This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2020 at 05:19:05 (UTC).

STEPHEN LEPLEY, ET AL. VS ROBERT CAMPBELL

Case Summary

On 03/02/2020 STEPHEN LEPLEY filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ROBERT CAMPBELL. 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:

    *******2017

  • Filing Date:

    03/02/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

LEPLEY STEPHEN C.

LEPLEY CHRISTINE E.

Defendant

CAMPBELL ROBERT

 

Court Documents

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF MIRTA CHACON IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELLS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT

8/5/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF MIRTA CHACON IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELLS REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Reply (name extension) - Reply DEFENDANTS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT, AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEFAULT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 14.06 AND C.C.P. 4

8/5/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply DEFENDANTS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT, AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEFAULT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 14.06 AND C.C.P. 4

Objection (name extension) - Objection DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELLS EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO THE DECLARATION OF CHRIS DEMIRDJIAN IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DE

8/5/2020: Objection (name extension) - Objection DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELLS EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO THE DECLARATION OF CHRIS DEMIRDJIAN IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DE

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

8/12/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 05/12/2020

5/12/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 05/12/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

5/12/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Court's Scheduling of Defendant's Previously served Motion to Set Aside Default

5/13/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Court's Scheduling of Defendant's Previously served Motion to Set Aside Default

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

4/21/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

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

4/24/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

4/24/2020: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

4/24/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

Statement of the Case - Statement of the Case

4/24/2020: Statement of the Case - Statement of the Case

Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

4/30/2020: Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment - Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default and / or Default Judgment

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

4/1/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Complaint - Complaint

3/2/2020: Complaint - Complaint

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

3/2/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

3/2/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

3/2/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/06/2023
  • Hearing03/06/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 08/30/2021
  • Hearing08/30/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5))

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  • 08/12/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5) scheduled for 08/12/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 08/12/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 08/05/2020
  • DocketReply DEFENDANT?S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT, AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEFAULT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 14.06 AND C.C.P. 473(b); Filed by: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 08/05/2020
  • DocketObjection DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELL?S EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO THE DECLARATION OF CHRIS DEMIRDJIAN IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS? OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT, AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEFAULT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 14; Filed by: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 08/05/2020
  • DocketObjection DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELL?S EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS TO THE DECLARATION OF STEPHEN LEPLEY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS? OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT, AND FOR RELIEF FROM DEFAULT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 14.0; Filed by: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 08/05/2020
  • DocketDeclaration OF MIRTA CHACON IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT ROBERT CAMPBELL?S REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS? OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO SET ASIDE ENTRY OF DEFAULT, SET ASIDE DEFAULT JUDGMENT, AND FOR RELIEF FROM DISMISSAL PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 14.06 AND C.C.P. 473(b; Filed by: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 05/20/2020
  • DocketNotice of Errata; Filed by: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); As to: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); Christine E. Lepley (Plaintiff); Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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13 More Docket Entries
  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); Christine E. Lepley (Plaintiff); As to: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 04/01/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); As to: Robert Campbell (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 03/06/2020; Service Cost: 106.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 03/03/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 03/06/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 03/03/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/30/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 03/03/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 03/02/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/02/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/02/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); Christine E. Lepley (Plaintiff); As to: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 03/02/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); Christine E. Lepley (Plaintiff); As to: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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  • 03/02/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Stephen C. Lepley (Plaintiff); Christine E. Lepley (Plaintiff); As to: Robert Campbell (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC02017    Hearing Date: August 12, 2020    Dept: 26

Lepley, et al. v. Campbell, et al

MOTION TO VACATE ENTRY OF DEFAULT

(CCP § 473(b))

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Robert Campbell’s Motion to Vacate Entry of Default is GRANTED. DEFENDANT TO FILE AND SERVE THE ANSWER WITHIN 20 DAYS’ NOTICE OF THIS ORDER.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiffs Stephen C. Lepley and Christine E. Lepley (“Plaintiffs”) filed the instant action for breach of lease agreement against Defendant Robert Campbell (“Defendant”) on March 2, 2020. Following Defendant’s failure to file a responsive pleading, the Court entered his default on April 21, 2020. Defendant filed the instant Motion to Vacate Entry of Default on April 30, 2020. Plaintiffs filed an opposition on May 18, 2020 and Defendant replied on August 5, 2020.

Discussion

Defendant seeks relief from the default entered on April 21, 2020 pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 473, subdivision (b). Under this statute, an application for relief must be made no more than six months after entry of the order from which relief is sought and must be accompanied by an affidavit of fault attesting to the mistake, inadvertence, surprise or neglect of the moving party or its attorney. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b); English v. IKON Business Solutions (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 130, 143.) Additionally, a copy of the proposed response to be submitted with the moving papers. (Code Civ. Proc.,§ 473, subd. (b).)

The Motion is timely brought six months after dismissal of the action and is supported by an attorney affidavit of fault. Defendant’s attorney declares that following substitute service of the Summons and Complaint on Defendant on March 6, 2020, Defendant mailed the papers to defense counsel’s office on March 20, 2020. (Motion, Smith Decl., ¶3.) Due to the COVID-19 stay at home order, however, defense counsel’s office location was closed and the attorneys were predominantly working remotely. (Id. at ¶4.) As a result, this matter fell through the cracks and a timely response was not filed. (Id. at ¶4.) Contrary to Plaintiffs’ contention in opposition, the Court finds this explanation sufficiently demonstrates that both Defendant and defense counsel were at fault in allowing the entry of default. Defense counsel allowed the case to “fall through the cracks” while it was closed, as indicated above. And Defendant himself failed to follow up with defense counsel regarding receipt of the Summons and Complaint after they were mailed on March 20, 2020. In combination, the neglect of both Defendant and defense counsel was responsible for the entry of default and supports an order vacating the entry of default.

In Benedict v. Danner Press (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 923, the Court of Appeal addressed a request for relief from entry of default where the facts demonstrated fault by both the defendant and defense counsel. (Benedict v. Danner Press (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 923, 927-932.) The Court of Appeal found that “[o]n its face, section 473, subdivision (b), does not preclude relief under the mandatory provision when default is entered as a result of a combination of attorney and client fault.” (Id. at 928-929.) Benedict is further relevant here because it also involved an attorney who was not retained until after entry of default. (Ibid.) Here, while it is unclear whether defense counsel was retained prior to entry of default, Plaintiffs argue that mandatory relief cannot be granted without evidence that defense counsel was retained before entry of default. The cases on which Plaintiffs rely for this rule, however, are addressed in Benedict and found to be inapplicable. (Id. at 931 [“Cisneros is not instructive because, in that case, as in Yeap, J.A.T. Entertainment and other cases, the default was not caused by the mistaken or neglectful conduct of both the attorney and the client, as is the case here.]”.)

Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that relief from the entry of default is warranted under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b). A copy of Defendant’s proposed answer is attached as Exhibit 3 to the Motion. Finally, Defendant’s objections to the declarations of Plaintiff Stephen Lepley and Chris Demirdjian are sustained for lack of relevance.

Conclusion

Defendant Robert Campbell’s Motion to Vacate Entry of Default is GRANTED. DEFENDANT TO FILE AND SERVE THE ANSWER WITHIN 20 DAYS’ NOTICE OF THIS ORDER.

Moving party to give notice.