This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/30/2020 at 04:04:18 (UTC).

LUIS JENARO ENCISO, ET AL. VS A & J AUTO SALES GROUP, INC., ET AL.

Case Summary

On 02/18/2020 LUIS JENARO ENCISO filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against A J AUTO SALES GROUP, INC . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1593

  • Filing Date:

    02/18/2020

  • 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

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

ENCISO LUIS JENARO

SMITH HEIDI MARIE

Defendants

A & J AUTO SALES GROUP INC.

HUDSON INSURANCE COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SADR KASRA

Defendant Attorney

GASCOU CHRISTIAN JEAN

 

Court Documents

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Motion for Sanctions hearing

9/16/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Motion for Sanctions hearing

Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration Amended Supplemental Declaration of Luis Jenaro Enciso in Support of Plaintiff's Request for Sanctions in the Amount of $3,250.00

9/16/2020: Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration Amended Supplemental Declaration of Luis Jenaro Enciso in Support of Plaintiff's Request for Sanctions in the Amount of $3,250.00

Notice (name extension) - Notice AMENDED NOTICE OF CONTINUED MOTION FOR SANTIONS HEARING

9/23/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice AMENDED NOTICE OF CONTINUED MOTION FOR SANTIONS HEARING

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

9/28/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration OF NIMA HEYDARI IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,250,00

8/19/2020: Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration OF NIMA HEYDARI IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,250,00

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

9/9/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Arbitration)

6/25/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Arbitration)

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

4/15/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Answer - Answer

4/9/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

4/1/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

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

4/1/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Motion re: (name extension) - Motion re: Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay, Request for Sanction, and Request for Costs

3/5/2020: Motion re: (name extension) - Motion re: Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay, Request for Sanction, and Request for Costs

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Nima Heydari in Support of Plaintiff's Petition to Compel Arbitration

3/5/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Nima Heydari in Support of Plaintiff's Petition to Compel Arbitration

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/18/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Complaint - Complaint

2/18/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/18/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

2/18/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

2/18/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

6 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/21/2023
  • Hearing02/21/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 08/17/2021
  • Hearing08/17/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 09/28/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

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  • 09/28/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 09/28/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 09/28/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 09/23/2020
  • DocketNotice AMENDED NOTICE OF CONTINUED MOTION FOR SANTIONS HEARING; Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); As to: A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (Defendant); Hudson Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 09/16/2020
  • DocketSupplemental Declaration Amended Supplemental Declaration of Luis Jenaro Enciso in Support of Plaintiff's Request for Sanctions in the Amount of $3,250.00; Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); Heidi Marie Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/16/2020
  • DocketNotice of Continued Motion for Sanctions hearing; Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); Heidi Marie Smith (Plaintiff); As to: A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 09/09/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 09/28/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 09/09/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions)

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  • 09/09/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Hearing on Motion for Sanctions scheduled for 09/09/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Held - Continued was rescheduled to 09/28/2020 10:30 AM

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10 More Docket Entries
  • 03/05/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Arbitration scheduled for 04/23/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 03/05/2020
  • DocketMotion re: Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay, Request for Sanction, and Request for Costs; Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); Heidi Marie Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/17/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/21/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 02/18/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); Heidi Marie Smith (Plaintiff); As to: A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (Defendant); Hudson Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 02/18/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); Heidi Marie Smith (Plaintiff); As to: A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (Defendant); Hudson Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 02/18/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Luis Jenaro Enciso (Plaintiff); Heidi Marie Smith (Plaintiff); As to: A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (Defendant); Hudson Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 02/18/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/18/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC01593    Hearing Date: September 28, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:    Mon., September 28, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME Enciso, et al.  A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc., et al.

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC01593  COMP. FILED: 02-18-20

NOTICE: OK DISC. C/O: 07-18-21

  MOTION C/O: 08-02-21

TRIAL DATE: 08-17-21

PROCEEDINGS    MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION, PETITION FOR COURT TO PICK ARBITRATION FORUM, REQUEST FOR STAY, REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS, AND REQUEST FOR COSTS

MOVING PARTY:   Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso and Heidi Marie Smith

RESP. PARTY: None  

MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 1281.2, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso and Heidi Marie Smith’s request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1281.97 and 1281.99 is GRANTED in the amount of $1,050.00 to be paid by Defendant A&J within thirty (30) 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 September 24, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of September 24, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On February 18, 2020, Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso (“Enciso”) and Heidi Marie Smith (“Smith”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action for violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, violation of California Business and Professions Code section 17200, negligent misrepresentation, claim against surety, and violation of Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.97 and 1281.99 against Defendants A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (“A&J”) and Hudson Insurance Company (“Hudson”) (collectively, “Defendants”).

On March 5, 2020, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for Court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay, Request for Sanctions, and Request for Costs (the “Motion”). No opposition was filed.

At the initial hearing on June 25, 2020, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ request to compel arbitration, ordered Defendant A&J to pay any outstanding fees to the AAA to reinstate the matter therein, and awarded Plaintiffs costs of $439.95. (6/25/20 Minute Order.) However, the Court continued the matter to allow Plaintiffs’ counsel to submit a supporting declaration for the request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.99. (Id.) On August 19, 2020, Plaintiffs’ counsel submitted the requested declaration.

A second hearing took place on September 9, 2020. Following oral argument from Plaintiffs’ counsel, the Court continued the hearing once more and ordered Plaintiffs to file and serve a declaration in regards to the legal arguments presented at the hearing. (9/9/20 Minute Order.) Plaintiffs filed a supplemental declaration on September 16, 2020.

To date, Defendants have not filed an opposition.

  1. Legal Standard

“On petition of a party to an arbitration agreement alleging the existence of a written agreement to arbitrate a controversy and that a party thereto refuses to arbitrate such controversy, the court shall order the petitioner and the respondent to arbitrate the controversy if it determines that an agreement to arbitrate the controversy exists, unless it determines that: (a) The right to compel arbitration has been waived by the petitioner; or (b) Grounds exist for the revocation of the agreement.”  (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 1281.2(a)-(b).)  As with other types of agreements, “[t]he failure of the [party] to carefully read the agreement and the amendment is not a reason to refuse to enforce the arbitration provisions.”  (Powers v. Dickson, Carlson & Campillo (1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 1102, 1115.)  “California law, ‘like [federal law], reflects a strong policy favoring arbitration agreements and requires close judicial scrutiny of waiver claims.’”  (Wagner Const. Co. v. Pacific Mechanical Corp. (2007) 41 Cal.4th 19, 31.) If the court orders arbitration, then the court shall stay the action until arbitration is completed.  (See Code Civ. Proc., § 1281.4.)

  1. Discussion

As noted above, the Court previously granted Plaintiffs’ request to compel arbitration and request for costs (6/25/20 Minute Order), so the Court only addresses their request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1281.97 and 1281.99.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.99 provides:

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction against a drafting party that materially breaches an arbitration agreement pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1281.97 or subdivision (a) of Section 1281.98, by ordering the drafting party to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees and costs, incurred by the employee or consumer as a result of the material breach.”

(Code Civ. Proc., § 1281.99, subd. (a).) (Emphasis added.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.97, subdivision (a) provides, “[i]n an employment or consumer arbitration that requires, either expressly or through application of state or federal law or the rules of the arbitration administrator, the drafting party to pay certain fees and costs before the arbitration can proceed, if the fees or costs to initiate an arbitration proceeding are not paid within 30 days after the due date, the drafting party is in material breach of the arbitration agreement, is in default of the arbitration, and waives its right to compel arbitration under Section 1281.2.” (Emphasis added.)

Here, Plaintiffs purchased a used car from Defendant A&J pursuant to a Retail Installment Sales Contract (the “RISC”). (See Mot., Heydari Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. 2.) On September 16, 2020, Plaintiff Enciso filed a supplemental declaration stating that Defendant A&J drafted many of the terms of the pre-printed contract including “the names of the parties, addresses of the parties, the specific goods being sold (the 2004 Chevy Tahoe), the VIN number for said Tahoe, the relevant payment dates, all payment terms, the sales tax required, and other governmental fees required to be paid.” (9/16/20 Enciso Supp. Decl., ¶ 3.)

Defendant A&J did not pay the required arbitration fees to the AAA and, as a result, AAA declined to administer the case. (Mot., Heydari Decl., ¶¶ 9-10, Exh. 5, 6.) Thus, Defendant A&J materially breached the agreement to arbitrate as defined by Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.97 and it is mandatory for the Court to impose a monetary sanction.

Plaintiffs seek sanctions of $3,250.00, based on 5.2 hours billed by attorney Nima Heydari at $350.00 per hour for drafting the Motion and another 2.7 hours of attorney time billed by attorney Kasra Sadr at $650.00 per hour for drafting the Complaint. (8/19/20 Supp. Heydari Decl., ¶¶ 3-5.) However, the amount sought is excessive given that Plaintiffs’ counsel frequently appears before this Court, often using the same templates with minor modifications. The Court finds $1,050.00 based on 3 hours of attorney time billed at $350.00 per hour to be reasonable. Defendant A&J is ordered to pay sanctions within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso and Heidi Marie Smith’s request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1281.97 and 1281.99 is GRANTED in the amount of $1,050.00 to be paid by Defendant A&J within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. 

Moving parties are ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 20STLC01593    Hearing Date: September 09, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Wed., September 9, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Enciso, et al. A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc., et al.

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC01593 COMP. FILED: 02-18-20

NOTICE: OK DISC. C/O: 07-18-21

MOTION C/O: 08-02-21

TRIAL DATE: 08-17-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION, PETITION FOR COURT TO PICK ARBITRATION FORUM, REQUEST FOR STAY, REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS, AND REQUEST FOR COSTS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso and Heidi Marie Smith

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 1281.2, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso and Heidi Marie Smith’s request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1281.97 and 1281.99 is DENIED.

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 September 3, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of September 3, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On February 18, 2020, Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso (“Enciso”) and Heidi Marie Smith (“Smith”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed an action for violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, violation of California Business and Professions Code section 17200, negligent misrepresentation, claim against surety, and violation of Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.97 and 1281.99 against Defendants A & J Auto Sales Group, Inc. (“A&J”) and Hudson Insurance Company (“Hudson”) (collectively, “Defendants”).

On March 5, 2020, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for Court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay, Request for Sanctions, and Request for Costs (the “Motion”). No opposition was filed.

At the initial hearing on June 25, 2020, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ request to compel arbitration, ordered Defendant A&J to pay any outstanding fees to the AAA to reinstate the matter therein, and awarded Plaintiffs costs of $439.95. (6/25/20 Minute Order.) However, the Court continued the matter to allow Plaintiffs’ counsel to submit a supporting declaration for the request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.99. (Id.) On August 19, 2020, Plaintiffs’ counsel submitted the requested declaration.

To date, Defendants have not filed an opposition.

  1. Legal Standard

“On petition of a party to an arbitration agreement alleging the existence of a written agreement to arbitrate a controversy and that a party thereto refuses to arbitrate such controversy, the court shall order the petitioner and the respondent to arbitrate the controversy if it determines that an agreement to arbitrate the controversy exists, unless it determines that: (a) The right to compel arbitration has been waived by the petitioner; or (b) Grounds exist for the revocation of the agreement.” (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 1281.2(a)-(b).) As with other types of agreements, “[t]he failure of the [party] to carefully read the agreement and the amendment is not a reason to refuse to enforce the arbitration provisions.” (Powers v. Dickson, Carlson & Campillo (1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 1102, 1115.) “California law, ‘like [federal law], reflects a strong policy favoring arbitration agreements and requires close judicial scrutiny of waiver claims.’” (Wagner Const. Co. v. Pacific Mechanical Corp. (2007) 41 Cal.4th 19, 31.) If the court orders arbitration, then the court shall stay the action until arbitration is completed. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 1281.4.)

  1. Discussion

As noted above, the Court has granted Plaintiffs’ request to compel arbitration and request for costs, so the Court only addresses their request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1281.97 and 1281.99.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.99 provides:

“The court shall impose a monetary sanction against a drafting party that materially breaches an arbitration agreement pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1281.97 or subdivision (a) of Section 1281.98, by ordering the drafting party to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees and costs, incurred by the employee or consumer as a result of the material breach.”

(Code Civ. Proc., § 1281.99, subd. (a).) (Emphasis added.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.97, subdivision (a) provides, “[i]n an employment or consumer arbitration that requires, either expressly or through application of state or federal law or the rules of the arbitration administrator, the drafting party to pay certain fees and costs before the arbitration can proceed, if the fees or costs to initiate an arbitration proceeding are not paid within 30 days after the due date, the drafting party is in material breach of the arbitration agreement, is in default of the arbitration, and waives its right to compel arbitration under Section 1281.2.” (Emphasis added.)

Here, Plaintiffs purchased a used car from Defendant pursuant to a Retail Installment Sales Contract (the “RISC”). (See Mot., Heydari Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. 2.) However, the RISC was not drafted by Defendant A&J. Indeed, the RISC is a commonly used form contract among vehicle dealers. Thus, although Defendant A&J failed to pay the required arbitration fees to the AAA, which resulted in the AAA declining to administer the case, because Defendant A&J did not draft the RISC, Sections 1281.97 and 1281.99 are inapplicable.

Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ request for sanctions is DENIED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs Luis Jenaro Enciso and Heidi Marie Smith’s request for sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 1281.97 and 1281.99 is DENIED.

Moving parties are ordered to give notice.