This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:29:57 (UTC).

MARTEL REID VS CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION ET AL

Case Summary

On 09/19/2017 MARTEL REID filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are JAMES C. CHALFANT, MALCOLM MACKEY, MICHAEL J. RAPHAEL and DENNIS J. LANDIN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6461

  • Filing Date:

    09/19/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

JAMES C. CHALFANT

MALCOLM MACKEY

MICHAEL J. RAPHAEL

DENNIS J. LANDIN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Cross Defendants

REID MARTEL

GAYLE MONIQUE

ESPINOZA WENDY

BENNETT DOARIAN

REID GWENDENECE

REID GERALD

INVESTMENT BANKERS NETWORK INC. DBA INBANET

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST I BY US BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

GUILLEN VERONICA

THOMPSON VALERIA AKA VALERIE HOFFMAN

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Defendants

TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA

US BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

KWIAT ANDREW AS TRUSTEE

KWIAT SONY AS TRUSTEE

GAYLE MONIQUE

TD FORECLOSURE SERVICES INC

DOES 1 TO 100

CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION

ESPINOZA WENDY AN INDIVIDUAL (DOE 61)

ESPINOZA WENDY

BENNETT DOARIAN

REID GERALD

MERCHANTS BONDING COMPANY

THOMPSON VALERIA AKA VALERIE HOFFMAN

KWIAT SONYA

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION

KWIAT SONYA

23 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

ARMSTRONG THOMAS. ESQ/

ARMSTRONG THOMAS

Defendant, Respondent and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

TRACHTENBERG JORDAN ESQ.

GHIDOTTI MICHELLE R. ESQ.

CUNNINGHAM & TREADWELL

SQUIRE RYAN C. ESQ.

BARBA KEVIN LAW OFFICES OF

BARBA KEVIN RUBEN

SQUIRE RYAN CHRISTOPHER ESQ.

CUNNINGHAM FRANCIS JOSEPH III

GASKINS JORDAN REUEL

ANAST ALEXANDRA N.

WOOD DAVID F.

BENBOW SHANNON MARIE ESQ.

MDINARADZE MAIA

GREGORY GERALD RICHARD III

YEE STEVEN ROBERT ESQ.

Defendant and Cross Defendant Attorneys

BARBA KEVIN RUBEN

YEE STEVEN ROBERT ESQ.

ARMSTRONG THOMAS

MULLEN MARTIN J

GUERRERO JOSUE CRISTOBAL

TEEL HOLLY MARIE

3 More Attorneys Available

 

Court Documents

DEFENDANT WENDY ESPINOZA ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

4/4/2018: DEFENDANT WENDY ESPINOZA ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

4/25/2018: REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/15/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

Proof of Service

7/17/2018: Proof of Service

Proof of Service

7/17/2018: Proof of Service

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

7/27/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/31/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

10/2/2018: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

Summons

10/11/2018: Summons

Answer

11/14/2018: Answer

Answer

12/24/2018: Answer

Proof of Personal Service

1/3/2019: Proof of Personal Service

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

1/14/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Minute Order

5/6/2019: Minute Order

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER OF CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

1/24/2018: MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER OF CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR RIGHT TO ATTACH ORDER, ORDER FOR ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF ATTACHMENT, AND TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER

11/16/2017: PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION FOR RIGHT TO ATTACH ORDER, ORDER FOR ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF ATTACHMENT, AND TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER

APPLICATION FOR RIGHT TO ATTACH ORDER, ETC

11/16/2017: APPLICATION FOR RIGHT TO ATTACH ORDER, ETC

TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER

11/16/2017: TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER

269 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/30/2020
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 51 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 06/19/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 51 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 03/02/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 51 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Post-Mediation Status Conference

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketAnswer (SECOND AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT); Filed by Investment Bankers Network, Inc. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 07/12/2019
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Andrew Kwiat (Cross-Complainant); Sonya Kwiat (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 07/12/2019
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Andrew Kwiat (Cross-Complainant); Sonya Kwiat (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 07/11/2019
  • DocketStipulation and Order (to Dismiss Certain Causes of Action as to Investment Bankers Network Inc., Doing Business as Inbanet); Filed by Center Street Lending Corporation (Defendant); Investment Bankers Network, Inc. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 07/09/2019
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 51, Dennis J. Landin, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Dismiss - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 06/27/2019
  • DocketNotice ( of Continuance of Trial, Final Status Conference and Trial-Related Dates); Filed by Andrew Kwiat (Defendant); Sonya Kwiat (Defendant)

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  • 06/27/2019
  • DocketNotice (OF TAKING MOTION fO DISMISS SECOND AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT); Filed by Investment Bankers Network Inc. (Non-Party)

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470 More Docket Entries
  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketReceipt-Depository; Filed by TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA (Defendant)

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  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketDECLARATION OF NON-MONETARY STATUS TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT BY DEFENDANT TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA

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  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA (Defendant)

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  • 09/27/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/27/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 09/25/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION (LIS PENDENS)

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  • 09/25/2017
  • DocketNotice of Lis Pendens; Filed by MARTEL REID (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/19/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by MARTEL REID (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/19/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. CANCELLATION OF WRITTEN INSTRUMENT (PROMISSORY NOTE) (CIVIL CODE 3412); ETC

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  • 09/19/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC676461    Hearing Date: December 18, 2020    Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for terminating sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza, including an order striking the answer of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and the entry of default, or in the alternative, an order imposing evidence and issue sanctions, and also for monetary sanctions.

The Court continued the hearing on this motion to give Defendant Wendy Espinoza one final chance to appear for her deposition to avoid terminating sanctions.

TENTATIVE RULING

Plaintiff Martel Reid’s motion for terminating sanctions is DENIED.

Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions is GRANTED against Defendant Wendy Espinoza in the reduced amount of $1,746.65. Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 10 days.

ANALYSIS

Motion For Terminating and Monetary Sanctions

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for terminating sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza, including an order striking the answer of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and the entry of default, or in the alternative, an order imposing evidence and issue sanctions, and also for monetary sanctions.

The grounds for this motion are that Defendant Wendy Espinoza failed to attend her deposition with production of documents within 20 days as ordered by the Court on February 28, 2020, despite several rescheduled depositions. Also, Defendant Espinoza has provided a false address on her substitution of attorney form (mail has been returned as undeliverable and a process server concluded Espinoza does not reside at that address), has avoided service of notices, and failed to respond to telephone calls or emails. (See Declaration of Thomas Armstrong and Exhibits thereto.)

The court has the authority to impose sanctions against a party that engages in the misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.) This includes failing to respond to an authorized method of discovery and disobeying a court order to provide discovery. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2023.010 (d) and (g).) A party engaging in such conduct may be subject to monetary, issue and/or evidentiary, and terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2023.030(a), (b) (c) and (d).)

Where a party fails to obey an order compelling responses, “ the court may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction . . . In lieu of or in addition to that sanction, the court may impose a monetary sanction. . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290(c); § 2031.300(c).) Indeed, the court may impose terminating sanctions after a party’s failure to comply with one court order to produce discovery if it is an “attempt[ ] to tailor the sanction to the harm caused by the withheld discovery.” (Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartunian (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1618-19.)

"[T]he question before this court is not whether the trial court should have imposed a lesser sanction; rather, the question is whether the trial court abused its discretion by imposing the sanction it chose. [Citation.] Moreover, imposition of a lesser sanction would have permitted [defendants] to benefit from their stalling tactics. [Citation.] The trial court did not abuse its discretion by tailoring the sanction to the particular abuse. [Citation.]" ( Id. at pp. 36-37.)

(Collisson, supra, 21 Cal.App.4th at 1620.)

In deciding whether to impose a terminating sanction, the trial court is to consider the totality of the circumstances: “conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.” (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.)

Here, disobedience of only one discovery order would normally not warrant terminating sanctions. Yet, it does appear that Defendant is evading her obligation to sit for her deposition.

The Court is mindful of the impact of COVID-19 (see Espinoza Declaration) and, in that regard, indicated its willingness to give Defendant Espinoza one more opportunity to fulfill her deposition obligation.

Accordingly, the Court continued the hearing on this motion to give Defendant Wendy Espinoza one file chance to appear for her deposition to avoid terminating sanctions. The Court ordered Defendant Wendy Espinoza to appear for her deposition before that date.

The Court indicated that if Defendant has not sat for her deposition by the December 18, 2020 hearing date, the Court intends to grant terminating sanctions by striking Defendant’s answer and entering her default. The Court reserved its ruling on monetary sanctions for the December 18, 2020 hearing.

Per the status report filed by Plaintiff, the deposition of Defendant Wendy Espinoza took place on December 2, 2010, Defendant appeared with counsel and answered all questions. As such, the motion for terminating sanctions is DENIED.

The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the imposition of monetary sanctions is appropriate. The request for monetary sanctions is GRANTED against Defendant Wendy Espinoza in the reduced amount of $1,746.65. (See Declaration of Thomas Armstrong, ¶ 30.) Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 10 days.

Case Number: BC676461    Hearing Date: November 04, 2020    Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for terminating sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza, including an order striking the answer of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and the entry of default, or in the alternative, an order imposing evidence and issue sanctions, and also for monetary sanctions.

TENTATIVE RULING

The hearing on Plaintiff Martel Reid’s motion for terminating sanctions is CONTINUED to December 18, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. The Court orders Defendant Wendy Espinoza to appear for her deposition before that date. The parties are to meet and confer on the date, time and method for such deposition to occur.

If Defendant has not sat for her deposition by the December 18, 2020 hearing date, the Court intends to grant terminating sanctions by striking Defendant’s answer and entering her default. Plaintiff is to file a status report by the December 11, 2020.

ANALYSIS

The court has the authority to impose sanctions against a party that engages in the misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.) This includes failing to respond to an authorized method of discovery and disobeying a court order to provide discovery. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2023.010 (d) and (g).) A party engaging in such conduct may be subject to monetary, issue and/or evidentiary, and terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2023.030(a), (b) (c) and (d).)

Where a party fails to obey an order compelling responses, “ the court may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction . . . In lieu of or in addition to that sanction, the court may impose a monetary sanction. . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290(c); § 2031.300(c).) Indeed, the court may impose terminating sanctions after a party’s failure to comply with one court order to produce discovery if it is an “attempt[ ] to tailor the sanction to the harm caused by the withheld discovery.” (Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartunian (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1618-19.)

"[T]he question before this court is not whether the trial court should have imposed a lesser sanction; rather, the question is whether the trial court abused its discretion by imposing the sanction it chose. [Citation.] Moreover, imposition of a lesser sanction would have permitted [defendants] to benefit from their stalling tactics. [Citation.] The trial court did not abuse its discretion by tailoring the sanction to the particular abuse. [Citation.]" ( Id. at pp. 36-37.)

(Collisson, supra, 21 Cal.App.4th at 1620.)

In deciding whether to impose a terminating sanction, the trial court is to consider the totality of the circumstances: “conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.” (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.)

Here, disobedience of only one discovery order would normally not warrant terminating sanctions. Yet, it does appear that Defendant is evading her obligation to sit for her deposition.

The Court is mindful of the impact of COVID-19 (see Espinoza Declaration) and, in that regard, is willing to give Defendant Espinoza one more opportunity to fulfill her deposition obligation.

Accordingly, the hearing on the motion for terminating sanctions is CONTINUED to December 18, 2020. The Court orders Defendant Wendy Espinoza to appear for her deposition before that date. The parties are to meet and confer on the date, time and method for such deposition to occur.

If Defendant has not sat for her deposition by the December 18, 2020 hearing date, the Court intends to grant terminating sanctions by striking Defendant’s answer and entering her default. Plaintiff is to file a status report by the December 11, 2020.

The Court will reserve its ruling on monetary sanctions for the December 18, 2020 hearing.

Case Number: BC676461    Hearing Date: February 28, 2020    Dept: 76

Motion To Compel Deposition and Production of Documents

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves to compel the deposition of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and for production of documents at deposition. Plaintiff also requests an award of monetary sanctions.

(a) If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

(b) A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following:

(1) The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

(2) The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.

CCP § 2025.450(a) & (b)(bold emphasis added).

Moving party has submitted a declaration indicating that the deponent’s counsel was contacted about the deponent, Wendy Espinoza’s, non-appearance at her January 22, 2020 noticed deposition. Declaration of Thomas Armstrong, ¶¶ 6 – 10. Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Espinoza’s deposition, as there has been no showing by Espinoza justifying her failure to appear.

A copy of the Second Amended Deposition Notice for January 22, 2020 is attached as Exhibit A to the Declaration of Thomas Armstrong.

Plaintiff argues that document categories 1 through 17 are necessary to establish any communications between Espinoza—who allegedly received loan proceeds—and other parties to the case, or other parties involved in the loan transactions. Plaintiff argues that document categories 18 and 19 are directly relevant to each of the $20,000.00 loan disbursements that Espinoza requested escrow to make, in that she informed escrow that the Plaintiff owed $20,000.00 to Opulence Asset Group and $20,000 to Southern California Home Investors, Inc., and requested an instruction for each disbursement.

Plaintiff has demonstrated good cause justifying production of the documents identified in the deposition notice. Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling production of documents categories Nos. 1 – 19.

The motion to compel the deposition of Defendant Wendy Espinoza, and production of documents at deposition, is GRANTED. Deposition and production of documents is to occur within 20 days.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza only is GRANTED in the reduced amount of $1,570 (5 hours at $300/hour plus $70 filing fees—see Armstrong Decl, ¶ 15). Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 20 days.   

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