This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/16/2021 at 02:20:40 (UTC).

PROFESSIONAL TAX APPEAL, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION VS QUANG LEE, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 04/06/2020 PROFESSIONAL TAX APPEAL, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION filed a Contract - Debt Collection lawsuit against QUANG LEE. 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 Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3113

  • Filing Date:

    04/06/2020

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Debt Collection

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

PROFESSIONAL TAX APPEAL A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Defendants

ROBINSON GEORGE

LEE QUANG

LEE QUANG AKA QUANG BUU LEE AKA QUANG B. LEE AKA QUANG BUU

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

LAPIDUS MICHAEL HERBERT

Defendant Attorney

KIZIRIAN ARMAND RAFFI

 

Court Documents

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

11/12/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

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

12/11/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

1/4/2021: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Declaration of Interest, Costs and Attorney Fees - Declaration of Interest, Costs and Attorney Fees

1/8/2021: Declaration of Interest, Costs and Attorney Fees - Declaration of Interest, Costs and Attorney Fees

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

1/8/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

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

1/8/2021: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Judgment - Judgment Judgment By Clerk By Default

1/26/2021: Judgment - Judgment Judgment By Clerk By Default

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of George Robinson

6/11/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of George Robinson

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

6/11/2021: Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims - Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims

6/24/2021: Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims - Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition To Defendant George Robinson's Motion To Set Aside Default And Judgment; Declaration Of Michael H. Lapidus

7/8/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition To Defendant George Robinson's Motion To Set Aside Default And Judgment; Declaration Of Michael H. Lapidus

Reply (name extension) - Reply in Support of Defendant Robinson's Motion to Set Aside Default and Default Judgment

7/13/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply in Support of Defendant Robinson's Motion to Set Aside Default and Default Judgment

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...) of 07/15/2021

7/15/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...) of 07/15/2021

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

7/15/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

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

6/26/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

6/15/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Summons - Summons on Complaint

4/23/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint

4/23/2020: Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/15/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...)

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  • 07/15/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Jud...) of 07/15/2021; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/15/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Judgment (CCP 473.5) scheduled for 07/15/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 07/15/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 07/13/2021
  • DocketReply in Support of Defendant Robinson's Motion to Set Aside Default and Default Judgment; Filed by: George Robinson (Defendant)

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  • 07/08/2021
  • DocketOpposition To Defendant George Robinson's Motion To Set Aside Default And Judgment; Declaration Of Michael H. Lapidus; Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/24/2021
  • DocketAbstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Issued by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/15/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND JUDGMENT;: Name Extension: TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND JUDGMENT;; As To Parties changed from Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff) to Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/15/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and Default Judgment (CCP 473.5) scheduled for 07/15/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 06/11/2021
  • DocketMotion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment; Filed by: George Robinson (Defendant); As to: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/11/2021
  • DocketDeclaration of George Robinson; Filed by: George Robinson (Defendant)

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18 More Docket Entries
  • 04/23/2020
  • DocketAmended Complaint 1st; Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Quang Lee (Defendant); George Robinson (Defendant)

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  • 04/23/2020
  • DocketAmended Complaint; Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff)

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

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  • 04/07/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/10/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/07/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Quang Lee (Defendant); George Robinson (Defendant)

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  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Quang Lee (Defendant); George Robinson (Defendant)

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  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Quang Lee (Defendant); George Robinson (Defendant)

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  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Professional Tax Appeal, A California Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Quang Lee (Defendant); George Robinson (Defendant)

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  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

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Case Number: 20STLC03113 Hearing Date: July 15, 2021 Dept: 26

MOTION TO VACATE DEFAULT JUDGMENT

(CCP §§ 473(b), 473.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant George Robinson’s Motion to Vacate Default and Default Judgment is DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Professional Tax Appeal (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for unjust enrichment, violation of Corporations Code section 2011 and conversion against Defendants Quang Lee (“Defendant Lee”) and George Robinson (“Defendant Robinson”) on April 6, 2020. Following Defendant Robinson’s failure to file a responsive pleading, the Court entered his default on December 11, 2020 and default judgment on January 26, 2021.

Defendant Robinson filed the instant Motion to Vacate Default and Default Judgment on June 11, 2021. Plaintiff filed an opposition on July 8, 2021.

The Court will not consider the opposition, which is grossly untimely, unless Defendant Robinson waives the defective service. The opposition was served on Defendant Robinson on July 8, 2021 by electronic mail, when it should have been served by June 29, 2021. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1005, 1010.6, subd. (a)(4)(A).) To date, no reply waiving the defective service has been filed.

Discussion

Defendant Robinson moves for relief from the default and default judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 473, subdivision (b) and section 473.5. The Court will consider each basis in turn.

Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b)

Under this statute, an application for relief must be made no more than six months after entry of the order 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 and a copy of the proposed response to the complaint. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b); English v. IKON Business Solutions (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 130, 143.) When brought pursuant to the provision for discretionary relief based on party fault, the request must have been filed within a reasonable amount of time.

The motion is brought pursuant to discretionary relief prong of section 473, subdivision (b) for Defendant Robinson’s own mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.

Defendant Robsinson has shown that he failed to answer the Complaint due to surprise or excusable neglect. There is no dispute that substitute service was accomplished by leaving the papers with a co-occupent at 5081 Webb Place, Yorba Linda CA 92886. (See Proof of Service, filed 11/12/20, ¶¶4-5.) While Defendant Robinson contends that the name of the co-occupant is incorrect, he does not dispute that this address was his residence or that the papers were thereafter mailed to that address. (Motion, Robinson Decl., ¶5.) Defendant Robinson declares that he was out of the country when service was accomplished and did not return until November 20, 2020. (Id. at ¶¶3-4 and Exhs. A-B.) Upon returning, Defendant Robinson discovered “some mail concerning this lawsuit” but did not think the papers concerned him. (Id. at ¶8.) While Defendant Robinson was informed by Defendant Lee that he was named in this action, he had previously been in contact with Plaintiff’s counsel and

was never informed that Plaintiff was moving forward with service against him. (Id. at ¶¶6-8.) For this reason, Defendant Robinson did not expect to be served without prior notice and did not realize the papers required a response. (Ibid.)

However, the Court finds Defendant Robinson has not shown the Motion was filed within a reasonable time. Default was entered on December 11, 2020 but the Motion was not filed until exactly six months later. In Huh v. Wang, the Court of Appeals ruled that the moving party’s failure to explain a delay of three months in seeking relief was “the absolute failure of proof” and left “no basis for granting relief.” (Huh v. Wang (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 1406, 1422.)

Defendant Robinson does not indicate when exactly he learned that judgment had been entered against him. Rather, he declares that he asked a friend’s son, who is an attorney, to look into the case and was then informed about the judgment. (Motion, Robinson Decl., ¶10.) Without more information, the Court cannot find that the timing of the Motion is “reasonable.” Where the statute requires that “ ‘ “the application must be made within a ‘reasonable time’ … what is a reasonable time in any case depends upon the circumstances of that particular case.” While in “the determination of that question, a large discretion is necessarily confided to [the trial] court” ... there must be some showing—some evidence—as the basis for the exercise of such discretion.’ ” (Caldwell v. Methodist Hospital (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 1521, 1524 [citing Carrasco v. Craft (1985) 164 Cal.App.3d 796, 805].)

Therefore, relief from the entry of default and default judgment under of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b) is denied.

Code of Civil Procedure section 473.5

The Motion is also brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 473.5, subdivision (a):

When service of a summons has not resulted in actual notice to a party in time to defend the action and a default or default judgment has been entered against him or her in the action, he or she may serve and file a notice of motion to set aside the default or default judgment and for leave to defend the action. The notice of motion shall be served and filed within a reasonable time, but in no event exceeding the earlier of: (i) two years after entry of a default judgment against him or her; or (ii) 180 days after service on him or her of a written notice that the default or default judgment has been entered.

(Code Civ. Proc., § 473.5, subd. (a).) The motion must also show that “the party’s lack of actual notice in time to defend the action was not caused by his or her avoidance of service or inexcusable neglect” and be accompanied by a copy of the proposed responsive pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473.5, subd. (b).) As discussed above, the Motion demonstrates that Defendant Robinson did not have actual notice of service of the Summons and Complaint in time to file a response to the

Complaint. It also demonstrates that the lack of actual notice was not the result of Defendant his avoidance of service or inexcusable neglect.

However, it remains that Defendant Robinson does not demonstrate the Motion was filed within a reasonable time. Therefore, Defendant Robinson has not demonstrated relief is appropriate under Code of Civil Procedure section 473.5.

Conclusion

Defendant George Robinson’s Motion to Vacate Default and Default Judgment is DENIED.

Court clerk to give notice.

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