This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2020 at 04:49:25 (UTC).

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY VS OUTLOUD AUDIO

Case Summary

On 02/13/2019 STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY filed a Contract - Insurance lawsuit against OUTLOUD AUDIO. 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:

    *******1676

  • Filing Date:

    02/13/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Insurance

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

AUDIO OUTLOUD

SUPERIOR AWNING INC.

Defendant and Cross Defendant

SUPERIOR AWNING INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

MAHFOUZ RICHARD LOUIS

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorney

FOREMAN BRANDYE

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order Re: Non-Jury Trial)

8/10/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order Re: Non-Jury Trial)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: Non-Jury Trial) of 08/10/2020

8/10/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: Non-Jury Trial) of 08/10/2020

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

4/22/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/27/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

2/27/2020: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

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

3/13/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

3/26/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Opposition to Arbitration

11/26/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Opposition to Arbitration

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

11/26/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

General Denial - General Denial

12/10/2019: General Denial - General Denial

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration)

12/10/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration)

Motion to Compel Arbitration - Motion to Compel Arbitration

8/9/2019: Motion to Compel Arbitration - Motion to Compel Arbitration

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

2/27/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Complaint - Complaint

2/13/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

2/13/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/13/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

2/13/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

2/13/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/16/2022
  • Hearing02/16/2022 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 01/20/2021
  • Hearing01/20/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 01/20/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Court Order Re: Non-Jury Trial)

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  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: Non-Jury Trial) of 08/10/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion was rescheduled to 01/20/2021 08:30 AM

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  • 04/22/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: OUTLOUD AUDIO (Cross-Complainant); As to: Superior Awning , Inc. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 04/22/2020
  • DocketDefault entered as to Superior Awning , Inc. On the Cross-Complaint filed by OUTLOUD AUDIO on 02/27/2020

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  • 03/26/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: OUTLOUD AUDIO (Cross-Complainant); As to: Superior Awning , Inc. (Cross-Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 03/11/2020; Service Cost: 150.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 03/13/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: Superior Awning , Inc. (Defendant)

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11 More Docket Entries
  • 08/09/2019
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration scheduled for 12/10/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/27/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: OUTLOUD AUDIO (Defendant); Service Date: 02/25/2019; Service Cost: 45.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 02/20/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/20/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/16/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 02/20/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 02/13/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: OUTLOUD AUDIO (Defendant)

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  • 02/13/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: OUTLOUD AUDIO (Defendant)

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  • 02/13/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: OUTLOUD AUDIO (Defendant)

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  • 02/13/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/13/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC01676    Hearing Date: December 10, 2019    Dept: 94

MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

(CCP § 1281.2)

TENTATIVE RULING:

The Motion is DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company sued Defendant Outloud Audio and Does 1 to 40, inclusive, for subrogation based on allegations that Defendant’s awning collapsed and caused damage to Plaintiff’s insured’s vehicle in the amount of $5,709.56, which was paid by Plaintiff. Defendants refused to pay Plaintiff the sum.

On June 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to complaint, substituting in Defendant Superior Awning, Inc. as Doe 1.

On August 9, 2019, Defendant Outloud Audio filed this motion. On November 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed the opposition.

II. Legal Standard

CCP section 1281.2 permits a party to file a motion to request that the Court order the parties to arbitrate a controversy. Under CCP section 1281.2, the Court may grant the motion if the Court determines that an agreement to arbitrate the controversy exists.

The party seeking to enforce the arbitration agreement bears the burden of proving the existence of a valid arbitration agreement by the preponderance of the evidence. (Giuliano v. Inland Empire Personnel, Inc. (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 1276, 1284.) The trial court first decides whether an enforceable arbitration agreement exists between the parties and then determine whether the plaintiff’s claims are covered by the agreement. (Omar v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 955, 961.)

Under section 1281.2, it is the trial court that determines if there is a duty to arbitrate the particular controversy which has arisen between the parties. (Engineers & Architects Assn. v. Community Development Dept. (1994) 30 Cal. App. 4th 644, 652-653.) In performing its duty to determine if the parties have agreed to arbitrate that type of controversy, the Court is necessarily required to examine and, to a limited extent, construe the underlying agreement. (Ibid.)

Doubts as to whether an arbitration clause applies to a particular dispute are to be resolved in favor of sending the parties to arbitration. (Ibid.) The Court should order them to arbitrate unless it is clear that the arbitration clause cannot be interpreted to cover the dispute. (Ibid.) Unless the parties clearly and unmistakably provide otherwise, the question of whether the parties agreed to arbitrate is to be decided by the court, not the arbitrator. (Ibid.)

The right to arbitration depends upon contract; a petition to compel arbitration is simply a suit in equity seeking specific performance of that contract. (Ibid.) There is no public policy favoring arbitration of disputes which the parties have not agreed to arbitrate. (Ibid.)

III. Analysis

To meet its burden, Defendant must show (1) an arbitration agreement exists between the parties and (2) the agreement covers Plaintiff’s claims.

In the moving papers, Defendant’s evidence shows an arbitration agreement exists between Plaintiff and Defendant’s insurer Liberty Mutual Insurance. (Foreman Decl. ¶ 5, Exhs. D, E [Defendant’s counsel’s letter asserting Plaintiff and Defendant’s insurer have a written arbitration agreement], G [list of participants to arbitration agreement].)

In opposition, Plaintiff contends not all parties to the action are signatories to the arbitration agreement because Defendant Superior Awning, Inc., which has not yet appeared, is not a signatory. In such circumstances, Plaintiff contends the parties may with written consent arbitrate claims against non-signatories but asserts it has not provided written consent. Plaintiff cites to “Article Second” and “Article Fourth” of the arbitration agreement but does not provide the actual text or make such assertion in a declaration. Thus, the Court is not persuaded by Plaintiff’s argument.

Nevertheless, the Court is inclined to determine Defendant does not meet its burden based on the following. Rule 1-2 of the purported agreement states a plaintiff must dismiss or discontinue a lawsuit, which should have been filed in arbitration, after “notification of the adverse party’s signatory status.” (Foreman Decl., Exh. F [Rule 1.2 of agreement].) Here, there is no evidence that Defendant has signatory status to the arbitration agreement. Defendant does not show its insurer’s signatory status is sufficient for Defendant to enforce the agreement. While authority exists for non-signatories to enforce arbitration agreements (See Boucher v. Alliance Title Co., Inc. (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 262, 271 [equitable estoppel]; Jenks v. DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 1, 9 [agency]), Defendant has made no attempt to show these exceptions apply to the general rule that one must be a party to an arbitration agreement to invoke it or be bound by it.

Accordingly, Defendant does not meet its burden to show an enforceable, written arbitration agreement exists between the parties.

As to Defendant’s burden to show the purported agreement covers Plaintiff’s claims, Defendant only provides the portion of the agreement (Rule 1-2) that assumes the matter should have been filed in arbitration. (Foreman Decl., Exh. F [Rule 1.2 of agreement, stating “When a matter that should have been filed in arbitration under one of the Agreements is placed in litigation,” [explaining procedure to dismiss or discontinue litigation]].) Defendant does not provide the portion of the purported agreement that shows this lawsuit is covered by the terms of the agreement. However, the law liberally resolves this factor in sending parties to arbitration, unless it is clear that the arbitration clause cannot be interpreted to cover the dispute. (See Engineers & Architects Assn. v. Community Development Dept., supra, 30 Cal. App. 4th at 652-653.) Here, it is not clear that the arbitration clause cannot be interpreted to cover the dispute because the agreement concerns subrogation. Further, Plaintiff does not dispute the agreement can cover this lawsuit. Accordingly, Defendant would meet its burden to show the purported agreement covers Plaintiff’s claims.

Nevertheless, the motion is denied because Defendant failed to show an arbitration agreement exists between the parties.

IV. Conclusion

For the stated reasons, the Motion is DENIED.