This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/19/2019 at 15:39:30 (UTC).

TAU TAUALII VS MARIA DE JESUS MARTINEZ GANDARA

Case Summary

On 02/08/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by TAU TAUALII against MARIA DE JESUS MARTINEZ GANDARA in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******2281

  • Filing Date:

    02/08/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

TAUALII TAU

Defendant

GANDARA MARIA DE JESUS MARTINEZ

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

8/8/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Non-Jury Trial) of 08/08/2019

8/8/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Non-Jury Trial) of 08/08/2019

Summons - on Complaint

2/8/2018: Summons - on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

2/8/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint

2/8/2018: Complaint

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

2/8/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/08/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Non-Jury Trial) of 08/08/2019; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/08/2019
  • DocketOn the Complaint filed by Tau Taualii on 02/08/2018, entered Order for Dismissal without prejudice as to the entire action, pursuant to CCP 581(b)(3)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/08/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/08/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 08/08/2019; Result Type to Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/08/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/11/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 08/08/2019

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/08/2019
  • DocketMinute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/20/2018
  • DocketCase reassigned to Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Department 77

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Tau Taualii (Plaintiff); As to: Maria De Jesus Martinez Gandara (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Tau Taualii (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Elaine Lu in Department 77 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/08/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/08/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 02/11/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC02281     Hearing Date: March 04, 2020    Dept: 26

Taualii v. Gandara, et al.

MOTION TO VACATE DISMISSAL

(CCP § 473(b), mandatory)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Tau Taualii’s Motion to Vacate Dismissal is GRANTED. DISMISSAL ENTERED ON AUGUST 8, 2019 IS HEREBY VACATED.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS SCHEDULED FOR 06/03/20 AT 08:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. FAILURE TO APPEAR MAY RESULT IN THE ACTION BEING DISMISSED.

TRIAL DATE RESET FOR 09/02/20 AT 08:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

ANALYSIS:

On February 8, 2018, Plaintiff Tau Taualii (“Plaintiff”) brought this action against Defendant Maria De Jesus Martinez Gandara (“Defendant”) and Does 1 to 100 for negligence arising out of a car accident that occurred on March 8, 2016. Plaintiff and Defendant failed to appear at the Non-Jury Trial on August 8, 2019. The Court dismissed this action without prejudice pursuant to CCP § 581(b)(3). On November 19, 2019, Plaintiff brought the instant Motion to Vacate Dismissal (the “Motion”) under the mandatory provision of CCP § 473(b) based on his counsel’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, and neglect.

“Section 473(b) provides for both discretionary and mandatory relief. [Citation.]” (Pagnini v. Union Bank, N.A. (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 298, 302.) Plaintiff seeks relief under the mandatory provision of the statute based on its counsel’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect. The mandatory provision states in pertinent part:

“[W]henever an application for relief is made no more than six months after entry of judgment, is in proper form, and is accompanied by an attorney’s sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, vacate any (1) resulting default entered by the clerk against his or her client, and which will result in entry of a default judgment, or (2) resulting default judgment or dismissal entered against his or her client, unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.”

(CCP § 473(b).) “The purpose of this mandatory relief provision is to alleviate the hardship on parties who lose their day in court due to an inexcusable failure to act by their attorneys. [Citation.]” (Rodriguez v. Brill (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 715, 723, emphasis added.) Relief under CCP § 473(b) is also available to plaintiffs because dismissal is the “practical equivalent of a default judgment.” (Aldrich v. San Fernando Valley Lumber Co., Inc.

Plaintiff timely brings this Motion under the mandatory provision of CCP § 473(b) less than six months after the dismissal. Plaintiff also submits a sworn affidavit from his counsel James M. Hodges (“Hodges”), who attests that (1) his son passed away from a massive heart attack on September 14, 2018, (2) his vehicle was stolen in Mexico including his briefcase with his office calendar and litigation case filed on December 4, 2018, and (3) he had to recreate all the records from the case files that were stolen, including this case. (Motion, Hodges Decl. ¶¶ 3-5.) As a result, Plaintiff’s counsel inadvertantly failed to remember and calendar the August 8, 2019 trial date. (Id. at ¶5.)

Based on the timely motion for relief based on an attorney affidavit of fault, Plaintiff is entitled to have the dismissal entered on August 8, 2019 vacated. Motion to Vacate Dismissal is GRANTED. DISMISSAL ENTERED ON AUGUST 8, 2019 IS HEREBY VACATED.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT IS SCHEDULED FOR 06/03/20 AT 08:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. FAILURE TO APPEAR MAY RESULT IN THE ACTION BEING DISMISSED.

TRIAL DATE RESET FOR 09/02/20 AT 08:30 AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC02281    Hearing Date: November 19, 2019    Dept: 94

MOTION TO VACATE DISMISSAL

(CCP § 473(b), mandatory)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Tau Taualii’s Motion to Vacate Dismissal is DENIED without prejudice.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On February 8, 2018, Plaintiff Tau Taualii (“Plaintiff”) brought this action against Defendant Maria De Jesus Martinez Gandara (“Defendant”) and Does 1 to 100 for negligence arising out of a car accident that occurred on March 8, 2016.

Plaintiff and Defendant failed to appear at the Non-Jury Trial on August 8, 2019. The Court dismissed this action without prejudice pursuant to CCP § 581(b)(3). On September 5, 2019, Plaintiff brought the instant Motion to Vacate Dismissal (the “Motion”) under the mandatory provision of CCP § 473(b) based on his counsel’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, and neglect.

II. Legal Standard

“Section 473(b) provides for both discretionary and mandatory relief. [Citation.]” (Pagnini v. Union Bank, N.A. (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 298, 302.) Plaintiff seeks relief under the mandatory provision of the statute based on its counsel’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect. The mandatory provision states in pertinent part:

“[W]henever an application for relief is made no more than six months after entry of judgment, is in proper form, and is accompanied by an attorney’s sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, vacate any (1) resulting default entered by the clerk against his or her client, and which will result in entry of a default judgment, or (2) resulting default judgment or dismissal entered against his or her client, unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.”

(CCP § 473(b).)

“The purpose of this mandatory relief provision is to alleviate the hardship on parties who lose their day in court due to an inexcusable failure to act by their attorneys. [Citation.]” (Rodriguez v. Brill (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 715, 723, emphasis added.) Relief under CCP § 473(b) is also available to plaintiffs because dismissal is the “practical equivalent of a default judgment.” (Aldrich v. San Fernando Valley Lumber Co., Inc.

III. Analysis

Plaintiff timely brought this Motion under the mandatory provision of CCP § 473(b) less than six months after the dismissal.

Plaintiff submits a sworn affidavit from his counsel James M. Hodges (“Hodges”), who attests that (1) his son passed away from a massive heart attack on September 14, 2018, (2) his vehicle was stolen in Mexico including his briefcase with his office calendar on December 4, 2018, and (3) his office has been diligently trying to serve Defendant but has been unable to. (Motion, Hodges Decl. ¶¶ 3-5.) “[A]s this text [of the mandatory provision of Section 473(b)] indicates, what must be attested to is the mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect—not the reasons for it. [Citation.]” (Martin Potts & Associates, Inc. v. Corsair, LLC (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 432, 438.) Signficantly, Hodges’ declaration does not attest to his mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect. He never states that any of these events caused him to not appear at the August 8, 2019 trial. In light of the foregoing, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not shown that the dismissal was a result of Plaintiff’s counsel’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, and neglect.

The Court notes that Plaintiff also failed to file proof of service of this Motion.

IV. Conclusion & Order

The unopposed Motion is DENIED without prejudice.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCdept94@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.