This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/02/2020 at 09:04:49 (UTC).

JESSMYN PETERSON VS SUSAN VAUGHAN, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 01/16/2019 JESSMYN PETERSON filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against SUSAN VAUGHAN. 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:

    *******0596

  • Filing Date:

    01/16/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

PETERSON JESSMYN

Defendants

TOMASINA GILLILAN TRUSTEE

THOMASINA GILLILAN REVOCABLE TRUST

DOE 1 INSURER FOR CARLOS LIMOS AUTO

HIDALGO DANIEL STEVEN

CARLOS LIMO AUTO REPAIR

VAUGHAN SUSAN

GEICO INSURANCE

AAA INSURANCE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

DOBSON MICHELE A.

Defendant Attorneys

BEAN MICHAEL LAWRENCE

MANDELL BARBARA J.

BALMUTH MATTHEW

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

8/18/2020: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

8/18/2020: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint 1st

12/9/2019: Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint 1st

Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

7/1/2020: Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Leave to Amend the Original Complaint; ...)

7/2/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Leave to Amend the Original Complaint; ...)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

6/4/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

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

3/18/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

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

3/18/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Notice (name extension) - Notice TO PLAINTIFF RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON APRIL 1, 2020

3/25/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice TO PLAINTIFF RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON APRIL 1, 2020

Motion for Leave to Amend (name extension) - Motion for Leave to Amend Notice of Motion and Motion for Leave to Amend the Original Complaint

12/30/2019: Motion for Leave to Amend (name extension) - Motion for Leave to Amend Notice of Motion and Motion for Leave to Amend the Original Complaint

Reply (name extension) - Reply Defendant Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club's Reply in Support of Demurrer to Plaintiff's Complaint

10/15/2019: Reply (name extension) - Reply Defendant Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club's Reply in Support of Demurrer to Plaintiff's Complaint

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

10/23/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

9/18/2019: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

3/12/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

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

1/18/2019: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

1/16/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

39 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/19/2022
  • Hearing01/19/2022 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
  • 05/03/2021
  • Hearing05/03/2021 at 09:30 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
  • 01/13/2021
  • Hearing01/13/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff); As to: Susan Vaughan (Defendant); INTERINSURANCE EXCHANGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB Erroneously Sued As AAA Insurance (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Jessmyn Peterson on 01/16/2019, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Jessmyn Peterson as to Susan Vaughan

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Jessmyn Peterson on 01/16/2019, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Jessmyn Peterson as to AAA Insurance

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/18/2020
  • DocketAddress for MICHELE A. DOBSON (Attorney) null

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/02/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Amended Complaint 1st: Filed By: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff); Result: Stricken; Result Date: 07/02/2020; As To Parties changed from Carlos Limo Auto Repair (Defendant), INTERINSURANCE EXCHANGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB Erroneously Sued As AAA Insurance (Defendant), Susan Vaughan (Defendant), Daniel Steven Hidalgo (Defendant), Tomasina Gillilan Trustee (Defendant), Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust (Defendant), Doe 1 (Insurer for Carlos Limos Auto) (Defendant), Geico Insurance (Defendant) to Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust (Defendant), Geico Insurance (Defendant), Susan Vaughan (Defendant), INTERINSURANCE EXCHANGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB Erroneously Sued As AAA Insurance (Defendant), Doe 1 (Insurer for Carlos Limos Auto) (Defendant), Carlos Limo Auto Repair (Defendant), Tomasina Gillilan Trustee (Defendant), Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust (Defendant), Doe 1 (Insurer for Carlos Limos Auto) (Defendant), Tomasina Gillilan Trustee (Defendant), Geico Insurance (Defendant), Ca

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/02/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Summons on Complaint: Filed By: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff); Result: Stricken; Result Date: 07/02/2020; As To Parties changed from Daniel Steven Hidalgo (Defendant), Geico Insurance (Defendant), Carlos Limo Auto Repair (Defendant), Doe 1 (Insurer for Carlos Limos Auto) (Defendant), Tomasina Gillilan Trustee (Defendant), INTERINSURANCE EXCHANGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB Erroneously Sued As AAA Insurance (Defendant), Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust (Defendant), Susan Vaughan (Defendant) to Daniel Steven Hidalgo (Defendant), Tomasina Gillilan Trustee (Defendant), Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust (Defendant), Susan Vaughan (Defendant), Carlos Limo Auto Repair (Defendant), Geico Insurance (Defendant), INTERINSURANCE EXCHANGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB Erroneously Sued As AAA Insurance (Defendant), Doe 1 (Insurer for Carlos Limos Auto) (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 07/02/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) scheduled for 01/13/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

    Read MoreRead Less
62 More Docket Entries
  • 01/18/2019
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); TP by:

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/18/2019
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by: Clerk; As to: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/18/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Request to Waive Court Fees: Result Date changed from 01/18/2019 to 01/18/2019

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/18/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Request to Waive Court Fees: Status Date changed from 01/16/2019 to 01/18/2019; Filed By: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 01/18/2019; As To Parties: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff); As to: Susan Vaughan (Defendant); Daniel Steven Hidalgo (Defendant); Carlos Limo Auto Repair (Defendant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Jessmyn Peterson (Plaintiff); As to: Susan Vaughan (Defendant); Daniel Steven Hidalgo (Defendant); Carlos Limo Auto Repair (Defendant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketUpdated -- Request to Waive Court Fees: Status Date changed from 01/18/2019 to 01/16/2019

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC00596    Hearing Date: July 02, 2020    Dept: 25

DEMURRER

(CCP § 430.10, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Jessmyn Peterson’s Motion for Leave to Amend Original Complaint is DENIED. The First Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff on December 9, 2019 without the Court’s permission is HEREBY STRICKEN.

In addition, Defendant Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club’s Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint is PLACED OFF CALENDAR AS MOOT.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC 3.1300) OK (both)

[X] Correct Address (CCP 1013, 1013a) OK (both)

[X] 16/21 Day Lapse (CCP 12c and 1005 (b)) OK (both)

Motion for Leave to Amend

OPPOSITION: Filed on June 18, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: None filed as of June 30, 2020. [ ] Late [X] None

Demurrer

OPPOSITION: None filed as of June 30, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of June 30, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On January 16, 2019, Plaintiff Jessmyn Peterson (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence and general negligence against Susan Vaughan (“Vaughan”), Daniel Steven Hidalgo, Carlos Limo Auto Repair, Thomasina Gillilan, Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust, Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club, erroneously sued as AAA Insurance (“Exchange”), and Geico Insurance (“Geico”) (collectively, “Defendants”).

On July 18, 2019, Exchange filed a Demurrer. At the hearing for the Demurrer, Plaintiff stated she would file a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) no later than November 15, 2019. (10/23/19 Minute Order.) The Court also set a hearing for Order to Show Cause re: Whether a Hearing on Demurrer Should be Set, scheduled for December 9, 2019. (Id.)

On December 9, 2019, the Court found that Plaintiff failed to file a FAC by the November 15, 2019 deadline and noted that “the time to file the first amended complaint [had] foreclosed.” (12/9/19 Minute Order.) That same day, Plaintiff filed her FAC, which included allegations of bad faith against Defendant Exchange.

On December 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Leave to Amend the Original Complaint (the “Motion”). On June 18, 2020, Defendant Exchange filed an Opposition. To date, no reply brief has been filed.

In addition, on February 7, 2020, Defendant Exchange filed the instant Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint (the “Demurrer”). No opposition has been filed.

  1. Motion for Leave

A. Legal Standard

Leave to amend is permitted under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a) and section 576. The policy favoring amendment and resolving all matters in the same dispute is “so strong that it is a rare case in which denial of leave to amend can be justified. . ..” “Although courts are bound to apply a policy of great liberality in permitting amendments to the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial [citations], this policy should be applied only ‘where no prejudice is shown to the adverse party . . .. [citation]. A different result is indicated ‘where inexcusable delay and probable prejudice to the opposing party’ is shown. [Citation].” (Magpali v. Farmers Group (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 487.)

A motion for leave to amend a pleading must also comply with the procedural requirements of California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1324, which requires a supporting declaration to set forth explicitly what allegations are to be added and where, and explicitly stating what new evidence was discovered warranting the amendment and why the amendment was not made earlier. The motion must also include a copy of the proposed and numbered amendment, and specifications by reference to pages and lines to the allegations that would be deleted and added, (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1324, subds. (a), (b).)

B. Defendant’s Request for Judicial Notice

Defendant Exchange requests that the Court take judicial notice of (1) Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint filed on December 9, 2019 with electronic time stamp of 10:06 a.m., and (2) the declaration of Plaintiff’s Counsel Michelle Dobson accompanying the FAC filed on December 9, 2019 with electronic time stamp of 10:06 a.m.

Defendant Exchange’s request is GRANTED. (Evid. Code., § 452, subd, (d).)

C. Discussion

As mentioned above, at the October 23, 2019 hearing on Defendant Exchange’s Demurrer, Plaintiff represented to the Court that she would file a first amended complaint on or before November 15, 2019. (10/23/19 Minute Order.) Plaintiff failed to do so. Instead, she filed her FAC, without the Court’s permission, on December 9, 2019, less than thirty minutes before the scheduled OSC re: Whether a Hearing on Demurrer Should be Set. At the hearing, the Court found that Plaintiff failed to file the FAC within the time permitted and that the “time to file a first amended complaint [had] foreclosed.” (12/9/19 Minute Order.)

Plaintiff now moves the Court for leave to amend her original Complaint on the basis that new facts were uncovered during the discovery process that necessitate a first amended complaint. (Mot., p. 2:7-8.) The Court notes that, although amendments to pleadings are liberally permitted, Plaintiff has not complied with California Rules of Court, rule 3.1324. Specifically, although Plaintiff filed a copy of the proposed FAC, which appears to be a duplicate of the FAC filed on December 9, she did not include a supporting declaration detailing what allegations are to be added and where, what new facts were discovered during the discovery process and the date they were discovered, and any reasons for the delay in bringing this Motion. (Cal. Rules of Court 3.1324, subds. (a), (b).)

Plaintiff also cites Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b). (Mot., p. 5:15-19.) Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b), 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.) (Emphasis added.) Plaintiff argues that due to a staff member’s mistake, the FAC was not filed on or before the November 15, 2019 deadline. (Mot., pp. p. 4:19-27; 6:12-18.)

In Opposition, Defendant Exchange argues that Plaintiff’s complete lack of diligence does not entitle her to the discretionary relief under Section 473. (Oppo., p. 13:17-14:8.) Specifically, it argues that the FAC is dated November 30, 2019, and the FAC’s supporting declaration is dated November 20, 2019, both after the November 15, 2019 deadline imposed by the Court. (Oppo., RJN Exhs., 1, 2.) Indeed, these documents call into question Plaintiff’s assertion that her firm did not discover they failed to timely file the FAC until the morning of December 9, 2019. (See Mot., p. 4:19-26.)

Defendant Exchange also argues that the declarations submitted in support of Plaintiff’s Motion do not demonstrate the untimely filing of the FAC was the result of Plaintiff’s attorney’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. (Oppo., p. 13:13-15.) Indeed, it is Plaintiff’s counsel’s legal assistant, not Plaintiff’s counsel, that attests to her error in missing Plaintiff’s counsel’s email and failing to file documents. (Mot., p. 5:7-12; Mavaetangi Decl., ¶¶2-3.) However, because a motion for relief pursuant to Section 473, subdivision (b) must be supported by an affidavit of fault from the party herself or her attorney, Plaintiff has not demonstrated she is entitled to relief under this provision.

Even if the Motion were free of errors, the Court has discretion to deny leave to amend where a proposed amendment fails to state a cause of action. (See California Casualty Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 274, 280-281, disapproved on other grounds in Kransco v. American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. (2000) 23 Cal.4th 390.) Here, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Exchange breached its obligation of good faith and fair dealing when it failed to accept a reasonable settlement demand from Plaintiff. (FAC, ¶ 18.) However, the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing exists only between the insurer and the insured. (Murphy v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1976) 17 Cal.3d 937, 941; Coleman v. Gulf Ins. Group (1986) 41 Cal.3d 782, 795.) Indeed, an injured third party does not have a direct cause of action against an insurer for breach of the implied covenant when it refuses to settle a claim. (Id.) Once an injured third-party claimant obtains a judgment against the insured, however, the third party may sue the insurer for bad faith if the insurer’s refusal to settle continues. (Murphy v. Allstate Ins. Co., supra, at p. 942-944.) Alternatively, a third party may sue for breach of the implied covenant when an insured assigns its bad faith cause of action against the insurer to the third party. (Hamilton v. Maryland Casualty Co. (2003) 27 Cal.4th 718, 732.) Here, Plaintiff has not obtained a judgment against Defendant Exchange’s insured, Defendant Vaughn, nor has Defendant Vaughn assigned her rights to assert a bad faith cause of action against her insurer to Plaintiff.

Plaintiff relies on Kransco v. American Empire Surplus Ins. Co. (2000) 23 Cal.4th 390 for its argument that breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing can be pleaded as an independent tort, rather than a breach of contract action in the insurance context. (FAC, ¶ 10.) Kransco provided that, while the remedies for a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing are usually limited to contract remedies, tort remedies may be available to the insured in the limited context of an insurer’s breach of the covenant. (Kransco v. Empire Surplus Ins. Co., supra, at p. 400.) (Emphasis added.) Nothing in that case supports Plaintiff’s argument that a third party injured claimant, such as Plaintiff, may bring a direct action against an insurer for breach of the implied covenant.

Because Plaintiff cannot allege a cause of action against Defendant Exchange at this time, her Motion is DENIED. In addition, Plaintiff’s FAC filed without the Court’s permission on December 9, 2019 is STRICKEN.

  1. Demurrer

As Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend has been denied and the FAC stricken, Defendant Exchange’s Demurrer is PLACED OFF CALENDAR AS MOOT.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Jessmyn Peterson’s Motion for Leave to Amend Original Complaint is DENIED. The First Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff on December 9, 2019 without the Court’s permission is HEREBY STRICKEN.

In addition, Defendant Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club’s Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint is PLACED OFF CALENDAR AS MOOT.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC00596    Hearing Date: January 30, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2025.450)

TENTATIVE RULING:

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Jessmyn Peterson’s Motion to Compel the Deposition of PMQ/PMK is DENIED. In addition, Exchange’s request for sanctions is GRANTED in the reduced amount of $875.00, to be paid to Exchange within 30 days of service of this order.

OPPOSITION: Filed on January 16, 2020

REPLY: None filed as of January 28, 2020.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On January 16, 2019, Plaintiff Jessmyn Peterson (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence and general negligence against Susan Vaughan (“Vaughan”), Daniel Steven Hidalgo, Carlos Limo Auto Repair, Thomasina Gillilan, Thomasina Gillilan Revocable Trust, Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club, erroneously sued as AAA Insurance (“Exchange”), and Geico Insurance (collectively, “Defendants”).

On March 6, 2019, Exchange was served with the summons and complaint by substituted service. (3/12/19 Proof of Service.) Plaintiff has not yet filed a proof of service as to Defendant Vaughan or Geico Insurance. All other Defendants have been served.

On July 18, 2019, Exchange filed a Demurrer. At the scheduled hearing for the Demurrer, Plaintiff represented to the Court that she would file a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) no later than November 15, 2019. (10/23/19 Order.) In addition, the Court, on its own motion, set an Order to Show Case re: Whether a Hearing on Demurrer Should be Set, scheduled for December 9, 2019. (Id.)

On December 9, 2019, the Court found that Plaintiff failed to file a FAC by the November 15, 2019 deadline and noted that “the time to file the first amended complaint [had] foreclosed.” (12/9/19 Minute Order.) That same day, Plaintiff filed a FAC. On December 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Original Complaint. The hearing for that motion is scheduled for July 2, 2020.

Also on December 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed the Instant Motion to Compel the Deposition of the PMQ/PMK of Exchange/AAA Insurance and Request for Sanctions (the “Motion”). On January 16, 2019, Exchange filed an Opposition. To date, no reply brief has been filed.

II. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, section (a) states in relevant part:

If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

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

The motion must also “set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice” and “be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce documents…by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subds. (b)(1), (2).) “A meet and confer declaration in support of a motion shall state facts showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented by the motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2016.040.)

A court shall impose monetary sanctions if the motion to compel is granted unless the one subject to sanction acted with substantial justification or other circumstances would make the imposition of the sanction unjust. (Code. Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

III Discussio

1. Deposition

On August 27, 2019, Plaintiff served Exchange with two notices of deposition, Notice of Deposition of the Person Most Knowledgeable Regarding the Auto Accident Between Susan Vaughan and Jessmyn Peterson (“Auto Accident Deposition”) and Notice of Deposition of the Person Most Knowledgeable Regarding the Declaration of Insurance and Policy Limits for Susan Vaughn On December 4, 2016 (“Insurance and Policy Limits Deposition”) (collectively, “Notices”). (Oppo., Balmuth Decl., ¶¶ 4-5, Exh., A, B.) The depositions were set for October 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Id.) The Court notes that the proof of service for these Notices does not indicate whether they were also served on all other parties who have appeared in the action as required by Code of Civil Procedure, section 2025.240, subd. (a).

Plaintiff only attaches the Notice for the Auto Accident Deposition to her Motion. (Mot., Exh. C.) However, she confusingly states that she would “[agree] to skip the PMK/PMQ deposition if the Insurance Company would provide Ms. Vaughan’s address for service of process and the Declaration Page of her policy,” appearing to reference the Insurance and Policy Limits Deposition. (Mot., p. 6:1-3 and Exh. C.) In addition, although the Notice for the Auto Accident Deposition includes a request for documents, Plaintiff’s Motion is silent as to whether she is also seeking to compel production. (See Id.)

Plaintiff’s counsel states that on September 25, 2019, she “telephoned [Exchange] in an attempt to find a compromise.” (Mot., Dobson Decl., ¶ 4.) Plaintiff’s counsel submits a meet and confer email, sent by Exchange’s counsel, not Plaintiff’s counsel, on September 25, 2019, to which Plaintiff’s counsel responded that same day. (Id., Exhs. A, B.) The parties did not come to an agreement on that date. (Id.)

As permitted by Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.410, subdivision (a), on September 27, 2019, Exchange served written objections to both of Plaintiff’s Notices of Deposition, which included issues that were raised in the September 25 email, as well as new objections. (Oppo, Balmuth Decl., ¶¶ 10-11, Exhs. F, G.) Exchange’s written objections were served three days before the scheduled October 1 deposition, were served personally and by mail on Plaintiff and by mail on every other party that had appeared in the action, thus complying with Section 2025.410, subdivisions (a) and (b). On September 30, 2019, Plaintiff voluntarily cancelled the October 1 depositions. (Mot., Dobson Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. D.)

In her Motion, Plaintiff completely fails to address the validity of Exchange’s objections. Plaintiff also does not include any evidence demonstrating that she rescheduled and re-noticed the depositions, or that Exchange failed to appear at or proceed with a properly noticed deposition. Indeed, Plaintiff’s own evidence demonstrates she voluntarily cancelled the depositions. (Ibid.) Thus, the Court finds there is no deposition to compel.

In addition, Plaintiff does not include any evidence that she met and conferred with Exchange’s counsel regarding the objections served or that she otherwise responded to the objections. (Oppo, Balmuth Decl., ¶ 13.) Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff failed to meet and confer with Exchange prior to filing this Motion.

Because Plaintiff’s counsel cancelled the deposition she now seeks to compel voluntarily before filing this motion, because the deposition was never re-scheduled and re-noticed, and because Plaintiff’s counsel failed to meet and confer with Exchange regarding the validity of the objections it served, Plaintiff’s Motion is DENIED.

2. Sanctions

Exchange requests that sanctions be imposed against Plaintiff for failing to meet and confer prior to filing this Motion. Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.020 provides that “the court shall impose a monetary sanction ordering that any party or attorney who fails to confer as required pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct.” Having found that Plaintiff failed to meet and confer, the Court must impose a sanction on Plaintiff.

Exchange requests a total of $1,837.50 in sanctions, which includes 10.5 hours of attorney time billed at $175.00 per hour. (Oppo., Balmuth Decl., ¶ 18.) This includes 0.5 hours to review Plaintiff’s Motion, 5.5 hours spent drafting the Opposition to “Motion to Compel Further responses, Separate Statement, & Supporting Documents,” an anticipated 0.5 hours to review a reply brief, and 4 hours for traveling to and appearing for this hearing. (Id.) However, the Court finds this to be excessive given that this is not an opposition to compel further responses, that no separate statement was drafted and filed, and that no reply brief was submitted. Accordingly, Exchange’s request for monetary sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.020 is GRANTED in the reduced amount of $875.00 based on 5 hours of attorney time. Sanctions are to be paid to Exchange within 30 days of notice of this order.

III. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Jessmyn Peterson’s Motion to Compel the Deposition of PMQ/PMK is DENIED. In addition, Exchange’s request for sanctions is GRANTED in the reduced amount of $875.00, to be paid to Exchange within 30 days of service of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.