This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/30/2020 at 01:22:43 (UTC).

MARTIN HERNANDEZ VS JAIME TORRES

Case Summary

On 05/07/2019 MARTIN HERNANDEZ filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against JAIME TORRES. 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 Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******4416

  • Filing Date:

    05/07/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HERNANDEZ MARTIN

Defendant

TORRES JAIME

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

WILLOUGHBY II ANTHONY

Defendant Attorneys

KAUFMAN MARK D.

KAUFMAN MARK DAVID

SANDE PAUL

 

Court Documents

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

10/28/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions; Hearing on Motio...)

10/28/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions; Hearing on Motio...)

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

4/17/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

1/29/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel) of 01/22/2020

1/22/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel) of 01/22/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel)

1/22/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Deposition)

11/21/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Deposition)

Association of Attorney - Association of Attorney

12/2/2019: Association of Attorney - Association of Attorney

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

11/21/2019: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

11/12/2019: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

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

11/7/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery...)

Reply (name extension) - Reply IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS (1)-(3) TO COMPEL INITIAL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND INSPECTION DEMANDS

10/30/2019: Reply (name extension) - Reply IN SUPPORT OF MOTIONS (1)-(3) TO COMPEL INITIAL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND INSPECTION DEMANDS

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Deposition

10/1/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Deposition

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

9/9/2019: 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

9/9/2019: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Answer - Answer

6/3/2019: Answer - Answer

Complaint - Complaint

5/7/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

5/7/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

22 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Jaime Torres (Defendant)

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions; Hearing on Motio...)

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions; Hearing on Motio...) of 10/28/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions scheduled for 10/28/2020 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 10/28/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to be Relieved as Counsel scheduled for 10/28/2020 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 10/28/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketJury Trial scheduled for 09/09/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 10/28/2020

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  • 09/30/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 09/30/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/03/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 09/09/2021 08:30 AM

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  • 09/30/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Event scheduled for 09/09/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Type changed from Non-Jury Trial to Jury Trial

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  • 09/30/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/10/2022 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 09/30/2020

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43 More Docket Entries
  • 06/14/2019
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by: Jaime Torres (Defendant)

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  • 06/03/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Jaime Torres (Defendant); As to: Martin Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Martin Hernandez (Plaintiff); As to: Jaime Torres (Defendant)

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Martin Hernandez (Plaintiff); As to: Jaime Torres (Defendant)

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Martin Hernandez (Plaintiff); As to: Jaime Torres (Defendant)

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/10/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/03/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC04416    Hearing Date: October 28, 2020    Dept: 26

Hernandez v. Torres, et al.

MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2023.010)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Jamie Torres’ Motion for Terminating, Evidentiary, Issue Preclusion and Monetary Sanctions is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. THE COURT HEREBY DISMISSES PLAINTIFF MARTIN HERNANDEZ’S COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE. THE REQUEST FOR EVIDENTIARY, ISSUE PRECLUSION AND MONETARY SANCTIONS IS DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Martin Hernandez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Jamie Torres (“Defendant”) on May 7, 2019. On November 7, 2019, the Court granted Defendant’s motions to compel Plaintiff’s responses to written discovery. (Minute Order, 11/07/19.) The Court ordered Plaintiff to serve responses to the discovery within 20 days’ notice of the order and to pay monetary sanctions within 30 days’ notice of the order. (Ibid.) Notice of the ruling was served on Plaintiff on November 11, 2019. (Notice of Ruling, filed 11/11/19.) On November 21, 2019, the Court granted Defendant’s motion to compel Plaintiff’s deposition. (Minute Order, 11/21/19.) The Court ordered Plaintiff to appear for deposition on December 12, 2019 and to pay monetary sanctions within 30 days’ notice of the order. (Ibid.) Notice of the ruling was served on Plaintiff on the same date. (Notice of Ruling, filed 11/21/19.)

On December 18, 2019, Defendant filed the instant Motion for Terminating, Evidentiary, Issue Preclusion and Monetary Sanctions (“the Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.

Discussion

Where a party willfully disobeys a discovery order, courts have discretion to impose terminating, issue, evidence or monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subds. (d), (g); R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 495.) The court should look to the totality of the circumstances in determining whether terminating sanctions are appropriate. (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.) Ultimate discovery sanctions are justified where there is a willful discovery order violation, a history of abuse, and evidence showing that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with discovery rules. (Van Sickle v. Gilbert (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, 1516.) “[A] penalty as severe as dismissal or default is not authorized where noncompliance with discovery is caused by an inability to comply rather than willfulness or bad faith.” (Brown v. Sup. Ct. (1986) 180 Cal.App.3d 701, 707.) “The court may impose a terminating sanction by one of the following orders:

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

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

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

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

(Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030, subd. (d).)

The court finds that terminating sanctions are warranted here. Following the Court’s rulings regarding the written discovery requests and deposition, Defendant served notice of the orders on Plaintiff by mail. Despite notice of the Court’s orders, Plaintiff did not comply. Given the notice provided, the Court finds Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the Court’s November 7 and 21, 2019 orders to be willful. Furthermore, although Plaintiff was properly served with the instant Motion, no opposition has been filed.

Although terminating sanctions are a harsh penalty, the above evidence demonstrates that Plaintiff’s compliance with the Court’s orders cannot be achieved through lesser sanctions. Indeed, it appears that Plaintiff has no intention of complying with the Court’s orders or prosecuting the claims against Defendant. “The court [is] not required to allow a pattern of abuse to continue ad infinitum.” (Mileikowsky v. Tenet Healthsystem (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 262, 280.)

In light of the order granting terminating sanctions, the Court declines to award any other type of sanction against Plaintiff.

Conclusion

Defendant Jamie Torres’ Motion for Terminating, Evidentiary, Issue Preclusion and Monetary Sanctions is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. THE COURT HEREBY DISMISSES PLAINTIFF MARTIN HERNANDEZ’S COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE. THE REQUEST FOR EVIDENTIARY, ISSUE PRECLUSION AND MONETARY SANCTIONS IS DENIED.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC04416    Hearing Date: January 22, 2020    Dept: 26

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

(CCP § 284(2); CRC Rule 3.1362)

TENTATIVE RULING

Motion of Attorney Anthony Willoughby, Esq. of Willoughby & Associates to Withdraw as Counsel for Plaintiff Martin Hernandez is CONTINUED TO MARCH 25, 2020 AT 10:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 94.

THE MOTION IS DEFECTIVE IN NUMEROUS RESPECTS, AS FOLLOWS. THE MOTION IS NOT SUPPORTED BY A DECLARATION ON JUDICIAL COUNCIL FORM MC-052 AS REQUIRED BY CAL. RULES OF COURT RULE 3.1362, SUBDIVISION (C). NOR DOES THE CUSTOM DECLARATION FILED IN SUPPORT OF THE MOTION INCLUDE ALL NECESSARY INFORMATION, INCLUDING (1) DEMONSTRATING REASONABLE EFFORTS TO CONFIRM PLAINTIFF’S ADDRESS WITHIN 30 DAYS OF FILING THE MOTION; (2) WHY THE MOTION SHOULD BE GRANTED DESPITE THE LACK OF SERVICE OF THE PAPERS; AND (3) UPCOMING HEARING AND TRIAL DATES.

ADDITIONALLY, MOVING PARTY HAS NOT FILED, NOR LODGED, A PROPOSED ORDER ON JUDICIAL COUNCIL FORM MC-053 AS REQUIRED BY CAL. RULES OF COURT RULE 3.1362, SUBDIVISION (E).

AT LEAST 16 DAYS PRIOR TO THE NEW HEARING DATE, MOVING PARTY IS TO FILE AND SERVE SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS CORRECTING THE DEFECTS NOTED ABOVE. PROOF OF SERVICE OF THE SAME IS TO BE FILED CONCURRENTLY. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE COURT’S ORDERS MAY RESULT IN THE MOTION BEING PLACED OFF CALENDAR OR DENIED.

Moving party to give notice to client and all parties.

Case Number: 19STLC04416    Hearing Date: November 21, 2019    Dept: 94

MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2025.450)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Jamie Torres’ Motion for an Order Compelling Plaintiff Martin Hernandez’s Attendance at Deposition and for Monetary Sanctions is GRANTED. PLAINTIFF IS ORDERED TO APPEAR FOR HIS DEPOSITION ON DECEMBER 12, 2019 AT 10:00 AM AT THE LAW OFFICES OF MARK R. WEINER & ASSOCIATES, 655 N. CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1125, GLENDALE, CA 91203-1434. PLAINTIFF AND HIS COUNSEL OF RECORD ARE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY ORDERED TO PAY DEFENDANT SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $956.40 WITHIN 30 DAYS.

GROUNDS FOR MOTION: The Court should compel Plaintiff to appear, testify and produce documents at his properly noticed deposition. Also, the Court should sanction Plaintiff and his counsel for failing to appear. Sanctions are sought in the amount of $1,194.15.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff Martin Hernandez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Jamie Torres (“Defendants”) on May 7, 2019. Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Attendance at Deposition on October 1, 2019. To date, no opposition has been filed.

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).) 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.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subds. (b)(1), (2).) 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).)

Discussion

Defendant presents evidence that Plaintiff failed to appear for his properly noticed deposition on September 4, 2019. (Motion, Weiner Decl., ¶¶2-3 and Exhs. A-B.) Plaintiff’s counsel did not advise defense counsel that Plaintiff would fail to appear. (Id. at ¶3.) The motion is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration demonstrating that defense counsel reached out to Plaintiff’s counsel following the failure to appear. (Id. at ¶¶4-5 and Exh. C.) In response, Plaintiff’s counsel advised that he has been unable to locate Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶5.)

Based on the Plaintiff’s failure to appear for her properly noticed deposition and continuing lack of cooperation in rescheduling the deposition, the Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Attendance at Deposition, and Request for Sanctions is GRANTED. PLAINTIFF IS ORDERED TO APPEAR FOR HER DEPOSITION ON DECEMBER 12, 2019 AT 10:00 AM AT THE LAW OFFICES OF MARK R. WEINER & ASSOCIATES, 655 N. CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1125, GLENDALE, CA 91203-1434.

Sanctions are warranted pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 2023.030, subdivision (d) and section 2025.450, subdivision (g)(1,) and have been properly noticed. Sanctions are jointly and severally awarded against Plaintiff and his attorney of record in the reduced amount of $956.40 based on defense counsel’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing this motion. (Id. at ¶¶3, 7 and Exh. B.) Specifically, one hour of attorney time billed at $143.75 per hour, the $61.65 filing fee, the $343.00 videographer fee, and $408.00 reporter fee. (Ibid.) THE SANCTIONS OF $956.40 ARE TO BE PAID WITHIN 30 DAYS.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC04416    Hearing Date: November 07, 2019    Dept: 94

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM AND SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES; REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; TO DEEM THE TRUTH OF MATTERS IN REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS AS ADMITTED; AND TO REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2031.300; 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Jamie Torres’ (1) Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One; and Request for Sanctions; (2) Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set Two; and Request for Sanctions; (3) Motion to Compel Responses to Request for Production of Documents; and Request for Sanctions; and (4) Motion to Deem the Truth of Matters in Request for Admissions as Admitted; and Request for Sanctions are GRANTED. THE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ARE DEEMED ADMITTED. RESPONSES TO THE INTERROGATORIES AND REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION ARE TO BE SERVED BY PLAINTIFF WITHIN 20 DAYS OF SERVICE OF NOTICE OF THIS ORDER. PLAINTIFF IS FURTHER ORDERED TO PAY SANCTIONS OF $821.60 TO DEFENSE COUNSEL WITHIN 30 DAYS OF SERVICE OF NOTICE OF THIS ORDER.

REQUEST FOR RELIEF: Order Plaintiff to serve responses to discovery requests and deem requests for admission admitted.

OPPOSITION: Plaintiff’s counsel has been unable to reach him and an award of sanctions against his counsel would be inappropriate.

REPLY: Plaintiff’s opposition confirms that all four motions should be granted.

ANALYSIS:

On May 7, 2019, Plaintiff Martin Hernandez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendant Jaime Torres (“Defendant”). Defendant served Form Interrogatories, Sets One and Two, Request for Production of Documents, and Request for Admissions on Plaintiff on June 3, 2019. (Motion, Kaufman Decl., Exh. A.) To date, Defendant has not received any verified responses to the propounded discovery requests from Plaintiff. (Id. ¶4; Opp., Willoughby II Decl.)

Defendant now brings the instant Motions to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents; to Deem the Truth of Matters in Request for Admissions as Admitted; and to Request for Sanctions (the “Motions”).

Due to the failure to respond to the propounded discovery requests, Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses, without objections, to Defendant’s Form Interrogatories, Sets One and Two, and Request for Production within twenty (20) days from the date of Defendants serving a notice of this Order. (See Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290; 2031.300.) The Requests for Admission are also deemed admitted against Plaintiff. Monetary sanctions are also awarded under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2033.280, 2030.290 and 2031.300. Given the simplicity of the Motions, the Court finds that sanctions are appropriate in the amount of $821.60 based on four hours of attorney time billed at $143.75 per hour and four filing fees of $61.65 each. (Motions, Kaufman Decl., ¶5.) Sanctions are to be paid within thirty (30) days from the date of Defendant serving a notice of this Order.

Defendant Jamie Torres’ (1) Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One; and Request for Sanctions; (2) Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set Two; and Request for Sanctions; (3) Motion to Compel Responses to Request for Production of Documents; and Request for Sanctions; and (4) Motion to Deem the Truth of Matters in Request for Admissions as Admitted; and Request for Sanctions are GRANTED. THE REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ARE DEEMED ADMITTED. RESPONSES TO THE INTERROGATORIES AND REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION ARE TO BE SERVED BY PLAINTIFF WITHIN 20 DAYS OF SERVICE OF NOTICE OF THIS ORDER. PLAINTIFF IS FURTHER ORDERED TO PAY SANCTIONS OF $821.60 TO DEFENSE COUNSEL WITHIN 30 DAYS OF SERVICE OF NOTICE OF THIS ORDER.

Moving party to give notice.