Friday, February 7, 2014

Report of Feb. 6th San Bernardino County Court Hearing

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge David Cohn directed that a hearing be executed on Thursday morning (Feb. 6, 2014) to investigate if he (Judge Cohn) had the legal right to have the Receiver (Eric Beatty) auction off Mr. Acosta's equipment.

Prior to the hearing, Andy Acosta's legal team prepared a ~25 page motion outlining the legal and ethical facts, circumstances and conditions justifying why Judge Cohn's actions were inappropriate.  The Receiver had prepared a 133 page document in support of the directive but failed to give proper legal notice to opposing counsel for review and comment.

Judge Cohn astounded the court in supporting the Receiver's motion, rendering a decision that directed Mr. Acosta to move the Receiver identified equipment back into the North Shore yard for auction, effectively putting the A.J. Acosta Company out of business and impacting all his employees. 

As Acosta Counsel Bob Ziprick discussed his arguments from his document, it became clear that Judge Cohn had no idea of what Bob Ziprick was referring to.  Judge Cohn made the statement that he was ready to make his ruling.

Bob Ziprick made another reference to his motion and finally it became clear that Judge Cohn had not even read the document. Judge Cohn searched his desk and finding the document, took ~10 minutes to read it from his bench

Judge Cohn asked some further questions and then made his ruling in favor of the Receiver.
The major issues included:
  •  Receiver currently holds a $25K bond, which Ziprick asked to be increased to $3,000,000 to cover the estimated value of the equipment.  In addition, the Receiver has already overspent a court-directed $5,000 cap at Receiver expenses - Judge David Cohn rejected these concerns. This means that if it is legally determined in the future that Judge Cohn's ruling for liquidation was a mistake, Andy Acosta would only receive $25,000. for the many millions of dollars it would take to replace his equipment.
  • Receiver requested that all heavy equipment from the Big Bear Blvd office (NOT limited to the North Shore property) be under his control to liquidate. Cohn stated that he did not have the right to order this.
  • The validated inability of A.J. Acosta Company to find a property to store his equipment currently at the north shore yard.  This involved finding a property that was zoned correctly to hold equipment and with large enough acreage.  This situation was remedied as a prominent Big Bear Lake resident offered a temporary solution to Andy Acosta.  This was ignored by the Court.
  • Statements that Acosta has been removing material and was close to the County accepted grade; Cohn rejected the request for time to remove the remaining material.
  • Insufficient review and comment time to account for the Receiver's 133 page motion - Cohn rejected this concern.
Taking approximately 10 minutes to review Ziprick's motion, Judge Cohn, following an apology that he had not reviewed Acosta Counsel's document, stated that "your comments are noted" and concluded the hearing.

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