This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/06/2021 at 11:26:26 (UTC).

WESTERN SURETY COMPANY, A CORPORATION VS BCA CONSTRUCTION, INC., A CORPORATION, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 05/22/2020 WESTERN SURETY COMPANY, A CORPORATION filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against BCA CONSTRUCTION, INC , A CORPORATION. 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 Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******4406

  • Filing Date:

    05/22/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WESTERN SURETY COMPANY A CORPORATION

Defendants

BCA CONSTRUCTION INC. A CORPORATION

SETTJI CLARA

BHATT RAKESH

HALILI ALMIR

CHANBONPIN JEAN PIERRE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

PAGAN JOHN

 

Court Documents

Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

7/14/2021: Notice of Rejection - Pleadings - Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

5/21/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

4/9/2021: Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

2/3/2021: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other to Deposit by Stakeholder)

3/16/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other to Deposit by Stakeholder)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Hearing on Motion to Deposit

3/17/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Hearing on Motion to Deposit

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

9/1/2020: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Answer - Answer

8/12/2020: Answer - Answer

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

8/12/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

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

8/4/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

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

8/4/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Answer - Answer

6/26/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

6/17/2020: Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) - Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service)

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

6/17/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

5/22/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

5/22/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Summons - Summons on Complaint

5/22/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Complaint - Complaint

5/22/2020: Complaint - Complaint

15 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/26/2023
  • Hearing05/26/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 11/19/2021
  • Hearing11/19/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 07/14/2021
  • DocketNotice of Rejection - Pleadings; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/21/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/18/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other to Deposit by Stakeholder)

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  • 05/18/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion - Other to Deposit by Stakeholder scheduled for 05/18/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 05/18/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 04/19/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Jean Pierre Chanbonpin (Defendant); As to: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/09/2021
  • DocketProof of Mailing (Substituted Service); Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Jean Pierre Chanbonpin (Defendant); Mailing Date: 03/18/2021; Service Cost: 65.00; Cost Waived: No

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  • 03/17/2021
  • DocketNotice of Continued Hearing on Motion to Deposit; Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/16/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion - Other to Deposit by Stakeholder scheduled for 05/18/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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19 More Docket Entries
  • 06/17/2020
  • DocketProof of Mailing (Substituted Service); Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Clara Settji (Defendant); Mailing Date: 06/08/2020; Service Cost: 65.00; Cost Waived: No

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  • 06/17/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: BCA Construction, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Service Date: 06/06/2020; Service Cost: 65.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/19/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/26/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: BCA Construction, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Almir Halili (Defendant); Rakesh Bhatt (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: BCA Construction, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Almir Halili (Defendant); Rakesh Bhatt (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Western Surety Company, a corporation (Plaintiff); As to: BCA Construction, Inc., a corporation (Defendant); Almir Halili (Defendant); Rakesh Bhatt (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/22/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC04406    Hearing Date: May 18, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO DEPOSIT BY STAKEHOLDER; FOR DISCHARGE OF STAKEHOLDER; REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Western Surety Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO DEPOSIT BY STAKEHOLDER, TO DISCHARGE LIABILITY, AND REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Western Surety Company’s unopposed Motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs is also GRANTED in the amount of $2,250.00. Interpleader funds of $12,750.00 are to be deposited within thirty (30) days of receipt of this order.

Trial remains scheduled for November 19, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 25.

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 May 14, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of May 14, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On May 22, 2020, Plaintiff Western Surety Company (“Plaintiff”) filed an interpleader complaint against Defendants BCA Construction, Inc. (“BCA”), Almir Halili (“Halili”), Rakesh Bhatt (“Bhatt”), and Clara Settji (“Settji”). An Answer was filed by Defendant Halili on June 26, 2020 and by Defendant Settji on July 1, 2020. Default was entered against Defendant Bhatt on August 5, 2020 and against Defendant BCA on August 12, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder, for Discharge of Stakeholder, and Request for Attorney’s Fees (the “Motion”) on September 1, 2020. No oppositions were filed.

On February 3, 2021, Plaintiff filed an amendment to the Complaint, substituting Defendant Jean Pierre Chanbonpin (“Chanbonpin”) for Doe 6.

The initial March 16 hearing was continued because Plaintiff did not file a proof of service demonstrating Defendant Chanbonpin was served with the Summons, Complaint, and Motion. (3/16/21 Minute Order.)

Plaintiff filed a proof of service for Defendant Chanbonpin on April 9, and Defendant Chanbonpin filed an Answer, in pro per, on April 19, 2021.

II. Legal Standard

Interpleader is a procedure whereby a person holding money or personal property to which conflicting claims are being made by others, can join the adverse claimants and force them to litigate their claims among themselves. (For example, an escrow-holder who receives conflicting demands from the parties to the escrow regarding the funds or documents he or she holds.) (Hancock Oil Co. v. Hopkins (1944) 24 C2d 497, 508; City of Morgan Hill v. Brown (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1114, 1122.)

Once the stakeholder’s right to interplead is established, and he or she deposits the money or personal property in court, he or she may be discharged from liability to any of the claimants. This enables the stakeholder to avoid a multiplicity of actions, and the risk of inconsistent results if each of the claimants were to sue him or her separately. (Cantu v. Resolution Trust Corp. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 857, 874; City of Morgan Hill v. Brown, supra, 71 Cal.App.4th at 1122.)

“An interpleader action is traditionally viewed as two suits: one between the stakeholder and the claimants to determine the stakeholder's right to interplead, and the other among the claimants to determine who shall receive the funds interpleaded ... As against the stakeholder, claimants may raise only matters which go to whether the suit is properly one for interpleader; i.e., whether the elements of an interpleader action are present.” (State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Pietak (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 600, 612.)

If the defendant-stakeholder claims no interest in the funds or property held, he or she need not file an interpleader cross-complaint. He or she may simply apply to the court for permission to deposit the money or property with the court clerk, and for an order discharging him or her from further liability to the adverse claimants. Such order will also substitute the adverse claimants as parties to the action; or, if only money is involved, simply dismiss the stakeholder. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a), 386.5.) The motion must be supported by an affidavit by the stakeholder establishing the ground for interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, Subd. (a).) The supporting affidavit must also state that the moving party is “a mere stakeholder with no interest in the amount or any portion thereof and that conflicting demands have been made upon him for the amount by parties to the action…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.5.) Notice of the motion must be served on each of the adverse claimants to the funds or property. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a), 386.5.) “Where a deposit has been made pursuant to Section 386, the court shall, upon the application of any party to the action, order such deposit to be invested in an insured interest-bearing account.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.1.)

The stakeholder may seek reimbursement for its costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred. (UAP-Columbus JV 326132 v. Nesbitt (1991) 234 Cal.App.3d 1028, 1036.) The court may order payment thereof out of the funds deposited by the stakeholder. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.6.)

III. Discussion

Plaintiff’s request to be discharged from liability is GRANTED. All claimants have been served with the Summons and Complaint and have either filed an answer or have defaulted.

The subject matter of this action is a $15,000.00 contractor’s bond, Bond No. 64710802 (the “Bond”) issued to Defendant BCA. (Mot., Pagan Decl., ¶¶ 1-2.) Plaintiff states that it has no interest in the Bond funds and that it cannot determine the validity of the conflicting claims that have been made on the funds. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Thus, upon deposit of the funds with the Court, Plaintiff is discharged from further liability. In addition, the Court enters a restraining order to prevent the prosecution of other actions affecting the rights and obligations of the parties in this interpleader action. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, 386.5.)

Plaintiff also seeks attorney’s fees and costs of $2,250.00. (Mot., Pagan Decl., ¶ 8.) Plaintiff has incurred substantial attorney’s fees and costs in bringing this action and protecting itself from liability. Specifically, Plaintiff’s counsel filed the instant action and Motion, served all claimants, communicated with claimants regarding the interpleader procedure, sought to preserve the Bond funds, and will deposit the Bond funds. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-7, 10, Exh. 1.) The attached ledger demonstrates Plaintiff incurred $1,756.36 in attorney’s fees, plus $510.00 for this Motion, totaling $2,266.36. (Id.) Plaintiff only seeks $2,250.00 in fees. (Id.) The Court finds this request reasonable. Fees and costs are awarded in the amount of $2,250.00.

Plaintiff is ordered to deposit surplus Bond funds of $12,750.00 within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Western Surety Company’s unopposed Motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs is also GRANTED in the amount of $2,250.00. Interpleader funds of $12,750.00 are to be deposited within thirty (30) days of receipt of this order.

Trial remains scheduled for November 19, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 25.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 20STLC04406    Hearing Date: March 16, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., March 16, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Western Surety Company v. BCA Construction, Inc., et al.

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC04406 COMPL. FILED: 05-22-20

NOTICE: NO (¿ Chanbonpin) DISC. C/O: 10-20-21

DISC. MOT. C/O: 11-04-21

TRIAL DATE: 11-19-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO DEPOSIT BY STAKEHOLDER; FOR DISCHARGE OF STAKEHOLDER; REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Western Surety Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO DEPOSIT BY STAKEHOLDER, TO DISCHARGE LIABILITY, AND REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Western Surety Company’s Motion is CONTINUED TO MAY 18, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least five (5) days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff must file a proof of service demonstrating Defendant Chanbonpin was properly served with the Summons and Complaint and with this Motion. Failure to do so may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

SERVICE:

[ ] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) NO (¿ Chanbonpin)

[ ] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) NO (¿ Chanbonpin)

[ ] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) NO (¿ Chanbonpin)

OPPOSITION: None filed as of March 12, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of March 12, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background & Discussion

On May 22, 2020, Plaintiff Western Surety Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint for interpleader against Defendants BCA Construction, Inc. (“BCA”), Almir Halili (“Halili”), Rakesh Bhatt (“Bhatt”), and Clara Settji (“Settji”). An Answer was filed by Defendant Halili on June 26, 2020 and by Defendant Settji on July 1, 2020. Default was entered against Defendant Bhatt on August 5, 2020 and against Defendant BCA on August 12, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Deposit by Stakeholder, for Discharge of Stakeholder, and Request for Attorney’s Fees (the “Motion”) on September 1, 2020. No oppositions were filed.

On February 3, 2021, Plaintiff filed an amendment to the Complaint, substituting Defendant Jean Pierre Chanbonpin (“Chanbonpin”) for Doe 6. Plaintiff has attempted to serve Defendant Chanbonpin but has not been able to do so. (2/26/21 Affidavit of Reasonable Diligence.)

As the court cannot issue a ruling until all defendants have been served with the Summons and Complaint and with the instant Motion, the hearing is CONTINUED to allow Plaintiff time to effectuate service on Defendant Chanbonpin.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Western Surety Company’s Motion is CONTINUED TO MAY 18, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least five (5) days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff must file a proof of service demonstrating Defendant Chanbonpin was properly served with the Summons and Complaint and with this Motion. Failure to do so may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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