This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/25/2020 at 01:06:56 (UTC).

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, A WISCONSIN CORPORATION VS NICOLE SERBAN JOSEPH, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 04/08/2020 NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, A WISCONSIN CORPORATION filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against NICOLE SERBAN JOSEPH. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is SERENA R. MURILLO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3160

  • Filing Date:

    04/08/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA A WISCONSIN CORPORATION

Defendants

JOSEPH DOINA S

JOSEPH NICOLE SERBAN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SMITH JAY W

Defendant Attorney

RISTA ANTHONY

 

Court Documents

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS

12/15/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons)

12/23/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons)

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Non-Service

9/30/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Non-Service

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Non-Service

9/10/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Non-Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

7/23/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Motion to Quash Service of Summons - Motion to Quash Service of Summons

9/2/2020: Motion to Quash Service of Summons - Motion to Quash Service of Summons

Summons - Summons on Complaint

4/27/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

4/8/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Complaint - Complaint

4/8/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

4/8/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

4/8/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/12/2023
  • Hearing04/12/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 10/06/2021
  • Hearing10/06/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 12/23/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Quash Service of Summons: Filed By: Nicole Serban Joseph (Defendant); Result: Denied; Result Date: 12/23/2020

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  • 12/23/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons)

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  • 12/23/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons scheduled for 12/23/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 12/23/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 12/15/2020
  • DocketOpposition TO MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS; Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Hearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons scheduled for 12/23/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Rescheduled by Court was rescheduled to 12/23/2020 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 09/30/2020
  • DocketDeclaration of Non-Service; Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/10/2020
  • DocketDeclaration of Non-Service; Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/02/2020
  • DocketMotion to Quash Service of Summons; Filed by: Nicole Serban Joseph (Defendant)

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  • 09/02/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Quash Service of Summons scheduled for 12/23/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Nicole Serban Joseph (Defendant); Service Date: 07/22/2020; Service Cost: 64.50; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 04/27/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Nicole Serban Joseph (Defendant); Doina S Joseph (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/06/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/12/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Nicole Serban Joseph (Defendant); Doina S Joseph (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Nationwide Insurance Company of America, a Wisconsin corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Nicole Serban Joseph (Defendant); Doina S Joseph (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/08/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC03160    Hearing Date: December 23, 2020    Dept: 26

Nationwide Ins. Co. v. Joesph, et al.

ANALYSIS:

On April 8, 2020, Plaintiff Nationwide Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed the Complaint in this action for automobile subrogation against Defendants Nicole Serban Joseph (“Defendant Nicole”) and Doina S. Joseph (“Defendant Diona”). Plaintiff filed a proof of personal service with respect to Defendant Nicole on July 23, 2020. On September 2, 2020, Defendant Nicole filed the instant Motion to Quash Service of the Summons and Complaint. On September 10, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Declaration of Non-Service with respect to Defendant Dione; on September 30, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Declaration of Non-Service with respect to Defendant Nicole for an address in Bristol, Tennessee.

Plaintiff filed an opposition to the Motion on December 15, 2020.

Discussion

“A defendant, on or before the last day of his or her time to plead or within any further time that the court may for good cause allow, may serve and file a notice of motion for one or more of the following purposes: To quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over him or her.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 418.10, subd. (a)(1), emphasis added.)

“When a defendant challenges the court’s personal jurisdiction on the ground of improper service of process ‘the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the existence of jurisdiction by proving, inter alia, the facts requisite to an effective service.’” (Summers v. McClanahan (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 403, 413.) A proof of service containing a declaration from a registered process server invokes a presumption of valid service. (See American Express Centurion Bank v. Zara (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 383, 390; see also Evid. Code § 647.) This presumption is rebuttable. (Id.) The party seeking to defeat service of process must present sufficient evidence to show that the service did not take place as stated. (See Palm Property Investments, LLC v. Yadegar (2011) 194 Cal.App.4th 1419, 1428; cf. People v. Chavez (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 1471, 1483 [“If some fact be presumed, the opponent of that fact bears the burden of producing or going forward with evidence sufficient to overcome or rebut the presumed fact.”].) Merely denying service took place without more is insufficient to overcome the presumption. (See Yadegar, supra, 194 Cal.App.4th at 1428.)

Plaintiff initially filed a Proof of Personal Service of the Summons and Complaint with respect to Defendant Nicole. (Proof of Service, filed 7/23/20.) The proof of service is attested to by a registered process service and is therefore entitled to a presumption of validity. (Proof of Service, filed 7/23/20, ¶7(e)(3).) It states that Defendant Nicole was personally served on July 22, 2020 at 12:40 pm by delivery of the Summons and Complaint at 5567 Heatherton Drive, Somis, California. (Id. at ¶¶4, 5(a).) The proof of service goes on to detail the manner of personal service as follows: Defendant Nicole identified herself but refused to accept the papers from the process server, who was standing in the driveway of the Heatherton property. (Id. at ¶5(a).) Defendant Nicole then drove away from the property and the process server followed his supervisor’s instruction to leave the papers at the entrance gate. (Ibid.)

Before considering the evidence in support of the Motion, the Court must determine if the proof of service facially describes a proper method of service. The Court finds that the proof of service does describe proper personal service on Defendant Nicole, despite her attempt to avoid physical receipt of the papers. “The individual upon whom the process server attempts to make personal service by manual delivery may not be heard to claim that service was improper because he refused to accept service.” (Crescendo Corp. v. Shelted, Inc. (1968) 267 Cal.App.2d 209, 213.)

Defendant Nicole’s evidence in opposition to the proof of service is the declaration of Kevin Wynn Johnson (“Johnson”), who states that he is the owner of the Heatherton property for the past 20 years. (Motion, Johnson Decl., ¶2.) Johnson declares that he arrived home from work on July 22, 2020 to discover the Summons and Complaint stuck in the gate. (Id. at ¶3.) Johnson further states that Defendant Nicole has never resided at the Heatherton property, nor worked there, and he is not authorized to receive service on her behalf. (Id. at ¶4.) According to defense counsel, Defendant Nicole has lived in Bristol, Tennessee since 2016. (Motion, Rista Decl., ¶¶3-5.) None of this evidence, however, addresses the evidence from the proof of service that personal service was accomplished on Defendant Nicole when the process server confirmed her identity and informed her of the nature of the papers, which she then refused to accept.

Finally, Plaintiff’s evidence in opposition demonstrates that Defendant Nicole listed the Heatherton address on her driver’s license. (Opp., Smith Decl., Exh. 3.) Leaving the papers at the entrance gate of the residence after informing Defendant Nicole of their nature, therefore, satisfies the statutory requirements for service.

Conclusion

Defendant Nicole Serban Joseph’s Motion to Quash Service of Summons and Complaint is DENIED. DEFENDANT NICOLE SERBAN JOSEPH IS TO FILE AND SERVE A RESPONSIVE PLEADING TO THE COMPLAINT WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

Plaintiff to give notice.

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