This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/04/2021 at 00:01:17 (UTC).

RONG HE VS SHELLEY MARIE NORTON, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 06/29/2018 RONG HE filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against SHELLEY MARIE NORTON. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******8946

  • Filing Date:

    06/29/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HE RONG

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

HSU RUSSELL

DE PENADO ALICIA LOZANO

NORTON SHELLEY MARIE

Defendant and Cross Defendant

NORTON SHELLEY MARIE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

COWHIG FRANCIS JOHN

Defendant Attorneys

ZUREK RONALD

PLINSKI JOHN

Cross Defendant Attorney

BOIADJIAN ANGELA

 

Court Documents

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/19/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Answer - Answer

2/19/2020: Answer - Answer

Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

2/19/2020: Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF RONG HE...) of 07/08/2020

7/8/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF RONG HE...) of 07/08/2020

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

7/27/2020: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion - Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Reply (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Compel Plaintiff Rong He's Verified Responses to Form Interrogatories (Set No. One) and for an Order Imposing Monetary Sanctions

8/6/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion to Compel Plaintiff Rong He's Verified Responses to Form Interrogatories (Set No. One) and for an Order Imposing Monetary Sanctions

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Plaintiff Rong He's Verified Resp...)

8/17/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Plaintiff Rong He's Verified Resp...)

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING PLAINTIFF TO ANSWER INTERROGATORIES WITHOUT OBJECTION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DE

8/20/2020: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING PLAINTIFF TO ANSWER INTERROGATORIES WITHOUT OBJECTION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DE

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

12/21/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Declaration of Francis John Cowhig in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Order Deeming Matters in Request for Admissions to be Deemed Admitted

1/5/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Declaration of Francis John Cowhig in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Order Deeming Matters in Request for Admissions to be Deemed Admitted

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Declaration of Francis John Cowhig in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories and for Monetary Sanctions

1/5/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Declaration of Francis John Cowhig in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories and for Monetary Sanctions

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Francis John Cowhig in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents

1/29/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Francis John Cowhig in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 04/06/2021

4/6/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 04/06/2021

Notice (name extension) - Notice Notice of Entry of Order

4/14/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice Notice of Entry of Order

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

4/14/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of John A. Plinski Requesting Dismissal of the Above Entitled Action, In Its Entirety

4/16/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of John A. Plinski Requesting Dismissal of the Above Entitled Action, In Its Entirety

Minute Order - Minute Order (Jury Trial)

4/21/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Jury Trial)

Complaint

6/29/2018: Complaint

42 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/07/2021
  • Hearing07/07/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Leave (name extension)

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal; Filed by: Court

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Rong He on 06/29/2018, entered Order for Dismissal without prejudice as to Alicia Lozano De Penado and Russell Hsu

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketOn the Cross-Complaint filed by Alicia Lozano De Penado on 02/19/2020, entered Order for Dismissal without prejudice as to the entire action

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Jury Trial)

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketAddress for Francis John Cowhig (Attorney) clerical correction

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  • 04/21/2021
  • DocketJury Trial scheduled for 04/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 04/21/2021

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  • 04/16/2021
  • DocketDeclaration of John A. Plinski Requesting Dismissal of the Above Entitled Action, In Its Entirety; Filed by: Alcira Lozano De Penado Erroneously Sued As Alicia Lozano De Penado (Defendant)

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  • 04/14/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Shelley Marie Norton (Defendant)

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  • 04/14/2021
  • DocketNotice Notice of Entry of Order; Filed by: Shelley Marie Norton (Defendant); As to: Rong He (Plaintiff)

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67 More Docket Entries
  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketPursuant to the request of plaintiff, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/27/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Held - Continued was rescheduled to 08/31/2020 08:30 AM

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  • 12/27/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/31/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/04/2019
  • DocketCase reassigned to Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 94 - Hon. James E. Blancarte; Reason: Inventory Transfer

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Rong He (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Rong He (Plaintiff); As to: Shelley Marie Norton (Defendant); Alicia Lozano De Penado (Defendant); Russell Hsu (Defendant)

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/27/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 07/02/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC08946    Hearing Date: April 5, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Mon., April 5, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: He v. Norton COMPL. FILED: 06-29-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC08946 DISC. C/O: 03-22-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 04-06-21

TRIAL DATE: 04-21-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Shelly Marie Norton

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2023.030)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Shelly Marie Norton’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions is GRANTED. The action is DISMISSED AS TO DEFENDANT SHELLY MARIE NORTON.

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 April 1, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of April 1, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 29, 2018, Plaintiff Rong He (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendants Shelley Marie Norton (“Norton”), Alcira Lozano De Penado erroneously sued as Alicia Lozano (“Lozano”), and Russell Hu (“Hu”). An Answer was filed by Defendant Norton on January 17, 2020, by Defendant Hsu on February 7, 2020, and by Defendant Lozano on February 19, 2020. Defendant Lozano also filed a Cross-Complaint against Norton. Defendant Norton filed an Answer to the Cross-Complaint on March 16, 2020.

Defendant Norton filed motions to compel Plaintiff’s responses to her Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, and Form Interrogatories, Set One, on May 7, 2020. Defendant Norton’s motions were granted on August 17, 2020, and Plaintiff was ordered to serve verified responses without objections within thirty days of notice of that order. (8/17/20 Minute Order.)

On October 1, 2020, Defendant Norton filed the instant Motion for Terminating Sanctions Dismissing Plaintiff’s Action for Failure to Obey Discovery Orders (the “Motion”). No opposition was filed.

  1. Legal Standard

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), 2025.450, subd. (h); R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 495.) An evidence sanction prohibits a party that misused the discovery process from introducing evidence on certain designated matters into evidence. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030, subd. (c).) 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

Defendant Norton seeks terminating sanctions due to Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the discovery process. (Mot., p. 3:5-28.)

Defendant Norton states she first served Plaintiff with two sets of discovery on January 17, 2020. (Mot., Boiadjian Decl., ¶ 4, Exhs. A, B.) Defendant Norton’s counsel granted Plaintiff’s counsel several extensions to respond to the discovery due to his representations regarding Plaintiff’s health. (Id. at ¶¶ 5-6.) Having received no responses to the discovery after the extensions were granted, Defendant Norton filed a motion to compel responses to the two discovery sets, which were granted on August 17, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 7-9.) As noted above, Plaintiff was ordered to serve verified responses without objections to Defendant Norton’s discovery within thirty (30) days of the order. (8/17/20 Minute Order.) Defendant Norton’s counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel a notice of the Court’s August 17, 2020 ruling that same day via email. (Mot., Boiadjian Decl., ¶ 9.) To date, no responses to the discovery have been served, nor has Plaintiff’s counsel requested additional time to do so. (Id. at ¶ 10.)

Defendant Norton argues terminating sanctions are appropriate because there is no indication anything less would move Plaintiff. (Mot., pp. 4:22-5:1.) She further argues that the August 17, 2020 Order had no effect on Plaintiff as he has continued to show minimal interest in prosecuting this case. (Id.)

Indeed, it appears that Plaintiff is no longer interested in participating in this action. Notably, Plaintiff was properly served with this Motion but has not opposed it.

Based on the above, the Court finds terminating sanctions are warranted. Although terminating sanctions are a harsh penalty, the evidence above demonstrates that Plaintiff’s compliance with the Court’s orders cannot be achieved through lesser means. Thus, this action is DISMISSED AS TO DEFENDANT SHELLY MARIE NORTON.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Shelly Marie Norton’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions is GRANTED. The action is DISMISSED AS TO DEFENDANT SHELLY MARIE NORTON.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC08946    Hearing Date: February 16, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., February 16, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: He v. Norton, et al. COMPL. FILED: 06-29-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC08946 DISC. C/O: 03-22-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 04-06-21

TRIAL DATE: 04-21-21

PROCEEDINGS: (1) MOTION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING PLAINTIFF TO ANSWER FORM INTERROGATORIES

(2) MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Alcira Lozano de Penado, erroneously sued as Alicia Lozano de Penado

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Rong He

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; REQUESTS FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2031.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Alcira Lozano de Penado’s motions to compel responses to form interrogatories, set one, and request for production of documents, set one, is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to serve responses to the discovery without objections, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

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: Filed on January 28, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: None filed as of February 10, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 29, 2018, Plaintiff Rong He (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendants Shelley Marie Norton (“Norton”), Alcira Lozano De Penado erroneously sued as Alicia Lozano (“Lozano”), and Russell Hsu (“Hsu”). An Answer was filed by Defendant Norton on January 17, 2020, by Defendant Hsu on February 7, 2020, and by Defendant Lozano on February 19, 2020. Defendant Lozano also filed a Cross-Complaint against Norton. Defendant Norton filed an Answer to the Cross-Complaint on March 16, 2020.

Defendant Lozano filed the instant Motion for an Order Compelling Plaintiff to Answer Interrogatories Without Objections (the “Interrogatories Motion”) on August 20, 2020, and the instant Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Responses to Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents (the “Production Motion”) (collectively, the “Motions”) on August 21. On January 29, 2021, Plaintiff’s counsel filed a declaration in Opposition. To date, no reply briefs have been filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A party must respond to interrogatories and requests for production of documents within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories or requests for production of documents are directed does not provide timely responses, the requesting party may move for an order compelling responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (c).) The party also waives the right to make any objections, including one based on privilege or work-product protection. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories or production of documents other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2024.020, subd. (a), 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

Defendant Lozano’s counsel served Plaintiff’s counsel with Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, on March 24, 2020. (Motions, Plinski Decl., ¶¶ 3, Exhs. A.) Defendant Lozano’s counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel a letter regarding the lack of discovery responses on April 28, 2020, and granted an extension to provide them until May 13, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 5.) To date, no responses have been received. (Id. at ¶ 6.)

In opposition, Plaintiff’s counsel states that since before August 2020, his office has tried to contact Plaintiff or his family via telephone and written correspondence without success. (Oppositions, Cowhig Decls. ¶¶ 3-4.) He also states he has come to believe Plaintiff is suffering from late-stage leukemia but has been unable to confirm this with Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s family, or Plaintiff’s physician. (Id. at ¶¶ 5, 7.) Because of this, Plaintiff’s counsel states that he is unable to determine when Plaintiff will be able to participate in the litigation. (Id. at ¶¶ 12.) However, because the discovery was served nearly one year ago, Defendant Lozano is entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, 2031.300.)

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Alcira Lozano de Penado’s motions to compel responses to form interrogatories, set one, and request for production of documents, set one, is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to serve responses to the discovery without objections, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC08946    Hearing Date: January 28, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., January 28, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: He v. Norton, et al. COMPL. FILED: 06-29-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC08946 DISC. C/O: 03-22-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 04-06-21

TRIAL DATE: 04-21-21

PROCEEDINGS: (1) MOTION TO COMPEL ANSWERS TO INTERROGATORIES AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

(2) MOTION FOR ORDER DEEMING MATTERS IN REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS TO BE DEEMED ADMITTED AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Russel Hsu

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Rong He

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES; MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED; REQUESTS FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Russell Hsu’s Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide responses to the Special Interrogatories, Set One, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. Defendant’s Motion to deem Requests for Admission admitted against Plaintiff is also GRANTED. Finally, Defendant Hsu’s requests for sanctions are GRANTED against Plaintiff Rong He only in the amount of $520.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

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: Filed on January 5, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: None filed as of January 26, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 29, 2018, Plaintiff Rong He (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendants Shelley Marie Norton (“Norton”), Alcira Lozano De Penado erroneously sued as Alicia Lozano (“Lozano”), and Russell Hsu (“Hsu”). An Answer was filed by Defendant Norton on January 17, 2020, by Defendant Hsu on February 7, 2020, and by Defendant Lozano on February 19, 2020. Defendant Lozano also filed a Cross-Complaint against Norton. Defendant Norton filed an Answer to the Cross-Complaint on March 16, 2020.

On July 27, 2020, Defendant Hsu filed the instant (1) Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories and for Monetary Sanctions (the “Interrogatories Motion”) and (2) Motion for Order Deeming Matters in Request for Admissions to be Deemed Admitted (the “RFA Motion”) (collectively, the “Motions”.) Plaintiff’s counsel filed a declaration in opposition to both motions on January 5, 2021. No reply brief has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

A. Special Interrogatories

A party must respond to interrogatories within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories are directed does not provide timely responses, the requesting party may move for an order compelling responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The party also waives the right to make any objections, including one based on privilege or work-product protection. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (a).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.020, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., 2030.290.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

B. Requests for Admission

A party must respond to requests for admissions within 30 days after service of such requests. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.250, subd. (a).) “If a party to whom requests for admission are directed fails to serve a timely response…(a) [that party] waives any objection to the requests, including one based on privilege or on the protection for work product…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (a).) “The requesting party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction under Chapter 7.” (Id. at subd. (b).) A motion dealing with the failure to respond, rather than with inadequate responses, does not require the requesting party to meet and confer with the responding party. (Deymer v. Costa Mesa Mobile Home Estates (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 393, 395, fn. 4 [disapproved on other grounds in Wilcox v. Birtwhistle (1999) 21 Cal.4th 973]. There is no time limit within which a motion to have matters deemed admitted must be made. (Brigante v. Huang (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 1569, 1585.)

  1. Discussion

Here, Defendant Hsu’s counsel served Plaintiff with Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Admissions, Set One, on February 7, 2020 via regular mail. (Motions., Zurek Decls., ¶¶ 3, Exhs. A.) As of the date of this Motion, no responses to the discovery were provided. (Id. at ¶ 4.) In opposition, Plaintiff’s counsel states that since before August 2020, his office has tried to contact Plaintiff or his family via telephone and written correspondence without success. (Oppositions, Cowhig Decls. ¶¶ 3-4.) He also states he has come to believe Plaintiff is suffering from late-stage leukemia but has been unable to confirm this with Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s family, or Plaintiff’s physician. (Id. at ¶¶ 5, 7.) Because of this, Plaintiff’s counsel states that he is unable to determine when Plaintiff will be able to participate in the litigation. (Id. at ¶¶ 11.) However, because the discovery was served nearly one year ago, Defendant Hsu is entitled to an order deeming the Requests for Admission, Set One, admitted against Plaintiff and an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, 2033.280.)

A. Sanctions

Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (a) provides, in pertinent part, that the court may impose a monetary sanction on a party engaging in the misuse of the discovery process to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. A misuse of the discovery process includes failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) Furthermore, it is “mandatory that the Court impose a monetary sanction…on the party or attorney, or both, whose failure to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitated this motion.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

In Opposition, Plaintiff’s counsel argues sanctions should not be imposed on Plaintiff due to his medical condition and apparent inability to respond. (Oppositions, Cowhig Decl., ¶¶ 12.) He further argues that it cannot be said that the failure to respond to the discovery is intentional or an attempt on Plaintiff’s or counsel’s part to deprive Defendant Hsu of his discovery. rights. (Id. at ¶¶ 9, 12.) However, because Plaintiff’s counsel has not been able to confirm Plaintiff’s medical condition either through Plaintiff himself or Plaintiff’s family members, a possibility exists that Plaintiff has simply abandoned the litigation. Thus, the Court finds Plaintiff’s failure to respond a misuse of the discovery process. In addition, the Court is required to impose a monetary sanction on Plaintiff for his failure to respond to the Requests for Admission under Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (c).

Defendant Hsu’s counsel seeks $1,320.00 in sanctions based on six hours of attorney time billed at $200.00 per hour and two filing fees of $60.00. (Motions, Zurek Decls., ¶¶ 5.) However, the amount sought is excessive given the simplicity of these Motions and the lack of reply. The Court finds $520.00, based on two hours of attorney time and two filing fees, to be reasonable.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Russell Hsu’s Motion to Compel Answers to Interrogatories is GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide responses to the Special Interrogatories, Set One, within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. Defendant’s Motion to deem Requests for Admission admitted against Plaintiff is also GRANTED. Finally, Defendant Hsu’s requests for sanctions are GRANTED against Plaintiff Rong He only in the amount of $520.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC08946    Hearing Date: August 17, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Mon., August 17, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: He v. Norton, et al. COMPL. FILED: 06-29-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC08946 DISC. C/O: 03-22-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 04-06-21

TRIAL DATE: 04-21-21

PROCEEDINGS: (1) MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(2) MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF’S RESPONSES TO DEMAND FOR INSPECTION AND PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Shelley Marie Norton

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Rong He

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 2030.290; 2031.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Shelley Marie Norton’s (1) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Verified Responses to Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, and (2) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Verified Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, are GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified responses without objections within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. As Defendant Norton has withdrawn her request for sanctions, none are awarded.

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: Filed on July 30, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on August 6, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 29, 2018, Plaintiff Rong He (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for motor vehicle negligence against Defendants Shelley Marie Norton (“Norton”), Alcira Lozano De Penado erroneously sued as Alicia Lozano (“Lozano”), and Russell Hu (“Hu”). An Answer was filed by Defendant Norton on January 17, 2020, by Defendant Hsu on February 7, 2020, and by Defendant Lozano on February 19, 2020. Defendant Lozano also filed a Cross-Complaint against Norton. Defendant Norton filed an Answer to the Cross-Complaint on March 16, 2020.

On May 7, 2020, Defendant Norton filed the instant (1) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Verified Responses to Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, and Request for Sanctions and (2) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Verified Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Sanctions (collectively, the “Motions”). Plaintiff’s counsel filed a declaration in opposition to the Motions on July 30, 2020, and Defendant Norton filed Replies on August 6, 2020.

  1. Legal Standard

A party must respond to interrogatories and requests for production of documents within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories or requests for production of documents are directed does not provide timely responses, the requesting party may move for an order compelling responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (c).) The party also waives the right to make any objections, including one based on privilege or work-product protection. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories or production of documents other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2024.020, subd. (a), 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

Here, Defendant Norton served Plaintiff with Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, on January 17, 2020 via regular mail. (Motions, Boiadjian Decl., ¶¶ 3, Exhs. A.) On February 27, 2020, Defendant Norton’s counsel spoke to Plaintiff’s counsel regarding the lack of discovery responses. (Id. at ¶¶ 4, Exh. B.) Plaintiff’s counsel explained to Defendant’s counsel that Plaintiff was suffering from leukemia and that Plaintiff’s counsel was in the process of obtaining more information regarding Plaintiff’s condition. (Id.) For this reason, Defendant Norton’s counsel granted an extension up to and including April 1, 2020 to respond to the discovery. (Id.) Defendant Norton’s counsel sent Plaintiff’s counsel a follow-up letter on April 2, 2020 regarding the failure to serve responses by the extension deadline. (Id. at ¶¶ 5 Exhs. C.) To date, Plaintiff’s counsel has not responded to Defendant Norton’s April 2nd follow-up letter or provided responses to the discovery requests. (Id. at ¶¶ 6.)

In opposition, Plaintiff’s counsel argues he has been unable to reach his client and states that several family members have communicated to him Plaintiff suffers from leukemia. (Oppos., Cowhig Declarations, ¶¶ 5-7.) However, Plaintiff’s family members and physicians have refused to provide Plaintiff’s counsel with any further details regarding Plaintiff’s condition. (Id. at ¶¶ 5-10.) Because of this, Plaintiff’s counsel states that he is unable to determine when Plaintiff will be able to participate in the litigation. (Id. at ¶¶ 11.)

In light of Plaintiff’s medical condition, Defendant Norton has withdrawn her request for sanctions. (Replies, p. 2:23-26.) However, Defendant Norton is entitled to an order compelling Plaintiff to provide verified responses without objections to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, 2031.300.)

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Shelley Marie Norton’s (1) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Verified Responses to Demand for Inspection and Production of Documents, Set One, and (2) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Verified Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, are GRANTED. Plaintiff is ordered to provide verified responses without objections within thirty (30) days of notice of this order. As Defendant Norton has withdrawn her request for sanctions, none are awarded.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.