This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/03/2019 at 01:49:03 (UTC).

MARC A. LAROCQUE VS. CHRISTINE LAROCQUE FRANZ, ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/09/2017 MARC A LAROCQUE filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against CHRISTINE LAROCQUE FRANZ. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Van Nuys Courthouse East located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are VIRGINIA KEENY and HUEY P. COTTON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5233

  • Filing Date:

    02/09/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Van Nuys Courthouse East

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

VIRGINIA KEENY

HUEY P. COTTON

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant

LAROCQUE MARC A.

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

DOES 1-100

FRANZ CHRISTINE LAROCQUE

CHRISTINE FRANZ TRUSTEE OF THE

FLORES ROSA

THOMAS BRENDA

COCHRAN INC.

LEWIS GARFIELD

SCKITTONE JAMES

GONZALES KARLA ROSARIO

LOCKHART DEVELOPMENT INC. A DELAWARE CORPORATION

WALTERICH MARY E.

ARGUELLES FELIZ A.

LOCKHART DEVELOPMENT INC.

MOSS JENA

FRANZ CHRISTINE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

WALLACK GORDON REID

MINTZ MARSHALL GARY

Defendant Attorneys

CONKLE CHRISTOPHER BRIAN

DIMAURO MARCELLO MARIO

 

Court Documents

Answer

5/11/2017: Answer

Case Management Statement

7/6/2017: Case Management Statement

Notice of Related Case

8/7/2017: Notice of Related Case

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

10/3/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice

10/5/2018: Notice

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

10/9/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

10/9/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Unknown

10/10/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

10/18/2018: Minute Order

Substitution of Attorney

10/22/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Notice

10/22/2018: Notice

Other -

12/20/2018: Other -

Notice of Ruling

12/20/2018: Notice of Ruling

Notice of Ruling

3/7/2019: Notice of Ruling

Proof of Service by Mail

4/19/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Case Management Statement

5/16/2019: Case Management Statement

Demurrer

5/22/2019: Demurrer

Minute Order

5/23/2019: Minute Order

70 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/23/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department W, Virginia Keeny, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Notice (Notice of Rulings at Case Management Conference); Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/22/2019
  • Demurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by Cochran Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 05/16/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Verified First Amended Cross-Complaint; Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Answer (To Second Amended Complaint); Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Defendant)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Proof of Service by Mail; Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Defendant)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Answer (To First Amended Complaint); Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Defendant)

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Cross-Complaint; Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Cross-Complainant)

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102 More Docket Entries
  • 05/11/2017
  • Cross-Comp-No Summons Issued; Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Defendant)

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  • 05/11/2017
  • Answer; Filed by Christine Larocque Franz (Defendant)

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  • 04/20/2017
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/15/2017
  • Motion to Quash; Filed by Christine Franz (Defendant); Christine Larocque Franz (Defendant)

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  • 02/21/2017
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2017
  • Notice of Lis Pendens; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/09/2017
  • Summons; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/09/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/09/2017
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Marc A. Larocque (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/09/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: LC105233    Hearing Date: June 25, 2020    Dept: W

105233LAROCQUE V. FRANZ, ET AL.

PLAINTIFF LAROCQUE’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND TO FILE FOURTH AMENDED COMPLAINT

Date of Hearing: June 25, 2020 Trial Date: None set.

Department: W Case No.: LC105233

Moving Party: Plaintiff Marc A. Larocque

Responding Party: Defendant Cochran, Inc.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Laroque and Defendant Franz paired up to buy, rehabilitate, and sell real property. Some deals were profitable and some were not. The parties entered into an agreement with regard to a certain property on Cass Avenue in Woodland Hills. The written agreement provided, among other things, that Defendant Franz would take steps to change title of the Property from The Christine Franz Revocable Trust, Christine Franz, Rosa Flores, Mary Walterich, Feliz Arguelles, Karla Rosario Gonzalez, Jena Moss, Brenda Thomas, Garfield Lewis, and James Scittone to Christine Franz and Marc Laroque.

According to Plaintiff, Defendant Franz has failed to comply with her obligations under the agreement. Thereafter, Defendant Franz transferred the property to Cochran, Inc., which then conveyed the property to Lockhart Development, Inc. Plaintiff alleges the transfer to Cochran, Inc., was without consideration.

Plaintiff filed his complaint on February 9, 2017. After the court sustained a demurrer against Plaintiff’s complaint on June 28, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint (TAC), alleging: 1) Breach of Written Contract; 2) Breach of Fiduciary Duty; 3) Breach of Partnership Agreement; 4) Accounting; 5) Imposition of a Constructive Trust; and 6) Declaratory Relief/Quiet Title and Avoidance of Fraudulent Transfers.

On January 8, 2020, this court related the instant matter with Defendant Franz’s complaint (19VECV00254) against Cochran, Inc., Eliezer Appel, Adrian Van Rijs, Ignatius Evans, Oscar Peter Broderlow, Thomas Nyselius, Rushmore Development, Inc., and Lockhart Development Inc. for allegedly defrauding her in conveying the Cass Property to Cochran, Inc.

Plaintiff now moves the court for an order granting leave to file a fourth amended complaint.

[TENTATIVE] RULING:

Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend to File Fourth Amended Complaint is GRANTED.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff moves for an order granting Plaintiff’s leave to file a Fourth Amended Complaint (“4AC”). The proposed 4AC adds the following causes of action: 7th – Fraud; 8th – Slander of Title; 9th – Tort of Another Doctrine; and 10th – Specific Performance. Plaintiff also seeks to add the following additional parties as DOE Defendants: Oscar Peter Broederlow, Thomas Nysellius, Roshmore Development, Inc., Eliezer Appel, Adrian Van Rijs, and Capitol Realty, Inc.

The court notes that Plaintiff, in light of Cochran, Inc.’s transfer of title to Lockhart, Inc., and having made no assertion in this action as to ownership in the Cass Avenue Property, agrees to exclude Defendant Cochran, Inc. from the 10th cause of action for Specific Performance.

The courts have a strong policy of allowing motions for leave to amend. “If the motion to amend is timely made and the granting of the motion will not prejudice the opposing party, it is error to refuse permission to amend….” (Morgan v. Sup. Ct. (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527.) A court can deny leave to amend after long, inexcusable delay, where there is cognizable prejudice, such as discovery needed, trial delay, critical evidence lost, or added preparation expense. (Solit v. Tokai Bank (1999) 68 Cal.App.4th 1435, 1448; Atkinson v. Elk Corp. (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 739, 761; Green v. Rancho Santa Margarita Mortgage Co. (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 686, 692; Magpali v. Farmers Group, Inc. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 487.) Notably, “it is not required to accept an amended complaint that is not filed in good faith, is frivolous, or sham.” (American Advertising & Sales Co. v. Mid-Western (1984) 152 Cal.App.3d 875, 878.)

A party requesting leave to amend must also comply with California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1324, by including a copy of the proposed amended pleading and attaching a declaration by counsel, as to (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) why the request was not made earlier. The motion itself must state what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted and what allegations are proposed to be added to the previous pleading, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the deleted or additional allegations are located. (CRC Rule 3.1324(a).)

The court finds Plaintiff has substantially complied with CRC Rule 3.1324. Plaintiff attached a copy of the proposed fourth amended complaint to the motion, identified the changes to the complaint (i.e. the first amended complaint includes the additional causes of action, prayer for relief, and DOE defendants), and submitted a supporting declaration, pursuant to CRC 3.1324(a) and (b). (Declaration of Bart I. Ring ¶5; Exh. 2.) The declaration of Plaintiff’s counsel claims the proposed amendment will bring in the individuals and the companies who are part of the related case Franz v. Appel and the new causes of action are properly triggered upon the verified pleadings in Franz v. Appel. (CRC Rule 3.1324(b)(1).) Counsel also claims the amendment is necessary and proper because it will allow them to litigate a case against the individuals and companies engaged in a conspiracy to defraud Plaintiff (CRC Rule 3.1324(b)(2).) Moreover, Plaintiff’s counsel claims they discovered the need to assert the new causes of action and DOE defendants after Franz filed her lawsuit in 2019 and could not have been made earlier as Plaintiff’s prior counsel during time of discovery had become very ill. (CRC Rule 3.1324(b)(3),(4).) The court also notes only one of the Defendants, Franz, filed a responsive pleading to the current operative complaint.

In opposition, Defendant Cochran, Inc. contends Plaintiff’s proposed 4AC will result in serious prejudice to Defendants and will unnecessarily increase the cost of litigation for all parties. Specifically, Defendant Cochran, Inc. focuses on how the proposed amendment is futile as there is no basis for a claim of fraud, he cannot sue for slander of title when he holds no title to the subject property, he cannot seek specific performance against parties for whom he alleges no agreement, nor may he bring tort of another as its only purpose is to hold a tortfeasor liable for the costs associated with prosecuted or defending against third parties.

On the face of the proposed amendment, it does not appear that the new claims are barred. Defendants are free to make merit based arguments on a demurrer, summary judgment, or the like.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend to File fourth Amended Complaint is GRANTED.