This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/06/2020 at 13:57:05 (UTC).

ELSA RUIZ-DE-CHAVEZ VS STATE OF CALIFORNIA, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 12/31/2019 ELSA RUIZ-DE-CHAVEZ filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against STATE OF CALIFORNIA. 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:

    *******1824

  • Filing Date:

    12/31/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

RUIZ-DE-CHAVEZ ELSA

Defendants

STATE OF CALIFORNIA

KEESHAN OFFICER

CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL

WILDE JARED DAVID

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

YEAGER KENNETH

Defendant Attorneys

DIAMOND ALEXIS

CHU-FUJITA BETTY

 

Court Documents

Motion for Reconsideration - Motion for Reconsideration

8/31/2020: Motion for Reconsideration - Motion for Reconsideration

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

8/20/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

8/21/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

6/17/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Order to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories Set One

7/15/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Order to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories Set One

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Order to Compel Responses to Request for Documents

7/15/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Order to Compel Responses to Request for Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

5/12/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 05/12/2020

5/12/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 05/12/2020

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

4/16/2020: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

4/16/2020: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

4/16/2020: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Answer - Answer

2/21/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

2/11/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

1/30/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

12/31/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint - Complaint

12/31/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

12/31/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

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

12/31/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

10 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/03/2023
  • Hearing01/03/2023 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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  • 06/29/2021
  • Hearing06/29/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 03/15/2021
  • Hearing03/15/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Reconsideration

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  • 09/01/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Reconsideration scheduled for 03/15/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/31/2020
  • DocketMotion for Reconsideration; Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/28/2020
  • DocketAmendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff); As to: Jared David Wilde (Defendant)

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  • 08/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: State of California, acting by and through the California Highway Patrol Erroneously Sued As State of California (Defendant)

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  • 08/20/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

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  • 08/20/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/20/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 08/20/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 08/20/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") scheduled for 08/20/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 08/20/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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17 More Docket Entries
  • 01/30/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff); As to: State of California (Defendant); Service Date: 01/23/2020; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/30/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff); As to: California Highway Patrol (Defendant); Service Date: 01/23/2020; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/29/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/03/2023 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff); As to: State of California (Defendant); California Highway Patrol (Defendant); Officer Keeshan (Defendant)

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff); As to: State of California (Defendant); California Highway Patrol (Defendant); Officer Keeshan (Defendant)

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Elsa Ruiz-De-Chavez (Plaintiff); As to: State of California (Defendant); California Highway Patrol (Defendant); Officer Keeshan (Defendant)

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC11824    Hearing Date: August 20, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., August 20, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Ruiz de Chavez v. State of California, et al. COMPL. FILED: 12-31-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC11824 DISC. C/O: 05-30-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 06-14-21

TRIAL DATE: 06-29-21

PROCEEDINGS: (1) MOTION FOR ORDER ESTABLISHING ADMISSIONS AND FOR SANCTIONS

(2) MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE, AND SANCTIONS

(3) MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING RESPONSE TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendants State of California, acting by and through the California Highway Patrol, and Officer Keeshan

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Elsa Ruiz de Chavez

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION AND INTERROGATORIES; MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290, 2031.300, 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants’ (1) Motion for Order Establishing Admissions, (2) Motion for Order Compelling Response to Request for Production, and (3) Motion for Order Compelling Response to Form Interrogatories, are GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to serve responses without objections to the Request for Production and Form Interrogatories within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Defendants’ request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $440.00 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: Filed on July 15, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: None filed as of August 18, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On December 31, 2019, Plaintiff Elsa Ruiz-de-Chavez (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant State of California, acting by and through the California Highway Patrol (erroneously sued as the State of California and the California Highway Patrol), and Officer Keeshan (collectively, “Defendants”). On February 21, 2020, Defendants filed an Answer.

On April 16, 2020, Defendants filed the instant (1) Motion for Order Establishing Admissions and for a Sanction (the “RFA Motion”), (2) Motion for Order Compelling Response to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Imposing a Sanction (the “Interrogatories Motion”), and (3) Motion for Order Compelling Response to Request for Production, Set One, and Imposing a Sanction (the “Production Motion”) (collectively, the “Motions”). On July 15, 2020, Plaintiff filed an opposition to each discovery Motion. To date, no reply briefs have been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Requests for Admission

A party must respond to requests for admissions within 30 days after service of such requests. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.250, subd. (a).) “If a party to whom requests for admission are directed fails to serve a timely response…(a) [that party] waives any objection to the requests, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (a).) “The requesting party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7.” (Id. at subd. (b).) A motion dealing with the failure to respond, rather than with inadequate responses, does not require the requesting party to meet and confer with the responding party. (Deymer v. Costa Mesa Mobile Home Estates (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 393, 395, fn. 4 [disapproved on other grounds in Wilcox v. Birtwhistle (1999) 21 Cal.4th 973]. There is no time limit within which a motion to have matters deemed admitted must be made. (Brigante v. Huang (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 1569, 1585.)

Here, Defendants served Plaintiff with Requests for Admissions, Set One, on February 11, 2020, via regular mail. (RFA Motion, Diamond Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.) Although not statutorily required, Defendants’ counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel a letter regarding the lack of responses to their discovery requests. (Id. at ¶ 6, Exh. B.) As of the date of this Motion, Plaintiff had not provided any responses to the Request for Admissions. (Id. at ¶ 7.) In her opposition, filed, dated, and served on July 15, 2020, Plaintiff argues that Defendants’ RFA Motion is moot because she “filed complete responses to Defendant’s [sic] Request for Admissions, Set One on or about July 17, 2020.” (RFA Oppo., p. 1:22-24.) (Italics added.) However, the record does not reflect Plaintiff filed any responses with the Court. In addition, Plaintiff’s opposition is wholly unsupported, as it does not include a copy of the discovery responses purportedly filed or served or a declaration from counsel attesting to the service.

Thus, Defendants are entitled to an order deeming the Requests for Admissions admitted against Plaintiff. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280.)

B. Form Interrogatories and Requests for Production

 

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.)

Defendants served Plaintiff with Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Production, Set One, on February 11, 2020 via regular mail. (Interrogatories Mot. & Production Mot., Diamond Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.) Although not required, on April 1, 2020, Defendants’ counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel a letter regarding the lack of discovery responses. (Id. at ¶ 4, Exh. B.) As of the date of this Motion, Plaintiff had not provided any responses to the Form Interrogatories or Request for Production. (Id. at ¶ 5.) As with the RFA Motion, Plaintiff argues that Defendants’ Production Motion and Interrogatories Motion are moot because she filed complete responses to the discovery requests on or about July 17, 2020. (Interrogatories Oppo & Production Oppo., p. 1:22-24.) (Italics added.) However, the record does not reflect Plaintiff filed any responses with the Court. In addition, Plaintiff’s opposition is wholly unsupported, as it does not include a copy of the discovery responses purportedly filed or served, or a declaration from counsel attesting to the service.

Thus, Defendants are entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses to Form Interrogatories and Request for Production without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290; 2031.300.)

C. 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 to submit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) Furthermore, it is “mandatory that the Court impose a monetary sanction…on the party or attorney, or both, whose failure to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitated this motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

The Court finds Plaintiff’s failure to respond to Defendants’ discovery requests a misuse of the discovery process. In addition, the Court is required to impose a monetary sanction on Plaintiff for her failure to respond to the Request for Admissions under Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (c).

Defendants’ counsel requests a total of $1,980.00, which includes nine hours of attorney time billed at $220.00 per hour. (RFA Mot., Diamond Decl., ¶ 8; Interrogatories Mot. & Production Mot., ¶ 6.) However, the amount sought is excessive given the simplicity of these nearly identical motions and the lack of reply. The Court finds $440.00, based on two hours of attorney time, 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, Defendants’ (1) Motion for Order Establishing Admissions, (2) Motion for Order Compelling Response to Request for Production, and (3) Motion for Order Compelling Response to Form Interrogatories, are GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to serve responses without objections to the Request for Production and Form Interrogatories within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Defendants’ request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $440.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.