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Securities and Exchange Commission v. Schooler

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 20, 2014

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
LOUIS V. SCHOOLER and FIRST FINANCIAL PLANNING CORPORATION, dba Western Financial Planning Corporation, Defendants.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Schooler, Dist. Court, S.D. California 2014

ORDER: (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART RECEIVER'S MOTION FOR CIVIL CONTEMPT AND SANCTIONS FOR VIOLATION OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION ORDER; (2) VACATING HEARING DATE [ECF No. 833]

GONZALO P. CURIEL, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is Receiver Thomas C. Hebrank's (the "Receiver") Motion for Civil Contempt and Sanctions for Violation of Preliminary Injunction Order. (ECF No. 833.) Defendants Louis V. Schooler ("Schooler") and First Financial Planning Corporation d/b/a Western Financial Planning Corporation ("Western") (collectively, "Defendants") oppose. (ECF No. 846.) The Receiver replied to Defendants' opposition. (ECF No. 847.)

The parties have fully briefed the motions. (ECF Nos. 833, 846, 847.)The Court finds the motions suitable for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Upon review of the moving papers, admissible evidence, and applicable law, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the Receiver's Motion for Civil Contempt and Sanctions for Violation of Preliminary Injunction Order

II. BACKGROUND

On September 6, 2012, the Court appointed the Receiver as temporary receiver over Western and entities it controls. (ECF No. 10.) On March 13, 2013, the Court entered a preliminary injunction and appointed the Receiver as permanent receiver over Western and entities it controls (the "PI Order"). (ECF No. 174.) The PI Order states that the Receiver is:

to have access to and to collect and take custody, control, possession, and charge of all funds, assets, collateral, premises (whether owned, leased, occupied, or otherwise controlled), choses in action, books, records, papers and other real or personal property, wherever located, of or managed by Western, its subsidiaries, or the entities listed on Schedule 1.

and that Defendants "shall forthwith give access to and control of such property to the permanent receiver." ( Id. ) The PI Order further states that:

defendants Schooler and Western, and their subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and the entities listed on Schedule 1 and Schedule 2, shall cooperate with and assist the permanent receiver and shall take no action, directly or indirectly, to hinder, obstruct, or otherwise interfere with the permanent receiver or his attorneys, accountants, employees or agents, in the conduct of the permanent receiver's duties or to interfere in any manner.

( Id. )

In September 2013, the Receiver agreed, on a temporary but ongoing basis, to move the server at Western's San Diego office to Defendants' Vista office. (ECF No. 833-1 ¶ 3.) On September 4, 2014, the Receiver sent Defendants a letter demanding immediate access to the server. (ECF No. 833-2, Ex. A.) Between September and October 2014, due to scheduling difficulties as well as non-Western data being on the server, Defendants were unable to provide the Receiver with access to the server. ( Id. ¶¶ 3-16.)

On October 31, 2014, the Receiver filed a motion for civil contempt and sanctions. (ECF No. 833.) On November 12, 2014, Defendants filed an opposition ...


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