This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/12/2021 at 01:32:07 (UTC).

ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN VS. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPT.

Case Summary

On 08/22/2016 ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Glendale Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are RALPH C. HOFER and LAURA A. MATZ. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5694

  • Filing Date:

    08/22/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

RALPH C. HOFER

LAURA A. MATZ

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

KEVORKIAN ANTRANIK

Defendants

LT. STEWART #413093

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES SHERIFF'S DEPT.

ABDULJAJJAH #466370

SGT. GADUT #462013

ABDULFATTAH #466370

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorneys

FUENTES & MCNALLY LLP

FUENTES RAYMOND JOSEPH

 

Court Documents

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: OSC-FAILURE TO FILE PROOF OF SERV

8/22/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: OSC-FAILURE TO FILE PROOF OF SERV

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

8/22/2016: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

Summons

8/22/2016: Summons

Notice of Related Case

8/22/2016: Notice of Related Case

Notice of Case Management Conference

8/22/2016: Notice of Case Management Conference

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

8/22/2016: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/22/2016: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: COMPLAINT FILED-SUMMONS ISSUED

8/22/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: COMPLAINT FILED-SUMMONS ISSUED

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

8/31/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

8/31/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

8/31/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

8/31/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: PROOF-SERVICE/SUMMONS

Request For Copies

9/7/2016: Request For Copies

Request For Copies

10/18/2016: Request For Copies

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

10/20/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

10/20/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

10/20/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

10/20/2016: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: DEFAULT ENTERED

191 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/28/2022
  • Hearing03/28/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department B at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Jury Trial

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  • 03/17/2022
  • Hearing03/17/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Final Status Conference

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  • 08/06/2021
  • Hearing08/06/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

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  • 06/04/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Plaintiff's Responses to Defendants' Requests for Production filed by Attorney for Defendant, Lt. Stewart #413093) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling (Re Defendants' Motions to Compel Plaintiff's Further Responses To Requests for Production); Filed by Lt. Stewart #413093 (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketOrder (Court's Order re: Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Deendants' Requests for Production); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Defendan...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/01/2021
  • DocketDemurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Filed by ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/28/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Plaintiff's Responses to Special Interrogatories and Form Interrogatories, filed by Attorney for Defendants) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 05/28/2021
  • DocketOrder (Court's Order re: Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Responses to Special and Form Interrogatories); Filed by Clerk

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302 More Docket Entries
  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketNotice-Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketOrder-Court Fee Waiver; Filed by Plaintiff, & Plaintiff in Pro Per

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff, & Plaintiff in Pro Per

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketSummons Filed

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued

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  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketNotice-Related Cases (WITH BC596795 FILED 10/05/15 ); Filed by Plaintiff, & Plaintiff in Pro Per

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/22/2016
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by null

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: EC065694 Hearing Date: November 19, 2021 Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES – NORTHEAST DISTRICT

DEPARTMENT 3

ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN ,

Plaintiff,

vs.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT , et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

EC065694

Hearing Date:

November 19, 2021

Time:

8:30 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PLAINTIFF ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN’S MOTION FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST THREE DEFENDANTS AND THEIR ATTORNEYS ON RECORD UNDER CCP § 128.5

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian

RESPONDING PARTIES: Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian’s Motion for Monetary Sanctions against Three Defendants and Their Attorneys on Record Under CCP § 128.5

The court considered the moving papers, opposition, and reply papers filed in connection with this motion.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian filed this action on August 22, 2016.

On July 15, 2021, Defendants Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah (collectively, the “Defendants”) moved to compel further responses by Plaintiff to certain written discovery requests (Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production). On October 29, 2021, the court issued an order granting in part and denying in part the Defendants’ motions.

Plaintiff now moves for sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure sections 128.5 and 128.7 against the Defendants and their attorneys of record on the basis that the Defendants’ motions to compel were frivolous.

LEGAL STANDARD

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Daar v. Yellow Cab Co. (1967) 67 Cal.2d 695, 713

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Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5, subdivision (a) provides: “A trial court may order a party, the party’s attorney, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.” The statute defines frivolous as “totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 128.5, subd. (b)(2).)

Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 “authorizes trial courts to impose sanctions to check abuses in the filing of pleadings, petitions, written notices of motions or similar papers.” (Musaelian v. Adams (2009) 45 Cal.4th 512, 514.) As such, a party must not file a pleading or motion “primarily for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 128.7, subd. (b)(1).)

DISCUSSION

Defendants contend that Plaintiff’s July 26, 2021 and October 22, 2021 notices of motion for sanctions are procedurally defective under the 21-day safe harbor provision for such motions under Code of Civil Procedure sections 128.5 and 128.7. The court assumes solely for the purposes of this motion that any such procedural defects do not preclude the court from addressing the merits of Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions. Turning to the merits, the court finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the July 15, 2021 motions to compel further responses were made in bad faith, frivolous, or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay or some other improper purpose. The July 15, 2021 motions were granted in substantial part, which does not support a finding that they were without merit or that they were frivolous.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, the court denies Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions.

The Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: November 19, 2021

_____________________________

Colin Leis

Judge of the Superior Court

'b'

Case Number: EC065694 Hearing Date: October 29, 2021 Dept: 3

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES – NORTHEAST DISTRICT

DEPARTMENT 3

ANTRANIK KEVORKIAN ,

Plaintiff,

vs.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT , et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

EC065694

Hearing Date:

October 29, 2021

Time:

8:30 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO DEFENDANTS’ FORM INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS;

SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO DEFENDANT’S REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION AND REQUEST FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS;

SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO DEFENDANT’S SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR EVIDENTIARY SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTIES: Defendant Lt. Stewart

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian

(1) Second Motion to Compel Further Responses to Defendant’s Requests for Production and Request for Evidentiary Sanctions

The court considered the moving papers, opposition, and reply papers filed in connection with this motion.

MOVING PARTIES: Defendant Lt. Stewart

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian

(2) Second Motion to Compel Further Responses to Defendant’s Special Interrogatories and Request for Evidentiary Sanctions

The court considered the moving papers, opposition, and reply papers filed in connection with this motion.

MOVING PARTIES: Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah

RESPONDING PARTY: Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian

(3) Second Motion to Compel Further Responses to Defendant’s Form Interrogatories and Request for Evidentiary Sanctions

The court considered the moving papers, opposition, and reply papers filed in connection with this motion.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian filed this action on August 22, 2016 against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah (collectively, “Defendants”). The operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) was filed on May 18, 2018, and asserts 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (section 1983) causes of action for violation of Plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. On July 20, 2018, the court issued an order sustaining Defendants’ demurrer to the SAC, without leave to amend. Plaintiff appealed, and on February 18, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in part. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of LASD but reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual capacities (collectively, the “Officers”) on the section 1983 claim for violation of Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights.

On May 28, 2021, the court issued an order granting the Officers’ motion to compel further responses to Special and Form Interrogatories. The court ordered Plaintiff to provide further responses, without objections, to the Officers’ Form Interrogatories Nos. 2.5, 2.12, 4.1, 6.4-6.7, 10.2-10.3, 11.1, 12.1, 12.6-12.7, 13.1-13.2, and 14.1-14.2; to Lt. Stewart’s Special Interrogatories Nos. 1-25; to Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut’s Special Interrogatories Nos. 1-23; and to Deputy Abdulfattah’s Special Interrogatories Nos. 1-22, within 30 days of notice of the order.

On June 4, 2021, the court issued an order granting the Officers’ motion to compel further responses to Requests for Production. The court ordered Plaintiff to provide further responses to the Officers’ Request for Production of Documents Nos. 1-7, within 20 days of notice of the order.

Plaintiff served further responses on June 18, 2021 and June 23, 2021. (Tran Decls., ¶ 6, Exs. A.) The Officers now variously move to compel further responses. First, the Officers move to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 2.5, 6.6, 11.1, 12.1, and 12.4. Second, Lt. Stewart moves to compel further responses to Special Interrogatories Nos. 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, and 17-25. Third, Lt. Stewart moves to compel further responses to Requests for Production Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7.

PROCEDURAL ISSUES

The court notes that Plaintiff filed double oppositions to each motion. Plaintiff filed an opposition to each motion and then an opposition to each separate statement. Nothing in the Code of Civil Procedure or the relevant rules of court authorizes Plaintiff to file oppositions to the separate statements. Moreover, it appears that the oppositions to the separate statements are duplicative of the oppositions to the motions. Therefore, the court disregards Plaintiff’s oppositions to the separate statements.

LEGAL STANDARD

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Daar v. Yellow Cab Co. (1967) 67 Cal.2d 695, 713

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A propounding party may move for an order compelling a further response to an interrogatory or a demand for inspection if the propounding party deems that an answer or statement of compliance is evasive or incomplete, or that an objection is “without merit or too general.” (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.300, subd. (a), 2031.310, subd. (a).) Such a motion must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.300, subd. (b)(1), 2031.210, subd. (b).) In addition, a motion to compel further responses to a demand for inspection must set forth specific facts showing good cause for the discovery sought. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b).)

Unless a motion to compel further responses is filed and served within 45 days of the service of the verified response, the propounding party waives any right to compel a further response. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.300, subd. (c), 2031.310, subd. (c).)

If the court finds that a party has unsuccessfully made or opposed such a motion, the court “shall impose a monetary sanction . . . unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.300, subd. (d), 2031.310, subd. (h).)

DISCUSSION

A. Meet and Confer

On July 6, 2021, counsel for the Officers sent meet and confer correspondence to Plaintiff. (Tran Decls., ¶ 7, Exs. B.) In this letter, counsel for the Officers identified the requests and interrogatories to which further responses were sought and requested a response to the letter or further responses by July 13, 2021. Plaintiff received the letter on July 12, 2021, and responded that same day. (Tran Decls., ¶ 8, Exs. C.) In Plaintiff’s response letter, he states that he cannot provide further responses by the July 13, 2021 deadline, and that he believes that he has complied with the court’s discovery orders. The instant motions were thereafter filed on July 15, 2021.

Although Plaintiff contends that the Officers did not meet and confer in good faith prior to filing the instant motions, the court finds that the evidence submitted satisfies the meet and confer requirement.

B. Form Interrogatories

The court finds that Plaintiff’s further responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 2.5, 11.1, and 12.1 are evasive and incomplete. With respect to No. 2.5, Plaintiff is required to provide residence addresses, not mailing addresses. With respect to No. 11.1, Plaintiff’s response is incomplete because no information responsive to subsections (a) through (f) is provided. And similarly, with respect to No. 12.1, Plaintiff’s answer is incomplete because no witnesses are named, and it is unclear whether any of the “witnesses” made any statements, heard any statements, or otherwise has knowledge of the incident.

The court finds that Plaintiff’s further responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 6.6 and 12.4 are sufficient. Plaintiff is only required to provide a complete and straightforward response; an objection to the purported truth of the response is not a basis to compel a further response.

Therefore, the court finds that the Officers are entitled to an order compelling further responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 2.5, 11.1, and 12.1.

C. Special Interrogatories

In response to Special Interrogatories Nos. 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, 17, 18, and 20, Plaintiff refers to paragraph 18 of the SAC. This is improper. (See Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 783-784 [“Thus, it is not proper to answer by stating, ‘See my deposition”, “See my pleading”, or “See the financial statement”. Indeed, if a question does require the responding party to make reference to a pleading or document, the pleading or document should be identified and summarized so the answer is fully responsive to the questions.”].)

In response to Special Interrogatory No. 19, Plaintiff instructs the Officers to “[w]atch the DVD that you have provided to plaintiff ….” This is not responsive. Plaintiff is required to provide facts, not instructions.

In response to Special Interrogatories Nos. 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25, Plaintiff states: “See plaintiff’s answer for production.” The court interprets this to mean that Plaintiff is directing the Officers to Plaintiff’s responses to the Requests for Production. The Officers argue that this is unresponsive both because references to other documents are improper and because the answers to the Requests for Production are also insufficient. The court agrees.

Therefore, the court finds that Lt. Stewart is entitled to an order compelling further responses to Special Interrogatories Nos. 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, and 17-25.

D. Request for Production

As an initial matter, the court finds that there is good cause for documents requested. The court already implicitly found that the Officers had established the existence of good cause in granting the first motion to compel further responses. The requests at issue in the instant motion overlap with the requests at issue in the first motion. The court also finds that Lt. Stewart has again established good cause by asserting that each request is made for the purpose of understanding what evidence Plaintiff intends to use to support his claims as alleged in the SAC (e.g., false arrest, assault and battery) as well as his claim for damages.

There are only two Code-compliant responses that Plaintiff can provide to the Requests for Production: (1) a statement that he will comply with a demand, or (2) a representation that he lacks the ability to comply with the demand. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.210, subd. (a).)

Plaintiff’s responses to Request for Production Nos. 1 and 2 identify documents that are presumably responsive (e.g., a statement of damages, the DVD, Exhibit “A”). Therefore, it can be fairly inferred that this is Plaintiff’s statement that he will comply with the demands.

However, Plaintiff’s responses to Request for Production Nos. 3, 6, and 7 are entirely non-responsive. For one, Plaintiff refers to responses to other discovery requests, which, as discussed above, is improper. More importantly, it is unclear whether Plaintiff is agreeing to comply with the demand or not.

Therefore, the court finds that Lt. Stewart is entitled to an order compelling further responses to Request for Production Nos. 3, 6, and 7.

E. Sanctions

The Officers request the imposition of evidence sanctions against Plaintiff. However, in light of the fact that it remains to be seen whether further responses will be provided, the court does not find that evidence sanctions are appropriate at this juncture.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, the court grants in part and denies in part the Officers’ motions to compel further responses.

The court orders Plaintiff Atranik Kevorkian to serve complete, Code-compliant, further responses, without objections, within 20 days of the date of this order, to Form Interrogatories Nos. 2.5, 11.1, and 12.1, Special Interrogatories Nos. 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, and 17-25, and Request for Production Nos. 3, 6, and 7.

The court denies the Officers’ request for evidence sanctions.

The Officers are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: October 29, 2021

_____________________________

Colin Leis

Judge of the Superior Court

'b'

Case Number: EC065694 Hearing Date: August 6, 2021 Dept: NCB

\r\n\r\n

Superior Court of California

\r\n\r\n

County of Los Angeles

\r\n\r\n

North\r\nCentral District

\r\n\r\n

Department B

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

\r\n

\r\n

Plaintiff,

\r\n

vs.

\r\n

\r\n

County of Los\r\n Angeles sheriff’s department,

\r\n

\r\n

Defendant.

\r\n
\r\n

\r\n

Case No.: EC065694

\r\n

\r\n

Hearing Date: August 6, 2021

\r\n

\r\n

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

\r\n

demurrer with motion to\r\n strike defendants’ first amended answer

\r\n
\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Background

\r\n\r\n

A. \r\nAllegations and Relevant Background

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”)\r\nalleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena\r\nSheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a\r\ncomplaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that\r\nevening and stolen her belongings. He\r\nalleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various\r\ncriminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive\r\nforce. This action was brought against\r\nDefendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart,\r\nSgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

\r\n\r\n

This action was filed on August 22,\r\n2016.

\r\n\r\n

On July 26, 2018, Judge Ralph C. Hofer\r\nentered the Judgment in this action. The\r\nJudgment stated that on July 20, 2018, the demurrer of Defendants was heard and\r\nargued before the Court and the Court sustained the demurrer without leave to\r\namend. Thus, the Court dismissed the\r\naction with prejudice as to Defendants on July 20, 2018 and Plaintiff was to\r\ntake nothing from his complaint.

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff appealed.

\r\n\r\n

On February 18, 2020, the Court of\r\nAppeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in\r\npart. The Court of Appeal affirmed the\r\njudgment in favor of LASD because Plaintiff did not allege an official LASD\r\npolicy or practice caused the infringement of his civil rights. Nevertheless, the\r\nCourt reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual\r\ncapacity on the section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment\r\nrights. On June 12, 2020, the Remittitur\r\nwas issued and filed with this Court.

\r\n\r\n

The second amended complaint (“SAC”),\r\nfiled May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth\r\nAmendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of\r\nthe U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections\r\n7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of\r\nphysical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

\r\n\r\n

On January 25, 2021, Lt. Stewart,\r\nSgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah filed an answer to the SAC. Plaintiff filed a motion to strike the answer\r\nor affirmative defenses, which the Court granted with 20 days leave to amend on\r\nApril 30, 2021.

\r\n\r\n

On May 19, 2021, Lt. Stewart, Sgt.\r\nBlanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah filed the First Amended Answer\r\n(“FAA”) to the SAC.

\r\n\r\n

B. \r\nMotions on Calendar

\r\n\r\n

On June 1, 2021, Plaintiff filed a\r\n“DEMURER AND DEMURER TO STRIKE DEFENDNATS’ FIRST AMENDED ANSWER OR AFFIRMATIVE\r\nDEFENSES TO PLAINTIFF’S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (SAC).”

\r\n\r\n

On July 23, 2021, Defendants filed an\r\nopposition brief.

\r\n\r\n

On July 30, 2021, Plaintiff filed a reply\r\nbrief.

\r\n\r\n

DISCUSSION

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff demurs to/moves to strike each\r\nof Defendants’ 5 affirmative defenses in the FAA.

\r\n\r\n

A. \r\n1st Affirmative Defense re Plaintiff’s\r\nNegligent Acts

\r\n\r\n

In the 1st affirmative defense,\r\nDefendants allege that all the events, injuries, damages, etc. referred to in\r\nPlaintiff’s SAC were directly and proximately caused or contributed to by\r\nPlaintiff’s carelessness or negligence, such that any damages should be reduced\r\nin proportion to Plaintiff’s negligence. \r\n(FAA, ¶11.) Defendants allege\r\nthat Plaintiff was in the lobby of the sheriffs’ station and was told that he\r\nand Nancy Kevorkian did not have a valid reason to file a criminal report, such\r\nthat Plaintiff and Ms. Kevorkian became loud and disruptive and they were asked\r\nto leave the station. (Id.,\r\n¶12.) Defendants allege that Plaintiff\r\nand Ms. Kevorkian were warned that they would be arrested if they did not leave\r\nand continued to be unruly, Plaintiff continued to yell and create a\r\ndisturbance, such that his actions necessitated his arrest pursuant to Penal\r\nCode, §§ 148(a)(1) and 602.1(b).[1] (Id.) \r\n

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues that the allegations are\r\nbare legal conclusions, that there is no evidence that he was charged with any\r\ncriminal charges, the defense lacks facts to constitute a defense against him,\r\nand the defense is uncertain.

\r\n\r\n

Based on the Court’s review of the FAA\r\npleadings, the Court finds that the allegations are sufficient to allege this\r\naffirmative defense. Although Plaintiff\r\nseeks “specific” allegations, there is no heightened pleading requirement. Further, the allegations sufficiently allege\r\nthe underlying facts not only in paragraph 12, but in paragraphs 2-9 of the\r\nFAA. The allegations are not so vague\r\nthat Plaintiff is unable to ascertain what affirmative defense is being\r\nasserted against him.

\r\n\r\n

As such, the demurrer to the 1st\r\naffirmative defense is overruled. To the\r\nextent that Plaintiff moved to strike the 1st affirmative defense,\r\nthe motion to strike is denied.

\r\n\r\n

B. \r\n2nd Affirmative Defense re Qualified\r\nImmunity

\r\n\r\n

In the 2nd affirmative defense,\r\nDefendants allege that they were at all times duly qualified, appointed, and\r\nacting deputies of the County of Los Angeles and peace officers of the State of\r\nCalifornia and they were engaged in the performance of their duties. (FAA, ¶14.) \r\nThey allege that they acted in good faith and within the scope of their\r\nduties as deputy sheriffs and are entitled to qualified immunity. (Id., ¶15.) They allege that their actions were\r\nreasonable throughout the course of the incident such as when Lt. Stewart\r\ndiscussed with Ms. Kevorkian and Plaintiff on numerous occasions their desire\r\nto file an arrest report (based on on-going issues with private parking in\r\nfront of her residence and disputes with neighbors). (Id., ¶¶3, 16.) Defendants allege that there was no cause to\r\nfile an arrest report and no communicated desire to file a personnel complaint.\r\n(Id., ¶16.) Defendants allege\r\nthey had probable cause to arrest Plaintiff for violating Penal Code, §§\r\n148(a)(1) and 602.1(b) when he became loud and disruptive even after being\r\nasked to leave the premises. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff demurs to the 2nd\r\naffirmative defense arguing that it is merely a plain statement and not a\r\ndefense, the defense lacks sufficient facts, and the defense is uncertain. However, a claim of immunity is a proper\r\ndefense. The Court does not find that\r\nthe 2nd affirmative defense is lacking in facts and it is not\r\nuncertain.

\r\n\r\n

Thus, the demurrer to the 2nd\r\naffirmative defense is overruled. To the\r\nextent that Plaintiff moved to strike the 2nd affirmative defense,\r\nthe motion to strike is denied.

\r\n\r\n

C. \r\n3rd Affirmative Defense re Probable Cause

\r\n\r\n

In the 3rd affirmative defense,\r\nDefendants allege that their actions were lawful, proper, and reasonable and there\r\nexisted reasonable/probable cause to detain and/or arrest Plaintiff. (FAA, ¶18.) \r\nDefendants then allege facts regarding Plaintiff’s unruly behavior that\r\nnecessitated Defendants’ actions to arrest him for violating the Penal\r\nCode. (Id., ¶19.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues that this defense is a\r\nplain statement and not a defense, is stated in conclusory terms, lacks\r\nsufficient facts, and is uncertain. The\r\nCourt has reviewed the entirety of the pleadings and finds that at the pleading\r\nstage, the allegations of this defense are sufficient and are not so uncertain\r\nthat Plaintiff is unable to respond.

\r\n\r\n

As such, the demurrer to the 3rd\r\naffirmative defense is overruled. To the\r\nextent that Plaintiff moved to strike the 3rd affirmative defense,\r\nthe motion to strike is denied.

\r\n\r\n

D. \r\n4th Affirmative Defense se Use of Force/Self-Defense\r\n

\r\n\r\n

In the 4th affirmative defense,\r\nDefendants allege that any use of force was caused and necessitated by\r\nPlaintiff’s acts and that such force was necessary and reasonable in\r\nself-defense. (FAA, ¶21.) Defendants allege that the handcuffing of\r\nPlaintiff of necessary so that he could be escorted back to the station and be\r\ncited and that the handcuffing did not constitute excessive force. (Id., ¶22.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues that this defense is a bare\r\nlegal conclusion, fails to identify which cause of action the defense applies\r\nto, lacks sufficient facts, and is uncertain. \r\n

\r\n\r\n

According to the Court of Appeal’s order,\r\nthe only remaining claim against Defendants is the section 1983 claim for\r\nviolation of his Fourth Amendment rights. \r\nThus, this defense and the allegations are not so uncertain or unclear\r\nas to which cause of action it refers to. \r\nIn addition, the FAA includes facts surrounding the incident and alleges\r\nfacts supporting self-defense. For\r\nexample, Defendants allege that Lt. Stewart directed Plaintiff and Ms.\r\nKevorkian to leave or that they would be arrested for creating a disturbance;\r\nshe opened the door to the dispatch desk and asked for deputies to assist her;\r\nand Plaintiff stepped towards Lt. Stewart as she was closing the door to the\r\nstation lobby, yelled at her, and raised his hands towards her face and nearly\r\nmade contract with her, at which point she ordered the deputies to handcuff\r\nPlaintiff. (Id., ¶¶7-8.)

\r\n\r\n

Thus,\r\nthe demurrer to the 4th affirmative defense is overruled. To the extent that Plaintiff moved to strike\r\nthe 4th affirmative defense, the motion to strike is denied.

\r\n\r\n

E. \r\n5th Affirmative Defense re Immunities

\r\n\r\n

In the 5th affirmative defense,\r\nDefendants allege that the causes of action in the complaint are barred by the\r\nimmunities under Government Code §§ 815.2, 820.2, 820.4, 820.8, and 821.6. (FAA, ¶24.) \r\nDefendants then summarize the immunities. (Id., ¶¶26-29.) They allege that Plaintiff’s actions\r\nnecessitated Defendants’ response and that their actions were reasonable, done\r\nwithin the scope of their employment and discretion as duties of Los Angeles\r\nCounty Sheriff’s deputies. (Id.,\r\n¶30.)

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff argues that these allegations\r\nare merely a “prayer,” the immunities cannot supersede the 4th and\r\n14th Amendments, the allegations lack supporting facts, and the\r\ndefense is uncertain.

\r\n\r\n

The Court finds that the allegations\r\nspecifically list which immunities that Defendants are relying upon and are not\r\na “prayer.” Next, Plaintiff argues\r\nwithout legal support that immunities supersede the 4th and 14th\r\nAmendments. Taking the allegations of\r\nthe FAA as true, if Plaintiff’s actions were unlawful, then Defendants may have\r\nlegitimate defenses for their actions. \r\nFinally, the Court does not find that the allegations are lacking or\r\nuncertain.

\r\n\r\n

The demurrer to the 4th\r\naffirmative defense is overruled. To the\r\nextent that Plaintiff moved to strike the 4th affirmative defense,\r\nthe motion to strike is denied.

\r\n\r\n

CONCLUSION\r\nAND ORDER

\r\n\r\n

Plaintiff’s demurrer to the First\r\nAmended Answer is overruled. To the\r\nextent that Plaintiff moved to strike the First Amended Answer’s affirmative\r\ndefenses, the motion is denied.

\r\n\r\n

Defendants shall\r\nprovide notice of this order.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n

[1] Penal Code, §\r\n148(a)(1) states: “Every person who\r\nwillfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or\r\nan emergency medical technician, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with\r\nSection 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, in the discharge or attempt to\r\ndischarge any duty of his or her office or employment, when no other punishment\r\nis prescribed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars\r\n($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by\r\nboth that fine and imprisonment.”

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Penal Code, § 602.1(b)\r\nstates: “Any person who intentionally interferes\r\nwith any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to\r\nthe public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on\r\nbusiness, or those persons there to transact business with the public agency,\r\nand who refuses to leave the premises of the public agency after being\r\nrequested to leave by the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency,\r\nor by a peace officer acting at the request of the office manager or a\r\nsupervisor of the public agency, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by\r\nimprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four\r\nhundred dollars ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”

\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n
'

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: June 4, 2021    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s department,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: June 4, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to compel plaintiff’s responses to Defendants’ requests for production

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

This action was filed on August 22, 2016. The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

B. Relevant Background

On July 26, 2018, Judge Ralph C. Hofer entered the Judgment in this action. The Judgment stated that on July 20, 2018, the demurrer of Defendants was heard and argued before the Court and the Court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. Thus, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice as to Defendants on July 20, 2018 and Plaintiff was to take nothing from his complaint.

Plaintiff appealed.

On February 18, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in part. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of LASD because Plaintiff did not allege an official LASD policy or practice caused the infringement of his civil rights, but reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual capacity on the section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. On June 12, 2020, the Remittitur was issued and filed with this Court.

C. Motion on Calendar

On March 12, 2021, Defendants filed a motion to compel Plaintiff’s responses to Requests for Production of Documents (“RPD”). Although reserved as a motion to compel responses, the motion is for further responses.

On May 7, 2021, Defendants filed a separate statement in support of the motion.

On May 21, 2021, Plaintiff filed an amended opposition to the motion.

On May 25, 2021, Defendants filed a reply brief.

DISCUSSION

Defendants move to compel Plaintiff’s further responses to RPD Nos. 1-7.

RPD No. 1 seeks any and all documents, writings, or record Plaintiff intends to submit as evidence for any and all claims of damages against Defendants. Plaintiff objected to the RPDs as overbroad in time, vague, unintelligible as to “any and all documents,” work product and privilege, premature expert identification and opinion, irrelevant, and unduly burdensome and harassing. Defendants argue that the documents sought are relevant to this action in order for Defendants to understand what evidence and proof Plaintiff intends to produce to support his claims for damages. The Court finds that the document sought are relevant to this action, particularly since Plaintiff put into issue his damages when filing this lawsuit. Further the objections are boilerplate in nature and repeated in Plaintiff’s other responses to the RPD requests. Where such general “boilerplate” objections are made, this Court has the authority to order a further response. (See Best Prods., Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 1181, 1189.) The terms are not vague or overbroad, plus there is an inherent burden in complying with discovery. (See West Pico Furniture Co. of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 418 [“some burden is inherent in all demands for discovery. The objection of burden is valid only when that burden is demonstrated to result in injustice.”].) Plaintiff is not an attorney nor does he have an attorney, and he has not otherwise provided a valid basis for privilege. It is also unclear how complying with this discovery request would call for the premature disclosure of experts and opinions. Thus, the objections are overruled. The motion is granted as to RPD No. 1.

RPD Nos. 2-3 seek any and all documents or records showing that Plaintiff was arrested and assaulted/battered on August 22, 2014 by Defendants. RPD Nos. 4-5 seek any and all documents or records showing that Plaintiff was jailed and given a misdemeanor ticket at the Altadena Sheriff’s Station on August 22, 2014. RPD Nos. 6-7 seek documents/records that Plaintiff received medical assistance or treatment for any injuries resulting from the incident and contact information of such personnel. Plaintiff objected to RPD Nos. 2-7 in the same manner as he did to RPD No. 1. As discussed above, the objections are overruled. They are clearly boilerplate in nature. The documents are relevant as they seek documents in support of Plaintiff’s allegations in the SAC regarding the facts of the case and his damages as a result of the incident. The motion is granted as to RPD Nos. 2-7.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah’ motion to compel Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian’s further responses to the Request for Production is granted. Plaintiff is ordered to provide further responses within 20 days of notice of this order.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: May 28, 2021    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s department,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: May 28, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to compel plaintiff’s responses to special and form interrogatories

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

This action was filed on August 22, 2016. The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

B. Relevant Background

On July 26, 2018, Judge Ralph C. Hofer entered the Judgment in this action. The Judgment stated that on July 20, 2018, the demurrer of Defendants was heard and argued before the Court and the Court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. Thus, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice as to Defendants on July 20, 2018 and Plaintiff was to take nothing from his complaint.

Plaintiff appealed.

On February 18, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in part. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of LASD because Plaintiff did not allege an official LASD policy or practice caused the infringement of his civil rights, but reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual capacity on the section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. On June 12, 2020, the Remittitur was issued and filed with this Court.

On January 25, 2021, Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah filed an answer to the SAC.

C. Motion on Calendar

On March 12, 2021, Defendants filed a motion to compel Plaintiff’s responses to Form Interrogatories (“FROG”) and Special Interrogatories (“SROG”). Although reserved as a motion to compel responses, the motion is for further responses. On April 13, 2021, Plaintiff filed opposition briefs. On April 20, 2021, Defendants filed reply briefs.

The matter initially came for hearing on April 30, 2021, which the Court continued to this date in order to give Defendants time to file and serve separate statements in support of the motion by May 7, 2021. The Court allowed Plaintiff to file and serve an amended opposition by May 21, 2021, and Defendants to file and serve an amended reply brief by May 25, 2021.

On May 7, 2021, Defendants filed 4 separate statements in support of the motion.[1]

On May 21, 2021, Plaintiff filed amended oppositions.

On May 25, 2021, Defendants filed a reply brief.

The Court notes that a motion to compel Plaintiff’s responses to requests for production is scheduled for June 4, 2021.

DISCUSSION

A. FROG

Defendants seek further responses to FROG Nos. 2.5, 2.12, 4.1, 6.4-6.7, 10.2-10.3, 11.1, 12.1, 12.6-12.7, 13.1-13.2, and 14.1-14.2.

FROG No. 2.5 seeks information about Plaintiff’s address. Plaintiff responded that he had no current address, his prior addresses were unavailable, and he did not disclose the dates for when he lived at any prior residences. Thus, a further response is warranted. The motion is granted as to FROG No. 2.5.

FROG No. 2.12 asks if Plaintiff or anyone else suffered from a physical, emotional, or mental disability/condition that may have contributed to the occurrence of the incident. Plaintiff responded that he does not have physical disability but that Defendants’ conduct made it worse, and he is not a medical/psychiatry expert but that Defendants contributed to his damages. However, again this is not responsive to the FROG as asked. Also, Plaintiff’s response is contradictory and should be clarified. The motion is granted as to FROG No. 2.12.

FROG No. 4.1 asks whether Plaintiff has any insurance policy that may cover the claims in this action. Plaintiff responded that he had no insurance, but only had medical insurance. However, this response is not fully responsive as it fails to address subsection (a) to (g) of No. 4.1. Moreover, medical insurance is insurance. Thus, the motion is granted as to FROG No. 4.1.

FROG No. 6.4 seeks information about any consultation/examination by Plaintiff’s health care providers as a result of the incident. FROG No. 6.7 seeks information about whether any health care provider advised Plaintiff of future/additional treatment for injuries. Plaintiff objected on the basis of privilege and work product and that the FROGs called for expert opinion, were vague, and sought irrelevant information. He then additionally responded “Not applicable.” Plaintiff’s objections are overruled as he has not stated what claim of privilege he is relying on, the work product doctrine applies to attorneys, and the FROGs are not vague nor do they seek irrelevant information. Further, Plaintiff has not justified how these FROGs call for expert opinion when they instead seek basic information about whether Plaintiff sought medical attention a result of the incident. Also, the FROGs are not vague as to what the incident is regarding, particularly since Plaintiff is the one who initiated this action. The motion is granted as to FROG Nos. 6.4 and 6.7.

FROG No. 6.5 seeks information regarding medications taken by Plaintiff as a result of the incident. Plaintiff responded yes and listed 4 medications. However, Plaintiff has not answered each of the subparts (a) to (e) for this interrogatory. Thus, the motion is granted as to FROG No. 6.5.

FROG No. 6.6 seeks information regarding any other medical services necessitated by the incident. Plaintiff objected that this FROG was for automobile accidents, but attempted to respond to the FROG. However, there is no such limitation in the language of the FROG so as to limit it only to automobile accidents. Further, Plaintiff’s responses to (a) to (d) are not fully responsive to each subpart as asked in the FROG. The motion is granted as to FROG No. 6.7.

FROG No. 10.2 asks for all physical, mental, and emotional disabilities Plaintiff had before the incident. FROG No. 10.3 asks if any time before the incident Plaintiff suffered injuries for which he is now claiming damages. Plaintiff objected that the FROGs sought irrelevant information and then he responded: “Not applicable.” The FROGs seek relevant information that is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Further, a “party cannot state, ‘not applicable’ where the interrogatory is clearly applicable to him.” (Deyo v. Kilbourne The motion is granted as to FROG Nos. 10.2-10.3.

FROG No. 11.1 asks whether Plaintiff has filed an action or made a written claim for personal injuries in the past 10 years. Plaintiff objected that on the grounds of vagueness and irrelevance, but responded that he filed 1 personal injury lawsuit on 7/8/16 which is no longer pending in court. However, Plaintiff has not responded to subparts (a) to (f) of the FROG. Thus, his response is incomplete. The motion is granted as to FROG No. 11.1.

FROG No. 12.1 seeks witness information. Plaintiff objected that the FROG is for automobile accidents, the term “incident” is vague, and irrelevance. The objections are overruled for the same reasons as above. The FROG is not limited to automobile accidents, it seeks relevant information, and the terms are not vague. Thus, the motion is granted as to FROG No. 12.1.

FROG Nos. 12.6 and 12.7 seek information about reports and inspections made concerning the incident. Plaintiff objected on the grounds that the FROGs were intended for automobile accidents, the term “incident” is vague, and the information sought is protected. Plaintiff responded that police reports were made, which are in the possession of the Altadena sheriff’s department and that he will provide pictures and documents when they become available to him. As discussed above, the objections lack merit. Further, Plaintiff has not responded to each subpart of Nos. 12.6 and 12.7, such that the responses are not complete. The motion is granted as to FROG Nos. 12.6-12.7.

FROG Nos. 13.1 and 13.2 seek information about persons conducting surveillance of any individual involved in the incident and any reports thereto. FROG Nos. 14.1 and 14.2 seek information about whether any persons violated any statute, ordinance, or regulations that proximately caused the incident and whether any person was cited or charged.

Plaintiff objected on the same grounds as above and responded: “Not applicable.” Again, the objections lack merit. The FROGs seek straightforward information from Plaintiff. To the extent that no surveillance or written reports thereto exist, he should state as much in response. The motion is granted as to FROG Nos. 13.1-13.2 and 14.1-14.2.

Defendants’ motion to compel Plaintiff’s further responses to FROG Nos. 2.5, 2.12, 4.1, 6.4-6.7, 10.2-10.3, 11.1, 12.1, 12.6-12.7, 13.1-13.2, and 14.1-14.2 is granted.

B. Lt. Stewart’s SROGs

SROG Nos. 1-20 ask for facts about Plaintiff’s allegations and contentions alleged in the complaint about the underlying facts of the case, Plaintiff and Nancy Kevorkian’s alleged damages, violations of the Penal Code, etc. SROG No. 21 asks Plaintiff to list all documents/writings which support his claims for damages. SROG No. 22 asks Plaintiff to identify and provide the contact information of individuals with knowledge or documents relating to the August 22, 2014 incident. SROG Nos. 23- 25 seek information related to any medical assistance/treatment Plaintiff received as a result of the incident; contact information of the paramedic, doctor, or other persons providing medical assistance/treatment; and list of documents/writings showing the medical assistance/treatment he received as a result of the incident.

Plaintiff objected that the SROGs were argumentative, unintelligible, overbroad, burdensome, irrelevant, and vague; calls for privilege and work product; prematurely seeks expert opinion, etc.

These sets of objections are clearly “boilerplate” in nature. Where such general “boilerplate” objections are made, this Court has the authority to order a further response. (See Best Prods., Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 1181, 1189.) Further, Plaintiff has not substantiated his objections. Rather, the SROGs are straightforward and are not vague or unintelligible in content, they seek relevant information about Plaintiff’s allegations in the complaint, Plaintiff is not an attorney and cannot claim work product protections, and the information sought does not seek information subject to expert opinions.

Thus, the motion is granted as to Lt. Stewart’s SROG Nos. 1-25.

C. Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut’s SROGs

SROG Nos. 1-18 ask for facts about Plaintiff’s allegations and contentions alleged in the complaint. SROG No. 19 asks Plaintiff to list all documents/writings which support his claims for damages. SROG No. 20 asks Plaintiff to identify and provide the contact information of individuals with knowledge or documents relating to the August 22, 2014 incident. SROG Nos. 21-23 seek information related to any medical assistance/treatment Plaintiff received as a result of the incident; contact information; and list of documents/writings thereto.

For the same reasons discussed above, the motion is granted as to Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut’s SROG Nos. 1-23.

D. Deputy Abdulfattah’s SROGs

SROG Nos. 1-17 ask for facts about Plaintiff’s allegations and contentions alleged in the complaint. SROG No. 18 asks Plaintiff to list all documents/writings which support his claims for damages. SROG No. 19 asks Plaintiff to identify and provide the contact information of individuals with knowledge or documents relating to the August 22, 2014 incident. SROG Nos. 20-22 seek information related to any medical assistance/treatment Plaintiff received as a result of the incident; contact information; and list of documents/writings thereto.

For the same reasons discussed above, the motion is granted as to Deputy Abdulfattah’s SROG Nos. 1-22.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah’ motion to compel Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian’s further responses to the Form Interrogatories and Special Interrogatories is granted.

Plaintiff is ordered to provide further responses within 20 days of notice of this order.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.


[1] For future discovery motions, Defendants should reserve and file separate motions for separate sets of discovery. Here, Defendant filed a single motion to compel initial responses, but the motion is actually a motion to compel further responses to 4 separate sets of discovery (1 FROG and 3 SROGs). Filing each motion separately will aid the Court in managing its calendar.

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: April 30, 2021    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s department,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: April 30, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

(1) motion to strike Defendants’ answer or affirmative defenses

(2) motion to compel plaintiff’s responses to special and form interrogatories

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

This action was filed on August 22, 2016. The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

B. Relevant Background

On July 26, 2018, Judge Ralph C. Hofer entered the Judgment in this action. The Judgment stated that on July 20, 2018, the demurrer of Defendants was heard and argued before the Court and the Court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. Thus, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice as to Defendants on July 20, 2018 and Plaintiff was to take nothing from his complaint.

Plaintiff appealed.

On February 18, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in part. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of LASD because Plaintiff did not allege an official LASD policy or practice caused the infringement of his civil rights, but reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual capacity on the section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. On June 12, 2020, the Remittitur was issued and filed with this Court.

On January 25, 2021, Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah filed an answer to the SAC.

C. Motions on Calendar

On February 2, 2021, Plaintiff filed a motion to strike Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blachfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah (“Defendants”) answer or affirmative defenses to the SAC. On April 15, 2021, Defendants filed an opposition to the motion to strike. On April 21, 2021, Plaintiff filed a reply brief.

On March 12, 2021, Defendants filed a motion to compel Plaintiff’s responses to Form Interrogatories (“FROG”) and Special Interrogatories (“SROG”). On April 13, 2021, Plaintiff filed opposition briefs. On April 20, 2021, Defendants filed reply briefs.

DISCUSSION RE MOTION TO STRIKE

Plaintiff moves to strike Defendants’ answer or affirmative defenses, arguing that the 6 affirmative defenses alleged are insufficient, immaterial, and fail to form defenses against his case. Plaintiff argues that the 6 affirmative defenses asserted by Defendants are: (1) lack of damages or loss; (2) acted in good faith/due care; (3) defendants’ acts have standing; (4) force was reasonable; (5) complaint (SAC) has no standing; and (6) statute of limitations is extended for defendants. (Mot. at p.5.)

However, Defendants’ affirmative defenses asserted in the answer are somewhat different than Plaintiff’s characterization. In the answer, Defendants assert affirmative defenses alleging that: (1) Plaintiff’s damages were caused by his carelessness and negligence, such that damages should be proportionately reduced; (2) Defendants were engaged in the performance of their duties as deputies and are entitled to qualified immunity; (3) Defendants’ actions were lawful and proper and there was probable cause to detain/arrest Plaintiff; (4) Defendants’ use of force was caused and necessitated by Plaintiff’s action and was self-defense; (5) the complaint is barred by immunities under Government Code, §§ 815.2, 820.2, 820.4, 820.8, and 821.6; and (6) they reserve the right to assert additional affirmative defenses.

Plaintiff argues that Defendants have not supported their affirmative defenses with facts, such as how Defendants acted in good faith and without malice. (Answer, ¶4.) He also argues that Defendants’ reservation of affirmative defenses should be stricken.

The Court will grant the motion to strike portions of the answer. Defendant fails to specifically plead ultimate facts to support how these defenses apply to bar Plaintiff’s remaining cause of action against them or absolve them from liability. (FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashimi (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 367, 384 [stating that answer must aver facts as carefully as “new matter” pursuant to CCP §431.30(b) and with as much detail as the facts which constitute the cause of action and which are alleged in the complaint].) “The same pleading of ‘ultimate facts’ rather than ‘evidentiary’ matter or ‘legal conclusions’ is required as in pleading the complaint.” (Civ. Proc. Before Trial, Rutter Guide (June 2017 Update) Ch. 6-C, §6:459.) “The answer must aver facts ‘as carefully and with as much detail as the facts which constitute the cause of action and which are alleged in the complaint.’” (Id. [quoting FPI Development, supra, 231 Cal.App.3d at 384].) “In general, any issue on which defendant bears the burden of proving at trial is ‘new matter’ and must be specially pleaded in the answer.” (Civ. Proc. Before Trial, supra, §6:431.)

Further, Defendants’ 6th affirmative defense reserving the right to assert additional affirmative defenses will also be stricken. To the extent that Defendants seek to assert additional affirmative defenses, they should move to amend the pleading with the Court pursuant to code.

DISCUSSION RE MOTION TO COMPEL

Defendants move to compel Plaintiff’s responses to the SROG and FROG. The caption of the notice of motion does not indicate that this motion is a motion to compel further responses, as opposed to a motion to compel initial responses to discovery. Based on the substance of the arguments in the moving papers, it appears that this is a motion to compel further responses.

On January 25, 2021, Defendants served on Plaintiff the discovery requests. Defendants argue that they received Plaintiff’s responses on February 24, 2021, but that the responses were unresponsive and had unmeritorious objections. As responses/objections were provided (even if unsatisfactory to Defendants and counsel), the appropriate motion would be a motion to compel further responses, as opposed to a motion to compel initial responses.

To the extent this was supposed to be a motion to compel further responses, the motion is not accompanied by a separate statement. (See CCP § 2030.300(b)(2); CRC Rule 3.1345(a).) Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s responses to the SROG and FROG include the same objections and that only some of Plaintiff’s answer to the FROG are responsive. At most, Defendants only cite to SROG Nos. 6, 8, and 19, but the Court is not aware of whether only these three SROGs are at issue or if the entirety of the SROGs is at issue. It is also unclear which FROGs are at issue.

As this motion is not accompanied by separate statements and Defendants have not informed the Court with what SROG and FROG requests are at issue, the Court will continue the hearing on the motion so that Defendants may file separate statements to accompany their motion to compel further responses to the SROG and FROG.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Plaintiff’s motion to strike Defendants’ answer to the SAC is granted with 20 days leave to amend.

Defendants’ motion to compel appears to be a motion to compel Plaintiff’s further responses to the SROG and FROG. The Court continued to May 21, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. If Defendants intend to go forward with this motion, Defendants are ordered to file and serve separate statements in support of the motions regarding the FROG and SROG at issue by April 29, 2021. Plaintiff may file and serve an amended opposition by May 10, 2021. Defendants may file and serve an amended reply brief by May 14, 2021.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: April 9, 2021    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s department,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: April 9, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion for monetary sanctions against three defendants and their attorneys of record under CCP § 128.5

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

This action was filed on August 22, 2016. The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

Based on the Court of Appeal’s February 18, 2020 opinion and June 12, 2020 Remittitur, the only remaining cause of action is Plaintiff’s section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against the three LASD officers in their individual capacity.

On January 25, 2021, Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah filed an answer to the SAC.

B. Motion on Calendar

On March 11, 2021, Plaintiff filed a motion for $25,000 in monetary sanctions pursuant to CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7 against Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah and their counsel, Raymond J. Fuentes and Ronald Tran. Plaintiff seeks $5,000 against each of the individual defendants and $10,000 against counsel.

On March 24, 2021, Defendants filed an opposition to the motion.

On April 2, 2021, Plaintiff filed a reply brief.

LEGAL STANDARD

CCP §128.5(a) states: “A trial court may order a party, the party's attorney, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.” Section 128.5(b) defines “actions or tactics” to include, but are not limited to, the making or opposing of motions or the filing and service of a complaint, cross-complaint, answer, or other responsive pleading. The Court uses an objective standard when evaluating motions that are alleged to have violated section 128.5. (San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1306, 1318 [finding that the trial court erred by concluding the lack of evidence of subjective bad faith required denial of the sanctions motion].) The issue on a sanctions motion is whether the claim was “frivolous” meaning “totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party.” (Id.)

A violation of any of the conditions of CCP § 128.7(b), which includes: (1) improper purpose; (2) frivolous claims, defenses or contentions; (3) lack of evidentiary support or likely support; and (4) lack of evidentiary support or reasonable bases on lack of information as to denials), may support an award of sanctions. (Eichenbaum v. Alon (2003) 106 Cal. App. 4th 967, 976.) Whether a claim, defense or contention is frivolous is measured objectively. (Bockrath v. Aldrich Chem. Co. (1999) 21 Cal.4th 71, 82; CCP § 128.5 [defining “frivolous” as being totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party].) Furthermore, CCP § 128.7 requires bad faith conduct by the person to be sanctioned. (Interstate Specialty Marketing, Inc. v. ICRA Sapphire, Inc. (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 708, 710 [“attaching the wrong draft of a contract … to a … complaint does not appear to be, under the particular circumstances of this case …, sanctionable at all…. Only lamentable inattention was shown ….”].)

DISCUSSION

In his motion, Plaintiff argues that Defendants’ motion to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant was frivolous because it exceeded 270 pages/documents and that the motion for judgment on the pleadings (“MJOP”) claiming collateral estoppel was frivolous. He argues that Defendants and their counsel should be subject to monetary sanctions pursuant to CCP §§ 128.5(f) and 128.7. He also argues that defense counsel should be disqualified from this case.

A. Safe Harbor Provision

Prior to filing such a motion, the moving party must exercise due diligence by: (A) separately filing this motion from other motions or requests and describe the tactic made in bad faith that is frivolous; and (B) serving notice of the motion pursuant to section 1010, but not filing it with the court within 21 days after service of the motion. (CCP § 128.5(f)(1)(A)-(B).)

According to CCP § 128.7(c)(1), a motion for sanctions shall be made separately from other motions or requests and shall describe the specific conduct alleged to violate subsection (b). Notice of the motion must be served pursuant to CCP § 1010, but shall not be filed with the Court until 21 days (or any other period as the court may prescribe) after it has been served. (CCP § 128.7(c)(1).) “This allows the party against whom sanctions are sought an opportunity—i.e., a ‘safe harbor’—to withdraw or correct the challenged paper and thereby avoid sanctions.” (Rutter Guide, Cal. Prac. Guide Civ. Pro. Before Trial (June 2018 Update) Ch. 9(III)-C, § 9:1196.)

Plaintiff argues that he has satisfied the safe harbor provision because he sent notice to defense counsel on November 11, 2020 and November 27, 2020 that they must withdraw their frivolous motion for judgment on the pleadings or else he would seek sanctions. (Mot. at Ex. A.)

As an initial matter, the motion for sanctions is not appropriate against the motion to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant. Defendants filed that motion on August 17, 2020 and the hearing was on October 30, 2020. Plaintiff has not shown that he served a notice of motion for sanctions pursuant to CCP § 128.5 for the motion to declare him a vexatious litigant. Thus, to the extent that Plaintiff was seeking sanctions against Defendants and counsel regarding the motion to declare him a vexatious litigant, the motion for sanctions is denied for failure of Plaintiff to comply with the safe harbor provision.

Next, the letters served by Plaintiff on Defendants and their counsel regarding the MJOP does not satisfy the requirements of CCP § 128.5 (or section 128.7, to the extent Plaintiff is also moving under this section). While Plaintiff’s letters state his intention to file a motion for sanctions if the MJOP was not withdrawn, he did not serve on them a notice of the motion pursuant to CCP § 1010. This same notice of motion was required to have been filed with the Court within 21 days of service. In other words, Plaintiff was required to serve the 4-page notice of motion on Defendants prior to filing the same notice of motion and motion papers with the Court on March 11, 2021.

As he has not properly complied with the safe harbor provision, the motion is denied on this basis.

B. Request for Sanctions

Even if the Court were to find that Plaintiff satisfied the safe harbor provision as to the MJOP, there are grounds to deny the motion for sanctions.

Plaintiff argues with respect to the MJOP that defense counsel should have known that the issues in this case had not been “actually litigated” in the first lawsuit (BC596795); rather, the first lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice based on Plaintiff’s third failed attempt at a request for entry of default judgment. Thus, he argues that the MJOP was frivolous and filed deliberately and intentionally to harass him.

In opposition, Defendants also explain that their MJOP was properly filed because this action was duplicative of Plaintiff’s first action at Stanley Mosk and is indicative of Plaintiff’s attempt to forum shop. Defendants also argue that they were not aware that Plaintiff was maintaining two cases against them or that the first action had been filed in Stanley Mosk until this action was on appeal.

The Court does not find that Defendants’ action in filing the MJOP was frivolous. While the MJOP was ultimately denied, a denial of a motion in itself is not sufficient to deem it frivolous. Even in Plaintiff’s letters to Defendants and their counsel, Plaintiff does not explain the reason why the MJOP was frivolous, other than arguing that it was filed in order to harass him and cause unnecessary delay—there were no arguments that the MJOP lacked merit because the elements of collateral estoppel had not been met.

In addition, Plaintiff has not shown his entitlement to sanctions under sections 128.5 and 128.7. Section 128.5 allows for the Court to order a party, the party’s attorney, or both to pay reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by the other party. (CCP § 128.5(a).) Section 128.7 allows for an appropriate sanction upon attorneys, law firms, or parties that violate the section, including reasonable attorney’s fees. (CCP § 128.7(c), (d).)

Here, Plaintiff seeks $5,000 against each of the 3 Defendants and $10,000 against defense counsel. He has not supported how he reached these figures or what they are intended to compensate him for, such as reasonable attorney’s fees (Plaintiff is a self-represented litigant).[1] He argues that he spent over 100 hours on the demand and notice to withdraw the MJOP and to file this motion for sanctions, but Plaintiff has not shown that he is a licensed attorney.

Plaintiff also argues that he is entitled to an award of reasonable expenses pursuant to CCP § 1987.2(a). (See Mot. at p.7.) Section 1987.2 allows an award of sanctions for filing a motion pursuant to sections 1987 or 1987.1 (re subpoenas). This motion for sanctions was brought pursuant to CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7, and did not seek sanctions in connection with a subpoena motion.

Thus, the motion for sanctions is denied.

C. Request to Disqualify Defense Counsel

Plaintiff argues that the Court should disqualify defense counsel for filing frivolous motions, arguing that the Court has the power to “control in furtherance of justice, the conduct of its ministerial officers, and of all other persons in any manner connected with a judicial proceeding before it, in every matter pertaining thereto.” (CCP § 128(a)(5).)

The Court declines to disqualify defense counsel from the action. Further, to the extent that Plaintiff seeks to disqualify counsel, it is not appropriate to do so in this motion for sanctions nor has he stated the proper legal basis for disqualification of counsel.

The request to disqualify counsel is denied.

D. Defendants’ Request for Sanctions

CCP § 128.7(h) states: “A motion for  brought by a party or a party's attorney primarily for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation, shall itself be subject to a motion for sanctions. It is the intent of the Legislature that courts shall vigorously use its sanctions authority to deter that improper conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated.”

In opposition, Defendants request sanctions under CCP § 128.7(h) against Plaintiff for continuing to act like a vexatious litigant, providing deficient discovery responses, misstating legal authority, misquoting judges and defense counsel, seeking recusal of multiple judges and defense counsel, improper forum shopping, and failing to notice Defendants on his motions.

While Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions was ultimately not meritorious on procedural and substantive grounds, the Court declines to award sanctions to Defendants against Plaintiff.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions is denied.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.


[1] See e.g., Electronic Universe, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Cal. Ct. App., Feb. 20, 2019) 2019 WL 698011, at *3, wherein the Court of Appeal stated:

Reece, who was self-represented, did not show that he incurred any attorney fees or other expenses. Reece's moving declaration merely requested “a monetary sanction of $ 5,000 ... to deter repetition of such conduct[.]” Due to Reece's failure to establish that he incurred any attorney fees or other expenses (§ 128.7, subd. (d) ), the trial court lacked statutory authority to award Reece monetary sanctions in any amount. (See also Trope v. Katz Musaelian v. Adams

(Electronic Universe, supra, 2019 WL 698011, at *3 [citing Trope v. Katz (1995) 11 Cal.4th 274, 285 (finding that a non-attorney cannot receive compensation for valuable time they spent litigating a matter on their own behalf)].)

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: March 26, 2021    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s department,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: March 26, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion under ccp § 391.8 for order to vacate prefiling order and remove plaintiff from judicial council vexatious litigant list issued under ccp § 391.7(a) from judge “kralik”

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

This action was filed on August 22, 2016. The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

Based on the Court of Appeal’s February 18, 2020 opinion and June 12, 2020 Remittitur, the only remaining cause of action is Plaintiff’s section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against the three LASD officers in their individual capacity.

On January 25, 2021, Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah filed an answer to the SAC.

B. Motion on Calendar

On February 26, 2021, Plaintiff filed a motion under CCP § 391.8 for an order vacating the prefiling order and removing Plaintiff from the vexatious litigant list issued pursuant to CCP § 391.7(a) in a different case (Case No. BC626405).

On March 5, 2021, Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah (“Defendants”) filed an opposition to the motion.

On March 18, 2021, Plaintiff filed a reply brief.

LEGAL STANDARD

CCP § 391.8 states:

(a) A vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 391.7 may file an application to vacate the prefiling order and remove his or her name from the Judicial Council's list of vexatious litigants subject to prefiling orders. The application shall be filed in the court that entered the prefiling order, either in the action in which the prefiling order was entered or in conjunction with a request to the presiding justice or presiding judge to file new litigation under Section 391.7. The application shall be made before the justice or judge who entered the order, if that justice or judge is available. If that justice or judge who entered the order is not available, the application shall be made before the presiding justice or presiding judge, or his or her designee.

(b) A vexatious litigant whose application under subdivision (a) was denied shall not be permitted to file another application on or before 12 months has elapsed after the date of the denial of the previous application.

(c) A court may vacate a prefiling order and order removal of a vexatious litigant's name from the Judicial Council's list of vexatious litigants subject to prefiling orders upon a showing of a material change in the facts upon which the order was granted and that the ends of justice would be served by vacating the order.

(CCP § 391.8.)

DISCUSSION

A. Prefiling Order and Relevant Background of the Hastings Action

On February 11, 2019, in Case No. BC626405 Antranik Kevorkian v. Lisa Hastings (“Hastings Action”), the Court granted in part and denied in part defendant Lisa Hastings’ motion to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant. The Court found that Ms. Hastings had established that Plaintiff was a “vexatious litigant” within the meaning of CCP § 391 and thereby entered a prefiling order pursuant to CCP § 391.7, prohibiting Plaintiff from filing any new litigation in the courts of this state in propia persona without first obtaining leave of the presiding justice or presiding judge of the court where litigation was proposed to be filed. The Court denied without prejudice the relief requested under sections 391.1 and 391.3 (i.e., requiring Plaintiff to furnish security prior to filing new litigation and not allowing him to proceed in forma pauperis). That same day, the Court entered a Prefiling Order – Vexatious Litigant (Form VL-100) against Plaintiff.

On March 22, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (CCP § 1008(a)) of the February 11, 2019 ruling declaring him a vexatious litigant Action.

On April 8, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff’s “Order on Application to Vacate Prefiling Order and Remove Plaintiff/Petitioner from Judicial Council Vexatious Litigant List” (Form VL-125).

On June 14, 2019, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion to set aside the orders entered on February 11, 2019, March 22, 2019, and April 8, 2019.

Plaintiff appealed. On April 22, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued a Remittitur, attaching a decision dated January 23, 2020. The Court of Appeal affirmed this Court’s June 14, 2019 order denying Plaintiff’s CCP § 473(d) motion to set aside the prefiling order.

B. Merits of Motion

As pointed out by Defendants in their opposition brief, Plaintiff’s motion is not properly filed in this action. As stated in section 391.8(a), the application shall be filed in the court that entered the prefiling order, either in the action in which the prefiling order was entered or in conjunction with a request to the presiding justice or presiding judge to file new litigation under Section 391.7. If the judge or justice who entered the order is not available, the application shall be made before the presiding justice or presiding judge.

While this Court in Department B entered the prefiling order against Plaintiff, the order was made in Case No. BC626405, Antranik Kevorkian v. Lisa Hastings. Thus, Plaintiff should file this motion in the Hastings Action. Doing so will provide defendant Lisa Hastings in Case No. BC626405 with notice of the motion, as well as an opportunity to oppose the motion. Alternatively, Plaintiff may bring this motion in conjunction with a request to the presiding justice or presiding judge to file new litigation.[1]

Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion is denied as it was not properly filed in this action.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Plaintiff’s motion to vacate the prefiling order and remove him from the vexatious litigant list is denied.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.


[1] Defendants do not make any substantive arguments and only make procedural arguments.

The other argument Defendants make is that the motion is untimely because Plaintiff last filed an application to vacate the prefiling order on March 26, 2019, which was denied by the Court, such that his current motion filed on February 26, 2021 is untimely. However, CCP § 391.8(b) states that Plaintiff cannot bring another such application within 12 months of the denial of the application. Here, the application to vacate the prefiling order was denied on April 8, 2019 in the Hastings Action and Plaintiff filed this motion on February 26, 2021 in this EC065694 action, which is over a year.

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: January 15, 2021    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s department,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: January 15, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion for judgment on the pleadings

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

This action was filed on August 22, 2016. The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

B. Relevant Background

On July 26, 2018, Judge Ralph C. Hofer entered the Judgment in this action. The Judgment stated that on July 20, 2018, the demurrer of Defendants was heard and argued before the Court and the Court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. Thus, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice as to Defendants on July 20, 2018 and Plaintiff was to take nothing from his complaint.

Plaintiff appealed.

On February 18, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in part. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of LASD because Plaintiff did not allege an official LASD policy or practice caused the infringement of his civil rights, but reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual capacity on the section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. On June 12, 2020, the Remittitur was issued and filed with this Court.

C. Motion on Calendar

On November 23, 2020, Defendants LASD, Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blachfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah (“Defendants”) filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the SAC.

On December 29, 2020, Kevorkian filed an opposition brief.

On January 5, 2021, Defendants filed a reply brief.

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

In the motion papers, Defendants request judicial notice of this Court’s October 30, 2020 ruling on Defendants’ motion to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant, wherein the Court took judicial notice of the case Antranik Kevorkian v. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, et al. in Case No. BC596795 filed at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (hereinafter, “First Lawsuit”). (See Notice of Motion at p.2.) The request to take judicial notice of the First Lawsuit is granted. (Evid. Code, § 452(d).)

DISCUSSION

As summarized above, the only remaining cause of action in the SAC is Plaintiff’s claim under title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment against the Defendants Lt. Stewart, Sgt. Blanchfield-Gadut, and Deputy Abdulfattah in their individual capacities only.

Defendants move for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the SAC is duplicative to the First Lawsuit filed at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. The First Lawsuit was filed on October 5, 2015—nearly a year before this EC065694 case was filed. On August 15, 2016, Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos of Department 26 dismissed the First Lawsuit without prejudice. Defendants argue that the First Lawsuit asserts the same causes of action as this action, they were unaware of the First Lawsuit until a March 9, 2018 hearing on a demurrer to the FAC when Plaintiff represented that he had complied with the Tort Claims Act based on his filing of the First Lawsuit, and they were never served with the summons and complaint from the First Lawsuit. Thus, Defendants argue that collateral estoppel bars Plaintiff’s SAC in this action.

Collateral estoppel, or issue preclusion, precludes the relitigation of issues argued and decided in prior proceedings and applies only if: “(1) the issue is identical to an issue decided in a prior proceeding; (2) the issue was actually litigated; (3) the issue was necessarily decided; (4) the decision in the prior proceeding is final and on the merits; and (5) the party against whom collateral estoppel is asserted was a party to the prior proceeding or in privity with a party to the prior proceeding.” (Gabriel v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 547, 556.)

The issues in this action are essentially identical to the issues in the First Lawsuit. The complaint in the First Lawsuit alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; (2) false imprisonment; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and (13) of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism against County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Lt. Stewart, Abduljajjah, and Gadut. The allegations of the First Lawsuit arise out of Plaintiff’s visit to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. with his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian. (First Lawsuit Compl., ¶2.) He alleges that Defendants came to Nancy’s property that evening and stole her belongings. (Id.) He alleges that they accused Plaintiff of various criminal acts and detained/arrested him on August 22, 2014 without any legal basis. (Id.) Similarly, this action involves the same allegations based on the August 22, 2014 incident and alleges nearly the same six causes of action.

However, the issues in the First Lawsuit were not “actually litigated.” An issue is “actually litigated” when it is properly raised by the pleadings or otherwise, is submitted for determination, and is determined. (Castillo v. City of Los Angeles In contrast, “a dismissal for failure to prosecute or to obey court orders does not have any collateral estoppel effect because a penalty dismissal does not adjudicate any issues in the case” (as opposed to applying res judicata). (Hardy v. America's Best Home Loans

The First Action was dismissed without prejudice based on Plaintiff’s third failed attempt at a request for entry of default judgment. In denying his attempts at request for default judgment, the Court found that Plaintiff’s declarations failed to substantiate his damages, his damages requests were inconsistent from the first to third attempts at default judgment, there was no declaration from medical professionals to attest to his level of emotional distress, and there were no proofs of service showing that the statement of damages was served on Defendants. (See First Lawsuit’s 8/15/16 Minute Order.) Thus, it appears that there was no actual litigation of the issues raised in the First Action and no determination of the issues was actually made. Accordingly, the Court does not find Defendants have established the elements of collateral estoppel.

The collateral estoppel effect of a California Court order must be decided under California procedural law.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings is denied.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.

Case Number: EC065694    Hearing Date: October 30, 2020    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

ANTRANIK kevorkian,

Plaintiff,

vs.

County of Los Angeles sheriff’s deparatment,

Defendant.

Case No.: EC065694

Hearing Date: October 30, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to declare plaintiff a vexatious litigant

Background

A. Allegations

Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian (“Plaintiff”) alleges that he and his sister-in-law Nancy Kevorkian went to the Altadena Sheriff’s Department on August 22, 2014 so that Ms. Kevorkian could file a complaint against deputies, alleging they had come to her property earlier that evening and stolen her belongings. He alleges that when he stood with her in the lobby, he was accused of various criminal acts that never occurred and was arrested and detained by excessive force. This action was brought against Defendants Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (“LASD”), Lt. Tracy Stewart, Sgt. Patrick Blanchfield Gadut, and Deputy Tareq Abdulfattah.

Plaintiff is a self-represented litigant.

The second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed May 18, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; (2) violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (3) negligence; (4) violation of Article 1, Sections 7(a) and 13 of the California Constitution; (5) intentional infliction of physical and emotional pain and distress; and (6) racism.

B. Relevant Background

On July 26, 2018, Judge Ralph C. Hofer entered the Judgment in this action. The Judgment stated that on July 20, 2018, the demurrer of Defendants was heard and argued before the Court and the Court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. Thus, the Court dismissed the action with prejudice as to Defendants on July 20, 2018 and Plaintiff was to take nothing from his complaint.

Plaintiff appealed.

On February 18, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued its opinion affirming the judgment in part and reversing in part. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in favor of LASD because Plaintiff did not allege an official LASD policy or practice caused the infringement of his civil rights, but reversed the judgment as to the three LASD officers in their individual capacity on the section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. On June 12, 2020, the Remittitur was issued and filed with this Court.

By way of background, Plaintiff Antranik Kevorkian was placed on the Vexatious Litigant List on February 11, 2019 in LASC Case No. BC626405 (Antranik Kevorkian v. Lisa Ann Hastings).

C. Motion on Calendar

On August 17, 2020, Defendants LASD, Stewart, Blachfield-Gadut, and Abdulfattah (“Defendants”) filed a motion to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant under CCP §391(b)(1)-(3) and to furnish security in accordance with CCP §391.3(a).

On October 13, 2020, Kevorkian filed an opposition brief.

On October 22, 2020, Defendants filed a reply brief.

LEGAL STANDARD

In any litigation pending in any court of this state, at any time until final judgment is entered, a defendant may move the court, upon notice and hearing, for an order requiring the plaintiff to furnish security or for an order dismissing the litigation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 391.3. The motion for an order requiring the plaintiff to furnish security shall be based upon the ground, and supported by a showing, that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and that there is not a reasonable probability that he or she will prevail in the litigation against the moving defendant.” (CCP §391.1.)

CCP §391.3 provides:

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), if, after hearing the evidence upon the motion, the court determines that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and that there is no reasonable probability that the plaintiff will prevail in the litigation against the moving defendant, the court shall order the plaintiff to furnish, for the benefit of the moving defendant, security in such amount and within such time as the court shall fix.

(b) If, after hearing evidence on the motion, the court determines that the litigation has no merit and has been filed for the purposes of harassment or delay, the court shall order the litigation dismissed. This subdivision shall only apply to litigation filed in a court of this state by a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order pursuant to Section 391.7 who was represented by counsel at the time the litigation was filed and who became in propria persona after the withdrawal of his or her attorney.

(c) A defendant may make a motion for relief in the alternative under either subdivision (a) or (b) and shall combine all grounds for relief in one motion.

(CCP §391.3.)

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

Defendants request judicial notice of: (A) LASC Case No. BC596795 (Antranik Kevorkian v. County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department), filed on October 5, 2015 and dismissed on August 15, 2016; (B) the February 11, 2019 Minute Order in LASC Case No. BC626405 (Antranik Kevorkian v. Lisa Ann Hastings), deeming Plaintiff a vexatious litigant; and (C) the Vexatious Litigant List maintained by the Judicial Council of California under CCP §391.7 where Plaintiff is listed as a vexatious litigant. Kevorkian objected to the request for judicial notice.

Defendants’ request for judicial notice is granted for Exhibits A-C. Kevorkian’s objections to the request for judicial notice are therefore overruled.

DISCUSSION

Defendants move for an order to declare Plaintiff a vexatious litigant and to require Plaintiff to post a bond.

First, with respect to Defendants’ request that Plaintiff be deemed a vexatious litigant, as acknowledged by Defendants and the Court’s judicial notice of Defendants’ documents, Plaintiff has already been deemed a vexatious litigant. As such, this request is moot. Plaintiff continues to be considered a vexatious litigant and he has not been taken off the Vexatious Litigant List.[1]

Second, Defendants request that Plaintiff be required to furnish security (unidentified amount) for the benefit of Defendants pursuant to CCP §391.3(a). Defendants argue that Plaintiff continues to act in a vexatious manner by filing unmeritorious claims and identical cases in different courthouses and that his tactics cause unnecessary delay and confusion in his proceedings against Defendants. They argue that Plaintiff has already been deemed a vexatious litigant and, therefore, this Court should order him to furnish security.

CCP § 391.3(a) has two requirements: (1) the Court’s determination that Plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and (2) there is no reasonable probability that Plaintiff will prevail in the litigation against Defendants. While Plaintiff’s vexatious litigant status was already determined in a separate case and this determination applies also in this case, Defendants have not upheld their burden in showing that Plaintiff will not prevail in his claims against the individual officer Defendants for Plaintiff’s section 1983 claim for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The Court of Appeal has indicated that Plaintiff has stated a cause of action and the Defendants have not put forth evidence showing that there is no reasonable probability that Plaintiff will prevail.

As such, the Court denies the motion for an order for Plaintiff to post bond in this case.

Conclusion and Order

Defendants’ motion for an order to deem Plaintiff a vexatious litigant is moot as Plaintiff has already been identified as a vexatious litigant in LASC Case No. BC626405 (Antranik Kevorkian v. Lisa Ann Hastings).

Defendants’ request that Plaintiff post a bond is denied.

Defendants shall provide notice of this order.


[1] In the reply brief, Defendants argue that Plaintiff has engaged in confusing delay tactics by filing various motions and ex parte applications and that they can show he should be declared a vexatious litigant in this matter.

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