This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/25/2020 at 06:12:09 (UTC).

DAKOTA FINANCIAL, LLC VS TIGER TRANS INC., ET AL.

Case Summary

On 01/15/2019 DAKOTA FINANCIAL, LLC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against TIGER TRANS 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 WENDY CHANG. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0009

  • Filing Date:

    01/15/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

DAKOTA FINANCIAL LLC

Defendants

TIGER TRANS INC.

SINGH HARSIMRAN

KAUR GURPREET

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SCOTT MARK

Defendant Attorney

NIERMEYER LAWRENCE

 

Court Documents

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

9/8/2020: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

9/21/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale - Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale

6/1/2020: Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale - Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale

Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest - Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest

6/1/2020: Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest - Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest

Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale - Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale

6/1/2020: Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale - Application for Issuance of Writ of Execution, Possession or Sale

Motion for Attorney Fees - Motion for Attorney Fees

4/1/2020: Motion for Attorney Fees - Motion for Attorney Fees

Order (name extension) - Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment in Favor of Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC Against Defendants Tiger Trans Inc., Gurpreet Kaur and Harsimran Singh

3/17/2020: Order (name extension) - Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment in Favor of Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC Against Defendants Tiger Trans Inc., Gurpreet Kaur and Harsimran Singh

Judgment - Judgment Against Defendants

3/17/2020: Judgment - Judgment Against Defendants

Notice of Lodging (name extension) - Notice of Lodging Order and Proposed Judgment

2/28/2020: Notice of Lodging (name extension) - Notice of Lodging Order and Proposed Judgment

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)

2/19/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment)

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Matthew Jacobs in Support of Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment or Alternatively, Summary Adjudication of Issues Against Defend

11/27/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Matthew Jacobs in Support of Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment or Alternatively, Summary Adjudication of Issues Against Defend

Notice (name extension) - Notice OF CHANGE HEARING DATE ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, ALTERNATIVELY, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES

9/6/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice OF CHANGE HEARING DATE ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, ALTERNATIVELY, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

7/12/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

4/19/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice (name extension) - Notice Plaintiff's Summary of Case Submitted for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendants Tiger Trans Inc., Gurpreet Kaur and Harsimran Singh

4/19/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice Plaintiff's Summary of Case Submitted for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendants Tiger Trans Inc., Gurpreet Kaur and Harsimran Singh

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

3/13/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

General Denial - General Denial

3/18/2019: General Denial - General Denial

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

2/4/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

46 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketAbstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Issued by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/25/2020
  • DocketAmended Judgment Against Defendants; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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  • 09/25/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Amended Judgment Against Defendants: Status changed from Filed to Signed and Filed

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  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion for Attorney Fees: Filed By: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 09/21/2020

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  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

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  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Attorney Fees scheduled for 09/21/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 09/21/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 09/14/2020
  • DocketReply TO DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES TO BE INCLUDED IN JUDGMENT; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/08/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by: Tiger Trans Inc. (Defendant); Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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  • 07/16/2020
  • DocketWrit of Execution (Orange); Issued by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Tiger Trans Inc. (Defendant); Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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67 More Docket Entries
  • 02/04/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Service Date: 01/24/2019; Service Cost: 50.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/18/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/14/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Tiger Trans Inc. (Defendant); Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Tiger Trans Inc. (Defendant); Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Tiger Trans Inc. (Defendant); Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Dakota Financial, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Tiger Trans Inc. (Defendant); Gurpreet Kaur (Defendant); Harsimran Singh (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC00009    Hearing Date: September 21, 2020    Dept: 26

Dakota Financial, Inc. v. Trans Tiger, Inc., et al.

MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

(CCP §§ 1032, 1033.5; Civil Code § 1717)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Dakota Financial, Inc.’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,474.55 ATTORNEY’S FEES AND $1,100.00 COSTS.

ANALYSIS:

On January 15, 2019, Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action against Defendants Tiger Trans, Inc., Gurpreet Kaur, and Harsimran Singh for breach of written lease agreement and breach of guaranty. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that on March 21, 2018 Plaintiff and Defendant Tiger Trans entered into a written lease agreement (“the Lease”) of a motor vehicle (“the Subject Vehicle”) whereby Defendant Tiger Trans was to make monthly payments of $2,995.00 for 36 months. (Compl., ¶8 and Exh. 1.) Defendants Kaur and Singh allegedly entered into a written guaranty of Defendant Trans Tiger’s commitments under the Lease. (Id. at ¶14 and Exh. 2.)

Although Plaintiff obtained entry of default against Defendants, on June 19, 2019 the parties stipulated to set aside the entries of default. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Adjudication that was set for hearing on November 4, 2019, but then took the motion off calendar. On November 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed a second Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Adjudication that the Court granted on February 19, 2020. Judgment was entered in Plaintiff’s favor on March 17, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Attorney’s Fees on April 1, 2020. Defendants filed an opposition on September 8, 2020.

Discussion

A prevailing party in entitled to recover costs, including attorneys’ fees when authorized by contract. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1032, subd. (a)(4); § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10)(A).) Similarly, Code of Civil Procedure section 1717 provides that attorneys’ fees and costs shall be awarded to the prevailing party in an action on a contract, where the contract specifically provides for attorneys’ fees and costs. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1717, subd. (a).)

A motion for attorneys’ fees must be filed and served with the time for filing a notice of appeal under Cal. Rules of Court Rule 8.822. (Cal. Rules of Court Rule 3.1702(a).) Cal. Rules of Court Rule 8.822 states that an attorneys’ fees motion must be filed within either (1) 30 days after the trial court clerk served the party filing the motion with notice of entry of judgment; or (2) 90 days after entry of judgment. (Cal. Rules of Court 8.822(1).) Here, judgment was entered on March 17, 2020 and the instant motion was timely filed on April 1, 2020.

Entitlement to Attorney’s Fees

The Court finds that Plaintiff is the prevailing party in this action, as the party that prevailed on the Motion for Summary Judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1032, subd. (a)(4).) Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to recover its attorneys’ fees and costs if so provided in the contract at issue. Here, the parties’ lease and guaranty agreements provide for recovery of attorney’s fees by the prevailing party. (Motion, Scott Decl., Exhs. 2 and 3.) [NOTE: the copy of the lease and guaranty are admittedly somewhat illegible, but it seems clear that both contain standard attorney’s fees provisions.] Specifically, that Plaintiff’s remedies under the Lease following default include “all other costs or expenses paid or incurred by Lessor at any time in connection with . . . the enforcement or exercise of any of the Lessor’s rights and remedies under this Lease.” (Motion, Scott Decl., Exh. 3, ¶16, subd. (E).) Similarly, the guaranty provides that the guarantor’s obligations under the agreements include “all costs, expenses and fees, including, but not limited to, court costs and attorney’s fees arising in connection with the collection of any and all amounts, such liabilities, obligations and duties to Lessee to Lessor and any assignee of Lessor described in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this paragraph, including costs, expenses and fees arising in connection with the enforcement of this Guaranty.” (Id. at Exh. 3, p. 1 of Guaranty.)

Therefore, Plaintiff is the prevailing party and is entitled to recovery its attorney’s fees in this action.

Amount of Attorney’s Fees

Plaintiff seeks attorney’s fees of $7,474.55 based on 15.1 hours of time billed at $495.00 per hour. (Motion, Scott Decl., ¶¶4-5 and Exh. 1.) The fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the “lodestar” method, i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate. (Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49.) A computation of time spent on a case and the reasonable value of that time is fundamental to a determination of an appropriate attorneys’ fee award. The lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on consideration of factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided. (Ibid.) Such an approach anchors the trial court’s analysis to an objective determination of the value of the attorney’s services, ensuring that the amount awarded is not arbitrary. (Id., at p. 48, fn. 23.)

Plaintiff’s counsel’s hourly rate is reasonable for an attorney in Southern California who practices in business litigation. (Id. at ¶4.) Regarding the hours billed, it was more than reasonable for Plaintiff’s counsel to spent 15.1 hours on a case that was litigated for over a year and involved a contested motion for summary judgment. In fact, Plaintiff had previously obtained Defendants’ default and stipulated to set it aside. (Stip and Order, filed 6/19/19.)

To the extent Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s counsel seeks an award for duplicative work, the Court disagrees. (Opp., p. 2:7-16.) Billing time in both March and April 2019 to work on entry of default does not show that the work was duplicative. (Motion, Scott Decl., Exh. 1.) The time spent in March 2019 was for entry of default while the time spent in April 2019 reflects the filing of default judgment packet with the Court. (Request for Default Judgment, filed 4/19/19.) Nor does spending an additional two hours to revise the first motion for summary judgment duplicate the initial time spent preparing that motion. (Motion, Scott Decl., Exh. 1.) The attorney’s fees billed by Plaintiff’s counsel on this action are reasonable using a lodestar calculation.

Finally, Plaintiff requests costs of $1,100 for its filing fees in this action. (Memorandum of Costs, filed 4/1/20.) To recover a cost, it must be reasonably necessary to the litigation and reasonable in amount. (Perko’s Enterprises, Inc. v. RRNS Enterprises (l992) 4 Cal.App.4th 238, 244.) If the items appearing in a cost bill appear to be proper charges, the burden is on the party seeking to tax costs to show that they were not reasonable or necessary. (Ladas v. California State Automotive Assoc. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 761, 773-74.) The filing and service fees appear reasonable and are not challenged by a motion to tax costs.

Conclusion

Plaintiff Dakota Financial, Inc.’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,474.55 ATTORNEY’S FEES AND $1,100.00 COSTS.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC00009    Hearing Date: February 19, 2020    Dept: 26

Dakota Financial, LLC v. Tiger Trans, Inc., et al.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR ADJUDICATION

(CCP § 437c)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or in the alternative, Summary Adjudication, is GRANTED. PLAINTIFF TO FILE PROPOSED JUDGMENT WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS.

ANALYSIS:

On January 15, 2019, Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action against Defendants Tiger Trans, Inc., Gurpreet Kaur, and Harsimran Singh for breach of written lease agreement and breach of guaranty. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that on March 21, 2018 Plaintiff and Defendant Tiger Trans entered into a written lease agreement (“the Lease”) of a motor vehicle (“the Subject Vehicle”) whereby Defendant Tiger Trans was to make monthly payments of $2,995.00 for 36 months. (Compl., ¶8 and Exh. 1.) Defendants Kaur and Singh allegedly entered into a written guaranty of Defendant Trans Tiger’s commitments under the Lease. (Id. at ¶14 and Exh. 2.)

Although Plaintiff obtained entry of default against Defendants, on June 19, 2019, the parties stipulated to set aside the entries of default. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Adjudication that was set for hearing on November 4, 2019, but then took the motion off calendar. On November 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Adjudication. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Discussion

The first cause of action for breach of contract is allegedly solely against Defendant Tiger Trans. In order to prevail on a claim for breach of contract, Plaintiff must demonstrate (1) the existence of a contract; (2) plaintiff’s performance or excuse for non-performance; (3) defendant’s breach; and (4) resulting damages to plaintiff. (Coles v. Glaser (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 384, 391 (citing Hamilton v. Greenwich Investors XXVI, LLC (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1602, 1614.)

Plaintiff moves for summary judgment, or in the alternative, summary adjudication of the Complaint’s cause of action for breach of contract on the grounds that it is undisputed Defendant Tiger Trans defaulted under the Lease by failing to make payment in October 31, 2018 and thereafter, resulting in damages to Plaintiff. Plaintiff presents the following evidence:

Plaintiff and Defendant Tiger Trans entered into the Lease of the Subject Vehicle. (Motion, Separate Statement of Facts, No. 1; Jacobs Decl., ¶7 and Exhs. 1-2.) Under the Lease, Defendant Tiger Trans agreed to make monthly payments of $2,995.00 for 36 months. (Motion, Separate Statement of Facts, No. 2; Jacobs Decl., ¶8 and Exh. 1.) The Lease also provided that late charges would accrue if payment was not made when due, and if payment was not made when due or any other default event occurred, Plaintiff could declare Defendant in default. (Motion, Separate Statement of Facts, No. 2; Jacobs Decl., ¶8 and Exh. 1.) Plaintiff could then recover all past due payments owed under the Lease, plus the present value of all unpaid lease payments for the remainder of the term and the present value of Plaintiff’s anticipated residual interest in the Vehicle, plus all other amounts due or that become due. (Motion, Separate Statement of Facts, No. 2; Jacobs Decl., ¶8 and Exh. 1.)

Plaintiff performed all its obligations under the Lease and Defendant Tiger Trans defaulted by failing to make payments due in October 2018 and thereafter. (Motion, Separate Statement of Facts, Nos. 4-5; Jacobs Decl., ¶¶10-11 and Exh. 5.) Plaintiff exercised its option under the Lease to accelerate the unpaid balance. (Motion, Separate Statement of Fact, No. 6; Jacobs Decl., ¶12 and Exh. 5.) After applying the insurance proceeds (after the Vehicle was totaled in an accident) and deposit, $20,250.39 remains owing on the Lease. (Motion, Separate Statement of Fact, No. 8; Jacobs Decl., ¶7 and Exh. 7.)

Finally, Plaintiff presents evidence that Defendants Kaur and Singh entered into a written guaranty of Defendant Trans Tiger’s commitments under the Lease. (Motion, Separate Statement of Fact, No. 3; Jacobs Decl., ¶3 and Exhs. 3-4.) Despite demand, Defendants have refused to pay Plaintiff the amount owed. (Motion, Separate Statement of Fact, No. 7; Jacobs Decl., ¶13 and Exh. 6.)

Based on the evidence presented, Plaintiff has carried its initial burden of proof to demonstrate the existence of a breach of the parties’ Lease and guaranty agreements. The burden now shifts to Defendants to create a triable issue of material fact regarding Plaintiff’s inability to prove the elements of its causes of action or the viability of an affirmative defense. As no opposition has been filed, however, Defendants have not met their burden.

Plaintiff Dakota Financial, LLC’s Motion for Summary Judgment, or in the alternative, Summary Adjudication, is GRANTED. Plaintiff to file proposed judgment within ten (10) days.

Moving party to give notice.