This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/19/2020 at 06:20:07 (UTC).

DONAT RICKETTS VS POWER BAIL BONDS,

Case Summary

On 06/14/2019 DONAT RICKETTS filed a Contract - Business lawsuit against POWER BAIL BONDS. 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 Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******5643

  • Filing Date:

    06/14/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

RICKETTS DONAT

Defendant

POWER BAIL BONDS

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

TORRES STEPHANIE

Court Documents

Court documents are not available for this case.

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/17/2022
  • Hearing06/17/2022 at 10:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 12/11/2020
  • Hearing12/11/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 01/24/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Proof of Personal Service: Filed By: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff); Result: Stricken; Result Date: 01/24/2020; As To Parties changed from Power Bail Bonds, (Defendant) to Power Bail Bonds, (Defendant)

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  • 01/24/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Ruling on Submitted Matter)

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  • 01/24/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Ruling on Submitted Matter) of 01/24/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/13/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons)

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  • 01/13/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons scheduled for 01/13/2020 at 10:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 01/13/2020; Result Type to Held - Taken under Submission

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  • 01/03/2020
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Power Bail Bonds, (Defendant)

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  • 10/17/2019
  • DocketProof of Service (Sister State Judgment); Filed by: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff); As to: Power Bail Bonds, (Defendant); Service Date: 10/09/2019

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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24 More Docket Entries
  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketRequest to Waive Additional Court Fees (Superior Court); Filed by: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Donat Ricketts (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/11/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC05643    Hearing Date: January 13, 2020    Dept: 94

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Power Bail Bonds’s Motion to Quash Service of Summons and Complaint is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS:

On June 14, 2019, Plaintiff Donat Ricketts (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for unlawful business practices against Defendant Power Bail Bonds (“Defendant”). Multiple requests for entry of default by Plaintiff were rejected by the Court from July to September or 2019. On September 25, 2019, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Quash Service of Summons and Complaint. Plaintiff filed an opposition on October 8, 2019. To date, no reply has been filed.

Challenge to Service

“When a defendant challenges the court’s personal jurisdiction on the ground of improper service of process ‘the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the existence of jurisdiction by proving, inter alia, the facts requisite to an effective service.’” (Summers v. McClanahan (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 403, 413.) A proof of service containing a declaration from a registered process server invokes a presumption of valid service. (See American Express Centurion Bank v. Zara (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 383, 390; see also Evid. Code § 647.) This presumption is rebuttable. (See id.) The party seeking to defeat service of process must present sufficient evidence to show that the service did not take place as stated. (See Palm Property Investments, LLC v. Yadegar (2011) 194 Cal.App.4th 1419, 1428; cf. People v. Chavez (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 1471, 1483 [“If some fact be presumed, the opponent of that fact bears the burden of producing or going forward with evidence sufficient to overcome or rebut the presumed fact.”].) Merely denying service took place without more is insufficient to overcome the presumption. (See Yadegar, supra, 194 Cal.App.4th at 1428.)

Plaintiff has filed three proofs of service with respect to the Summons and Complaint, none of which is sworn by a registered process server and none of which comply with the statutory requirements. The first proof of service was filed on June 26, 2019 using Judicial Council Form POS-040. Form POS-040 expressly states that it is not for demonstrating service of the Summons and Complaint. On July 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed a request for entry of default that was rejected on July 30, 2019. The notice of rejection also expressly points out that the June 26, 2019 proof of service was on the incorrect form and informed Plaintiff that Judicial Council Form POS-010 must be used.

The second proof of service was filed on August 15, 2019 using the correct form and indicating substitute service on Defendant. This was apparently accomplished by leaving the papers with “Pikkie (Office Manager)” at 931 N. Vignes Street, #204, Los Angeles, California on June 16, 2019 at 11:45 am. (Proof of Service, filed 8/15/19, ¶¶3-5.) This proof of service, however, was not accompanied by a declaration of diligence showing multiple attempts at personal service prior to substitute service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 415.20.) Nor was it accompanied by a declaration of mailing, which is also required for effective substitute service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 415.20.)

The third proof of service was filed on September 13, 2019 and indicated that Defendant was personally served based on the same delivery described in the proof of substitute service. (Proof of Service, filed 9/13/19, ¶¶3-5.) The contradiction was not explained in the third proof of service, which was signed by the same person who signed the proof of substitute service: Jonathan Conway. (Id. at ¶7.) This proof of service also incorrectly selected two options under paragraph 6, “Notice to person served.” (Id. at ¶6.)

Defendant argues that it was never validly served, either personally or by substitute service. It provides the declaration of its General Counsel, Ben Llaneta, who states that Defendant’s corporate headquarters are in Riverside County and its process server has been served with the pleadings in this action. (Motion, Llaneta Decl., ¶¶2-4.) This evidence is sufficient to place the burden of proof on Plaintiff regarding proper service of the Summons and Complaint. Plaintiff, however, does not offer evidence of compliance with the service requirements. He contends in opposition that the requests for entry of default were rejected for unlawful reasons, but cites to no authority. Nor does he demonstrate that service of the Summons and Complaint by leaving the papers with “Pikkie” on June 16, 2019 satisfied the requirements for substitute service. No information is provided regarding Pikkie’s authority to accept service on Defendant’s behalf other than that he appears to be an employee at one of Defendant’s offices. (Opp., Ricketts Decl., ¶¶3-4.) Nor does Plaintiff demonstrate that he sought to personally serve Defendant prior to substitute service. (Id. at ¶¶1-5.)

Defendant, therefore, has demonstrated that no service of the Summons and Complaint has been accomplished pursuant to the statutory requirements.

Timing of Motion

“A defendant, on or before the last day of his or her time to plead or within any further time that the court may for good cause allow, may serve and file a notice of motion for one or more of the following purposes: To quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over him or her.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 418.10, subd. (a)(1), emphasis added.) A defendant has 30 days after the service of the summons to file a responsive pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 412.20, subd. (a)(3).)

Defendant presents evidence that it only learned of this action in September 2019. (Motion, Llaneta Decl., ¶5.) Plaintiff contention that he mailed the requests for entry of default to Defendant’s Los Angeles office in July, August, and September 2019 does not demonstrate that an authorized agent of the entity was made aware of this action as a result. (Opp., Ricketts Decl., ¶7.) Good cause exists for the timing of the instant Motion to Quash.

Conclusion

Defendant Power Bail Bonds’ Motion to Quash Service of the Summons and Complaint is GRANTED.

Court clerk to give notice.