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive.

(3) An objection in the response is without merit or too general.

A motion to compel further responses to a request for production “shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the inspection demand.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b).)

Here, Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind seeks further responses from Defendant/Cross-Complainant Graphic to a first set of Judicial Council Form Interrogatories to which Graphic responded with only objections. The interrogatories at issue are Interrogatories 1.1, 3.1-3.7, 4.1-4.2, 15.1, and 17.1. These interrogatories are aimed at discovering relevant information about Graphic’s identity, claims and defenses, and insurance information, which are all discoverable pursuant to the Discovery Act.

In a motion to compel further responses, the burden is on the responding party to justify any objection or failure fully to answer interrogatories. (See Coy v. Superior Court (1962) 58 Cal.2d 210, 220-21; see also Fairmont Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.4th 245, 255.) Graphic did not file an opposition, and so did not meet its burden of justifying any of its objections raised to the Form Interrogatories. The court does not find the interrogatories to be so vague, ambiguous, or overly broad as to prevent Graphic from providing a complete response. Graphic has not demonstrated the quantum of work required and any burden resulting in injustice for the court to sustain its “overbroad and unduly burdensome” objections. (West Pico Furniture Co. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 417-18.) Finally, Graphic did not attempt to show that the response to the interrogatories implicates the attorney-client privilege and/or attorney-work product privilege.

Accordingly, the motion to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One is GRANTED. Graphic Research, Inc. is ordered to serve further verified responses within 10 days.

Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind also seeks further responses from Defendant/Cross-Complainant Graphic as to Requests for Production, Set Two. The requests for production at issue are Request Nos. 18-36. Request Nos. 18 through 23 ask Graphic to produce documents supporting or relied upon Graphic’s responses to Govind’s Form Interrogatories, Set One, Requests for Admission, Set One, as well as Graphic’s contentions that the property at issue belongs to Graphic. Request Nos. 24 through 36 ask Graphic to produce documents supporting specific allegations in its Cross-Complaint. The court finds good cause for the production of the requested documents because Plaintiff is seeking facts and documents supporting Graphic’s contentions, which is the very purpose of discovery. Discovery necessarily serves the function of testing the pleadings, i.e., enabling a party to determine what the opponent’s contentions are and what facts are relied upon to support the contentions. (Burke v. Superior Court of Sacramento County (1969) 71 Cal.2d 276, 281.)

Graphic argues in its Response to Plaintiff’s Notice of Non-Opposition that it has requested for a voluntary dismissal of its Cross-Complaint on September 11, 2020, and that the discovery at issue is now moot. The court agrees that Request For Production Nos. 24 through 36 are now moot because those Requests specifically seek documents in reference to specific paragraph allegations alleged in the now-dismissed Cross-Complaint by Graphic. However, Request Nos. 18 through 23 are still at issue as Graphic is a named defendant in the action, and because those Requests are generally tailored to discovering Graphic’s contentions and documents in support of those contentions.

Accordingly, the motion to compel further responses to Request for Production, Set Two, is GRANTED as to Request Nos. 18 through 23, and DENIED AS MOOT as to Request Nos. 24 through 36. Graphic Research, Inc. is ordered to serve further verified responses within 10 days.

Monetary Sanctions

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel further response, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.300, subd. (d); 2031.310, subd. (h).)

For the reasons set forth above, the court finds that monetary sanctions are appropriate against Defendant Graphic.

In connection with the filing of Govind’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, Govind seeks monetary sanctions against Graphic in the sum of $6,953.25, based upon Counsel’s hourly rate of $513.50 and Counsel expending 5.5 hours in preparing the motion and an anticipated 2 hours preparing a reply. (Pacetti Decl., ¶ 8.) Counsel also states that co-counsel, Robert A. Rabbat, Esq., who bills at an hourly rate of $517 expended 1 hour further preparing the Motion, and an anticipated 5 hours attending the hearing on the Motion.

In connection with the filing of Govind’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Requests for Production, Set Two, Govind seeks monetary sanctions against Graphic in the sum of $9,007.25, based upon Counsel expending 7.5 hours preparing the Motion, and an anticipated 4 hours preparing a reply. (Pacetti Decl., ¶ 8.) Counsel also states that co-counsel, Robert A. Rabbat, Esq., expended 1 hour further preparing the Motion, and an anticipated 5 hours attending the hearing on this Motion.

The court finds Govind’s requests for monetary sanctions excessive. An anticipated 10 total hours for attending the hearing on these motions is unreasonable, given that the parties are authorized to attend the hearing telephonically. Mr. Rabbat reviewing Mr. Pacetti’s motions for an additional two hours also appears unnecessary. Further, Defendant Graphic did not file an opposition to these motions, and therefore the request for anticipated 6 hours in attorneys’ fees for preparing rely briefs is unreasonable.

Considering the straightforward nature of the motions, the issues addressed within them, and Counsel’s extensive legal experience, the court finds as reasonable 2 hours expended for each motion, at Counsel’s rate of $513.50. Accordingly, the request for monetary sanctions is GRANTED in the reduced sum of $2,054 against Graphic Research, Inc. Sanctions are payable within 10 days.

It is so ordered.

Dated: September 28, 2020

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

 

 

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.


[1] BC696798 was also consolidated with this case. Govind has since requested dismissal of BC696798.

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

GOVIND VAGHASHIA

Plaintiff,

v.

PRASHANT VAGHASHIA, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.: BC696133 (consolidated with

Case Nos. BC704685 and EC068519;

related Case No. PC058529

Hearing Date: September 28, 2020

Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind R. Vaghashia’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant’s Subpoena Duces Tecum to Nonparty Accuretta, Inc. is GRANTED. Nonparty Accuretta, Inc. is ordered to comply with the subject deposition subpoena served on March 3, 2020 within 30 days.

This is an action by Govind Vaghashia, on behalf of himself and of his company, Graphic Research, Inc. dba GTEK/BYCAN Systems (“Graphic”), against Prashant Vaghashia and Graphic. This case has been consolidated with BC704685, which involves Govind and Govind’s wife Sonal as Plaintiffs, and Prashant and Prashant’s wife Mita as Defendants.[1] The case has also been related to PC058529, a case involving the accounting firm of Graphic.

BC696133

Plaintiff Govind initiated BC696133 against Defendants Prashant and Graphic Research, Inc. dba GTEK/BYCAN Systems (“Graphic”). Govind and Prashant are the sole shareholders of Graphic. Plaintiff alleges in the operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) that Prashant, who owns a majority 51% share of the company, is improperly withdrawing funds from Graphic and is otherwise mismanaging the company. It also alleges a corporate impasse and claims involuntary dissolution.

Prashant/Graphic filed a cross-complaint in BC696133 seeking to quiet title to the corporate headquarters of Graphic (the “GRI Property”) based on adverse possession. Govind then filed a cross-complaint, seeking to quiet title to the same property.

BC704685

Govind’s and Sonal’s Complaint in BC704685 seeks partition by sale of a particular piece of real property (the “Durham Property”). It is alleged in the Complaint that the Durham Property is currently held in joint tenancy in which Plaintiffs Govind and Sonal own a 70% interest and Defendants Prashant and Mita own a 30% interest.

Prashant and Mita cross-complained, seeking to quiet title to the Durham Property either (1) 100% in favor of a purported partnership between the parties, or, alternatively, (2) 100% in favor of Prashant. The basis of the Cross-Complaint is a document that Prashant claims Govind emailed to him on two occasions, referred to herein as the Memorandum of Partnership. (FAXC, ¶¶ 32, 34.) The document purports to be signed by both Prashant and Govind, and it purports to (1) memorialize and confirm the existence of a 35 year long legal partnership of Govind, Sonal, Prashant, and Mita and (2) execute a division of the partnership assets, which included a conveyance of the entirety of the Durham Property from Govind to Prashant. Prashant has produced only a copy of this document. Govind claims that the document and his signature are entirely fabricated.

On September 16, 2020, the Cross-Complaint filed by Graphic was dismissed without prejudice at Graphic’s request.

On March 3, 2020, Govind served a deposition subpoena for the production of business records on non-party Accuretta, Inc. The subpoena had a production date of April 2, 2020. The subpoena requests Accuretta, Inc. to provide all federal and state tax returns filed on behalf of Prashant or any organization in which Prashant is an owner, officer, director, or manager. On March 12, 2020, Accuretta, Inc. served objections to the production of records pursuant to the subpoena.

On July 13, 2020, Govind filed the subject motion to compel further responses. Accuretta, Inc. filed a response to the motion on September 15, 2020 in which Accuretta, Inc. argues that Accuretta is precluded from releasing documents or information they received in the course of providing tax-related services to their clients without their client’s consent or a court order directing the production of the documents. Accuretta further states that it will await and abide by the Court’s ruling on this motion. No other opposition has been filed.

The court has read the moving papers as well as the response filed by non-party Accuretta, Inc.

Legal Standard

According to the Notice of Motion, Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Govind moves pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.010 for an order compelling further responses from nonparty Accuretta, Inc. to the deposition subpoena served on March 3, 2020. However, Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.010 applies to parties obtaining information form another party through inspection of documents, things, and places. Discovery from a nonparty may be obtained only by deposition subpoena. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2020.010, subd. (b); Unzipped Apparel, LLC v. Bader (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 123, 130.)

The proper governing statute for a motion to compel the production of documents by a nonparty pursuant to a deposition subpoena is Code of Civil Procedure Section 2025.480. “If a deponent fails to answer any question or to product any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing under the deponent’s control that is specified in the deposition notice or a deposition subpoena, the party seeking discovery may move the court for an order compelling that answer or production.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (a).)

Merits

The subpoena at issue requests the following from nonparty Accuretta, Inc.: (1) “All individual federal and state tax returns that YOU filed on behalf of PRASHANT”; (2) All corporate federal and state tax returns that YOU filed on behalf of any corporation, LLC, partnership, business, or sole proprietorship in which PRASHANT is an owner or officer, director, or manager”; (3) All DOCUMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS relating to PRASHANT’S ownership interest in any real estate”; (4) All COMMUNICATIONS between YOU and PRASHANT”; and (5) “All work papers, notes, memoranda, and intra office communications that refer or relate to PRASHANT.” (Pacetti Decl., Exh. H.)

The tax return privilege, as it is asserted by the taxpayer-litigant, is a judicial creation that the California Supreme Court has implied from statutes that make it a misdemeanor for taxing authorities to disclose the particulars contained in a required tax return or report. (Webb v. Standard Oil Co. of Calif. (1957) 49 Cal.2d 509, 513.) The privilege protects all tax returns as well as the information entered on the return (Sav-On Drugs, Inc. v. Superior Court (1975) 15 Cal.3d 1, 7) and related tax documents such as W-2 forms (Brown v. Superior Court (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 141, 144). “The purpose of the privilege is to encourage voluntary filing of tax returns and truthful reporting of income, and thus to facilitate tax collection. [Citation.]” (Weingarten v. Superior Court (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 268, 274.) A trial court has “broad discretion” in determining whether the tax return privilege applies. (Ibid.)

Here, Govind directly seeks Prashant’s tax returns and related documents form Prashant’s accountant, Accuretta, Inc. Thus, the tax return privilege is clearly implicated. However, the tax return privilege is not absolute. (Schnabel v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 704, 721.) As explained in Sammut v. Sammut (1980) 103 Cal.App.3d 560, 562, the privilege is waived or does not apply in three situations: “(1) there is an intentional relinquishment (Crest Catering Co. v. Superior Court (1965) 62 Cal.2d 274, 278); (2) the ‘gravamen of [the]lawsuit is so inconsistent with the continued assertion of the taxpayer’s privilege as to compel the conclusion that the privilege has in fact been waived’ (Wilson v. Superior Court (1976) 63 Cal.App.3d 825, 830); or (3) a public policy greater than that of confidentiality of tax returns is involved.” (Miller v. Superior Court (1977) 71 Cal.App.3d 145, 149.)

Prashant and Mita’s original Cross-Complaint alleged that they entered into a partnership with Govind and Sonal in 1984, and since then have continued to act as partners, by among other things, “fil[ing] taxes, both state and federal as partners.” (Cross-Compl., ¶ 51.) Prashant and Mita had “placed in issue the existence and the content of [their] tax returns and the tax consequences of the computations thereon.” (Wilson, supra, 63 Cal.App.3d at p. 830.) The First Amended Cross-Complaint alleged that the parties have been in a partnership since 1984, but it omits the allegations that the parties filed taxes as partners. In their amended discovery responses, which asked Cross-Complainants to admit that they did not pay taxes as partners with any of Govind’s businesses or claimed any ownership interest in them in their taxes, Cross-Complainants claimed they lacked sufficient information to admit or deny the requests, and then denied. (Pacetti Decl., Exhs. A, C.)

Prashant originally alleged that there has been a four-way partnership since 1987, and who alleged that the parties paid taxes as partners. Though Prashant has excluded the express allegations that the parties filed taxes as partners, he had already placed his tax returns at issue by that point, thus waiving the privilege. Further, his discovery responses place at direct issue the question of whether he paid taxes as partners with any of Govind’s businesses, and obtaining such information from Prashant’s accountant can corroborate or contradict Cross-Complainants’ written responses. Whether or not the parties filed taxes as partners remains a material factual question in this case, and that information will be highly probative as to whether a partnership existed, and whether Cross-Complainants asserted an ownership interest in any of the relevant properties in this lawsuit.

Under these circumstances, the court finds that the first condition for waiver of the tax return privilege, as set forth by the COA in Sammut, supra, is satisfied. There being no opposition filed, Cross-Complainants have failed to justify any objection raised to the subpoena.

Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED. Nonparty Accuretta, Inc. is ordered to comply with the production requests in the subject deposition subpoena served on March 3, 2020 within 30 days.

It is so ordered.

Dated: September 28, 2020

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

 

 

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.


[1] BC696798 was also consolidated with this case. Govind has since requested dismissal of BC696798.

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