This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/12/2021 at 20:00:37 (UTC).

JEMAL WILLIAMS VS HOOSHANG RADNIA AS TRUSTEE OF THE HOOSHANG RADNIA FAMILY TRUST, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 03/28/2018 JEMAL WILLIAMS filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against HOOSHANG RADNIA AS TRUSTEE OF THE HOOSHANG RADNIA FAMILY TRUST. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******4967

  • Filing Date:

    03/28/2018

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WILLIAMS JEMAL

Defendants

UNITED R T M INCORPORATED

HOOSHANG RADNIA AS TRUSTEE OF THE HOOSHANG RADNIA FAMILY TRUST

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

MEHRBAN MORSE

Defendant Attorney

SONG RICHARD

 

Court Documents

Judgment - Judgment - Default Judgment By Court - Before Trial - 09/28/2018 entered for Plaintiff Jemal Williams against Defendant United R T M Incorporated; Defendant Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of Th

9/28/2018: Judgment - Judgment - Default Judgment By Court - Before Trial - 09/28/2018 entered for Plaintiff Jemal Williams against Defendant United R T M Incorporated; Defendant Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of Th

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

1/7/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/23/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations - Notice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations

5/18/2020: Notice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations - Notice of Continuance Due to COVID-19 State of Emergency Declarations

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order re Peremptory Challenge (CCP 170.6))

12/17/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order re Peremptory Challenge (CCP 170.6))

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Tax Costs)

2/2/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Tax Costs)

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Judgment Debtor's Motion to Tax Post-Judgment Costs; Declaration of Morse Mehrban

8/29/2019: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Judgment Debtor's Motion to Tax Post-Judgment Costs; Declaration of Morse Mehrban

Motion to Tax Costs - Motion to Tax Costs

5/16/2019: Motion to Tax Costs - Motion to Tax Costs

Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment - Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment

6/3/2019: Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment - Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Re Waived Fees

6/3/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Re Waived Fees

Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest - Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest

8/6/2019: Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest - Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest

Motion to Tax Costs - Motion to Tax Costs

8/8/2019: Motion to Tax Costs - Motion to Tax Costs

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

9/21/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

9/27/2018: Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

Complaint

3/28/2018: Complaint

50 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/22/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)

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  • 02/22/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Court Order Re: Motion to Tax Cost)

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  • 02/22/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Tax Costs: Filed By: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 02/22/2021

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Tax Costs)

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Tax Costs scheduled for 02/02/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court on 02/02/2021

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  • 01/19/2021
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff); Judge Name: C. Edward Simpson

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  • 01/19/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6): Filed By: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff); Result: Withdrawn - Filed in Error; As To Parties: removed

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  • 12/23/2020
  • DocketNotice of Entry of Judgment or Order; Filed by: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff); As to: Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of The Hooshang Radnia Family Trust (Defendant); United R T M Incorporated (Defendant)

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  • 12/18/2020
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/17/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6): Status Date changed from 12/18/2020 to 12/17/2020; As To Parties: removed

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92 More Docket Entries
  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/01/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/25/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 10/04/2018

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/01/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 10/04/2018

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Georgina T. Rizk in Department 77 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 03/28/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/28/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/28/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/28/2018
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/28/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/28/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Jemal Williams (Plaintiff); As to: Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of The Hooshang Radnia Family Trust (Defendant); United R T M Incorporated (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC04967    Hearing Date: February 02, 2021    Dept: 26

Williams v. Hooshang Radnia et al.

MOTIONS TO STRIKE COSTS

(CCP §§ 1032(a)(4), 1033.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Jemal Williams’ Motion to Strike the Memorandum of Costs filed on July 14, 2020 is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS:

On March 28, 2018, Plaintiff Jemal Williams (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of the Hooshang Radnia Family Trust and United RTM Incorporated (collectively, “Defendants”) for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Following Defendants’ failure to file a responsive pleading, the Court entered Defendants’ default on August 22, 2018.

On September 27, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default. Without realizing the Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default had been filed, the Court entered default judgment one day later on September 28, 2018. Default judgment was entered for Plaintiff in the amount of $5,105.00, which included $800.00 in attorney fees.

On April 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Memorandum of Costs After Judgment. On May 16, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Tax Costs on Plaintiff’s first Memorandum of Costs. On August 6, 2019, Plaintiff filed a second Memorandum of Costs After Judgment. On August 8, 2019, Defendants filed a second Motion to Tax Costs as to Plaintiff’s second Memorandum of Costs.

Defendants’ Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default and Motions to Tax Costs were heard on July 10, 2020. At that time, the Court set aside the entry of default and default judgment. (Minute Order, 7/10/20.) The Court correspondingly placed Defendants’ Motions to Tax Costs off calendar.

On July 13, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed the entire action with prejudice. The following day, Defendants filed a Memorandum of Costs. Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Strike Defendants’ Costs on July 22, 2020. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Discussion

“Any notice of motion to strike or to tax costs must be served and filed 15 days after service of the cost memorandum. If the cost memorandum was served by mail, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013. If the cost memorandum was served electronically, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(a)(4).” (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1700, subd. (b)(1).) The Motion was timely filed less than ten days after service of Defendants’ Memorandum of Costs.

The Motion is brought on the grounds that Defendants are not entitled to recover costs because they are not the prevailing party in this action. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that it dismissed the action following Defendants’ payment of a monetary settlement and as the party with the net monetary recovery, Plaintiff is the prevailing party. (Motion, Mehrban Decl., Exh. B.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 1032, subdivision (a)(4) defines a prevailing party as “the party with a net monetary recovery, a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered, a defendant where neither plaintiff nor defendant obtains any relief, and a defendant as against those plaintiffs who do not recover any relief against that defendant.” This includes a plaintiff who voluntarily dismisses an action in exchange for monetary settlement. (DeSaulles v. Community Hosp. of Monterey Peninsula (2016) 62 Ca1.4th 1140, 1152-1153.) The reason being that where a dismissal is in exchange for the defendant’s payment, the dismissal is not in the defendant’s favor. (Ibid.)

Plaintiff has demonstrated that it dismissed the instant action in exchange for Defendant’s payment of $5,500.00 to settle her claims. (Motion, Merhban Decl., ¶4 and Exh. B.) Therefore, Plaintiff is the prevailing party in this action and Defendants are not entitled to a recovery of costs.

Conclusion

Plaintiff Jemal Williams’ Motion to Strike the Memorandum of Costs filed on July 14, 2020 is GRANTED.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC04967    Hearing Date: July 10, 2020    Dept: 26

(1) MOTION TO VACATE ENTRY OF DEFAULT; (2) MOTION TO TAX PRE-JUDGMENT COSTS; and (3) MOTION TO TAX POST-JUDGMENT COSTS

(CCP §§ 473, 685.040, 1033.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants Hooshang Radnia, Trustee of Hooshang Radnia Family Trust and United RTM Incorporated’s Motion to Vacate Entry of Default is GRANTED. CORRESPONDINGLY, THE ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 IS ALSO VACATED. DEFENDANTS’ ANSWER(S) TO BE FILED AND SERVED WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS’ NOTICE OF THIS ORDER.

DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO TAX COSTS ARE PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

TRIAL DATE SET FOR DECEMBER 4, 2020 AT 8:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

ANALYSIS:

On March 28, 2018, Plaintiff Jemal Williams (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of the Hooshang Radnia Family Trust and United RTM Incorporated (collectively, “Defendants”) for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Following Defendants’ failure to file a responsive pleading, the Court entered Defendants’ default on August 22, 2018.

On September 27, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default. Default judgment was entered the following day on September 28, 2019 and the Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default was never heard. Default judgment was entered by the Court for Plaintiff in the amount of $5,105.00, which included $800.00 in attorney fees.

It was not until the hearing on Defendants’ Motions to Tax Costs on December 30, 2019 that the issue of the hearing on the Motion to Vacate Entry of Default was raised. At that time, the Court re-set the hearing on the Motion to Vacate Entry of Default and continued the hearing on the Motions to Tax Costs to March 2, 2020. On February 27, 2020, the parties stipulated to continue the hearing on all three motions to allow late supplemental briefing. Defendants filed a supplemental brief on June 30, 2020.

Discussion

Defendant moves to vacate the entry of default pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b). Under this statute, the court has broad discretion to vacate the entry of default, default judgment or a dismissal, but that discretion can be exercised only if the defendant establishes a proper ground for relief, by the proper procedure and within the set time limits.

If discretionary relief is sought based on a party’s “mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect,” the motion cannot be brought more than 6 months after the entry of default and must be made within a “reasonable time.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).) If mandatory relief is sought, the request for relief can be made within six months. Here, default was entered against Defendant on August 22, 2018. The instant Motion to Vacate was filed 36 days later on September 27, 2018. Given the prompt filing of the instant Motion, Defendant brought the Motion within a reasonable time.

The Motion is brought based on Defendant’s fault, or alternatively, on defense counsel’s fault. The Motion is supported by an affidavit demonstrating Defendant’s “mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.” Specifically, defense counsel submits a declaration explaining that he helped Defendant file the request for an early neutral evaluation conference as a favor to a friend, but that Defendant did not have the money to hire him as counsel. (Motion, Song Decl., ¶¶1-2.) Defendant and defense counsel also attended the early neutral evaluation conference on July 12, 2019 but were unable to reach a settlement with Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶¶4-5.) Despite Defendant’s representation that he personally knew Plaintiff’s counsel and would speak with him directly, neither Defendant nor defense counsel followed up regarding the case and default was entered on August 22, 2018. (Id. at ¶¶6-8.)

The Court finds the supporting affidavit demonstrates inadvertence and excusable neglect by both Defendant and defense counsel. Specifically, following the unsuccessful early neutral evaluation conference on July 12, 2019 and the lifting of the attendant stay by the Court, Defendant failed to ensure that an Answer was filed on his behalf. It appears that during the early stages of this case, Defendant was under dire financial constraints, which prevented him from fully hiring defense counsel to represent his interests. The Court also notes that defense counsel, despite having no formal retainer agreement with Defendant, had undertaken to help him with this case and both Defendant and defense counsel were remiss in failing to clarify the nature of their relationship following the lifting of the stay, perhaps each relying on the other to make the next move.

Finally, California courts have held that it is “unfair” to take a default of a party whose counsel is known without so much as a reminder, let alone a warning, about any responsive pleading. (Fasuyi v. Permatex, Inc. (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 681, 701-703.) Given the lack of clarity regarding defense counsel formal representation of Defendant at the time of the early neutral evaluation conference, Plaintiff’s counsel had an ethical obligation to warn defense counsel prior to seeking entry of default. “The quiet speed of plaintiffs’ attorney in seeking a default judgment without the knowledge of defendants’ counsel is not to be commended.” (Smith v. Los Angeles Bookbinders Union (1955) 133 Cal.App.2d 486, 500, disapproved on other grounds in MacLeod v. Tribune Publishing Co., Inc. (1959) 52 Cal.2d 536, 551.)

Based on the foregoing, the Motion to Vacate Entry of Default is GRANTED. CORRESPONDINGLY, THE ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 IS ALSO VACATED. DEFENDANT’S ANSWER TO BE FILED AND SERVED WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS.

DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS TO TAX COSTS ARE PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

TRIAL DATE SET FOR DECEMBER 4, 2020 AT 8:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC04967     Hearing Date: December 30, 2019    Dept: 94

Williams v. Hooshang Radnia et al.

MOTIONS TO TAX COSTS

(CCP §§ 685.040, 1033.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants Hooshang Radnia, Trustee of Hooshang Radnia Family Trust and United RTM Incorporated’s Motions to Tax Costs are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. 

The parties should also be prepared to address the procedural posture of Defendant's Motion to Vacate Entry of Default/ Default Judgment filed September 27, 2018, Opposed by Plaintiff on October 10, 2018, and Replied to by Defendant on October 18, 2018.  Due to Default Judgment being entered on September 28, 2018, the hearing on Defendant's Motion to Vacate Entry of Default was never heard. 

ANALYSIS:

Background

On March 28, 2018, Plaintiff Jemal Williams (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Hooshang Radnia as Trustee of the Hooshang Radnia Family Trust and United RTM Incorporated (collectively, “Defendants”) for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

On September 27, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default. On September 28, 2018, default judgment was entered by the Court for Plaintiff in the amount of $5,105.00, which included $800.00 in attorney fees. The hearing for the Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default was vacated by the Court on October 4, 2018.

On April 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Memorandum of Costs After Judgment. On May 16, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Tax Costs on Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Costs (the “First Motion”). Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant’s First Motion (the “First Opposition”) on July 25, 2019.

On August 6, 2019, Plaintiff filed a second Memorandum of Costs After Judgment. On August 8, 2019, Defendants filed a second Motion to Tax Costs (the “Second Motion”) on Plaintiff’s second Memorandum of Costs. Plaintiff filed an Opposition (“Second Opposition”) to Defendant’s Second Motion on August 29, 2019.

To date, no reply briefs have been filed.

Legal Standard & Discussion

Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 provides that a “judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable and necessary costs of enforcing a judgment.” Attorney’s fees incurred in enforcing a judgment are expressly excluded unless otherwise provided by law. (Id.) Attorney’s fees that are incurred in enforcing a judgment are collectible as costs “if the underlying judgment includes an award of attorney’s fees to the judgment creditor pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of section 1033.5” which allows for attorney’s fees when authorized by contract. (Id; Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10)(A).) (Italics added.)

Defendants argue that Plaintiff is not entitled to $25.00 in costs for preparing and issuing abstract judgment and $112.00 in costs for recording and indexing abstract judgment. (First Mot., p. 2.) Defendants further argue that Plaintiff is not entitled to $1,425.00 in attorney’s fees because those fees are not allowed by Code of Civil Procedure, section 685.040. (Id.) Plaintiff argues that Defendant’s First Motion is untimely and must be denied. (First Oppo., p 1-2.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 685.070 provides that “[w]ithin 10 days after the memorandum of costs is served on the judgment debtor, the judgment debtor may apply to the court on noticed motion to have the costs taxed by the court.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 685.070, subd. (c).) This time is extended by five days if the memorandum is served by mail. (Id., subd. (f).) If no motion to tax costs is made within 10 days, or 15 days if mailed, the costs claimed in the memorandum are allowed. (Id., subd. (d).)

Here, Plaintiff filed and served by mail the first Memorandum of Costs on April 26, 2019. (4/26/19 Memorandum of Costs.) Defendants did not file their First Motion until 20 days after being served. Defendants’ motion is untimely.

However, attorney’s fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 are only recoverable if the judgment Plaintiff recovered includes an award of attorney’s fees as authorized by contract. (Code Civ. Proc., § 685.040.) Plaintiff recovered a judgment against Defendants for violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code Sections 52, subdivision (a), not a contract between the parties. (See Case Summary and Declaration in Support of Court Judgment, p. 5.)

Therefore, although Defendants’ First Motion is untimely, Plaintiff is not entitled to $1,425.00 in attorney’s fees under Code of Civil Procedure 685.040. However, because Defendants failed to file a timely motion to tax costs, the remaining $137.00 in costs are allowed. (Code Civ. Proc., § 685.070, subd. (d).)

Defendants’ motion is GRANTED as to attorney’s fees but DENIED as to the remaining costs on Plaintiff’s first Memorandum of Costs.

Defendants similarly challenge Plaintiff’s second Memorandum of Costs filed on August 6, 2019, on the basis that attorney’s fees are not recoverable under Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040. Plaintiff argues that he is entitled to attorney’s fees under the Unruh Civil Rights Act and that where a statutory fee provision mandates fees, the trial court has no discretion to decline to award such reasonable attorney’s fees. (Second Oppo., p. 2.)

Plaintiff served Defendant with its second Memorandum of Costs on July 24, 2019. Defendants timely filed their Second Motion on August 8, 2019.

As with the First Motion, Plaintiff is not entitled to recover attorney’s fees of $475.00 under Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 because he was not awarded attorney’s fees as authorized by contract. Indeed, Plaintiff is not being denied attorney’s fees as attorney’s fees have already been awarded in the amount of $800.00. (9/21/18 Court Judgment.)

Because Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 does not authorize the attorney’s fees requested in Plaintiff’s second Memorandum of Costs, Defendants’ Second Motion is GRANTED.

Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Hooshang Radnia, Trustee of Hooshang Radnia Family Trust and United RTM Incorporated’s First Motion to Tax Costs is GRANTED as to attorney’s fees and DENIED as to the remaining costs.

Defendants’ Second Motion to Tax Costs is GRANTED.

Moving parties are ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCdept94@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.

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