This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/29/2021 at 00:59:25 (UTC).

HAGERTY AGENCY LLC A/S/O RICHARD TORRES VS BRIAN WOOD AUTOMOTIVE, INC.

Case Summary

On 01/09/2020 HAGERTY AGENCY LLC A/S/O RICHARD TORRES filed a Personal Injury - Uninsured Motor Vehicle lawsuit against BRIAN WOOD AUTOMOTIVE, 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 SERENA R. MURILLO. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0259

  • Filing Date:

    01/09/2020

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Uninsured Motor Vehicle

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HAGERTY AGENCY LLC A/S/O RICHARD TORRES

Defendant

BRIAN WOOD AUTOMOTIVE INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

BEMIS GARY A

Defendant Attorney

REES MATTHEW DEE

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

8/23/2021: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer - Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

9/11/2020: Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer - Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration in Support of Motion to Strike Defendants Answer

9/11/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration in Support of Motion to Strike Defendants Answer

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Motion to Strike

2/2/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Motion to Strike

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Support Opposition Motion to Strike

2/2/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Support Opposition Motion to Strike

Reply (name extension) - Reply and Objection and Motion to Strike

2/8/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply and Objection and Motion to Strike

Notice (name extension) - Notice Errata

3/1/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice Errata

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer)

3/30/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

4/20/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

5/18/2021: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's Legal Represent...)

6/1/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's Legal Represent...)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Hearing

6/17/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Hearing

Answer - Answer

3/13/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

2/20/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Complaint - Complaint

1/9/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/9/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

1/9/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

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

1/9/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

6 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/25/2021
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/28/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/25/2021

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  • 08/23/2021
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres on 01/09/2020, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres as to the entire action

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  • 08/23/2021
  • DocketAddress for GARY A BEMIS (Attorney) null

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  • 06/17/2021
  • DocketNotice of Hearing; Filed by: Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/01/2021
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/28/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 06/01/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's Legal Represent...)

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  • 06/01/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's Legal Representation scheduled for 06/01/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 06/01/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 06/01/2021
  • DocketPursuant to oral stipulation, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 09/28/2021 08:30 AM

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  • 05/18/2021
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Brian Wood Automotive, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres (Plaintiff)

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10 More Docket Entries
  • 09/11/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer scheduled for 03/30/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 03/13/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Brian Wood Automotive, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 02/20/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres (Plaintiff); As to: Brian Wood Automotive, Inc. (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 02/19/2020; Service Cost: 63.50; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/10/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/10/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/12/2023 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/10/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 01/09/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres (Plaintiff); As to: Brian Wood Automotive, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 01/09/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres (Plaintiff); As to: Brian Wood Automotive, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 01/09/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Hagerty Agency LLC a/s/o Richard Torres (Plaintiff); As to: Brian Wood Automotive, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 01/09/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC00259    Hearing Date: March 30, 2021    Dept: 26

Hagerty Agency, LLC v. Brian Wood Automotive, Inc., et al.

MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 435, et seq., 92)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Hagerty Agency LLC’s Motion to Strike Defendant Brian Wood Automotive, Inc.’s Answer is DENIED.

9 9THE COURT SETS AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE REGARDING THE STATUS OF DEFENDANT’S LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR JUNE 1, 2021 AT 9:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Hagerty Agency, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for automobile subrogation against Defendant Brain Wood Automotive, Inc. (“Defendant”) on January 9, 2020. On March 13, 2020, Defendant filed an Answer in pro se. Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Strike Answer on September 11, 2020. Defendant filed an opposition on February 2, 2021 and Plaintiff replied on February 8, 2021.

Discussion

The Motion to Strike is brought pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 436 on the grounds that Defendant, despite being a corporation, was not represented by an attorney at the time the Answer was filed. Motions to strike in courts of limited jurisdiction, however, may only challenge pleadings on the basis that “the damages or relief sought are not supported by the allegations of the complaint.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (d).) As the request to strike the Answer raised by this Motion does not pertain to whether the damages alleged or relief sought are supported by the allegations, it cannot be raised in this Court.

That being said, it is black letter law that a corporation cannot represent itself in court. (Clean Air Transport Systems v. San Mateo County Transit Dist. (1988) 198 Cal.App.3d 576, 578 (citing Merco Constr. Engineers, Inc. v. Municipal Court (1978) 21 Cal.3d 724, 729-730).) This rule applies to all entities regarded as separate from their owners, including partnerships and unincorporated associations. (See Clean Air Transport Systems, supra, 19 Cal.App.3d at 578.) Defendant should not have filed the Answer without proper legal representation and must appear through an attorney going forward.

Even if the Court were to consider Defendant’s opposition papers, which are also improperly filed without legal representation, the arguments therein have not merit. To the extent that Defendant argues Plaintiff has waived the right to raise lack of capacity to appear in this action, Defendant confuses the issue of capacity to defend an action with the manner of representation in an action. All the cases to which Defendant cites pertain to whether a suspended corporation can participate in an action. Those cases hold that by failing to raise the issue of suspended or otherwise defective corporate status, the opposing party had waived the argument. (V & P Trading Co., Inc. v. United Charter, LLC (2012) 212 Cal.App.4th 126, 137; S.W. Towle Lumber Co. v. Anderson (1929) 208 Cal. 371, 373.)

There is no allegation here that Defendant is a suspended corporation or otherwise not authorized to conduct business in the State of California. Nor is this a Small Claims action where a corporation can represent itself. The proper course in this case is to give Defendant an opportunity to obtain counsel. (See Van Gundy v. Camelot Resorts, Inc. (1983) 152 Cal.App.3d Supp. 29, 32.)

Conclusion

Plaintiff Hagerty Agency LLC’s Motion to Strike Defendant Brian Wood Automotive, Inc.’s Answer is DENIED.

THE COURT SETS AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE REGARDING THE STATUS OF DEFENDANT’S LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR JUNE 1, 2021 AT 9:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Moving party to give notice.

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