This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2020 at 04:27:26 (UTC).

AIDA FUENTES RIVERA, ET AL. VS DANIELLE SINKFORD

Case Summary

On 09/13/2018 AIDA FUENTES RIVERA filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against DANIELLE SINKFORD. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1704

  • Filing Date:

    09/13/2018

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

QUINTANILLA ANA

MARTINEZ JESSICA

RIVERA AIDA FUENTES

Defendant

SINKFORD DANIELLE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

RYAN JOSEPH DAVID

Defendant Attorney

WILLIAMS CLAIRE ETTEMA

 

Court Documents

Notice (name extension) - Notice NOTICE THAT THE HEARING DATE AND TIME CHANGE OF DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND INSPECTION DEMAND HAVE BEEN RESCHEDULED

5/1/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice NOTICE THAT THE HEARING DATE AND TIME CHANGE OF DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND INSPECTION DEMAND HAVE BEEN RESCHEDULED

Notice (name extension) - Notice NOTICE THAT THE HEARING DATE AND TIME CHANGE OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED

5/1/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice NOTICE THAT THE HEARING DATE AND TIME CHANGE OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED

Notice (name extension) - Notice THAT THE HEARING DATE AND TIME CHANGE OF DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND INSPECTION DEMAND HAVE BEEN RESCHEDULED

5/1/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice THAT THE HEARING DATE AND TIME CHANGE OF DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND INSPECTION DEMAND HAVE BEEN RESCHEDULED

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

4/2/2020: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

10/29/2019: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

10/29/2019: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

10/29/2019: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

1/28/2020: Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel; Hearing on Motio...)

1/29/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel; Hearing on Motio...)

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

2/13/2020: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

2/13/2020: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

2/13/2020: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

2/13/2020: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Proof of Service - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel - Proof of Service - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel

2/14/2020: Proof of Service - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel - Proof of Service - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel

Motion in Limine (name extension) - Motion in Limine No. 1

3/4/2020: Motion in Limine (name extension) - Motion in Limine No. 1

Answer - Answer

11/5/2018: Answer - Answer

Summons - on Complaint

10/2/2018: Summons - on Complaint

Complaint

9/13/2018: Complaint

29 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/14/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Aida Fuentes Rivera, et al. on 09/13/2018, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Aida Fuentes Rivera as to the entire action

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  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/03/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/03/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
81 More Docket Entries
  • 11/05/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Danielle Sinkford (Defendant)

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  • 10/02/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Filed by:

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketJordan Veliz a minor, by and through guardian ad litem Jessica Martinez; Signed and Filed by: Jessica Martinez (Plaintiff); As to: Jordan Veliz (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketJordy Veliz, a minor by and through guardian ad litem Jessica Martinez; Signed and Filed by: Jessica Martinez (Plaintiff); As to: Jordy Veliz (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/13/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 09/13/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Aida Fuentes Rivera (Plaintiff); Ana Quintanilla (Plaintiff); Jessica Martinez (Plaintiff); Jordan Veliz (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/13/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Aida Fuentes Rivera (Plaintiff); Ana Quintanilla (Plaintiff); Jessica Martinez (Plaintiff); Jordan Veliz (Plaintiff); As to: Danielle Sinkford (Defendant)

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  • 09/13/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 09/13/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 03/12/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 09/13/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 09/16/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC11704    Hearing Date: July 29, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:   Wed., July 29, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME Rivera, et al. v. Sinkford COMP. FILED: 09-13-18

CASE NUMBER    18STLC11704 DISC. C/O: 11-14-20

NOTICE: OK MOTION C/O: 11-29-20

TRIAL DATE: 12-14-20

PROCEEDINGS    PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL’S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL (x2)

MOVING PARTY:   Plaintiffs Ana Quintanilla and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel Joseph D. Ryan

RESP. PARTY: None    

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2), CRC rule 3.1362)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Ana Quintanilla and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel’s Motions to be Relieved as Counsel are PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

SERVICE

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of July 27, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of July 27, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

SUPP. PAPERS: None filed as of July 27, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background & Discussion

On September 13, 2018, Plaintiffs Aida Fuentes Rivera (“Rivera”), Ana Quintanilla (“Quintanilla”), and Jessica Martinez (“Martinez”), individually and as guardian ad litem for minors Jordy Veliz and Jordan Veliz filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Danielle Sinkford (“Defendant”).

On October 25, 2019, Plaintiff’s Counsel Joseph D. Ryan (“Counsel”) filed a Motion to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Martinez. That motion was heard and granted by this Court on January 28, 2020. (1/28/20 Minute Order.) On October 29, 2019, Counsel filed an additional two Motions to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Quintanilla and Plaintiff Rivera (the “Motions”). No oppositions were filed.

On January 29, 2020, the Court continued the hearing on these Motions due to errors on Counsel’s forms regarding the date of the hearing. (1/29/20 Minute Order.) The Court also noted that Plaintiff Martinez was not served with the moving papers as required by California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subdivision (d). (Id.)

On February 13, 2020, Counsel re-filed both Motions. On March 11, 2020, the Court found it was satisfied with Counsel’s reasons for seeking to be relieved. (3/11/20 Minute Order.) However, it continued the hearings because the forms did not list the correct address for the Spring Street Courthouse, noting that this could create confusion for Plaintiffs Rivera and Quintanilla if they wished to oppose the Motions in person. (3/11/20 Minute Order.) The Court also noted that Form MC-053 stated Plaintiffs Rivera and Quintanilla’s addresses were current, which contradicted Counsel’s declarations that he was unable to confirm their addresses. (Id.) Finally, the Court noted Plaintiff Martinez was not served with Form MC-051 and MC-052 as required by California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subdivision (d). (Id.) The Court ordered Counsel to file and serve supplemental papers correcting these errors. (Id.)

To date, Counsel has not filed any supplemental papers. Accordingly, the Motions are PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Ana Quintanilla and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel’s Motions to be Relieved as Counsel are PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC11704    Hearing Date: March 11, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2), CRC rule 3.1362)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Ana Quintanilla’s and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel’s Motions to be Relieved as Counsel are CONTINUED to MAY 28,2020 in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, Counsel is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers addressing the defects in his Motions as discussed herein.

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On September 13, 2018, Plaintiffs Aida Fuentes Rivera (“Rivera”), Ana Quintanilla (“Quintanilla”), and Jessica Martinez (“Martinez”), individually and as guardian ad litem for minors Jordy Veliz and Jordan Veliz, (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Danielle Sinkford (“Defendant”).

On October 25, 2019, Counsel filed a Motion to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Martinez. That motion was heard and granted by this Court on January 28, 2020. (1/28/20 Minute Order.) On October 29, 2019, Counsel filed an additional two Motions to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Quintanilla and Plaintiff Rivera (the “Motions”). No opposition was filed.

On January 29, 2019, the Court continued the hearing on these Motions due to errors on Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s forms regarding the date of the hearing. (1/29/20 Minute Order.) The Court also noted that Plaintiff Martinez was not served with the moving papers as required by California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subdivision (d). (Id.)

On February 13, 2020, Plaintiffs’ Counsel re-filed the Motions to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Quintanilla and Plaintiff Rivera. To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

The court may order that an attorney be changed or substituted at any time before or after judgment or final determination upon request by either client or attorney and after notice from one to the other. (CCP § 284(2).) “The determination whether to grant or deny a motion to withdraw as counsel lies within the sound discretion of the trial court.” (Manfredi & Levine v. Superior Court (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1128, 1133.) An application to be relieved as counsel must be made on Judicial Council Forms MC-051 (Notice of Motion and Motion), MC-052 (Declaration), and MC-053 (Proposed Order). (CRC 3.1362(a), (c), (e).)

In addition, California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 subsection (d) requires that the notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order be served on the client and all other parties who have appeared in the case by personal service, electronic service, or mail. If the notice is served by mail, it must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing that either:

  1. The service address is the current residence or business address of the client; or

  2. The service address is the last known residence or business address of the client and the attorney has been unable to locate a more current address after making reasonable efforts to do so within 30 days before the filing of the motion to be relieved.

(Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (1)(A) & (2).)

Counsel seeks to be relieved as counsel because he believes that due to a lack of cooperation and communication with both Quintanilla and Rivera, he cannot properly represent them in this matter. (Forms MC-052, ¶ 2.) Counsel states that after securing a settlement offer in December 2018, he has been unable to communicate with or locate Quintanilla or Rivera. (Id.) Indeed, Counsel has attempted to communicate with Quintanilla and Rivera via telephone, certified mail, and regular mail and has even retained investigative services to locate their present location without success. (Id.) Counsel has served the moving papers on Quintanilla and Rivera separately at their last known address but was unable to confirm that address despite calling their last known phone numbers and retaining investigative services. (Id at ¶ 3.)

The Court is satisfied with Counsel’s reasoning for seeking to be relieved. However, the Court notes that, while the moving papers correctly identify Department 25 as the place of hearing, all forms list the address of the Courthouse as 111 N. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, instead of 312 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles CA 90012. This could create confusion should Plaintiffs wish to attend the hearing on these Motions. In addition, Forms MC-052 and MC-053 incorrectly and confusingly state that trial is scheduled for March 12, 2020 in Department 94 at 111 N. Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. (Forms MC-052, ¶¶ 4, 6; MC-053, ¶¶ 7, 9.) Furthermore, the Proposed Order, Form MC-053 checks off the box indicating that the Plaintiffs’ current address is 1609 E. 87th St., Los Angeles, CA 90002 (Forms MC-053, ¶¶ 6), but Counsel’s declaration states he was unable to confirm Plaintiffs’ current address (Forms MC-052, ¶¶ 3).

In addition, although Counsel filed a proof of service as to Plaintiff Martinez, it indicates that she was served only with the “Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel.” (2/14/20 Proofs of Service.) However, as noted in the January 29, 2020 Order, Plaintiff Martinez, as a party who has appeared in this case, must be served with all moving papers, not just the Proposed Order. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 subd. (d).) Thus, Plaintiff must file an amended proof of service demonstrating Plaintiff Martinez was served with all moving and supporting papers for the instant Motions.

  1. Conclusion & Order

Plaintiff Ana Quintanilla’s and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel’s Motions to be Relieved as Counsel are CONTINUED to MAY 28, 2020 in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, Counsel is to file and serve supplemental papers addressing the defects in his Motions as discussed herein.

Counsel is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC11704    Hearing Date: January 29, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2), CRC rule 3.1362)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Ana Quintanilla’s and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel’s Motions to be Relieved as Counsel are CONTINUED to MARCH 11,2020 AT 10:30 AM in Department 25. At least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, Counsel is to file and serve supplemental papers addressing the defects in his Motions as discussed herein.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background  

On September 13, 2018, Plaintiffs Aida Fuentes Rivera (“Rivera”), Ana Quintanilla (“Quintanilla”), and Jessica Martinez (“Martinez”), individually and as guardian ad litem for minors Jordy Veliz and Jordan Veliz, (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Danielle Sinkford (“Defendant”). Counsel Joseph D. Ryan (“Counsel”) represents all three Plaintiffs.

On October 25, 2019, Counsel filed a Motion to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Martinez. That motion was heard by this Court on January 28, 2020. On October 29, 2019, Counsel filed an additional two Motions to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Quintanilla and Plaintiff Rivera (the “Motions”). To date, no opposition or reply briefs to the instant Motions have been filed.

I. Legal Standard & Discussion

The court may order that an attorney be changed or substituted at any time before or after judgment or final determination upon request by either client or attorney and after notice from one to the other.  (CCP § 284(2).)  “The determination whether to grant or deny a motion to withdraw as counsel lies within the sound discretion of the trial court.”  (Manfredi & Levine v. Superior Court (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1128, 1133.)  An application to be relieved as counsel must be made on Judicial Council Forms MC-051 (Notice of Motion and Motion), MC-052 (Declaration), and MC-053 (Proposed Order).  (CRC 3.1362(a), (c), (e).) 

In addition, California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 subsection (d) requires that the notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order be served on the client and all other parties who have appeared in the case by personal service, electronic service, or mail. If the notice is served by mail, it must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing that either:

A. The service address is the current residence or business address of the client; or

B. The service address is the last known residence or business address of the client and the attorney has been unable to locate a more current address after making reasonable efforts to do so within 30 days before the filing of the motion to be relieved.

(Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (1)(A) & (2).) 

Counsel seeks to be relieved as counsel because he believes that due to a lack of cooperation and communication with both Quintanilla and Rivera, he cannot properly represent them in this matter. (Forms MC-052, ¶ 2.) Counsel states that after securing a settlement offer in December 2018, he has been unable to communicate with or locate Quintanilla or Rivera. (Id.) Indeed, Counsel has attempted to communicate with Quintanilla and Rivera via telephone, certified mail, and regular mail and has even retained investigative services to locate their present location without success. (Id.) Counsel has served the moving papers on Quintanilla and Rivera separately at their last known address but was unable to confirm that address despite calling their last known phone numbers and retaining investigative services. (Id.

The Court is satisfied with Counsel’s reasoning for seeking to be relieved but notes that Counsel has not satisfied California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(d). Specifically, the moving papers do not indicate that Plaintiff Martinez has also been served with these Motions. In addition, the hearing date on Forms MC-052 and MC-053 incorrectly state the hearing is scheduled for January 28, 2020. Also, Forms MC-051 confusingly state that the hearing is scheduled for January 28, 2020 on the box on the upper right-hand corner, but under item No. 2, states the hearing is scheduled for January 29, 2020.

Accordingly, Counsel is ordered correct and re-file the Forms with the new hearing date, re-serve Plaintiffs Quintanilla and Rivera, and serve Plaintiff Martinez with the instant Motions.

I. Conclusion & Order

Plaintiff Ana Quintanilla’s and Aida Fuentes Rivera’s Counsel’s Motions to be Relieved as Counsel are CONTINUED to MARCH 11, 2020 AT 10:30 AM in Department 25. At least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, Counsel is to file and serve supplemental papers addressing the defects in his Motions as discussed herein.

Counsel is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC11704    Hearing Date: January 28, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2), CRC rule 3.1362)

Plaintiff Jessica Martinez’s Counsel’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED . “After the order is signed, a copy of the signed order must be served by counsel on the client and on all parties that have appeared in the case.” (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(e).) The Order on this Motion will not be effective “until proof of service of a copy of the signed order on [Plaintiff] has been filed with the court.” (Id.)

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On September 13, 2018, Plaintiffs Aida Fuentes Rivera (“Rivera”), Ana Quintanilla (“Quintanilla”), and Jessica Martinez (“Martinez”), individually and as guardian ad litem for minors Jordy Veliz and Jordan Veliz, (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Danielle Sinkford (“Defendant”). Counsel Joseph D. Ryan (“Counsel”) represents all three Plaintiffs.

On October 25, 2019, Counsel filed the instant Motion to be Relieved as Counsel (the “Motion”) as to Plaintiff Martinez. On October 29, 2019, Counsel filed an additional two Motions to be Relieved as Counsel as to Plaintiff Quintanilla and Plaintiff Rivera. The additional two motions are set for hearing on January 29, 2020.

Legal Standard & Discussion

 

The court may order that an attorney be changed or substituted at any time before or after judgment or final determination upon request by either client or attorney and after notice from one to the other. (CCP § 284(2).) “The determination whether to grant or deny a motion to withdraw as counsel lies within the sound discretion of the trial court.” (Manfredi & Levine v. Superior Court (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1128, 1133.) An application to be relieved as counsel must be made on Judicial Counsel Forms MC-051 (Notice of Motion and Motion), MC-052 (Declaration), and MC-053 (Proposed Order). (CRC 3.1362(a), (c), (e).)

In addition, California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 subsection (d) requires that the notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order be served on the client and all other parties who have appeared in the case by personal service, electronic service, or mail. If the notice is served by mail, it must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing that either:

  1. The service address is the current residence or business address of the client; or

  2. The service address is the last known residence or business address of the client and the attorney has been unable to locate a more current address after making reasonable efforts to do so within 30 days before the filing of the motion to be relieved.

(Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (1)(A) & (2).) (Italics added.)

Counsel seeks to be relieved as counsel because he believes that due to a lack of cooperation and communication with Martinez, he cannot properly represent Martinez in this matter. (Form MC-052, ¶ 2.) Counsel states that after securing a settlement offer in December 2018, he has been unable to communicate with or locate Martinez. (Id.) Indeed, Counsel has attempted to communicate with Martinez via telephone, certified mail, and regular mail and has even retained investigative services without success. (Id.) Counsel has served the moving papers on Martinez at her last known address but was unable to confirm that address despite calling her last known phone number and retaining investigative services. (Id.)

The Court is satisfied with Counsel’s basis and reasoning for seeking to be relieved.  Plaintiff Jessica Martinez' Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED.  Plaintiff's counsel is ordered to file a proposed order to be signed by the court.  "After the order is signed a copy of the order must be served on Plaintiff's client  and on all parties that have appeared on the case." (Cal. Rules of Court, rule3. 1362(e).)  The Order on this motion will not be effective 'until proof of service of a copy of the signed order on [Plaintiff] has been filed with the court." (Id).

Plaintiff's counsel is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC11704    Hearing Date: January 27, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2), CRC rule 3.1362)

The Court is satisfied with Counsel’s reasoning for seeking to be relieved and finds that Counsel has satisfied the requirements of CRC 3.1362(a), (c)-(e). In additon, although trial for this case, scheduled for March 12, 2020, is quickly approaching, neither Quintanilla nor Rivera have not responded to Counsel’s communications since at least December 6, 2018, indicating they may no longer be intrested in prosecuting their case.

Thus, the unopposed Motion is GRANTED.