This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/19/2021 at 01:31:48 (UTC).

HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC. VS RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, ESQ, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 07/10/2019 HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, ESQ. 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:

    *******6388

  • Filing Date:

    07/10/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE INC.

Defendants

RAZI OMID ESQ

GHERMEZIAN RAYMOND ESQ

RAZI LAW GROUP APLC

RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN A PROF LAW CORP

MORENO CARMEN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SEUTHE ERIC B

Defendant Attorney

GHERMEZIAN RAYMOND

 

Court Documents

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...) of 10/06/2021

10/6/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...) of 10/06/2021

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...)

10/6/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Protective Order)

10/4/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Protective Order)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of withdrawal

9/23/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of withdrawal

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendants Motion To Compel

9/23/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Defendants Motion To Compel

Reply (name extension) - Reply TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN'S MOTION TO COMPEL

9/28/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN'S MOTION TO COMPEL

Order (name extension) - Order of Court's Ex-Parte Ruling

9/2/2021: Order (name extension) - Order of Court's Ex-Parte Ruling

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application)

9/9/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application) of 09/09/2021

9/9/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application) of 09/09/2021

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application PLAINTIFFS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE COURTS SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR A CON

9/9/2021: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application PLAINTIFFS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE COURTS SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR A CON

Notice (name extension) - Notice OF WITHDRAWAL OF PLAINTIFFS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR RECONSIDERATION

9/10/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice OF WITHDRAWAL OF PLAINTIFFS EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR RECONSIDERATION

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel D's Notice of Motion and Motion t...)

9/7/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel D's Notice of Motion and Motion t...)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

9/8/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Ex parte application

9/8/2021: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Ex parte application

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Ex parte application

9/2/2021: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Ex parte application

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application) of 09/03/2021

9/3/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application) of 09/03/2021

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application)

9/3/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Ex parte application)

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel motion to compel

8/20/2021: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel motion to compel

45 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/13/2022
  • Hearing07/13/2022 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/08/2021
  • Hearing11/08/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion - Other (name extension)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/08/2021
  • Hearing11/08/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...) of 10/06/2021; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses scheduled for 10/06/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 10/06/2021; Result Type to Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/06/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel D's Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel Deposition of High Desert Medical 's PMK scheduled for 10/06/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 10/06/2021; Result Type to Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/04/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Protective Order)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/04/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Protective Order scheduled for 10/04/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 10/04/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/28/2021
  • DocketReply TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN'S MOTION TO COMPEL; Filed by: RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, Esq (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
78 More Docket Entries
  • 11/02/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC. (Plaintiff); As to: Omid Razi, Esq (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 11/02/2020; Service Cost: 0.00; Service Cost Waived: No

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/02/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC. (Plaintiff); As to: RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, Esq (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 11/02/2020; Service Cost: 0.00; Service Cost Waived: No

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 01/06/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 07/13/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/11/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/10/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC. (Plaintiff); As to: RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, Esq (Defendant); RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, A PROF LAW CORP (Defendant); Omid Razi, Esq (Defendant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/10/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC. (Plaintiff); As to: RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, Esq (Defendant); RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, A PROF LAW CORP (Defendant); Omid Razi, Esq (Defendant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/10/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE, INC. (Plaintiff); As to: RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, Esq (Defendant); RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN, A PROF LAW CORP (Defendant); Omid Razi, Esq (Defendant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/10/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/10/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: 19STLC06388 Hearing Date: October 6, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: (1-3)\r\nDEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF’S FURTHER RESPONSES TO DEFENDANTS’ FORM\r\nINTERROGATORIES, SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, AND REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOVING PARTY: Defendant\r\nRaymond Ghermezian

\r\n\r\n

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff High Desert Medical Office

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES AND REQUESTS FOR\r\nADMISSION

\r\n\r\n

(CCP § 2030.300; CCP § 2033.290)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION\r\nTO COMPEL DEPOSITION OF HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE’S PMK, REQUEST FOR\r\nPRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOVING PARTY: Defendants\r\nRaymond Ghermezian, Esq, Raymond Ghermezian, A Prof. Law Corp., Razi Law Group,\r\nAPLC, Omid Razi, and Carmen Moreno

\r\n\r\n

RESP. PARTY: None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS\r\nSPECIFIED IN NOTICE OF DEPOSITION; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

\r\n\r\n

(CCP §§ 2025.450; 2025.480)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE RULING:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

(1) Defendant Raymond Ghermezian’s\r\nMotions to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special\r\nInterrogatories, and Requests for Production of Documents is DENIED.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

(2) Defendants’ Motion to Compel\r\nDeposition of Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable is GRANTED. Plaintiff is\r\nordered to produce its person most knowledgeable on the topics specified in the\r\nNotice of Deposition within ten (10) days of this order. Defendants’ request to\r\ncompel the production of documents specified in the Notice of Deposition,\r\nhowever, is DENIED. Further, Defendants’ request for sanction is GRANTED in the\r\namount of $1,060.00 to be paid by Plaintiff’s counsel Eric Bryan Seuthe only\r\nwithin thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

SERVICE: \r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nProof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nCorrect Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\n16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Motions to Compel Further Responses

\r\n\r\n

OPPOSITION: Filed on September 23,\r\n2021 [ ] Late [ ]\r\nNone

\r\n\r\n

REPLY: Filed on\r\nSeptember 28, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Motion to Compel Deposition

\r\n\r\n

OPPOSITION: None filed as of October\r\n4, 2021 [ ] Late [X]\r\nNone

\r\n\r\n

REPLY: None filed as\r\nof October 4, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

ANALYSIS:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

I. \r\nBackground

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On July 10, 2019, Plaintiff High Desert Medical Office,\r\nInc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action alleging breach of contract, breach of the\r\nimplied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and deceit, unjust\r\nenrichment, and quantum meruit against Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq.\r\n(“Raymond”), Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp. (“Ghermezian Corp.”),\r\nOmid Razi (“Omid”), Razi Law Group, APLC (“Razi Law”), and Carmen Moreno\r\n(“Moreno”) (collectively, “Defendants”). This matter arises from Defendants’\r\nalleged failure to pay a medical lien after Plaintiff provided medical services\r\nto Defendant Moreno.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

All five Defendants filed a joint Answer on April 23.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On July 22, 2021, Defendants filed the instant Motion to\r\nCompel Deposition of Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable, Request for\r\nProduction of Documents at Deposition, and Request for Sanctions (the “Deposition\r\nMotion”). Plaintiff did not file an opposition.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Thereafter, on August 20, Defendant Ghermezian filed the\r\ninstant (1) Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Provide Further Responses to Form\r\nInterrogatories and Request for Sanctions (2) Motion to Compel Plaintiff to\r\nProvide Further Responses to Special Interrogatories and Request for Sanctions,\r\nand (3) Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Provide Further Responses to Requests for\r\nAdmissions and Request for Sanctions (collectively, the “Motions to Compel\r\nFurther Responses”).

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Deposition Motion came up for hearing on September 7.\r\n(9/7/21 Minute Order.) Defendants did not appear at the hearing. (Id.)\r\nPlaintiff appeared and after considering oral argument, the hearing on the\r\nDeposition Motion was continued to October 6. (Id.) Despite being\r\ngranted an opportunity to do so, Plaintiff did not subsequently file an\r\nopposition to the Deposition Motion.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On September 9, 2021, the Court issued a ruling on\r\nDefendants’ ex parte application seeking reconsideration of the Court’s June\r\n29, 2021 order denying an earlier ex parte application to continue the trial. (9/9/21\r\nMinute Order.) The Court denied the request for reconsideration and also noted\r\nCode of Civil Procedure section 94’s limits on discovery in limited\r\njurisdiction cases. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendant Ghermezian filed what appears to be an\r\nincomplete Notice of Withdrawal of the Motion to Compel Further Responses to\r\nForm Interrogatories on September 23. Because it is incomplete, the Court does\r\nnot consider it.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendant Ghermezian’s\r\nMotions to Compel Further Responses on September 23 and Defendant Ghermezian\r\nfiled a reply on September 28.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

II. \r\nMotions\r\nto Compel Further Responses

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A. Legal Standard

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.300,\r\nsubdivision (a), and Section 2033.290, parties may move for a further response\r\nto interrogatories or requests for admission where an answer to the requests\r\nare evasive or incomplete or where an objection is without merit or too\r\ngeneral.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Notice of the motions must be given\r\nwithin 45 days of service of the verified response, otherwise, the propounding\r\nparty waives any right to compel a further response. (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n2030.300, subd. (c); Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.290, subd. (c).) The motions must also be accompanied by a\r\nmeet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (b); Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.290, subd. (b).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Finally, Cal. Rules of\r\nCourt, Rule 3.1345 requires that all motions or responses involving further\r\ndiscovery contain a separate statement with the text of each request, the\r\nresponse, and a statement of factual and legal reasons for compelling further\r\nresponses. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1345, subd. (a)(3)).

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

B. Discussion

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

First, the Court notes\r\nthat Defendant Ghermezian filed a separate statement for a fourth request to\r\ncompel further responses to requests for production of documents without an\r\naccompanying motion. Both parties reference this motion in their opposition and\r\nreplies. However, as an actual motion was not filed, the Court does not\r\nconsider19st this request.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Second, Defendant\r\nGhermezian filed the three Motions to Compel Further Responses under the same\r\nreservation number, meaning he only paid one filing fee. This is improper.\r\nDefendant Ghermezian should have paid one filing fee for each of his motions. Filing fees are jurisdictional and it\r\nis mandatory for court clerks to demand and receive them. (See Duran v. St. Luke’s Hospital (2003)\r\n114 Cal.App.4th 457, 460.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Most importantly, the requests\r\npropounded on Plaintiff exceed what is permitted in limited jurisdiction\r\nactions. Code of Civil\r\nProcedure section 94 limits discovery in limited jurisdiction actions to any\r\ncombination of 35 interrogatories with no subparts, demands to produce\r\ndocuments, and requests for admission with no subparts. (Code Civ.\r\nProc., § 94, subd. (a).) (Emphasis added.) Here, Defendant Ghermezian\r\npropounded 15 Form Interrogatories, many with subparts, 22 Special\r\nInterrogatories, and 17 Requests for Admission. (Motions to Compel Further,\r\nGhermezian Decl., Exhs. A.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For all of the reasons discussed above, Defendant Ghermezian’s\r\n Motions to Compel Further Responses are\r\nDENIED.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

III. \r\nCompel\r\nDeposition

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A. Legal Standard

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, section (a)\r\nprovides:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

“If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an\r\nofficer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person\r\ndesignated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without\r\nhaving served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for\r\nexamination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document,\r\nelectronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the\r\ndeposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling\r\nthe deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of\r\nany document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in\r\nthe deposition notice.”

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

(Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (a).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A motion under Section 2025.450, subdivision (a), must\r\nset forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production of the\r\nrequested documents in the deposition notice. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450,\r\nsubd. (b)(1).) It must also “be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration\r\nunder Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition\r\nand produce documents…by a declaration stating that the petitioner has\r\ncontacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.” (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n2025.450, subd. (b)(2).) A court shall impose monetary sanctions if the motion\r\nto compel is granted unless the one subject to sanctions acted with substantial\r\njustification or other circumstances would make the imposition of the sanction\r\nunjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

When a deponent fails to produce the requested documents,\r\nthe party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling that answer or\r\nproduction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (a).) This motion must be made\r\nno later than 60 days after the “completion of the deposition” and must be\r\naccompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016,040. (Code Civ.\r\nProc., subd. (b).) “…[T]he 60 day period during which a motion to compel must\r\nbe filed, begins to run when the deponent serves objections on the party. At\r\nthe time the objections are served, the record of deposition is complete.” (Board\r\nof Registered Nursing v. Superior Court (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 1011, 1032.)\r\nThe Court must impose a monetary sanction against any “party, person, or\r\nattorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel an answer or\r\nproduction, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with\r\nsubstantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of\r\nthe sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (j).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Further, a separate statement is required when the moving\r\nparty seeks to compel or quash the production of documents or tangible things\r\nat a deposition. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1345, subd. (a)(5.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

B. Discussion

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

1. Attendance and Request for\r\nProduction at Deposition

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Here, Defendants served Plaintiff with a Notice of Taking\r\nDeposition and Request for Production of Documents and Other Things at the Time\r\nof Deposition on June 2, 2021 via email and regular mail. (Mot., Ghermazian\r\nDecl., ¶ 15, Exh. L.) The deposition was noticed for Plaintiff’s person most\r\nknowledgeable on three topics for June 18, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Defendants’\r\ncounsel’s office. (Id.) It also requested the production of 32\r\ncategories of documents. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff served a tardy objection on June 17, the day\r\nbefore the deposition, via regular mail. (Id. at ¶ 16, Exh. M.)\r\nPlaintiff objected to the deposition on the basis that Defendants had\r\nunilaterally set the deposition date, that Defendants had improperly noticed\r\nthe deposition, and that “Plaintiff maintain[ed] priority of deposition in this\r\nmatter and the Defendant [had] refused to produce witnesses/employees for\r\ndeposition.” (Id.) Plaintiff also objected to each of the 32 categories\r\nof documents requested. (Id.) Because Plaintiff did not serve its objections\r\nat least three calendar days before the scheduled deposition, however, its\r\nobjections are waived. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.410, subd. (a).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants now seek an order compelling Plaintiff to\r\nproduce its PMK and responsive documents within ten (10) days of this hearing.\r\n(Mot., pp. 1-2.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As previously noted, Defendants’ Notice of Deposition was\r\nserved on June 2, 2021, more than ten (10) days before the scheduled June 18\r\ndeposition. (Ghermazian Decl., ¶ 15, Exh. L.) It also describes with reasonable\r\nparticularity the topics Defendants would inquire about, allowing Plaintiff to\r\nidentify and produce its person most knowledgeable. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As Defendants point out in their motion, Plaintiff is not\r\nentitled to “priority of deposition.” Code of Civil Procedure section 2019.020,\r\nsubdivision (b), provides that except as otherwise expressly provided,\r\ndiscovery may be propounded and conducted “in any sequence, and the fact\r\nthat a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or another method, shall\r\nnot operate to delay the discovery of another party.” (Emphasis added.)\r\nPlaintiff has not filed an opposition demonstrating otherwise. Nor did it\r\nidentify any rule or local policy entitling it to such priority in its untimely\r\nobjections served on June 17.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Motion is accompanied by Defendants’ counsel’s\r\ndeclaration demonstrating he requested alternative deposition dates for\r\nPlaintiff’s PMK on June 17, 22, and 23, but Plaintiff’s counsel refused to do\r\nso on the basis that it was entitled to “deposition priority” and not until the\r\nfive depositions Plaintiff had previously noticed were completed. (Mot.,\r\nGhermezian Decl., ¶¶ 17-19, Exhs. N-P.) As discussed, Plaintiff is not entitled\r\nto “deposition priority.”

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

However, Defendants did not discuss each of the 32 categories\r\nof documents sought in the Notice of Deposition or set forth any specific\r\nfacts demonstrating the documents requested in each of those categories\r\nshould be produced. Defendants simply argue that Plaintiff’s objection on the\r\nbasis of deposition priority is unsupported. (Mot., pp. 7-8.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiff is ordered to\r\nproduce its PMK within ten (10) days of notice of this order. However,\r\nDefendants’ request to compel the production of documents at the deposition is\r\nDENIED.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

2. Sanctions

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (a)\r\nprovides, in pertinent part, that the court may impose a monetary sanction on a\r\nparty engaging in the misuse of the discovery process to pay the reasonable\r\nexpenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that\r\nconduct. A misuse of the discovery process includes failing to respond or to\r\nsubmit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010,\r\nsubd. (d).) In addition, a court shall impose monetary sanctions if the motion\r\nto compel a deposition is granted unless the one subject to sanctions acted\r\nwith substantial justification or other circumstances would make the imposition\r\nof the sanction unjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Court finds Plaintiff’s counsel’s refusal to\r\ncooperate with Defendants’ counsel to reschedule Plaintiff’s PMK’s deposition\r\non the basis that Plaintiff was entitled to “deposition priority” a misuse of\r\nthe discovery process. In addition, the imposition of sanctions is mandatory\r\nunder Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants seek sanctions of $2,060.00 based on 5 hours\r\nof attorney time billed at $400.00 per hour and one filing fee of $60.00.\r\n(Mot., Ghermezian Decl., ¶ 20.) The amount sought, however, is excessive, given\r\nthat the Court has denied Defendants’ request to compel the production of\r\ndocuments described in the Notice of Deposition in its entirety. The Court\r\nfinds $1,060, based on 2.5 hours of attorney time and one filing fee, to be\r\nreasonable. Sanctions are to be paid by Plaintiff’s counsel, Eric Bryan Seuthe,\r\nonly within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

IV. \r\nConclusion\r\n& Order

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the foregoing reasons:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

(1) Defendant Raymond Ghermezian’s\r\nMotions to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special\r\nInterrogatories, and Requests for Production of Documents is DENIED.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

(2) Defendants’ Motion to Compel\r\nDeposition of Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable is GRANTED. Plaintiff is\r\nordered to produce its person most knowledgeable on the topics specified in the\r\nNotice of Deposition within ten (10) days of this order. Defendants’ request to\r\ncompel the production of documents specified in the Notice of Deposition,\r\nhowever, is DENIED. Further, Defendants’ request for sanction is GRANTED in the\r\namount of $1,060.00 to be paid by Plaintiff’s counsel Eric Bryan Seuthe only\r\nwithin thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Moving parties are ordered to give\r\nnotice.

'b'

Case Number: 19STLC06388 Hearing Date: October 4, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION\r\nFOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOVING PARTY: Defendants\r\nRaymond Ghermezian, Raymond Ghermezian, A Professional Law Corp., Omid Razi,\r\nRazi Law Group, and Carmen Moreno

\r\n\r\n

RESP. PARTY: None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOTION\r\nFOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

\r\n\r\n

(CCP\r\n§ 2025.420(b))

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE RULING:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Raymond Ghermezian,\r\nA Professional Law Corp., Omid Razi, Razi Law Group, and Carmen Moreno’s Motion\r\nfor a Protective Order is GRANTED as discussed herein. Defendants’ request for\r\nsanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $660.00 to be paid within thirty\r\n(30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

SERVICE: \r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nProof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nCorrect Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\n16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

OPPOSITION: None filed as of September\r\n30, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

\r\n\r\n

REPLY: None filed as\r\nof September 30, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

ANALYSIS:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

I. \r\nBackground\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On July 10, 2019, Plaintiff High Desert Medical Office,\r\nInc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action alleging breach of contract, breach of the\r\nimplied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and deceit, unjust\r\nenrichment, and quantum meruit against Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq.\r\n(“Raymond”), Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp. (“Ghermezian Corp.”),\r\nOmid Razi (“Omid”), Razi Law Group, APLC (“Razi Law”), and Carmen Moreno\r\n(“Moreno”) (collectively, “Defendants”). This matter arises from Defendants’\r\nalleged failure to pay a medical lien after Plaintiff provided medical services\r\nto Defendant Moreno.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

All five Defendants filed a joint Answer on April 23.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On June 4, 2021, Defendants filed the instant Motion for\r\nProtective Order (the “Motion”). No opposition was filed.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

II. \r\nLegal\r\nStandard

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

“Before, during, or after a deposition,\r\nany party, any deponent, or any other affected natural person or organization\r\nmay promptly move for a protective order. The motion shall be\r\naccompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040.” (Code\r\nCiv. Proc., § 2025.420, subd. (a).) (Emphasis added.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For good cause shown, the Court may\r\nissue any order that “justice requires to protect any party from unwarranted\r\nannoyance, embarrassment, or oppression, or undue burden and expense.” (Code\r\nCiv. Proc., § 2025.420, subd. (b).) Section 2025.420, subdivision (b), provides\r\na nonexclusive list of directions that may be included in a protective order,\r\nincluding orders directing that the deposition may not be taken at all or that\r\nthe deposition be taken at a different time. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

“ ‘[T]he issuance and formulation of\r\nprotective orders are to a large extent discretionary”’ and a ruling on such\r\nmotions will not be disturbed absent abuse of discretion. (Nativi v.\r\nDeutsche Bank National Trust Co. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 261, 316-17.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The burden is on the party seeking the\r\nprotective order to show good cause for the order sought. (Id. at p.\r\n318.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

III. \r\nDiscussion

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A. Protective Order

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants move the Court for a protective order\r\nrequiring Plaintiff to take Defendants’ depositions on a date convenient for\r\nthe witnesses and to prevent Plaintiff from demanding that Defendants’\r\ndepositions go forward on the same day. (Mot., pp. 1-2.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants explain that Defendants Ghermezian and Razi\r\nrepresented Defendant Moreno in a personal injury action from which a dispute\r\nwith Plaintiff has arisen over the medical services provided on a lien basis.\r\n(Mot., pp. 4-5.) On a separate personal injury matter, Defendant Ghermezian\r\nrepresented Robin Darkowski (“Darkowski”) from which a dispute has arisen over\r\nthe medical services provided by Plaintiff on a lien basis (the “Darkowski\r\nMatter”). (Id.) The Darkowski matter is the subject of a separate\r\nlawsuit, High Desert Medical Office, Inc. v. Ghermezian, et al., Case\r\nNo. 19STLC06387. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants state that on April 27, 2021, Plaintiff\r\nnoticed the depositions of Defendant Ghermezian and Darkowski in the Darkowski\r\nMatter for May 26, 2021 as well as the deposition of Defendants Ghermezian,\r\nRazi, and Moreno for the same date. (Id., Ghermezian Decl., ¶ 4, Exh.\r\nA.) In total, five depositions were noticed for the same date regarding two\r\nseparate matters. (Id.) Defendants do not provide a copy of the notices\r\nfor the May 26 depositions, but do provide a copy of a letter from Plaintiff’s\r\ncounsel to Defendant’s counsel stating the depositions were noticed for the\r\nsame date and served “on all parties on both cases for the sake of judicial\r\neconomics.” (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff’s counsel sent Defendants’ counsel additional\r\ncorrespondence on May 6, 19, and 21, to which Defendants’ counsel apparently\r\ndid not respond. (See id. at ¶¶ 5-7, Exhs. B-D.) Plaintiff’s counsel\r\nsent a final letter on May 24, 2021 advising his efforts to contact Defendants’\r\ncounsel had been unsuccessful and again requested that he confirm whether\r\nDefendant Ghermezian and the remaining defendants would appear for deposition.\r\n(Id. at ¶ 8, Exh. E.) That same morning, Defendant Ghermezian responded\r\nvia email to confirm his own appearance for the depositions but stated that\r\nDefendant Razi, Moreno, and Darkowski were not available on May 26. (Id.\r\nat ¶ 9, Exh. F.) Although Defendant Ghermezian reiterated his availability for\r\nhis two depositions on May 26, one related to this matter and the second\r\nrelated to the Darkowski matter, Plaintiff’s counsel refused to move forward\r\nand canceled the court reporter. (Id. at ¶¶ 10-12, Exhs. G-I.)\r\nPlaintiff’s counsel repeatedly stated that taking Defendant Ghermezian’s\r\ndeposition only was “unacceptable,” that his deposition alone would not go\r\nforward, and that Defendant Ghermezian’s deposition would not happen “[his]\r\nway.” (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

After all five of the May 26 deposition were canceled,\r\nDefendant Ghermezian advised Plaintiff’s counsel that he was available for his\r\ndeposition from July 5 through 19, that Defendant Moreno was available from\r\nJune 3 through June 14, and that Defendant Razi was available between July 5\r\nand July 12 as well as July 29. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On May 28, Plaintiff re-noticed all five depositions for\r\nJune 23, 2021 via Zoom. (Id. at ¶ 13, Exh., J.) That same day, Defendant\r\nGhermezian replied to the notices of deposition “encouraging” Plaintiff’s\r\ncounsel to select dates for the depositions from those provided. (Id.) Because\r\nof Plaintiff’s insistence that the depositions in this matter and the Darkowski\r\nmatter be taken on the same day, Defendants now seek a protective order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The correspondence submitted by Defendants demonstrates\r\nPlaintiff’s counsel’s unwavering position that all five depositions must take\r\nplace on the same date. Section 6 of the State Bar of California Civility\r\nGuidelines states that attorneys should be considerate of the scheduling\r\ninterests of opposing counsel, parties, and other participants when scheduling\r\nmeetings, hearings, and discovery. Plaintiff’s counsel, even after being\r\nnotified of the parties’ availability, scheduled multiple depositions on a date\r\non which none of the parties were available. Notably, Plaintiff did not submit\r\nan opposition to this Motion demonstrating it attempted to meet and confer in\r\ngood faith to find a resolution to the discovery issue.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Any issue related to the Darkowski matter is not properly\r\nbefore this Court. However, the Court finds the Defendants in this matter are\r\nentitled to an order precluding Plaintiff requiring multiple depositions to\r\ntake place on the same date without giving due consideration to the Defendants’\r\navailability.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

B. Sanctions

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (a)\r\nprovides, in pertinent part, that the court may impose a monetary sanction on a\r\nparty engaging in the misuse of the discovery process to pay the reasonable\r\nexpenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that\r\nconduct. A misuse of the discovery process includes using a discovery method in\r\na manner that does not comply with specified procedures. (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n2023.010, subd. (f).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Court finds Plaintiff’s and Plaintiff’s counsel’s\r\ninsistence on scheduling five depositions in two different matters on the same\r\ndate and refusing to move forward with Defendant Ghermezian’s deposition\r\ndespite making himself available a misuse of the discovery process.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants seek $2,060.00 in sanctions based on 5 hours\r\nof attorney time billed at $400.00 per hour and one filing fee. (Mot.,\r\nGhermezian Decl., ¶ 15.) The Court notes that Defendant Ghermezian represents\r\nhimself in this matter. A self-represented attorney cannot recover attorney’s\r\nfees as a discovery sanction, but may recover costs. (Kravitz v. Superior\r\nCourt (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1015, 1020.) However, he also represents\r\nDefendants Razi, Razi Law Group, and Moreno. Thus, the recovery of attorney’s\r\nfees and costs is appropriate.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The amount sought,\r\nhowever, is excessive given the simplicity of this Motion and the lack of\r\nopposition and reply. The Court finds $660.00, based on 1.5 hours of attorney\r\ntime and one filing fee, to be reasonable. Sanctions are to be paid to\r\nDefendants’ counsel within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

IV. \r\nConclusion\r\n& Order

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Raymond\r\nGhermezian, A Professional Law Corp., Omid Razi, Razi Law Group, and Carmen\r\nMoreno’s Motion for a Protective Order is GRANTED as discussed herein.\r\nDefendants’ request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $660.00 to\r\nbe paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Moving party is ordered to give\r\nnotice.

'b'

Case Number: 19STLC06388\t Hearing Date: September 7, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION\r\nTO COMPEL DEPOSITION OF HIGH DESERT MEDICAL OFFICE’S PMK, REQUEST FOR\r\nPRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOVING PARTY: Defendants\r\nRaymond Ghermezian, Esq, Raymond Ghermezian, A Prof. Law Corp., Razi Law Group,\r\nAPLC, Omid Razi, and Carmen Moreno

\r\n\r\n

RESP. PARTY: None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS\r\nSPECIFIED IN NOTICE OF DEPOSITION; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

\r\n\r\n

(CCP §§ 2025.450; 2025.480)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE RULING:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants’ Motion to Compel\r\nDeposition of Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable is GRANTED. Plaintiff is\r\nordered to produce its person most knowledgeable on the topics specified in the\r\nNotice of Deposition within ten (10) days of this order. Defendants’ request to\r\ncompel the production of documents specified in the Notice of Deposition,\r\nhowever, is DENIED. Further, Defendants’ request for sanction is GRANTED in the\r\namount of $1,060.00 to be paid by Plaintiff’s counsel Eric Bryan Seuthe only\r\nwithin thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

SERVICE: \r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nProof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nCorrect Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\n16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

OPPOSITION: None filed as of August\r\n30, 2021 [ ] Late [X]\r\nNone

\r\n\r\n

REPLY: None filed as\r\nof August 30, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

ANALYSIS:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

I. \r\nBackground\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On July 10, 2019, Plaintiff High Desert Medical Office,\r\nInc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action alleging breach of contract, breach of the\r\nimplied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and deceit, unjust\r\nenrichment, and quantum meruit against Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq.\r\n(“Raymond”), Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp. (“Ghermezian Corp.”),\r\nOmid Razi (“Omid”), Razi Law Group, APLC (“Razi Law”), and Carmen Moreno\r\n(“Moreno”) (collectively, “Defendants”). This matter arises from Defendants’\r\nalleged failure to pay a medical lien after Plaintiff provided medical services\r\nto Defendant Moreno.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

All five Defendants filed a joint Answer on April 23.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

On July 22, 2021, Defendants filed the instant Motion to\r\nCompel Deposition of Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable, Request for\r\nProduction of Documents at Deposition, and Request for Sanctions (the\r\n“Motion”). Plaintiff did not file an opposition.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

II. \r\nLegal\r\nStandard & Discussion

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, section (a)\r\nprovides:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

“If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an\r\nofficer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person\r\ndesignated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without\r\nhaving served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for\r\nexamination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document,\r\nelectronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the\r\ndeposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling\r\nthe deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of\r\nany document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in\r\nthe deposition notice.”

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

(Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (a).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A motion under Section 2025.450, subdivision (a), must\r\nset forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production of the\r\nrequested documents in the deposition notice. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450,\r\nsubd. (b)(1).) It must also “be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration\r\nunder Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition\r\nand produce documents…by a declaration stating that the petitioner has\r\ncontacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.” (Code Civ. Proc., §\r\n2025.450, subd. (b)(2).) A court shall impose monetary sanctions if the motion\r\nto compel is granted unless the one subject to sanctions acted with substantial\r\njustification or other circumstances would make the imposition of the sanction\r\nunjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

When a deponent fails to produce the requested documents,\r\nthe party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling that answer or\r\nproduction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (a).) This motion must be made\r\nno later than 60 days after the “completion of the deposition” and must be\r\naccompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016,040. (Code Civ.\r\nProc., subd. (b).) “…[T]he 60 day period during which a motion to compel must\r\nbe filed, begins to run when the deponent serves objections on the party. At\r\nthe time the objections are served, the record of deposition is complete.” (Board\r\nof Registered Nursing v. Superior Court (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 1011, 1032.)\r\nThe Court must impose a monetary sanction against any “party, person, or\r\nattorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel an answer or\r\nproduction, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with\r\nsubstantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of\r\nthe sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (j).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Further, a separate statement is required when the moving\r\nparty seeks to compel or quash the production of documents or tangible things\r\nat a deposition. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1345, subd. (a)(5.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

III. \r\nDiscussion\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

A. Attendance and Request for Production at Deposition

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Here, Defendants served Plaintiff with a Notice of Taking\r\nDeposition and Request for Production of Documents and Other Things at the Time\r\nof Deposition on June 2, 2021 via email and regular mail. (Mot., Ghermazian\r\nDecl., ¶ 15, Exh. L.) The deposition was noticed for Plaintiff’s person most\r\nknowledgeable on three topics for June 18, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Defendants’\r\ncounsel’s office. (Id.) It also requested the production of 32\r\ncategories of documents. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff served a tardy objection on June 17, the day\r\nbefore the deposition, via regular mail. (Id. at ¶ 16, Exh. M.) Plaintiff\r\nobjected to the deposition on the basis that Defendants had unilaterally set\r\nthe deposition date, that Defendants had improperly noticed the deposition, and\r\nthat “Plaintiff maintain[ed] priority of deposition in this matter and the\r\nDefendant [had] refused to produce witnesses/employees for deposition.” (Id.)\r\nPlaintiff also objected to each of the 32 categories of documents requested. (Id.)\r\nBecause Plaintiff did not serve its objections at least three calendar days\r\nbefore the scheduled deposition, however, its objections are waived. (Code Civ.\r\nProc., § 2025.410, subd. (a).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants now seek an order compelling Plaintiff to\r\nproduce its PMK and responsive documents within ten (10) days of this hearing.\r\n(Mot., pp. 1-2.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants’ Notice of Deposition was properly served on June\r\n2, 2021, more than ten (10) days before the scheduled June 18 deposition as\r\nrequired by Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.270, subdivision (a).\r\n(Ghermazian Decl., ¶ 15, Exh. L.) It also describes with reasonable\r\nparticularity the topics Defendants would inquire about, allowing Plaintiff to\r\nidentify and produce its person most knowledgeable. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

As Defendants point out in their motion, Plaintiff is not\r\nentitled to “priority of deposition.” Code of Civil Procedure section 2019.020,\r\nsubdivision (b), provides that except as otherwise expressly provided,\r\ndiscovery may be propounded and conducted “in any sequence, and the fact\r\nthat a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or another method, shall\r\nnot operate to delay the discovery of another party.” (Emphasis added.) Plaintiff\r\nhas not filed an opposition demonstrating otherwise. Nor did it identify any\r\nrule or local policy entitling it to such priority in its untimely objections\r\nserved on June 17.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Motion is accompanied by Defendants’ counsel’s\r\ndeclaration demonstrating he requested alternative deposition dates for\r\nPlaintiff’s PMK on June 17, 22, and 23, but Plaintiff’s counsel refused to do\r\nso on the basis that it was entitled to “deposition priority” and not until the\r\nfive depositions Plaintiff had previously noticed were completed. (Mot.,\r\nGhermezian Decl., ¶¶ 17-19, Exhs. N-P.) As discussed above, Plaintiff is not\r\nentitled to “deposition priority.”

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

However, Defendants did not discuss each of the 32\r\ncategories of documents sought in the Notice of Deposition or set forth any specific\r\nfacts demonstrating the documents requested in each of those categories\r\nshould be produced. Defendants simply argue that Plaintiff’s objection on the\r\nbasis of deposition priority is unsupported. (Mot., pp. 7-8.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Court notes that on August 20, approximately one\r\nmonth after this Motion was filed and only 12 court days before this hearing, Defendants\r\nfiled a “Separate Statement in Support of Motion to Compel Plaintiff High\r\nDesert Medical Office To Provide Further Responses to Defendant’s Request\r\nfor Production of Documents (Set One)” which has a different Reservation ID\r\nthan this Motion and is scheduled for October 6, 2021. (8/20/21 Separate\r\nStatement.) Although this separate statement appears to discuss the same\r\nrequests, it was submitted in support of a different motion.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiff is ordered to\r\nproduce its PMK within ten (10) days of notice of this order. However,\r\nDefendants’ request to compel the production of documents at the deposition is\r\nDENIED.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

C. Sanctions

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (a)\r\nprovides, in pertinent part, that the court may impose a monetary sanction on a\r\nparty engaging in the misuse of the discovery process to pay the reasonable\r\nexpenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that\r\nconduct. A misuse of the discovery process includes failing to respond or to\r\nsubmit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010,\r\nsubd. (d).) In addition, a court shall impose monetary sanctions if the motion\r\nto compel a deposition is granted unless the one subject to sanctions acted\r\nwith substantial justification or other circumstances would make the imposition\r\nof the sanction unjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The Court finds Plaintiff’s counsel’s refusal to\r\ncooperate with Defendants’ counsel to reschedule Plaintiff’s PMK’s deposition\r\non the basis that Plaintiff was entitled to “deposition priority” a misuse of\r\nthe discovery process. In addition, the imposition of sanctions is mandatory\r\nunder Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Defendants seek sanctions of $2,060.00 based on 5 hours\r\nof attorney time billed at $400.00 per hour and one filing fee of $60.00.\r\n(Mot., Ghermezian Decl., ¶ 20.) The amount sought, however, is excessive, given\r\nthat the Court has denied Defendants’ request to compel the production of\r\ndocuments described in the Notice of Deposition in its entirety. The Court\r\nfinds $1,060, based on 2.5 hours of attorney time and one filing fee, to be\r\nreasonable. Sanctions are to be paid by Plaintiff’s counsel, Eric Bryan Seuthe,\r\nonly within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

IV. \r\nConclusion\r\n& Order

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants’\r\nMotion to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff’s Person Most Knowledgeable is\r\nGRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to produce its person most knowledgeable on the\r\ntopics specified in the Notice of Deposition within ten (10) days of this order.\r\nDefendants’ request to compel the production of documents specified in the\r\nNotice of Deposition, however, is DENIED. Further, Defendants’ request for\r\nsanction is GRANTED in the amount of $1,060.00 to be paid by Plaintiff’s\r\ncounsel Eric Bryan Seuthe only within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Moving parties are ordered to give\r\nnotice.

'

Case Number: 19STLC06388    Hearing Date: March 29, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Mon., March 29, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: High Dessert Medical Office, Inc. v. Raymond Ghermezian, Esq., eta l.

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC06388 COMPL. FILED: 07-10-19

NOTICE: OK DISC. C/O: 08-21-21

MOTION C/O: 09-05-21

TRIAL DATE: 09-20-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq., Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp., Omid Razi, and Razi Law Group, APLC

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff High Desert Medical Office

MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS

(CCP § 418.10)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq, Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp., Omid Razi, and Razi Law Group, APLC is CONTINUED TO MAY 24, 2021 AT 10:30 A.M. in Department 25 at the Spring Street Courthouse. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff must file supplemental papers as requested herein.

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 March 17, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on March 22, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On July 10, 2019, Plaintiff High Desert Medical Office, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and deceit, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit against Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq. (“Raymond”), Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp. (“Ghermezian Corp.”), Omid Razi (“Omid”), Razi Law Group, APLC (“Razi Law”), and Carmen Moreno (“Moreno”) (collectively, “Defendants”).

Defendants Raymond, Ghermezian Corp., Omid, and Razi Law filed the instant Motion to Quash Service of Summons (the “Motion”) on December 14, 2020. Plaintiff filed an Opposition on March 17, 2021 and moving Defendants filed a Reply on March 22.

  1. Legal Standard

“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 plus ten calendar days if substitute-served. (Code Civ. Proc., § 412.20, subd. (a)(3); Code Civ. Proc., § 415.20.)

“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.)

III. Discussion

Moving Defendants contend Plaintiff failed to effectuate proper service and thus, service should be quashed.

Plaintiff filed a proof of service for Defendants Raymond and Ghermezian Corp. on November 2, 2020 purporting to show they were substitute served on October 30, 2020 by leaving a copy of the Summons and Complaint with “Jacqueline, Raymond’s Assistant” at 3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1800, Los Angeles, CA 90010. (11/2/20 Proofs of Service.) The proofs of service also include a declaration of mailing indicating the documents were mailed via first-class mail on November 2, 2020 as well as a declaration of due diligence from Bryan Seuthe, who is not a registered process server. (Id.)

That same day, Plaintiff filed a proof of service purporting to show Defendants Omid and Razi Law Group were substitute served on October 30, 2020 by leaving a copy of the Summons and Complaint with “Crystal, receptionist” at 8666 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills CA 90211. (11/2/20 Proofs of Service.) The Proofs of service include a declaration of mailing indicating the documents were mailed via first-class mail on November 2, 2020 as well as a declaration of due diligence from Bryan Seuthe. (Id.)

“An individual may be served by substitute service only after a good faith effort at personal service has first been made: the burden is on the plaintiff to show that the summons and complaint ‘cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered’ to defendants. [Citations.] Two or three attempts to personally serve a defendant at a proper place ordinarily qualifies as ‘reasonable diligence.’” (American Express Centurion Bank v. Zara (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 383, 389.) (Italics added.) If the summons and complaint cannot be personally delivered with reasonable diligence, then a copy may be served at the person’s “dwelling house, usual place of abode, usual place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box, in the presence of a competent member of the household or a person apparently in charge of his or her office, place of business, or usual mailing address other than a United States Postal Service post office box…who shall be informed of the contents thereof and by thereafter mailing a copy of the summons and complaint by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be served…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 415.20, subd. (b).)

The declaration of due diligence executed by Bryan Seuthe attached to Defendant Raymond’s proof of service states he attempted to personally serve him on July 16, 2019, July 30, 2019, and October 30, 2020. (11/2/20 Proof of Service, Bryan Seuthe Decl., ¶¶ 3-8.) The third attempt resulted in substitute service. (Id.) The declaration of due diligence executed by Bryan Seuthe attached to Defendant Omid’s proof of service states he attempted personal service on July 30, 2019, September 2, 2019, and October 30, 2020. (11/2/20 Proof of Service, Bryan Seuthe Decl., ¶¶ 3, 5-8.) The third attempt resulted in substitute service. Three attempts at personal service are sufficient. (American Express Centurion Bank v. Zara (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 383, 389.) Notably, neither Defendant Raymond nor Defendant Omid contends the addresses at which personal service was attempted are improper.

Defendants Raymond and Omid argue the persons identified on the proofs of service were not authorized to accept service on their behalf. (Mot., p. 7:1-7.) Defendants also argue that “an assistant and a receptionist are not persons who are apparently in charge of a place of business.” (Mot., p. 7:1-8.)

As discussed above, “Jacqueline, Raymond’s Assistant” was substitute-served on behalf of Defendant Raymond. (11/2/20 Proof of Service.) The Judicial Council comments for Section 415.20 state that a person apparently in charge of an office includes the “personal secretary of the person to be served.” (Code Civ. Proc., 415.20, Judicial Comments.) Further, Plaintiff provides an additional declaration of Bryan Seuthe wherein he attests that upon his arrival to Defendant Raymond’s office, he requested for a person to accept service for Defendant Raymond. (Mot., Bryan Seuthe Decl., ¶¶ 13-16.) The receptionist stepped into the office and returned with Jacqueline, who described herself as Defendant Raymond’s personal assistant. (Id.) Bryan Seuthe attests he informed Jacqueline he had legal documents related to Plaintiff and further attests Jacqueline affirmed she could accept service on behalf of Defendant Raymond. (Id.) Jacqueline then left with the documents and at no time advised she was unable to accept service of process for Defendant Raymond. (Id. at ¶¶ 17-18.)

Notably, a person does not have to actually be in charge of an office or a place of business – they need only be apparently in charge. In Bryan Seuthe’s supporting declaration, he states that when he arrived at Defendant Omid’s office, he was greeted by Crystal, a general receptionist. (Oppo., Bryn Seuthe Decl., ¶ 5.) Bryan Seuthe asked for someone who could accept service on behalf of Defendant Omid. (Id. at ¶ 6.) She stated she could accept the documents and Bryan Seuthe proceeded to advise her of the general nature of the documents, specifically that they were a lawsuit related to Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶¶ 6, 9.) Crystal did not advise process server Bryan Seuthe she was not authorized to accept service. (Id.) Thus, she was apparently in charge of the office.

Defendants Raymond and Omid also argue they never received a copy of the Summons and Complaint by mail. (Mot., p. 7:6-7, Raymond Decl., ¶ 14.) However, not only does the proof of service indicate copies of the Summons and Complaint were mailed, the declaration submitted by Bryan Seuthe submitted in Opposition also attests that the documents were mailed on November 2, 2020 to the same addresses where substitute service occurred. (11/2/20 Proofs of Service; Oppo., Bryan Seuthe Decl., ¶ 19.) The Court finds Defendant Raymond and Omid’s self-serving declaration that the documents were not received via mail insufficient.

However, the proofs of service as to Defendants Razi Law and Ghermezian Corp. do not identify the person served on behalf of the entity. The proofs of service for Defendants Razi Law and Ghermezian Corp. indicate they were served as a business organization form unknown. (11/2/20 Proofs of Service.) However, even where the business organization is a form unknown, Plaintiff must identify the person who was served with the Summons and Complaint by mail on behalf of the entity. (Code Civ. Proc., § 415.95, subd. (a).) More importantly, service of summons pursuant to this section is not valid for a corporation with a registered agent for service of process listed with the secretary of state. (Code Civ. Proc., § 415.95, subd. (b).) Defendants Razi Law and Ghermezian Corp. appear to be corporations.

Thus, Plaintiff is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers addressing the concerns noted above at least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing so that the Court may determine whether service on Ghermezian Corp. and Razi Law was appropriate.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Raymond Ghermezian, Esq, Raymond Ghermezian, a Professional Law Corp., Omid Razi, and Razi Law Group, APLC is CONTINUED TO MAY 24, 2021 AT 10:30 A.M. in Department 25 at the Spring Street Courthouse. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff must file supplemental papers as requested herein.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where RAZI LAW GROUP is a litigant

Latest cases where RAYMOND GHERMEZIAN A PROF LAW CORP is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer LAW OFFICES OF ERIC BRYAN SEUTHE