This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 03/31/2016 at 08:01:05 (UTC).

ANGELA KARAKASHYAN VS ORION AVENUE PROPERTIES LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/15/2014 ANGELA KARAKASHYAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against ORION AVENUE PROPERTIES LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MICHELLE WILLIAMS COURT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4856

  • Filing Date:

    08/15/2014

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MICHELLE WILLIAMS COURT

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

KARAKASHYAN ANGELA

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 TO 100

HOPKINS TIMOTHY AND GRACIELA

ORION AVENUE PROPERTIES LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

LAW OFFICES OF ABRAHAM A. LABBAD

 

Court Documents

SUMMONS

8/15/2014: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

8/15/2014: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

Minute Order

1/29/2016: Minute Order

APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

5/5/2016: APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

NOTICE OF REJECTION APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

5/13/2016: NOTICE OF REJECTION APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

10/21/2016: APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

10/21/2016: APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

NOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

10/31/2016: NOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

Minute Order

1/26/2017: Minute Order

ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

2/16/2017: ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

2/27/2017: APPLICATION FOR PUBLICATION

Minute Order

5/26/2017: Minute Order

PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

7/6/2017: PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

SUMMONS

7/6/2017: SUMMONS

Minute Order

7/7/2017: Minute Order

Minute Order

8/8/2017: Minute Order

STATEMENT OF DAMAGES (PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH)

12/1/2017: STATEMENT OF DAMAGES (PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH)

STATEMENT OF DAMAGES (PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH)

12/1/2017: STATEMENT OF DAMAGES (PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH)

17 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/15/2014
  • Complaint

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC554856    Hearing Date: November 15, 2019    Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL DISTRICT

ANGELA KARAKASHYAN

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

ORION AVE PROPERTIES, LLC, ET AL.,

Defendant(s).

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CASE NO: BC554856

[TENTATIVE] ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO VACATE DEFAULT AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Dept. 3

1:30 p.m.

November 15, 2019

1. Complaint

Plaintiff, Angela Karakashyan filed this action against Defendants, Orion Ave Properties, LLC, Timothy Hopkins, and Graciela Hopkins for damages arising out of a slip and fall. Plaintiff filed the action on 8/15/14.

2. Defaults of the Hopkinses

The Court rejected several applications to serve Defendants by publication. On 2/03/17, the Court granted an application to serve Timothy by publication. On 2/16/17, the Court granted an application to serve Graciela by publication. On 7/06/17, Plaintiff filed proof of publication of the summons on “Orion Avenue Properties, LLC and Timothy and Graciela Hopkins.” However, because the publication did not include publication of a statement of damages, the Clerk rejected Plaintiffs’ attempt to secure Defendants’ defaults.

On 12/01/17, Plaintiffs filed proof of publication of the statement of damages on Graciela. On 12/01/17, despite not having a proof of publication of statement of damages on file for Timothy, the Clerk entered default of Timothy and Graciela. On 5/17/18, for reasons that are not clear, Plaintiffs filed proof of publication of the statement of damages on Graciela and Orion.

3. Default of Orion

On 1/28/19, Plaintiff filed proof of service of the summons and complaint on Timothy Hopkins by personal service. It is not clear why Plaintiff filed this document, as Timothy was already in default at this time. On 5/20/19, Plaintiff filed proof of service of the summons and complaint on Orion via personal service on Timothy Hopkins on 1/24/19. The proof of service did not indicate Plaintiffs served Orion with a statement of damages. Despite the failure to establish service of a statement of damages, the clerk entered Orion’s default on 5/21/19.

4. Default Judgment

On 7/14/19, after reviewing Plaintiffs’ declarations and evidence in support of their request for default judgment, the Court issued judgment in Plaintiffs’ favor in the total amount of $34,328.05.

5. Motion to Vacate Default and Default Judgment

At this time, Defendants move to vacate the default and default judgment entered against them.

a. Timothy and Orion

The motion to vacate the default entered against Timothy and Orion is granted on the ground that there is no proof of service of the statement of damages on either of them in the file, and the Clerk erred in entering their defaults.

The purpose of the statement of damages is to give the defendant “one last chance” to respond, knowing exactly what judgment may be entered if he or she fails to appear. Absent such statement, the defendant lacks notice of the actual liability threatened, so that any default judgment is void. Stevenson v. Turner (1979) 94 Cal.App.3d 315, 319; Janssen v. Luu (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 272, 275.

b. Graciela

While the argument concerning whether or not default judgment was properly entered against Graciela is more complicated, the Court finds the default and default judgment should be set aside for a simple reason. Pursuant to Mirabile v. Smith (1953) 119 Cal.App.2d 685, 689, the Court cannot enter default judgment against one defaulted defendant when other defendants have appeared and provided exonerating defenses; default judgment is premature unless and until the case is completely resolved against the answering defendants.

The Court finds it is unreasonable to have the default against Graciela stand under the circumstances. The Court is very concerned about Plaintiffs’ use of the publication process to serve Graciela and Timothy, where Plaintiffs then subsequently purportedly served Timothy personally and served Orion via service on Timothy personally (the Court understands that Timothy contends it was not he who was served). If Plaintiffs believe they were able to locate Timothy, their use of the publication process was improper in the first instance and cannot be rewarded.

c. Conclusion

Defendants’ motion to vacate the default and default judgment is granted. Defendants filed a proposed copy of their answer to the complaint as Exhibit G to the moving papers. Defendants are ordered to file a separate copy of their answer within ten days.

The Court notes, as detailed above, that this case was commenced on 8/15/14. Unfortunately, this means the mandatory five-year period for bringing the case to trial ran on 8/15/19. The Court has reviewed its case file and finds the delay in bringing the case to trial was largely occasioned by Plaintiffs’ delays in serving Defendants and ultimately obtaining judgment. Plaintiffs filed their first application for publication almost two years after they filed the complaint. The application was promptly rejected, but Plaintiffs did not file another application for five months thereafter. Similarly, Plaintiffs published the statement of damages in December of 2017, but did not file the proof of service until May of 2018. For reasons that are not clear, when Plaintiffs originally sought to publish the action against Timothy and Graciela, they did not seek to publish it against Orion. They only commenced seeking to publish it against Orion in December of 2018, more than four years after they filed the action.

All of that being said, Plaintiffs successfully obtained a default judgment, however erroneous, on 7/24/19, shortly before the five-year statute would have run. Plaintiffs could not have anticipated that Defendants would, approximately three months later and after the running of the statute, move to set aside the judgment. The Court is inclined to find the statute must be extended because bringing the action to trial was “impossible, impracticable, or futile,” per CCP §583.340(c). Similarly, pursuant to Dodd v. Ford (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 426, 430-431, the plaintiff need only bring the case to trial for the first time within the five years. Any retrial is not subject to the five-year limitation. The default judgment was akin to a first trial, and the re-opened case is akin to a new trial.

The Court sets trial in the action in one year, on Tuesday, 11/17/20 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 3 of the Spring Street Courthouse. The Court sets an FSC on Tuesday, 11/03/20 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 3.

Defendants are ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at sscdept3@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative.