This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/23/2020 at 18:02:44 (UTC).

LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION VS WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 02/06/2019 LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION filed an Other lawsuit against WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY. 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:

    *******1358

  • Filing Date:

    02/06/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Defendants

HICKS RICHARD

WH VAUGHN 24 LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

HERSHORIN LORI CARVER

Defendant Attorney

GRAJEWSKI WAYNE S

 

Court Documents

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

6/10/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order Stipulation for Discharge and Dismissal of Plaintiff, and Release of Funds Deposited With Court Pursuant to CCP Section 386.1; Proposed O

3/5/2020: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order Stipulation for Discharge and Dismissal of Plaintiff, and Release of Funds Deposited With Court Pursuant to CCP Section 386.1; Proposed O

Answer - Answer

6/18/2019: Answer - Answer

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Errata re the Answer

6/21/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Errata re the Answer

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

10/7/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

10/7/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

10/7/2019: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Order to Deposit (name extension) - Order to Deposit OF FUNDS IN INTERPLEADER ACTION AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO BE PLACED IN AN INTEREST BEARING ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO CCP 386.1; [PROPOSED] ORDER

5/15/2019: Order to Deposit (name extension) - Order to Deposit OF FUNDS IN INTERPLEADER ACTION AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO BE PLACED IN AN INTEREST BEARING ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO CCP 386.1; [PROPOSED] ORDER

Motion for Order (name extension) - Motion for Order TO DEPOSIT ESCROW FUNDS FOR COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO BE PLACED IN AN INTEREST -BEARING ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO CCP 386.1

5/24/2019: Motion for Order (name extension) - Motion for Order TO DEPOSIT ESCROW FUNDS FOR COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO BE PLACED IN AN INTEREST -BEARING ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO CCP 386.1

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/6/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint - Complaint

2/6/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

2/6/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/6/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

2/6/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

2 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/21/2021
  • Hearing04/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/09/2022 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 06/10/2020

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketReset - Court Unavailable, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/05/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion was rescheduled to 04/21/2021 08:30 AM

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  • 03/05/2020
  • DocketStipulation and Order Stipulation for Discharge and Dismissal of Plaintiff, and Release of Funds Deposited With Court Pursuant to CCP Section 386.1; Proposed Order; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, a California limited liability company (Defendant)

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  • 03/05/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Stipulation and Order Stipulation for Discharge and Dismissal of Plaintiff, and Release of Funds Deposited With Court Pursuant to CCP Section 386.1; Proposed Order: Status changed from Filed to Signed and Filed

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  • 01/15/2020
  • DocketPursuant to the request of moving party, Hearing on Motion for Order Motion for Order to Deposit Escrow Funds for Complaint in Interpleader scheduled for 01/16/2020 at 10:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party on 01/15/2020

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  • 10/07/2019
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Richard Hicks (Defendant)

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  • 10/07/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Richard Hicks (Defendant); Service Date: 08/01/2019; Service Cost: 96.90; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/07/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, a California limited liability company (Defendant)

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5 More Docket Entries
  • 05/24/2019
  • DocketMotion for Order TO DEPOSIT ESCROW FUNDS FOR COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO BE PLACED IN AN INTEREST -BEARING ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO CCP 386.1; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/15/2019
  • DocketOrder to Deposit OF FUNDS IN INTERPLEADER ACTION AND REQUEST FOR FUNDS TO BE PLACED IN AN INTEREST BEARING ACCOUNT PURSUANT TO CCP 386.1; [PROPOSED] ORDER; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/05/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/07/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/09/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/07/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 02/06/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, a California limited liability company (Defendant); Richard Hicks (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, a California limited liability company (Defendant); Richard Hicks (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: LAWYERS TITLE COMPANY, a California corporation (Plaintiff); As to: WH VAUGHN 24 LLC, a California limited liability company (Defendant); Richard Hicks (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/06/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC01358    Hearing Date: January 16, 2020    Dept: 94

MOTION TO DEPOSIT FEES, DISCHARGE LIABILITY

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Lawyers Title Company’s Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder, for Discharge of Stakeholder, and Request for Attorney’s Fees is GRANTED AS TO THE COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER. INTERPLEADER FUNDS OF $12,000.00 TO BE DEPOSITED WITH TEN (10) DAYS.

Trial date remains scheduled for August 5, 2020 at 8:30 am in Department 94.

RELIEF REQUESTED: Allow Plaintiff to deposit surplus funds and order Plaintiff discharged from liability regarding said funds, and award attorneys’ fees. By way of this motion the moving party seeks an order allowing it to deposit the remaining interpleader funds and to be discharged from further liability.

ANALYSIS:

On February 6, 2019, Lawyers Title Company (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for interpleader with respect to escrow funds over which Defendants WH Vaughn 24, LLC (“Seller”) and Richard Hicks (“Buyer”) assert claims. On May 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Order to Deposit Funds that the Court granted on the same date. On May 24, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Deposit Interpleader Funds, etc. Seller filed an Answer on June 18, 2019. Following Buyer’s failure to file a responsive pleading, the Court entered his default on October 7, 2019. To date, no opposition to the Motion has been filed.

Legal Standard

Interpleader is a procedure whereby a person holding money or personal property to which conflicting claims are being made by others, can join the adverse claimants and force them to litigate their claims among themselves. (Hancock Oil Co. v. Hopkins (1944) 24 Cal.2d 497, 508 (i.e., an escrow-holder who receives conflicting demands from the parties to the escrow regarding the funds or documents he or she holds); City of Morgan Hill v. Brown (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1114, 1122.)

Once the stakeholder’s right to interplead is established, and he or she deposits the money or personal property in court, he or she may be discharged from liability to any of the claimants. This enables the stakeholder to avoid multiplicity of actions, and the risk of inconsistent results if each of the claimants were to sue him or her separately. (Cantu v. Resolution Trust Corp. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 857, 874; City of Morgan Hill, supra, 71 Cal.App.4th at 1122.)

“An interpleader action is traditionally viewed as two suits: one between the stakeholder and the claimants to determine the stakeholder's right to interplead, and the other among the claimants to determine who shall receive the funds interpleaded ... As against the stakeholder, claimants may raise only matters which go to whether the suit is properly one for interpleader; i.e., whether the elements of an interpleader action are present.” (State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Pietak (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 600, 612.)

If the stakeholder is a defendant who claims no interest in the funds or property held, he or she need not file a cross-complaint interpleader in interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a).) He or she may simply apply to the court for permission to deposit the money or property with the court clerk, and for an order discharging him or her from further liability to the adverse claimants. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (a).) Such order will also substitute the adverse claimants as parties to the action; or, if only money is involved, simply dismiss the stakeholder. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a), 386.5.) The motion must be supported by an affidavit by the stakeholder establishing the ground for interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a), 386.5.) Notice of the motion must be served on each of the adverse claimants to the funds or property. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a), 386.5.)

The stakeholder may seek reimbursement for its costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred.

(UAP-Columbus JV 326132 v. Nesbitt (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 1028, 1036.) The court may order payment thereof out of the funds deposited by the stakeholder. (Ibid.) Ultimately, such payment may be charged to one or more of the adverse claimants in the final judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.6.)

Discussion

Plaintiff’s request to be discharged from liability on the Complaint in Interpleader is granted. As all claimants have been served with the Summons and Complaint, served with the instant motion, are in default, or were dismissed from the action, relief is proper. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386 and 386.5.) The subject matter of this action is $13,254.00. Currently, Plaintiff cannot determine the validity of the conflicting demands that have been made. (Motion, Mourad Decl., ¶3.) Upon deposit of the funds to the court, Plaintiff may be discharged from further liability. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386.5, 386, subd. (f).) Furthermore, Plaintiff requests fees and costs as permitted by statute. Given the straightforward and unopposed nature of this action and Motion, fees and costs are awarded in the amount of $1,254.00. Plaintiff is to deposit the remaining funds of $12,000.00 within 10 days of receipt of this order.

Plaintiff’s Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder and for Discharge of Stakeholder is GRANTED AS TO THE COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER. INTERPLEADER FUNDS OF $12,000.00 TO BE DEPOSITED WITH TEN (10) DAYS.

Trial date remains scheduled for August 5, 2020 at 8:30 am in Department 94.

Moving party to give notice.