This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/21/2021 at 01:44:41 (UTC).

LATOYIA G. FURLOW VS RODERICK CULPEPPER, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 04/08/2019 LATOYIA G FURLOW filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against RODERICK CULPEPPER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is WENDY CHANG. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3391

  • Filing Date:

    04/08/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

FURLOW LATOYIA G.

Defendants

A & M FINANCIAL SERVICES

CULPEPPER RODERICK

CAH FINANCIAL SERVICES

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

BOWEN CHUMAHAN

Defendant Attorney

BUTLER LTANYA MATILDE

 

Court Documents

Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial

10/20/2021: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

2/16/2021: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

2/16/2021: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

2/16/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

2/16/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

2/16/2021: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

2/16/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

2/16/2021: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

2/16/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Chumahan Bowen In Support of Motion to compel

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

2/16/2021: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

2/17/2021: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

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

4/14/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF COMPLIANCE RE RFA RESPONSES

4/14/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF COMPLIANCE RE RFA RESPONSES

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF COMPLIANCE RE RFA RESPONSES

4/14/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF COMPLIANCE RE RFA RESPONSES

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

4/15/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration In Support of Statement of Non Opposition

4/15/2021: Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration In Support of Statement of Non Opposition

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

4/19/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...) of 04/20/2021

4/20/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...) of 04/20/2021

41 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/26/2022
  • Hearing01/26/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 10/20/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order to Continue Trial; Signed and Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: Cah Financial Services (Defendant); A & M Financial Services (Defendant)

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  • 10/04/2021
  • DocketPursuant to written stipulation, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Continued - Stipulation was rescheduled to 01/26/2022 08:30 AM

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  • 10/04/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/11/2022 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 10/04/2021

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  • 07/06/2021
  • DocketPursuant to written stipulation, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 10/21/2021 08:30 AM

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  • 07/02/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial and Relevant Discovery Deadlines: Status Date changed from 07/02/2021 to 07/02/2021; Filed By: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 07/02/2021; As To Parties changed from Cah Financial Services (Defendant), A & M Financial Services (Defendant) to Cah Financial Services (Defendant), A & M Financial Services (Defendant); Status changed from Filed to Signed and Filed

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: Cah Financial Services (Defendant)

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

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  • 04/20/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...) of 04/20/2021; Filed by: Clerk

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62 More Docket Entries
  • 06/03/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: Cah Financial Services (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 05/15/2019; Service Cost: 39.11; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 06/03/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: A & M Financial Services (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 05/14/2019; Service Cost: 69.21; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/05/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/11/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: Roderick Culpepper (Defendant); Cah Financial Services (Defendant); A & M Financial Services (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: Roderick Culpepper (Defendant); Cah Financial Services (Defendant); A & M Financial Services (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Latoyia G. Furlow (Plaintiff); As to: Roderick Culpepper (Defendant); Cah Financial Services (Defendant); A & M Financial Services (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/08/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC03391    Hearing Date: April 20, 2021    Dept: 26

PROCEEDINGS: (1) MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS; and

(2) MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION; DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED

(CCP §§ 2031.300, 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow’s (1) Motion To Compel Responses To Demand For Production Of Documents And Request For Sanctions; and (a) Motion To Deem Requests For Admission Admitted And Request For Sanctions are GRANTED. DEFENDANT A&M FINANCIAL SERVICES IS TO SERVE VERIFIED RESPONSES WITHOUT OBJECTION TO THE REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER. DEFENDANT A&M FINANCIAL SERVICES IS FURTHER ORDERED TO PAY SANCTIONS OF $523.30 TO PLAINTIFF WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow (“Plaintiff”) propounded Requests for Admission and Requests for Production of Documents on Defendant A&M Financial Services (“Defendant A&M”) on December 16, 2020. (Motions, Bowman Decl., Exh. A.) Following Defendant A&M’s failure to provide timely responses, Plaintiff filed the instant (1) Motion To Compel Responses To Demand For Production Of Documents And Request For Sanctions; and (2) Motion To Deem Requests For Admission Admitted And Request For Sanctions on February 16, 2021. No oppositions have been filed to date.

Based on Defendant A&M’s failure to serve initial responses, the Motions to compel responses to request for production, and to deem admissions admitted, are granted. There is no requirement for a prior meet and confer effort before a motion to compel initial responses or deem admissions admitted can be filed. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2031.300; 2033.280.) Further, the motion can be brought any time after the responding party fails to provide the responses. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2031.300; 2033.280.) Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Defendant A&M to serve verified responses to the request for production without objections. The Court also deems the requests for admission admitted against Defendant A&M.

Defendant A&M’s failure to timely respond constitutes a misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) Sanctions are appropriate under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2023.010 and 2023.030 and were noticed in the motion. However, the amount sought is excessive under a lodestar calculation. Therefore, the requests for sanctions are granted against Defendant A&M in the amount of $523.30 based on two hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 an hour, plus $61.65 in filing fees per motion (Motions, Bowman Decl., ¶4.) 

Conclusion

Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow’s (1) Motion To Compel Responses To Demand For Production Of Documents And Request For Sanctions; and (a) Motion To Deem Requests For Admission Admitted And Request For Sanctions are GRANTED. DEFENDANT A&M FINANCIAL SERVICES IS TO SERVE VERIFIED RESPONSES WITHOUT OBJECTION TO THE REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER. DEFENDANT A&M FINANCIAL SERVICES IS FURTHER ORDERED TO PAY SANCTIONS OF $523.30 TO PLAINTIFF WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC03391    Hearing Date: April 19, 2021    Dept: 26

Furlow v. A&M Financial Services, et al.

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION; DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED

(CCP §§ 2031.300, 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow’s (1) Motion To Compel Responses To Demand For Production Of Documents And Request For Sanctions; and (2) Motion To Deem Requests For Admission Admitted And Request For Sanctions are GRANTED. DEFENDANT CAH FINANCIAL SERVICES IS TO SERVE VERIFIED RESPONSES WITHOUT OBJECTION TO THE REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER. DEFENDANT CAH FINANCIAL SERVICES IS FURTHER ORDERED TO PAY SANCTIONS OF $523.30 TO PLAINTIFF WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow (“Plaintiff”) propounded Requests for Admission and Requests for Production of Documents on Defendant CAH Financial Services (“Defendant CAH”) on December 16, 2020. (Motions, Bowman Decl., Exh. A.) Following Defendant CAH’s failure to provide timely responses, Plaintiff filed the instant (1) Motion To Compel Responses To Demand For Production Of Documents And Request For Sanctions; and (2) Motion To Deem Requests For Admission Admitted And Request For Sanctions on February 16, 2021. No oppositions have been filed to date.

Based on Defendant CAH’s failure to serve initial responses, the Motions to compel responses to request for production, and to deem admissions admitted, are granted. There is no requirement for a prior meet and confer effort before a motion to compel initial responses or deem admissions admitted can be filed. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2031.300; 2033.280.) Further, the motion can be brought any time after the responding party fails to provide the responses.  (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2031.300; 2033.280.) Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Defendant CAH to serve verified responses to the request for production without objections. The Court also deems the requests for admission admitted against Defendant CAH.

Defendant CAH’s failure to timely respond constitutes a misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) Sanctions are appropriate under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2023.010 and 2023.030 and were noticed in the motion. However, the amount sought is excessive under a lodestar calculation. Therefore, the requests for sanctions are granted against Defendant CAH in the amount of $523.30 based on two hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 an hour, plus $61.65 in filing fees per motion (Motions, Bowman Decl., ¶4.) 

Conclusion

Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow’s (1) Motion To Compel Responses To Demand For Production Of Documents And Request For Sanctions; and (a) Motion To Deem Requests For Admission Admitted And Request For Sanctions are GRANTED. DEFENDANT CAH FINANCIAL SERVICES IS TO SERVE VERIFIED RESPONSES WITHOUT OBJECTION TO THE REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER. DEFENDANT CAH FINANCIAL SERVICES IS FURTHER ORDERED TO PAY SANCTIONS OF $523.30 TO PLAINTIFF WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER. 

Moving party to give notice. 

Case Number: 19STLC03391    Hearing Date: September 23, 2020    Dept: 26

Furlow v. A&M Financial Services, et al

MOTION TO VACATE ENTRY OF DEFAULT

(CCP § 473(b))

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant A&M Financial Services’ Motion to Vacate Default is GRANTED. THE DEFAULT ENTERED ON JUNE 4, 2020 IS HEREBY VACATED. DEFENDANT A&M FINANCIAL SERVICES TO FILE AND SERVE HIS ANSWER WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

ANALYSIS:

On April 8, 2019, Plaintiff Latoyia G. Furlow (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for breach of contract against Defendants A&M Financial Service (“Defendant A&M”), Cah Financial Services, and Roderick Culpepper. According to the proof of substitute service, Defendant A&M was served effective May 25, 2019. (Proof of Service, filed 6/3/19.)

On June 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint and re-served Defendant A&M personally on July 8, 2019. When Defendant A&M failed to respond to the First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff entered its default on June 4, 2020. Defendant A&M sought to file an Answer on June 12, 2020 and then filed the instant Motion to Vacate Entry of Default on June 18, 2020. Plaintiff filed an opposition on September 9, 2020.

Discussion

Defendant A&M Financial moves for relief from the default judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 473, subdivision (b), under which an application for relief must be made no more than six months after entry of the order 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.) The Motion must also be accompanied by a copy of the moving party’s responsive pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).)

The Motion was initially filed less than six months after entry of default, making it timely under the moving statute. It is also accompanied by a declaration from Defendant A&M Financial’s principal, Jerry Anderson, who states that upon learning of this action, he questioned Defendant Culpepper. (Motion, Anderson Decl., ¶¶1-3.) Defendant Culpepper explained to Anderson that Plaintiff was his client and that he would handle the situation. (Id. at ¶3.) Anderson checked in with Defendant Culpepper periodically and was assured that the action was being handled. (Id. at ¶4.) Anderson, who is 81 years old, has never been involved in a lawsuit and believed Defendant Culpepper would take care of the situation without his involvement. (Id. at ¶5.) Upon receipt of the request for entry of default, Anderson realized Defendant Culpepper had not informed the Court A&M Financial was not involved with Plaintiff and retained counsel to vacate the entry of default. (Id. at ¶6.)

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that Defendant A&M Financial’s reliance on Defendant Culpepper was unreasonable and inexcusable because Anderson had notice of the action but continued to speak only to Defendant Culpepper about it. Plaintiff’s counsel also declares he sought to speak to Defendant A&M Financial directly about this case, but his calls were not returned. (Motion, Bowen Decl., ¶9.) Additionally, Plaintiff’s tax returns for 2016 and 2017, on which this action is based, are signed for by Defendant Culpepper on behalf of A&M Financial. (Motion, Furlow Decl., Exhs. A and B.)

“Excusable neglect” is generally defined as an error “ ‘ “a reasonably prudent person under the same or similar circumstances might have made.” ’ ” (Ambrose v. Michelin North America, Inc. (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 1350, 1354 (citing Zamora v. Clayborn Contracting Group, Inc. (2002) 28 Cal.4th 249, 258.) Anderson declares that he was rented office space to Defendant Culpepper and they had no employer-employee relationship. (Motion, Anderson Decl., ¶2.) Anderson further states that Defendant Culpepper handles his own clients and informed Anderson that Plaintiff was Culpepper’s client. (Id. ¶3.)

The parties’ evidence is in conflict regarding the extent of Defendant A&M Financial involvement in the preparation of Plaintiff’s tax returns. Plaintiff’s opposition, however, raises crucial discrepancies. Despite Defendant Culpepper’s declaration that he never worked for A&M Financial and has never done business as A&M Financial, Plaintiff’s 2016 and 2017 tax returns bear his name as working for the firm “A&M Financial Services.” Plaintiff’s counsel also disavows Defendant Culpepper’s contention that they were making progress towards a resolution of the case. (Motion, Culpepper Decl., ¶4.) According to Plaintiff’s counsel, it was a struggle to get ahold of either Defendant. (Id. at ¶¶8-11.) After Culpepper provided a false address he has been evading Plaintiff’s counsel’s attempts at communication. (Id. at ¶¶11-14.) The Court has since denied Plaintiff’s application to serve Defendant Culpepper by publication. (Id. at ¶14.)

The discrepancies in the parties’ accounts seem to originate from Defendant Culpepper. He signed the 2016 and 2017 tax returns for Plaintiff with A&M Financial Services listed as the firm, but now disavows any relationship with Defendant A&M Financial. Similarly, Defendant Culpepper stated that the parties were working towards a settlement, which is contradicted by Plaintiff’s counsel. This supports the idea that Anderson was reassured by Defendant Culpepper that he would take care of the action. Defendant Culpepper expressly admits to making these reassurances.

Under these circumstances, the Court finds A&M Financial had demonstrated excusable neglect in failing to respond to the Complaint.

Conclusion

Defendant A&M Financial Services’ Motion to Vacate Default is GRANTED. THE DEFAULT ENTERED ON JUNE 4, 2020 IS HEREBY VACATED. DEFENDANT A&M FINANCIAL SERVICES TO FILE AND SERVE HIS ANSWER WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

Court clerk to give notice.

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