This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/18/2021 at 06:16:33 (UTC).

WILSHIRE ESCROW COMPANY, VS REAL BOY, LLC,, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/01/2018 WILSHIRE ESCROW COMPANY filed an Other lawsuit against REAL BOY, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******2297

  • Filing Date:

    10/01/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WILSHIRE ESCROW COMPANY

Defendants

BLUE COLLAR PUB GROUP LLC

REAL BOY LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

WHITMAN SCOTT L

 

Court Documents

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 11/13/2020

11/13/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 11/13/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Order to Deposit Interplead Funds)

12/10/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Order to Deposit Interplead Funds)

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Withdrawal of Request for Order Granting Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company certain Escrow Termination Fees from Funds Interpled

12/11/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Withdrawal of Request for Order Granting Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company certain Escrow Termination Fees from Funds Interpled

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment) of 06/03/2021

6/3/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment) of 06/03/2021

Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment)

6/3/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Non-Opposition to Motion for Orders Discharging Interpleading Plaintiff from Liability, etc.

10/13/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Non-Opposition to Motion for Orders Discharging Interpleading Plaintiff from Liability, etc.

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Hearing on Wilshire Escrow Company's Motion for Orders

7/21/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Hearing on Wilshire Escrow Company's Motion for Orders

Motion for Order (name extension) - Motion for Order Discharging Interpleading Plaintiff from Liability, Etc.

6/16/2020: Motion for Order (name extension) - Motion for Order Discharging Interpleading Plaintiff from Liability, Etc.

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

5/27/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

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

5/27/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

5/28/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

5/28/2020: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

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

5/28/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

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

3/18/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt - Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

11/21/2018: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt - Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Notice (name extension) - of Deposit of funds with court per complaint for interpleader, with reservation of rights

10/1/2018: Notice (name extension) - of Deposit of funds with court per complaint for interpleader, with reservation of rights

Summons - on Complaint

10/1/2018: Summons - on Complaint

Complaint

10/1/2018: Complaint

29 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/04/2024
  • Hearing06/04/2024 at 09:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: (name extension)

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  • 06/03/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Escheating of Funds to the State of California scheduled for 06/04/2024 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 06/03/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment)

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  • 06/03/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment) of 06/03/2021; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/03/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment scheduled for 06/03/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 06/03/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 05/27/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Order Dismissing Wilshire Escrow from A...)

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  • 05/27/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Order Dismissing Wilshire Escrow from Action, etc. scheduled for 05/27/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 05/27/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 05/17/2021
  • DocketNotice of Non-Opposition to Motion for Orders; Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff); As to: Real Boy, LLC, (Defendant); Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC, (Defendant)

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  • 12/18/2020
  • DocketMotion for Order Dismissing Wilshire Escrow from Action, etc. Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/18/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff); Total Costs: 756.98

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43 More Docket Entries
  • 11/21/2018
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff); As to: Real Boy, LLC, (Defendant)

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  • 11/06/2018
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff); As to: Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC, (Defendant); Service Date: 10/25/2018; Service Cost: 145.90; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/04/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 03/30/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff); As to: Real Boy, LLC, (Defendant); Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC, (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/01/2018
  • DocketNotice of Deposit of funds with court per complaint for interpleader, with reservation of rights; Filed by: Wilshire Escrow Company, (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC12297    Hearing Date: May 27, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF FROM ACTION AND FOR FEES AND COSTS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO DISCHARGE FROM LIABILITY AND REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company’s Motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED AS MOOT IN PART.

Plaintiff’s request for an order of discharge is DENIED AS MOOT because this request was granted by the Court on December 10, 2020. Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs is GRANTED in the amount of $5,778.98, to be paid from the interpleaded funds.

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 25, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of May 25, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On October 1, 2018, Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company (“Plaintiff”) filed an action in interpleader against Defendants Real Boy, LLC (“Real Boy”) and Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC (“Blue Collar”) (collectively “Defendants”). That same day, Plaintiff deposited funds of $7,557.25 with the Court. Following Defendants’ failure to answer the Complaint, defaults were entered against them on May 28, 2020.

On June 16, 2020, Plaintiff filed a motion for orders: (i) discharging interpleading Plaintiff from liability; (ii) dismissing Plaintiff from the action; (iii) awarding Plaintiff its outstanding escrow fees and charges and its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs; and (iv) directing fees and costs to be paid from interpleaded funds. This motion came up for hearing on December 10, 2020. At that time, the Court granted Plaintiff’s oral request to withdraw its request for fees of $500.00 but granted the motion to discharge Plaintiff from the case. (12/10/20 Minute Order.)

On December 18, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Order: (i) Dismissing Wilshire Escrow from Action; (ii) Awarding Wilshire Escrow its Reasonable Attorney’s Fees and Costs; and (iii) Directing Fees and Costs to be Paid from Interpleaded Funds (the “Motion”). No opposition was filed.

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. (Hancock Oil Co. v. Hopkins (1944) 24 Cal.2d 497, 508 (i.e., an escrow-holder who receives conflicting demands from the parties to the escrow regarding the funds or documents he or she holds); 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 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, 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 stakeholder is a defendant who claims no interest in the funds or property held, he or she need not file a cross-complaint interpleader in interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a).) 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. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (a).) 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), 386.5.) Notice of the motion must be served on each of the adverse claimants to the funds or property. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subds. (a), (b), 386.5.)

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. (Ibid.) Ultimately, such payment may be charged to one or more of the adverse claimants in the final judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.6.)

Finally, the Court may issue an “order restraining all parties to the action from instituting or further prosecuting any other proceeding in any court in this state affecting the rights and obligations as between the parties to the interpleader until further order of the court.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (f).)

III. Discussion

The subject matter of this action is escrow funds of $7,557.25 that remained in Plaintiff’s possession for approximately six years after a business transaction between Defendants fell through. (Mot., p. 2.) Plaintiff states that it waited for Defendants to provide mutual instructions as to the disbursement of the funds but did not receive any. (Id.) Specifically, Plaintiff’s escrow officer states that he made repeated efforts to obtain Defendant Blue Collar’s instructions for disposition of the funds but it did not respond. (Id., Shewfelt Decl., ¶ 6.) On September 10, 2018, Defendant Real Boy’s counsel instructed Plaintiff to interplead the funds. (Id.)

This Motion seeks an order discharging and dismissing Plaintiff from the action. (Mot., pp. 1-2.) Plaintiff also requests an award of attorney’s fees and costs incurred in this action (Id.) However,, as noted above, Plaintiff has already been discharged from the action, so a further order doing this is unnecessary.

Plaintiff seeks to recover attorney’s fees of $5,772.00, based on 19.24 hours of attorney time billed at $300.00 per hour. (Id. pp. 1, 6, Whitman Decl., ¶ 8.) The largest blocks of time billed were as follows: 2.5 hours to draft the Complaint, notice of deposit of funds, and related documents, 4.24 hours spent drafting and finalizing the first motion to discharge Plaintiff and for attorney’s fees, and 2.5 hours of attorney time billed for drafting the instant motion plus two additional hours anticipated for appearing at the hearing and preparing the related order. (Id.) The remaining entries include communicating with Plaintiff, Defendants, and Defendants’ counsel and preparing notices and proposed orders. (Id.)

The court notes that the instant Motion is largely similar to the first motion for discharge filed. Thus, 2.5 hours for drafting and finalizing this Motion is excessive. The Court finds 1 hour to be reasonable. Plaintiff’s request for an anticipated 2 hours to attend the hearing and draft the related order is also reduced to 1 hour. The Court finds the remaining entries to be reasonable. Thus, the Court awards attorney’s fees of $5,022.00, based on 16.74 hours of attorney time billed at $300.00 per hour.

Plaintiff also seeks costs of $756.98. (Id.) Costs include filing fees and service fees. (Id.) Having reviewed the breakdown of the costs sought, the Court finds them to be reasonable.

Thus, Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs is GRANTED in the amount of $5,778.98.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company’s Motion GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED AS MOOT IN PART.

Plaintiff’s request for an order of discharge is DENIED AS MOOT because this request was granted by the Court on December 10, 2020. Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs is GRANTED in the amount of $5,778.98, to be paid from the interpleaded funds.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC12297    Hearing Date: December 10, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., December 10, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Wilshire Escrow Co. v. Real Boy, LLC, et al COMPL. FILED: 10-01-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC12297 DISC. C/O: NONE

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: NONE

TRIAL DATE: NOT SET

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR ORDER DISCHARGING LIABILITY, DISMISSAL FROM ACTION, AND ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company

RESP. PARTY: None

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

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company’s Motion is DENIED.

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 December 8, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of December 8, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On October 1, 2018, Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint in interpleader against Defendants Real Boy, LLC (“Real Boy”) and Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC (“Blue Collar”) (collectively “Defendants”). That same day, Plaintiff deposited funds of $7,557.25 with the Court. Following Defendants’ failure to answer the Complaint, defaults were entered against them on May 28, 2020.

On June 16, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Orders: (i) Discharging Interpleading Plaintiff from Liability; (ii) Dismissing Plaintiff from Action; (iii) Awarding Wilshire Escrow its Outstanding Escrow Fees and Charges and its Reasonable Attorney’s Fees and Costs; and (iv) Directing Fees and Costs to be Paid from Interpleaded Funds (the “Motion”).

On October 20, 2020, the Court found that the proof of service attached to the Motion was incomplete and continued the hearing. (10/20/20 Minute Order.) The following day, Plaintiff filed amended proofs of service. (10/21/20 Proofs of Service.)

To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. 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. (Hancock Oil Co. v. Hopkins (1944) 24 Cal.2d 497, 508 (i.e., an escrow-holder who receives conflicting demands from the parties to the escrow regarding the funds or documents he or she holds); 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 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, 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 stakeholder is a defendant who claims no interest in the funds or property held, he or she need not file a cross-complaint interpleader in interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a).) 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. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (a).) 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), 386.5.) Notice of the motion must be served on each of the adverse claimants to the funds or property. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subds. (a), (b), 386.5.)

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. (Ibid.) Ultimately, such payment may be charged to one or more of the adverse claimants in the final judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.6.)

Finally, the Court may issue an “order restraining all parties to the action from instituting or further prosecuting any other proceeding in any court in this state affecting the rights and obligations as between the parties to the interpleader until further order of the court.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (f).)

  1. Discussion

The subject matter of this action is escrow funds of $7,557.25 that remained in Plaintiff’s possession for approximately six years after a business deal between Defendants fell through. (Mot., p. 2:15-23.) Plaintiff states that it waited for Defendants to provide mutual instructions as to the disbursement of the funds but did not receive any. (Id. at pp. 2:24-2.) Specifically, Plaintiff’s escrow officer states that he made repeated efforts to obtain Defendant Blue Collar’s instructions for disposition of the funds but it did not respond. (Id., Shewfelt Decl., ¶ 6.) On September 10, 2018, Defendant Real Boy’s counsel instructed Plaintiff to interplead the funds. (Id.) Plaintiff does not state that any conflicting demands for the funds have been made.

This Motion seeks an order discharging and dismissing Plaintiff from the action. (Mot., p. 1:2-10; p. 4:3-19; p. 7:17-20.) Plaintiff also requests an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs and a $500.00 termination fee owed on the underlying contract from the interpleaded funds. (Id.)

First, the Court notes that an order for discharge under Section 386.5 requires that the party submit an affidavit stating that “he is a mere stakeholder with no interest in the amount or any portion thereof and that conflicting demands have been made upon him…” (See Code Civ. Proc., § 386.5.) (Emphasis added.) Here, no conflicting demands have been made. More importantly, Plaintiff is interested in a portion of the escrow funds, specifically, a $500.00 termination fee it claims is owed pursuant to the underlying escrow contract. (Mot., p. 3:6-13.) Plaintiff’s escrow officer states that “[a]t all times, [Plaintiff] had [sic] been and continues to be indifferent with respect as to who is entitled to receive the Disputed Funds, or any portion thereof,” but also concedes that it claims a right to recover its escrow termination fee from the funds. (Id., Shewfelt Decl., ¶ 7.) (Emphasis added.)

For the reasons noted above, the Court finds that Plaintiff is not a mere disinterested stakeholder and thus cannot meet the requirements for an order discharging it from this action under Section 386.5. Accordingly, the Motion is DENIED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company’s Motion is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC12297    Hearing Date: October 20, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., October 20, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Wilshire Escrow Co. v. Real Boy, LLC, et al COMPL. FILED: 10-01-18

CASE NUMBER: 18STLC12297 DISC. C/O: NONE

NOTICE: NO DISC. MOT. C/O: NONE

TRIAL DATE: NONE

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR ORDER DISCHARGING LIABILITY, DISMISSAL FROM ACTION, AND ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company

RESP. PARTY: None

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

(CCP §§ 386, 386.5)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company’s Motion is CONTINUED TO NOV 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff must file and serve supplemental papers correcting the errors noted herein. Failure to do so may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

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

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

OPPOSITION: None filed as of October 16, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of October 16, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On October 1, 2018, Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in interpleader against Defendants Real Boy, LLC (“Real Boy”) and Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC (“Blue Collar”) (collectively “Defendants”). That same day, Plaintiff deposited funds of $7,557.25 with the Court. Following Defendants’ failure to answer the Complaint, defaults were entered against them on May 28, 2020.

On June 16, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Orders: (i) Discharging Interpleading Plaintiff from Liability; (ii) Dismissing Plaintiff from Action; (iii) Awarding Wilshire Escrow its Outstanding Escrow Fees and Charges and its Reasonable Attorney’s Fees and Costs; and (iv) Directing Fees and Costs to be Paid from Interpleaded Funds (the “Motion”).

To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. 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. (Hancock Oil Co. v. Hopkins (1944) 24 Cal.2d 497, 508 (i.e., an escrow-holder who receives conflicting demands from the parties to the escrow regarding the funds or documents he or she holds); 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 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, 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 stakeholder is a defendant who claims no interest in the funds or property held, he or she need not file a cross-complaint interpleader in interpleader. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subd. (a).) 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. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (a).) 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), 386.5.) Notice of the motion must be served on each of the adverse claimants to the funds or property. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 386, subds. (a), (b), 386.5.)

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. (Ibid.) Ultimately, such payment may be charged to one or more of the adverse claimants in the final judgment. (Code Civ. Proc., § 386.6.)

Finally, the Court may issue an “order restraining all parties to the action from instituting or further prosecuting any other proceeding in any court in this state affecting the rights and obligations as between the parties to the interpleader until further order of the court.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 386, subd. (f).)

  1. Discussion

  1. Service of the Petition

First, the Court notes that Plaintiff’s proof of service does not identify the person or member served with this Motion on behalf of Defendant Blue Collar. It simply states that Blue Collar Pub Group, LLC was served at 1645 Vine St., #804, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (Mot., Proof of Service.) This address is also different than the address for Defendant Blue Collar’s registered agent noted on the proof of service of summons filed on November 6, 2018. (11/6/18 Proof of Service.)

As noted above, Section 386, subdivision (b), requires notice of this Motion on all parties. Because the proof of service is incomplete, the Court is unable to determine whether Defendant Blue Collar was properly served with this Motion. Accordingly, Plaintiff is ordered to file an amended proof of service correcting this error.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Wilshire Escrow Company’s Motion is CONTINUED TO NOV 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Plaintiff must file and serve supplemental papers correcting the errors noted herein. 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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