This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/27/2020 at 11:16:30 (UTC).

KENNETH L. CREAL; ET AL VS AMITISS NASIRI; ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/01/2018 KENNETH L CREAL filed a Personal Injury - Assault/Battery/Defamation lawsuit against AMITISS NASIRI. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are ROBERT B. BROADBELT, STUART M. RICE, DEIRDRE HILL and DALILA CORRAL LYONS. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2653

  • Filing Date:

    02/01/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Assault/Battery/Defamation

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Torrance Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

ROBERT B. BROADBELT

STUART M. RICE

DEIRDRE HILL

DALILA CORRAL LYONS

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

CREAL KENNETH L.

KENNETH L. CREAL AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP.

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

NASIRI AMITISS

ANSARI AMITISS

DOES 1 THROUGH 10 INCLUSIVE

ANSARI AMITISS NASIRI

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

SIMON DAVID E.

ARTHUR D. MORROW ESQ.

DECASTRO DAVID MAURICE

MORROW ARTHUR DEAN

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

MARRACHE HECTOR

MARRACHE HECTOR ANTONIO

KENNEDY JEFF GRANT

JACKSON LISA JANE

RONDEAU CHARLES R.

CARTER PAUL

 

Court Documents

Trial Brief

11/10/2020: Trial Brief

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/29/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Objection - OBJECTION EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

7/1/2020: Objection - OBJECTION EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

Substitution of Attorney

4/13/2020: Substitution of Attorney

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION OF DEFENDANT AMITSS NADARI FO...)

2/19/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION OF DEFENDANT AMITSS NADARI FO...)

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION OF DEFENDANT AMITSS NADARI FOR AN ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE

2/14/2020: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION OF DEFENDANT AMITSS NADARI FOR AN ORDER TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

1/30/2020: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Notice of Ruling

11/18/2019: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS; HEARING ON MOTION FOR RECONS...)

11/7/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS; HEARING ON MOTION FOR RECONS...)

Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

8/13/2020: Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

7/1/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

Witness List - JOINT WITNESS LIST

1/31/2020: Witness List - JOINT WITNESS LIST

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6 FOR ORDER PREVENTING DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT FROM INTRODUCING EVIDENCE

1/14/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 6 FOR ORDER PREVENTING DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT FROM INTRODUCING EVIDENCE

Motion for Sanctions

10/15/2019: Motion for Sanctions

Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO RECONSIDER DENIAL OF MOTION TO STRIKE

10/10/2019: Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO RECONSIDER DENIAL OF MOTION TO STRIKE

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AT DEPOSITION FOR DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT AMITISS NASIRI

9/11/2019: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE AT DEPOSITION FOR DEFENDANT/CROSS-COMPLAINANT AMITISS NASIRI

Notice of Case Management Conference

2/1/2018: Notice of Case Management Conference

Answer

3/2/2018: Answer

118 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/02/2020
  • Hearing12/02/2020 at 10:00 AM in Department M at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Non-Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/18/2020
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/18/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/13/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application ( forOrder Vacating February 18, 2020 Order Precluding Defendants From Further Trial Submissions) - Held - Motion Denied

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/13/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Status Conference (rescheduling of MSC) - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/13/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Status Conference re: scheduling of MSC; Hearing on Ex Parte ...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketEx Parte Application (for: Order Vacating February 18, 2020 Order Precluding Defendants From Further Trial Submissions); Filed by AMITISS NASIRI (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketOpposition (TO DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR: (1) ORDER VACATING FEBRUARY 18, 2020 ORDER PRECLUDING DEFENDANTS FROM FURTHER PRE-TRIAL SUBMISSIONS AND (2) ORDER CONTINUING FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND TRIAL DATES AND EXTENDING "F INAL STATUS CONFERENCE ORDE); Filed by KENNETH L. CREAL, AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/10/2020
  • DocketTrial Brief; Filed by KENNETH L. CREAL, AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP. (Plaintiff); KENNETH L. CREAL (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/29/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department M, Deirdre Hill, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Order (to Withdraw as Attorney of Record) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

    Read MoreRead Less
160 More Docket Entries
  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by AMITISS NASIRI (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketCross-Compl fld - Summons Issued; Filed by AMITISS NASIRI (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketCross-Complaint (by Amitiss Nasiri); Filed by AMITISS NASIRI (Cross-Complainant); AMITISS NASIRI ANSARI (Cross-Complainant); AMITISS ANSARI (Cross-Complainant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by AMITISS NASIRI (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketSummons (on Cross Complaint); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by KENNETH L. CREAL, AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP. (Legacy Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by KENNETH L. CREAL (Legacy Party); KENNETH L. CREAL, AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP. (Legacy Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by KENNETH L. CREAL (Legacy Party); KENNETH L. CREAL, AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP. (Legacy Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by KENNETH L. CREAL, AN ACCOUNTANCY CORP. (Legacy Party)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: YC072653    Hearing Date: September 01, 2020    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

KENNETH L. CREAL, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

YC072653

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

AMITISS NASIRI,

Defendant.

Hearing Date: September 1, 2020

Moving Parties: Defendant Amitiss Nasiri

Responding Party: Plaintiff Kenneth L. Creal, et al.

Motion to Vacate Order

The court considered the moving and opposition papers.

RULING

The motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On February 1, 2018, plaintiffs Kenneth L. Creal and Kenneth L. Creal, an accountancy corporation filed a complaint against Amitiss Nasiri for libel based on a negative Yelp review.

On March 2, 2018, Nasiri (self-represented) filed a cross-complaint for IIED, invasion of privacy, intentional breach of fiduciary duty, negligence per se, and injunctive relief.

On June 10, 2019, plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint for (1) defamation per se, (2) defamation per quod, (3) trade libel, and (4) intentional infliction with prospective economic advantage.

On August 30, 2019, the court denied defendant Nasiri’s special motion to strike.

The FSC was set for February 6, 2020, and continued to February 18, 2020.

On July 29, 2020, defendant Nasiri dismissed the cross-complaint.

On August 10, 2020, defendant filed the herein motion.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

“The court may, upon terms as may be just, relieve a party or his or her legal representative from a judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding taken against him or her through his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. Application for this relief shall be accompanied by a copy of the answer or other pleading proposed to be filed therein, otherwise the application shall not be granted, and shall be made within a reasonable time, in no case exceeding six months, after the judgment, dismissal, order, or proceeding was taken. . . . Notwithstanding any other requirements of this section, the court shall, whenever an application for relief is made no more than six months after entry of judgment, is in proper form, and is accompanied by an attorney’s sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, vacate any (1) resulting default entered by the clerk against his or her client, and which will result in entry of a default judgment, or (2) resulting default judgment or dismissal entered against his or her client, unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect. The court shall, whenever relief is granted based on an attorney's affidavit of fault, direct the attorney to pay reasonable compensatory legal fees and costs to opposing counsel or parties.” CCP § 473(b).

DISCUSSION

Defendant Nasiri requests that the court vacate its order dated February 18, 2020, which prevents her from (1) opposing plaintiffs’ eleven motion in limine, (2) filing motions in limine, and (3) adding exhibits to trial lists.

The February 18, 2020 order states: “The court finds that the defendant has failed to comply with a number of pre trial requirements and as a consequence, the court makes the following orders: Pre-trial cutoffs, including motion and discovery are not extended; parties are directed to meet and confer as to special verdict, joint statement, witness list, and exhibit list; no new witnesses or exhibits are to be added to the lists and only the lists themselves may be revised for time, admissibility, and authenticity; no new jury instructions may be proposed; no new motions in limine may be filed and existing motions in limine may not be opposed if not already done so.”

Defendant contends that her former attorney, Hector A. Marrache, failed to handle the pretrial matters prior to leaving the case and that his failure constitutes excusable neglect. Marrache states in his declaration that “[a]s it relates to Plaintiff’s motions in limine, I neglected to file oppositions as my focus was primarily on getting the other trial documents, especially the witness list and exhibits list, ready for filing. There was a lot of movement in the case in January with coordinating expert depositions; meeting and conferring with defense experts; preparation for those depositions; going through hundreds of new documents produced by the Plaintiff on January 9, 2020; waiting for expedited transcripts from depositions needed by defense experts to be reviewed and analyzed prior to those experts’ depositions; the MSC; the breakdown in the attorney-client relationship; and coordinating document preparation with Defendant’s ‘new’ attorneys. In addition, my office staff was working in the background on coordinating, setting, and confirming expert depositions, court reporters, obtaining missing depositions from the file, gathering and assembling documents for the experts to review, etc.” Marrache decl., ¶16. He also believed that the motions in limine with respect to the exclusion of defense experts filed on January 31, 2020 were timely. Id., ¶18. He states that his neglect in not filing oppositions to plaintiff’s motions in limine is reasonably excusable under the circumstances. Id., ¶19. He was relieved as counsel on February 3, 2020.

In opposition, plaintiffs argue that the motion was not filed within a reasonable time and that defendant has not shown mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. Further, plaintiffs argue that if the court grants the motion, they will be severely prejudiced.

The court finds that the motion was not filed within a reasonable time. Further, plaintiff has not shown that her former attorney’s failure to comply with a number of pre-trial requirements was excusable neglect. “To determine whether the mistake or neglect was excusable, ‘ . . . the court inquires whether a reasonably prudent person under the same or similar circumstances might have made the same error.’ Conduct falling below the professional standard of care, such as failure to timely object or to properly advance an argument, is not therefore excusable.” Garcia v. Hejmadi (1997) 58 Cal. App. 4th 674, 682 (citation and internal quotations omitted).

The motion is DENIED.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: YC072653    Hearing Date: November 07, 2019    Dept: B

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

KENNETH L. CREAL, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

YC072653

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

AMITISS NASIRI,

Defendant.

Hearing Date: November 7, 2019

Moving Parties: Plaintiffs Kenneth L. Creal, et al.

Responding Party: None

Motion for Sanctions

The court considered the moving papers.

RULING

The motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On February 1, 2018, plaintiffs Kenneth L. Creal and Kenneth L. Creal, an accountancy corporation filed a complaint against Amitiss Nasiri for libel based on a negative Yelp review.

On March 2, 2018, Nasiri (self-represented) filed a cross-complaint for IIED, invasion of privacy, intentional breach of fiduciary duty, negligence per se, and injunctive relief.

On June 10, 2019, plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint for (1) defamation per se, (2) defamation per quod, (3) trade libel, and (4) intentional infliction with prospective economic advantage.

On August 30, 2019, the court denied defendant Nasiri’s special motion to strike.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

CCP §128.7(b) states: “By presenting to the court, whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating, a pleading, petition, written notice of motion, or other similar paper, an attorney or unrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances, all of the following conditions are met:

(1) It is not being presented primarily for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

(2) The claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.

(3) The allegations and the other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery. . . .”

CCP §128.7(c) states: “If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that subdivision (b) has been violated, the court may . . . impose an appropriate sanction under the attorneys, law firms, or parties that have violated subdivision (b) or are responsible for the violation . . . .”

CCP §128.7(d) states: “A sanction imposed for violation of subdivision (b) shall be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of this conduct or comparable conduct by other similarly situated. Subject to the limitations in paragraphs (1) and (2), the sanction may consist of, or include, directives of a nonmonetary nature, an order to pay a penalty into court, or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment to the movant of some or all of the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses incurred as a direct result of the violation. (1) Monetary sanctions may not be awarded against a represented party for a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b). . . .”

“’The purpose of the safe harbor provisions is to permit an offending party to avoid sanctions by withdrawing the improper pleading during the safe harbor period. This permits a party to withdraw a questionable pleading without penalty, thus saving the court and the parties time and money litigating the pleading as well as the sanctions request.’” Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. McKenzie (2001) 88 Cal. App. 4th 681, 692 (citation omitted). “It therefore follows that to avoid the sanctions sought pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7, it is not sufficient for the offending party to simply take action to correct or withdraw the challenged pleading . . . . The offending party must also give notice to the moving party that it has taken that step. Absent that notice, the moving party has no knowledge that the problem has been resolved and consequently it will proceed (as it had warned the offending party it would do) with filing the sanctions motion with the court.” Id.

Sanctions under section 128.7 are discretionary. The court is not required to impose a monetary sanction or any sanction at all. See CCP §128.7(c); Kojababian v. Genuine Home Loans, Inc. (2009) 174 Cal. App. 4th 408, 421.

“If warranted,” the court may award the prevailing party its reasonable expenses and attorney fees “incurred in presenting or opposing the motion.” CCP §128.7(c)(1).

“A trial court is to apply an objective standard in making its inquiry concerning the attorney’s for party’s allegedly sanctionable behavior in connection with a motion for sanctions brought under section 128.7.” Optimal Markets, Inc. v. Salant (2013) 221 Cal. App. 4th 912, 921. “A court has broad discretion to impose sanctions if the moving party satisfies the elements of the sanctions statute. However, the sanctions statute “must not be construed so as to conflict with the primary duty of an attorney to represent his or her client zealously. Forceful representation often requires that an attorney attempt to read a case or an agreement in an innovative through sensible way. . . .’” Peake v. Underwood (2014) 227 Cal. App. 4th 428, 441 (citation omitted).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiffs request sanctions and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs against defendant and cross-complainant Amitiss Nasiri and her attorney of record, Paul Carter of Bergkvist Bergkvist & Carter in the amount of $5,661.65. Plaintiffs argue that defendant’s motion for reconsideration is without factual or legal merit and was filed primarily for an improper purpose to harass plaintiffs, delay discovery, and delay the trial.

The court finds that in filing the motion for reconsideration, defendant did not violate §128.7(b).

The motion is DENIED.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of the ruling.

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

KENNETH L. CREAL, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.:

YC072653

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

AMITISS NASIRI, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: November 7, 2019

Moving Parties: Defendant Amitiss Nasiri

Responding Party: Plaintiffs Kenneth L. Creal, et al.

Motion for Reconsideration of Ruling Denying Motion to Strike

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

RULING

The motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On February 1, 2018, plaintiffs Kenneth L. Creal and Kenneth L. Creal, an accountancy corporation filed a complaint against Amitiss Nasiri for libel based on a negative Yelp review.

On March 2, 2018, Nasiri (self-represented) filed a cross-complaint for IIED, invasion of privacy, intentional breach of fiduciary duty, negligence per se, and injunctive relief.

On June 10, 2019, plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint for (1) defamation per se, (2) defamation per quod, (3) trade libel, and (4) intentional infliction with prospective economic advantage.

On August 30, 2019, the court denied defendant Nasiri’s special motion to strike.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

Under CCP §1008(a), “When an application for an order has been made to a judge, or to a court, and refused in whole or in part, or granted, or granted conditionally, or on terms, any party affected by the order may, within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of entry of the order and based upon new or different facts, circumstances, or law, make application to the same judge or court that made the order, to reconsider the matter and modify, amend, or revoke the prior order. The party making the application shall state by affidavit what application was made before, when and to what judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown.”

As stated by the court in Gilberd v. AC Transit (1995) 32 Cal. App. 4th 1494, CCP §1008 governs reconsideration of court orders whether initiated by a party or the court itself. “It is the exclusive means for modifying, amending or revoking an order. That limitation is expressly jurisdictional.” Id. at 1499.

CCP §128(a) states, “Every court shall have the power to do all of the following: . . . (8) To amend and control its process and orders so as to make them conform to law and justice. . . .”

DISCUSSION

Defendant Nasiri requests that the court reconsider its ruling denying defendant’s special motion to strike.

The court finds that Judge Dudley Gray (Ret.) who ruled on the special motion to strike is unavailable for purposes of ruling on this motion.

The court denied defendant’s special motion to strike the FAC on the ground that it was untimely filed under Newport Harbor Ventures, LLC v. Morris Cerullo World Evangelism (2018) 4 Cal. 5th 637, 641, 646, which states that “[a]n amended complaint reopens the time to file an anti-SLAPP motion without court permission only if the amended complaint pleads new causes of action that could not have been the target of a prior anti-SLAPP motion, or adds new allegations that make previously pleaded causes of action subject to an anti-SLAPP motion.” The court had found that although the FAC pled new causes of action, they arose from the very same set of facts and activity alleged in the complaint filed on February 1, 2018 and was brought in the middle of litigation.

Defendant argues that the motion was not untimely, and he did not unreasonably delay in filing the motion because in December 2018, he agreed to stipulate to the filing of the FAC and the FAC was not filed until June 2019.

Any purported stipulation to filing of a FAC and delay in filing has no effect on the court’s ruling. Even if the FAC had been filed earlier when defendant stipulated in December 2018, Newport Harbor is still applicable because the filing of the amended complaint did not reopen the time to file an anti-SLAPP because the FAC did not plead new causes of action that could not have been the target of an anti-SLAPP motion as to the complaint.

Further, this information is not “new or different facts, circumstances, or law.”

In its ruling, the court also found that defendant had failed to meet her burden that her speech or conduct fell under any of the categories of CCP §425.16(e), because none of the statements involved a matter of public concern as “the Yelp review at issue is a personal grievance between the parties with regard to plaintiffs’ representation of defendant’s husband during the dissolution proceedings, which defendant made public by way of the internet posting.” Further, the court had found that plaintiffs did not insert themselves into the public forum on a topic of public discussion and that Chaker v. Mateo (2012) 209 Cal. App. 4th 1138 was inapposite. The court stated that plaintiffs had provided evidence that he did not start or create the Yelp page, it does not belong to him or to his business, and he cannot control the content or otherwise delete the Yelp page.

Defendant argues that Creal did start or create the Yelp page, and thus, plaintiff did insert themselves into a public forum, because he “claimed” the Yelp page, uploaded photographs and other information regarding plaintiffs, and interacted with other Yelp reviewers.

This evidence is not “new” as defendant made similar statements and arguments regarding plaintiffs’ involvement and participation in the Yelp page. In opposition, plaintiffs present further evidence to support that Creal did not start or create the Yelp page. Also, defendant had the opportunity to challenge plaintiffs’ evidence in opposition to the anti-SLAPP motion and did not do so.

The court thus finds that defendant has not met her burden under CCP §1008.

The motion is DENIED.

Plaintiffs are ordered to give notice of this ruling.