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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/10/2020 at 16:01:00 (UTC).

ALBERT D MASTROIANNI VS MEDIA NEWS GROUP, INC.

Case Summary

On 06/22/2020 ALBERT D MASTROIANNI filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against MEDIA NEWS GROUP, INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******5225

  • Filing Date:

    06/22/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

MASTROIANNI ALBERT D

Defendant

MEDIA NEWS GROUP INC. DBA PENINSULA NEWS OR PALOS VERDES PENINSULA NEWS

 

Court Documents

Summons - Summons on Complaint

6/22/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Complaint - Complaint

6/22/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

6/22/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

6/22/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

6/22/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/26/2023
  • Hearing06/26/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 12/20/2021
  • Hearing12/20/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/20/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 06/26/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 06/23/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 06/22/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Albert D Mastroianni (Plaintiff); As to: Media News Group, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/22/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Albert D Mastroianni (Plaintiff); As to: Media News Group, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/22/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Albert D Mastroianni (Plaintiff); As to: Media News Group, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/22/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/22/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC05225    Hearing Date: April 7, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Wed., April 7, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Mastrioanni v. Media News Group, Inc. COMPL. FILED: 06-22-20

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC05225 DISC. C/O: 11-20-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 12-05-21

TRIAL DATE: 12-20-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO COMPEL BY DEFENDANT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Media News Group, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2031.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Media News Group, Inc.’s Motion to Compel is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses without objections to Defendant’s Request for Production, Set One, Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Special Interrogatories, Set One. Defendant’s request for Sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $705.00 to be paid to Defendant’s counsel within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

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 April 5, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of April 5, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 22, 2020, Plaintiff A. Douglas Mastrioanni (“Plaintiff”), in pro per, filed an action for violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200, conversion, and fraud against Defendant Media News Group, Inc. dba Peninsula News or Palos Verdes Peninsula News (“Defendant”). Defendant filed an Answer and a Cross-Complaint on July 17, 2020.

On October 27, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel (the “Motion”). Defendant’s counsel filed a supporting declaration on January 11 and a supplemental declaration regarding Plaintiff’s non-opposition on January 29. No opposition was filed.

The Court continued the initial February 4, 2021 hearing and requested that Defendant submit copies of the discovery it sought to compel so that the Court could verify the requests complied with the limits imposed by Code of Civil Procedure section 94. (2/4/21 Minute Order.) The Court also noted Defendant had filed three requests for relief as a single motion and ordered Defendant to pay an additional two filing fees. (Id.)

Defendant paid an additional two filing fees on February 5, 2021 and filed the requested supplemental papers on February 8, 2021.

To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Request for Production & Interrogatories

A party must respond to interrogatories and requests for production of documents within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories or requests for production of documents are directed does not provide timely responses, the requesting party may move for an order compelling responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (c).) The party also waives the right to make any objections, including one based on privilege or work-product protection. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories or production of documents other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2024.020, subd. (a), 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

Here, Defendant served Plaintiff with Form Interrogatories, Set One, Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Production, Set One, on August 6, 2020 via regular mail and email. (Mot., 2/8/21 Supp. Hawley Decl., ¶ 4, Exhs. 1-3.) To date, Defendant has not received Plaintiff’s responses to the discovery. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Thus, Defendant is entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, 2031.300.)

B. Sanctions

Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (a) provides, in pertinent part, that the court may impose a monetary sanction on a party engaging in the misuse of the discovery process to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. A misuse of the discovery process includes failing to respond or submit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).)

The Court finds Plaintiff’s failure to respond to Defendant’s discovery requests a misuse of the discovery process.

Defendant’s counsel seeks sanctions of $1,460.00 based on 4 hours of attorney time billed at $350.00 per hour and one filing fee of $60.00. (Mot., Hawley Decl., ¶ 9.) However, the amount sought is excessive given the simplicity of this Motion and the lack of opposition and reply. The Court finds 1.5 hours to be reasonable. In addition, the Court finds Defendant is entitled to the additional two filing fees it paid on February 5, 2021, for a total of three filing fees. Thus, the Court finds sanctions of $705.00 against Plaintiff to be reasonable. Plaintiff is ordered to pay sanctions within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Media News Group, Inc.’s Motion to Compel is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses without objections to Defendant’s Request for Production, Set One, Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Special Interrogatories, Set One. Defendant’s request for Sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $705.00 to be paid to Defendant’s counsel within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 20STLC05225    Hearing Date: February 04, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., February 4, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Mastrioanni v. Media News, Group, Inc. COMPL. FILED: 06-22-20

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC05225 DISC. C/O: 11-20-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 12-05-21

TRIAL DATE: 12-20-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO COMPEL

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Media News Group, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2031.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Media News Group, Inc.’s Motion to Compel is CONTINUED TO APRIL 7, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Defendant must file and serve supplemental papers addressing the deficiencies noted herein. Defendant must also pay two additional filing fees. Failure to obey the Court’s order may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

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 February 2, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of February 2, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 22, 2020, Plaintiff A. Douglas Mastrioanni (“Plaintiff”), in pro per, filed an action for violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200, conversion, and fraud against Defendant Media News Group, Inc. dba Peninsula News or Palos Verdes Peninsula News (“Defendant”). Defendant filed an Answer and a Cross-Complaint on July 17, 2020.

On October 27, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel (the “Motion”). Defendant’s counsel filed a supporting declaration on January 11 and a supplemental declaration regarding Plaintiff’s non-opposition on January 29. To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Request for Production & Interrogatories

A party must respond to interrogatories and requests for production of documents within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories or requests for production of documents are directed does not provide timely responses, the requesting party may move for an order compelling responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (c).) The party also waives the right to make any objections, including one based on privilege or work-product protection. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories or production of documents other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2024.020, subd. (a), 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

Defendant’s counsel states that she served Plaintiff with Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production of Documents via mail on August 6, 2020. (1/11/21 Hawley Decl., ¶ 6.) However, Defendant’s counsel did not attach a copy of the discovery requests purportedly served on Plaintiff. Without a copy of the discovery, the Court is unable to verify that the discovery served was propounded to Plaintiff or verify that the discovery propounded complies with the limits set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 94, subdivision (a).

In addition, the Court notes that Defendant filed three requests for relief as a single Motion. Combining discovery motions allows the moving party to avoid paying the requisite filing fees. Filing fees are jurisdictional and “it is mandatory for the court clerks to demand and receive statutorily required filing fees.” (See Duran v. St. Luke’s Hospital (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 457, 460.) Here, Defendant has only paid one filing fee for what should have been three separate motions. Thus, Defendant is ordered to pay two additional filing fees.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Media News Group, Inc.’s Motion to Compel is CONTINUED TO APRIL 7, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Defendant must file and serve supplemental papers addressing the deficiencies noted herein. Defendant must also pay two additional filing fees. Failure to obey the Court’s order may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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