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The LLC/Business I was a part owner of closed. I'm being sued by a creditor for unjust enrichment. Need help defending this.

Camarillo, CA |

I was a part owner in a failed LLC in which I had a 70% stake. The LLC purchased goods from a vendor owing them 12K. The LLC stopped purchasing about 1 year before it closed. The LLC made payments AFTER it had stopped buying reducing the amount owed to 5K. the LLC then stopped making payments. About 6 months later the vendor sued the LLC a judgement of about 11k was granted. At about the same time the LLC ceased operations owing me 1.4 million on its loans. I lost everything in the process. Now im being sued personally for unjust enrichment . Plaintiff pleading is inaccurate, spurious, and simply egregious. I never took a salary and worked 80 hours a week. I need to defend myself pro se and would like to file a summary judgement and then malicious prosecution please help...

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You would be well served to find a local attorney that can defend this suit. This is beyond the scope of this forum. We are not able to write a response to the Motion for Summary Judgment. I really encourage you to hire an attorney.

  2. If a lawsuit is going on, you need a lawyer, even for this small amount. Mr. Adam Jaffe regularly posts excellent answers from Camarillo on Avvo and is easily located on the Avvo find a lawyer function.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  3. You will need an attorney to file a proper responsive pleading. One of your defenses may be that under the "one judgment" rule, the plaintiff is barred from bringing a second lawsuit on the claim if he/she/it has already obtained a judgment against someone else on that claim.

    You may also have a Statute of Limitations defense on the unjust enrichment claim.

    Summary judgment motions are very complicated and requires an attorney. Reach CCP 337. Check the court filing fee for the motion.

    A malicious prosecution action cannot be filed as a counter claim in your suit. You must win on the merits, then file the lawsuit. And you must prove "malice". This is tough.

    Look at the original contract between the LLC and the creditor. On any of the invoices is there a provision which mentions attorney's fees? If so, you may recover your attorney's fees if you successfully defend the case.

    Also, anticipate that the plaintiff will propound some very onerous discovery regarding the financial affairs of the LLC and of you.

  4. First off,"Unjust Enrichment" is not a cause of action, it is a remedy - usually in fraud cases. The lawsuit must be alleging some fraud otherwise the separate corporate entity of the LLC shields you from personal liability. Regardless, since you have been sued, you must file an answer within 30 days of being served. You need to consult with an attorney in Ventura County for some assistance even if you initially file in pro per. It may be that an attorney can call or write to the plaintiff's attorney and dissuade him/he from pursuing the case if there is no probable cause - no evidence of fraud on your part.

    Richard A. Rodgers, Esq.
    200 N. Westlake Blvd., Ste 201
    Westlake Village, CA 91362
    (805) 230-2525

    As stated in the AVVO.COM Terms and Conditions of Use, this answer is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship or privilige is created by this response.

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