This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/16/2020 at 01:15:17 (UTC).

NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC. VS EMPIRE CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Case Summary

On 05/09/2019 NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against EMPIRE CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION, INC , A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION. 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:

    *******4542

  • Filing Date:

    05/09/2019

  • 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

Plaintiff

NUMARK TRANSPORTATION INC.

Defendant

EMPIRE CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

MEISLIN JONATHAN ERIC

Defendant Attorney

MASTROIANNI DOUG

 

Court Documents

Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration JONATHAN E. MEISLINS SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.S MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WI

9/21/2020: Supplemental Declaration (name extension) - Supplemental Declaration JONATHAN E. MEISLINS SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.S MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WI

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.S SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR MONETARY, ISSUE

9/21/2020: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.S SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR MONETARY, ISSUE

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE HEARING SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 4, 2020, TO CONTINUE THE T

10/7/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE HEARING SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 4, 2020, TO CONTINUE THE T

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Amended Ex Parte Application to Continue Hearing, Trial and Other Dates

10/7/2020: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application Amended Ex Parte Application to Continue Hearing, Trial and Other Dates

Order (name extension) - Order To Continue the Scheduled Motion and Trial Date

10/8/2020: Order (name extension) - Order To Continue the Scheduled Motion and Trial Date

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Compliance and for monetary, evid...)

7/27/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Compliance and for monetary, evid...)

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

4/21/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

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

3/23/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY AND TERMINATING SAN

1/15/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY AND TERMINATING SAN

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY AND TERMI

1/15/2020: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel PLAINTIFF NUMARK TRANSPORTATION, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY AND TERMI

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

11/19/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery"))

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Numark Transportation, Inc.'s Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel Responses From Empire Container Freight Station, Inc.; Memorandum of Points and

10/1/2019: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Numark Transportation, Inc.'s Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel Responses From Empire Container Freight Station, Inc.; Memorandum of Points and

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Jonathan E. Meislin In Support of Numark Transportation, Inc.'s Motion to Compel Responses From Empire Container Freight Station, Inc.

10/1/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Jonathan E. Meislin In Support of Numark Transportation, Inc.'s Motion to Compel Responses From Empire Container Freight Station, Inc.

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

6/5/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Complaint - Complaint

5/9/2019: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

5/9/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

5/9/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

5/9/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/12/2022
  • Hearing05/12/2022 at 10:30 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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  • 07/13/2021
  • Hearing07/13/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 11/12/2020
  • Hearing11/12/2020 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel (name extension)

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Ex Parte Application Amended Ex Parte Application to Continue Hearing, Trial and Other Dates: Filed By: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); Result: Granted; Result Date: 10/08/2020

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/13/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketOrder To Continue the Scheduled Motion and Trial Date; Signed and Filed by: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); As to: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Amended Ex Parte Application ...)

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketHearing on Ex Parte Application Amended Ex Parte Application to Continue Hearing, Trial and Other Dates scheduled for 10/08/2020 at 01:30 PM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 10/08/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketPursuant to the request of defendant, Hearing on Motion to Compel Compliance and for monetary, evidentiary, issue and terminating sanctions scheduled for 10/14/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion was rescheduled to 11/12/2020 10:30 AM

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  • 10/08/2020
  • DocketPursuant to the request of defendant, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/05/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion was rescheduled to 07/13/2021 08:30 AM

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29 More Docket Entries
  • 09/03/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); As to: Numark Transportation, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/05/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Numark Transportation, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant); Service Date: 05/30/2019; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/05/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/12/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Numark Transportation, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 05/09/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Numark Transportation, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 05/09/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Numark Transportation, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Empire Container Freight Station, Inc., a California Corporation (Defendant)

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  • 05/09/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/09/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC04542    Hearing Date: October 14, 2020    Dept: 25

19STLC04542HEARING DATE: Wed., October 14, 2020

JUDGE /DEPT:Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Numark Transportation, Inc. v. Empire Container Freight Station, Inc.

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC04542 COMP. FILED: 05-09-19

NOTICE: OK DISC. C/O: 10-06-20

MOTION C/O: 10-21-20

TRIAL DATE: 11-05-20

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER AND REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY, AND TERMINATING SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY, AND TERMINATING SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2023.030)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc.’s request to compel compliance with the Court’s Order is GRANTED. Defendant is ordered to comply with the Court’s November 19, 2019 Order within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. However, Plaintiff’s request for monetary, issue, evidentiary, and terminating sanctions 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 October 7, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of October 7, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On May 9, 2019, Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, open book account, and account stated against Defendant Empire Container Freight Station, Inc. (“Defendant”). On September 3, 2019, Defendant filed an Answer.

On October 1, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel responses from Defendant. On November 19, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff’s unopposed motion and ordered Defendant to provide responses to Plaintiff’s case questionnaire and pay $360.00 in monetary sanctions within 20 days of notice of the order. (11/19/19 Minute Order.)

On January 15, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel Compliance with Court Order and Request for Issue, Evidentiary, and Terminating Sanctions (the “Motion”).

At the initial July 27, 2020 hearing, the Court noted that Defendant’s counsel of record had been ordered inactive by the California State Bar since November 15, 2019. (7/27/20 Minute Order.) Because this effectively left Defendant without legal representation, the Court ordered Plaintiff to serve Defendant itself with the Court’s November 19, 2019 order and with the instant Motion. (Id.)

On September 21, 2020, Plaintiff filed an amended Motion. On September 30, 2020, Defendant filed a Notice of Retention of Counsel, indicating it is now being represented by Mainak D’Attaray with D’Attaray Law. (9/30/20 Notice.)

Defendant has not filed an opposition to this Motion.

  1. Legal Standard

Courts have the power to “compel obedience to its judgments, orders, and process, and to the orders of a judge out of court, in an action or proceeding pending therein.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 128, subd. (a)(4).)

Where a party willfully disobeys a discovery order, courts have discretion to impose terminating, issue, evidence or monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subd. (g); 2023.030, subds. (b)-(d).) 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:

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

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

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

(4) An order rendering a judgment by default against that party.

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

  1. Discussion

Plaintiff submits evidence that it served notice of the Court’s November 19, 2019 Order on Defendant’s former counsel on November 25, 2019 via regular mail, e-mail, and facsimile. (Mot., Meislin Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. A.) Following the Court’s July 27, 2020 Order noting that Defendant’s former counsel was ordered inactive by the California State Bar, Plaintiff served a copy of the November 19, 2019 Order on Chao T. King, Defendant’s Director, CEO, CFO, Secretary, and agent for service of process, Ann Chac, Defendant’s CEO, and Donald Schmelz, Defendant’s COO, on July 28, 2020. (9/21/20 Supp. Meislin Decl., ¶¶ 14-15, Exhs. E, F, L, M, P.) Thereafter, Plaintiff served King, Chac, and Schmelz with the amended Motion on September 21, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 25, Exh. S; Proofs of Service.) As of September 21, Defendant has neither provided responses to the discovery nor paid sanctions as required by the November 19, 2019 Order. (Id. at ¶ 16.)

Based on the above, Plaintiff argues that Defendant has willfully refused to respond to discovery and that it is reasonable for the Court to assume Defendant’s “refusal to answer basic questions about its defenses is ‘but an admission of the want of merit in the [Defendant’s] asserted [claims].’” (9/21/20 Supp. MP&A, p. 8:6-15.) As a result, Plaintiff argues, monetary, issue, evidence, and terminating sanctions are warranted. (Id.)

The Court is not persuaded sanctions are warranted. First, the Court recognizes the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic in both obtaining counsel and providing discovery responses given widespread office closures. In addition, Defendant was presumably informed of its former counsel’s status with the California State Bar and the November 19, 2019 Order in late July when Plaintiff served a copy of the Court’s July 27, 2020 Order on Defendant’s officers. Furthermore, Defendant only recently, on September 30, 2020, retained new counsel. For these reasons, and in the interest of justice, the Court declines to impose monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions at this time. However, Defendant is ordered to comply with the Court’s November 19, 2019 Order within twenty (20) days of this order. Defendant is advised that failure to do so may be a basis to grant monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions in the future.

  1. Conclusion & Order

Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc.’s request to compel compliance with the Court’s Order is GRANTED. Defendant is ordered to comply with the Court’s November 19, 2019 Order within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. However, Plaintiff’s request for monetary, issue, evidentiary, and terminating sanctions is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC04542    Hearing Date: July 27, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:    Mon., July 27, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME Numark Transportation, Inc. v. Empire Container Freight Station, Inc.

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC04542 COMP. FILED: 05-09-19

NOTICE: NO DISC. C/O: 10-06-20

  MOTION C/O: 10-21-20

TRIAL DATE: 11-05-20

PROCEEDINGS    MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER AND REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY, AND TERMINATING SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY:   Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLIANCE WITH COURT ORDER; REQUEST FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY, AND TERMINATING SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 128; 2030.030)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc.’s Motion is CONTINUED TO OCTOBER 14, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein. Failure to obey the Court’s order may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

SERVICE

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[   ] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) NO

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of July 24, 2020 [   ] Late [X] None

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

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On May 9, 2019, Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, open book account, and account stated against Defendant Empire Container Freight Station, Inc. (“Defendant”). On September 3, 2019, Defendant filed an Answer.

On October 1, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel responses from Defendant. On November 19, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff’s unopposed motion and ordered Defendant to provide responses to Plaintiff’s case questionnaire and pay $360.00 in monetary sanctions within 20 days of notice pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 93, subdivision (e). (11/19/19 Minute Order.)

On January 15, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel Compliance with Court Order and Request for Issue, Evidentiary, and Terminating Sanctions (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

Courts have the power to “compel obedience to its judgments, orders, and process, and to the orders of a judge out of court, in an action or proceeding pending therein.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 128, subd. (a)(4).)

Where a party willfully disobeys a discovery order, courts have discretion to impose terminating, issue, evidence or monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subd. (g); 2023.030, subds. (b)-(d).)  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:

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

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

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

(4) An order rendering a judgment by default against that party.

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

  1. Discussion

Plaintiff submits evidence that it served notice of the Court’s November 19, 2019 order on November 25, 2019 via regular mail, e-mail, and facsimile. (Mot., Meislin Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. A.) Plaintiff argues that Defendant has willfully ignored the Court’s order requiring it to serve responses to the case questionnaire and pay monetary sanctions. (Mot., p. 4.) It further argues that the Court can and should impose issue, evidence, and terminating sanctions as Defendant’s failure to obey the Court’s order constitutes a misuse of the discovery process. (Mot., pp. 6-7.)

However, the Court, sua sponte, takes judicial notice of Defendant’s counsel’s status with the State Bar. (Evid. Code, § 452, subd. (h).) The State Bar of California’s website indicates that Defendant’s counsel of record, Albert Douglas Mastroianni # 150438 (“Defense Counsel”), was ordered inactive on November 15, 2019 and has since been ineligible to practice law in California. (http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/Licensee/Detail/150438.) This has effectively left Defendant without representation in this matter.

Both the November 15, 2019 Order and the instant Motion were served on Defense Counsel after he was ordered ineligible to practice. (Mot., Meislin Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. A; Proof of Service.) Indeed, Defendant may not be aware of Defense Counsel’s status, of the November 15, 2019 Order, or of this Motion. For these reasons, and in the interest of justice, Plaintiff is ordered to serve the Motion on Defendant and file a proof of service to ensure it received adequate notice before the Court issues a ruling on the merits.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc.’s Motion is CONTINUED TO OCTOBER 14, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein. Failure to obey the Court’s order may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC04542    Hearing Date: November 19, 2019    Dept: 94

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO CASE QUESTIONNAIRE

(CCP § 93)

TENTATIVE RULING:  

Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Responses is GRANTED. Defendant Empire Container Freight Station, Inc. is ordered to complete responses to Plaintiff’s case questionnaire and to serve the responses on Plaintiff within 20 days of notice of this order. (Code Civ. Proc., § 93(e).) Defendant and its counsel are ordered to pay a sanction in the amount of $360 within 20 days of notice of this order. (Ibid.)

ANALYSIS:  

I. Background

On May 9, 2019, Plaintiff Numark Transportation, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) sued Defendant Empire Container Freight Station, Inc. (“Defendant”) and Does 1 to 50 for the following causes of action: (1) breach of contract, (2) open book account, and (3) account stated.

Defendant filed its Answer on September 3, 2019.

Plaintiff filed this motion on October 1, 2019.

II. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 93 provides, in-part:

  1. The plaintiff has the option to serve case questionnaires with the complaint, using forms approved by the Judicial Council. The questionnaires served shall include a completed copy of the plaintiff's completed case questionnaire, and a blank copy of the defendant's case questionnaire.

  2. Any defendant upon whom a case questionnaire is served shall serve a completed defendant's case questionnaire upon the requesting plaintiff with the answer.

(e) If a party on whom a case questionnaire has been served under subdivision (a) or (b) fails to serve a timely or a complete response to that questionnaire, the party serving the questionnaire may move for an order compelling a response or a further response and for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) of Title 4 of Part 4. If a party then fails to obey an order compelling a response or a further response, the court may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) of Title 4 of Part 4. In lieu of or in addition to that sanction, the court may impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) of Title 4 of Part 4.

III. Analysis

Here, Plaintiff served a case questionnaire, along with the complaint, on Defendant on May 30, 2019. (Meislin Decl. ¶ 2.) Despite Plaintiff offering several extensions to Defendant to complete the questionnaire, Plaintiff has not received a response as of October 1, 2019. (Meislin Decl. ¶¶ 3-5.) Defendant filed its answer on September 3, 2019.

Thus, Defendant failed to timely serve a response to the case questionnaire.

Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Defendant’s response. (Code Civ. Proc., § 93(e).)

 

Plaintiff seeks monetary sanctions in the amount of $990. (Meislin Decl. ¶ 6.) Meislin’s hourly rate is $180. (Ibid.) Meislin states he spent 4.5 hours preparing this motion. (Ibid.)

The court finds Meislin’s hourly rate is reasonable. The court finds that 2 hours preparing the motion is reasonable.

Thus, the court imposes a monetary sanction against Defendant and its counsel in the amount of $360.

IV. Conclusion & Order

In light of the foregoing, the unopposed Motion is GRANTED. Defendant Empire Container Freight Station, Inc. is ordered to complete responses to Plaintiff’s case questionnaire and to serve the responses on Plaintiff within 20 days of notice of this order. (Code Civ. Proc., § 93(e).) Defendant and its counsel are ordered to pay a sanction in the amount of $360 within 20 days of notice of this order. (Ibid.)

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCdept94@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.