On 08/21/2017 UNITED FINANCIAL CASUALTY COMPANY filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against ELI'S AUTO CENTER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
GEORGINA T. RIZK
UNITED FINANCIAL CASUALTY COMPANY
ELI'S AUTO CENTER
NIVINSKUS MARK ROBERT
LOVELAND RICHARD WARDELL
ROBINETT TIMOTHY DOUGLAS
7/16/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Min K. Kang in Support of Cross-Defendant United Financial Casualty Company's Ex Parte Application for an Order Continuing Trial Date
7/16/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities
7/17/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for An Order Continuing the O...)
7/17/2019: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Joint Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial
7/30/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice Regarding Plaintiff and Defendant United Financial Company's Ex Parte Application for an Order Continuing the September 27, 2019 Trial Date
2/6/2018: Substitution of Attorney
10/31/2018: Stipulation and Order (name extension) - Stipulation and Order joint stipulation and order to continue trial
11/14/2018: Notice (name extension) - Notice Notice of Entry of Order
1/11/2018: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information
10/11/2017: Proof of Personal Service
8/21/2017: Summons - on Complaint
8/21/2017: Civil Case Cover Sheet
8/21/2017: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case
Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of ServiceRead MoreRead Less
Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 94 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury TrialRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice Regarding Plaintiff and Defendant United Financial Company's Ex Parte Application for an Order Continuing the September 27, 2019 Trial Date; Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff); As to: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketJoint Stipulation and Order to Continue Trial; Signed and Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff); As to: Eli's Auto Center (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for An Order Continuing the O...)Read MoreRead Less
DocketHearing on Ex Parte Application for An Order Continuing the October 21, 2019 Trial Date scheduled for 07/17/2019 at 01:30 PM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 07/17/2019; Result Type to Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DocketPursuant to written stipulation, Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/27/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 04/13/2020 08:30 AMRead MoreRead Less
DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration Declaration of Min K. Kang in Support of Cross-Defendant United Financial Casualty Company's Ex Parte Application for an Order Continuing Trial Date; Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketHearing on Ex Parte Application for An Order Continuing the October 21, 2019 Trial Date scheduled for 07/17/2019 at 01:30 PM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Read MoreRead Less
DocketDefendant/Cross-Complainant Eli's Auto Center's Cross-Complaint for: 1. Money Due on a Written Contract; 2. Quantum Meruit; 3. Account Statedl 4. Open Book Account; and 5. Promissory Estoppel; Filed by: Eli's Auto Center (Cross-Complainant); As to: United Financial Casualty Company (Cross-Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketAnswer; Filed by: Eli's Auto Center (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff); As to: Eli's Auto Center (Defendant); Service Date: 09/27/2017; Service Cost: 69.00; Service Cost Waived: NoRead MoreRead Less
DocketCase assigned to Hon. Georgina T. Rizk in Department 77 Stanley Mosk CourthouseRead MoreRead Less
DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 02/19/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77Read MoreRead Less
DocketOSC - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 08/24/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 77Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff); As to: Eli's Auto Center (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: United Financial Casualty Company (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: 17STLC03423 Hearing Date: December 16, 2019 Dept: 94
United Financial Casualty Co. v. Eli’s Auto Center, et al.
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND COMPLAINT AND TO RECLASSIFY ACTION
(CCP §§ 473(a); 403.040)
Plaintiff United Financial Casualty Company’s Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint and to Reclassify Action to Unlimited Jurisdiction GRANTED. PLAINTIFF IS TO FILE THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND PAY THE RECLASSIFICATION FEE WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS. UPON FILING OF THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, THIS CASE IS RECLASSIFIED AS AN UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE AND TRANSFERRED TO THE TRANSFER/RECLASSIFICATION DESK FOR REASSIGNMENT TO AN INDEPENDENT CALENDAR COURT.
On August 21, 2017, Plaintiff United Financial Casualty Company (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for common counts against Defendant Eli’s Auto Center (“Defendants”). Defendant filed a Cross-Complaint for breach of written contract and common counts on December 11, 2017. Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Amend Complaint and Reclassify Action on November 22, 2019. To date, no opposition has been filed.
Motion for Leave to Amend
Plaintiff alleges that it paid Defendant money to repair the motor vehicle of Plaintiff’s insured, but the work was never performed. Defendant cross-claims on the grounds that Plaintiff failed to pay in full for work performed on their insureds’ vehicles.
Plaintiff moves for leave to add allegations to the Complaint regarding overpayments made to Defendant for a total of eight vehicles. (Motion, Kang Decl., ¶7.) These alleged overpayments were discovered during the parties’ extended settlement discussions, which concluded in November, 2019. (Id. at ¶¶4-6.) Additionally, Plaintiff seeks to add two co-Plaintiffs and another Defendant as it is learning of the exact relationship between Defendant and Eli’s Auto Center II, Inc. (Id. at ¶¶7-8.)
The policy favoring amendment and resolving all matters in the same dispute is “so strong that it is a rare case in which denial of leave to amend can be justified. . . .” “Although courts are bound to apply a policy of great liberality in permitting amendments to the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial [citations], this policy should be applied only ‘where no prejudice is shown to the adverse party . . . . [citation]. A different result is indicated ‘where inexcusable delay and probable prejudice to the opposing party’ is shown. [Citation].” (Magpali v. Farmers Group (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 471, 487 (emphasis added).) Where a proposed amendment opening an entirely new substantive area of injury on the eve of trial without any explanation for why the major change had not been made long before, denial of leave is appropriate ordered in the court’s discretion. (Id.)
Also, a motion for leave to file an amended pleading must comply with CRC Rule 3.1342, which requires a supporting declaration setting forth explicitly what allegations are to be added and where, and explicitly stating what new evidence was discovered warranting the amendment and why the amendment was not made earlier. The motion must also include (1) a copy of the proposed and numbered amendment, (2) specifications by reference to pages and lines the allegations that would be deleted and added, and (3) a declaration specifying the effect, necessity and propriety of the amendments, date of discovery and reasons for delay. (CRC Rule 3.1324(a)-(b).)
Plaintiff has demonstrated that leave to amend is appropriate based on its discovery of additional facts and parties relating to the claims raised in both the Complaint and Cross-Complaint. The Notice of Motion sets forth the proposed changes to the Complaint, and attaches a copy of the proposed First Amended Complaint.
Motion to Reclassify
Plaintiff also moves for reclassification of this action to a court of unlimited jurisdiction based on the facts discussed above. Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040 allows a plaintiff to file a motion for reclassification of an action within the time allowed for that party to amend the initial pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 403.040, subd. (a).) If the motion is made after the time for the plaintiff to amend the pleading, the motion may only be granted if (1) the case is incorrectly classified; and (2) the plaintiff shows good cause for not seeking reclassification earlier. (Code Civ. Proc., § 403.040, subd. (b).) In Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257, 262, the California Supreme Court held that a matter may be reclassified from unlimited to limited only if it appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff's damages will necessarily be less than $25,000. (Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257.) If there is a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00, the case cannot be transferred to limited. (Ibid.) This high standard is appropriate in light of “the circumscribed procedures and recovery available in the limited civil courts.” (Ytuarte v. Superior Court (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 266, 278.)
In Ytuarte, the Court of Appeals examined the principles it set forth in Walker and held that “the court should reject the plaintiff's effort to reclassify the action as unlimited only when the lack of jurisdiction as an “unlimited” case is certain and clear.” (Id. at 279.) The plaintiff must present evidence to demonstrate a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00, then the trial court must review the record to determine “whether a judgment in excess of $25,000.00 is obtainable.” (Ibid.)
Plaintiff has explained the chronology of its discovery of the facts that make it appropriate to expand the scope of the Complaint. Given that there are now eight alleged instances of over payment to Defendant, there is a strong possibility the amount in controversy will exceed $25,000.00.
Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint and to Reclassify Action is GRANTED.
Moving party to give notice.