This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/09/2020 at 09:58:40 (UTC).

NEW CENTURY ALHAMBRA AUTOMOBILES, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS BROOKE TAYLOR

Case Summary

On 08/11/2020 NEW CENTURY ALHAMBRA AUTOMOBILES, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against BROOKE TAYLOR. 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:

    *******6723

  • Filing Date:

    08/11/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

NEW CENTURY ALHAMBRA AUTOMOBILES LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

Defendant

TAYLOR BROOKE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

CHONG ROBERT

 

Court Documents

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

10/23/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

10/26/2020: Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

10/26/2020: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

Answer - Answer

10/26/2020: Answer - Answer

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

10/27/2020: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

10/22/2020: Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

10/23/2020: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

10/2/2020: Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

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

10/5/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

10/5/2020: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

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

10/6/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

10/8/2020: Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

9/1/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Complaint - Complaint

8/11/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/11/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

8/11/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

8/11/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

8/11/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

6 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/15/2023
  • Hearing08/15/2023 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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  • 02/08/2022
  • Hearing02/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 03/29/2021
  • Hearing03/29/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Judgment (CCP 473.5)

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  • 10/27/2020
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by: Brooke Taylor (Defendant); As to: Steven Liu (Cross-Defendant); Mayra Villalobos (Cross-Defendant); Luis Steven Amezcua (Cross-Defendant) et al.

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  • 10/26/2020
  • DocketMotion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment; Filed by: Brooke Taylor (Defendant); As to: Brooke Taylor (Defendant)

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  • 10/26/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Brooke Taylor (Defendant); As to: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/26/2020
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by: Brooke Taylor (Defendant); As to: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/26/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Judgment (CCP 473.5) scheduled for 03/29/2021 at 09:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 10/23/2020
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by: Brooke Taylor (Defendant)

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  • 10/23/2020
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Brooke Taylor (Defendant)

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8 More Docket Entries
  • 10/02/2020
  • DocketNotice of Rejection - Pleadings; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 09/01/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Plaintiff); As to: Brooke Taylor (Defendant); Service Date: 09/01/2020; Service Cost: 0.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Plaintiff); As to: Brooke Taylor (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Plaintiff); As to: Brooke Taylor (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company (Plaintiff); As to: Brooke Taylor (Defendant)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 02/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 08/15/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC06723    Hearing Date: March 29, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Mon., March 29, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC v. Taylor

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC06723 COMPL. FILED: 08-11-20

NOTICE: OK DEFAULT: 10-06-20

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Brooke Taylor, in pro per

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC

MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT

(CCP § 473(b))

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Brooke Taylor’s Motion to Set Aside Default is GRANTED. The default entered on October 6, 2020 is HEREBY VACATED. However, Defendant’s request to quash service 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: Filed on March 11, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on March 24, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On August 11, 2020, Plaintiff New Century Alhambra Automobiles, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract and quantum meruit against Defendant Brooke Taylor (“Defendant”). Following Defendant’s failure to respond, default was entered against her on October 6, 2020. Default judgment has not yet been entered.

On October 26, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Set Aside Default and Default Judgment, if Entered (the “Motion”), in pro per. Defendant also filed an Answer and a Cross-Complaint against Plaintiff. Plaintiff filed an Opposition on March 11, 2021 and Defendant filed a Reply on March 24.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Relief from Default

Defendant seeks relief, in part, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b). (Mot., p. 1.) Under this statute, an application for relief must be made no more than six months after entry of the judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding 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.)

Defendant’s Motion is timely and is accompanied by a copy of her proposed answer and cross-complaint. She seeks to set aside the default entered on October 6, 2020 due to her inadvertence, surprise, mistake, or excusable neglect. (Mot., Taylor Decl., ¶ 10.) Defendant explains the parties were initially involved in a small claims case, Case No. 20STSC01751. (Id. at ¶ 8.) At a September 1, 2020 hearing in small claims court, Defendant became aware Plaintiff filed an application to transfer the case to a limited jurisdiction department. The request to transfer was not granted until October 2, 2020. (Id.) She further states she was confused and did not know the two cases would proceed separately as the limited civil action involved the same facts as the small claims action. (Id. at ¶ 10.)

It is well-settled that the law favors judgments on the merits and any doubts must be resolved in favor of relief. (Lasalle v. Vogel (2019) 26 Cal.App.5th 127, 134.)

Based on Defendant’s timely request supported by her declaration of fault, the request to vacate the default entered on October 6, 2020 is GRANTED.

1. Attorney’s Fees

In Opposition, Plaintiff argues the Court must require Defendant to pay attorney’s fees if relief is granted under Section 473, subdivision (b). (Oppo., p. 3:10-4:6.) Plaintiff argues that because Defendant is acting as her own attorney and seeks relief based on her inadvertence or mistake, she must be ordered to pay attorney’s fees. (Id.) The Court is not persuaded.

Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b), states, in pertinent part, “[t]he Court shall, whenever relief is granted based on an attorney’s affidavit of fault, direct the attorney to pay reasonable compensatory legal fees and costs to opposing counsel or parties.” (Italics added.) This portion of Section 473, subdivision (b), applies only to attorneys. This is evidenced by the fact the first sentence of Section 473(b) refers to both attorneys and parties. Specifically, it states the Court may relieve “a party or his or her legal representative from a judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding taken against him or her…” (Italics added.) Had the legislature intended the mandatory attorney’s fees provision to apply to attorneys and self-represented litigants equally, it would have so stated. Plaintiff has not cited any authority demonstrating otherwise.

Thus, Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees under Section 473, subdivision (b), is DENIED.

B. Quash Service of Summons

Defendant also argues that service should be quashed because she was not properly served with all required documents. (Mot., p. 3.)

“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.) A defendant has 30 days after the service of the summons to file a responsive pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 412.20, subd. (a)(3).)

“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. (See 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 filed a proof of service on September 1, 2020 purporting to show that Defendant was personally served by George Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”), who is not a party to this action nor a registered process server, at 111 North Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 in Room 541 at 8:48 a.m. (9/1/20 Proof of Service.) On its face, the proof of service is valid but is not entitled to a presumption of valid service because it was not signed by a registered process server.

In Opposition, Plaintiff submits the declaration of Rodriguez stating that on September 1, 2020, he appeared at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Department 90 for a small claims trial. (Oppo., Rodriguez Dec., ¶ 2.) Rodriguez is an employee of Plaintiff that was assigned to represent Plaintiff in the small claims matter. (Id. at ¶ 1.) He attests that he handed Defendant an envelope containing the Summons and Complaint for this action. (Id. at ¶ 3.)

Notably, Defendant does not deny being present at the September 1, 2020 small claims hearing. Rather, Defendant argues Rodriguez only served a cover sheet and an application to transfer the small claims case to a limited jurisdiction department, but not with a Summons and Complaint. (Id. at p. 5.) In her Reply, however, she contradicts this statement and states she was never served with any documents, including any cover sheet. (Reply, p. 3.)

Based on Rodriguez’s declaration regarding proper service and Defendant’s contradictory statements, the Court does not find Defendant’s argument that she was not properly served with the Summons and Complaint credible.

Thus, the Motion to Quash is DENIED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Brooke Taylor’s Motion to Set Aside Default is GRANTED. The default entered on October 6, 2020 is HEREBY VACATED. However, Defendant’s request to quash service is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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