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Smaato, Inc. v. Mobilewalla, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 12, 2017

SMAATO, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MOBILEWALLA, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER RE: MOTION FOR ASSIGNMENT ORDER, ORDER RESTRAINING JUDGMENT DEBTOR, AND TURNOVER ORDER Re: Dkt. Nos. 22 & 27

          JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Smaato, Inc., moves to enforce its default judgment against Mobilewalla, Inc. Plaintiff seeks: (1) an order pursuant to California Civil Procedure Code § 708.510 instructing Mobilewalla to assign its interest in any and all accounts receivable and rights to payment from any and all clients, customers, or others which owe it money to the extent necessary to pay Smaato's judgment against Mobilewalla in full; 2) an order restraining Mobilewalla and any servant, agent, employee, officer, director, shareholder or attorney for Mobilewalla, and any person(s) in active concert and participating with it, from encumbering, assigning, disposing or spending said accounts receivable, and all rights to payment thereunder; and 3) an order pursuant to California Civil Procedure Code § 699.040(e) compelling Mobilewalla to transfer to the U.S. Marshal all checks, cash, notes, instruments, deposits, deposit accounts, drafts, and accounts receivable ledgers or journals pertaining to the businesses identified herein. (Dkt. No. 22.)

         Mobilewalla has not responded to Plaintiff's motion. Because the Court had concerns regarding the evidentiary support in Plaintiff's motion, the Court requested additional briefing which has been submitted. (Dkt. No. 27.) Having considered Plaintiff's submissions and the relevant legal authority, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion for an assignment order, an order restraining the judgment debtor, and a turnover order.

         DISCUSSION

         Post-judgment enforcement proceedings in this federal court must comply with California law. Hilao v. Estate of Marcos, 95 F.3d 848, 851 (9th Cir. 1996)). The California Code of Civil Procedure “provides procedures for the assignment of assets, issuance of restraining orders, and issuance of turnover orders.” UMG Recordings, Inc. v. BCD Music Grp., Inc., No. CV 07-05808, 2009 WL 2213678, at *1 (C.D. Cal. July 9, 2009).

         A. Assignment Order

         Under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 708.510(a), a judgment creditor may obtain an assignment order against a judgment debtor as follows:

upon application of the judgment creditor on noticed motion, the court may order the judgment debtor to assign to the judgment creditor ... all or part of a r1ight to payment due or to become due, whether or not the right is conditioned on future developments, including but not limited to the following types of payments:
(1) Wages due from the federal government that are not subject to withholding under an earnings withholding order.
(2) Rents.
(3) Commissions.
(4) Royalties.
(5) Payments due from a patent or copyright.
(6) Insurance policy loan value.

Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 708.510(a). In determining whether to issue an assignment order a court should consider “[p]ayments the judgment debtor is required to make or that are deducted in satisfaction of other judgments or garnishments, ” “[t]he amount remaining due on the money judgment, ” and “the amount being or to be received in satisfaction of the right to payment that may be assigned.” Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 708.510(c). Further, “[a] right to payment may be assigned pursuant to this article only to the extent necessary to satisfy the money judgment.” Id.

         Here, Plaintiff's initial submission identified 27 “sources that are obligated to make payments to Mobilewalla including Citicorp, Starbucks Corporation, Pepisco, Inc., Proctor & Gamble Co., Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Oracle Corporation, Dell Inc., and Ikea Systems among others. (Dkt. No. 22 at 4:10-20.) Plaintiff asked the Court to order an assignment of the right to payment sufficient to satisfy its $262, 735.55 judgment. However, Plaintiff did not identify the basis for its assertion that any of these 27 sources are required to pay Mobilewalla, and instead, it just asserted that the sources “are obligated to make payments to Mobilewalla.” The Court thus ordered Plaintiff to submit supplemental briefing providing evidentiary support for its contention that these sources owe Mobilewalla funds sufficient to satisfy the judgment here. (Dkt. No. 26.)

         Plaintiff's supplemental submission provides the requisite evidentiary support. See UMG Recordings, Inc. v. BCD Music Grp., Inc., No. 07-05808, 2009 WL 2213678, at *3 (C.D. Cal. July 9, 2009) (granting assignment remedy where the plaintiff identified why it believed the listed sources would owe money to the debtor). Plaintiff has submitted a declaration which attests that according to Mobilewalla's own website, the following companies are its customers:

Inmobi Inc.

Starcom

Citicorp

Nokia USA Inc.

GDM Services, Inc. dba Fiksu DSP

Mediaedge Worldwide Ltd dba MEC

Aptus Health, Inc. dba Tomorrow Networks

M Saatchi LA Inc.

Unilever United States, Inc.

The Burt's Bees Product Company

Starbucks Corporation

Dell Inc.

Mazda Motor of North America, Inc.

Ikea Systems

Pepsico, Inc.

Tyson Foods, Inc. dba Hillshire Farm

Samsung

Expedia, Inc. dba hotels.com

Mindshare Corporation

FCA U.S. LLC dba Chrysler

(Dkt. No. 27 ¶ 7; Dkt. No. 27-1 at 2-5.) Plaintiff also attaches copies of press releases and articles reflecting partnerships announced between Mobilewalla and Oracle, MediaMath, Adsquare, Eyeota, and Gravy Analytics over the last several months. (Dkt. No. 27-1 at 7-45.) Plaintiff contends that the these clients, customers, and partners of Mobilewalla have or will have accounts receivable due to Mobilewlla.[1] This information provides sufficient concreteness to assure the Court that pursuant to Section 708.510(a) there are “payment[s] due or to become due” from these sources to Mobilewalla which the Court can assign to ...


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