This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/12/2021 at 06:39:13 (UTC).

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY VS DAVID L. SHEPHERD

Case Summary

On 12/13/2019 STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against DAVID L SHEPHERD. 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:

    *******1382

  • Filing Date:

    12/13/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY

Defendant

SHEPHERD DAVID L.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

PILLEMER DAVID B.

PILLEMER DAVID BERNARD ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

SMITH-MARS DENISE ABIGAIL ESQ.

MORALES EDWARD JESUS ESQ.

SMITH-MARS DENISE A.

MORALES EDWARD JESUS

 

Court Documents

Answer - Answer

2/14/2020: Answer - Answer

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Propo...) of 09/29/2021

9/29/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Propo...) of 09/29/2021

Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Propo...)

9/29/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Propo...)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

8/24/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition OF DEFENDANT, DAVID L. SHEPHERD, TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO STRIKE ANSWER AND ENTER DEFENDANTS DEFAULT AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS; AND DECLARATION OF ED

8/13/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition OF DEFENDANT, DAVID L. SHEPHERD, TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO STRIKE ANSWER AND ENTER DEFENDANTS DEFAULT AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS; AND DECLARATION OF ED

Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Production

12/29/2020: Motion to Compel (name extension) - Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Production

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Responses to For...)

2/2/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Motion to Compel Responses to For...)

Association of Attorney - Association of Attorney

3/15/2021: Association of Attorney - Association of Attorney

Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order by all Parties to Continue Trial and All Related Dates

4/12/2021: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order by all Parties to Continue Trial and All Related Dates

Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

2/14/2020: Demand for Jury Trial - Demand for Jury Trial

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

2/14/2020: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees - Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Request to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures - Request to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures

2/14/2020: Request to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures - Request to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

12/13/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Complaint - Complaint

12/13/2019: Complaint - Complaint

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

12/13/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Summons - Summons on Complaint

12/13/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

12 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/01/2022
  • Hearing12/01/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: (name extension)

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  • 09/29/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Answer: Name Extension: blank; As To Parties changed from STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff) to STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/29/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default and Default Judgment or Dismissal scheduled for 12/01/2022 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 09/29/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Propo...)

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  • 09/29/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Propo...) of 09/29/2021; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 09/29/2021
  • DocketNon-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Proposed Form of Default Judgment Pursuant to the Court's 08/24/2021 Order scheduled for 09/29/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 09/29/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 08/30/2021
  • DocketReset - Court Unavailable, Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Proposed Form of Default Judgment Pursuant to the Court's 08/24/2021 Order scheduled for 09/24/2021 at 12:00 PM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 09/29/2021 08:30 AM

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Answer and Default / Default Judgment entered: Filed By: DAVID L. SHEPHERD (Defendant); Result: Stricken; Name Extension: and Default / Default Judgment entered; Result Date: 08/24/2021; As To Parties changed from STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff) to STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Strike Defendant's Answer and Enter Defendant's Default For Failure to Comply With the Court's February 2, 2021 Discovery Order: Filed By: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); Result: Granted; Result Date: 08/24/2021

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketNon-Appearance Case Review Re: Submittal of Plaintiff's Proposed Form of Default Judgment Pursuant to the Court's 08/24/2021 Order scheduled for 09/24/2021 at 12:00 PM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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31 More Docket Entries
  • 02/14/2020
  • DocketRequest to Opt Out of Mandatory Expedited Jury Trial Procedures; Filed by: DAVID L. SHEPHERD (Defendant); As to: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/14/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: DAVID L. SHEPHERD (Defendant); As to: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/11/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 12/16/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: DAVID L. SHEPHERD (Defendant)

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: DAVID L. SHEPHERD (Defendant)

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: DAVID L. SHEPHERD (Defendant)

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/13/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: 19STLC11382 Hearing Date: August 24, 2021 Dept: 26

State Farm v. Shepherd, et al. 19STLC11382

MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2023.010)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Answer is ruled on as follows. THE COURT HEREBY STRIKES DEFENDANT DAVID L. SHEPARD’S ANSWER FILED ON FEBRUARY 14, 2020 AND ENTERS DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT DAVID L. SHEPARD.

PROPOSED JUDGMENT TO BE FILED WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for automobile subrogation against Defendant David L. Shepard (“Defendant”) on December 13, 2019. Defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint on February 14, 2020.

On February 2, 2021, the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion to compel Defendant’s responses to form interrogatories and request for monetary sanctions. (Minute Order, 02/02/21.) The Court ordered Defendant to serve responses to the discovery and pay monetary sanctions within 20 days’ notice of the order. (Ibid.) Notice of the ruling was served on Defendant on April 6, 2021. (Notice of Ruling, filed 04/06/21.)

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Terminating Sanctions on July 28, 2021. Defense counsel filed an opposition on August 13, 2021.

Discussion

Where a party willfully disobeys a discovery order, courts have discretion to impose terminating, issue, evidence or monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subds. (d), (g); R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 495.) The court should look to the totality of the circumstances in determining whether terminating sanctions are appropriate. (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.) 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).)

The Court granted Plaintiff’s discovery motions on February 2, 2021 and notice of the order was served on Defendant on April 6, 2021. To date, Defendant has not served responses in compliance with the Court’s February 2, 2021 order, nor paid the monetary sanctions as ordered. (Motion, Pillemar Decl., ¶6.) The court finds that terminating sanctions are warranted for Defendant’s non-compliance. Defense counsel submits a declaration asking that the Motion be denied or continued because they have been unable to locate Defendant and an investigation into Defendant’s whereabouts is pending. (Opp., Morales Decl., ¶¶8-12.) The opposition does not explain when the investigation began or its current status. The discovery at issue was served on Defendant in February 2020. (Motion to Compel, filed 12/29/20, Pillemer Decl., Exh. 3.) Therefore, defense counsel has known for more than 18 months that Defendant is not participating in this action.

Although terminating sanctions are a harsh penalty, the above evidence demonstrates that Defendant’s compliance with the Court’s orders cannot be achieved through lesser sanctions. Indeed, it appears that Defendant has no intention of participating in this action or defending the claims brought by Plaintiff. “The court [is] not required to allow a pattern of abuse to continue ad infinitum.” (Mileikowsky v. Tenet Healthsystem (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 262, 280.)

Conclusion

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Answer is ruled on as follows. THE COURT HEREBY STRIKES DEFENDANT DAVID L. SHEPARD’S ANSWER FILED ON FEBRUARY 14, 2020 AND ENTERS DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT DAVID L. SHEPARD.

Moving party to give notice.

'

Case Number: 19STLC11382    Hearing Date: February 02, 2021    Dept: 26

State Farm v. Shepherd, et al.

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2030.290)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion Compelling Defendant David L. Shepherd To Respond To Form Interrogatories, Set One and for Monetary Sanctions is GRANTED. Defendant is to serve verified responses without objections within 20 days’ service of this order. Defendant is further ordered to pay sanctions of $410.00 to Plaintiff’s counsel within 20 days’ service of this order.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) propounded Form Interrogatories, Set One, on Defendant David L. Shepherd (“Defendant”) on February 19, 2020. (Motion, Pillemer Decl., Exh. 3.) To date, no responses have been served for the discovery. (Id. at ¶4.) Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and Request for Sanctions on December 29, 2020. To date, no opposition has been filed.

There is no requirement for a prior meet and confer effort before a motion to compel initial responses can be filed. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290.) Further, the motion can be brought any time after the responding party fails to provide the responses. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290.) Based on Defendant’s failure to serve timely responses, the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Defendant to serve verified responses to the form interrogatories without objections.

Defendant’s failure to timely respond constitutes a misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) Sanctions are appropriate under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2023.010 and 2023.030 and have been properly noticed. However, the amount sought is excessive under a lodestar calculation. The request for sanctions is granted against Defendant in the amount of $410.00 based on one hour of attorney time billed at $350.00 an hour and $60.00 in costs. (Motion, Pillemer Decl., ¶5.)

Conclusion

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion Compelling Defendant David L. Shepherd To Respond To Form Interrogatories, Set One and for Monetary Sanctions is GRANTED. Defendant is to serve verified responses without objections within 20 days’ service of this order. Defendant is further ordered to pay sanctions of $410.00 to Plaintiff’s counsel within 20 days’ service of this order.

Moving party to give notice.

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