This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/22/2020 at 01:57:45 (UTC).

RAFAEL MELGOZA, ET AL. VS KENN DUDLEY, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 12/05/2019 RAFAEL MELGOZA filed an Other - Arbitration lawsuit against KENN DUDLEY. 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:

    *******5259

  • Filing Date:

    12/05/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Arbitration

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Petitioners

MELGOZA RAFAEL

IRN REALTY

CHENG MARK

Respondents

DUDLEY KENN

AMERICAN FIRST REALTY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner Attorney

SAUCEDO GILBERT

 

Court Documents

Brief (name extension) - Brief IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO CONFIRM ARBITRATION AWARD

8/17/2020: Brief (name extension) - Brief IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO CONFIRM ARBITRATION AWARD

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitrati...)

8/20/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitrati...)

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

7/24/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

7/24/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

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

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

12/5/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Petition (name extension) - Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award

12/5/2019: Petition (name extension) - Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

12/5/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

12/5/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

12/5/2019: Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/27/2020
  • Hearing10/27/2020 at 11:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Petition (name extension)

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  • 08/20/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitrati...)

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  • 08/20/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Hearing on Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award scheduled for 08/20/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion was rescheduled to 10/27/2020 11:00 AM

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  • 08/17/2020
  • DocketBrief IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO CONFIRM ARBITRATION AWARD; Filed by: Rafael Melgoza (Petitioner)

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  • 07/24/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Rafael Melgoza (Petitioner); As to: Kenn Dudley (Respondent); Service Date: 06/20/2020; Service Cost: 95.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 07/24/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Rafael Melgoza (Petitioner); As to: Kenn Dudley (Respondent); Service Date: 06/20/2020; Service Cost: 95.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 03/23/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/23/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Hearing on Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award scheduled for 04/09/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 08/20/2020 10:30 AM

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  • 12/09/2019
  • DocketHearing on Petition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award scheduled for 04/09/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/09/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketPetition Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award; Filed by: Rafael Melgoza (Petitioner); Mark Cheng (Petitioner); IRN Realty (Petitioner); As to: Kenn Dudley (Respondent); American First Realty (Respondent)

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Rafael Melgoza (Petitioner); Mark Cheng (Petitioner); IRN Realty (Petitioner); As to: Kenn Dudley (Respondent); American First Realty (Respondent)

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Hearing on Petition; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCP05259    Hearing Date: August 20, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., August 20, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Melagoza, et al. v. Dudley, et al. PET. FILED: 12-05-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STCP05259

NOTICE: NO

PROCEEDINGS: PETITION TO CONFIRM ARBITRATION AWARD

MOVING PARTY: Petitioner Rafael Melagoza

RESP. PARTY: None

PETITION TO CONFIRM ARBITRATION AWARD

(CCP § 1285, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Petitioner Rafael Melagoza’s Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award is CONTINUED TO OCTOBER 27, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Petitioner must file and serve supplemental papers addressing the deficiencies identified herein. Failure to do so may result in the Petition being placed off calendar or denied.

SERVICE:

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

[ ] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

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

OPPOSITION: None filed as of August 18, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of August 18, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On March 27, 2019, the two arbitrators and one presiding officer with the Citrus Valley Association of Realtors issued an award in favor of Petitioner Rafael Melagoza (“Petitioner” or “Melagoza”), Mark Cheng (“Cheng”), and IRN Realty (“IRN”) requiring Respondents Kenn Dudley (“Dudley”) and American First Realty (“American”) (collectively, “Respondents”) to Pay Petitioner, Cheng, and IRN $11,000 (the “Arbitration Award”). (Pet., Attach. 8(c).)

On December 5, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant Petition to Confirm Contractual Arbitration Award (the “Petition”) against Respondents. Petitioner also filed a supplemental brief in support of the Petition on August 17, 2020. However, as this was filed and served only three court days before the hearing, it violates Code of Civil Procedure section 1005, subdivision (b).

To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

“Regardless of the particular relief granted, any arbitrator’s award is enforceable only when confirmed as a judgment of the superior court.” (O’Hare v. Municipal Resource Consultants (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 267, 278.) “Once a petition to confirm an award is filed, the superior court must select one of only four courses of action: it may confirm the award, correct and confirm it, vacate it, or dismiss the petition.” (EHM Productions, Inc. v. Starline Tours of Hollywood, Inc. (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 1058, 1063.) It is well settled that the scope of judicial review of arbitration awards is extremely narrow.” (California Faculty Assn. v. Superior Court (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 935, 943.) Ordinarily, “[n]either the trial court, nor the appellate court, may ‘review the merits of the dispute, the sufficiency of the evidence, or the arbitrator’s reasoning, nor may we correct or review an award because of an arbitrator’s legal or factual error, even if it appears on the award’s face.” (EHM Productions at p. 1063-64.)

  1. Discussion

A. Parties to the Petition

 

Code of Civil Procedure section 1285 permits any party to an arbitration in which an award has been made to petition the court to confirm, correct or vacate the award. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1285.) The petition must name as respondents all parties to the arbitration. (Id.) (Italics added.)

Here, although the Petition lists Cheng and IRN as Petitioners in this action, counsel is only representing Petitioner Melagoza. As Cheng and IRN are not bringing this Petition with Petitioner, he must name Cheng and IRN as respondents. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1285.)

B. Filing Requirements (Code Civ. Proc., § 1285.4)

Code of Civil Procedure section 1285.4 states: “A petition under this chapter shall:

  1. Set forth the substance of or have attached a copy of the agreement to arbitrate unless the petitioner denies the existence of such an agreement.

  2. Set forth the names of the arbitrators.

(c) Set forth or have attached a copy of the award and the written opinion of the arbitrators, if any.”

Petitioner attaches a copy of the Arbitration Award, which includes the name of Presiding Officer Barbara McClelland and Arbitrator Jackie Riley. (Pet., ¶4, Attach 4(b).) However, the name of the third arbitrator is not provided and is illegible on the Arbitration Award. (Id.) As for the agreement to arbitrate, Petitioner states that Respondent Dudley was and is a licensed broker doing business as American First Realty, and is thus subject to mandatory arbitration as required by the California Association of Realtors (“CAR”). (Id.; 8/17/20 Supp. Brief ¶ 2.) However, Petitioner did not submit any evidence demonstrating Respondents were members of the California Association of Realtors or that Respondents otherwise agreed to arbitrate their disputes. Thus, Petitioner has not satisfied the requirements of Section 1285.4.

 

C. Service of the Petition and Notice of Hearing

Code of Civil Procedure, section 1290.4 states, in pertinent part:

“(a) A copy of the petition and a written notice of the time and place of the hearing thereof and any other papers upon which the petition is based shall be served in the manner provided in the arbitration agreement for the service of such petition and notice.

(b) If the arbitration agreement does not provide the manner in which such service shall be made and the person upon whom service is to be made has not previously appeared in the proceeding and has not previously been served in accordance with this subdivision: ¶ (1) Service within this State shall be made in the manner provided by law for the service of summons in an action.

Here, the excerpts from the CAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual Petitioner submits do not provide a manner in which service must be made. Thus, service must be made in the same manner as service of summons. Petitioner filed a proof of service demonstrating Respondent Dudley was served by substitute service on June 20, 2020. (7/24/20 Minute Order.) However, the proof of service does not include the process server’s declaration of due diligence. (See id.) “[A]n individual may be served by substitute service only after a good faith effort at personal service has first been made: the burden is on the plaintiff to show that the summons and complaint ‘cannot with reasonable diligence be personally delivered’ to defendants. [Citations.] Two or three attempts to personally serve a defendant at a proper place ordinarily qualifies as ‘reasonable diligence.’” (American Express Centurion Bank v. Zara (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 383, 389.) Thus, the Court finds Respondent Dudley has not been properly served.

In addition, Petitioner did not file a proof of service as to Respondent American. Although Petitioner’s supplemental papers refer to Respondents as “Kenn Dudley dba American First Realty,” the Petition names Respondent American as a separate entity, not a “dba.” The Arbitration Award also appears to treat Respondents as an individual and separate entity. (See Pet., Attach 4(b) [“Respondents: Kenn Dudley, American First Realty].” As it appears that Respondent American is a separate entity, it must also be served with this Petition.

Furthermore, as noted above, Cheng and IRN must also be named as respondents and served with the Petition and Notice of Hearing, as they were parties to the arbitration but are not parties to this Petition. Thus, Petitioner has not satisfied Section 1290.4.

D. Service of the Arbitration Award & Timeliness of Petition (CCP §§ 1283.6, 1288, 1288.4)

Code of Civil Procedure section 1283.6 provides that: “The neutral arbitrator shall serve a signed copy of the award on each party to the arbitration personally or by registered or certified mail or as provided in the agreement.” (Emphasis added.) This requirement may be satisfied upon proper service of the Award with the Petition. (See Murry v. Civil Service Employees Ins. Co. (1967) 254 Cal.App.2d 796, 799-800.) In addition, a party may seek a court judgment confirming an arbitration award by filing and serving a petition no more than four years, but not less than 10 days, after the award is served. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 1288, 1288.4.) (Italics added.)

Here, Petitioner did not provide a proof of service demonstrating the neutral arbitrator served a copy of the Award on the parties as required by Section 1283.6. Without the Arbitration Award’s proof of service, the Court also cannot determine whether the Petition was timely filed at least ten days after the parties were served with the Award.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner Rafael Melagoza’s Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award is CONTINUED TO OCTOBER 27, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Petitioner must file and serve supplemental papers addressing the deficiencies identified herein. Failure to do so may result in the Petition being placed off calendar or denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.