On 03/16/2018 a Contract - Other Contract case was filed by CHALLENGE DAIRY PRODUCTS ,INC A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION against ELIZABETH STOCKWELL , AN INDIVIDUAL in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
CHALLENGE DAIRY PRODUCTS INC A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION
STOCKWELL AN INDIVIDUAL ELIZABETH
3/27/2019: Opposition (name extension) - PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT ELIZABETH STOCKWELLS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
3/27/2019: Objection (name extension) - EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO DECLARATIONS OF ELIZABETH STOCKWELL AND ANN RYAN SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
4/10/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order Transferring Non-Collection Hub Case To Limited C...)
4/10/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Court Order Transferring Non-Collection Hub Case To Limited C...) of 04/10/2019
4/10/2019: Order (name extension) - Order Designation-Transfer of Non-Collection Hub Case
1/23/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment - Motion for Summary Judgment
3/14/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information
3/16/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet
6/4/2018: Notice of Ruling - on Defendant Elizabeth Stockwell's Motion to Quash Service
5/18/2018: Opposition (name extension) - to motion to quash service
5/22/2018: Other - (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Notice of Motion and Motion to Quash Service
3/16/2018: Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740)
3/16/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case
Docket** Type of Action changed from Collections Case - Seller Plaintiff to Other Contract Dispute (not breach/insurance/fraud/negligence)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Reassignment/Vacate Hearings; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrder Designation-Transfer of Non-Collection Hub Case; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketCase reassigned to Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 94 - Hon. Wendy Chang; Reason: Transfer for ReassignmentRead MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order (Court Order Transferring Non-Collection Hub Case To Limited C...)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for Minute Order (Court Order Transferring Non-Collection Hub Case To Limited C...) of 04/10/2019; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketHearing on Motion for Summary Judgment scheduled for 04/12/2019 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 04/10/2019Read MoreRead Less
DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 05/14/2019 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 04/10/2019Read MoreRead Less
DocketDefendant's Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by: ELIZABETH STOCKWELL , AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketPLAINTIFF?S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT ELIZABETH STOCKWELL?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; Filed by: CHALLENGE DAIRY PRODUCTS ,INC A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketHearing on Motion to Quash Service scheduled for 05/30/2018 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43Read MoreRead Less
DocketMotion to Quash Service; Filed by: ELIZABETH STOCKWELL , AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by: CHALLENGE DAIRY PRODUCTS ,INC A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION (Plaintiff); As to: ELIZABETH STOCKWELL , AN INDIVIDUAL (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: CHALLENGE DAIRY PRODUCTS ,INC A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740); Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketCase assigned to Hon. Graciela Freixes in Department F43 Chatsworth CourthouseRead MoreRead Less
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 F43Read MoreRead Less
DocketThe case is placed in special status of: Collections Case (CCP 3.740)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: 18CHLC06454 Hearing Date: February 25, 2020 Dept: 26
Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. v. Stockwell, et al.
MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT
(CCP § 474)
Specially Appearing Defendant Deborah Kimble’s Motion to Quash Service of the Summons and Complaint is GRANTED.
On March 16, 2018, Plaintiff Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for breach of personal guaranty and common counts against Defendant Elizabeth Stockwell (“Defendant Stockwell”). Following the filing of Defendant Stockwell’s Motion for Summary Judgment in January 2019, the action was transferred from the Chatsworth Courthouse to the Limited Jurisidiction Department and reset for trial. On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed doe amendments naming Defendant Ann Ryan as Doe 1 and Specially Appearing Defendant Deborah Kimble as Doe 2.
On January 27, 2020, Defendant Kimble filed the instant Motion to Quash Service of the Summons and Complaint. Plaintiff filed its opposition on February 11, 2020 and Defendant Kimble replied on February 14, 2020.
Defendant Kimble brings the instant Motion to Quash on the grounds that Plaintiff has not satisfied the requirements for a doe amendment to the Complaint pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 474, which states in relevant part: “When the plaintiff is ignorant of the name of a defendant, he must state that fact in the complaint, or the affidavit if the action is commenced by affidavit, and such defendant may be designated in any pleading or proceeding by any name, and when his true name is discovered, the pleading or proceeding must be amended accordingly;. . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 474.)
When a defendant is properly named under section 474, the amendment relates back to the filing date of the original complaint. (Woo v. Superior Court (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 169, 176[89 Cal.Rptr.2d 20].) Section 474 provides a method for adding defendants after the statute of limitations has expired, but this procedure is available only when the plaintiff is actually ignorant of the facts establishing a cause of action against the party to be substituted for a Doe defendant. (Optical Surplus, Inc. v. Superior Court (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 776, 783[279 Cal.Rptr. 194] (Optical Surplus ).) “The question is whether [the plaintiff] knew or reasonably should have known that he had a cause of action against [the defendant].” (Wallis v. Southern Pac. Transportation Co. (1976) 61 Cal.App.3d 782, 786[132 Cal.Rptr. 631] (Wallis ).)
(McClatchy v. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 368, 372.)
The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff markets and sells dairy products to customers and entered into a a delivery agreement (“the Agreement”) with Beachy Cream, LLC. (Compl., ¶6.) The Agreement was allegedly personally guaranteed by Defendant Stockwell. (Id. at ¶8.) Following suit against Beachy Cream pursuant to which a default judgment was obtained in Plaintiff’s favor on March 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed the instant action against Defendant Stockwell because the default judgment remained unsatified. (Id. at ¶7.)
Defendant Kimble argues in her Motion that Plaintiff could not have been ignorant of her identity at the time it filed this action against Defendant Stockwell because Defendant Kimble’s name is included in the Agreement with Beachy Cream under the “personal guaranty” section. (Motion, RJN, Exh. B.) Defendant Kimble points out that this is the same Agreement attached to Plaintiff’s Complaint against Beachy Cream. (Motion, RJN, Exh. A.) Defendant Kimble argues that Plaintiff had no reason to exclude her from being named in the Complaint given that it also named Defendant Stockwell.
In opposition, Plaintiff argues that while it was aware of Defendant Kimble’s existence, it was ignorant of facts giving rise to her liability as a personal guarantor of the Agreement. “Ignorance of the facts giving rise to a cause of action is the ‘ignorance’ required by section 474, and the pivotal question is, ‘ “did plaintiff know facts?” (McClatchy v. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 368, 372 (citing General Motors Corp. v. Superior Court (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 580, 594).) Plaintiff points out that in the Agreement, Defendant Kimble did not check the box indicating that she would personally guarantee the Agreement. (Compl., Exh. A, p. 4 at “Personal Guaranty”.) In comparison, the box accepting the personal guarantee is checked by Defendant Stockwell. (Ibid.) As a result, Plaintiff contends it only brough the Complaint for breach of personal guarantee against Defendant Stockwell.
Plaintiff argues that when Defendant Stockwell filed her Motion for Summary Judgment, she provided declarations stating that Defendant Kimble falsely submitted the Agreement and personal guarantee on behalf of Defendant Stockwell. (Opo., RJN, Exh. A at ¶¶12-16; Exh. B at ¶¶20-24.) Plaintiff contends that it was only upon seeing this evidence that it had facts suggesting Defendant Kimble could be liable based on the facts in the Complaint.
The Court is not fully persuaded by Plaintiff’s opposition for two reasons. First, Defendant Stockwell’s Motion for Summary Judgment was served on Plaintiff on January 22, 2019. (Motion for Summary Judgment, filed 1/23/19, Proof of Service.) Yet Plaintiff did not file or serve the doe amendment adding Defendant Kimble until eleven months later, on December 23, 2019. The Court is hard pressed to find a connection between the Motion for Summary Judgment and the doe amendment given the nearly year-long delay in action by Plaintiff. Additionally, the Court agrees with Defendant Kimble that Plaintiff has not shown how any purported fraud by Defendant Kimble in signing the personal guaranty on Defendant Stockwell’s behalf could make Defendant Kimble liable in her stead. “It is [ ] well settled that the amended pleading will relate back to the date of filing of the original complaint provided it seeks recovery on the same general set of facts as alleged in the original complaint.” (Streicher v. Tommy’s Electric Co. (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 876, 882.) Asserting that Defendant Kimble is liable to Plaintiff because she fraudulently used Defendant Stockwell’s information to complete the personal guaranty is not the same factual theory as asserting Defendant Kimble is liable because she directly personally guaranteed the Agreement. The Complaint contains no allegation of fraud or misrepresentation.
Based on the foregoing, Specially Appearing Defendant Deborah Kimble’s Motion to Quash Service of the Summons and Complaint is GRANTED.
Court clerk to give notice.