This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/25/2019 at 01:06:20 (UTC).

JOSETTE OKUMA, ET AL. VS MARY PHILLIPS

Case Summary

On 06/25/2018 JOSETTE OKUMA filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against MARY PHILLIPS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******8861

  • Filing Date:

    06/25/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

OKUMA JOSETTE

OKUMA ISAIAH

OKUMA MATTHEW

Defendant

PHILLIPS MARY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

GLADKOV SERGEI

Defendant Attorney

MORRIS ANTOINETTE DANIELLE

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions)

11/5/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

12/5/2019: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Motion for Terminating Sanctions - Motion for Terminating Sanctions

9/16/2019: Motion for Terminating Sanctions - Motion for Terminating Sanctions

Notice of Change of Firm Name - Notice of Change of Firm Name

1/16/2019: Notice of Change of Firm Name - Notice of Change of Firm Name

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff Isaiah Okuma's Responses to Demand for Production of Documents

4/8/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff Isaiah Okuma's Responses to Demand for Production of Documents

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendnat's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Demand For Production of Documents

4/8/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendnat's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Demand For Production of Documents

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendnat's Motion To Compel Plaintiff Josette Okuma Answers to Demand For Production of Documents

4/8/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendnat's Motion To Compel Plaintiff Josette Okuma Answers to Demand For Production of Documents

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Plaintiff Isaiah Okuma's Answers to Form Interrogatories

4/8/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Plaintiff Isaiah Okuma's Answers to Form Interrogatories

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendnat's Motion to Compel Plaintiff Josette Okuma Answers to Form Interrogatories

4/8/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Defendnat's Motion to Compel Plaintiff Josette Okuma Answers to Form Interrogatories

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other To Compel Responses to Form Interro...)

6/6/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other To Compel Responses to Form Interro...)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other To Compel Responses to Form Interro...)

6/10/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other To Compel Responses to Form Interro...)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

6/12/2019: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

6/18/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Civil Case Cover Sheet

6/25/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint

6/25/2018: Complaint

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

6/25/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Mary Phillips (Defendant)

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  • 11/07/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/23/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 11/07/2019

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  • 11/07/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 06/28/2021 at 10:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 11/07/2019

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  • 11/05/2019
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Josette Okuma, et al. on 06/25/2018, entered Order for Dismissal with prejudice as to the entire action

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  • 11/05/2019
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions)

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  • 11/05/2019
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 11/05/2019 at 10:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 11/05/2019; Result Type to Held

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  • 11/01/2019
  • DocketDue to Clerical Error, Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 11/05/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Rescheduled by Court was rescheduled to 11/05/2019 10:30 AM

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  • 09/16/2019
  • DocketMotion for Terminating Sanctions; Filed by: Mary Phillips (Defendant); As to: Josette Okuma (Plaintiff); Matthew Okuma (Plaintiff); Isaiah Okuma (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/16/2019
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 11/05/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 06/18/2019
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by: Mary Phillips (Defendant)

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22 More Docket Entries
  • 01/16/2019
  • DocketNotice of Change of Firm Name; Filed by: Mary Phillips (Defendant); New Firm Name: RAFFALOW, BRETOI, LUTZ & STELE

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  • 11/14/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Mary Phillips (Defendant)

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  • 11/14/2018
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by: Mary Phillips (Defendant)

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  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Josette Okuma (Plaintiff); Matthew Okuma (Plaintiff); Isaiah Okuma (Plaintiff); As to: Mary Phillips (Defendant)

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  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Josette Okuma (Plaintiff); Matthew Okuma (Plaintiff); Isaiah Okuma (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Georgina T. Rizk in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/23/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/25/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 06/28/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC08861    Hearing Date: November 05, 2019    Dept: 94

MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2023.030)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Mary Phillips’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On June 25, 2018, Plaintiffs Josette Okuma, Matthew Okuma, and Isaiah Okuma (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed this negligence action against Defendant Mary Phillips (“Defendant”) for allegedly causing a car accident and injuring them. Because Plaintiffs failed to respond to Defendant’s form interrogatories, the Court, on June 6 and 10, 2019, ordered Plaintiffs to comply with their discovery obligations and imposed monetary sanctions against them.

Thus far, Plaintiffs have failed to comply with any part of the Court’s orders from June 6 and 10. (Motion, Morris Decl. ¶ 6.) As a result, Defendant filed the instant Motion for Terminating Sanctions (the “Motion”) on September 16, 2019.

II. Legal Standard

“The court may impose a terminating sanction by one of the following orders:

  1. An order striking out the pleadings or parts of the pleadings of any party engaging in the misuse of the discovery process.

  2. An order staying further proceedings by that party until an order for discovery is obeyed.

  1. An order dismissing the action, or any part of the action, of that party.

  2. An order rendering a judgment by default against that party.”

(CCP § 2023.030(d).)

The Court may impose terminating sanctions against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process. (Id.) Misuse of the discovery process includes failure to respond to an authorized method of discovery or disobeying a court order to provide discovery. (Id. §§ 2023.010(d), (g).) The court should look to the totality of the circumstances in determining whether terminating sanctions are appropriate. (See Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1229.) “[W]here a violation is willful, preceded by a history of abuse, and the evidence shows that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with the discovery rules, the trial court is justified in imposing the ultimate sanction.’ [Citation.]” (Los Defensores, Inc. v. Gomez (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 377, 39.)

III. Discussion

While “sanctions are generally imposed in an incremental approach, with terminating sanctions being the last resort,” “even under the Civil Discovery Act’s incremental approach, the trial court may impose terminating sanctions as a first measure in extreme cases, or where the record shows lesser sanctions would be ineffective. [Citations.]” (Department of Forestry & Fire Protection v. Howell (2017) 18 Cal.App.5th 154, 191-192.) For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that lesser sanctions would be ineffective in compelling Plaintiffs to comply with their discovery obligations.

Approximately nine months after Defendant served form interrogatories on Plaintiffs in January 2019, Plaintiffs still have not complied with their discovery obligations. More egregiously, Plaintiffs have disobeyed this Court’s June 6 and 10 Orders to comply with their discovery obligations and pay monetary sanctions. To compound these egregious acts even more, Plaintiffs have not opposed the instant Motion to explain why terminating sanctions should not be imposed. Taken together, it appears that Plaintiffs are no longer interested in prosecuting their case and complying with their discovery obligations.

In view of the totality of the circumstances, Plaintiffs’ abuse of the discovery process can no longer be tolerated, and the Court cannot reasonably interpret their pattern of non-compliance as anything less than willful. The Court is persuaded that less severe sanctions would not bring Plaintiffs into compliance with her discovery obligations and court orders. “The court [is] not required to allow this pattern of abuse to continue ad infinitum.” (Mileikowsky v. Tenet Healthsystem (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 262, 280.) The Court, therefore, finds that terminating sanctions are appropriate here.

IV. Conclusion & Order

In light of the foregoing, the unopposed Motion for Terminating Sanctions is GRANTED. This action is hereby dismissed with prejudice.

Moving party is 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.