This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:27:30 (UTC).

LAWRENCE TURNER VS CENTER STREET LENDING SERVICES ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/30/2017 LAWRENCE TURNER filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against CENTER STREET LENDING SERVICES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8429

  • Filing Date:

    01/30/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

TURNER LAWRENCE

CAPITAL COVE ASSET MANAGEMENT INC.

LEE CHRISTOPHER AKA RK KHALFANI AKA RASHID K. KHALFANI AN INDIVIDUAL

Defendants and Respondents

MP III SCE L.L.C.

CENTER STREET LENDING SERVICES

HOOKS ANTHONY F.

RK KHALFANI

LEE CHRISTOPHER

CAPITAL COVE ASSET MANAGEMENT INC

DIVERSIFIED REALTY AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

ALLREAD LAURIE

PERSTIGE DEFAULT SERVICES

CAPITAL COVE ASSET MANAGEMENT INC.

PRESTIGE DEFAULT SERVICES

CENTER STREET LENDING SERVICES MP III SCE LLC

LEE CHRISTOPHER AKA RK KHALFANI AKA RASHID K. KHALFANI AN INDIVIDUAL

DUKE PARTNERS II LLC

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

CENTER STREET LENDING SERVICES MP III SCE LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

TAMER STEVEN

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

GHIDOTTI MICHELLE R

CARLSON MARK

DETTELBACH ALAN M

LAZARAN MARY A.

Cross Defendant Attorney

MARKS MARYETTA C

 

Court Documents

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

12/29/2017: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

ORDER RE: DEMURRER OF DEFENDANTS, ANTHONY HOOKS AND DIVERSIFIED REALTY AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FILED BY PLAINTIFF ON JUNE 2, 2017 AND MOTION TO STRIKE FIRST AMENDED COM

1/3/2018: ORDER RE: DEMURRER OF DEFENDANTS, ANTHONY HOOKS AND DIVERSIFIED REALTY AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FILED BY PLAINTIFF ON JUNE 2, 2017 AND MOTION TO STRIKE FIRST AMENDED COM

Minute Order

1/30/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

7/12/2018: Minute Order

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/2/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

Notice of Ruling

5/7/2019: Notice of Ruling

VERIFIED COMPLAINT 1. FRAUD ;ETC

1/30/2017: VERIFIED COMPLAINT 1. FRAUD ;ETC

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

2/10/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE OF DEFENDANTS, ANTHONY HOOKS AND DIVERSIFIED REALTY AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE COMPLAINT

2/16/2017: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE OF DEFENDANTS, ANTHONY HOOKS AND DIVERSIFIED REALTY AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE COMPLAINT

Minute Order

4/4/2017: Minute Order

DEFENDANT CENTER STREET LENDING MP III SPE, LLC'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; ETC

4/12/2017: DEFENDANT CENTER STREET LENDING MP III SPE, LLC'S NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT; ETC

Minute Order

5/11/2017: Minute Order

DUKE PARTNERS II, LLC'S OBJECTION CO PJC LAWRENCE TURNER'S NOTICE OF RELATED CASES [CRC C300 ET SEQ.] [PROPOSED] FINDINGS AND ORDER

6/13/2017: DUKE PARTNERS II, LLC'S OBJECTION CO PJC LAWRENCE TURNER'S NOTICE OF RELATED CASES [CRC C300 ET SEQ.] [PROPOSED] FINDINGS AND ORDER

PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND APPLICATION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE REGARDING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; ETC

8/16/2017: PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND APPLICATION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE REGARDING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; ETC

NOTICE OF RULING

9/28/2017: NOTICE OF RULING

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

11/22/2017: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

Minute Order

12/8/2017: Minute Order

REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

12/8/2017: REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

195 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/18/2020
  • Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/06/2020
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/13/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Post-Mediation Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/01/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 24; Hearing on Motion to Consolidate - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/01/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Hearing on Motion to Consolidate) of 08/01/2019); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/01/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Consolidate)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/12/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by Lawrence Turner (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/08/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 24; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/18/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 24; Jury Trial - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/06/2019
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 24; Final Status Conference - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
386 More Docket Entries
  • 02/01/2017
  • DocketMiscellaneous-Other; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2017
  • DocketOrder

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2017
  • DocketORDER ENJOINING DEFENDANTS PRESTIGE DEFAULT SERVICES FROM ANY FURTHER ACTION WITH REGARD TO FORECLOSING ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1459 EAST 121ST STREET LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA AND ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2017
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2017-02-01 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/30/2017
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/30/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Lawrence Turner (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/30/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/30/2017
  • DocketEXHIBITS TO VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR 1. FRAUD ;ETC

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/30/2017
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT 1. FRAUD ;ETC

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC648429    Hearing Date: March 09, 2020    Dept: 24

Defendant Center Street Lending MP III SPE, LLC’s motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED without leave.

This case involves two related cases, a wrongful foreclosure suit entitled Turner v. Center Street Lending Services et al. (BC648429) and an unlawful detainer suit entitled Duke Partners II, LLC v. Turner et al. (17CMUD00309).

In the foreclosure action, Plaintiff Lawrence Turner (“Turner”) alleges in the operative fourth amended complaint (“4AC”) that in 1993, he and his niece each acquired as tenants in common in the property located at 1459 E. 121st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059 (“Property”), until he acquired her interest in 1998. On February 4, 2005, a grant deed conveying the Property from Turner to “Lawrence Nathaniel Turner Revocable Living Trust” was recorded. On August 29, 2006, Turner executed a grant deed to secure a $275,000 loan he received from Wells Fargo.

In 2012, Turner invested $119,000 with Defendant Christopher Lee aka R.K. Khalfani aka Rashid K. Khalfani (“Khalfani”), wherein Turner purchased 119 shares of Defendant Capital Cove Assets Management, Inc. (“Capital Cove”). Khalfani then proposed a joint venture idea to Turner, wherein $119,000 of his would be used to purchase the 2006 loan from Wells Fargo. Turner alleges Khalfani forged his signature on a second grant deed from the Trust to Diversified (“Forged Deed”). Diversified, through Khalfani, later executed a deed of trust in which the Property was pledged as security for a $108,000 loan from Defendant Center Street Lending MP III SPE, LLC (“Center Street”). The following day, Diversified executed a grant deed conveying its ownership interest in the Property to Capital Cove. On February 4, 2014, Capital Cove executed another grant deed in which the Property was pledged as security for a $119,000 loan from non-party Pensco Trust (“Pensco”). On December 8, 2014, Capital Cove executed another deed of trust securing a $75,000 loan from Center Street. On September 21, 2016, a notice of default was recorded because Diversified was purportedly in arrears on its loan from Center Street. A notice of trustee’s sale was recorded January 11, 2017. On April 26, 2017, Duke Partners II LLC (“Duke”) acquired an ownership interest in the Property as the highest bidder for at the trustee’s sale. Shortly thereafter, Duke Partners recorded a trustee’s deed upon sale that identified Diversified as the trustor on the foreclosed loan. Turner commenced this action on January 30, 2017.

Duke brought the UD action against Turner on September 22, 2017. Duke alleges that it is entitled to immediate possession of the property pursuant to the non-judicial foreclosure auction.

Trial is now set for May 4, 2020.

On February 6, 2020, Center Street filed the instant motion for judgment on the pleadings. On February 25, 2020, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On February 28, 2020, Center Street filed a reply.

Legal Standard

A defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings may be made after the time to demur has expired and an answer has been filed. (CCP § 438(f).) A motion by a defendant may be made on the grounds that (1) the court “lacks jurisdiction of the subject of one or more of the causes of action alleged” or (2) the complaint or cross-complaint “does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against that defendant.” (CCP § 438(c).)

A motion for judgment on the pleadings has the same function as a general demurrer but is made after the time for demurrer has expired. Except as provided by statute, the rules governing demurrers apply. (See Cloud v. Northrop Grumman Corp. (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 995, 999.) “A motion for judgment on the pleadings is akin to a general demurrer; it tests the sufficiency of the complaint to state a cause of action. [Citations.] The court must assume the truth of all factual allegations in the complaint, along with matters subject to judicial notice.” (See Wise v. Pacific Gas and Elec. Co. (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 725, 738.)

Like a general demurrer, “ordinarily, a [motion for judgment on the pleadings] does not lie as to a portion of a cause of action, and if any part of a cause of action is properly pleaded, the [motion] will be overruled.” (Fire Ins. Exchange v. Superior Court (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 446, 452.) In considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings, courts consider whether properly pled factual allegations—assumed to be true and liberally construed—are sufficient to constitute a cause of action. (Stone Street Capital, LLC v. Cal. State Lottery Com’n (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 109, 116.)

Meet and Confer Requirement

Before filing a statutory motion for judgment on the pleadings, a moving party's counsel must meet and confer, in person or by telephone, with counsel for the party who filed the pleading subject to the judgment on the pleadings motion “for the purpose of determining if an agreement can be reached that resolves the claims to be raised in the motion for judgment on the pleadings.” (CCP § 439(a).)

Request for Judicial Notice

Center Street requests that the Court take judicial notice of the following supplied documents:

  1. Exhibit 1 - certified copy of the Grant Deed dated November 2, 1993;

  2. Exhibit 2 - certified copy of the Grant Deed dated November 13, 1995;

  3. Exhibit 3 - certified copy of the Grant Deed dated January 20, 2005;

  4. Exhibit 4 - certified copy of the Short Form Deed of Trust executed by Turner on July 13, 2006;

  5. Exhibit 5 - certified copy of a Grant Deed executed October 9, 2013;

  6. Exhibit 6 - certified copy of a Grant Deed executed November 15, 2013;

  7. Exhibit 7 - certified copy of a Deed of Trust, Security Agreement and Fixture Filing (With Assignment of Rents and Leases) executed by Diversified on January 27, 2014;

  8. Exhibit 8 - certified copy of the Full Reconveyance of the Wells Fargo Bank Deed of Trust recorded on February 27, 2014;

  9. Exhibit 9 - certified copy of the Assignment of Beneficial Interest Under Deed of Trust, recorded on January 14, 2015;

  10. Exhibit 10 - certified copy of a Grant Deed dated January 28, 2014;

  11. Exhibit 11 - certified copy of a Substitution of Trustee, recorded on September 21, 2016;

  12. Exhibit 12 - certified copy of a Notice of Default and Election to Sell Under Deed of Trust, recorded on September 21, 2016;

  13. Exhibit 13 - certified copy of a Notice of Trustee’s Sale;

  14. Exhibit 14 - certified copy of a Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale, recorded on May 2, 2017;

  15. Exhibit 15 - certified copy of the May 17, 2019 unlawful detainer judgment obtained by Duke Partners against Lawrence Turner in the action entitled: Duke Partners II, LLC v. Lawrence Turner, et al. - LASC Case No. 17CMUD00309.

  16. Exhibit 16 - certified copy of the May 5, 2014 complaint Lawrence Turner filed against Capital Cove, Diversified, RK Khalfani and Anthony F. Hooks in the action entitled Turner v. Capital Cove Asset Management, Inc., et al. – LASC Case No. BC544652 (“First Action”);

  17. Exhibit 17 - certified copy of the Court’s Order sustaining Diversified’s Demurrer entered December 4, 2014 in the First Action;

  18. Exhibit 18 - certified copy of the October 29, 2014, Unlawful Detainer entitled: Capital Cove Asset Management, Inc. v. Turner – LASC Case No. 14U13997 (“UD Action”);

  19. Exhibit 19 - certified copy of the Court’s Statement of Decision and Judgment for Capital Cove and against Turner filed May 28, 2015 in the UD Action;

  20. Exhibit 20 - certified copy of the Appellate Court’s Opinion filed March 6, 2017, affirming judgment in the UD Action;

  21. Exhibit 21 - certified copy of the joint Demurrer filed on June 21, 2017, by Diversified and Hook to Turner’s First Amended Complaint in this action;

  22. Exhibit 22 - certified copy of the Court’s Order entered on January 3, 2018, sustaining Diversified and Hook’s joint Demurrer to Turner’s First Amended Complaint without leave to amend in this action;

Center Street also requests judicial notice of the ruling on Duke’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, exhibit 1 to the supplemental request.

The Court finds that the various documents are either official records of the County of Los Angeles, State of California, a source of reasonably indisputable accuracy (Evid. Code §452(h)) or court records (Evid. Code §452(d)). Therefore, these unopposed requests are GRANTED.

Plaintiff requests judicial notice of an order granting the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to Khalfani in the United States Central District Court Case No. 8:15-cv-980-JLS-JCx. The Court may decline to take judicial notice of irrelevant matters. (Town of Atherton v. California High-Speed Rail Authority (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 314, 341; People v. McKinzie (2012) 54 Cal.4th 1302, 1326 [court will take judicial notice of only relevant matters].) Plaintiff does not adequately provide for this document’s relevance to the instance motion. Therefore, Plaintiff’s request is DENIED.

Discussion

Center Street moves on the grounds that the underlying First Action acts as claim preclusion and that the UD Action acts as issue preclusion against all the causes asserted. Center Street’s motion is substantively identical to Duke’s granted motion for judgment on the pleadings regarding issue preclusion. (See 2/20/20 Minute Order.) The same analysis discussed there applies here.

The doctrine of res judicata generally precludes parties, or their privies, from relitigating a cause of action determined with finality in a prior proceeding. (E.g., Smith v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1407, 1413-14; Wright v. Ripley (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1189, 1193.) The doctrine has two aspects: it applies to both a previously litigated cause of action, referred to as claim preclusion, and to an issue necessarily decided in a prior action, referred to as issue preclusion. (Vandenberg v. Superior Court (1999) 21 Cal.4th 815, 828.) “[R]es judicata does not merely bar relitigation of identical claims or causes of action. Instead, in its collateral estoppel aspect, the doctrine may also preclude a party to prior litigation from redisputing issues therein decided against him, even when those issues bear on different claims raised in a later case. Moreover, because the estoppel need not be mutual, it is not necessary that the earlier and later proceedings involve the identical parties or their privies. Only the party against whom the doctrine is invoked must be bound by the prior proceeding. [Citations.]” (Ibid.)

Issue preclusion will apply if the party to be bound agreed expressly or impliedly to submit an issue to prior adjudication and had a full and fair opportunity to litigate under circumstances affording due process protections. (Ayala v. Dawson (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 1319, 1327.) The nature of unlawful detainer actions prevents a blanket application of normal issue preclusion rules. An unlawful detainer action is a summary proceeding ordinarily limited to resolution of the question of possession. (Malkoskie v. Option One Mortg. Corp. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 968, 973.) Any judgment arising from an unlawful detainer action generally is given limited res judicata effect. (Ibid.) Litigation of an affirmative defense, even one not ordinarily cognizable in unlawful detainer, if it is raised without objection, and if a fair opportunity to litigate is provided will result in a judgment conclusive upon issues material to that defense. (Vella v. Hudgins (1977) 20 Cal.3d 251, 257.)

Center Street argues that in the instant action and the UD Action, Plaintiff argued that the deed was the result of forgery. The Court agrees with Center Street’s arguments concerning the application of issue preclusion. For example, the forgery issue present here is identical to the issue discussed in the UD action, and that there was a final judgment on the merits as to the action.

There is more to be said as to whether the forgery issue was “fully and fairly litigated” within the meaning of case law in the context of unlawful detainer. The parties bring the Court’s attention to two lead cases, which illustrate the issue preclusion effect of unlawful detainer judgments. (Wood v. Herson (1974) 39 Cal.App.3d 737; Vella v. Hudgins (1977) 20 Cal.3d 251.)

In Wood, the defendant, Herson, arranged to obtain a mortgage loan and purchase property allegedly on behalf of the plaintiffs, the Woods, who could not qualify for the mortgage. (Wood, supra, 39 Cal.App.3d at 740–742.) A dispute arose over whether Herson held title and was the true property owner or held title in trust for the Woods and had no right to possession. (Ibid.) Herson brought an unlawful detainer action. (Ibid.) The Woods defended against the UD action by arguing fraud and claiming that Herson had agreed orally to purchase the property on their behalf and then transfer title to them. (Ibid.) They presented this theory through an affirmative defense of fraud. (Ibid.) Herson prevailed. (Ibid.) In a subsequent suit by the Woods for specific performance predicated on the same theory, the trial court granted summary judgment against them, applying the doctrine of collateral estoppel. (Id. at 739.)

The Wood court affirmed, reasoning that the Woods’ affirmative defense of fraud in the unlawful detainer action was virtually identical to the fraud allegations upon which their suit for specific performance was based, the court concluded that even though title ‘normally is not a permissible issue in an unlawful detainer action,’ the essential issues had been fully and fairly disposed of in the earlier proceeding. (Wood, supra, 39 Cal.App.3d at 740.) The Vella court noted that Woods considered a variety of factors to determine that the fraud issue was fully litigated.

“The [Woods] court cited in support of its ruling such varied factors as the length of the ‘summary’ unlawful detainer hearing (seven days), the scope of discovery by the parties (‘extensive’ and ‘complete’), the quality of the evidence (‘detailed’), and the general character of the action (‘[clearly] ... not the customary unlawful detainer proceeding’). A lengthy and comprehensive superior court record replete with precise findings of fact persuaded the Wood court that application of collateral estoppel to curtail further litigation would involve ‘no miscarriage of justice—(the) Woods have had their day in court....’ ”

(Vella, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 256 [citations omitted]; see Woods, supra, 740-745.)

Vella used the same framework to come to the opposite conclusion regarding issue preclusion. In Vella, a property owner in an eviction action tried to block subsequent litigation against him by an evicted tenant based on the unlawful detainer judgment he previously obtained. (Vella, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 253.) The plaintiff, Vela, alleged she had a long-term intimate relationship with the property owner, Hudgins. (Ibid.) When Vella had trouble keeping up payments on the note, Hudgins purchased the note to protect her from default, and assured her she need not worry about making payments. (Id. at 254.) A dispute arose and Hudgins directed the deed of trust trustee to give notice of default. (Ibid.) In an ensuing unlawful detainer proceeding by Hudgins against Vella, Vella pleaded fraud as an affirmative defense, but ultimately lost and was evicted. (Ibid.) In a subsequent action, Vella brought a fraud claim against Hudgins, and she prevailed. (Ibid.)

On appeal against Vella’s action, the Supreme Court rejected Hudgins’s contention that Vella’s separate fraud action was barred by issue preclusion. Vella described the Woods decision as an “uncommon” situation where the parties to an unlawful detainer action had fully and extensively litigated issues beyond simple possession. (Vella, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 257.) The Vella court explained that the facts presented in Vella were more typical of a summary unlawful detainer proceeding than the situation presented in Wood:

The record offered in support of the plea of res judicata is virtually barren. Evidently the unlawful detainer proceedings were unrecorded or untranscribed, for no transcript of the municipal court hearing exists, and no findings of fact or conclusions of law were made, other than a notation in the trial judge’s minute order to the effect that Vella had not proved her affirmative defenses of ‘waiver and [equitable] estoppel and tender.’ The sparse record presented to us fails to show either the precise nature of the factual issues litigated, or the depth of the court’s inquiry. We decline to assume, given the summary character of this type of action, that the mere pleading of a defense without objection by the adverse party necessarily demonstrates adequate opportunity to litigate the defense. The fact that in the unlawful detainer action both parties submitted trial-length estimates of two hours, whereas trial of the second action consumed four days, while not controlling, does create a strong inference that the former proceeding was a conventional unlawful detainer action, unlike the elaborate and highly atypical proceeding considered in Wood.

(Id. at 258.)

As previously held in the Duke motion, the facts and procedural history here are more akin to Wood than Vella. Plaintiff does not persuasively state that Vella applies. Here, the record is sufficiently developed to show that Plaintiff raised the forgery issue as an affirmative defense without objection. The trial court explicitly rejected Plaintiff’s testimony and his version of events and noted so on the record. The trial took place over the course of four court days, which appears longer than a typical UD trial. Given this information, this record does not appear “virtually barren” as it was in Vella, and is certainly sufficient enough to determine that the forgery issue was actually litigated as a part of the suit. As more recent case law has noted, Plaintiff “could have moved to consolidate the unlawful detainer proceeding with [a civil action], thus requiring the court to determine whether the issues presented were so complex and so intertwined with the issue of title that the entire case [should be] treated as an ordinary civil action, not as a summary proceeding but he did not do so. Instead, he acceded to the summary and expedited procedures of unlawful detainer with respect to his claim...” (Ayala, supra, 13 Cal.App.5th at 1329–1330.) As the forgery issue forms the basis of the claims against Center Street, issue preclusion would bar those claims.

As noted with the denial of Plaintiff’s request for judicial notice, the Court does not find the SEC complaint relevant. Plaintiff offers no explanation as to why the SEC violations are relevant to this action, the UD Action or First Action. “Swindling investors” does not appear to have any bearing on the foreclosure or unlawful detainer issues present. Plaintiff does not explain how this irrelevant issue would change the underlying rulings, or even affect this motion. Even if the SEC decision could have changed the underlying rulings, Plaintiff fails to explain why the principals of claim/issue preclusion would not still apply. The existence of additional unsubmitted evidence does not change the fact that the underlying actions were still resolved against Plaintiff.

Accordingly, Center Street’s motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED without leave.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC648429    Hearing Date: February 20, 2020    Dept: 24

Defendant Duke Partners II LLC’s motion is GRANTED.

This case involves two related cases, a wrongful foreclosure suit entitled Turner v. Center Street Lending Services et al. (BC648429) and an unlawful detainer suit entitled Duke Partners II, LLC v. Turner et al. (17CMUD00309).

In the foreclosure action, Plaintiff Lawrence Turner (“Turner”) alleges in the operative fourth amended complaint (“4AC”) that in 1993, he and his niece each acquired as tenants in common in the property located at 1459 E. 121st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059 (“Property”), until he acquired her interest in 1998. On February 4, 2005, a grant deed conveying the Property from Turner to “Lawrence Nathaniel Turner Revocable Living Trust” was recorded. On August 29, 2006, Turner executed a grant deed to secure a $275,000 loan he received from Wells Fargo.

In 2012, Turner invested $119,000 with Defendant Christopher Lee aka R.K. Khalfani aka Rashid K. Khalfani (“Khalfani”), wherein Turner purchased 119 shares of Defendant Capital Cove Assets Management, Inc. (“Capital Cove”). Khalfani then proposed a joint venture idea to Turner, wherein $119,000 of his would be used to purchase the 2006 loan from Wells Fargo. Turner alleges Khalfani forged his signature on a second grant deed from the Trust to Diversified (“Forged Deed”). Diversified, through Khalfani, later executed a deed of trust in which the Property was pledged as security for a $108,000 loan from Defendant Center Street Lending MP III SPE, LLC (“Center Street”). The following day, Diversified executed a grant deed conveying its ownership interest in the Property to Capital Cove. On February 4, 2014, Capital Cove executed another grant deed in which the Property was pledged as security for a $119,000 loan from non-party Pensco Trust (“Pensco”). On December 8, 2014, Capital Cove executed another deed of trust securing a $75,000 loan from Center Street. On September 21, 2016, a notice of default was recorded because Diversified was purportedly in arrears on its loan from Center Street. A notice of trustee’s sale was recorded January 11, 2017. On April 26, 2017, Duke Partners II LLC (“Duke”) acquired an ownership interest in the Property as the highest bidder for at the trustee’s sale. Shortly thereafter, Duke Partners recorded a trustee’s deed upon sale that identified Diversified as the trustor on the foreclosed loan. Turner commenced this action on January 30, 2017.

Duke brought the UD action against Turner on September 22, 2017. Duke alleges that it is entitled to immediate possession of the property pursuant to the non-judicial foreclosure auction.

Trial is now set for May 4, 2020.

On January 21, 2020, Duke filed a statutory motion for judgment on the pleadings as to all causes of action alleged against it in the 4AC. (CCP § 438.) On February 6, 2020, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On February 11, 2020, Duke filed a reply.

Legal Standard

A defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings may be made after the time to demur has expired and an answer has been filed. (CCP § 438(f).) A motion by a defendant may be made on the grounds that (1) the court “lacks jurisdiction of the subject of one or more of the causes of action alleged” or (2) the complaint or cross-complaint “does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against that defendant.” (CCP § 438(c).)

A motion for judgment on the pleadings has the same function as a general demurrer but is made after the time for demurrer has expired. Except as provided by statute, the rules governing demurrers apply. (See Cloud v. Northrop Grumman Corp. (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 995, 999.) “A motion for judgment on the pleadings is akin to a general demurrer; it tests the sufficiency of the complaint to state a cause of action. [Citations.] The court must assume the truth of all factual allegations in the complaint, along with matters subject to judicial notice.” (See Wise v. Pacific Gas and Elec. Co. (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 725, 738.)

Like a general demurrer, “ordinarily, a [motion for judgment on the pleadings] does not lie as to a portion of a cause of action, and if any part of a cause of action is properly pleaded, the [motion] will be overruled.” (Fire Ins. Exchange v. Superior Court (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 446, 452.) In considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings, courts consider whether properly pled factual allegations—assumed to be true and liberally construed—are sufficient to constitute a cause of action. (Stone Street Capital, LLC v. Cal. State Lottery Com’n (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 109, 116.)

Meet and Confer Requirement

Before filing a statutory motion for judgment on the pleadings, a moving party's counsel must meet and confer, in person or by telephone, with counsel for the party who filed the pleading subject to the judgment on the pleadings motion “for the purpose of determining if an agreement can be reached that resolves the claims to be raised in the motion for judgment on the pleadings.” (CCP § 439(a).) Duke provides a compliant declaration. (Yang Decl., ¶¶ 2-3.)

Request for Judicial Notice

Duke requests that the Court take judicial notice of the following supplied documents:

  1. Exhibit A: Grant Deed recorded on July 1, 1998 as instrument number 98-1119594;

  2. Exhibit B: Grant Deed recorded on February 4, 2005 as instrument number 050275363;

  3. Exhibit C: Grant Deed recorded on January 30, 2014 as instrument number 20140103762;

  4. 4.) Exhibit D: Deed of Trust recorded on January 30, 2014 as instrument number 20140103763;

  5. Exhibit E: Grant Deed recorded on February 4, 2014 as instrument number 20140119410;

  6. Exhibit F: Full Reconveyance recorded on February 27, 2014 as instrument number 20140202598;

  7. Exhibit G: Notice of Default and Election to Sell Under Deed of Trust recorded on September 21, 2016 as instrument number 20161143124;

  8. Exhibit H: Notice of Trustee’s Sale recorded on January 11, 2017 as instrument number 20170040755;

  9. Exhibit I: Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale recorded on May 2, 2017 as instrument number 20170485630;

  10. Exhibit J: Complaint for Unlawful Detainer Against Occupant Holding Over After Sale of Real Property filed on October 29, 2014 in Capital Cove Asset Management, Inc. v. Lawrence Turner, et al. (L.A.S.C., Case No. 14U13997) (the “Capital Cove UD Action”);

  11. Exhibit K: Statement of Decision and Judgment for Plaintiff Against Defendants filed on May 28, 2015 in the Capital Cove UD Action; and

  12. Exhibit L: Opinion filed on March 6, 2017 in the Capital Cove UD Action.

These unopposed requests are GRANTED. (Evid. Code § 452(d), (c), (h).)

Plaintiff makes no request for judicial notice of the exhibits it attaches to his opposition. Plaintiff attaches information regarding a Security and Exchange Commission case filed against Capital Cove (the “SEC case”). Plaintiff represents that in the SEC case, Capital Cove and Lee were found to have embezzled from investors. The Court does not find this relevant to the issues presented in this motion, and therefore would not consider it even if judicial notice were requested. Additionally, Plaintiff’s declaration is purely extrinsic evidence and will not be considered.

Discussion

Duke moves on the grounds that the underlying Capital Cove UD Action acts as issue preclusion against all the causes asserted against Duke.

The doctrine of res judicata[1] generally precludes parties, or their privies, from relitigating a cause of action determined with finality in a prior proceeding. (E.g., Smith v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1407, 1413-14; Wright v. Ripley (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1189, 1193.) The doctrine has two aspects: it applies to both a previously litigated cause of action, referred to as claim preclusion, and to an issue necessarily decided in a prior action, referred to as issue preclusion. (Vandenberg v. Superior Court (1999) 21 Cal.4th 815, 828.) “[R]es judicata does not merely bar relitigation of identical claims or causes of action. Instead, in its collateral estoppel aspect, the doctrine may also preclude a party to prior litigation from redisputing issues therein decided against him, even when those issues bear on different claims raised in a later case. Moreover, because the estoppel need not be mutual, it is not necessary that the earlier and later proceedings involve the identical parties or their privies. Only the party against whom the doctrine is invoked must be bound by the prior proceeding. [Citations.]” (Ibid.)

Issue preclusion will apply if the party to be bound agreed expressly or impliedly to submit an issue to prior adjudication and had a full and fair opportunity to litigate under circumstances affording due process protections. (Ayala v. Dawson (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 1319, 1327.) The nature of unlawful detainer actions prevents a blanket application of normal issue preclusion rules. An unlawful detainer action is a summary proceeding ordinarily limited to resolution of the question of possession. (Malkoskie v. Option One Mortg. Corp. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 968, 973.) Any judgment arising from an unlawful detainer action generally is given limited res judicata effect. (Ibid.) Litigation of an affirmative defense, even one not ordinarily cognizable in unlawful detainer, if it is raised without objection, and if a fair opportunity to litigate is provided will result in a judgment conclusive upon issues material to that defense. (Vella v. Hudgins (1977) 20 Cal.3d 251, 257.)

Duke reasons that both here and in the Capital Cove UD action, Plaintiff argued that the deed was the result of forgery. The Court agrees with many of Duke’s arguments concerning the application of issue preclusion. For example, the Court does agree that the forgery issue is identical to the issue discussed in the Capital Cove UD action, and that there was a final judgment on the merits as to the action. However, there is more to be said as to whether the forgery issue was “fully and fairly litigated” within the meaning of case law.

The parties bring the Court’s attention to two lead cases, which illustrate the issue preclusion effect of unlawful detainer judgments. (Wood v. Herson (1974) 39 Cal.App.3d 737; Vella v. Hudgins (1977) 20 Cal.3d 251.

In Wood, the defendant, Herson, arranged to obtain a mortgage loan and purchase property allegedly on behalf of the plaintiffs, the Woods, who could not qualify for the mortgage. (Wood, supra, 39 Cal.App.3d at 740–742.) A dispute arose over whether Herson held title and was the true property owner or held title in trust for the Woods and had no right to possession. (Ibid.) Herson brought an unlawful detainer action. (Ibid.) The Woods defended against the UD action by arguing fraud and claiming that Herson had agreed orally to purchase the property on their behalf and then transfer title to them. (Ibid.) They presented this theory through an affirmative defense of fraud. (Ibid.) Herson prevailed. (Ibid.) In a subsequent suit by the Woods for specific performance predicated on the same theory, the trial court granted summary judgment against them, applying the doctrine of collateral estoppel. (Id. at 739.)

The Wood court affirmed, reasoning that the Woods’ affirmative defense of fraud in the unlawful detainer action was virtually identical to the fraud allegations upon which their suit for specific performance was based, the court concluded that even though title ‘normally is not a permissible issue in an unlawful detainer action,’ the essential issues had been fully and fairly disposed of in the earlier proceeding. (Wood, supra, 39 Cal.App.3d at 740.) The Vella court noted that Woods considered a variety of factors to determine that the fraud issue was fully litigated.

“The [Woods] court cited in support of its ruling such varied factors as the length of the ‘summary’ unlawful detainer hearing (seven days), the scope of discovery by the parties (‘extensive’ and ‘complete’), the quality of the evidence (‘detailed’), and the general character of the action (‘[clearly] ... not the customary unlawful detainer proceeding’). A lengthy and comprehensive superior court record replete with precise findings of fact persuaded the Wood court that application of collateral estoppel to curtail further litigation would involve ‘no miscarriage of justice—(the) Woods have had their day in court....’ ”

(Vella, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 256 [citations omitted]; see Woods, supra, 740-745.)

Vella used the same framework to come to the opposite conclusion regarding issue preclusion. In Vella, a property owner in an eviction action tried to block subsequent litigation against him by an evicted tenant based on the unlawful detainer judgment he previously obtained. (Vella, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 253.) The plaintiff, Vela, alleged she had a long-term intimate relationship with the property owner, Hudgins. (Ibid.) When Vella had trouble keeping up payments on the note, Hudgins purchased the note to protect her from default, and assured her she need not worry about making payments. (Id. at 254.) A dispute arose and Hudgins directed the deed of trust trustee to give notice of default. (Ibid.) In an ensuing unlawful detainer proceeding by Hudgins against Vella, Vella pleaded fraud as an affirmative defense, but ultimately lost and was evicted. (Ibid.) In a subsequent action, Vella brought a fraud claim against Hudgins, and she prevailed. (Ibid.)

On appeal against Vella’s action, the Supreme Court rejected Hudgins’s contention that Vella’s separate fraud action was barred by issue preclusion. Vella described the Woods decision as an “uncommon” situation where the parties to an unlawful detainer action had fully and extensively litigated issues beyond simple possession. (Vella, supra, 20 Cal.3d at 257.) The Vella court explained that the facts presented in Vella were more typical of a summary unlawful detainer proceeding than the situation presented in Wood:

The record offered in support of the plea of res judicata is virtually barren. Evidently the unlawful detainer proceedings were unrecorded or untranscribed, for no transcript of the municipal court hearing exists, and no findings of fact or conclusions of law were made, other than a notation in the trial judge’s minute order to the effect that Vella had not proved her affirmative defenses of ‘waiver and [equitable] estoppel and tender.’ The sparse record presented to us fails to show either the precise nature of the factual issues litigated, or the depth of the court’s inquiry. We decline to assume, given the summary character of this type of action, that the mere pleading of a defense without objection by the adverse party necessarily demonstrates adequate opportunity to litigate the defense. The fact that in the unlawful detainer action both parties submitted trial-length estimates of two hours, whereas trial of the second action consumed four days, while not controlling, does create a strong inference that the former proceeding was a conventional unlawful detainer action, unlike the elaborate and highly atypical proceeding considered in Wood.

(Id. at 258.)

This suit is more akin to Wood than Vella. Here, the record is sufficiently developed to show that Plaintiff raised the forgery issue as an affirmative defense without objection. The trial court explicitly rejected Plaintiff’s testimony and his version of events and noted so on the record. The trial took place over the course of four court days, which appears longer than a typical UD trial. Given this information, this record does not appear “virtually barren” as it was in Vella, and is certainly sufficient enough to determine that the forgery issue was actually litigated as a part of the suit. As more recent case law has noted, Plaintiff “could have moved to consolidate the unlawful detainer proceeding with [a civil action], thus requiring the court to determine whether the issues presented were so complex and so intertwined with the issue of title that the entire case [should be] treated as an ordinary civil action, not as a summary proceeding but he did not do so. Instead, he acceded to the summary and expedited procedures of unlawful detainer with respect to his claim...” (Ayala, supra, 13 Cal.App.5th at 1329–1330.) As the forgery issue forms the basis of the fifth, sixth and seventh causes of action against Duke, issue preclusion would bar those claims. Accordingly, Duke’s motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED.

Accordingly, the motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED..

Moving party is ordered to give notice.


[1] It is better to use the more succinct terms “claim preclusion” and “issue preclusion” rather than the outdated res judicata and collateral estoppel phrases. These older phrases tend to confuse the issues.

Case Number: BC648429    Hearing Date: January 06, 2020    Dept: 24

Defendants Duke Partners II LLC and Center Street Lending MP III SPE, LLC’s motions for leave to file their respective First Amended Answers are GRANTED.

This case involves two related cases, a wrongful foreclosure suit entitled Turner v. Center Street Lending Services et al. (BC648429) and an unlawful detainer suit entitled Duke Partners II, LLC v. Turner et al. (17CMUD00309).

In the foreclosure action, Plaintiff Lawrence Turner (“Turner”) alleges in the operative fourth amended complaint (“4AC”) that in 1993, he and his niece each acquired as tenants in common in the property located at 1459 E. 121st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059 (“Property”), until he acquired her interest in 1998. On February 4, 2005, a grant deed conveying the Property from Turner to “Lawrence Nathaniel Turner Revocable Living Trust” was recorded. On August 29, 2006, Turner executed a grant deed to secure a $275,000 loan he received from Wells Fargo.

In 2012, Turner invested $119,000 with Defendant Christopher Lee aka R.K. Khalfani aka Rashid K. Khalfani (“Khalfani”), wherein Turner purchased 119 shares of Defendant Capital Cove Assets Management, Inc. (“Capital Cove”). Khalfani then proposed a joint venture idea to Turner, wherein $119,000 of his would be used to purchase the 2006 loan from Wells Fargo. Turner alleges Khalfani forged his signature on a second grant deed from the Trust to Diversified (“Forged Deed”). Diversified, through Khalfani, later executed a deed of trust in which the Property was pledged as security for a $108,000 loan from Defendant Center Street Lending MP III SPE, LLC (“Center Street”). The following day, Diversified executed a grant deed conveying its ownership interest in the Property to Capital Cove. On February 4, 2014, Capital Cove executed another grant deed in which the Property was pledged as security for a $119,000 loan from non-party Pensco Trust (“Pensco”). On December 8, 2014, Capital Cove executed another deed of trust securing a $75,000 loan from Center Street. On September 21, 2016, a notice of default was recorded because Diversified was purportedly in arrears on its loan from Center Street. A notice of trustee’s sale was recorded January 11, 2017. On April 26, 2017, Duke Partners II LLC (“Duke”) acquired an ownership interest in the Property as the highest bidder for at the trustee’s sale. Shortly thereafter, Duke Partners recorded a trustee’s deed upon sale that identified Diversified as the trustor on the foreclosed loan. Turner commenced this action on January 30, 2017.

Duke brought the UD action against Turner on September 22, 2017. Duke alleges that it is entitled to immediate possession of the property pursuant to the non-judicial foreclosure auction.

Trial is now set for May 4, 2020.

On October 2, 2019, Center Street filed a motion for leave to file a First Amended Answer (“CFAA”), to add two affirmative defenses. On December 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On December 24, 2019, Center Street filed a reply.

On October 16, 2019, Duke filed a motion for leave to file a First Amended Answer (“DFAA”), to add six affirmative defenses. On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On December 26, 2019, Duke filed a reply.

Given the identical nature of the motions, the Court will consider both together below.

Request for Judicial Notice

Center Street requests judicial notice of various documents related to the real property at issue here (requests nos. 1-4) and court documents regarding prior cases with Plaintiff (requests nos. 5-7). Center Street’s unopposed request for judicial notice is GRANTED. (Evid. Code § 452(d), (c), (h).)

Legal Standard

If a plaintiff wishes to amend a complaint after the answer has been filed or after the demurrer has been filed and after the hearing on the demurrer, or if he or she has already amended the complaint “of course,” permission of the court must be obtained before the amendment will be allowed. (CCP §§ 473(a)(1), 576.)

Motions for leave to amend the pleadings are directed to the sound discretion of the court. “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading . . . .” (CCP § 473(a)(1); see CCP § 576.) Policy favors liberally granting leave to amend so that all disputed matters between the parties may be resolved. (See Howard v. County of San Diego (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1422, 1428.) Absent prejudice to the adverse party, the court may permit amendments to the complaint “at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial.” (Atkinson v. Elk Corp. (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 739, 761 [internal quotes omitted].) Where leave is sought to add entirely new claims, the court may grant leave to amend if the new claims are based on the same general set of facts, and the amendment will not prejudice the opposing party. (Austin v. Massachusetts Bonding & Ins. Co. (1961) 56 Cal.2d 596, 600-602; Glaser v. Meyers (1982) 137 Cal.App.3d 770, 777 [holding trial court did not abuse its discretion in permitting amendment of complaint, which originally alleged constructive eviction, to allege retaliatory eviction where the new claim was based on the same general set of facts].)

Although denial is rarely justified, a judge has discretion to deny leave to amend if the party seeking the amendment has been dilatory, and the delay has prejudiced the opposing party. (Morgan v. Sup.Ct. (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527, 530; see also Hirsa v. Superior Court (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 486, 490). An opposing party is prejudiced where the amendment would necessitate a trial delay along with a loss of critical evidence, added preparation expense, increased burden of discovery, etc. (Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 486-488 [leave properly denied where plaintiff sought leave on the eve of trial, nearly two years after the complaint was originally filed and gave no explanation for the delay which prejudiced defendant who did not discover or depose many of the witnesses who would support the new allegations and had not marshaled evidence in opposition of the new allegations].)

Procedure

A motion for leave to amend must state with particularity what allegations are to be amended. Namely, it must state what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted and/or added, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number. (CRC, Rule 3.1324(a)(2)-(3).) The motion must be accompanied by a declaration specifying: (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier. (CRC, Rule 3.1324(b).) The motion must also be accompanied by the proposed amended pleading, numbered to differentiate it from the prior pleadings or amendments. (CRC, Rule 3.1324(a)(1).) It is within the court’s discretion to require compliance with Rule 3.1324 before granting leave to amend. (Hataishi v. First American Home Buyers Protection Corp. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1454, 1469.)

Center Street seeks to add two new affirmative defenses: (1) Claim preclusion/Res Judicata and (2) Issue Preclusion/Collateral Estoppel. Duke seeks to add six new affirmative defenses: (1) Res Judicata, (2) Collateral Estoppel, (3) Plaintiff’s Conduct as Bar to Recovery, (4) Injury Caused by Plaintiff, (5) Apportionment of Damages, and (6) Plaintiff’s Own Negligence. Both parties submit proposed amended answers.

The Court finds that the two motions comply with the above CRC rules. Particularly, Plaintiff cites the requirements of CRC, Rule 3.1324(b) to argue that the CRC rules were not met. The Court disagrees, as the declarations supply the requested information. (See Yang Decl.; Lazaran Decl.) Plaintiff simply is not satisfied with their explanation and complains of delay. However, the procedural requirements were met. Accordingly, the motion is procedurally sufficient.

Delay and Prejudice

Plaintiff argues that there was a delay in amendment. Defendants contend that they were unaware of the facts underlying the newly affirmative defenses. Both defendants’ new affirmative defenses relate to the discovery of a prior judgment against Plaintiff, wherein the trial court determined that Plaintiff’s signature on specific Deeds were not forged. They claim that this was discovered within the past year. Duke states that the delay was due to plaintiff’s failure to respond to discovery requests until the Court’s May 17, 2019 discovery order. Center Street states that their counsel substituted in last January and only subsequently became aware of the judgment against Turner.

Even assuming delay, the Court does not find any prejudice associated with the delay or amendment. Plaintiff asserts that he would be prejudiced because this would interject a new issue which requires further discovery. (Green v. Ranch Santa Margarita Mortg. Co. (1994) 28 Cal. App. 4th 686, 692.) Turner speculates he will need to take discovery on these matters. Of course, the Court is not convinced any extensive discovery on this issue would be necessary. What discovery would be necessary beyond the already-provided documents is left to speculation. Further, trial is not until May 4, 2019. Plaintiff still has adequate time to discover any issues pertaining to the judgment/findings of facts taken against him in the prior cases. The Court does not find any prejudice stemming from potential delay or amendment.

Plaintiff’s opposition fails to identify any prejudice they would suffer as a result of granting leave to amend. The Court finds none. Since any delay was not prejudicial, Defendants’ motions are GRANTED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.