Siry Investment, L.P. v. FarkhondehpourAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the appellate court concerning whether a party in default has standing to file a motion for a new trial asserting legal error relating to calculation of damages and whether a court may award treble damages and attorney's fees under Cal. Penal Code 496 in a case involving fraudulent diversion of a partnership's cash distributions, holding the court erred in part.
Plaintiff sued Defendants for underpaying him and improperly diverting a partnership's rental income. The trial court entered a default judgment against Defendants, awarding Plaintiff treble damages and attorney's fees. The court of appeal reversed in part, concluding that Defendants had standing and that the trial court improperly awarded treble damages under section 496(c) under the circumstances of this case. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that the court of appeal (1) correctly recognized and confirmed Defendants' standing to move for a new trial on the ground that the trial court erred in awarding and calculating damages; and (2) erred in construing section 496(c) to withhold, rather than afford, treble damages and attorney's fees when property "has been obtained in any manner constituting theft."