This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 01/28/2021 at 05:41:00 (UTC).

THE BULLPEN, LLC VS TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN

Case Summary

On 04/02/2019 THE BULLPEN, LLC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN. 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 Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3177

  • Filing Date:

    04/02/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

THE BULLPEN LLC

Defendant

KUNTZELMAN TAYLOR

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

KATOFSKY JEFF

 

Court Documents

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

12/11/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Entry of Judgment or Order

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

10/31/2019: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort - Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort

10/25/2019: Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort - Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerks Judgment

10/18/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerks Judgment

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

10/18/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

9/16/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

Request (name extension) - Request Request for Clerk's Judgment

9/16/2019: Request (name extension) - Request Request for Clerk's Judgment

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

9/16/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

9/18/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

Request (name extension) - Request for Clerk's Judgment

9/18/2019: Request (name extension) - Request for Clerk's Judgment

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

6/11/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment

Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort - Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort

7/1/2019: Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort - Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort

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

5/16/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

4/2/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint - Complaint

4/2/2019: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

4/2/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

4/2/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

16 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/02/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Default Judgment: Filed By: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); Result changed from Entered to Granted; Result Date: 12/02/2020; As To Parties changed from TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant) to TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/29/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 09/21/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/21/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/05/2022 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 09/21/2020

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/17/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment: Name Extension changed from Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment to of Mitch Guttenberg in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment; As To Parties: removed

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/17/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Declaration of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment: Name Extension changed from Declaration of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment to of Jeff Katofsky, Esq. in Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment; As To Parties: removed

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/17/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment: Name Extension changed from Declaration of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment to of Mitch Guttenberg In Support of Request for Entry of Clerk's Judgment; As To Parties: removed

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/17/2020
  • DocketAbstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Issued by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/11/2019
  • DocketNotice of Entry of Judgment or Order; Filed by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/02/2019
  • DocketDefault judgment by Clerk entered for Plaintiff The Bullpen, LLC against Defendant TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN on the Complaint filed by The Bullpen, LLC on 04/02/2019 for the principal amount of $6,600.00, attorney fees of $375.00, costs of $323.40, and other $622.02 for a total of $7,920.42.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/02/2019
  • DocketDefault Judgment; Signed and Filed by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
22 More Docket Entries
  • 05/16/2019
  • DocketDefault entered as to TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN; On the Complaint filed by The Bullpen, LLC on 04/02/2019

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/19/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant); Service Date: 04/15/2019; Service Cost: 98.40; Service Cost Waived: No

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/03/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/29/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/03/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 04/05/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/03/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: The Bullpen, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: TAYLOR KUNTZELMAN (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/02/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC03177    Hearing Date: April 8, 2021    Dept: 25

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

CASE NAME: The Bullpen, LLC v. Kuntzelman COMPL. FILED: 04-02-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC03177 DEF. JDMT: 12-02-19

NOTICE: OK

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, PROPOUNDED ON JUDGMENT DEBTOR AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Judgment Creditor The Bullpen, LLC

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP §§ 708.020; 2030.290)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Judgment Creditor The Bullpen, LLC’s Motion to compel responses to post-judgment interrogatories is GRANTED. Judgment Debtor is ordered to serve verified responses without objections within thirty days (30) of service of this order. Judgment Creditor’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $810.00 to be paid to Judgment Creditor’s counsel within thirty (30) days of service 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 April 6, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

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

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On April 2, 2019, Judgment Creditor The Bullpen, LLC (“Judgment Creditor”) filed an action against Taylor Kuntzelman (“Judgment Debtor”). Following Judgment Debtor’s failure to respond, default was entered on May 16, 2019. A default judgment of $7,902.42 was thereafter entered on December 2, 2019.

Judgment Creditor filed the instant Motion to Compel Responses to Interrogatories and Request for Sanctions (the “Motion”) on March 11, 2021. No opposition was filed.

  1. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Post-Judgment Interrogatories

A judgment creditor may propound written interrogatories to the judgment debtor in the manner provided by Section 2030.010, et seq. (Code Civ. Proc., 708.020, subd. (a).) Interrogatories pursuant to this section may be enforced, to the extent practicable, in the same manner as interrogatories in a civil action. (Code Civ. Proc., § 708.020, subd. (c).)

A party must respond to interrogatories within 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom interrogatories are directed does not provide timely responses, the requesting party may move for an order compelling responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The party also waives the right to make any objections, including one based on privilege or work-product protection. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (a).) There is no time limit for a motion to compel responses to interrogatories other than the cut-off on hearing discovery motions 15 days before trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.020, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., 2030.290.) No meet and confer efforts are required before filing a motion to compel responses to the discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290; Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. v. Pacific Healthcare Consultants (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 390, 411.)

Judgment Creditor provides evidence it served Judgment Debtor with First Set of Judgment Debtor Interrogatories on August 5, 2020 via regular mail. (Mot., Katofsky Decl., ¶ 1, Exh. A.) Judgment Creditor’s counsel states he sent Judgment Debtor a letter regarding the overdue responses on September 16, 2020 via regular mail. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Judgment Creditor did not receive any responses to its discovery request. (Id.) Thus, Judgment Creditor is entitled to an order compelling verified responses without objections to the First Set of Judgment Debtor Interrogatories. (Code Civ. Proc., 2030.290, Code Civ. Proc., § 708.020, subd. (c).)

  1. 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 submit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).)

The Court finds Judgment Debtor’s failure to respond to Judgment Creditor’s discovery request a misuse of the discovery process.

Judgment Creditor’s counsel requests sanctions of $3,265.00 based on four (4) hours of attorney time billed at $800.00 per hour and one filing fee of $60.00. (Mot., Katofsky Decl., ¶¶ 4-7.) However, Judgment Creditor’s request is excessive given the simplicity of this Motion and the lack of opposition and reply. The Court finds 1.5 hours of work to be reasonable.

In addition, Judgment Creditor’s counsel’s hourly fee is excessive.

The fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the “lodestar” method, i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate. (Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49.)

As explained in Graciano v. Robinson Ford Sales, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 140, 154:

“[T]he lodestar is the basic fee for comparable legal services in the community; it may be adjusted by the court based on factors including, as relevant herein, (1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2) the skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, (4) the contingent nature of the fee award. [Citation.] The purpose of such adjustment is to fix a fee at the fair market value for the particular action. In effect, the court determines, retrospectively, whether the litigation involved a contingent risk or required extraordinary legal skill justifying augmentation of the unadorned lodestar in order to approximate the fair market rate for such services. . . . This approach anchors the trial court's analysis to an objective determination of the value of the attorney's services, ensuring that the amount awarded is not arbitrary.” [Internal citations and internal quotation marks omitted.]

“It is well established that the determination of what constitutes reasonable attorney fees is committed to the discretion of the trial court, whose decision cannot be reversed in the absence of an abuse of discretion. [Citations.] The value of legal services performed in a case is a matter in which the trial court has its own expertise. . . . The trial court makes its determination after consideration of a number of factors, including the nature of the litigation, its difficulty, the amount involved, the skill required in its handling, the skill employed, the attention given, the success or failure, and other circumstances in the case. [Citations.]” (Melnyk v. Robledo (1976) 64 Cal.App.3d 618, 623-624.)

The Court finds Judgment Creditor’s counsel’s $800.00 per hour fee excessive compared to fees charged for comparable legal services in the community. The Court finds $500.00 to be a reasonable hourly rate based on Judgment Creditor’s counsel’s education and experience for the work performed in this default judgment case.

Thus, the Court finds sanctions of $810.00, based on 1.5 hours of attorney time billed at $500.00 per hour and one filing fee of $60.00, to be reasonable. Judgment Debtor is ordered to pay sanctions within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Judgment Creditor The Bullpen, LLC’s Motion to compel responses to post-judgment interrogatories is GRANTED. Judgment Debtor is ordered to serve verified responses without objections within thirty days (30) of service of this order. Judgment Creditor’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED in the amount of $810.00 to be paid to Judgment Creditor’s counsel within thirty (30) days of service of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.