This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/28/2021 at 08:16:10 (UTC).

UNLIMTED CONCEPTS & DEVELOPMENT INC. VS CHRIST KOUTROUMBIS, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 04/21/2020 UNLIMTED CONCEPTS DEVELOPMENT INC filed an Other lawsuit against CHRIST KOUTROUMBIS. 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:

    *******1446

  • Filing Date:

    04/21/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Petitioner

UNLIMTED CONCEPTS & DEVELOPMENT INC.

Respondents

821 PEARL INVESTMENTS LLC

KOUTROUMBIS CHRIST

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner Attorneys

EZZATI BEN

CAMPBELL NICK

Respondent Attorney

KERNS BENNETT

 

Court Documents

Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

7/16/2021: Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement)

7/16/2021: Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement) - Order to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Order Releasing property from mechanic'...)

2/23/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Order Releasing property from mechanic'...)

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

2/3/2021: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Plaintiffs Opposition to Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanics Lien

2/8/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Plaintiffs Opposition to Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanics Lien

Reply (name extension) - Reply Order Granting Defendant's Motion for an Order Releasing Property from a Claim of Mechanics lien

2/16/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply Order Granting Defendant's Motion for an Order Releasing Property from a Claim of Mechanics lien

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

12/21/2020: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continuance of Defendant's Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanic's Lien

12/23/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continuance of Defendant's Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanic's Lien

Motion re: (name extension) - Motion re: Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanic's Lien

12/16/2020: Motion re: (name extension) - Motion re: Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanic's Lien

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

12/16/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

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

12/16/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Corrected Time of Hearing

10/16/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Corrected Time of Hearing

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

10/14/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Answer - Answer

9/16/2020: Answer - Answer

Summons - Summons on Complaint

7/21/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 06/10/2020

6/10/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 06/10/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

6/10/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

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

4/21/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

14 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/02/2021
  • Hearing11/02/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

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  • 07/16/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) scheduled for 11/02/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 07/16/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause re: Dismissal (Settlement); Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/16/2021
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 07/16/2021

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  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion re: Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanic's Lien: Filed By: 821 Pearl Investments LLC (Respondent); Result: Denied; Result Date: 02/23/2021

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  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Order Releasing property from mechanic'...)

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  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Order Releasing property from mechanic's lien scheduled for 02/23/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 02/23/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: RE STATUS OF PLAINTIFF?S REPRESENTATION scheduled for 02/23/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 02/23/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 02/16/2021
  • DocketReply Order Granting Defendant's Motion for an Order Releasing Property from a Claim of Mechanics lien; Filed by: 821 Pearl Investments LLC (Respondent)

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  • 02/08/2021
  • DocketOpposition Plaintiffs Opposition to Motion for Order Releasing Property from Claim of Mechanics Lien; Filed by: Unlimted Concepts & Development Inc. (Petitioner)

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24 More Docket Entries
  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketHearing on Petition Complaint scheduled for 08/25/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 06/10/2020

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 10/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Court Order)

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  • 06/10/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 06/10/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/08/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Unlimted Concepts & Development Inc. (Petitioner)

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  • 05/08/2020
  • DocketHearing on Petition Complaint scheduled for 08/25/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Unlimted Concepts & Development Inc. (Petitioner); As to: Christ Koutroumbis (Respondent); 821 Pearl Investments LLC (Respondent)

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STCP01446    Hearing Date: February 23, 2021    Dept: 26

Unlimited Concepts & Development, Inc. v. Koutroumbis, et al.

RELEASE OF MECHANIC’S LIEN

(Civil Code § 8480)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Unlimited Concepts & Development, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for breach of contract and foreclosure of mechanic’s lien against Defendants Christ Koutroumbis and 821 Pearl Investments, LLC (“Defendants”) on April 21, 2020.

On December 16, 2020, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments filed the instant Motion to Release Property from Claim of Mechanic’s Lien (“the Motion”). At the initial hearing, the Court continued the hearing to February 23, 2021 and set an Order to Show Cause Regarding the Status of Plaintiff’s Legal Representation for the same date. Plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney on December 21, 2020 and an opposition to the Motion on February 16, 2021. Defendant filed a reply in support of the Motion on February 16, 2021.

Discussion

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments has properly complied with the pre-filing notice and demand requirements. It timely served a written demand to remove the lien on May 1, 2020. (Pet., Exh. 1.) The instant Petition was filed 10 or more days after the demand was given to Respondent. (See Civ. Code, § 8482.) The Court previously noted that Defendant 821 Pearl Investments had not demonstrated service of the Notice of Hearing and Petition on Plaintiff as required by Civil Code section 8486, subdivision (b). However, as Plaintiff has filed an opposition and made no objection to the manner of service, any defect in service is waived.

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments argues that the mechanic’s lien should be released from its property located at 821 Pearl Street, Santa Monica, California (“the subject property”) because (1) Plaintiff failed to give a preliminary 20-day notice to the property owner under Civil Code sections 8200 and 8202; and (2) the right to record a claim of lien had expired under Civil Code section 8412, subdivision (a).

Preliminary Notice of the Lien Recording

Cal. Civil Code section 8200 requires a claimant to give preliminary notice of the lien to the owner or reputed owner of the subject property unless they have a direct contractual relationship. (Civ. Code, § 8200, subds. (a)(1), (e)(2).)

The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff entered into a contractual relationship with Defendant Koutroumbis, who is identified as the owner of the project at the subject property. (Compl., p. 2:4-8 and Exh. C.) The contract specifically identifies Defendant Koutroumbis as the owner and he signed as “Owner/Agent.” (Id. at Exh. C.) Also, nothing on the contract indicates that Defendant Koutroumbis was signing as a representative for Defendant 821 Pearl Investments. However, in bringing the instant Motion, however, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments argues that it is owner of the subject property. (Motion, p. 2:2-11.) Plaintiff also agrees in its opposition to the Motion that Defendant 821 Pearl Investments is the owner of the subject property. (Opp., Campbell Decl., Exh. D.)

To the extent that the parties agree that Defendant 821 Pearl Investments is the owner of the subject property, the Court finds its denial of the existence of a “direct contract” disingenuous. Defendant Koutroumbis is the managing member of Defendant 821 Pearl Investments. (Motion, Koutroumbis Decl., ¶1.) Both parties to the contract, therefore, were aware that Defendant Koutroumbis was signing the contract in his capacity as Defendant 821 Pearl Investment’s managing member. (See Opp., Ezzati Decl., ¶5.) Therefore, Plaintiff was in a direct contract with the owner of the subject property and was not required to give preliminary notice prior to recording the mechanic’s lien.

Timing of the Recordation of the Lien

With respect to the timing of the lien, Civil Code section 8412 states in relevant part:

A direct contractor may not enforce a lien unless the contractor records a claim of lien after the contractor completes the direct contract, and before the earlier of the following times:

(a) Ninety days after completion of the work of improvement.

(b) Sixty days after the owner records a notice of completion or cessation.

(Civ. Code § 8412.) Defendant 821 Pearl Investments argues that the parties’ contractual relationship ended on November 8, 2018, but the lien was not recorded until January 24, 2020. (Motion, Koutroumbis Decl., Exh. 1.) The end of the parties’ contractual relationship, however, is not controlling. The phrase “after the contractor completes the direct contract” refers to the termination of the parties’ contract, which is distinct from “completion of the work of improvement.” This is supported by the case on which Defendant 821 Pearl Investments relies. “[A] contract is complete for purposes of commencing the recordation period under [former] section 3115 when all work under the contract has been performed, excused, or otherwise discharged.” (Howard S. Wright Construction Co. v. BBIC Investors, LLC (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 228, 241 (emphasis added).) Civil Code section 8412 is the current version of former section 3115. In comparison, a work of improvement is defined [e]xcept as otherwise provided in this part . . . the entire structure or scheme of improvement as a whole, and includes site improvement.” (Civ. Code, § 8050, subd. (b).)

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments has not demonstrated that the lien was recorded more than 90 days after completion of the work of improvement to the subject property. Plaintiff contends that work on the subject property was ongoing at the time the lien was recorded. (Opp., Ezzati Decl., ¶8.) Therefore, the lien was not filed late under Civil Code section 8412.

Conclusion

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is DENIED.

Plaintiff to give notice.

Case Number: 20STCP01446    Hearing Date: February 22, 2021    Dept: 26

Unlimited Concepts & Development, Inc. v. Koutroumbis, et al.

RELEASE OF MECHANIC’S LIEN

(Civil Code § 8480)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is DENIED.

RELEASE OF MECHANIC’S LIEN

(Civil Code § 8480)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is DENIED.

RELEASE OF MECHANIC’S LIEN

(Civil Code § 8480)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Unlimited Concepts & Development, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for breach of contract and foreclosure of mechanic’s lien against Defendants Christ Koutroumbis and 821 Pearl Investments, LLC (“Defendants”) on April 21, 2020.

On December 16, 2020, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments filed the instant Motion to Release Property from Claim of Mechanic’s Lien (“the Motion”). At the initial hearing, the Court continued the hearing to February 23, 2021 and set an Order to Show Cause Regarding the Status of Plaintiff’s Legal Representation for the same date. Plaintiff filed a substitution of attorney on December 21, 2020 and an opposition to the Motion on February 16, 2021. Defendant filed a reply in support of the Motion on February 16, 2021.

Discussion

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments has properly complied with the pre-filing notice and demand requirements. It timely served a written demand to remove the lien on May 1, 2020. (Pet., Exh. 1.) The instant Petition was filed 10 or more days after the demand was given to Respondent. (See Civ. Code, § 8482.) The Court previously noted that Defendant 821 Pearl Investments had not demonstrated service of the Notice of Hearing and Petition on Plaintiff as required by Civil Code section 8486, subdivision (b). However, as Plaintiff has filed an opposition and made no objection to the manner of service, any defect in service is waived.

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments argues that the mechanic’s lien should be released from its property located at 821 Pearl Street, Santa Monica, California (“the subject property”) because (1) Plaintiff failed to give a preliminary 20-day notice to the property owner under Civil Code sections 8200 and 8202; and (2) the right to record a claim of lien had expired under Civil Code section 8412, subdivision (a).

Preliminary Notice of the Lien Recording

Cal. Civil Code section 8200 requires a claimant to give preliminary notice of the lien to the owner or reputed owner of the subject property unless they have a direct contractual relationship. (Civ. Code, § 8200, subds. (a)(1), (e)(2).)

The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff entered into a contractual relationship with Defendant Koutroumbis, who is identified as the owner of the project at the subject property. (Compl., p. 2:4-8 and Exh. C.) The contract specifically identifies Defendant Koutroumbis as the owner and he signed as “Owner/Agent.” (Id. at Exh. C.) Also, nothing on the contract indicates that Defendant Koutroumbis was signing as a representative for Defendant 821 Pearl Investments. However, in bringing the instant Motion, however, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments argues that it is owner of the subject property. (Motion, p. 2:2-11.) Plaintiff also agrees in its opposition to the Motion that Defendant 821 Pearl Investments is the owner of the subject property. (Opp., Campbell Decl., Exh. D.)

To the extent that the parties agree that Defendant 821 Pearl Investments is the owner of the subject property, the Court finds its denial of the existence of a “direct contract” disingenuous. Defendant Koutroumbis is the managing member of Defendant 821 Pearl Investments. (Motion, Koutroumbis Decl., ¶1.) Both parties to the contract, therefore, were aware that Defendant Koutroumbis was signing the contract in his capacity as Defendant 821 Pearl Investment’s managing member. (See Opp., Ezzati Decl., ¶5.) Therefore, Plaintiff was in a direct contract with the owner of the subject property and was not required to give preliminary notice prior to recording the mechanic’s lien.

Timing of the Recordation of the Lien

With respect to the timing of the lien, Civil Code section 8412 states in relevant part:

A direct contractor may not enforce a lien unless the contractor records a claim of lien after the contractor completes the direct contract, and before the earlier of the following times:

(a) Ninety days after completion of the work of improvement.

(b) Sixty days after the owner records a notice of completion or cessation.

(Civ. Code § 8412.) Defendant 821 Pearl Investments argues that the parties’ contractual relationship ended on November 8, 2018, but the lien was not recorded until January 24, 2020. (Motion, Koutroumbis Decl., Exh. 1.) The end of the parties’ contractual relationship, however, is not controlling. The phrase “after the contractor completes the direct contract” refers to the termination of the parties’ contract, which is distinct from “completion of the work of improvement.” This is supported by the case on which Defendant 821 Pearl Investments relies. “[A] contract is complete for purposes of commencing the recordation period under [former] section 3115 when all work under the contract has been performed, excused, or otherwise discharged.” (Howard S. Wright Construction Co. v. BBIC Investors, LLC (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 228, 241 (emphasis added).) Civil Code section 8412 is the current version of former section 3115. In comparison, a work of improvement is defined [e]xcept as otherwise provided in this part . . . the entire structure or scheme of improvement as a whole, and includes site improvement.” (Civ. Code, § 8050, subd. (b).)

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments has not demonstrated that the lien was recorded more than 90 days after completion of the work of improvement to the subject property. Plaintiff contends that work on the subject property was ongoing at the time the lien was recorded. (Opp., Ezzati Decl., ¶8.) Therefore, the lien was not filed late under Civil Code section 8412.

Conclusion

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is DENIED.

Plaintiff to give notice.

Case Number: 20STCP01446    Hearing Date: December 22, 2020    Dept: 26

Unlimited Concepts & Development, Inc. v. Koutroumbis, et al.

RELEASE OF MECHANIC’S LIEN

(Civil Code § 8480)

TENTATIVE RULING:

DEFENDANT 821 PEARL INVESTMENTS, LLC’S PETITION TO RELEASE PROPERTY FROM MECHANIC’S LIEN IS CONTINUED TO FEBRUARY 23, 2021 AT ____ A.M. IN DEPT. 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

OSC RE STATUS OF PLAINTIFF’S REPRESENTATION SET FOR FEBRUARY 23, 2021 AT ____ A.M. IN DEPT. 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Unlimited Concepts & Development, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for breach of contract and foreclosure of mechanic’s lien against Defendants Christ Koutroumbis and 821 Pearl Investments, LLC (“Defendants”) on April 21, 2020.

On November 12, 2020, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments filed a Notice of Hearing on Motion to Release Property from Claim of Mechanic’s Lien, which the Court scheduled for December 22, 2020. The Motion papers were not filed at that time. On December 16, 2020, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments filed the instant Petition for Release of Mechanic’s Lien.

Discussion

Defendant 821 Pearl Investments has properly complied with the pre-filing notice and demand requirements. It timely served a written demand to remove the lien on May 1, 2020. (Pet., Exh. 1.) The instant Petition was filed 10 or more days after the demand was given to Respondent. (See Civ. Code, § 8482.) However, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments has not demonstrated service of the Notice of Hearing and Petition on Respondent as required by Civil Code section 8486, subdivision (b), which requires service to “be made in the same manner as service of summons, or by certified or registered mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested . . . .” (Civ. Code, § 8486, subd. (b).) Here, the Petition and Notice of Hearing were only served by electronic mail. (Notice of Hearing, filed 11/12/20; Proof of Service, filed 12/16/19.) Therefore, service of the Petition and Notice of Hearing does not comply with the statutory requirements.

Finally, the Court notes that the Complaint was not filed by a state-licensed attorney and is improper under the law. Since the passage of the State Bar Act in 1927, persons may represent their own interests in legal proceedings, but may not represent the interests of another unless they are active members of the State Bar. (Hansen v. Hansen (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 618, 621.) An entity must be represented by a lawyer in legal proceedings and may not represent itself (either directly or through a non-lawyer agent) in litigation, as such an act would be the unauthorized practice of law. (Caressa Camille, Inc. v. Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Bd. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1101) (corporation); Albion River Watershed Protection Ass’n v. Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (1993) 20 Cal. App. 4th 34, 37 (unincorporated association); Aulisio v. Bancroft (2014) 230 Cal. App. 4th 1518, 1519-20 (trustee for trust).)

Therefore, on its own motion, the court sets an OSC re Status of Plaintiff’s Representation

for February 23, 2021 at ____ a.m. in Dept. 26 in the Spring Street Courthouse for Plaintiff to advise the Court as to the status of its representation by counsel. As a corporation, Plaintiff may not represent itself in this litigation and may only appear through counsel. The continued failure of the Plaintiff to obtain counsel may result in the striking of the Complaint at a future hearing.

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, Defendant 821 Pearl Investments, LLC’s Petition to Release Property from Mechanic’s Lien is CONTINUED TO FEBRUARY 23, 2021 AT _____ AM IN DEPARTMENT 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. AT LEAST 16 COURT DAYS PRIOR TO THE HEARING, MOVING PARTY IS TO DEMONSTRATE PROPER SERVICE OF THE PETITION AND NOTICE OF HEARING. FAILURE TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN THE PETITION BEING PLACED OFF CALENDAR OR DENIED.

OSC RE STATUS OF PLAINTIFF’S REPRESENTATION IS ALSO SET FOR FEBRUARY 23, 2021 AT ____ A.M. IN DEPT. 26 IN THE SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Moving party to give notice.

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