This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/26/2021 at 01:58:01 (UTC).

CORNELIUS CASEY VS SCOTT DENNINGTON

Case Summary

On 12/27/2019 CORNELIUS CASEY filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against SCOTT DENNINGTON. 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 Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1741

  • Filing Date:

    12/27/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CASEY CORNELIUS

Defendant

DENNINGTON SCOTT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

YEAGER KENNETH

Defendant Attorneys

DEWEY BRIAN S.

MILLER ROBERT S

 

Court Documents

Complaint - Complaint

12/27/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

5/4/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Notice of Change of Firm Name - Notice of Change of Firm Name

6/4/2021: Notice of Change of Firm Name - Notice of Change of Firm Name

Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order Stip and Proposed Order to Continue Trial

7/12/2021: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order Stip and Proposed Order to Continue Trial

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

8/24/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

8/25/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order Stipulation and Proposed Order to Continue the Trial Date

2/16/2021: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order Stipulation and Proposed Order to Continue the Trial Date

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Discovery Responses

3/2/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Discovery Responses

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff, Corneliu...)

3/3/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff, Corneliu...)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continuance

3/4/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continuance

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff

3/4/2021: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff

Motion for Terminating Sanctions - Motion for Terminating Sanctions

4/8/2021: Motion for Terminating Sanctions - Motion for Terminating Sanctions

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF KENNETH C. YEAGER

4/27/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF KENNETH C. YEAGER

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff, Corneliu...)

5/3/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff, Corneliu...)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

1/6/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 02/16/2021

2/16/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 02/16/2021

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Discovery Responses

2/16/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Discovery Responses

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

2/16/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

23 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/25/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Scott Dennington (Defendant)

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Cornelius Casey on 12/27/2019, entered Order for Dismissal with prejudice as to the entire actionOn the Complaint filed by Cornelius Casey on 12/27/2019, entered Order for Dismissal with prejudice as to the entire action

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions)Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions)

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 08/24/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 08/24/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion GrantedHearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 08/24/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 08/24/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketJury Trial scheduled for 02/18/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/24/2021Jury Trial scheduled for 02/18/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/24/2021

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Complaint: Filed By: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); Result: Stricken; Result Date: 08/24/2021Updated -- Complaint: Filed By: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); Result: Stricken; Result Date: 08/24/2021

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  • 08/19/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 08/24/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 08/24/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 07/12/2021
  • DocketPursuant to written stipulation, Jury Trial scheduled for 10/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Party was rescheduled to 02/18/2022 08:30 AMPursuant to written stipulation, Jury Trial scheduled for 10/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Party was rescheduled to 02/18/2022 08:30 AM

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  • 06/07/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Robert S Miller (Attorney): Organization Name changed from Raffalow, Bretoi, Lutz & Stele to Bretoi, Lutz & SteleUpdated -- Robert S Miller (Attorney): Organization Name changed from Raffalow, Bretoi, Lutz & Stele to Bretoi, Lutz & Stele

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketNotice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by: Scott Dennington (Defendant); New Firm Name: Bretoi, Lutz & SteleNotice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by: Scott Dennington (Defendant); New Firm Name: Bretoi, Lutz & Stele

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40 More Docket Entries
  • 03/02/2020
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by: Scott Dennington (Defendant)Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by: Scott Dennington (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2020
  • DocketProof of Mailing (Substituted Service); Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant); Mailing Date: 01/29/2020; Cost Waived: NoProof of Mailing (Substituted Service); Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant); Mailing Date: 01/29/2020; Cost Waived: No

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  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/25/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/25/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 12/30/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 12/30/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk CourthouseCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant)Complaint; Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant)

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  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant)Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant)

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  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant)Summons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Cornelius Casey (Plaintiff); As to: Scott Dennington (Defendant)

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  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: ClerkNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: ClerkFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: 19STLC11741 Hearing Date: August 24, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION\r\nFOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

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MOVING PARTY: Defendant\r\nScott Dennington

\r\n\r\n

RESP. PARTY: None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

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(CCP § 2023.030)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE RULING:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant Scott Dennington’s Motion for an Order Imposing\r\nTerminating Sanctions is GRANTED. The Complaint filed by Plaintiff Cornelius\r\nCasey is HEREBY STRICKEN and this action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. However,\r\nDefendant’s request for monetary sanctions is DENIED.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

SERVICE: \r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nProof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nCorrect Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\n16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

OPPOSITION: None filed as of August\r\n20, 2021 [ ] Late [X]\r\nNone

\r\n\r\n

REPLY: None filed as\r\nof August 20, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

\r\n\r\n

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ANALYSIS:

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I. \r\nBackground

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On December 27, 2019, Plaintiff Cornelius Casey\r\n(“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant\r\nScott Dennington (“Defendant”). Defendant filed his Answer on March 2, 2020.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant filed motions to compel\r\nPlaintiff’s responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and\r\nRequests for Production on July 6, 2020. On January 4 and 5, 2021, the Court\r\ngranted those motions as well as sanctions totaling $807.00 to be paid within\r\n30 days of those orders. (1/4/21 Minute Order; 1/5/21 Minute Order.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant filed the instant Motion\r\nfor an Order Imposing Terminating Sanctions (the “Motion”) on April 8, 2021. No\r\nopposition was filed.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

II. \r\nRequest\r\nfor Judicial Notice

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant’s request for judicial notice of (1) the Summons\r\nand Complaint in this action, (2) the Answer filed by Defendant on March 2,\r\n2020, (3) Defendant’s motion to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, (4)\r\nDefendant’s motions to compel responses to Special Interrogatories and Demand\r\nfor Production of Documents, (5) the Court’s January 4, 2021 Minute Order, (6)\r\nthe Court’s January 5, 2021 Minute Order, and (7) the Notices of Ruling filed\r\nby Defendant on January 4 and 6, 2021 is GRANTED. (Evid. Code, § 452, subd.\r\n(d).)

\r\n\r\n

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III. \r\nLegal\r\nStandard

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Where a party willfully\r\ndisobeys a discovery order, courts have discretion to impose terminating,\r\nissue, evidence, or monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subd.\r\n(g), 2025.450, subd. (h); R.S. Creative,\r\nInc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 495.) An evidence sanction prohibits a party that\r\nmisused the discovery process from introducing evidence on certain designated\r\nmatters into evidence. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030, subd. (c).) Ultimate\r\ndiscovery sanctions are justified where there is a willful discovery order\r\nviolation, a history of abuse, and evidence showing that less severe sanctions\r\nwould not produce compliance with discovery rules. (Van\r\nSickle v. Gilbert (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, 1516.) “[A] penalty as severe as dismissal or\r\ndefault is not authorized where noncompliance with discovery is caused by an\r\ninability to comply rather than willfulness or bad faith.” (Brown\r\nv. Sup. Ct. (1986) 180 Cal.App.3d 701, 707.) The court may impose a terminating sanction\r\nby one of the following orders:

\r\n\r\n

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(1) An\r\norder striking out the pleadings or parts of the pleadings of any party\r\nengaging in the misuse of the discovery process.

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(2) An\r\norder staying further proceedings by that party until an order for discovery is\r\nobeyed.

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(3) An\r\norder dismissing the action, or any part of the action, of that party.

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(4) An\r\norder rendering a judgment by default against that party.

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(Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030, subd. (d).)

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IV. \r\nDiscussion\r\n

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Defendant seeks a terminating sanction due to Plaintiff’s\r\nfailure to obey the Court’s discovery orders. (Mot., p. 3.) As noted above, the\r\nCourt granted Defendant’s motions to compel responses to his Form\r\nInterrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production on\r\nJanuary 4 and 5, 2021 as well as sanctions of $807.00 to be paid within 30\r\ndays. (1/4/21 Minute Order; 1/5/21 Minute Order.) Defendant’s counsel gave\r\nPlaintiff’s counsel notice of the Court’s orders on January 4 and January 6,\r\n2021 via email. (1/4/21 Notice of Ruling; 1/6/21 Notice of Ruling.) Defendant’s\r\ncounsel sent follow-up emails to Plaintiff’s counsel on February 23, 2021 and\r\nMarch 16, 2021 regarding the discovery. (Mot., Miller Decl., ¶ Exh. B.) Despite\r\nproper notice, Plaintiff has not served responses nor paid the sanctions\r\nawarded by the Court. (Mot., Miller Decl., ¶ 6.)

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The Court also recently granted Defendant’s motion to\r\ncompel Plaintiff’s deposition and awarded sanctions against Plaintiff in the\r\namount of $644.95. (5/3/21 Minute Order.) Notably, Plaintiff’s counsel\r\nsubmitted a declaration in opposition of that motion explaining he lost\r\ncommunication with Plaintiff. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

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Defendant argues Plaintiff’s failure to obey the Court’s\r\ndiscovery orders demonstrate lesser sanctions are ineffective and thus a\r\nterminating sanction is appropriate. (Mot., p. 4.) Notably, Plaintiff did not\r\nfile an opposition to this Motion. Indeed, it appears that Plaintiff has\r\nwillfully abandoned this litigation and is no longer interested in prosecuting\r\nhis claim.

\r\n\r\n

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Based on the above, the Court\r\nfinds terminating sanctions are warranted. Although terminating sanctions are a\r\nharsh penalty, the evidence above demonstrates that Plaintiff’s compliance with\r\nCourt orders cannot be achieved through lesser means. However, the Court\r\ndeclines to award any further monetary sanctions as such an order would be\r\nfutile.

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V. \r\nConclusion\r\n& Order

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For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Scott Dennington’s Motion for an\r\nOrder Imposing Terminating Sanctions is GRANTED. The Complaint filed by Plaintiff\r\nCornelius Casey is HEREBY STRICKEN and this action is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.\r\nHowever, Defendant’s request for monetary sanctions is DENIED.

\r\n\r\n

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Moving party is ordered to give\r\nnotice.

\r\n\r\n

'

Case Number: 19STLC11741     Hearing Date: May 3, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO COMPEL THE DEPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Scott Dennington

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2025.450)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Scott Dennington’s Motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to appear for deposition at a time, place, and date to be noticed by Defendant. However, at either party’s election, the deposition may take place remotely as permitted by Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.310. Defendant’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $644.95 to be paid by Plaintiff only 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 30, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: None filed as of April 30, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On December 27, 2019, Plaintiff Cornelius Casey (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Scott Dennington (“Defendant”). Defendant filed his Answer on March 2, 2020.

On August 25, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel the Deposition of Plaintiff and Request for Sanctions (the “Motion”) which was originally scheduled for hearing for February 17, 2021. On February 16, due to the Court’s unavailability, the Court continued the hearing to March 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (2/16/21 Minute Order.) Defendant was ordered to give notice of the continuance. (Id.)

At the initial March 3, 2021 hearing, the Court found that Defendant’s evidence demonstrated he was entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff for deposition. (3/3/21 Minute Order.) Although the Court was inclined to grant the Motion, the Court found Plaintiff had not been given notice of the February 16 continuance. (Id.) For this reason, the hearing was continued. (Id.)

On March 4, Defendant filed an Amended Motion with a proof of service. Plaintiff’s counsel, Kenneth Yeager, filed a declaration on April 27. No reply brief was filed.

II. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, section (a) provides:

“If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.”

(Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (a).)

The motion must “be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition…by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (2).) A court shall impose monetary sanctions if the motion to compel is granted unless the one subject to sanctions acted with substantial justification or other circumstances would make the imposition of the sanction unjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

III. Discussion

On February 28, 2020, Defendant’s counsel served Plaintiff’s counsel with a notice of deposition scheduled for May 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Defendant’s counsel’s office. (Amended Mot., Miller Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.) Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parties rescheduled the deposition to June 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (Id. at ¶ 4, Exh. B.) Defendant’s counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel notice of the rescheduled deposition on April 13, 2020 via email. (Id.) On June 29, 2020, one day before the scheduled deposition, Plaintiff’s counsel contacted Defendant’s counsel to inform him that Plaintiff was not cooperating and to request that the deposition be rescheduled. (Id. at ¶ 5, Exh. C.) The deposition was rescheduled for August 4, 2020 and Defendant’s counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel notice of the continued deposition on July 2, 2020 via email. (Id., ¶ 7, Exhs. D, E.) On July 30, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel contacted Defendant’s counsel to inform him he had lost contact with Plaintiff and therefore would not be appearing at the August 4 deposition. (Id. at ¶ 8, Exh. F.) Plaintiff did not appear for the properly noticed August 4 deposition. (Id. at ¶ 9, Exh. G.) Defendant served notice for a second deposition scheduled for October 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (Id. at ¶ 10, Exh. H.) On October 21, Plaintiff’s counsel requested a continuance because he still had not heard from Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶ 11, Exh. I.) The deposition was continued to December 28, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 12, Exh. J.) Defendant’s counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel an email the morning of December 28 regarding the deposition. (Id. at ¶ 13, Exh. K.) Plaintiff’s counsel’s office stated Plaintiff still was not cooperating and advised that Defendant’s counsel should proceed with a certificate of non-appearance. (Id.) Plaintiff did not appear for the December 28 deposition. (Id.)

Defendant’s evidence demonstrates he is entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to appear for deposition.

Defendant also requests sanctions against Plaintiff. 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).) In addition, a court shall impose monetary sanctions if a motion to compel a deposition is granted unless the one subject to sanctions acted with substantial justification or other circumstances would make the imposition of the sanction unjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

The Court finds Plaintiff’s failure to appear for deposition a misuse of the discovery process. The imposition of sanctions is also mandatory under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450 as Plaintiff has not presented any argument demonstrating sanctions would be unjust.

Defendant seeks sanctions of $1,344.95, based on 5 hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 per hour, one deposition “no-show” appearance fee of $275.00, and filing fees of $69.95. (Amended Mot., Miller Decl., ¶ 15.) However, Defendant’s request is excessive given the simplicity of this Motion and the lack of opposition and reply. The Court finds $644.95, based on 1.5 hours of attorney time, one no-show fee, and filing fees of $69.95, to be reasonable.

On April 27, Plaintiff’s counsel filed a declaration explaining he lost communication with his client and has not been able to re-establish contact. (4/27/21 Yeager Decl., ¶ 2.) Counsel requests that no sanctions be imposed on himself or his office. (Id.) Sanctions are to be paid by Plaintiff only.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Scott Dennington’s Motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to appear for deposition at a time, place, and date to be noticed by Defendant. However, at either party’s election, the deposition may take place remotely as permitted by Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.310. Defendant’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $644.95 to be paid by Plaintiff only within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC11741    Hearing Date: January 05, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., January 5, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Casey v. Dennington COMP. FILED: 12-27-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC11741 DISC. C/O: 05-26-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 06-10-21

TRIAL DATE: 06-25-21

PROCEEDINGS: (1) MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING PLAINTIFF TO ANSWER SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND PAY COSTS AND SANCTIONS

(2) MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING PLAINTIFF TO RESPOND TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, AND PAY COSTS AND SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Scott Dennington

RESP. PARTY: None

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

(CCP §§ 2030.290, 2031.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Scott Dennington’s unopposed Motions are GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified responses without objections to Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. Defendant’s requests for sanctions are also GRANTED in the amount of $538.00 to be paid 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 December 31, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of December 31, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On December 27, 2019, Plaintiff Cornelius Casey (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Scott Dennington (“Defendant”). Defendant filed his Answer on March 2, 2020.

On July 6, 2020, Defendant filed the instant (1) Motion for Order Compelling Plaintiff to Answer Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Pay Costs and Sanctions and (2) Motion for Order Compelling Plaintiff to Respond to Demand for Production, Set One, and Pay Costs and Sanctions (collectively, the “Motions”). To date, no oppositions have been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

  1. Request for Production and Special 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’s counsel served Plaintiff with Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, on February 28, 2020 via regular mail. (Motions, Miller Decl., ¶¶ 2, Exhs. A.) Although not statutorily required, Defendant’s counsel attempted to meet and confer with Plaintiff’s counsel on April 29, 2020, May 18, 2020, and June 10, 2020, regarding the lack of discovery responses without success. (Id. at ¶¶ 3-5.) As of the date of this Motion, Plaintiff has not provided any responses to the discovery. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Thus, Defendant is entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, 2031.300.)

  1. 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 a total of $2,138.00 in sanctions, based on 10 hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 per hour and two filing fees of $69.00. (Motions, Miller Decl., ¶ 7.) However, the amount sought is excessive given the simplicity of the Motions and the lack of opposition and reply. The Court finds $538.00, based on two hours of attorney time and costs of $138.00, 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 Scott Dennington’s unopposed Motions are GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified responses without objections to Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. Defendant’s requests for sanctions are also GRANTED in the amount of $538.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC11741    Hearing Date: January 04, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Mon., January 4, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Casey v. Dennington COMP. FILED: 12-27-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC11741 DISC. C/O: 05-26-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 06-10-21

TRIAL DATE: 06-25-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING PLAINTIFF TO ANSWER FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND PAY COSTS AND SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Scott Dennington

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2030.290)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Scott Dennington’s Motion for Order Compelling Plaintiff to Answer Form Interrogatories, Set One, is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified responses without objections to the discovery within thirty (30) days’ notice of this order. Defendant’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $269.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days’ 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 December 30, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of December 30, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On December 27, 2019, Plaintiff Cornelius Casey (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Scott Dennington (“Defendant”). Defendant filed his Answer on March 2, 2020.

On July 6, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion for Order Compelling Plaintiff to Answer Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Pay Costs and Sanctions (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

  1. Form Interrogatories

A party must respond to interrogatories within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories 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).) 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).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.020, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., 2030.290.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

Here, Defendant’s counsel served Plaintiff with Form Interrogatories, Set One, on February 28, 2020 via regular mail. (Mot., Miller Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.) Although not statutorily required, Defendant’s counsel attempted to meet and confer with Plaintiff’s counsel on April 29, 2020, May 18, 2020, and June 10, 2020, without success. (Id. at ¶¶ 3-5.) As of the date of this Motion, Plaintiff has not provided any responses to the Form Interrogatories. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Thus, Defendant is entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290.)

  1. 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 a total of $1,060.00 in sanctions, based on 5 hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 per hour and costs of $69.00 incurred in filing this Motion. (Mot., Miller Decl., ¶ 7.) However, the amount sought is excessive given the simplicity of this Motion and the lack of opposition and reply. The Court finds $269.00, based on one hour of attorney time and costs of $69.00, 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 Scott Dennington’s Motion for Order Compelling Plaintiff to Answer Form Interrogatories, Set One, is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified responses without objections to the discovery within thirty (30) days’ notice of this order. Defendant’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $269.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days’ notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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