This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/05/2021 at 10:03:32 (UTC).

DAVIDSON LISA VS JIFFY LUBE INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Case Summary

On 11/24/2020 DAVIDSON LISA filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against JIFFY LUBE INTERNATIONAL, 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 JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******9873

  • Filing Date:

    11/24/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

LISA DAVIDSON

Defendant

JIFFY LUBE INTERNATIONAL INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

DAVIDSON PERRIN

Defendant Attorney

CHAMMAS JACK

 

Court Documents

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

8/17/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions) of 08/17/2021

8/17/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions) of 08/17/2021

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to motion for sanctions

8/4/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to motion for sanctions

Reply (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Sanctions

8/10/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Sanctions

Objection (name extension) - Objection Defendant's Evidentiary Objections to Declaration of Perrin Davidson

8/10/2021: Objection (name extension) - Objection Defendant's Evidentiary Objections to Declaration of Perrin Davidson

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Jack Chammas in support of Motion for Sanctions

3/26/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Jack Chammas in support of Motion for Sanctions

Motion for Sanctions - Motion for Sanctions

3/26/2021: Motion for Sanctions - Motion for Sanctions

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

3/26/2021: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Elias Najjar in Support of Motion for Sanctions

3/26/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Elias Najjar in Support of Motion for Sanctions

Answer - Answer

2/2/2021: Answer - Answer

Complaint - Complaint

11/24/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

11/24/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

11/24/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

11/24/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

11/24/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

3 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/28/2023
  • Hearing11/28/2023 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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  • 05/24/2022
  • Hearing05/24/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 08/17/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

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  • 08/17/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions) of 08/17/2021; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/17/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 08/17/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 08/17/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 08/10/2021
  • DocketReply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Sanctions; Filed by: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/10/2021
  • DocketObjection Defendant's Evidentiary Objections to Declaration of Perrin Davidson; Filed by: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/04/2021
  • DocketOpposition to motion for sanctions; Filed by: Davidson Lisa (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/26/2021
  • DocketMotion for Sanctions; Filed by: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant); As to: Davidson Lisa (Plaintiff); Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 03/26/2021
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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6 More Docket Entries
  • 03/26/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 08/17/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/25/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 05/24/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 11/25/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 11/28/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 11/25/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 11/24/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Davidson Lisa (Plaintiff); As to: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/24/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Davidson Lisa (Plaintiff); As to: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/24/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Davidson Lisa (Plaintiff); As to: Jiffy Lube International, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/24/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 11/24/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: 20STLC09873 Hearing Date: August 17, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION\r\nFOR SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO CCP § 128.7

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MOVING PARTY: Defendant\r\nJiffy Lube International, Inc.

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RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Lisa Davidson

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MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

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(CCP § 128.7)

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TENTATIVE RULING:

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Defendant Jiffy Lube International,\r\nInc.’s Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to CCP § 128.7 is DENIED.

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SERVICE: \r\n

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

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

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

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OPPOSITION: Filed on August 4, 2021 [ ]\r\nLate [ ]\r\nNone

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REPLY: Filed on August\r\n10, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

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ANALYSIS:

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I. \r\nBackground

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On November 24, 2020, Plaintiff Lisa Davidson\r\n(“Plaintiff”) filed an action against Jiffy Lube International, Inc.\r\n(“Defendant”) alleging violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Defendant\r\nfiled an Answer on February 2, 2021.

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Thereafter, on May 26, 2021, Defendant filed the instant\r\nMotion for Sanctions Pursuant to CCP §128.7 (the “Motion”). Plaintiff filed an\r\nopposition on August 4 and Defendant filed a reply brief on August 10.

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

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Defendant’s request for judicial notice of the Complaint\r\nPlaintiff filed in this action is GRANTED. (Evid. Code, § 452, subd. (d).)

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III. \r\nLegal\r\nStandard

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An attorney or unrepresented party\r\nwho presents a motion to the court makes an implied certification as to its\r\nlegal and factual merit, which is subject to sanctions for violation of this\r\ncertification under Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7. (Murphy v. Yale Materials Handling Corp.\r\n(1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 619, 623.) The Court may impose sanctions for conduct\r\nthat violates any one of the requirements set forth in Code of Civil Procedure\r\nsection 128.7, subdivision (b). (Eichenbaum\r\nv. Alon (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 967, 976.)

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Code of Civil Procedure section\r\n128.7, subdivision (b) provides:

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(b) By presenting to the court,\r\nwhether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating, a pleading,\r\npetition, written notice of motion, or other similar paper, an attorney or\r\nunrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person’s knowledge,\r\ninformation, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the\r\ncircumstances, all of the following conditions are met:

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(1) It is not being presented\r\nprimarily for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary\r\ndelay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

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(2) The claims, defenses, and other\r\nlegal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a non-frivolous\r\nargument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the\r\nestablishment of new law.

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(3) The allegations and other\r\nfactual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified,\r\nare likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for\r\nfurther investigation or discovery.

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(4) The denials of factual\r\ncontentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified,\r\nare reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.

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Only “an attorney or unrepresented\r\nparty may be sanctioned” under the statute. (In re Marriage of Reese & Guy (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th 1214,\r\n1221.)

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“Under section 128.7, a court may\r\nimpose sanctions if it concludes a pleading was filed for an improper purpose\r\nor was indisputably without merit, either legally or factually. [Citation.]” (Bucur v. Ahmad (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th\r\n175, 189.) “A claim is factually frivolous if it is ‘not well grounded in fact’\r\nand is legally frivolous if it is ‘not warranted by existing law or a good\r\nfaith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.’\r\n[Citation.] In either case, to obtain sanctions, the moving party must show the\r\nparty's conduct in asserting the claim was objectively unreasonable.\r\n[Citation.] A claim is objectively unreasonable if ‘any reasonable attorney\r\nwould agree that [it] is totally and completely without merit.’ [Citations.]” (Id.) No showing of bad faith is\r\nrequired. (In re Marriage of Reese &\r\nGuy, supra, 73 Cal.App.4th at p. 1221.)

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“The\r\nCalifornia Legislature essentially sought to replicate rule 11 [of the Federal\r\nRules of Civil Procedure] when it enacted section 128.7.” (Musaelian v. Adams (2009) 45 Cal.4th 512, 518, fn. 2.) As a result,\r\nfederal case law construing rule 11 is persuasive authority on the meaning of Code\r\nof Civil Procedure section 128.7. (Guillemin\r\nv. Stein (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 156, 167.) Under rule 11, even though an\r\naction may not be frivolous when it is filed, it may become so if\r\nlater-acquired evidence refutes the findings of a prefiling investigation and\r\nthe attorney continues to file papers supporting the client's claims. (See Childs v. State Farm Mutual Automobile\r\nInsurance Company (5th Cir. 1994) 29 F.3d 1018, 1024-1026.) As a\r\nresult, a plaintiff's attorney cannot “just cling tenaciously to the\r\ninvestigation he had done at the outset of the litigation and bury his head in\r\nthe sand.” (Id. at 1025.)

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

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IV. \r\nDiscussion

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Plaintiff filed an action alleging violations of the\r\nUnruh Civil Rights Act against Defendant. In pertinent part, she alleges (1)\r\nthat Plaintiff has Parkinson’s disease, which substantially limits her\r\nmobility; (2) that Defendant “does business at the location where the violation\r\noccurred, to wit, 1695 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362” (the\r\n“Premises”); (3) that Defendant “has been the real property owner(s), business\r\noperator(s), lessees and/or lessors of the real property at said address”; and\r\n(4) that Plaintiff visited the Premises on September 24, October 5, and October\r\n16, 2020, but was unable to avail herself of the business’ services due to a\r\nlack of handicap accessible compliant parking spaces. (Compl., ¶¶ 1-23.)

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A violation of any individual right under the Federal\r\nAmericans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is also a violation of California’s\r\nUnruh Act. (Civ. Code § 51, subd. (f).) Under the ADA, “[n]o individual shall\r\nbe discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal\r\nenjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or\r\naccommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who\r\nowns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.”\r\n(42 U.S.C. § 12182(a).) (Emphasis added.) A place of public accommodation\r\nincludes a service establishment. (42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(F).) Under the ADA,\r\ndiscrimination includes “a failure to remove architectural barriers…, in\r\nexisting facilities…, where such removal is readily achievable.” (42 U.S.C. §\r\n12182(b)(2)(A)(iv).)

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In the context of the ADA, to “ ‘operate’ means ‘to put\r\nor keep in operation,’ ‘to control or direct the functioning of,’ or ‘to\r\nconduct the affairs of; manage.’ ” (Lentini\r\nv. California Center for the Arts, Escondido (9th Cir. 2004) 370 F.3d 837, 849.)

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Defendant explains it has informed Plaintiff via letter\r\nand voicemail that this action was incorrectly brought against Defendant, a\r\nfranchisor, instead of against Najjar Lube Centers, Inc., (“Najjar”) the\r\nfranchisee owner and operator of the Premises. (Mot., pp. 3-4.) Despite\r\nDefendant’s efforts, it argues, Plaintiff continues to maintain this action\r\nagainst the wrong defendant. (Id.)

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A. Procedural Requirements

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Before addressing the merits of Defendants’ Motion, the\r\nCourt notes Defendant did not comply with the safe-harbor requirements of\r\nSection 128.7.

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To comply with Section 128.7’s requirements, the moving\r\nparty must serve a copy of the same exact motion that is ultimately filed with\r\nthe court no less than 21 days later. (CPF Vaseo Associates, LLC v. Gray (2018)\r\n29 Cal.App.5th 997, 1007.) In rejecting the moving party’s argument they\r\nhad “substantially complied” with the notice requirements, the court of appeals\r\nin CPF Vaseo explained:

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“ ‘ “[A]pplication of the doctrine of substantial\r\ncompliance would be inconsistent with the plain language of the ‘safe harbor’\r\nprovision.” ’ [Citations.] ‘Strict compliance with the statute’s notice\r\nprovisions serves its remedial purpose and underscores the seriousness of a\r\nmotion for sanctions.’ [Citation.] As one court aptly put it, ‘ “[c]lose” is\r\ngood enough in horseshoes and hand grenades, but not in the context of the\r\nsanctions statute.’ [Citation.]”

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(Id.)

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Defendant’s counsel provides evidence he mailed a letter\r\nto Plaintiff’s counsel on February 2, 2021. (Mot., Chammas Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.)\r\nThis letter contained a “draft” motion of the “CCP 128.7 motion” they would\r\nfile unless Plaintiff agreed to replace Defendant with Najjar within 21 days. (Id.)\r\nThe draft motion referenced a supporting declaration from Jack Chammas and\r\nBianca Roberson. (Id.) Notably, the Roberson declaration is not complete\r\nand contains several blank spaces that were not filled in. (Id.) The\r\ndraft motion includes a proof of service stating Plaintiff’s counsel was served\r\nwith the Motion on February 1, 2021 via regular mail and email. (Id.)

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In contrast, the instant Motion does not include a\r\nsupporting declaration from Bianca Roberson and instead includes declarations\r\nfrom Sonja Roberts and Elias Najjar which were not served with the draft\r\nMotion. (Mot., Decls.) The memorandum of points and authorities filed in\r\nsupport of this Motion also includes several revisions.

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Furthermore, the draft motion did not specify the date\r\nand time this Motion would be heard. (Mot., Chammas Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.)

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In Galleria Plus, Inc. v. Hanmi Bank (2009) 179\r\nCal.App.4th 535, 537, the respondent served the appellant with a purported\r\nnotice of a motion for sanctions on April 25, 2008, which stated the motion\r\nwould come for hearing “on AAA at BBB” and that it would not be filed until 21\r\ndays after it had been served, which was May 23, 2008. On June 13, the\r\nrespondent served the appellant with a motion for sanctions and filed it the\r\nsame day. (Id.) The filed motion indicated the respondent would move for\r\nsanctions on August 6, 2008, approximately 54 days later. (Id.)

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In reversing the trial court’s order granting the motion\r\nfor sanctions, the court in Galleria reasoned that “[s]trict compliance\r\nwith the statute’s notice provisions serves its remedial purpose and\r\nunderscores the seriousness of a motion for sanctions” and that the\r\nrespondent’s May 23 motion failed to specify when the motion would be heard,\r\nrendering it “fatally defective.” (Id. at p. 538.) Similarly, here, the\r\ndraft motion served on February 1 left the hearing date and time information\r\nblank. (Mot., Chammas Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.)

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Because Defendant has not strictly complied with the\r\nrequirements of Section 128.7, the Motion is DENIED.

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To the extent Plaintiff requests\r\nattorney’s fees and costs for having to oppose this Motion, the Court declines\r\nto do so. (Musaelian v. Adams (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1251, 1257-58\r\n[finding that attorney’s fees incurred in opposing a 128.7 motion are not\r\nusually awarded if there has not been a finding that the motion was frivolous,\r\nunfounded, filed for an improper purpose, or otherwise unreasonable.) There has\r\nbeen no such finding here.

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

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For the foregoing reasons, Defendant\r\nJiffy Lube International, Inc.’s Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to CCP § 128.7\r\nis DENIED.

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Moving party is ordered to give\r\nnotice.

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