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CMC/rt 14148 11/12/07 1 LANAK & HANNA, P.C. 400 North Tustin Avenue, Suite 120 2 Santa Ana, CA 92705-3815 Tel: 714/550-0418 Fax: 714/550-7603 3 By: CHRISTOPHER M. CULLEN, Bar No. 211166 cmcullen@lanak-hanna.com 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Lanak & Hanna, P . C . 400 N. Tustin Ave Suite 120 Santa Ana, CA
cf)7Ciz>- T O T ; ;T::J

;-~> Liza L r i / ^| T r.9^ A L I R ) RNIA '•J-RIVfcRSIDF

H; 05 2007

Attorneys for Defendants KENNETH M. PETERS, JR. AND ALAN R. SPITALNICK

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SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE, RIVERSIDE BRANCH

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DISTRICT COUNCIL OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, a California Non-Profit Religious Corporation; and NEW HOPE FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER, a California Non-Profit Religious Corporation Plaintiffs, KENNETH M. PETERS, JR.; ALAN R. SPITALNICK; ALL PERSONS UNKNOWN, CLAIMING ANY LEGAL OR EQUITABLE RIGHT, TITLE, ESTATE, LIEN, OR INTEREST IN THE PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THE COMPLAINT ADVERSE TO PLAINTIFFS' TITLE, OR ANY CLOUD ON PLAINTIFFS' TITLE THERETO; and DOES 1 to 500, inclusive, Defendants. KENNETH M. PETERS, JR.; and ALAN R. SPITALNICK, Cross-Complainants, THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DISTRICT COUNCIL OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, a California non-profit corporation; and ROES 1 through 50, inclusive, Cross-Defendants.

CASE NO. RIC 482762 VERIFIED FIRST AMENDED CROSS COMPLAINT OF KENNETH M. PETERS, JR. AND ALAN R. SPITALNICK FOR: 1. 2. 3. 4. DECLARATORY RELIEF; ACTION TO QUIET TITLE; TRESPASS TO LAND; CONVERSION

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GENERAL ALLEGATIONS 1. New Hope Family Worship Center ("New Hope") is and, at all times relevant hereto,

was an authorized California non-profit corporation authorized to do business in the state of California. 2. Cross-Complainants Kenneth M. Peters, Jr. and Alan R. Spitalnick are individuals

residing in the County of Riverside, State of California, and members of the Board of Directors of New Hope. 3. Cross-Complainants are informed and believe and thereon allege that at all times

herein mentioned, Cross-Defendants, and each of them, were residents and/or doing business within the County of Riverside, State of California, and further, that the activities complained of and/or obligations sued upon herein arose within this judicial district, and that Cross-Defendants, and each of them, are indebted to Cross-Complainants on the obligation sued on herein. 4. Cross-Complainants are informed and believe and thereon allege that at all times

herein mentioned, Cross-Defendant, The Southern California District Council of the Assemblies of God ("AOG"), is a non profit corporation with its principal location at 17951 Cowan, Irvine, located in the County of Orange and State of California. 5. Cross-Complainants are ignorant of the true names and capacities of Cross-

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Defendants sued herein as Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, and therefore sue these CrossDefendants by such fictitious names. Cross-Complainants will amend this Complaint to allege their true names and capacities when ascertained. Cross-Complainants are informed and believe, and thereon allege, that each of the fictitiously named Cross-Defendants is indebted to CrossComplainants as hereinafter alleged, and that Cross-Complainants' rights against such fictitiously named Cross-Defendants arises from such indebtedness. 6. Cross-Complainants are informed and believe and on that basis allege that, at all

times mentioned in this cross-complaint, one or more Cross-Defendants were the agents and employees of one or more of their co-Cross-Defendants and, in doing the things alleged in this cross-complaint, were acting within the course and scope of that agency and employment.
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-2FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

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7.

At all relevant times leading up to August 15, 2007, New Hope conducted its

religious services and related activities at a certain real property (the "Property") located at 803 South Lincoln Ave., Corona, California 92882, legally described as: Parcel 3, as shown on Record of Survey on file in Book 42 page 15, of Records of Survey, Records of Riverside County California. Except the portion granted to the City of Corona pursuant to a deed recorded April 1,1965 as instrument # 37481 of Official Records of Riverside County, California. 8. New Hope has held, and continues to hold, title to the Property in fee simple by

virtue of a grant deed recorded on or about November 4, 1997 as Instrument # 402488 of the Official Records of Riverside County. 9. At all relevant times hereto, Cross-Complainant Kenneth M. Peters, Jr. ("Pastor

Peters") has continuously served and continues to serve as pastor at New Hope. 10. At all relevant times hereto, Pastor Peters held and continues to hold the title of the

chief executive officer of the New Hope, and president of the board of directors, and CrossComplainant Alan Spitalnick held and continues to hold the office of Treasurer of New Hope, and serves as a member of the board of directors. 11. 12. On August 9, 2007 Pastor Peters renounced his AOG ministerial credential. On or around August 9, 2007 the New Hope board of directors voted to disaffiliate

from AOG and continue operating as an independent church. 13. Since its inception New Hope has been, and continues to act as, an independent and

sovereign church unbeholden to AOG or any other association of churches. 14. On or about August 15, 2007 Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50,

inclusive, attended a New Hope board meeting, forcefully removed Pastor Peters from the premises, wrongfully attempted to oust Pastor Peters from his position as pastor, wrongfully attempted to replace New Hope's existing board members, including Mr. Spitalnick. 15. From August 15, 2007 to the present time, Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1

through 50, inclusive, changed the locks to the Property, wrongfully maintained complete and exclusive possession of the church, and have been wrongfully accessing Cross-Complainants' assets including, but not limited to, funds in Cross-Complainants' bank accounts.
-3FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

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FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION DECLARATORY RELIEF (As against Cross-Defendants AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive) 16. Cross-Complainants incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 15 of this

complaint as though they are fully set forth herein. 17. An actual controversy has arisen and now exists between Cross-Complainants, as

the duly elected and acting board of directors of New Hope, and Cross-Defendants AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, concerning their respective rights and duties in that Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, and New Hope both claim right to the funds in New Hope's bank account and to possession ofthe Property, whereas each disputes Cross-Complainants' contention and alleges they are both individually entitled to the entirety of the funds in the Bank Accounts and possession to the Property. Additionally, Cross-Complainants Pastor Peters and Alan Spitalnick, as Board Members of New Hope, find their authority to act in such capacity has been challenged by false and misleading representations and claims by Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive. 18. Cross-Complainants desire a judicial determination of its rights and duties, and a

declaration as to ownership of New Hope's assets, including but not limited to the funds in the New Hope's Bank Accounts and possession of the Property. Further, Cross-Complainants requests a declaration as to how the said assets should be released to the respective parties, to the extent such assets are held in trust or otherwise, by third parties. Finally, Cross-Complainants request a declaration as to the officers as directors of the board of New Hope. 19. Such a judicial determination is necessary and appropriate in order for Cross-

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Complainants to recover its assets including, but not limited to, the funds located in various bank and investment accounts and possession of the Property.
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Lanak & Hanna, P. C. 400 N. Tustin Ave Suite 120 Santa Ana, CA 92705-3815 714/550-0418

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION ACTION TO QUIET TITLE (As against Cross-Defendants AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive) 20. Cross-Complainants incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 15 of this

complaint as though they are fully set forth herein. 21. Cross-Complainants, as the duly elected and acting board of directors of New Hope,

has, at all relevant times, maintained valid title to the Property in fee simple. Since November 4, 1997, New Hope has been the record title holder of the Property in fee simple by virtue of a grant deed recorded that date as Instrument # 402488 of the Official Records of Riverside County. 22. Cross-Complainants are informed and believe and on that basis allege that one or

more Cross-Defendants claim an interest adverse to Cross-Complainants' title to the Property. These claims are without any right and Cross-Defendants have no right, title, stake, lien, or interest in the Property. 23. Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, asserted an adverse claim

over the Property and all of Cross-Complainants' assets when they Physically removed Pastor Peters, Alan Spitalnick and the existing board members of New Hope from the Property against their will and wrongfully took possession of the Property by changing the locks on all of the doors. 24. As a result, New Hope seeks a determination of its fee simple title in this action as

of the date that this complaint is filed. THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION TRESPASS TO LAND (As against Cross-Defendants AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive) 25. Cross-Complainants incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 15 of this

complaint as though they are fully set forth herein. 26. Cross-Complainants, as the duly elected and acting board of directors of New Hope,

have retained title to the Property in fee simple at all times relevant hereto and, has maintained and continues to maintain, the sole and exclusive property rights to the Property.
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-5FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

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27. On August 15, 2007, Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive,

unlawfully interfered with Cross-Complainants' possession of the Property. On the said date, Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, physically removed the CrossComplainants for the Property, changed all of the locks on the said Property, and denied and continues to deny the Cross-Complainants access to the Property. 28. Cross-Defendants, AOG, andRoes 1 through 50, inclusive, intentionally trespassed

onto Cross-Complainants' property when they wrongfully and forcefully took possession of the Property on August 15, 2007 and are continuing to trespass on the property. FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION CONVERSION (Count I) (As against Cross-Defendants AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive) 29. Cross-Complainants incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 15 of this

complaint as though they are fully set forth herein. 30. Cross-Complainants, as the duly elected and acting board of directors of New Hope

held a the right of possession to the Property at the time of conversion, because they had been continuously in possession of the Property at all relevant times leading up to August 15, 2007. In addition, Cross-Complainants held deed to the Property in fee simple at all relevant times hereto. 31. Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, intentionally and

wrongfully assumed control over the Property when they intruded on a New Hope board meeting, physically removed Pastor Peter from the Property, changed the locks on the Property, and prevented the Cross-Complainants from accessing the said Property. 32. Cross-Complainants, as the duly elected and acting board of directors of New Hope

have been damaged in the amount of the market value of the property valued at the time of the conversion on August 15, 2007 plus the value of the business lost as a result of the conversion. CONVERSION (Count II) (As against Cross-Defendants AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive) 33. Cross-Complainants incorporate by reference paragraphs 1 through 15 of this

complaint as though they are fully set forth herein.
-6FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

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Lanak & Hanna, P.C. 400 N. Tustin Ave Suite 120 Santa Ana, CA 92705-3815 714/550-0418

34.

Cross-Complainants, as the duly elected and acting board of directors of New Hope,

had the right to possession of all of the funds in the disputed bank accounts, because the accounts were opened by Cross-Complainants and Cross-Complainants and its agents maintained sole and exclusive control over the funds in the bank accounts prior to and until they were converted by Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive. 35. Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, wrongfully seized Cross-

Complainants' bank accounts by fraudulently representing to the bank that Pastor Peters was no longer the pastor for Cross-Complainants and that Cross-Defendants, AOG, and Roes 1 through 50, inclusive, had rightfully assumed control of Cross-Complainants, by changing the names of the individuals that were entitled to access the accounts, and using the said funds within the CrossComplainants' accounts. 36. Cross-Complainants seeks damages in the value of funds contained within the

wrongfully converted bank accounts. WHEREFORE, Cross-Complainants prays: 1. 2. A declaration of rights regarding the New Hope's assets; A judgment quieting New Hope's fee simple title to the real Property and that Cross-

Defendants have no right, title, or interest in or to the real Property; 3. A declaration of the Board of Directors and officers of New Hope in their capacities

as the true Board of Directors of New Hope; 4. 5. 6. That all monies in question be awarded to Cross-Complainants; For attorney's fees and costs incurred; and All other relief the court deems proper.

DATED: December

2

2007

LANAK & HANNA, P.C.

By:
CHRISTOPHER M. CULLEN Attorneys for Cross-Defendants KENNETH M. PETERS, JR.; and ALAN R. SPITALNICK
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FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

LANAK & HANNA P. C.

Fax:714-550-7259

Nov 13 2007s 10:31

P. 09

1 . 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

VERIFICATION I, KENNETH M. PETERS, JR., am a Cross-Complainant in the above-entitled action. I have read the foregoing complaint and know its contents. The same is true ofmy own knowledge, except as to those matters that are alleged in the complaint on information and belief, and as to those matters, I believe them to be true. I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on A w ^ ^
1

/ • ? , QQorf

. in Corona, California.

VERIFICATION 12 I, ALAN R. SPITALNICK, am a Cross-Complainant in the above-entitled action. I have read 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
buiak « Jtsau, P.c.
4D0 V, Tufitin *vn

the foregoing complaint and know its contents. The same is true of my own knowledge; except as to those matters that are alleged in the complaint on information and belief, and as to those matters, I believe them to be true. I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws, of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on • . j in Corona, California.

By:

Suite 120 3*rtta Ana» C A 93705-3515 7U/SB0-D41*

8 FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

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CMC/rt 14148 11/02/07 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 VERIFICATION I, ALAN R. SPITALNICK, am a Cross-Complainant in the above-entitled action. I have read the foregoing complaint and know its contents. The same is true of my own knowledge, except as to those matters that are alleged in the complaint on information and belief, and as to those matters, I believe them to be true. I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on *&,— J2i]/ X4lT), in Corona, California. By: VERIFICATION I, KENNETH M. PETERS, JR., am a Cross-Complainant in the above-entitled action. I have read the foregoing complaint and know its contents. The same is true of my own knowledge, except as to those matters that are alleged in the complaint on information and belief, and as to those matters, I believe them to be true. I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on , in Corona, California.

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Lanak fi flanna, P.C. 400 U. Tustin Ave Suite 120 Santa Ana, CA 92705-3B15 714/550-0418

FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT

C
PROOF OF SERVICE STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF ORANGE ) ^ ss )

I am employed in the County of Orange, State of California. I am over the age of 18 years and not a party to this action. My business address is 400 North Tustin Avenue, Suite 120, Santa Ana, California 92705-3815.

6 On December

3 , 2007, I served the foregoing document described as VERIFIED FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT OF KENNETH M. PETERS, JR. AND ALAN R. 7 SPITALNICK FOR: 1. DECLARATORY RELIEF; 2. ACTION TO QUIET TITLE; 3.TRESPASS TO LAND; 4. CONVERSION on the persons listed below as follows:

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_ X Julian B. Bellenghi Collins & Bellenghi LLP 1201 Dove Street, Suite 570 Newport Beach CA 92660 Attorneys for Plaintiffs and CrossDefendant

(By U.S. Mail) I enclosed the document(s) listed above in a sealed envelope or package addressed to the persons listed above and placed the envelope for collection and mailing, following ordinary business practices of Lanak & Hanna, P.C. I am readily familiar with the firm's practice for collecting and processing correspondence for mailing. On the same day that correspondence is placed for collection and mailing, it is deposited in the ordinary course of business with the United States Postal Service, in a sealed envelope with postage fully prepaid. (By Express/Overnight Mail Service) I enclosed the documents in an envelope or package provided by an overnight delivery carrier and addressed to the persons listed above. I placed the envelope or package for collection and overnight delivery at an office or a regularly utilized drop box of the overnight delivery carrier. (By Facsimile Transmission) Based on an agreement of the parties to accept service by fax transmission, I faxed the documents to the persons at the fax numbers listed above. No error was reported by the fax machine I used. A copy of the record of the fax transmission, which I printed out, is attached.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the above is true and 21 correct, and that this Proof of Service was executed on December J ? , 2007, at Santa Ana, California.

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KJUJJOUJ

R. TRETHEWAY

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