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Ardalan v. Sadri

United States District Court, D. Arizona

November 2, 2015

MEHRDAD ARDALAN, Plaintiff,
v.
NAJMEDDIN NAJM SADRI and NOOSHIN MEHRAN, Defendants.

ORDER

H. RUSSEL HOLLAND, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Motion to Dismiss

Defendants move to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint, or in the alternative to transfer this action to California.[1] This motion is opposed.[2] Oral argument was not requested and is not deemed necessary.

Background

Plaintiff is Mehrdad Ardalan. Defendants are Najmeddin Najm Sadri and Nooshin Mehran, who are husband and wife.

Plaintiff alleges that on April 2, 2009, defendant Mehran, who is plaintiff’s niece, “executed and delivered a certain promissory note in the amount of $105, 000.00 under which Mehran promised to pay [plaintiff] on demand the sum of $105, 000.00 plus interest at the rate of 30%....”[3] The promissory note was executed in California.[4] Plaintiff also alleges that on October 3, 2009, Mehran “executed and delivered a second promissory note in the amount of ... $30, 000.00 under which Mehran promised to pay [plaintiff] on demand the sum of $30, 000.00 plus interest at the rate of 30%....”[5] The second promissory note was also executed in California.[6]

Plaintiff alleges that Mehran has breached both notes by failing to pay him back.[7]Plaintiff alleges that he “holds and owns both of the notes in Arizona where he now resides.”[8]Plaintiff also alleges that he has opened a bank account in Arizona in order to receive payment on the notes.[9]

In connection with both promissory notes, plaintiff alleges that Mehran gave him undated checks in the amount of the loans and that the purpose of the undated checks was “to guarantee payment of that amount at any time in the future, in case she might default.”[10]Plaintiff alleges that “Mehran refuses to fund the checking account with funds sufficient for the check[s] to be honored....”[11] Plaintiff alleges that he “owns and holds the checks at his home in Maricopa County, Arizona.”[12]

Plaintiff next alleges that in October 2009, “Sardi gave [plaintiff] an undated check ... in the amount of $4, 880.32 to guarantee a cash loan made by [plaintiff] to Sardi in that amount.”[13] Plaintiff further alleges that in November 2009, “Sardi gave [plaintiff] an undated check ... in the amount of $500.00 to guarantee the payment of a second cash loan.”[14] Plaintiff alleges that “Sardi refuses to fund the checking account with funds sufficient for the checks to be honored and has in effect refused to repay the loans.”[15] Plaintiff alleges that he “holds and owns the checks” in Arizona.[16]

Plaintiff alleges that on April 2, 2009, “Mehran wired $90, 000.00 of the $105, 000.00 to her sister in Turkey.”[17] By doing so, plaintiff alleges that Mehran “removed most of the money given her under the promissory notes beyond the reach of [plaintiff] and the United States State and Federal Courts.”[18] Plaintiff alleges that if he had known that “Mehran would immediately wire $90, 000.00 out of the United States to her sister in Turkey he would never have accepted the promissory notes and checks.”[19]

At some point in time, both plaintiff and Mehran were in Iran and plaintiff sued Mehran on the promissory notes in Iran.[20] Plaintiff received a judgment against Mehran in Iran.[21]

On April 1, 2015, plaintiff commenced this action. In his amended complaint, he asserts five counts. In Count I, he asserts a claim for breach of each of the promissory notes. In Count II, he asserts a claim based on the undated checks Mehran gave him to guarantee payment of the promissory notes. In Count III, he asserts a claim based on the undated checks Sardi gave him to guarantee payment of the cash loans. In Count IV, he asserts a fraud claim. And, in Count V, he asserts a claim for recognition and enforcement of the Iranian judgment.

Defendants, proceeding pro se, now move to dismiss plaintiff’s first amended complaint on the grounds that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over them. If the court finds that it has personal jurisdiction, then defendants move, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), to either dismiss this case ...


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