This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/21/2021 at 08:13:18 (UTC).

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY VS VICTORIA ANDUJAR, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 12/23/2019 STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against VICTORIA ANDUJAR. 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:

    *******1671

  • Filing Date:

    12/23/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY

Defendants

OPALOMINO MICHAEL

ANDUJAR VICTORIA

Not Classified By Court

LOYA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SCHOECK MICHAEL D.

Defendant Attorney

MESSINA IRENE

 

Court Documents

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF TRISTAN P ESPINOSA ESQ ISO MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

7/30/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF TRISTAN P ESPINOSA ESQ ISO MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

7/30/2021: Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

7/30/2021: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

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

7/30/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Answer - Answer

7/23/2020: Answer - Answer

Motion for Leave (name extension) - Motion for Leave Motion for Leave to Intervene

12/24/2020: Motion for Leave (name extension) - Motion for Leave Motion for Leave to Intervene

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Leave to Intervene)

3/1/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Leave to Intervene)

Notice (name extension) - Notice Proposed Answer in Intrervention

4/5/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice Proposed Answer in Intrervention

Notice (name extension) - Notice OF HEARING - AMENDED

4/12/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice OF HEARING - AMENDED

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

4/12/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

5/17/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

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

5/17/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

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

6/8/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

6/8/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

12/23/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Complaint - Complaint

12/23/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

12/23/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF VENUE

12/23/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF VENUE

23 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/17/2022
  • Hearing05/17/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 11/30/2021
  • Hearing11/30/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketMotion for Judgment on the Pleadings; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: VICTORIA ANDUJAR (Defendant); MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant)

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketDeclaration RE INTEREST; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: VICTORIA ANDUJAR (Defendant); MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant); Total Costs: 669.00

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketDeclaration OF TRISTAN P ESPINOSA ESQ ISO MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/30/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings scheduled for 11/30/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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35 More Docket Entries
  • 06/08/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 05/26/2020; Service Cost: 89.50; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 12/26/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/26/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 12/27/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 12/26/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 12/23/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: VICTORIA ANDUJAR (Defendant); MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant)

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  • 12/23/2019
  • DocketDeclaration DECLARATION OF VENUE; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: VICTORIA ANDUJAR (Defendant); MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant)

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  • 12/23/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: VICTORIA ANDUJAR (Defendant); MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant)

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  • 12/23/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Plaintiff); As to: VICTORIA ANDUJAR (Defendant); MICHAEL OPALOMINO (Defendant)

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  • 12/23/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/23/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC11671    Hearing Date: May 27, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s unopposed Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $460.00 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: None filed as of May 25, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of May 25, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in subrogation against Defendants Victoria Andujar (“Victoria”) and Michael Palomino, erroneously sued as Michael Opalomino (“Michael”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Defendants filed a joint Answer on July 23, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted (the “Motion”).

On May 11, 2021, Loya Casualty Insurance (“Loya”) was granted leave to intervene in this action. (5/11/21 Minute Order.)

At the initial April 8 hearing, the Court ordered Plaintiff to pay one additional filing fee. (4/8/21 Minute Order.) Plaintiff did so on April 15, 2021. No opposition to the Motion was filed.

II. Legal Standard and Discussion

A. 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.)

Here, Plaintiff served each Defendant with Requests for Admission, Set One, on September 24, 2020 via email. (Mot., Espinosa Decl., ¶ 1, Exh. A.) Although not statutorily required, Plaintiff’s counsel sent Defendants’ counsel a meet and confer letter on November 12, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Defendants’ counsel requested an extension to respond on December 7, 2020, which Plaintiff’s counsel granted until December 28, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 5.) To date, Defendants have not served any responses. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to an order deeming the Requests for Admissions, Set One, admitted against each Defendant. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280.)

B. Request for 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).)

The Court finds Defendants’ failure to respond to Plaintiff’s discovery requests a misuse of the discovery process. In addition, the Court is required to impose a monetary sanction on Defendants for their failure to respond to the Request for Admissions under Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280, subdivision (c).

Plaintiff’s counsel requests $460.00 in sanctions based on two hours of attorney time and one filing fee. (Mot., Espinosa Decl., ¶ 8.) The Court finds this request to be reasonable and is thus GRANTED.

III. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s unopposed Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $460.00 to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC11671    Hearing Date: May 11, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE

MOVING PARTY: Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO INTERVENE

(CCP § 387)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance’s Motion for Leave to Intervene is GRANTED.

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 May 7, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of May 7, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in subrogation against Defendants Victoria Andujar (“Victoria”) and Michael Palomino, erroneously sued as Michael Opalomino (“Michael”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Defendants filed a joint Answer on July 23, 2020.

On December 24, 2020, Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance (“Loya”) filed a motion for leave to intervene. Loya’s motion was denied on March 1 because it did not demonstrate Defendants were covered under Loya’s insured’s insurance policy. (3/1/21 Minute Order.)

Loya filed a second Motion for Leave to Intervene (the “Motion”) on April 5, 2021. No opposition was filed.

II. Legal Standard

Intervention is permitted when “[t]he person seeking intervention claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action and that person is so situated that the disposition of the action may impair or impede that person's ability to protect that interest, unless that person's interest is adequately represented by one or more of the existing parties.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 387, subd. (d)(1)(B).) Whether the petitioner has an interest in the matter in litigation is a question of fact that must be determined by the court before leave to file is granted. (Muller v. Robinson (1959) 174 Cal.App.2d 511, 515; In re Yokohama Special Bank (1948) 86 Cal.App.2d 545.) The burden rests on the one seeking to intervene to show that this is a proper case for intervention. (Id. at 515.)

III. Discussion

The instant action arises out of an automobile accident that occurred on or about September 5, 2018. (Compl., ¶ 6.) The accident allegedly occurred between Plaintiff’s insured and Defendant Victoria. (Id.) Loya explains that, under the provisions of Loya’s insurance policies, permissive users, express or implied, are covered insureds. (Mot. p. 9:10-27, Messina Decl., ¶¶ 4, 5, Exhs. A, B.) Loya further states that its policyholder, Miguel Palomino (“Miguel”) gave his son, Defendant Michael, permission to use the vehicle covered under the policy, thereby becoming an express permissive user. (Id.) Thereafter, Defendant Michael gave Defendant Victoria permission to use the vehicle. (Id.) As a result, both Defendants are permissive users, express or implied. (Id.)

Loya’s counsel, Irene Messina (“Messina”) explains that since being assigned this action in June 2020, she has experienced great difficulties in securing Defendants’ cooperation. (Id., Messina Decl., ¶ 8.) She states Defendants were initially contacted on June 26, 2020 and permission to file an Answer on their behalf was obtained. (Id. at ¶ 9.) Since then contact with Defendants has been limited. (Id.) Policyholder Miguel was uncooperative in assisting Loya to locate Defendant Michael. (Id. at ¶ 13.) On November 23, 2020, private investigator Tom Dailey was retained to locate Defendant Michael but was unsuccessful. (Id. at ¶¶ 14-16.) Contact with Defendant Victoria has been “limited and sporadic.” (Id. at ¶ 9.) Messina explains that when they manage to speak with her, Defendant Victoria assures she will cooperate but does not. (Id.) As of the date of this Motion, Messina states she has no idea where Defendant Michael may be located and believes she has exhausted her avenues to contact him. (Id. at ¶ 19.) As for Defendant Victoria, Messina states she has been unable to secure her cooperation despite numerous efforts. (Id.)

The Court finds Loya has demonstrated that unless it is allowed to intervene, both its interests and Defendants’ interests will be prejudiced. Insurance Code section 11580, subdivision (b)(2) provides that an insurance policy must contain “[a] provision that whenever judgment is secured against the insured…in an action based upon bodily injury, death, or property damage, then an action may be brought against the insurer on the policy and subject to its terms and limitations, by such judgment creditor to recover on the judgment.” Based on the foregoing, the Court finds Loya has an interest in the action and would be required to satisfy any judgment rendered against Defendants. (See also Reliance Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2008) 84 Cal.App.4th 383, 386.) In addition, Loya’s intervention will not enlarge the issues in this action, as Loya will simply assert defenses on Defendants’ behalf. (Reliance Ins. Co., supra, at 386 [citing Truck Ins. Exch. v. Superior Court (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 342, 346).)

Accordingly, Loya’s unopposed Motion is GRANTED.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance’s Motion for Leave to Intervene is GRANTED.

Loya is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC11671    Hearing Date: April 8, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., April 8, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Andujar, et al.

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC11671 COMP. FILED: 12-23-19

NOTICE: OK DISC. C/O: 05-22-21

MOTION C/O: 06-06-21

TRIAL DATE: 06-21-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED (x2)

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO DEEM REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION ADMITTED; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2033.280)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted is CONTINUED TO MAY 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. Plaintiff is ordered to pay one additional filing fee at least five (5) days before the next scheduled hearing. Failure to do so may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

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 6, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of April 6, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in subrogation against Defendants Victoria Andujar (“Andujar”) and Michael Palomino, erroneously sued as Michael Opalomino (“Palomino”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Defendants filed a joint Answer on July 23, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted (the “Motion”). No opposition was filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. 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 (19ee93) 20 Cal.App.4th 1569, 1585.)

Plaintiff’s counsel states his office served Defendants’ counsel with Requests for Admission, Set One, one for each Defendant, on September 24, 2020. (Mot., Espinosa Decl., ¶ 1, Exh. A.) Plaintiff’s counsel granted Defendants’ counsel’s request for an extension to provide responses until December 14, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 4, Exh. C.) Plaintiff’s counsel denied Defendants’ counsel’s second request for an extension but agreed to refrain from filing any discovery motions until December 28, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 5.) As of the date this Motion was filed, Plaintiff had not received responses to its discovery requests. (Id. at ¶ 6.) Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to an order deeming the Requests for Admission, Set One, admitted against each Defendant. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280.)

Although the Court is inclined to grant the Motion, the Court notes Plaintiff filed two requests for relief and paid only one filing fee for what should have been two separate motions. Filing fees are jurisdictional and “it is mandatory for the court clerks to demand and receive statutorily required filing fees.” (See Duran v. St. Luke’s Hospital (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 457, 460.) Thus, the hearing is CONTINUED and Plaintiff is ordered to pay one additional filing fee.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted is CONTINUED TO MAY 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. Plaintiff is ordered to pay one additional filing fee at least five (5) days before the next scheduled hearing. Failure to do so may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC11671    Hearing Date: March 01, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Mon., March 1, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Andujar, et al.

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC11671 COMP. FILED: 12-23-19

NOTICE: OK DISC. C/O: 05-22-21

MOTION C/O: 06-06-21

TRIAL DATE: 06-21-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE

MOVING PARTY: Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO INTERVENE

(CCP § 387)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance’s Motion for Leave to Intervene is DENIED.

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 February 25, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of February 25, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in subrogation against Defendants Victoria Andujar (“Andujar”) and Michael Palomino, erroneously sued as Michael Opalomino (“Palomino”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Defendants filed a joint Answer on July 23, 2020.

On December 24, 2020, Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance (“Loya”) filed the instant Motion for Leave to Intervene (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

Intervention is permitted when “[t]he person seeking intervention claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action and that person is so situated that the disposition of the action may impair or impede that person's ability to protect that interest, unless that person's interest is adequately represented by one or more of the existing parties.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 387, subd. (d)(1)(B).) Whether the petitioner has an interest in the matter in litigation is a question of fact that must be determined by the court before leave to file is granted. (Muller v. Robinson (1959) 174 Cal.App.2d 511, 515; In re Yokohama Special Bank (1948) 86 Cal.App.2d 545.) The burden rests on the one seeking to intervene to show that this is a proper case for intervention. (Id. at 515.)

  1. Discussion

The instant action arises out of an automobile accident that occurred on or about September 5, 2018. (Comp., ¶ 6.) The accident allegedly occurred between Plaintiff’s insured and Defendant Andujar. (Id.) Loya argues it has a direct interest in the case because the liability of its insured is at issue. (Mot., p. 6:10-14.)

Insurance Code section 11580, subdivision (b)(2) provides that an insurance policy must contain “[a] provision that whenever judgment is secured against the insured…in an action based upon bodily injury, death, or property damage, then an action may be brought against the insurer on the policy and subject to its terms and limitations, by such judgment creditor to recover on the judgment.” Thus, insurance companies may have a direct interest in actions against their insureds.

In support of Loya’s argument that it has a direct interest in this litigation, Loya provides a copy of the policy for its insured, Miguel Palomino, Policy No. 72-637030992 (the “Policy”). (Mot., Messina Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.) Miguel Palomino is not a party to this action. Loya states that Miguel Palomino is Defendant Michael Palomino’s father, that Defendant Palomino is the owner of the vehicle involved in the subject accident, and that Defendant Andujar is Defendant Palomino’s permissive user. (Id., p. 3:11-13, Messina Decl., 10.) However, Loya’s evidence does not demonstrate that either Defendant was covered under Miguel Palomino’s Policy. (Id., ¶ 3, Exh. A.) Indeed, the only insured listed under the Policy is Miguel A. Palomino. (Id.) Because Loya has not demonstrated it has a direct interest in this action, the Motion is DENIED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Prospective Intervenor Loya Casualty Insurance’s Motion for Leave to Intervene is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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