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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/16/2021 at 13:43:53 (UTC).

PABLO FANCISCO CHICA ZUNIGA VS SOCAL CARS, INC, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 04/09/2020 PABLO FANCISCO CHICA ZUNIGA filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against SOCAL CARS, 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 SERENA R. MURILLO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3219

  • Filing Date:

    04/09/2020

  • 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

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CHICA ZUNIGA PABLO FANCISCO

Defendants

GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY

SOCAL CARS INC

WESTLAKE SERVICES LLC DBA WESTLAKE FINANCIAL SERVICES

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SADR KASRA

Defendant Attorneys

OBEID ADAM

FALLAT JOHN

 

Court Documents

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Ruling on Motion To Compel Arbitration

4/14/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Ruling on Motion To Compel Arbitration

Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application - Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application

2/24/2021: Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application - Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application

Objection (name extension) - Objection Evidentiary Objections To Declaration of Nima Heydari

3/2/2021: Objection (name extension) - Objection Evidentiary Objections To Declaration of Nima Heydari

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

3/2/2021: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Reply (name extension) - Reply TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

3/9/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

Motion to Compel Arbitration - Motion to Compel Arbitration

9/16/2020: Motion to Compel Arbitration - Motion to Compel Arbitration

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration etition for Court to ...)

9/17/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration etition for Court to ...)

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

5/20/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

5/20/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Motion to Compel Arbitration - Motion to Compel Please file and conform the attached Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for Court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay and Requ

5/29/2020: Motion to Compel Arbitration - Motion to Compel Please file and conform the attached Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Arbitration, Petition for Court to Pick Arbitration Forum, Request for Stay and Requ

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Nima Heydari In Support of Plaintiffs Petition to Compel Arbitration

5/29/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Nima Heydari In Support of Plaintiffs Petition to Compel Arbitration

Answer - Answer

6/2/2020: Answer - Answer

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

6/2/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Summons - Summons on Complaint

4/9/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Complaint - Complaint

4/9/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

4/9/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

4/9/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

4/9/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

15 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/07/2021
  • Hearing10/07/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 04/14/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling on Motion To Compel Arbitration; Filed by: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); As to: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/02/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/13/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 05/20/2020

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  • 03/16/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Compel Arbitration: Filed By: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff); Result: Denied; Result Date: 03/16/2021

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  • 03/16/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Arbitration)

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  • 03/16/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Arbitration scheduled for 03/16/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 03/16/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 03/09/2021
  • DocketReply TO DEFENDANTS? OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF?S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION; Filed by: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/02/2021
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by: Adam Obeid (Attorney)

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  • 03/02/2021
  • DocketObjection Evidentiary Objections To Declaration of Nima Heydari; Filed by: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); Westlake Services, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 03/02/2021
  • DocketOpposition To Plaintiff's Motion To Compel Arbitration; Filed by: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); Westlake Services, LLC (Defendant)

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24 More Docket Entries
  • 05/20/2020
  • DocketProof of Mailing (Substituted Service); Filed by: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff); As to: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); Mailing Date: 04/30/2020; Service Cost: 109.25; Cost Waived: No

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  • 05/20/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff); As to: Great American Insurance Company (Defendant); Service Date: 04/30/2020; Service Cost: 40.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff); As to: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); Westlake Services, LLC (Defendant); Great American Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff); As to: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); Westlake Services, LLC (Defendant); Great American Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Pablo Fancisco Chica Zuniga (Plaintiff); As to: Socal Cars, Inc (Defendant); Westlake Services, LLC (Defendant); Great American Insurance Company (Defendant)

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/13/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/07/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/09/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC03219    Hearing Date: March 16, 2021    Dept: 26

Zuniga v. SoCal Cars, Inc., et al

MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS

(CCP §§ 1281.2, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Pablo Francisco Chica Zuniga’s Motion to Compel Arbitration is DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

On April 9, 2020, Plaintiff Pablo Francisco Chica Zuniga (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for violation of consumer rights and for unfair business practices against Defendants SoCal Cars, Inc. (“SoCal Cars”), Westlake Services, LLC dba Westlake Financial Services (“Westlake”) and Great American Insurance Company (“GAIC”) (collectively, “Defendants”). This action arises from a dispute over Plaintiff’s purchase of a used vehicle, specifically a 2010 Mercedes Benz. (Compl., ¶16.) According to Plaintiff, Westlake is the holder of the purchase contract, and GAIC is the surety of the purchase contract. (Id. at ¶¶6, 8.)

Plaintiff’s first Motion to Compel Arbitration came for hearing on September 17, 2020 and was denied without prejudice. Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel Arbitration on September 16, 2020. Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake filed an opposition on March 2, 2021 and Plaintiff replied on March 9, 2021.

Discussion

Evidentiary Objections

Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake’s evidentiary objections to the declaration of Nima Heydari are ruled on as follows: #s 1-3 sustained; # 4 overruled.

Existence of Arbitration Agreement

“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, subds. (a)-(b).)

Plaintiff seeks to present evidence that he entered into a Retail Installment Sales Contract to purchase a car (the “RISC”) with Defendant SoCal Cars. (Motion, Exh. 4; Compl., Exh. 1.) The copy of the RISC attached to the supporting declaration of Plaintiff’s counsel, Nima Heydari, however, is not properly authenticated. Plaintiff’s declaration only authenticates the copy of the RISC attached to the Complaint, however, that version is in Spanish with no translation certified under oath by a qualified interpreter. (See Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1110, subd. (g).) The Court, therefore, cannot make a finding that the RISC Plaintiff entered into contains an arbitration provision. Nor can the Court make a finding that Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake are also parties to the arbitration agreement.

Refusal to Arbitrate Controversy

Plaintiff must also demonstrate that a party to the arbitration agreement refuses to arbitrate the controversy. No such showing has been made. Plaintiff’s counsel sent a demand letter under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake on July 15, 2019. (Motion, Heydari Decl., Exh. 2.) The demand letter did not ask Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake to arbitrate the dispute, rather it asked for the RISC to be rescinded. (Id. at Exh. 2, p. 1.) After Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake did not respond to the demand letter, Plaintiff filed for arbitration with AAA on January 15, 2020. (Id. at ¶¶6-7.) On January 30, 2020, AAA sent the parties a letter indicating it would not arbitrate the dispute because, [p]rior to the filing of this arbitration, Westlake Services, LLC dba Westlake Financial Services failed to comply with the AAA’s policies regarding consumer claims . . . .” (Id. at Exh. 3.)

AAA’s decision not to arbitrate the parties’ dispute, therefore, was not the result of any refusal by Defendants SoCal Cars or Westlake to arbitrate in this particular case. Nor does Plaintiff indicate that he made any other attempt to arbitrate this dispute prior to bringing the instant Motion to Compel Arbitration. Therefore, Plaintiff has not shown that any party to the arbitration agreement refuses to arbitrate the controversy.

Defenses to the Arbitration Agreement

Next, Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake raise waiver of the right to arbitration as a defense to the arbitration agreement. “[A] party to an arbitration agreement may by its conduct “waive” its right to compel arbitration. (Davis v. Blue Cross of Northern California (1979) 25 Cal.3d 418, 425 [citing Code Civ. Proc., § 1281.2].) Waiver of arbitration is not to be lightly inferred, but has been found in “situations in which the party seeking to compel arbitration has previously taken steps inconsistent with an intent to invoke arbitration” and where “the petitioning party has unreasonably delayed in undertaking the procedure.” (Id. at 425-426.) Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake contend that after invoking arbitration with the AAA, Plaintiff abandoned the effort and filed this action, which is now well underway.

The Court does not find waiver of the right to arbitrate here. Plaintiff filed for arbitration with the AAA on January 15, 2020 and the request was denied 15 days later. It does not appear that Plaintiff filed this action in order to abandon arbitration, but rather to compel arbitration through the judicial process. Plaintiff filed this action in April 2020 and soon after filed the first motion to compel arbitration on May 29, 2020. All of Plaintiff’s conduct through the filing of this action has been directed at compelling arbitration.

Authority to Select an Arbitration Forum

To the extent Defendants SoCal Cars and Westlake argue that the Court lacks authority to appoint an arbitration forum, as opposed to an arbitrator, the Court does not reach the issue at this time. There is no admissible arbitration agreement for the Court to consider regarding the method to select an arbitrator.

Conclusion

Plaintiff Pablo Francisco Chica Zuniga’s Motion to Compel Arbitration is DENIED.

Defendants to give notice. 

 

Case Number: 20STLC03219    Hearing Date: September 17, 2020    Dept: 26

MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS

(CCP §§ 1281.2, et seq., 638)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Pablo Francisco Chica Zuniga’s Motion to Compel Arbitration is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

ANALYSIS:

On April 9, 2020, Plaintiff Pablo Francisco Chica Zuniga (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for violation of consumer rights and for unfair business practices against Defendants SoCal Cars, Inc. (“SoCal Cars”), Westlake Services, LLC dba Westlake Financial Services (“Westlake”) and Great American Insurance Company (“GAIC”) (collectively, “Defendants”). This action arises from a dispute over Plaintiff’s purchase of a used vehicle, specifically a 2010 Mercedes Benz. (Compl., ¶16.) According to Plaintiff, Westlake is the holder of the purchase contract, and GAIC is the surety of the purchase contract. (Id. at ¶¶6, 8.)

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel Arbitration on May 20, 2020. On June 2, 2020, the Court issued a minute order setting the hearing on the Motion for September 17, 2020. (Minute Order, 6/2/20.) Notice of the order was mailed by the clerk to Plaintiff’s counsel, with instruction to give notice to the other parties.

To date, however, no proof of service of the Motion itself nor of the Notice of Hearing have been filed with the Court. Failure to give notice of a motion is not only a violation of the statutory requirements but of due process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1005; Jones v. Otero (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 754, 757.)

Therefore, Plaintiff Pablo Francisco Chica Zuniga’s Motion to Compel Arbitration is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

Court clerk to give notice.

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