This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/03/2020 at 04:28:52 (UTC).

PRINCESS NAVA CELO VS GERARDO MARCELO MARTINEZ

Case Summary

On 04/29/2019 PRINCESS NAVA CELO filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against GERARDO MARCELO MARTINEZ. 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 Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******4181

  • Filing Date:

    04/29/2019

  • 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

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CELO PRINCESS NAVA

Defendant

MARTINEZ GERARDO MARCELO

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

FRANDSEN RUSSELL M.

GRZYWINSKI RONALD

Defendant Attorney

RUBIN JAY T.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion))

7/1/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion))

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

7/2/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to plaintiff's motion for order to reclassifying complaint

4/6/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to plaintiff's motion for order to reclassifying complaint

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

4/15/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Motion to Reclassify - Motion to Reclassify

2/7/2020: Motion to Reclassify - Motion to Reclassify

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application for Order Shortening Time Within which to file

1/6/2020: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application for Order Shortening Time Within which to file

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for Order Shortening Time Wit...)

1/9/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for Order Shortening Time Wit...)

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

1/13/2020: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

10/22/2019: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Answer - Answer

8/2/2019: Answer - Answer

Summons - Summons on Complaint

4/29/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

4/29/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint - Complaint

4/29/2019: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

4/29/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

4/29/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

3 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/02/2022
  • Hearing05/02/2022 at 10:30 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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  • 10/26/2020
  • Hearing10/26/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 07/10/2020
  • Hearing07/10/2020 at 02:00 PM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Appearance Case Review

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  • 07/02/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Gerardo Marcelo Martinez (Defendant)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Reclassify: Filed By: Princess Nava Celo (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 07/01/2020

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketNon-Appearance Case Review re payment of reclassification fees scheduled for 07/10/2020 at 02:00 PM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion))

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion) scheduled for 07/01/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 07/01/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Granted

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  • 04/15/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/15/2020
  • DocketReset - Court Unavailable, Hearing on Motion to Reclassify (Walker Motion) scheduled for 04/22/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Rescheduled by Court was rescheduled to 07/01/2020 08:30 AM

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13 More Docket Entries
  • 10/22/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Princess Nava Celo (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/02/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Gerardo Marcelo Martinez (Defendant); As to: Princess Nava Celo (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/02/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 04/30/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/26/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 04/30/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 04/29/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/29/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/29/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Princess Nava Celo (Plaintiff); As to: Gerardo Marcelo Martinez (Defendant)

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  • 04/29/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Princess Nava Celo (Plaintiff); As to: Gerardo Marcelo Martinez (Defendant)

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  • 04/29/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Princess Nava Celo (Plaintiff); As to: Gerardo Marcelo Martinez (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC04181    Hearing Date: July 01, 2020    Dept: 26

Celo v. Martinez, et al.

MOTION TO RECLASSIFY

(CCP § 403.040)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Princess Neva Celo’s Motion to Reclassify Action as Unlimited is GRANTED. THIS CASE IS RECLASSIFIED AS AN UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE AND TRANSFERRED TO THE RECLASSIFICATION/TRANSFER DESK FOR COLLECTION OF FEES AND REASSIGNMENT OF THE CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR COURT. PLAINTIFF TO PAY THE RECLASSIFICATION FEE WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS’ NOTICE OF THIS ORDER.

ANALYSIS:

On April 29, 2019, Plaintiff Princess Neva Celo (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendant Gerardo Marcelo Martinez (“Defendant”) for motor vehicle negligence. On August 2, 2019, Defendant filed his answer. Thereafter, on February 7, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Reclassify (the “Motion”). Defendant filed an opposition on April 6, 2020.

Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040 allows a plaintiff to file a motion for reclassification of an action within the time allowed for that party to amend the initial pleading. (CCP § 403.040(a).) If the motion is made after the time for the plaintiff to amend the pleading, the motion may only be granted if (1) the case is incorrectly classified; and (2) the plaintiff shows good cause for not seeking reclassification earlier. (CCP § 403.040(b).) In Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257, 262, the California Supreme Court held that a matter may be reclassified from unlimited to limited only if it appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff's damages will necessarily be less than $25,000. (Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257.) If there is a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00, the case cannot be transferred to limited. (Ibid.) This high standard is appropriate in light of “the circumscribed procedures and recovery available in the limited civil courts.” (Ytuarte v. Superior Court (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 266, 278.)

In Ytuarte, the Court of Appeals examined the principles it set forth in Walker and held that “the court should reject the plaintiff's effort to reclassify the action as unlimited only when the lack of jurisdiction as an “unlimited” case is certain and clear.” (Id. at 279.) Nevertheless, the plaintiff must present evidence to demonstrate a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00 and the trial court must review the record to determine “whether a judgment in excess of $25,000.00 is obtainable.” (Ibid.)

Discussion

The initial time for Plaintiff to amend the pleadings having passed, Plaintiff must show both that the case is incorrectly classified and that she has good cause for not moving to reclassify earlier. Plaintiff presents evidence that this action was filed without her knowledge by Russell M. Frandsen, Esq., an attorney with whom she had no retainer agreement. (Motion, Celo Decl., ¶2 and Exh. A.) Rather, Plaintiff was informed by Attorney Fransden on August 20, 2019 that the attorney she had retained had gone into a different area of law. (Ibid.) On October 22, 2019, Plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney naming Ronald Grzyninsk, Esq. as her attorney. It is Plaintiff’s contention, therefore, that Attorney Fransden filed this as a limited civil action without consulting or informing her and that upon her new attorney’s substitution into the case, Plaintiff and her counsel of record determined that it should have been filed as an unlimited action. Based on this evidence, which Defendant does not dispute, the Court finds good cause for the timing of this Motion. Plaintiff initially sought reclassification through an ex parte application in January, 2020. The application having been denied for lack of exigency, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion shortly thereafter.

Regarding Plaintiff evidence that there is a possibility her damages will exceed, both parties agree that Plaintiff claims medical specials of $8,223.77 and lost wages of $4,052.00, for a total of $12,275.77. (Motion, pp. 3:19-4:2; Opp., p. 5:16-22.) The Court notes that the opposition miscalculated Plaintiff’s total medical specials as $7,423,77, but the itemized amounts in the opposition are the same as in the Motion and in fact, total $8,223.77. Additionally, Plaintiff claims $2,744.76 in property damages. (Opp.. Birch Decl., ¶4 and Exh. C.)

The Complaint not only seeks recovery of these specials, but of general damages, the only limit on which is reasonableness. (Civ. Code, § 3359; Loth v. Truck–A–Way Corp. (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 757, 764-768.) In this personal injury action, it is possible that pain and suffering damages of more than $10,000.00 could be awarded to Plaintiff. Defendant’s opposition does not address why such an award is not possible. With total claimed damages of more than $15,000.00 and claims for general damages based on “physical pain, fright, mental suffering, sleep disruption, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, inconvenience, anxiety, worry, apprehension, indignity and emotional distress,” the Court finds Plaintiff has shown the possibility that her damages will exceed $25,000.00. (Compl., ¶11.)

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s Motion to Reclassify Action is GRANTED. THIS CASE IS RECLASSIFIED AS AN UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE AND TRANSFERRED TO THE RECLASSIFICATION/TRANSFER DESK FOR COLLECTION OF FEES AND REASSIGNMENT OF THE CASE TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR COURT. PLAINTIFF TO PAY THE RECLASSIFICATION FEE WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS.

Moving party to give notice.