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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/09/2021 at 13:20:04 (UTC).

JERROD WASHINGTON, ET AL. VS NICK J. HALEKAKIS

Case Summary

On 07/20/2018 JERROD WASHINGTON filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against NICK J HALEKAKIS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******9831

  • Filing Date:

    07/20/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

BORKES DAVID

WASHINGTON JERROD

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

HALEKAKIS NICK J.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

REYES CHRISTOPHER SEAN

ZIMMERMAN KURT

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorney

WONG LIBBY

 

Court Documents

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

2/8/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

11/25/2020: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

11/25/2020: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil - Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

11/30/2020: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel - Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/30/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice (name extension) - Notice Of Ruling By Defendant RE Continuing Trial Setting Conference

12/2/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice Of Ruling By Defendant RE Continuing Trial Setting Conference

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Of Libby Wong In Response To Order To Show Cause Hearing RE Status Of Defendant's Filing Of An Answer

9/25/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Of Libby Wong In Response To Order To Show Cause Hearing RE Status Of Defendant's Filing Of An Answer

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

8/24/2020: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Answer - Answer

8/24/2020: Answer - Answer

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

8/24/2020: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

8/12/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

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

8/22/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

8/22/2019: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

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

10/25/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

11/1/2018: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Civil Case Cover Sheet

7/20/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

31 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/12/2021
  • Hearing07/12/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 02/08/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant)

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketOrder Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil; Signed and Filed by: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant); As to: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant)

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel)

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel scheduled for 02/02/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 02/02/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 02/01/2021
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant)

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  • 12/02/2020
  • DocketNotice Of Ruling By Defendant RE Continuing Trial Setting Conference; Filed by: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant); As to: Jerrod Washington (Plaintiff); David Borkes (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/02/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel scheduled for 02/02/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 12/02/2020
  • DocketTrial Setting Conference scheduled for 07/12/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 12/02/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Trial Setting Conference)

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50 More Docket Entries
  • 10/25/2018
  • Docket; Default not entered as to Nick J. Halekakis; On the Complaint filed by Jerrod Washington, et al. on 07/20/2018

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  • 10/25/2018
  • DocketNotice of Rejection - Fax Filing; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/23/2018
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Jerrod Washington (Plaintiff); David Borkes (Plaintiff); As to: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 08/04/2018; Service Cost: 120.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Jerrod Washington (Plaintiff); David Borkes (Plaintiff); As to: Nick J. Halekakis (Defendant)

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Jerrod Washington (Plaintiff); David Borkes (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 01/17/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 07/23/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC09831    Hearing Date: February 02, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., February 2, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Washington v. Halekakis COMPL. FILED: 07-20-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC09831 DISC. C/O: NONE

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: NONE

TRIAL DATE: NOT SET

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

MOVING PARTY: Defendant’s Counsel Libby Wong

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2); CRC rule 3.162)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant’s Counsel Libby Wong’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED and the Order will be signed at the hearing. After the order is signed, a copy of the signed order must be served on the client and on all parties that have appeared in the case.” (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(e).) The Order on this Motion will not be effective “until proof of service of a copy of the signed order on [Defendant] has been filed with the court.” (Id.)

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: None filed as of January 29, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of January 29, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On July 20, 2018, Plaintiff Jerrod Washington (“Washington”) and David Borkes (“Borkes”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action against Defendant Nick J. Halekakis (“Defendant”). Following Defendant’s failure to respond, default was entered against him on August 22, 2019. A default judgment of $5,720.44 was entered on September 11, 2019.

On August 12, 2020, the Court granted Defendant’s request to set aside the default and default judgment and ordered Defendant to file his proposed answer within 20 days. (8/12/20 Minute Order.) On August 24, 2020, Defendant filed a Substitution of Attorney, indicating he was now being represented by Libby Wong with Schiffer & Buus (“Counsel”). (8/24/20 Sub. of Attorney.) That same day, Defendant filed his Answer and a Cross-Complaint against Plaintiffs.

On November 25, 2020, Defendant’s Counsel filed the instant Motion to be Relieved as Counsel (the “Motion”). Counsel filed an Amended Motion on November 30, 2020.

On December 2, 2020, pursuant to Counsel’s oral request at a trial setting conference, the hearing on the Motion was advanced and continued to February 2, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. (12/2/20 Minute Order.) Counsel gave Plaintiffs’ counsel and Defendant notice of this order that same day via regular mail and email. (12/2/20 Notice of Ruling.)

No opposition was filed.

  1. Legal Standard

The court may order that an attorney be changed or substituted at any time before or after judgment or final determination upon request by either client or attorney and after notice from one to the other. (Code Civ. Proc. § 284, subd. (2).) “The determination whether to grant or deny a motion to withdraw as counsel lies within the sound discretion of the trial court.” (Manfredi & Levine v. Superior Court (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1128, 1133.) An application to be relieved as counsel must be made on Judicial Counsel Forms MC-051 (Notice of Motion and Motion), MC-052 (Declaration), and MC-053 (Proposed Order). (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subds. (a), (c), (e).)

In addition, California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 subsection (d) requires that the notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order be served on the client and all other parties who have appeared in the case by personal service, electronic service, or mail. If the notice is served by mail, it must be accompanied by a declaration stating facts showing that either:

(A) The service address is the current residence or business address of the client; or

(B) The service address is the last known residence or business address of the client and the attorney has been unable to locate a more current address after making reasonable efforts to do so within 30 days before the filing of the motion to be relieved.

(Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subd. (1)(A) & (2).)

  1. Discussion

Defendant’s Counsel seeks to be relieved due to a breakdown of the attorney-client relationship. (MC-052, ¶ 2.) Specifically, Counsel states that, among other things, Defendant is in breach of the representation agreement with Counsel’s firm, making continued representation impracticable. (Id.) Counsel served this Motion at Defendant’s mailing address, which Defendant confirmed was current via text message at most thirty (30) days before this Motion was filed. (Id. at ¶ 3.)

The Court is satisfied with Counsel’s reasons for seeking to be relieved and finds she has satisfied the requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362, subdivisions (a) and (c)-(e). Importantly, trial is not yet scheduled, giving Defendant sufficient time to obtain new counsel should he wish to do so. Accordingly, the unopposed Motion is GRANTED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant’s Counsel Libby Wong’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED and the Order will be signed at the hearing. After the order is signed, a copy of the signed order must be served on the client and on all parties that have appeared in the case.” (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1362(e).) The Order on this Motion will not be effective “until proof of service of a copy of the signed order on [Defendant] has been filed with the court.” (Id.)

Defendant’s Counsel is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC09831    Hearing Date: August 12, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:   Wed., August 12, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Washington, et al. v. Halekakis  COMPL. FILED: 07-20-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC09831 DEFAULT: 08-22-19

NOTICE:   OK DEF. JDGMT: 09-11-19

PROCEEDINGS    MOTION TO SET ASIDE/VACATE DEFAULT AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT

MOVING PARTY:   Defendant Nick Halekakis, in pro per

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO SET ASIDE/VACATE DEFAULT

(CCP § 473(b); Equitable Relief)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Nick Halekakis’ Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default is GRANTED. Proposed answer to be filed within ten (10) 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: None filed as of August 10, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of August 10, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On July 20, 2018, Plaintiffs Jerrod Washington (“Washington”) and David Borkes (“Borkes”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action for bad faith retention of security deposit, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, unfair business practices, and attorney’s fees against Nick J. Halekakis (“Defendant”). On August 22, 2019, default was entered against Defendant and on September 11, 2019, default judgment was entered in the amount of $5,720.44. (9/11/19 Judgment.)

On March 11, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Judgment (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

Defendant seeks relief pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b). (Mot., p. 1:25-27.) Under this statute, an application for relief must be made no more than six months after entry of the judgment, dismissal, order or other proceeding from which relief is sought and must be accompanied by an affidavit of fault attesting to the mistake, inadvertence, surprise or neglect of the moving party or its attorney. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b); English v. IKON Business Solutions (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 130, 143.)

Defendant’s request to set aside default judgment is timely. However, because this Motion was filed more than six months after entry of default, it is untimely. Indeed, without setting aside the default, Defendant cannot participate in this action or put forth a defense. (Sporn v. Home Depot USA, Inc. (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 1294, 1301.)

However, the Court may treat a motion for relief under Section 473, subdivision (b) as a motion for equitable relief. (Rappleyea v. Campbell (1994) 8 Cal.4th 975, 981.) “[A] trial court may ... vacate a default on equitable grounds even if statutory relief is unavailable. [Citation.]” (Id.) “One ground for equitable relief is extrinsic mistake – a term broadly applied when circumstances extrinsic to the litigation have unfairly cost a party a hearing on the merits. [Citations.]” (Id. at p. 981.) “ ‘To set aside a judgment based upon extrinsic mistake one must satisfy three elements. First, the defaulted party must demonstrate that it has a meritorious case. Second[ ], the party seeking to set aside the default must articulate a satisfactory excuse for not presenting a defense to the original action. Last[ ], the moving party must demonstrate diligence in seeking to set aside the default once ... discovered.’ [Citation.]” (Id. at 982.)

As to the first element, Defendant has attached a copy of his proposed verified answer. “Ordinarily, a verifiedanswer to a complaint’s allegations suffices to show merit. [Citations.]” (Rappleyea v. Campbell (1994) 8 Ca.4th 975, 983.) (Italics added.) Thus, Defendant has satisfied the first element.

As to the second element, Defendant argues he was never properly served with the Summons and Complaint because he was served at an old address. (Mot., p. 4:10-20.) Defendant also argues that although he was aware of the action, he relied on Plaintiff’s counsel’s representations that default would not be entered against him and believed the parties were engaged in settlement negotiations. (Id. at p. 4:21-24, Exh. B.) As evidence Defendant attaches a copy of an August 30, 2018 email sent to abafamilylawgroup@gmail.com. (Id.) This is the same email on the documents Plaintiff has filed with the Court. In the email, Defendant confirmed to the attorney recipient he had not been served with the Summons and Complaint, confirmed that Plaintiff’s attorney agreed not to seek a default judgment, and provided a detailed settlement offer. (Id.) Thus, the Court finds that Defendant has satisfied the second element.

As to the third element, Defendant explains that, to help him in his search for legal representation, he obtained a copy of the Complaint from the Court in March 2020. (Id. at p. 5:28-6:8.) It was at this time that Defendant discovered the default and default judgment. (Id.)  This Motion was filed on March 11, 2020. Thus, the Court finds that Defendant was diligent in seeking relief once the default was discovered.

Notably, Plaintiffs have not filed an opposition. Thus, Defendant’s unopposed Motion is GRANTED.

 

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Nick Halekakis’ Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default is GRANTED. Proposed answer to be filed within ten (10) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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