This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/26/2019 at 03:14:26 (UTC).

HASSAN HASHEMIAN ET AL VS FRANK RAHBAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/22/2018 HASSAN HASHEMIAN filed an Other lawsuit against FRANK RAHBAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RITA MILLER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5297

  • Filing Date:

    02/22/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RITA MILLER

 

Party Details

Petitioners and Plaintiffs

HASHEMIAN HASSAN

FORTUNE COMPANY LLC

YOUNESI DAVID

HASHEMIAN GITA

HASHEMIAN MERSEDEH

HASHEMIAN MEHDI

Respondents and Defendants

RAHBAN FRANK

VENTURA INVESTMENT COMPANY LLC

DOES 1 TO 50

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff Attorneys

ARSHONSKY RICHARD I. ESQ.

JARRELL CHARLES D. ESQ.

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

BARNES ROBERT W. ESQ.

BARNES ROBERT WILLIAM ESQ.

KHALILI SANDRA

CONN RICHARD SAMUEL ESQ.

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

5/25/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE

6/28/2018: NOTICE OF APPEARANCE

NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER OF DEFENDANT FRANK RAHBAN TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; ETC.

7/5/2018: NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER OF DEFENDANT FRANK RAHBAN TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; ETC.

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT FRANK RAHBAN TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, ETC

7/5/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF DEFENDANT FRANK RAHBAN TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, ETC

Unknown

7/17/2018: Unknown

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

7/18/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

7/31/2018: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

7/31/2018: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

7/31/2018: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/2/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

8/7/2018: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

8/24/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

8/24/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

8/24/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

8/24/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

Minute Order

8/29/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

9/24/2018: Minute Order

Case Management Statement

10/11/2018: Case Management Statement

62 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/10/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Fortune Company LLC (Plaintiff); David Younesi (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/08/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 78; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Unique Work Group's Compliant with Deposition Subpoena) - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/08/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 78; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Seyed Hossein Navavi's Compliance with Deposition Subpoena) - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/08/2019
  • Order (Ruling Re: Plaintiffs Fortune Company, LLC and David Younesi?s Motions to Compel Third-Parties Unique Work Group and Seyed Hossein Nabavi to Comply with Deposition Subpoenas for Production of Business Records); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/08/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Seyed Hossein Na...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 78; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Unique Work Group's Compliant with Deposition Subpoena) - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/02/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 78; Case Management Conference (r/t BC693651 & BC695301) - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/02/2019
  • Case Management Order; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/02/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference r/t BC693651 & BC695301)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/01/2019
  • Notice (of Non-Opposition to Motion to Compel Unique Work Group's Compliance with Subpoena); Filed by Fortune Company LLC (Plaintiff); David Younesi (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
104 More Docket Entries
  • 04/02/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/06/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/06/2018
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/01/2018
  • NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/01/2018
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by Hassan Hashemian (Plaintiff); Gita Hashemian (Plaintiff); Mersedeh Hashemian (Plaintiff) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/22/2018
  • SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/22/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Hassan Hashemian (Plaintiff); Gita Hashemian (Plaintiff); Mersedeh Hashemian (Plaintiff) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/22/2018
  • COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY ;ETC

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC695297    Hearing Date: August 26, 2020    Dept: 86

HASHEMIAN v. RAHBAN

Case Number: BC695297

Hearing Date: August 26, 2020

[Tentative] ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF ATTACHMENT


Plaintiffs, Hassan Hashemian, Mehdi Hashemian, Gita Hashemian and Mersedeh Hashemian, seek a writ of attachment against Defendant, Frank Rahban, in the amount of $7,700,753. Defendant filed an opposition. Plaintiffs filed reply.

The application for a writ of attachment is denied.

Defendant’s request for judicial notice is granted.

Evidentiary Objections:

Plaintiffs’ objections to the Declaration of Gary Krausz are all overruled.

Plaintiff’s objections to the Declaration of Frank Rahban: Objection 4 only is sustained.

Defendant’s objections to the Declaration of Mehdi Hashemian: Objection 1 is sustained on secondary evidence grounds as well as foundation. As for the authentication of Exhibit A, the objection is sustained on foundation grounds. The listed members of the LLC do not include this declarant. The trustee of the Hashemian Children Irrevocable Trust is not a member of the LLC according to the documentation provided. Objections 2 and 3 are sustained.

Defendant’s objections to the Declaration of Debroah Dickson are all sustained. (See Garibay v. Hemmat The court nonetheless proceeds herein as if the court had that evidence before it. Even assuming the declaration is admissible, it is worth little, if any, evidentiary weight based on its conclusory nature.

Defendant’s objections to the Declaration of Charles D. Jarrell: Objection 1 is overruled. All other objections are sustained.

///

///

ANALYSIS

Probable Validity of Plaintiff’s Claims:

“A claim has ‘probable validity’ where it is more likely than not that the plaintiff will obtain a judgment against the defendant on that claim.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 481.190.)

Plaintiffs seek a writ of attachment based on a breach of contract cause of action asserted by an LLC's minority members, Plaintiffs, against its managing member, Defendant. Based on the evidentiary rulings, the underlying facts are difficult to discern.

Here, Defendant was the managing member of Ventura Investment Company, LLC (VICLLC), a limited liability company, formed to own and operate the real property located at 15720 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. (Property). (Mehdi Hashemian Decl., ¶ 2.) VICLLC is governed by an operating agreement (Operating Agreement). (Mehdi Hashemian Decl., ¶ 3.) [The court does not have Exhibit 1 of the Mehdi Hashemian declaration in evidence based on the evidentiary objections.]

From the admissible evidence, it appears Defendant signed a Letter of Resignation, but Defendant nonetheless contends he is still the manager of VICLLC. (Mehdi Hashemian Decl., ¶ 4.)

On February 2, 2018, Defendant executed and delivered a letter to Chase Bank (the Chase Letter) instructing the bank that he be removed as a signatory on three bank accounts in the name of VICLLC. (Mehdi Hashemian Decl., ¶ 5.)

Nevertheless and notwithstanding the Letter of Resignation and the Chase Letter, Plaintiffs contend Defendant “has steadfastly refused to resign as manager of the Company, while continuing to control the Company with the assistance of his sons, Nick Rahban and Sasha Rahban.” (Mehdi Hashemian Decl., ¶ 5.)

Plaintiffs argue Defendant has breached the Operating Agreement as follows: (1) Defendant refuses to allow Plaintiffs access to VICLLC records; (2) Defendant misappropriated VICLLC funds for personal use; (3) Defendant operated a business at the Property without paying Plaintiffs’ value for this use; (4) Defendant paid individuals pursuant to falsified invoices in order to receive a portion of the invoice money for himself; and (5) Defendant misappropriated parking income belonging to VICLLC.

In support to this writ of attachment and the underlying contract claim, Plaintiffs submit evidence from their accountant expert who states she reviewed monthly statements of income, cash receipt journals, cash disbursement journals, checking account statements, savings account statements, rent rolls, parking statements, tax returns, and invoices relating to the LLC for approximately the time between January 2009 through March 2019. (Dickson Decl., ¶ 2.) She represents that based on review of this evidence Plaintiffs have been damaged in the amount of $7,700,753, from 2009 and 2019. (Dickson Decl., ¶¶ 4-11, Exs. B-F.)

The court does not have the Operating Agreement before it. Moreover, Plaintiffs do not identify which specific provision of the Operating Agreement Defendant allegedly breached. Rather, Plaintiffs contend “has breached the written agreement by, among other things, failing to discharge his duties in good faith and failing to act in a manner he believes to be in the best interests of [VICLLC].” (Memorandum 8:6-8.)

In opposition, Defendant effectively challenges the evidence proffered by Plaintiffs. Defendant is correct, Mehdi Hashemian and Charles Jarrell do not demonstrate any personal or direct knowledge for the conclusory claims stated within their respective declarations. On this record, Plaintiffs have not established Defendant’s alleged breach of the Operating Agreement.

The Declaration of Deborah Dickson, assuming it is admissible, is equally conclusory and fails to present all of the documents and information upon which she relies on in forming her conclusory opinions. While she may be entitled to express her opinion, an expert’s opinion, based on “available documentary evidence” which is admittedly incomplete—“Our work on this matter is continuing, as additional documents are received and reviewed”—is inconclusive because it is incomplete. Where an expert has admittedly not completed her forensic evaluation, her opinion is necessarily incomplete. Further complicating matters is the lack of foundational documents (with the exception of a few bank statements) such that the court can determine the expert’s opinion is trustworthy. Mere conclusions are just that.[2]

Defendant’s expert, Gary Krausz, raises serious questions as to the reliability of Dickson’s conclusions. (Krausz Decl., ¶¶ 2-14.)

Finally, Defendant also suggests the damages sought by Plaintiffs appear to be a combination of damages to VICLLC as well as its members. (See PacLink Communications Intern., Inc. v. Superior Court (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 958, 964. [“Because members of the LLC hold no direct ownership interest in the company's assets [citation], the members cannot be directly injured when the company is improperly deprived of those assets.”]) The court agrees the damages sought here appear to reflect damages to both VICLLC and the members themselves. Here, Plaintiffs brought this action in their individual and in a derivative capacity. (SAP ¶ 8.) However, the opposition notes the breach of contract claim, which forms the basis of the attachment, was only brought derivatively; Plaintiffs have not demonstrated they are entitled to the full attachment amount on the contract claim where some damages sought appear to be as to the members individually.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs have not demonstrated a probability validity of their claims.

Basis of Attachment:

The Court shall issue a right to attach order if the claim upon which the attachment is based is one upon which an attachment may be issued. (Code Civ. Proc. § 484.090.) “[A]n attachment may be issued only in an action on a claim or claims for money, each of which is based upon a contract, express or implied, where the total amount of the claim or claims is a fixed or readily ascertainable amount not less than five hundred dollars ($500) exclusive of costs, interest, and attorney’s fees.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 483.010, subd. (a).) “If the action is against a defendant who is a natural person, an attachment may be issued only on a claim which arises out of the conduct by the defendant of a trade, business, or profession.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 483.010, subd. (c).)

Plaintiff’s claim is based on a written contract—the Operating Agreement—and is in excess of five hundred dollars.

Further, Plaintiffs adequately address the question of whether Plaintiffs’ contract claim against Defendant (an individual) “arises out of the conduct by the defendant of a trade, business, or profession.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 483.010, subd. (c).) The claim arises out of Defendant’s conduct relating to his business as the managing member of VICLLC.

However, as persuasively raised in Defendant’s opposition, the claim is not readily ascertainable nor liquidated. It “is a well-recognized rule of law in this state that an attachment will lie upon a cause of action for damages for a breach of contract where the damages are readily ascertainable by reference to the contract and the basis of the computation of damages appears to be reasonable and definite. [Citations.] The fact that the damages are unliquidated is not determinative. [Citations.] But the contract sued on must furnish a standard by which the amount due may be clearly ascertained and there must exist a basis upon which the damages can be determined by proof.’ ” (CIT Group/Equipment Financing, Inc. v. Super DVD, Inc. (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 537, 540.)

While the court does not agree Plaintiffs’ claim for an accounting acts as a judicial admission barring Plaintiffs from arguing the claim is readily ascertainable—it is not clear to the court that the amount allegedly owed to Plaintiffs is readily ascertainable from the either face of the contract or by reference to the contract. Accordingly, the court finds Plaintiff’s claim is not a proper basis for attachment.

Purpose and Amount of Attachment:

Code of Civil Procedure section 484.090 states that the Court shall issue a right to attach order if “the attachment is not sought for a purpose other than the recovery on the claim upon which the attachment is based . . . [and] the amount to be secured by the attachment is greater than zero.”

Here, Plaintiffs attest on Form AT-105 that their application for attachment is not sought for a purpose other than the recovery on a claim upon which the attachments are based. (AT-105 ¶ 4.) There is no indication the application is sought for any other purpose. Accordingly, the court finds Plaintiffs have complied with Code of Civil Procedure sections 484.020 and 484.090.

Subject Property:

Code Civil Procedure section 487.010, subdivision (a) provides that “[w]here the defendant is a corporation, all corporate property for which a method of levy is provided” is subject to attachment. Where the defendant is a natural person, the description of the property shall be reasonably adequate to permit the defendant to identify the specific property sought to be attached.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 484.020, subd. (e).)

Plaintiffs seek to attach the property identified in Paragraph 9(a) of Form AT-105. The list includes several parcels of real property personally owned by Defendant, several parcels of real property in which Defendant owns an interest, and any bank accounts or equipment owned by Defendant. The property subject to attachment complies with Code of Civil Procedure section 487.010 as to Defendant.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the application for writ of attachment against Defendant is denied.[3]

IT IS SO ORDERED.

August 26, 2020 ________________________________

Hon. Mitchell Beckloff

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] In Garibay v. Hemmat, supra, 161 Cal.App.4th at 735, a medical expert, who lacked personal knowledge of underlying facts, was precluded from testifying regarding facts derived from medical and hospital records not properly before the court. (Id. at 743.)

[2] Further, as Defendant notes, Plaintiffs cannot argue Dickson is a consulting expert and protected by attorney work product privilege while simultaneously submitting evidence and expert conclusions to the court to make substantive rulings on; doing so would unfairly deprive Defendant of the opportunity to challenge and confront the evidence being used against him.

[3] Code Civil Procedure Section 489.210 requires the plaintiff to file an undertaking before issuance of a writ of attachment. Code Civil Procedure Section 489.220 provides that, unless an objection has been made, “the amount of an undertaking filed pursuant to this article shall be ten thousand dollars ($10,000).” Plaintiffs have not submitted an undertaking in the amount of $10,000 as required but have indicated in reply that they are prepared to do so. This issue is moot, however, based on the court’s denial of the attachment on other grounds.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where FORTUNE is a litigant

Latest cases where Ventura Investments Co is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer ARSHONSKY, RICHARD I.

Latest cases represented by Lawyer JARRELL CHARLES D. ESQ.