Case Style: Aldo A. Battiste, Jr. v. Sanjit Bhattacharyz
Case Number: CJ-2012-2014
Judge: Roger H. Stuart
Court: District Court, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
Plaintiff's Attorney: Robert W. Dace and Elizabeth Bowersox
Description: Aldo A. Battiste, Jr. sued Sanjit Bhattacharyz on a breach of contract theory claiming:
1. Battiste is an individual residing in the state of Montana.
2. Defendant, Sanjit Bhattacharya (“Defendant”) is an individual residing in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.
3. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and venue is proper in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.
4. Quatro Amici, LLC (the “Company”) is an Oklahoma Limited Liability Company formed under the Oklahoma Limited Liability Act, 15 Okla. Stat. §2000 et seq., on or about May 1, 2007. The Company began with four members: Defendant, Battiste, Marty Franzoy and Jay Vandenbos. Defendant is the Managing Member. The Company is involved in the business of oil and gas exploration.
5. All members of the Company entered into an Operating Agreement on or about May 1, 2007. A true and correct copy of the Operating Agreement is attached as Exhibit 1.
6. The Operating Agreement provides that the Company shall maintain at its principal place of business, or at some other location chosen by the Manager, all of the records of the Company, and that any Member may inspect and review those records.
7. On February 9, 2012, Battiste, through his counsel, mailed a request to Defendant seeking to inspect the Company’s records. This request was sent via certified mail to Defendant’s last known address, Defendant refused to accept delivery of the request to inspect the Company’s records.
8. To date, Defendant has not allowed inspection of the Company’s records or provided an accounting of the Company’s financial condition.
COUNT ONE: ACCOUNTING
9. Battiste incorporates the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.
10. As a member of the Company, Battistc is concerned with transactions that Defendant may have made involving the Company since the Operating Agreement. Defendant has a fiduciary duty as Manager to disclose all information and knowledge that he has regarding Company transactions in which he was involved. Likewise, Defendant continues to have a duty to disclose information regarding Company transactions pursuant to his obligations under the Operating Agreement. Battiste is entitled to an accounting from Defendant.
11. Upon completion of the accounting, Defendant (or any other person or entity to whom proceeds have been transferred) should be ordered to pay over to Battiste all property and money determined to be due to Battiste.
COUNT TWO: BREACH OF COTNRACT - SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE
12. Battiste incorporates the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.
13. Battiste and Defendant entered into a valid contract, the Operating Agreement, on or about May 1, 2007.
14. The Operating Agreement gives each member a right to inspect the records of the Company.
15. Defendant has refused to accept Battiste’s request to inspect the records. This refusal is a breach of the Operating Agreement.
16. Battiste has suffered damages due to Defendant’s refusal to allow inspection of the Company’s records. Battiste is concerned that there may be unknown and outstanding issues concerning investments or other actions that Defendant took as Manager of the Company. Defendant’s continued failure to provide access to information to which Battiste is entitled
as a member is causing Battiste continuing harm.
17. Battiste is entitled to specific performance of the Operating Agreement, allowing him to inspect and review to the records of the Company.
WHEREFORE, Battiste prays for judgment against Defendant as follows:
(A) An order requiring that Defendant provide Battiste a complete accounting of all affairs of the Company to which he has knowledge, particularly an accounting of transactions in which he was involved as Manager of the Company, including information and documents regarding all transactions involving the Company, Company assets, or Company accounts since May 1,2007;
(B) The recovery of all property and money found during the accounting to be due and owing Battiste, plus interest as allowed by law;
(C) An order that Defendant specifically perform the Operating Agreement and allow inspection of the Company’s records;
(D) Costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred herein;
(E) Any other relief which the Court considers just and proper under the circumstances.
I. Bhattacharya admits the allegations contained in Paragraph Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6, 13 and 14 of the Petition.
2. Bhattacharya specifically denies the material allegations contained in Paragraph
Nos. 7, 8, 11, 15, 16, 17 and the ad dammim of the Petition and demands proof thereof
Defendant has insufficient information to either admit or deny the allegations contained in
Paragraph No. 2 of Plaintiff’s Petition and, therefore, same are denied by operation of law.
3. Paragraph Nos. 9 and 12 of the Petition are “incorporation by reference” paragraphs not requiring a responsive pleading from Bhattacharya. To the extent a response is required, Bhattacharya Defendant denies the allegations contained therein and demands proof thereof.
For further answer and defense. Bhattacharya alleges and states as follows:
1. Defendant generally and specifically denies each and every material allegation of Plaintiffs Petition not otherwise specifically admitted herein.
2. Plaintiffs Petition may fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as against Defendant.
3. Defendant is not liable to Plaintiff as alleged in Plaintiffs Petition.
4. Defendant has fully discharged his duties, fiduciary and otherwise, owed to Plaintiff and has never refused to provide information or access to the business records to Plaintiff.
5. Plaintiff has not been damaged by Defendant’s actions.
6. Accord and satisfaction.
11. Defendant specifically reserves the right to supplement this Answer with additional affirmative defenses pending discovery and investigation into this case.
WHEREFORE, having fully answered and otherwise pled herein, Defendant. Sanjit Bhattacharya. respectfully prays the Court to enter its Order denying Plaintiffs claims for relief as set forth in the Petition and discharging him herefrom free of all costs, for an award of his costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred herein and such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
Outcome: On the 21st day of December, 2012, this matter came on for hearing before the Honorable Roger H. Stuart, District Judge in and for the District Court of Oklahoma County of the State of Oklahoma, on Plaintiffs Application for Discovery Sanctions pursuant to 12 Okla. Stat. § 3237 for default judgment in the amount of $150,000.00. Plaintiff Aldo A. Battiste, Jr., appeared by and through counsel, Robert Dace and Elizabeth Bowersox, and the Defendant, Sanjit Bhattacharya, appeared by and through his counsel, Stefan Doughty. After hearing the argument of the parties and consideration of the briefs filed by the parties, the Court finds that default judgment should be and is hereby GRANTED.
Defendant may petition the court to vacate the judgment within thirty (30) days if Defendant has come into compliance with the Court’s order of September 21, 2012, compelling discovery responses.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that judgment be entered against Defendant in the
amount of $150,000.00.