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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/10/2020 at 08:53:23 (UTC).

ACCREDITED SURETY AND CASUALTY COMPANY, INC., A CORPORATION VS KENNETH HERNANDEZ, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 01/07/2020 ACCREDITED SURETY AND CASUALTY COMPANY, INC , A CORPORATION filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against KENNETH HERNANDEZ. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is SERENA R. MURILLO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0144

  • Filing Date:

    01/07/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ACCREDITED SURETY AND CASUALTY COMPANY INC. A CORPORATION

Defendants

PETRO-BUILDERS INC. A CORPORATION

EZ COOLING HVAC SUPPLY INC. A CORPORATION

HERNANDEZ KENNETH AKA KENNETH CRUSITA HERNANDEZ DBA DEZ MECHANICAL SYSTEMS

ACCURATE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC. A CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

PAGAN JOHN

Defendant Attorney

CURD JOSEPH DOMINIC

 

Court Documents

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

7/1/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

7/1/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

7/1/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Answer - Answer

3/9/2020: Answer - Answer

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

3/9/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

3/9/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

3/9/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

3/9/2020: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

2/21/2020: Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

2/6/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

2/6/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

2/6/2020: Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/7/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

1/7/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Complaint - Complaint

1/7/2020: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

1/7/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

1/7/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

5 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/10/2023
  • Hearing01/10/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 07/06/2021
  • Hearing07/06/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: EZ Cooling Hvac Supply, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Service Date: 01/26/2020; Service Cost: 65.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: EZ Cooling Hvac Supply, Inc., a corporation (Defendant)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Accurate Construction Company, Inc., a corporation (Defendant)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketDefault entered as to EZ Cooling Hvac Supply, Inc., a corporation; On the Complaint filed by Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation on 01/07/2020

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketDefault entered as to Accurate Construction Company, Inc., a corporation; On the Complaint filed by Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation on 01/07/2020

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  • 03/09/2020
  • DocketNotice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/09/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/09/2020
  • DocketDefault entered as to Petro-Builders, Inc., a corporation; On the Complaint filed by Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation on 01/07/2020

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6 More Docket Entries
  • 02/06/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: EZ Cooling Hvac Supply, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Service Date: 01/26/2020; Service Cost: 65.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 02/06/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Kenneth Hernandez (Defendant); Service Date: 01/18/2020; Service Cost: 65.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/06/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/10/2023 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Kenneth Hernandez (Defendant); Petro-Builders, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Accurate Construction Company, Inc., a corporation (Defendant) et al.

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Kenneth Hernandez (Defendant); Petro-Builders, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Accurate Construction Company, Inc., a corporation (Defendant) et al.

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc., a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Kenneth Hernandez (Defendant); Petro-Builders, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Accurate Construction Company, Inc., a corporation (Defendant) et al.

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC00144    Hearing Date: February 04, 2021    Dept: 26

Accredited Casualty & Surety Co., Inc. v. Hernandez, et al.

MOTION TO DEPOSIT BY STAKEHOLDER, FOR DISCHARGE OF STAKEHOLDER, FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES; AND FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Accredited Surety & Casualty Company, Inc.’s Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder; for Discharge of Stakeholder; and Request for Attorney’s Fees is GRANTED AS TO THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION FOR INTERPLEADER. INTERPLEADER FUNDS OF $13,000.00 ARE TO BE DEPOSITED WITH THE COURT WITHIN 30 DAYS. Trial remains scheduled for July 6, 2021 at 8:30 am in Department 26 in the Spring Street Courthouse.

Default against Defendant Petro-Builders, Inc. entered on March 9, 2020 is vacated.

ANALYSIS:

On January 7, 2020, Plaintiff Accredited Casualty & Surety Co., Inc. (“Plaintiff”) initiated this action for indemnity, reimbursement and interpleader against Defendants Kenneth Hernandez aka Kenneth Crusita Hernandez, individually (“Defendant Hernandez”), and dba Dez Mechanical Systems (“Defendant Dez”), Petro-Builders, Inc., Accurate Construction Company, Inc., and EZ Cooling HVAC Supply, Inc.

This action arises from a dispute over construction Bond No. 10098286 (the “Bond”) in the penal sum of $15,000 for homeowner claimants or $7,500 for non-homeowner claimants. (Compl. ¶¶ 6, 24.) Pursuant to the Application and Indemnity Agreement, Defendants Hernandez and Dez agreed to indemnify Plaintiff in exchange for issuance of the Bond. (Id. ¶¶5-6.) Remaining Defendants are alleged to have made claims on the Bond and are named only on the third cause of action for interpleader. (Id. at ¶¶6, 18-24.)

All Defendants having now answered the Complaint, in default, or dismissed from the action, Plaintiff brings the instant Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder, for Discharge of Stakeholder, for Attorney’s Fees, and for Temporary Restraining Order (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.

The Court notes that Defendant Petro-Builders filed its Answer on the same date that the Court entered its default, but as the Answer was the earlier filed document, the entry of default against Defendant Petro-Builders must be vacated.

Legal Standard

Interpleader is a procedure whereby a person holding money or personal property to which conflicting claims are being made by others, or may be made, can join the adverse claimants and force them to litigate their claims among themselves. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (b).) Hancock Oil Co. v. Hopkins (1944) 24 Cal.2d 497, 508 (i.e., an escrow-holder who receives conflicting demands from the parties to the escrow regarding the funds or documents he or she holds); City of Morgan Hill v. Brown (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1114, 1122.)

Once the stakeholder’s right to interplead is established and he or she deposits the money or personal property in court, he or she may be discharged from liability to any of the claimants. This enables the stakeholder to avoid multiplicity of actions, and the risk of inconsistent results if each of the claimants were to sue him or her separately. (Cantu v. Resolution Trust Corp. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 857, 874; City of Morgan Hill, supra, 71 Cal.App.4th at 1122.)

“An interpleader action is traditionally viewed as two suits: one between the stakeholder and the claimants to determine the stakeholder's right to interplead, and the other among the claimants to determine who shall receive the funds interpleaded ... As against the stakeholder, claimants may raise only matters which go to whether the suit is properly one for interpleader; i.e., whether the elements of an interpleader action are present.” (State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Pietak (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 600, 612.)

The stakeholder may seek reimbursement for its costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred.

(UAP-Columbus JV 326132 v. Nesbitt (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 1028, 1036.) The court may order payment thereof out of the funds deposited by the stakeholder. (Ibid.) Ultimately, such payment may be charged to one or more of the adverse claimants in the final judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.6.)

Finally, the Court may issue an “order restraining all parties to the action from instituting or further prosecuting any other proceeding in any court in this state affecting the rights and obligations as between the parties to the interpleader until further order of the court.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (f).)

Discussion

Plaintiff’s request to be discharged from liability on the first cause of action for interpleader is granted. As all claimants have been served with the Summons and Complaint, served with the instant motion, answered, are in default, or were dismissed from the action, relief is proper. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386 and 386.5.) The subject matter of this action is $15,000.00. Currently, Plaintiff cannot determine the validity of the conflicting demands that have been made. (Motion, Pagan Decl., ¶¶7-8 and Exh. 2.) Upon deposit of the funds to the court, Plaintiff may be discharged from further liability and the Court hereby enters a restraining order to prevent the prosecution of other actions affecting the rights and obligations as between the parties to the interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386.5, 386, subd. (f).)

Furthermore, the fees and costs sought by Plaintiff are proper. Plaintiff’s counsel has expended substantial attorneys’ fees and costs bringing this action and protecting itself from liability. Specifically, Plaintiff’s counsel filed the instant action and motion, served all Defendants, will appear at the instant hearing, will deposit the bond, and has sought to preserve the surplus funds. (Motion, Pagan Decl., ¶10 and Exh. 1.) Therefore, fees and costs are awarded to Plaintiff in the amount of $2,000.00. (Ibid.)

Conclusion

Plaintiff Accredited Surety & Casualty Company, Inc.’s Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder; for Discharge of Stakeholder; and Request for Attorney’s Fees is GRANTED AS TO THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION FOR INTERPLEADER. INTERPLEADER FUNDS OF $13,000.00 ARE TO BE DEPOSITED WITH THE COURT WITHIN 30 DAYS. Trial remains scheduled for July 6, 2021 at 8:30 am in Department 26 in the Spring Street Courthouse.

Default against Defendant Petro-Builders, Inc. entered on March 9, 2020 is vacated.

Moving party to give notice.

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