On 10/09/2018 GREGORY RANDOLPH filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CAPITAL ONE AUTO FINANCE. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Other.
JON R. TAKASUGI
CAPITAL ONE AUTO FINANCE
CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL INC .
TRAPP AUTO RECOVERY INC.
MANKIN LEE PAUL IV
MICHAEL ETHAN OHAD
11/4/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling
11/23/2020: Summons - Summons Second Amended
12/8/2020: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial and Related Dates and [Proposed] Order
10/20/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint
7/30/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Nicholas Dahl ISO Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend
7/30/2020: Motion for Leave to Amend (name extension) - Motion for Leave to Amend Motion for Leave to Amend First Amended Complaint
8/7/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 08/07/2020
7/2/2020: Objection (name extension) - Objection to Proposed Order Granting Cross-Defendants Gregory Randolphs Motion for Summary Judgment
6/26/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling
8/8/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)
9/30/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service
10/4/2019: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal
4/6/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Gregory Randolph ISO Motion for Summary Judgment
4/6/2020: Separate Statement - Separate Statement
4/6/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Nicholas Dahl - Exhibit E
4/6/2020: Motion for Summary Judgment - Motion for Summary Judgment
4/6/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)
DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/09/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 07/23/2021Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/12/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 07/23/2021Read MoreRead Less
DocketOn the Amended Complaint (1st) filed by Gregory Randolph on 11/04/2020, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Gregory Randolph as to the entire actionRead MoreRead Less
DocketUpdated -- Amended Complaint (Second) (1st): Name Extension changed from (Second) to (Second) (1st)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration of Non-Service; Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketUpdated -- Amended Complaint (Second): Name Extension changed from Second to (Second); As To Parties changed from CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL , INC . (Defendant) to CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL , INC . (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketStipulation and Order to Continue Trial and Related Dates and [Proposed] Order; Signed and Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff); As to: CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL , INC . (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketPursuant to written stipulation, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 01/05/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Continued - Stipulation was rescheduled to 09/09/2021 08:30 AMRead MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by: CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL , INC . (Defendant); As to: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons Second Amended; Issued and Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketAmendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff); As to: CAPITAL AUTO FINANCIAL , INC . (Defendant); Type: Fictitious NameRead MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff); As to: Capital One Auto Finance (Defendant); Service Date: 07/01/2019; Service Cost Waived: NoRead MoreRead Less
DocketCase reassigned to Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 94 - Hon. James E. Blancarte; Reason: Inventory TransferRead MoreRead Less
DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/07/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/12/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff); As to: Capital One Auto Finance (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Gregory Randolph (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk CourthouseRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: 18STLC12791 Hearing Date: November 02, 2020 Dept: 25
HEARING DATE: Mon., November 2, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25
CASE NAME: Randolph v. Capital One Auto Finance COMPL. FILED: 10-09-18
CASE NUMBER: 18STLC12791 DISC. C/O: 12-06-20
NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 12-21-20
TRIAL DATE: 01-05-21
PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Gregory Randolph
RESP. PARTY: Defendant
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
(CCP § 473(a); CRC 3.1324)
Plaintiff Gregory Randolph’s Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s amended complaint is to be filed within ten (10) days of this order.
[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 October 20, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None
REPLY: Filed on October 26, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None
On October 9, 2018, Plaintiff Gregory Randolph (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, conversion, and negligence against Capital One Auto Finance. Plaintiff filed an amendment to the Complaint on August 8, 2019, substituting Capital One Auto Financial, Inc. (“Capital One”) for Doe 2. Capital One Auto Finance was dismissed from the action on October 4, 2019. On October 30, 2019, Capital One filed an answer and a cross-complaint against Plaintiff. Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment as to the cross-complaint on April 6, 2020, which was granted by this Court on June 25, 2020. (6/25/20 Minute Order.)
On July 30, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint (the “Motion”). Defendant filed an Opposition on October 20 and Plaintiff filed a Reply on October 26.
Leave to amend is permitted under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a), and section 576. The policy favoring amendment and resolving all matters in the same dispute is “so strong that it is a rare case in which denial of leave to amend can be justified. . . .” “Although courts are bound to apply a policy of great liberality in permitting amendments to the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial [citations], this policy should be applied only ‘where no prejudice is shown to the adverse party . . . . [citation]. A different result is indicated ‘where inexcusable delay and probable prejudice to the opposing party’ is shown. [Citation].” (Magpali v. Farmers Group (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 487.)
A motion to amend pleadings must include (1) a copy of the proposed and numbered amendment, (2) specifications by reference to pages and lines the allegations that would be deleted and added, and (3) a supporting declaration. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1324, subds. (a), (b).) The supporting declaration must specify the effect of the amendment, the necessity and propriety of the amendment, the date of discovery of facts that gave rise to the need to file an amendment, and any reasons for delay. (Id., subd. (b)(1)-(4).) (Italics added.)
Capital One opposes Plaintiff’s Motion on several grounds. First, Capital One argues Plaintiff was dilatory in filing his Motion because he knew the identity of Trapp for almost seven months before filing this Motion, because discovery has been cut-off, and because this Motion will be heard only two months before the scheduled trial. (Oppo., pp. 4:27-5:1.)
The Court is not persuaded that Plaintiff was dilatory. Plaintiff’s evidence demonstrates that, on March 16, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel requested that Defendant stipulate to allow the filing of the amended complaint. (Mot., Dahl Decl., ¶ 12.) In doing so, he informed Defendant’s counsel that new facts in Defendant’s discovery responses supported the addition of Trapp as a defendant and provided additional factual support for the remaining causes of action. (Id.) Defendant requested a copy of the proposed amended pleading on March 17, 2020, which Plaintiff’s counsel provided on March 24, 2020. (Id. at ¶¶ 13-14.) After communicating further regarding the stipulation, on April 20, 2020, Defendant’s counsel drafted and sent Plaintiff’s counsel a proposed stipulation to continue the trial date, to continue all discovery dates, and for leave to file an amended complaint. (Id. at ¶ 17, Exh. D; Reply, Dahl Decl., ¶ 31, Exh. I.)
The Court notes that a copy of the proposed stipulation was filed with Plaintiff’s reply. Generally, new evidence is not permitted in reply papers. (See Jay v. Mahaffrey (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1522, 1537-38.) However, a trial court may, in its discretion, consider additional reply evidence if the opposing party has notice and an opportunity to respond to it. (See Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co. (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 438, 449.) Given that Plaintiff’s reply was timely filed, that Defendant has not filed an objection to Plaintiff’s new evidence, and that the proposed stipulation was prepared by Defendant’s counsel, the Court exercises its discretion to consider this evidence.
The proposed stipulation states, in pertinent part:
“WHEREAS, Plaintiff would like to file a Second Amended Complaint that names a new defendant, Trapp Auto Recovery, Inc. which was previously identified as defendant “Doe 1” and amends some of the other allegations based on Plaintiff’s investigation and discovery;
WHEREAS, the Parties agree that a second amended complaint may be filed to bring necessary parties into the case and to incorporate facts and circumstances that Defendant [sic] may have uncovered during the discovery process;
WHEREAS, the Parties also seek a continuance of trial date to allow them additional time for newly added parties to respond; complete discovery; have discovery motions heard…; have dispositive motions heard; narrow the issues and streamline the case in preparation for trial; and
WHEREAS, the Parties agree that this Joint Stipulation is not brought to prejudice or delay this action…” (Reply, Dahl Decl., ¶ 31, Exh. I.)
The proposed stipulation was never signed because Defendant’s counsel later attempted to include a continuance of the hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, which was scheduled for hearing for June 25, 2020. (Mot., Dahl Decl., ¶¶ 18-20, Exh. E-G.) Defendant would not stipulate unless the hearing on the motion for summary judgment was also continued. (Id.)
Plaintiff’s counsel also explains the Motion was not filed sooner because the Court’s reservation system was taken offline in March 2020 after the pandemic-related closures. (Reply, p. 4:18-26; Dahl Decl., ¶ 32.) Due to the Court’s impacted availability, Plaintiff’s counsel exhausted informal attempts to resolve this matter before filing his Motion. (Id. at p. 5:1-3.)
The above demonstrates that Plaintiff was not dilatory in seeking to amend its Complaint. He first attempted to resolve the matter informally and then was forced to file this instant Motion when informal efforts fell through. Further, the Court recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Court’s calendar. In any event, Defendant was appraised of Plaintiff’s intention to add Trapp as a Defendant since mid-March, and as noted above, drafted a stipulation itself allowing Plaintiff to do so. (Reply, Dahl Decl., ¶ 31, Exh. I.) Notably, in its opposition, Defendant does not explain why it stipulated to allow Plaintiff to file an amended complaint in April, without raising any of the issues it raises here.
In any case, Defendant must demonstrate that it would be prejudiced by Plaintiff’s proposed amendments. Defendant argues it will suffer great prejudice if this Motion is granted because it will have to engage with a new defendant, reopen discovery, and incur more expenses in a much longer and more complicated trial. (Id. at p. 7:8-18.) In Magpali, the court found that a defendant would be prejudiced by a plaintiff’s request to add an Unruh Civil Rights violation claim to a complaint that alleged contract, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress causes of action the day before the trial was scheduled to begin. (Id. at p. 477.) In doing so, the court reasoned that the plaintiff did not give an explanation for not including the Unruh violation in the original complaint filed almost two years prior and that the defendant had not had an opportunity to gather any evidence as to the discrimination claim. (Id. at p. 486-87.) The court stated that “adding the new cause of action would have changed the tenor and complexity of the complaint from its original focus on representations and demands made to [plaintiff] by his superiors to an exploration of [defendant’s] activities and practices in the entire Southern California area.” (Id. at p. 487.)
The same is not true here. Although the Complaint was first filed in October 2018, Plaintiff learned of Trapp’s identity only after receiving discovery responses from Defendant on December 31, 2019. (Mot., p. 3:20-24; Oppo., p. 5:14-23.) In addition, the Motion was filed about five months before trial is scheduled to begin. Furthermore, the proposed amendments eliminate two causes of action entirely and add additional factual allegations to Plaintiff’s two remaining causes of action. (Mot., Dahl Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. A; Oppo., p. 5:15-23, Lebedev Decl., ¶ 6, Exh. E.) Thus, unlike Magpali, the addition of Trapp and additional factual allegations would not “change the tenor and complexity of the complaint.”
Defendant also argues adding Trapp as a defendant is unnecessary with respect to the claims and damages that are asserted against it and that Plaintiff can simply file a separate lawsuit against Trapp. (Oppo., p. 9:1-12.) Relying on Clark v. EZN, Inc. (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 852, Defendant further argues Plaintiff would not be prejudiced by filing a separate action against Trapp. (Id.) However, the claims against Defendant and Trapp arise from the same incident – namely, the allegedly wrongful repossession of Plaintiff’s vehicle. Defendant’s argument also ignores the risk of inconsistent rulings and the interest of judicial economy that would be served by disposing of these related claims together. In addition, the Clark case is distinguishable because there, the court denied a defendant’s request made on the day set for trial to file a cross-complaint. (Clark v. EZN, Inc. (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 852, 855.)
Defendant further argues that adding Trapp as a defendant is an attempt to increase the cost of litigation. (Oppo., p. 8:22-28.) However, Plaintiff is merely seeking to add a party to this action that Defendant concedes was acting to effectuate a repossession order Defendant provided. (See Oppo., p. 5:19-21.) In addition, Defendant does not explain why it did not raise this concern before or why it drafted a proposed stipulation that specifically stated no prejudice would result from allowing Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. (Reply, Dahl Decl., ¶ 31, Exh. I.)
In summary, the Court is not persuaded that Plaintiff’s proposed amendments unreasonably expand the scope of this litigation or that granting Plaintiff’s request for leave to amend would otherwise prejudice Defendant.
As for Plaintiff’s motion, it includes a copy of the proposed amended complaint, the required supporting declaration, and identifies the page numbers and lines that would be added and deleted. Thus, the Court finds that Plaintiff has satisfied California Rules of Court, rule 3.1324.
Accordingly, the Motion is GRANTED.
Conclusion & Order
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Gregory Randolph’s Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s amended complaint is to be filed within ten (10) days of this order.
Moving party is ordered to give notice.
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