This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/17/2019 at 00:15:29 (UTC).

CARLA SHAW DE HERAS VS BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL

Case Summary

On 03/16/2018 CARLA SHAW DE HERAS filed a Contract - Debt Collection lawsuit against BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Chatsworth Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RICK BROWN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******6451

  • Filing Date:

    03/16/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Debt Collection

  • Courthouse:

    Chatsworth Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

RICK BROWN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CARLA SHAW DE HERAS

Defendant

DARNELL BRENDA FOSTER

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

BOON WILLIAM JOHN

 

Court Documents

Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

11/6/2018: Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/6/2018: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Order (name extension) - Order Granting Relief For Defendant To File Her Answer To Plaintiff's Complaint

12/3/2018: Order (name extension) - Order Granting Relief For Defendant To File Her Answer To Plaintiff's Complaint

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

12/3/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

Answer - Answer

12/3/2018: Answer - Answer

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...) of 12/03/2018

12/3/2018: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...) of 12/03/2018

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

12/10/2018: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

12/10/2018: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Summons - on Complaint

3/16/2018: Summons - on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

3/16/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint

3/16/2018: Complaint

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

6/12/2018: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

6/12/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740)

3/16/2018: Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740)

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

3/16/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

6 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/03/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department F43 at 9425 Penfield Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 12/20/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/03/2019 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43

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  • 12/20/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service and Failure to File Default Judgment Pursuant to CRC 3.740 scheduled for 03/22/2019 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 12/03/2018

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  • 12/10/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant); As to: CARLA SHAW DE HERAS (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/10/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant); As to: CARLA SHAW DE HERAS (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/03/2018
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment: Filed By: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant); Result: Granted; Result Date: 12/03/2018

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  • 12/03/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant)

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  • 12/03/2018
  • DocketOrder Granting Relief For Defendant To File Her Answer To Plaintiff's Complaint; Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant)

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  • 12/03/2018
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by CARLA SHAW DE HERAS on 03/16/2018, Default entered on 06/12/2018, Vacated - .

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  • 12/03/2018
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

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6 More Docket Entries
  • 06/12/2018
  • DocketDefault entered as to BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL; On the Complaint filed by CARLA SHAW DE HERAS on 03/16/2018

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  • 06/12/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: CARLA SHAW DE HERAS (Plaintiff); As to: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 04/09/2018; Service Cost: 69.50; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: CARLA SHAW DE HERAS (Plaintiff); As to: BRENDA FOSTER DARNELL (Defendant)

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: CARLA SHAW DE HERAS (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740); Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Rick Brown in Department F43 Chatsworth Courthouse

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service and Failure to File Default Judgment Pursuant to CRC 3.740 scheduled for 03/22/2019 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43

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  • 03/16/2018
  • DocketThe case is placed in special status of: Collections Case (CCP 3.740)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18CHLC06451    Hearing Date: January 07, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., January 7, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Shaw de Heras v. Darnell COMPL. FILED: 03-16-18

CASE NUMBER: 18CHLC06451 DISC. C/O: NONE

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: NONE

TRIAL DATE: NOT SET

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Carla Shaw de Heras

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

(CCP § 437c)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Carla Shaw de Heras’ Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

SERVICE:

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

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

[X] 75/80 Day Lapse (CCP 12c and 1005 (b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of January 5, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

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

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On March 16, 2018, Plaintiff Carla Shaw De Heras (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract and common counts against Defendant Brenda Foster Darnell (“Defendant”). Defendant filed her Answer, in pro per, on December 3, 2018.

On March 9, 2020, the Court granted Plaintiff’s motions to compel responses to form interrogatories and requests for production of documents and Plaintiff’s motion to deem requests for admission admitted. (3/9/20 Minute Order.)

Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on April 17, 2020. However, it appears that motion was never scheduled for hearing. Plaintiff thereafter filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment (the “Motion”) on December 17, 2020. Although not filed until December 17, Plaintiff filed a proof of service demonstrating the Notice of Motion, Motion, and supporting documents were served on Defendant on July 22, 2020 via regular mail. (Mot., Proof of Service.)

To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

A party seeking summary judgment has the burden of producing evidentiary facts sufficient to entitle him/her to judgment as a matter of law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c); Vesely v. Sager (1971) 5 Cal.3d 153.) The moving party must make an affirmative showing that he/she is entitled to judgment irrespective of whether or not the opposing party files an opposition. (Villa v. McFerren (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 733.)

When a Defendant or Cross-Defendant seeks summary judgment, he/she must show either (1) that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established; or (2) that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).) When a Plaintiff or Cross-Complainant seeks summary judgment, he/she must produce admissible evidence on each element of each cause of action on which judgment is sought. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(1).) The moving party’s “affidavits must cite evidentiary facts, not legal conclusions or ‘ultimate’ facts” and be strictly construed. (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519; Hayman v. Block (1986) 176 Cal.App.3d 629, 639.)

The opposing party on a motion for summary judgment is under no evidentiary burden to produce rebuttal evidence until the moving party meets his or her initial movant’s burden. (Binder v. Aetna Life Insurance Company (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 832.) Once the initial movant’s burden is met, then the burden shifts to the opposing party to show, with admissible evidence, that there is a triable issue requiring the weighing procedures of trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p).) The opposing party may not simply rely on his/her allegations to show a triable issue but must present evidentiary facts that are substantial in nature and rise beyond mere speculation. (Sangster v. Paetkau (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 151.) As to any alternative request for summary adjudication of issues, such alternative relief must be clearly set forth in the Notice of Motion and the general burden-shifting rules apply but the issues upon which summary adjudication may be sought are limited by statute. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).) “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).)

  1. Discussion

  1. First Cause of Action – Breach of Contract

“To establish a cause of action for breach of contract, the plaintiff must plead and prove (1) the existence of the contract, (2) the plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) the defendant’s breach, and (4) resulting damages to the plaintiff. [Citation.] ‘In an action based on a written contract, a plaintiff may plead the legal effect of the contract rather than its precise language.’ [Citation.]” (Maxwell v. Dolezal (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 93, 97-98.) The elements for breach of an oral contract are the same as those for breach of a written contract. (Stockton Mortgage, Inc. v. Tope (2014) 233 Cal.App.4th 437, 453.) The statute of limitations for written contracts is four years, but only two years for breach of oral contracts. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 337, subd. (a), 339.)

The Complaint alleges (1) that on or about June 2011, Plaintiff lent Defendant $27,100.00 pursuant to an oral agreement; (2) that the money was to be paid back within 30 days through a refinancing of Defendant’s real property; (3) that Defendant’s refinancing transaction was unsuccessful; (4) that Defendant promised to make monthly payments on the sum due and owing; (5) that from 2011 through 2015, Defendant failed to make regular payments but continued to promise such payments would be made; (6) that Defendant did not make all payments; and (7) that a balance of $19,475.00, plus interest from June 2011, remains due and owing. (Comp., p. 3, ¶¶ BC-1 – BC-4.)

Plaintiff relies exclusively on the requests for admission deemed admitted against Defendant on March 9, 2020. The admitted requests for admission state (1) that on or about June 2011, Defendant borrowed $27,100.00 from Plaintiff; (2) that the money borrowed was to be repaid through a home refinance; (3) that Defendant did not obtain a home refinance to repay the money borrowed from Plaintiff; and (4) that Defendant owes Plaintiff $19,475.00. (Mot., Boon Decl., ¶¶ 2, 3, Exhs. A, B.)

However, this evidence is insufficient. First, because the alleged contract was oral, a 2-year statute of limitations applies. (Code Civ. Proc., § 339.) However, Plaintiff presents no evidence as to the date of the alleged breach. The Complaint suggests Plaintiff stopped making payments in 2015 (Compl., p. 3, ¶ BC-2), but the Motion states that Defendant made payments until July 2018 (Mot., p. 3:15-19). Plaintiff also did not submit any evidence, not even a declaration from Plaintiff herself, regarding the revised terms of the alleged agreement reached between the parties after Defendant was unable to refinance her real property to repay the alleged loan. For these reasons, Plaintiff has not carried her initial burden.

Notably, Plaintiff moved only for summary judgment, not summary adjudication in the alternative. (Notice of Mot., p. 1:18-27.) If a party seeks summary adjudication, she must make her intentions clear in the notice of motion. (Homestead Savings v. Superior Court (1985) 179 Cal.App.3d 494, 498.) Here, Plaintiff’s Notice of Motion only refers to summary judgment. For this reason, the Motion is DENIED in its entirety without considering Plaintiff’s second cause of action for common counts.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Carla Shaw de Heras’ Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18CHLC06451    Hearing Date: March 09, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES; MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; MOTION TO DEEM ADMITTED REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2031.300; 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Carla Shaw De Heras’ (1) Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s Form Interrogatories, Set One, (2) Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s Request for Production, Set One, and (3) Motion for Order Deeming Admitted Truth of Facts are GRANTED. Defendant is ordered to serve responses without objections to Plaintiff’s Form Interrogatories and Request for Production within thirty (30) days of service of notice of this order.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the reduced amount of $580.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of service 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 March 6, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of March 6, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On March 16, 2018, Plaintiff Carla Shaw de Heras (“Plaintiff”) filed an action at the Chatsworth Courthouse for breach of contract and common counts against Defendant Brenda Foster Darnell (“Defendant”). On December 3, 2018, Defendant filed an Answer, in pro per.

On August 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant (1) Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Monetary Sanction (the “Interrogatories Motion”), (2) Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s Request for Production, Set One, and Monetary Sanction (the “Production Motion”), and (3) Motion for Order Deeming Admitted Truth of Facts and Imposing Monetary Sanction (the “RFA Motion”) (collectively, the “Motions”).

Because this action was determined not to be a collections case, on November 19, 2019, the action was transferred from Department F43 at the Chatsworth Courthouse to this Department. (11/19/19 Minute Order.)

To date, no opposition has been filed.

II. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Form Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents

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, Plaintiff served Defendant with Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Production, Set One, on June 25, 2019 by regular mail. (Interrogatories Mot. & Production Mot., Boon Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.) Although not required, Plaintiff’s counsel sent Defendant a meet and confer letter on August 7, 2019 regarding the lack of discovery responses. (Id. at ¶ 4, Exh. B.) Plaintiff did not receive any responses. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Defendant to provide verified responses to Form Interrogatories and Request for Production without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290; 2031.300.)

B. Requests for Admission

A party must respond to requests for admissions within 30 days after service of such requests. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.250, subd. (a).) “If a party to whom requests for admission are directed fails to serve a timely response…(a) [that party] waives any objection to the requests, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (a).) “The requesting party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7.” (Id. at subd. (b).) A motion dealing with the failure to respond, rather than with inadequate responses, does not require the requesting party to meet and confer with the responding party. (Deymer v. Costa Mesa Mobile Home Estates (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 393, 395, fn. 4 [disapproved on other grounds in Wilcox v. Birtwhistle (1999) 21 Cal.4th 973]. There is no time limit within which a motion to have matters deemed admitted must be made. (Brigante v. Huang (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 1569, 1585.)

Here, Plaintiff served Defendant with Requests for Admission, Set One, on June 25, 2019, by regular mail. (Mot., Boon Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.) Plaintiff did not received any responses to the discovery request. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to an order deeming Requests for Admission, Set One, admitted against Defendant. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280.)

C. 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 to submit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) Furthermore, it is “mandatory that the Court impose a monetary sanction…on the party or attorney, or both, whose failure to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitated this motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

The Court finds Defendant’s failure to respond to Plaintiff’s discovery requests a misuse of the discovery process. In addition, the Court is required to impose a monetary sanction on Defendant for failing to respond to Requests for Admissions under Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (c).

Plaintiff’s counsel requests a total of $2,980.00 in sanctions, which includes 14 hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 per hour and three filing fees of $60.00 each. (Interrogatories Mot. & Production Mot., Boon Decl., ¶ 5; RFA Mot., ¶ 4.) However, the amount sought is excessive given the simplicity of these nearly identical Motions and the lack of opposition and reply. Plaintiff’s requests are GRANTED in the reduced amount of $580.00 based on two hours of attorney time and three filing fees. Defendant is ordered to pay sanctions within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

III. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Carla Shaw de Heras’ (1) Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s Form Interrogatories, Set One, (2) Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff’s Request for Production, Set One, and (3) Motion for Order Deeming Admitted Truth of Facts are GRANTED. Defendant is ordered to serve responses without objections to Plaintiff’s Form Interrogatories and Request for Production within thirty (30) days of service of notice of this order.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the reduced amount of $580.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of service of notice of this order.

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