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P & S & Co. LLC v. SJ MAK, LLC

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

May 30, 2018

P & S & Co. LLC (P & S & CO), PS Inc., Shayeh Dove or Dov a.k.a. Steve Dov or Dove, Allura Dov or Dove a.k.a Adina Soskin, and Pamela Manson, Appellants,
v.
SJ MAK, LLC, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Jorge E. Cueto, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 13-3923

          Tom Regnier Appeals, P.A. and Thomas Regnier (Sunrise), for appellants.

          Trujillo Vargas Gonzalez & Hevia, LLP and Anthony C. Hevia and Stephanie C. Hopple, for appellee.

          Before FERNANDEZ, LUCK and LINDSEY, JJ.

          LUCK, J.

         When a judgment-debtor files for bankruptcy, the federal bankruptcy code generally stays any actions seeking to collect from the debtor. But does the stay preclude a trial court from impleading non-debtor third party defendants into a post-judgment supplementary proceeding? Here, we conclude it did not because the supplementary proceedings did not seek to void fraudulent transfers and the stay did not extend to the non-bankrupt codefendant. Thus, we affirm the judgment against the third party defendants.

         Factual Background and Procedural History

         In 2012, SJ Mak, LLC, a real estate investment firm, bought the notes and mortgages for several properties from P & S, Inc. and Notez, LLC. Pamela Manson was P & S's corporate director, and Shayeh Dov was Notez's director. Pamela and Shayeh were a couple, and the companies were located in their home. SJ Mak wired $143, 000 to P & S, and $230, 000 to Notez. But P & S and Notez never transferred the mortgages and notes to SJ Mak.

         SJ Mak sued P & S and Notez for breach of contract and fraud. SJ Mak alleged P & S and Notez never owned the mortgages and notes they had sold, and instead pocketed SJ Mak's money with no intention of transferring them. P & S and Notez did not answer the amended complaint, and a default judgment was entered against them on July 26, 2014. The final judgment ordered P & S to pay $167, 701.66 (including interest and attorneys' fees) and Notez to pay $261, 188.34 (same).

          SJ Mak tried to collect on the final judgment by moving to garnish P & S and Notez's money from the same Bank of America account where SJ Mak wired the money in 2012. Bank of America responded to the writ of garnishment that Notez's accounts had been closed since 2010 (before SJ Mak's agreement to purchase the mortgages and notes), and the bank had no current accounts for P & S and Notez. The account that SJ Mak wired in 2012 was the college student account for Shayeh and Pamela's daughter, Allura Dov.

         On August 31, 2015, SJ Mak moved to commence supplementary proceedings against Shayeh, Pamela, their son and daughter (Shimon and Allura), and related entities P & S & Co. and PS Inc. The motion sought to pierce P & S and Notez's corporate veil, and hold the couple, their children, and the related entities liable for the final judgment.

         While the supplementary proceedings motion was pending, on September 21, 2015, Notez filed a suggestion of bankruptcy explaining that the company had filed a voluntary petition under chapter seven of the bankruptcy code, and gave the case number. The suggestion also explained that "[t]he filing of the Petition in Bankruptcy operate[d] as an automatic stay against all actions, proceedings, and enforcement against the Defendants under 11 U.S.C. Section 362."

         While Notez's bankruptcy case was pending, the trial court granted the motion to commence supplementary proceedings, ordered that the couple, their children, and the related entities be impleaded as third party defendants in execution, and set the matter for a hearing on February 8, 2016 so the third party defendants could "be examined ...


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