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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/19/2021 at 08:14:10 (UTC).

CHRIS LANGER VS BANNERET, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 08/11/2020 CHRIS LANGER filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against BANNERET, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. 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:

    *******6751

  • Filing Date:

    08/11/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

LANGER CHRIS

Defendants

THE SMALL CAF LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

H & I FOODS INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

BANNERET LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

HANDY RUSSELL

HANDY RUSSELL CLIVE

Defendant Attorney

UTTERBACK LAURA WATKINS

 

Court Documents

Objection (name extension) - Objection in Opposition to Defendant H&I Foods Motion for Sanctions

3/25/2021: Objection (name extension) - Objection in Opposition to Defendant H&I Foods Motion for Sanctions

Objection (name extension) - Objection in Opposition to Defendant The Small Cafe LLCs Motion for Sanctions

3/25/2021: Objection (name extension) - Objection in Opposition to Defendant The Small Cafe LLCs Motion for Sanctions

Reply (name extension) - Reply Brief to Motion for Sanctions for the Small Cafe

4/1/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply Brief to Motion for Sanctions for the Small Cafe

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

4/8/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

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

4/8/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

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

10/7/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Motion for Sanctions - Motion for Sanctions

10/7/2020: Motion for Sanctions - Motion for Sanctions

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

10/8/2020: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

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

10/8/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Answer - Answer

10/13/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

8/17/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

8/17/2020: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

8/17/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Complaint - Complaint

8/11/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

8/11/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

8/11/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/11/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Clerk's Notice of Full Payment of Fees Required - Clerk's Notice of Full Payment of Fees Required

8/11/2020: Clerk's Notice of Full Payment of Fees Required - Clerk's Notice of Full Payment of Fees Required

13 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/15/2023
  • Hearing08/15/2023 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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  • 02/08/2022
  • Hearing02/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 08/31/2021
  • Hearing08/31/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions

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  • 04/12/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 08/31/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 04/12/2021
  • DocketPursuant to the request of moving party, Hearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 04/13/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Rescheduled by Party was rescheduled to 08/31/2021 10:00 AM

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  • 04/12/2021
  • DocketPursuant to the request of moving party, Hearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 04/08/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Rescheduled by Party was rescheduled to 08/31/2021 10:00 AM

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  • 04/08/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by: H & I Foods Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); As to: CHRIS LANGER (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/08/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by: The Small Caf, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant); As to: CHRIS LANGER (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/08/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

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  • 04/08/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Russell Clive Handy (Attorney): First Name changed from RUSSELL to Russell; Last Name changed from HANDY to Handy; Organization Name changed from Center for Disability Access to Potter Handy, LLP; Middle Name: Clive

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18 More Docket Entries
  • 08/17/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: CHRIS LANGER (Plaintiff); As to: H & I Foods Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); Service Date: 08/14/2020; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 02/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 08/15/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketClerk's Notice of Full Payment of Fees Required; Filed by: Clerk; As to: RUSSELL HANDY (Attorney)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: CHRIS LANGER (Plaintiff); As to: Banneret, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant); H & I Foods Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); The Small Caf, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: CHRIS LANGER (Plaintiff); As to: Banneret, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant); H & I Foods Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); The Small Caf, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: CHRIS LANGER (Plaintiff); As to: Banneret, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant); H & I Foods Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); The Small Caf, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC06751    Hearing Date: April 8, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., April 8, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Langer v. Banneret, LLC, et al. COMPL. FILED: 08-11-20

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC06751 DISC. C/O: 01-09-22

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 01-24-22

TRIAL DATE: 02-08-22

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR SANCTIONS, ATTORNEYS FEES AND COSTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 128.7

MOVING PARTY: Defendant H&I Foods, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Chris Langer

MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 128.7)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant H&I Foods, Inc.’s Motion for Sanctions, Attorney’s Fees, and Costs Pursuant to Section 128.7 is 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: Filed on March 25, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on April 1, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On August 11, 2020, Plaintiff Chris Langer (“Plaintiff”) filed an action against Defendants Banneret, LLC (“Banneret”), H&I Foods, Inc. (“H&I”), and The Small Café, LLC (“Small Café”).

Defendant H&I filed the instant Motion for Sanctions, Attorney’s Fees and Costs Pursuant to Section 128.7 (the “Motion”) on October 7, 2020. Plaintiff filed an Opposition on March 25, 2021 and Defendant H&I filed a Reply on April 1.

  1. Legal Standard

The Court may impose sanctions for conduct that violates any one of the requirements set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7, subdivision (b). (Eichenbaum v. Alon (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 967, 976.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7, subdivision (b) provides:

(b)

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Only “an attorney or unrepresented party may be sanctioned” under the statute. (In re Marriage of Reese & Guy (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 1214, 1221.)

“Under section 128.7, a court may impose sanctions if it concludes a pleading was filed for an improper purpose or was indisputably without merit, either legally or factually. [Citation.]” (Bucur v. Ahmad (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 175, 189.) “A claim is factually frivolous if it is ‘not well-grounded in fact’ and is legally frivolous if it is ‘not warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.’ [Citation.] In either case, to obtain sanctions, the moving party must show the party's conduct in asserting the claim was objectively unreasonable. [Citation.] A claim is objectively unreasonable if ‘any reasonable attorney would agree that [it] is totally and completely without merit.’ [Citations.]” (Id.) No showing of bad faith is required. (In re Marriage of Reese & Guy, supra, 73 Cal.App.4th at p. 1221.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 “contains a safe harbor provision. It requires the party seeking sanctions to serve on the opposing party, without filing or presenting it to the court, a notice of motion specifically describing the sanctionable conduct. Service of the motion initiates a 21-day ‘hold’ or ‘safe harbor’ period. [Citations.] During this time, the offending document may be corrected or withdrawn without penalty. If that occurs, the motion for sanctions ‘‘shall not’’ be filed. [Citations.] By mandating a 21-day safe harbor period to allow correction or withdrawal of an offending document, section 128.7 is designed to be remedial, not punitive. [Citation.]” (Li v. Majestic Industry Hills, LLC (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 585, 590-591.)

  1. Discussion

Defendant H&I seeks monetary sanctions of $2,764.85 and dismissal of the Complaint pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7. (Mot., p. 3:18-24; p. 22:7-10)

As noted above, Section 128.7 contains a 21-day safe harbor during which an opposing party is provided the opportunity to withdraw or correct an allegedly offending pleading, motion, or other paper filed with the Court. Defendant H&I acknowledges this 21-day safe harbor period in its Motion. (Mot., p. 16:9-16.)

Yet, Defendant H&I’s Motion glosses over this requirement and Defendant’s counsel does not affirmatively state she complied with the 21-day safe harbor provision. (See generally Mot., Dobson Decl.) In Opposition, Plaintiff’s counsel states he was not served with a copy of the Motion until after it was filed. (Oppo., Handy Decl., ¶ 2.) Indeed, Defendant H&I’s proof of service demonstrates Plaintiff was electronically served with this Motion the same day it was filed, on October 7, 2020. (10/7/20 Proof of Service.) Notably, Defendant H&I does not deny in its Reply papers Plaintiff was not served with the Motion before it was filed.

Sanctions pursuant to Section 128.7 cannot be imposed where a moving party does not comply with the safe-harbor provision. (Goodstone v. Southwest Airlines Co. (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 406, 418-19.) “[T]he safe harbor period is mandatory and the full 21 days must be provided absent a court order shortening that time if sanctions are to be awarded.” (Li v. Majestic Industry Hills, LLC, supra, 177 Cal.App.4th at p. 595.) The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate compliance with the safe harbor requirement. (Id. at p. 594.) “ ‘Strict compliance with the statute’s notice provisions serves its remedial purpose and underscores the seriousness of a motion for sanctions.’ [Citation.]” (CPF Vaseo Associates, LLC v. Gray (2018) 29 Cal.App.5th 997, 1007.)

Here, Defendant H&I did not obtain an order from the Court shortening the safe harbor period. Instead, Defendant H&I entirely ignored the safe harbor requirement and filed the instant Motion without first serving a copy on Plaintiff to provide the opportunity to withdraw or amend the allegedly offending pleading. This undermines the remedial purpose of the statute.

In Reply, Defendant H&I’s counsel submits an email dated July 27, 2020 that she argues constitutes “pre-filing safe harbor notification.” (Reply, Dobson Decl., ¶ 3, Attach. 1.) The email is from Plaintiff’s counsel, and states, in its entirety:

“Ms. Dobson, we are not available on the date your [sic] requested. We will arrange an alternative date with your staff. Please send us your Motions in Word format, not as pdf.”

However, this email does not expressly reference a 128.7 sanctions motion. Even if it did, informal notice of an intent to seek sanctions is not a substitute for the requirements set forth in Section 128.7. (CPF Vaseo Associates, LLC v. Gray, supra, 29 Cal.App.5th at p. 1007.) To comply with Section 128.7 requirements, the moving party must serve a copy of the same exact motion that is ultimately filed with the court no less than 21 days later. (Id.) There is no dispute that did not happen here.

Because Defendant H&I entirely ignored the 21-day safe harbor requirement, the Motion is DENIED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant H&I Foods, Inc.’s Motion for Sanctions, Attorney’s Fees, and Costs Pursuant to Section 128.7 is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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