This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/10/2019 at 01:38:13 (UTC).

NEXT LEVEL PROPERTY INVEST. VS. COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVEST.

Case Summary

On 03/14/2018 a Contract - Other Contract case was filed by NEXT LEVEL PROPERTY INVEST against COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVEST in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8265

  • Filing Date:

    03/14/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Burbank Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

BENNY C. OSORIO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

DE BEST PETER H.

NEXT LEVEL PROPERTY INVESTMENTS LLC

MOUSSA TARAK EL

Defendants

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVESTMENT INC.

REALTY EXECUTIVES PRIMIER AND REALTY

MARTIROSSIAN VIRGINIA INDIVIDUALLY AND

REALTY EXECTIVES PREMIER ESCROW

MARTIROSIAN SHAHEN INDIVIDUALLY AND AS

 

Court Documents

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

11/19/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Minute Order

12/17/2018: Minute Order

Certificate of Mailing for

12/17/2018: Certificate of Mailing for

Declaration

2/21/2019: Declaration

Minute Order

5/21/2019: Minute Order

Proof of Publication

5/29/2019: Proof of Publication

Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment

5/31/2019: Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment

Application

5/31/2019: Application

Case Management Statement

5/31/2019: Case Management Statement

Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment

5/31/2019: Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment

Minute Order

6/11/2019: Minute Order

Civil Case Cover Sheet

3/14/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Legacy Document

3/14/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

3/14/2018: Legacy Document

Case Management Statement

8/8/2018: Case Management Statement

Application

9/24/2018: Application

Order for Publication

9/24/2018: Order for Publication

Order for Publication

9/24/2018: Order for Publication

23 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/11/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Case Management Conference - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/11/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Case Management Conference) of 06/11/2019); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/11/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/04/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/31/2019
  • Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/31/2019
  • Notice of Rejection - Pleadings (section 1c and section 1d does not match the names on the complaint); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/31/2019
  • Proof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/31/2019
  • Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/31/2019
  • Application (for Separate Judgment); Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/31/2019
  • Declaration Pursuant to 585 CCP in Support of Default Judgment; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
28 More Docket Entries
  • 08/13/2018
  • Minute order entered: 2018-08-13 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/08/2018
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/30/2018
  • at 08:29 AM in Department B; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service (OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Matter continued) -

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/30/2018
  • Minute order entered: 2018-05-30 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/20/2018
  • Request For Copies

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/14/2018
  • Complaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/14/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/14/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/14/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Next Level Property Investments, LLC (Plaintiff); Peter H. De Best (Plaintiff); Tarak El Moussa (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/14/2018
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC068265    Hearing Date: December 13, 2019    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

next level property investments, llc, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

v.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVESTMENT, INC., et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: EC068265

Hearing Date: December 13, 2019

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to set aside dismissal pursuant to ccp §473(b)

BACKGROUND

A. Allegations of the Operative Complaint

Plaintiffs Next Level Property Investments, LLC, Peter H. de Best, and Tarek El Moussa (“Plaintiffs”) are in the business of buying and selling houses both to hold as rental properties and to “flip.” Plaintiffs allege that on February 25, 2015, they came across a listing for a short sale for property located at 1437 Highland Ave., Glendale, CA 91202, which listed Defendant Commercial Property Investment, Inc. (“CPI”) dba Realty Executives Premier (“RE Premier”) and Realty Executives North Hollywood (“RE North Hollywood”) as the listing broker and Defendant Shahen Martirosian dba Realty Executives Premier Escrow (“RE Escrow”) as the selling broker by and through Shahen Martirosian. Plaintiffs alleges that Shahen Martirosian represented that the residence was owned by the bank and available for short sale through RE North Hollywood. On February 25, 2015, CPI and Shahen Martirosian entered into an agency relationship with Plaintiffs through a brokerage agreement for the purchase of the residence. Plaintiffs allege that Shahen Martirosian repeatedly told them that the deal could not be initiated without an earnest money deposit of $20,000 and that the parties would have to use RE Escrow. Plaintiffs allege they complied with the request and wire-transferred $20,000 to RE Escrow, believing it was a valid escrow account, but Shahen Martirosian comingled and converted the funds for his own use. Plaintiffs allege that they contacted Shahen Martirosian about the process of the short sale and the delays, and demanded an accounting and ledger, but Shahen Martirosian stopped answering calls and they did not receive their deposit back.

The complaint, filed March 14, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) breach of contract; (2) conversion; (3) breach of fiduciary duty; and (4) fraud.

B. Relevant Background and Motion to Set Aside Dismissal

On December 17, 2018, the Court held an OSC re Filing Proof of Publication and Dismissal for Failure to Prosecute. The Court noted that Plaintiffs’ counsel did not appear to the hearing. The Court observed that though an Order for Publication had been signed by the Court on September 24, 2018, no proof of publication had been filed by Plaintiffs. The Court thus dismissed without prejudice Plaintiffs’ complaint.

On February 21, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their first, unopposed motion to set aside the dismissal entered by the Court on December 17, 2018. On March 22, 2019, the Court issued a minute order stating that the dismissal ordered on December 17, 2018 as to the entire action be set aside and vacated. The Court encouraged Plaintiffs to pursue service avidly.

On May 21, 2019, the Court issued a minute order continuing the Case Management Conference (“CMC”) scheduled for June 4, 2019 to June 11, 2019, as the Court would be dark on June 4, 2019.

On May 31, 2019, Plaintiffs then attempted to request entry of default and judgment by default, but the filing was rejected as defective.

On June 11, 2019, the Court held a CMC and noted that no parties appeared. The Court set an OSC re Entry of Default/Default Judgment and OSC re Dismissal and/or $500 in sanctions against Plaintiff’s counsel for his failure to appear on June 11, 2019 to be heard on July 31, 2019.

On July 31, 2019, the Court called the OSCs for hearing, but noted that Plaintiff’s counsel failed to appear at both the June 11, 2019 and July 31, 2019 hearings, none of the Defendants had been defaulted, and the request for entry of default was rejected. Thus, the Court ordered Plaintiffs’ complaint filed on March 14, 2018 to be dismissed without prejudice.

On November 12, 2019, Plaintiffs filed this instant motion to set aside the dismissal pursuant to CCP §473(b). The Court is not in receipt of an opposition brief.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiffs now move pursuant to CCP §473(b) to vacate the dismissal entered on July 31, 2019.

In support of the motion, Plaintiffs provides the declaration of counsel, Michael S. de Best. Counsel states after informing the Court that Defendants could not be located and likely fled the jurisdiction, the Court approved the Order for Service of Publication. (de Best Decl., ¶2.) Mr. de Best states that before he could complete the publication, he was severely injured while operating an All-Terrain Vehicle. (Id., ¶3.) He states that while he was recovering from the accident, he missed the December 17, 2018 CMC where the Court dismissed the action; that dismissal was set aside on March 22, 2019 pursuant to motion. (Id., ¶¶3-4.) He states that he then moved forward with the publication and filed proof of publication on May 29, 2019. (Id., ¶5.) Mr. de Best states that he filed a request for entry of default on May 29, 2019, which was rejected for ministerial reasons and he has since then corrected the issues and is awaiting filing. (Id., ¶6.)

Mr. de Best takes full responsibility for the case getting dismissed again. (Id., ¶¶7, 29-31.) He explains that he has been splitting his time between California and Arizona (where his children live), such that he is not physically in his California office at all times. (Id., ¶¶9-10.) As a result of this arrangement and his recovery, he states that he relied on his office personnel to inform him of any mail, but the Court’s notice of the continued CMC had been misplaced. (Id., ¶¶9-14, 24, 28.) Though he retained an appearance attorney for the originally-set June 4, 2019 CMC date, he states that he was unaware that the CMC had been continued to June 11, 2019, which neither he nor his appearance attorney attended. (Id., ¶22.)

Based on the declaration of Mr. de Best, Plaintiffs have shown that there is substantive merit to granting this motion pursuant to CCP §473(b). In addition, this motion was timely filed within 6 months from the date of the July 31, 2019 dismissal. Finally, granting this motion is in line with the policy in favor of trial on the merits. For the reasons above, the motion is granted.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

The motion to vacate the dismissal entered on July 31, 2019 is granted. Plaintiffs’ counsel is cautioned to take due care of his clients’ action and that failure to move this case forward or attend hearings may again result in a dismissal of the action and/or sanctions. The Court believes that reasonable notice should be provided to the Defendant that this is now an active case, once again.

A Case Management Conference shall be set for March 11, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Plaintiffs shall provide notice of this order.