This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/14/2020 at 05:24:07 (UTC).

HARCO NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION VS TAVON L. SAMPSON

Case Summary

On 05/01/2019 HARCO NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, A CORPORATION filed a Contract - Insurance lawsuit against TAVON L SAMPSON. 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:

    *******4264

  • Filing Date:

    05/01/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Insurance

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HARCO NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY A CORPORATION

Defendant

SAMPSON TAVON L.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

HAINES TODD F.

Defendant Attorney

KIRSCHEN LEONARD S

 

Court Documents

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

3/17/2020: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment

3/18/2020: Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment

Reply (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Set Aside Default and to Vacate Judgment

7/29/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Set Aside Default and to Vacate Judgment

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment (CCP 473))

8/6/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment (CCP 473))

General Denial - General Denial

8/6/2020: General Denial - General Denial

Notice (name extension) - Notice OF RULING REGARDING DEFENDANTS MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND VACATE JUDGMENT

8/7/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice OF RULING REGARDING DEFENDANTS MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND VACATE JUDGMENT

Answer - Answer

8/7/2020: Answer - Answer

Judgment - Judgment JUDGMENT BY COURT BY DEFAULT

9/27/2019: Judgment - Judgment JUDGMENT BY COURT BY DEFAULT

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

9/9/2019: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF BETH MEYER IN LIEU OF LIVE TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

9/9/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF BETH MEYER IN LIEU OF LIVE TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

9/9/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) DENIED

7/17/2019: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) DENIED

Clerk's Notice of Voiding of Filing - Clerk's Notice of Voiding of Filing

8/8/2019: Clerk's Notice of Voiding of Filing - Clerk's Notice of Voiding of Filing

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

7/23/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

6/20/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Summons - Summons on Complaint

5/1/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

5/1/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

5/1/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

13 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/07/2021
  • Hearing01/07/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 08/07/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant)

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  • 08/07/2020
  • DocketNotice OF RULING REGARDING DEFENDANT?S MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND VACATE JUDGMENT; Filed by: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant)

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketGeneral Denial; Filed by: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant)

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketTrial Setting Conference scheduled for 01/07/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- On the Complaint filed by Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation on 05/01/2019, judgment entered on 09/27/2019 is vacated

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation on 05/01/2019, judgment entered on 09/27/2019 as to Tavon L. Sampson is

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation on 05/01/2019, Default entered on 09/09/2019, Vacated - .

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment (CCP 473))

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  • 08/06/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment (CCP 473) scheduled for 08/06/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 08/06/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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27 More Docket Entries
  • 07/17/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Request to Waive Court Fees: Filed By: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant); Result: Denied; Result Date: 07/17/2019; As To Parties: removed

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  • 06/20/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant); Service Date: 06/13/2019; Service Cost: 120.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant)

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant)

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Harco National Insurance Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Tavon L. Sampson (Defendant)

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/28/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/04/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/01/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC04264    Hearing Date: August 06, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT

(CCP § 473(b))

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Tavon L. Sampson’s Motion to Set Aside Default and to Vacate Judgment is GRANTED. Proposed answer to be filed within ten (10) days of this order. In addition, Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Section 473, subdivision (b) is GRANTED in the amount of $600.00 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 May 12, 2020 [   ] Late [   ] None

REPLY: Filed on July 29, 2020 [   ] Late [   ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On May 1, 2019, Plaintiff Harco National Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint for subrogation against Defendant Tavon L. Sampson (“Defendant”). On July 17, 2019, Defendant filed an Answer, in pro per, which was later voided by the Court for failure to pay filing fees. (8/8/19 Notice of Voiding of Filing.)

On July 23, 2019, default was entered against Defendant. On September 27, 2019, the Court entered default judgment against Defendant in the amount of $8,471.88, which consisted of damages of $7,989.81, interest of $193.07, and costs of $289.00. (9/27/19 Judgment.)

On March 17, 2020, Defendant filed a substitution of attorney indicating that he was being represented by Chavez Legal Group.

On March 18, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Set Aside Default and Vacate Judgment (the “Motion”). On May 12, 2020, Plaintiff filed an Opposition and on July 29, 2020, Defendant filed a Reply.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

“Section 473(b) provides for both discretionary and mandatory relief. [Citation.]” (Pagnini v. Union Bank, N.A. (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 298, 302.) Defendant seeks relief under the mandatory provision of the statute based on his attorney’s mistake. (Mot., p. 3.) The mandatory provision states in pertinent part:

“[W]henever an application for relief is made no more than six months after entry of judgment, is in proper form, and is accompanied by an attorney’s sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, vacate any (1) resulting default entered by the clerk against his or her client, and which will result in entry of a default judgment, or (2) resulting default judgment or dismissal entered against his or her client, unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.” 

(Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).) (Emphasis added.)

“The purpose of this mandatory relief provision is to alleviate the hardship on parties who lose their day in court due to an inexcusable failure to act by their attorneys. [Citation.]” (Rodriguez v. Brill (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 715, 723.) (Emphasis added.)

Here, Defendant’s counsel submits a declaration explaining that Defendant’s default was caused by his mistake and confusion. (Mot., p. 3:12-14.) Specifically, he explains that he oversees litigation matters in California involving Loya Casualty Insurance Company insureds (“Loya”), that Defendant was a Loya insured, and that Loya’s legal department in Texas is responsible for monitoring court dockets to determine whether and when Loya insureds are sued and served with a complaint arising from an automobile accident. (Mot., p. 4:2-23, Hill Decl., ¶¶ 2, 5.) However, Defendant’s counsel states that it was by mistake that he did not communicate with Loya’s legal department to ensure that it was sufficiently monitoring the docket to determine when the Complaint was served on Defendant. (Id., Hill Decl., ¶ 9.) As a result of that mistake, default was entered against Defendant which could have been prevented had counsel properly monitored Loya’s legal department. (Id. at ¶ 10.)

In Opposition, Plaintiff argues the Motion should be denied because it is untimely as it was filed more than six months after default was entered. (Oppo., p. 2:12-3:11.) However, the wording of the statute makes clear that the six-month period begins to run from the entry of judgment, not the entry of default. (Sugasawara v. Newland (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 294, 297.) Thus, Defendant’s request is timely. Based on Defendant’s timely request and Defendant’s counsel’s affidavit of fault, the Motion is GRANTED.

Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b), provides that “[t]he court shall, whenever relief is granted based on the attorney’s affidavit of fault, direct the attorney to pay reasonable compensatory legal fees and costs to opposing counsel or parties.” Plaintiff’s counsel seeks reimbursement of $1,600.00 in attorney’s fees based on 8 hours of attorney time billed at $200 per hour. (Oppo., Tapper Decl., ¶ 4.) Hours expended include 3 hours for the preparation of the default judgment packet, 3 hours for the preparation of opposition to this Motion, and an estimated 2 hours to travel to and attend the hearing. (Id.) However, Plaintiff’s request is excessive given that Plaintiff’s Opposition was relatively simple and that parties are encouraged to appear at hearings via CourtCall rather than in person. Thus, the Court finds $600.00, based on three hours of attorney time, to be reasonable.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Tavon L. Sampson’s Motion to Set Aside Default and to Vacate Judgment is GRANTED. Proposed answer to be filed within ten (10) days of this order. In addition, Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Section 473, subdivision (b) is GRANTED in the amount of $600.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.