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Saadi v. Omni Entertainment

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION


March 17, 2009

GEORGE SAADI, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OMNI ENTERTAINMENT, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Dale S. Fischer, U.S. District Judge

Complaint filed 05/11/06 Case Assigned to Hon. Dale S. Fischer, U.S. District Judge FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER RE: CONTEMPT Hearing Date: 02/23/2009 Time: 11:00 a.m. Courtroom: 840- Roybal Bldg.

FINDINGS, CONCLUSONS AND ORDER RE: CONTEMPT

On February 23, 2008, in Courtroom 840 of the above-captioned Court, U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer presiding, this matter came for hearing pursuant to the "Findings, Certification and Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt," issued by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian dated January 6, 2009, and thereafter personally served upon judgment debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California, corporation, and Steven (aka Stephen) Pina, its President. Present at the hearing were Alan G. Dowling, Esq., counsel for Plaintiff George Saadi, and Steven Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation. The Court, having heard the oral argument of all present at the hearing, being familiar with the record of this action, and on the basis thereof having found good cause why these Findings, Conclusions and Order should issue,

THE COURT FINDS that:

1. Judgment by Default was entered against Defendant Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, in the within action on August 10, 2007;

2. On November 3, 2008, this Court executed, filed and entered its "Order[s] Granting Plaintiff's Application for Order and Appearance of Judgment Debtor" as to Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and "Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation-Steven Pina, President" (the "Orders"), directing them to personally appear on December 23, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 20 of the above-captioned Court, located at 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, to furnish information to aid in the enforcement of a money judgment against the Judgment Debtor. The Orders each stated, in pertinent parts:

"NOTICE TO JUDGMENT DEBTOR: IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR AT THE TIME AND PLACE SPECIFICED IN THIS ORDER, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO ARREST AND PUBISHMENT FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT, AND THE COUR FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER RE: CONTEMPT MAY MAKE AN ORDER REQUIRING YOU TO PAY THE REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES INCURRED BY THE JUDGMENT CREDITOR IN THIS PROCEEDING.

See California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 708.110(e)." (Emphases in original);

3. On November 26, 2008, Plaintiff's counsel, Alan G. Dowling, Esq., issued a "Subpoena in a Civil Case" to each of Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and "Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation-Stephen Pina, President," likewise instructing Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and "Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation- Steven Pina, President" (the "Subpoenas"), to appear on December 23, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 20 of the above-captioned Court, located at 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, to testify in this action, and to produce and permit inspection and copying of certain designated documents or objects at such place, date and time;

4. Plaintiff's proofs of service establish that on December 3, 2008, Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and "Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation-Steven Pina, President," were each served with the foregoing Orders and Subpoenas, as well as with copies of the Court's Judgment by Default, entered on August 10, 2007, and the Court's "Civil Minutes-General," dated August 8, 2007, by personal service of the same upon Stephen Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation;

5. On December 23, 2008, in Courtroom 20 of the above-captioned Court, this matter came on for hearing and judgment debtor examination, pursuant to the aforesaid Orders and Subpoenas. The case was called twice, at 9:47 a.m. and again at 10:20 a.m., and although Plaintiff (the Judgment Creditor) was present by his counsel Alan G. Dowling, Esq., there was no appearance by or for either Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, or Steven Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation;

6. On December 23, 2008, this Court issued its "Civil Minutes-General" pertaining to the foregoing events and facts;

7. On January 6, 2009, Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian issued her "Findings, Certification and Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt," which in pertinent part found that the failure of Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and "Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation-Stephen Pina, President," to appear on December 23, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 20 of the above-captioned Court, located at 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, to testify in this action, and to produce and permit inspection and copying of certain designated documents or objects at such place, date and time, constituted acts in contempt of court, and ordered that Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, appear personally before Hon. Dale S. Fischer, U.S. District Judge, on February 23, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., in Courtroom 840 of the U.S. District Court (Roybal Courthouse), located at 255 E. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, and that they and each of them show cause, then and there, why they and each of them should not be adjudged in contempt of the Court, due to their failure to appear for examination and to produce documents or objects for examination and copying on December 23, 2008, pursuant the aforesaid Orders and Subpoenas;

8. Plaintiff's proofs of service establish that on February 11, 2009, Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and "Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation-Steven Pina, President," were each served with the foregoing "Findings, Certification and Order to Show Cause Re: Contempt," dated January 6, 2009, by personal service of the same upon Stephen Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation;

9. Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, have failed to show cause why they and each of them should not be adjudged in contempt of the Court, due to their failure to appear for examination and to produce documents or objects for examination and copying on December 23, 2008, pursuant the aforesaid Orders and Subpoenas;

10. The failure of Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, to appear for examination on December 23, 2008, pursuant to the Court's order that they appear, and pursuant to subpoenas duly served, was willful disobedience of a court order;

11. Plaintiff has reasonably incurred the sum total of $7.979.00 in attorneys' fees (at counsel's regular hourly rate, which the Court finds to be reasonable for purposes of this matter), and $486.08 in costs (including without limitation costs for service of subpoenas, court orders and other documents in connection with the court proceedings conducted in this matter on December 23, 2008, and February 23, 2009, and for the appearance of a private court reporter at the proceeding on December 23, 2008.

On the basis of the foregoing Findings, the Court HEREBY CONCLUDES that Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, should be and hereby are held in civil contempt of this Court, under and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(e)(6)(B)(iii), Cal. C.C.P. Sec. 708.110(e), Local Rule 83-7 of this Court, and as an exercise of the inherent power of the Court to impose sanctions including, inter alia, a fine and an award of attorneys' fees and costs to Plaintiff [U.S. v. United Mine Workers of America (1947) 330 U.S. 258, 303-304, 67 S.Ct. 677, 701; Chambers v. NASCO, Inc. (1991) 501 U.S. 32, 43, 111 S.Ct. 2123, 2132; F.D.I.C. v Maxxam, Inc. (5th Ci. 2008), 523 F.3d 566, 590-593.]

NOW, THEREFORE, on the basis of the foregoing Findings and Conclusions, and the record of this action,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, pay to the Court, on or before April 2, 2009, monetary sanctions in the sum total of $500.00 ($250.00 with respect to each of the hearings conducted in this matter on December 23, 2008, and February 23, 2009, respectively);

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, pay to Plaintiff George Saadi, as and for monetary sanctions including attorneys' fees and costs incurred in connection with the proceedings conducted in this matter on December 23, 2008, and February 23, 2009, respectively), the sum total of $8,465.08 ($7.979.00 in attorneys' fees, and $486.08 in costs), such payment to be made to Plaintiff's counsel, Alan G. Dowling, Esq., on or before April 2, 2009;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Judgment Debtor Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and Steven [or Stephen] Pina, President of Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, and each of them, appear personally before Hon. Jacqueline Chooljian, U.S. Magistrate Judge, on March 6, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., in Courtroom 20 of the U.S. District Court (Spring St. Courthouse), located at 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, and at such other time, place and circumstance as may be directed by the Magistrate Judge at that time, and that each of them, then and there, comply fully with the Court's Order(s) Granting Plaintiff's Application for Order and Appearance of Judgment Debtor, dated November 3, 2008, and the subpoenas duces tecum, all previously served upon them on December 3, 2008, by producing at that time and place (or as otherwise directed by the Court), for inspection and copying, all documents and things called for by the said subpoenas, and by testifying to furnish information in enforcement of the money judgment against the said Judgment Debtor, Omni Entertainment, Inc., a California corporation, in the within action. (The Court notes that defendant has already appeared.)

20090317

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