This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/28/2020 at 06:03:33 (UTC).

VIDEO SYMPHONY, LLC VS WILLIE YOUNG

Case Summary

On 03/26/2019 VIDEO SYMPHONY, LLC filed a Contract - Debt Collection lawsuit against WILLIE YOUNG. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RANDY RHODES. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1733

  • Filing Date:

    03/26/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Debt Collection

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

RANDY RHODES

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

VIDEO SYMPHONY LLC

Defendant

YOUNG WILLIE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

FLANAGAN MICHAEL GERARD

Defendant Attorney

GREEN G. RICHARD

 

Court Documents

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

10/14/2020: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's...) of 08/19/2020

8/19/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's...) of 08/19/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order Re: Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's...)

8/19/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order Re: Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's...)

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

4/16/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

8/14/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for [Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)]

10/28/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for [Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)]

Reply (name extension) - Reply In Support of Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default

11/19/2019: Reply (name extension) - Reply In Support of Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default

Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court)

11/20/2019: Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Fee Waiver Hearing)

11/20/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Fee Waiver Hearing)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5)) of 11/26/2019

11/26/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5)) of 11/26/2019

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5))

3/9/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Default (CCP 473.5))

Answer - Answer

3/17/2020: Answer - Answer

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/17/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling NOTICE OF RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE AND VACATE ENTRY OF DEFAULT

3/23/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling NOTICE OF RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE AND VACATE ENTRY OF DEFAULT

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

3/26/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740) - Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740)

3/26/2019: Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740) - Order to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740)

Summons - Summons on Complaint

3/26/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Complaint - Complaint

3/26/2019: Complaint - Complaint

20 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/19/2021
  • Hearing07/19/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/19/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Trial Setting Conference)

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketTrial Setting Conference scheduled for 10/28/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 10/28/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 10/14/2020
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Willie Young (Defendant)

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketTrial Setting Conference scheduled for 10/28/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Court Order Re: Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's...)

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Court Order Re: Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's...) of 08/19/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Order to Show Cause Re: Status of Defendant's Filing of an Answer scheduled for 08/24/2020 at 09:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Vacated on 08/19/2020

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  • 04/16/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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40 More Docket Entries
  • 08/14/2019
  • DocketDefault entered as to Willie Young; On the Complaint filed by Video Symphony, LLC on 03/26/2019

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  • 08/14/2019
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Video Symphony, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Willie Young (Defendant)

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  • 03/27/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service and Failure to File Default Judgment Pursuant to CRC 3.740 scheduled for 04/01/2020 at 08:30 AM in Chatsworth Courthouse at Department F43

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  • 03/27/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Randy Rhodes in Department F43 Chatsworth Courthouse

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Video Symphony, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Willie Young (Defendant)

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Video Symphony, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Willie Young (Defendant)

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Video Symphony, LLC (Plaintiff); As to: Willie Young (Defendant)

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Hearing/Trial Date (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.740); Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/26/2019
  • DocketThe case is placed in special status of: Collections Case (CCP 3.740)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19CHLC11733    Hearing Date: March 09, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT

(C.C.P. §473(b))

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Willie Young’s motion to set aside default is granted. Defendant shall file and serve the answer within 10 days.

OPPOSITION: Filed on November 13, 2019.

REPLY: Filed on November 19, 2019.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On March 26, 2019, Plaintiff Video Symphony, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Willie Young (“Defendant”) for breach of a promissory note.

On August 14, 2019, the Court entered default against Defendant.

On October 31, 2019, Defendant filed the instant motion to set aside default. The motion was originally scheduled to be heard on November 26, 2019, in Department F43 (in Chatsworth). The case was transferred and the motion was set for hearing on March 9, 2020, in Department 25 (Spring Street).

II. Legal Standard

C.C.P. §473(b) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

The court may, upon any terms as may be just, relieve a party or his or her legal representative from a judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding taken against him or her through his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. Application for this relief shall be accompanied by a copy of the answer or other pleading proposed to be filed therein, otherwise the application shall not be granted, and shall be made within a reasonable time, in no case exceeding six months, after the judgment, dismissal, order, or proceeding was taken.

C.C.P. §473(d) provides, as follows: “The court may, upon motion of the injured party, or its own motion, correct clerical mistakes in its judgment or orders as entered, so as to conform to the judgment or order directed, and may, on motion of either party after notice to the other party, set aside any void judgment or order.”

III. Discussion

Defendant moves for an order setting aside the default entered against him on August 14, 2019.

C.C.P. §473(d) “authorizes the trial court to ‘set aside any void judgment or order’ upon a noticed motion. [Citation] The motion may be made at any time. [Citations] It is immaterial how the invalidity is called to the court's attention. [Citation] A prematurely entered default is invalid, and any judgment entered after an invalid default is also invalid. [Citation]” (Schwab v. Southern California Gas Co. (2004) 114 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1320.) (See Weil & Brown, California Practice Guide, Civil Procedure Before Trial §5:420 (“If the summons was not properly served, relief from default or default judgment should be sought under CCP §473(d) (relief from void judgments…).”).) (See also Sakaguchi v. Sakaguchi (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 852, 857-858 (“Section 473, subdivision (d), provides that the court ‘may, on motion of either party after notice to the other party, set aside any void judgment or order.’ A judgment may be void due to improper service of summons [Citation] or entry of default without proper service of a statement of damages [Citation]”).) “‘[C]ompliance with the statutory procedures for service of process is essential to establish personal jurisdiction. [Citation.] Thus, a default judgment entered against a defendant who was not served with a summons in the manner prescribed by statute is void.’ [Citation]” (Sakaguchi at 858.)

Defendant established the default entered against him is void. (See C.C.P. §473(d).) Specifically, Defendant submitted evidence showing he was not properly served with the summons and complaint. Defendant submitted evidence he worked on June 21, 2019, he was with his co-worker from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and he arrived home at approximately 5:30 p.m. and found a copy of the summons and complaint laying on the ground in front of the door to his apartment. (Declaration of Defendant ¶¶6-7.) Defendant submitted evidence he completed an on-line application for free legal services on June 24, 2019, a law firm contacted him on or around July 9, 2019, he told them about the summons and complaint found on his door stop, and the law firm explained what service of process was and told Defendant the law required that he either must be given a copy of the summons and complaint in person, or a copy of the summons and complaint could be given to another adult at his home or work and then a second copy must be mailed to him. (Declaration of Defendant ¶9.) Defendant declared he has not, to date, been given a copy of the summons and complaint in person and no one has mailed him a copy of the summons and complaint. (Declaration of Defendant ¶11.) Defendant declared the law firm also told him that Plaintiff had yet to file a proof of service, but warned him that sometimes plaintiffs try to seek an entry of default regardless of the lack of proper service. (Declaration of Defendant ¶12.) Defendant declared the law firm also told him that if Plaintiff filed a false proof of service, he would have to submit evidence to the court to prove the proof of service was wrong. (Declaration of Defendant ¶13.) Defendant declared that because his co-worker could attest to his whereabouts on June 21, 2019, the day the copies of the summons and complaint were left at his doorstep, he thought that he had strong evidence to disprove any potential allegation of proper service. (Declaration of Defendant ¶14.) Defendant declared he decided to wait until he was properly served with the summons and complaint before filing an answer. Defendant declared he did not believe Plaintiff complied with the law regarding service of process and he felt confident that if Plaintiff filed a proof of service alleging that he was served on June 21, 2019, he had evidence to prove the proof of service was wrong. (Declaration of Defendant ¶15.)

Defendant declared he checked his mail every day and routinely checked the online case summary, from around July 2019 through on or around August 20, 2019, to see whether Plaintiff had filed a proof of service or whether any other actions had been taken. (Declaration of Defendant ¶15.) Defendant declared he received papers in the mail on or around August 20, 2019, stating that default had been entered against him. Defendant declared he contacted the non-profit law firm the same day he received the default papers. (Declaration of Defendant ¶¶17-18.) Defendant declared the law firm mailed him a copy of the proof of service on or around August 27, 2019. (Declaration of Defendant ¶19.) Plaintiff’s proof of service, filed on August 14, 2019, indicates Defendant was served with the summons, complaint, and related documents via personal service at 8:30 a.m. on June 22, 2019, at 1621 S. Grand Ave., Apt. 508, Los Angeles, California 90015. The proof of service also indicates the person who purportedly served the summons and complaint to Defendant, Irma Carvajal, is a registered California process server. (See Evidence Code §647 (“The return of a process server registered pursuant to Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 22350) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code upon process or notice establishes a presumption, affecting the burden of producing evidence, of the facts stated in the return.”).) Defendant submitted evidence disputing the claimed service. Defendant declared he lives in a secure apartment building with a locked front door, a visitor has to gain access to the apartment building by using an intercom system and getting buzzed into the building, his apartment is very small and only has two rooms, he was asleep in his bed on June 22, 2019 at 8:30 a.m., he did not buzz anyone into the building at or around the time of the alleged personal service, and he did not hear anyone knock on his door that morning. (Declaration of Defendant ¶¶2-5, 19-21.)

Defendant declared that he, acting on the advice of the law firm, emailed Plaintiff’s attorney on September 8, 2019, explaining he was asleep at the time of the purported personal service and requesting that Plaintiff stipulate to set aside entry of default due to lack of proper service, and Plaintiff’s attorney refused to agree to a stipulation. (Declaration of Defendant ¶¶22-23; Exhibits A-B.) Defendant declared he contacted the law firm again on September 9, 2019, and told them Plaintiff’s counsel refused to agree to file a stipulation to set aside entry of default, and sought help with filing a motion to set aside the entry of default. (Declaration of Defendant ¶24.)

In the alternative, Defendant submitted evidence showing the default was entered as a result of inadvertence and/or excusable neglect. (See C.C.P. §473(b).) As set forth above, Defendant submitted evidence showing he was not properly sub-served with the summons and complaint on June 21, 2019, he sought legal advice regarding the purported service on June 21, 2019, he did not file an answer believing he could successfully challenge Plaintiff’s claim of service on June 21, 2019, and he was not personally served with the summons and complaint on June 22, 2019. Defendant’s motion under C.C.P. §473(b) is timely and accompanied by a proposed answer.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues Defendant’s failure to answer was not due to excusable neglect, rather Defendant strategically decided to wait before filing his answer. (Opposition, pgs. 3-5.) (See Davis v. Thayer (1980) 113 Cal.App.3d 892, 907 (“‘Where the default occurred as a result of deliberate refusal to act, and relief is sought after a change of mind, the remedy is clearly inappropriate. [Citations.]’ [Citation]”) and Northridge Financial Corp. v. Hamblin (1975) 48 Cal.App.3d 819, 824(“The law is well settled that where a defendant ‘with full knowledge of the proceedings…fails to take action to protect his interests until after the default, it is an abuse of discretion to set the default aside. [Citations.] Nor does the trial court have the legal power to set aside the default simply because the defendant did not realize the legal effect of failing to file an answer. [Citation.]’ [Citations]”).) Defendant cites to several cases in support of this argument. However, the cases cited by Defendant are distinguishable because they do not involve disputed service of the summons and complaint. For example, in Davis, the defendants did not dispute they were personally served with the summons and complaint, in Northridge the defendants were granted an extension to answer, in Yarbrough v. Yarbrough (1956) 144 Cal.App.2d 610, the respondent did not dispute he was served with the summons and complaint, and in Paulekas v. Paulekas (1953) 117 Cal.App.2d 73, the respondent did not challenge service and instead argued he relied on opposing counsel to protect his interests. (Davis at 896-898, 905-910.) (Northridge at 821-824.) (Yarbrough at 612-613, 615-616.) (Paulekas at 74-77.) In contrast, as discussed above, Defendant challenged service of the summons and complaint, and submitted evidence showing he was not properly served with the summons and complaint.

Based on the foregoing, the motion to set aside default is granted.

IV. Conclusion & Order

Defendant’s motion to set aside default is granted. Defendant shall file and serve the answer within 10 days.

Defendant is ordered to give notice.