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Kashani v. Adams

March 4, 2009

MATTHEW KASHANI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TYLER ADAMS; PAUL PHIPPS, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AS TO WELLS FARGO AND 1SOURCE DATA; DENYING PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE MOTION FOR ISSUANCE OF ORDER TO RELEASE DOCUMENTS AS TO VERIZON; SUA SPONTE QUASHING DOCUMENT SUBPOENA AS TO PHB, INC. [Doc. Nos. 19, 20, 30.]

On January 8, 2009, Plaintiff filed an ex parte motion for issuance of order to show cause against Third Parties Wells Fargo Bank and 1Source Data. (Doc. Nos. 19 & 20.) Third Party Wells Fargo Bank filed an opposition on February 9, 2009. Plaintiff filed a reply on February 17, 2009. On February 10, 2009, Plaintiff filed an ex parte motion for issuance of order to release documents as to Verizon Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 30.) On February 24, 2009, the People filed a First Amended People's Amicus Brief in Support of Wells Fargo's Opposition to Motion for Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt. A motion hearing was held on February 27, 2009. Plaintiff Matthew Kashani appeared in pro per. John Mayers, Esq. appeared on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank; John Merrill appeared on behalf of 1Source Data; and Anna Winn, Esq. appeared on behalf of the People of the State of California ("People"). Based on the papers and hearing oral argument, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's ex parte motion for order to show cause as to Wells Fargo Bank and 1Source Data. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's ex parte motion for issuance of order to release documents from Verizon Pennsylvania. The Court also sua quashes the subpoena issued by the Western District of Pennsylvania on November 19, 2008 directed to Donald Chaffee's employer, PHB, Inc.

Background

On February 13, 2008, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants Tyler Adams and Paul Phipps for defamation. He claims that in 2007 Defendants Adams and Phipps "made false statements to lenders including Wells Fargo Bank in San Diego that plaintiff had given false information to the lenders to obtain credit." (Compl. ¶ 5.) Consequently, Plaintiff alleges that he suffered economic harm and loss of reputation in the business and banking community. (Id. ¶ 6.) He states that Adams opened and attempted to open various credit card and credit line accounts in the name of Plaintiff's corporation. ¶ 4.) He also made false statements to parties that Plaintiff had been the one responsible for opening these accounts. (Id.) He claims that Defendant Phipps repeated these same false statements. (Id.)

The People of the State of California filed an Amicus Brief which contains facts that provides a better understanding of the allegations in Plaintiff's complaint. The following facts are taken from the Amicus Brief. Donald Chaffee is a mechanic in Fairview, Pennsylvania who lives in a mobile home with his wife, Bonnie. (People's Amicus Brief at 1.) In 2005, Donald co-signed on a loan to help his stepson, Tyler Adams, buy a condo in San Diego. (Id. at 1-2.) After a suspicious phone call to his employer, Donald checked his credit report in 2007 which showed credit cards he never opened, commercial loans he never signed for, and a new job (President of Fissato, Inc.) he had never heard about. (Id. at 2.) Bonnie's credit report was similar except she learned that she was the President of Habley Medical Technology Corporation ("Habley Medical") which had a P.O. Box address in Rancho Bernardo. (Id.) Bonnie worked as an office clerk in Pennsylvania. (Id.) Donald and Bonnie filed a police report and began trying to prove to creditors that they were victims of identity theft. (Id.)

Habley Medical was an Orange County design-house for medical devices holding over a hundred patents for its medical inventions. (Id.) It began in 1981 and closed its door around 2000. (Id.) At the time, Clark Foster was the firm's design engineer. (Id.) Clark Foster recalls Plaintiff's uncle was Habley's business attorney. (Id.) Plaintiff visited Habley and assisted his uncle with business there.

In 2000, when Habley closed, Foster began working elsewhere. (Id.)

In 2007, Foster learned he was listed as a principal of Habley on applications for commercial loans. (Id.) His name was used to purchase several Rolex watches. (Id.) Foster phoned the number for Habley and heard a voicemail say, "Hello, this is the direct line for Clark Foster at Habley . . . ." (Id.) Foster confirmed that the commercial loan documents had his forged signature. (Id.)

In 2007, contacted by Direct Capital lending institution, SDPD Detective Arthur Dubois began an investigation into a suspected fraudulent application submitted by Habley Medical for a commercial loan of $80,000. (Id.) Other loan companies were also contacted and several had actually funded the loans based on fraudulent Habley paperwork submitted. (Id.) The loans were used to buy over fifty laptop computers, some of which were recovered at Plaintiff's home. (Id. at 3.) Several credit cards were also obtained using fraudulent Habley documents and items purchased were shipped to Plaintiff.

It was also revealed that Plaintiff is the CEO of Fissato, Inc. (Id.) On October 31, 2007, Plaintiff was arrested and currently facing 14 felony charges involving identify theft, fraud, conspiracy and grand theft in San Diego County case number CN 236630. (Id.)

Procedural Background

On January 8, 2009, Plaintiff Matthew Kashani filed an ex parte motion for issuance of order to show cause against Third Parties Wells Fargo Bank and 1Source Data. Third Party Wells Fargo Bank filed an opposition on February 9, 2009. Plaintiff filed a reply on February 17, 2009.

On January 21, 2009, Verizon Pennsylvania ("Verizon") sent the Court a copy of the documents requested in Plaintiff's document subpoena to Verizon. On January 26, 2009, Plaintiff sent an unsolicited e-mail to the Court regarding the third party subpoena to Verizon. On January 28, 2009, the Court issued an Order Re Improper Communication with the Court and indicated that the third party subpoena issue would be addressed at the hearing on February 27. However, on February 10, 2009, Plaintiff filed an ex parte motion for issuance of order to release documents currently in possession by the Court. On February 24, 2009, the People filed a First Amended People's Amicus Brief in Support of Wells Fargo's Opposition to Motion for Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt.

Discussion

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) provides that "[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense -- including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter . . . . Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

Third Party Wells Fargo Bank

Plaintiff served a document subpoena on Wells Fargo Bank on November 7, 2008. (Ex Parte Motion as to Wells Fargo, Ex. A.) He seeks all documents relating to nonparties Habley Medical Technology Corporation, Tyler Adams, Clark Foster, Donald Chaffee, and Bonnie Chaffee. Specifically he seeks:

1. All documents related to all applications for loans or credits;

2. All documents relating to any credit decision taken by the nonparty;

3. All documents reflecting communications between Wells Fargo ...


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