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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/26/2019 at 14:44:36 (UTC).

BONNIE DUBOFF VS LINDA SCHERMER ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/21/2016 BONNIE DUBOFF filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against LINDA SCHERMER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ROBERT B. BROADBELT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7750

  • Filing Date:

    04/21/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

ROBERT B. BROADBELT

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

DOBOFF BONNIE

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1-10

SCHERMER FAMILY TRUST THE

SCHERMER LINDA

245 SPALDING PARTNERS LP

SCHERMER LINDA [TRUSTEE 1]

SCHERMER LINDA [TRUSTEE 2]

SCHERMER LINDA [TRUSTEE 3]

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

WEISSKOPF LAW

WEISSKOPF STEPHEN D. ESQ.

WEISSKOPF STEPHEN D

STINER CHRISTOPHER ERIC

Defendant Attorneys

WEINGARTEN ALEX M.

TOSCANO GUIDO EMERSON

 

Court Documents

STIPULATION AND ORDER FOR COURT TRIAL WITHOUT JURY AND WAIVER OF JURY DEMAND AND REFUND OF JURY FEES

1/10/2018: STIPULATION AND ORDER FOR COURT TRIAL WITHOUT JURY AND WAIVER OF JURY DEMAND AND REFUND OF JURY FEES

DEFENDANTS' EVIDENCE IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/ADJUDICATION FILED BY PLAINTIFF

1/12/2018: DEFENDANTS' EVIDENCE IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/ADJUDICATION FILED BY PLAINTIFF

DEFENDANTS' OBJECTIONS TO NEW EVIDENCE FIRST PRESENTED WITH THE REPLY AND NEW ARGUMENTS FIRST RAISED IN THE REPLY

1/23/2018: DEFENDANTS' OBJECTIONS TO NEW EVIDENCE FIRST PRESENTED WITH THE REPLY AND NEW ARGUMENTS FIRST RAISED IN THE REPLY

Minute Order

2/1/2018: Minute Order

Proof of Service

3/9/2018: Proof of Service

DEFENDANTS' REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

3/12/2018: DEFENDANTS' REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

JOINT EXHIBIT LIST

4/4/2018: JOINT EXHIBIT LIST

Minute Order

4/5/2018: Minute Order

ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS' COUNSEL'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL; DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

4/20/2018: ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS' COUNSEL'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL; DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY-CIVIL

5/15/2018: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY-CIVIL

Minute Order

6/1/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

11/20/2018: Minute Order

Declaration

12/10/2018: Declaration

Minute Order

8/19/2016: Minute Order

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER WITH REGARD TO THE SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS DIRECTED TO FISHMAN, BLOCK + DIAMOND; ETC.

9/29/2017: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER WITH REGARD TO THE SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS DIRECTED TO FISHMAN, BLOCK + DIAMOND; ETC.

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER WITH REGARD TO THE SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS DIRECTED TO LAPAZ, GORDON & HENRY CPAS

9/29/2017: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER WITH REGARD TO THE SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS DIRECTED TO LAPAZ, GORDON & HENRY CPAS

SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION. FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

10/20/2017: SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION. FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR ALTERNATIVE SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF BONNIE DUBOFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER SETTING LINDA SCHERMER'S DEPOSITION OR, ETC

11/13/2017: NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF BONNIE DUBOFF'S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER SETTING LINDA SCHERMER'S DEPOSITION OR, ETC

245 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/24/2019
  • at 11:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Non-Jury Trial ((Phase I of Bifurcated Trial)) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 05/24/2019
  • at 11:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 05/24/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference; Non-Jury Trial (Phase I of Bifurcat...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/24/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Trial Setting Conference; Non-Jury Trial (Phase I of Bifurcat...) of 05/24/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/19/2019
  • at 11:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 04/19/2019
  • at 11:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Non-Jury Trial ((Phase I of Bifurcated Trial)) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Non-Jury Trial (Phase I of Bifurcated Trial); Trial Setting C...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial (Phase I of Bifurcated Trial); Trial Setting C...) of 04/19/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/14/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Non-Jury Trial ((Phase I of Bifurcated Trial)) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 03/14/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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532 More Docket Entries
  • 08/16/2016
  • CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

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  • 08/16/2016
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by Bonnie Doboff (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/13/2016
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53; Unknown Event Type

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  • 06/09/2016
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/09/2016
  • NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND OF ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

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  • 04/25/2016
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

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  • 04/25/2016
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 04/21/2016
  • SUMMONS

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  • 04/21/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Bonnie Doboff (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/21/2016
  • VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC617750    Hearing Date: April 29, 2021    Dept: 1

Tentative Ruling

Judge David J. Cowan

Department 1


Hearing Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021

Case Name: Bonnie Duboff v. Linda Schermer, et al.

Case No.: BC617750; BP163594

Motion: Deem Cases Related

Moving Party: Defendant Linda Schermer

Responding Party: Plaintiff Bonnie Duboff

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motion is DENIED.

Plaintiff to give notice.

If counsel do not submit on the tentative, they are strongly encouraged to appear remotely by LA Court Connect rather than in person.


DISCUSSION

Cases are related when they (1) involve the same parties and are based on the same or similar claims, (2) arise from the same or substantially identical transactions, incidents, or events requiring the determination of the same or substantially identical questions of law or fact, (3) involve claims against, title to, possession of, or damages to the same property, or (4) are likely for other reasons to require substantial duplication of judicial resources if heard by different judges. (CRC 3.300(a).) In the event that the pertinent judge under CRC 3.300(h)(1) does not relate any of the cases set forth in a Notice of Related Case, Department 1 may relate the matters on noticed motion. (CRC 3.300(h)(1)(D); LASC Local Rule 3.3(f)(3).)

On August 17, 2017, Schermer filed Notices of Related Cases in civil case Bonnie Duboff v. Linda Schermer, et al. (LASC case no.) BC617750 and probate cases Estate of Samuel Schermer (case no. BP161462) and The Samuel Schermer and Lucille L. Schermer Inter Vivos Trust (case no. BP163594). On August 24, 2017, Judge Halm declined to relate the cases. On September 6, 2017, Schermer filed a Motion to Relate Cases in Department 1, seeking to relate BC617750, BP161462 and BP163594. On October 19, 2017, Judge Weintraub in Department 1 denied the Motion to Relate Cases. On March 16, 2021, Schermer filed a Renewed Motion to Relate Cases in Department 1 seeking the relation of civil case BC617750 and probate case BP163594 only (not BP161462). In order of filing:

Initially, Schermer argues this motion is timely under CCP sec. 1008(b) notwithstanding that the cases were deemed not related nearly four years ago on October 19, 2017. Legal argument does not constitute a “new or different facts, circumstances, or law” within the meaning of CCP sec. 1008. To “interpret the statute as the respondent urges would be contrary to the clear legislative intent to restrict motions to reconsider to circumstances where a party offers the court some fact or authority that was not previously considered by it.” (Gilberd v. AC Transit (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 1494, 1500.) Schermer herself admits Duboff's “new” arguments are in reality “the same arguments that [Schermer] raised to relate the cases in 2017 and then in 2018.” (Motion, p. 11; see Bohm Decl., Exh. 5 (Motion to Relate Cases filed September 6, 2017)) Judge Weintraub considered these arguments fully and rejected them, declining to relate the cases. (Bohm Decl., Exh. 7 (October 19, 2017 Order denying Motion to Relate Cases)) The Court therefore concludes the Motion is an untimely motion for reconsideration filed well over ten days after the October 19, 2017 Order denying the prior Motion to Relate Cases. (Id. (“a court acts in excess of jurisdiction when it grants a motion to reconsider that is not based upon ‘new or different facts…’”)) The Motion is DENIED on this ground.

Regardless, Schermer did not establish grounds to relate the cases. Schermer argues the cases involve the same parties--herself, Bonnie Duboff, and Deborah Scott--and the same or similar claims based on “alleged mismanagement of the Spalding Property by Linda, in her capacity as Trustee.” (Motion, p. 9-10.) But as Judge Weintraub recognized in declining to relate the cases, the claims in the civil case concerned Schermer’s obligations as the General Partner of 245 Spalding Partners, LP while the petitions in the probate case concerned Schermer’s obligations as Trustee. Schermer’s alleged misconduct in the civil case is framed entirely in terms of her duties to Spalding while the alleged misconduct in the probate case is couched in terms of fiduciary duties to the Trust and beneficiaries. Also, Scott is not a party to the civil case.

In reply, Schermer argues there is sufficient identity of parties and claims because “the General Partner of the Limited Partnership is the Surviving Trustors Trust, of which Linda is the Trustee, hence the civil action is a trustee removal action.” (Motion, p. 9-10 (“The General Partner for 245 Spalding Partners LP is the Surviving Trustors Trust, for which Linda is the sole Trustee.”)) This does not appear to be a new argument—Judge Weintraub specifically recognized that “the general partner [of Spalding] is Linda Schermer as trustee of the Surviving Trustor’s Trust under the Schermer Family Trust,” but nonetheless concluded Schermer’s status as general partner was not at issue in the probate cases and that her status as trustee was not at issue in the civil cases. The Court is unpersuaded Judge Weintraub erred in concluding the cases involve different parties asserting distinct claims.

Schermer argues the cases “involve claims against, title to, possession of, or damages to the same property” because the cases “involve the same claims related to the management of the Spalding Property,” which is owned by Spalding Partners (which is itself 99% owned by the Survivors Trust in BP163594). (Motion, p. 10.) But neither the civil complaint nor the probate petition for removal seek any relief regarding title to or possession of the Spalding Property, and damages to the Property are only at issue insofar as Schermer failed to timely deposit rent checks, provide tax information regarding the Property, and financial mismanagement of the Property (e.g. failure to make distributions and keep pace with the rental market). (Bohm Decl., Exh. 3-4.)  It is contended that this mismanagement damaged the limited partners of 245 Spalding Partners and the beneficiaries of the Trust due to loss of distributions and income from rentals at the Property; it is not contended that this damaged the property itself. There are no overlapping or competing “claims against, title to, possession of, or damages to the same property” in the cases.

The cases will not “require substantial duplication of judicial resources if heard by different judges.” Indeed, relation would not promote judicial efficiency here. The parties have already completed the first phase of a bifurcated trial in BC617750—Judge Broadbelt therefore already has significant familiarity with the civil case, and the second phase of trial is rapidly approaching beginning July 14, 2021. Reassignment of the civil case to a judge unfamiliar with the facts would not promote prompt resolution of the case or judicial economy. There would not be “substantial duplication of judicial resources” in Judge Small determining whether the probate case should be stayed pending trial in the civil case; rather, reassignment to Judge Small upon relation would be more inefficient by requiring Judge Small to prepare for the second phase of a bifurcated trial wherein the first phase was conducted by another officer. This is itself wasteful and duplicative of judicial resources.

Accordingly, the Renewed Motion is DENIED as untimely and lacking merit. Even if the Motion were meritorious, it is years too late and unsupported by new facts.

Plaintiff to give notice.

Case Number: BC617750    Hearing Date: February 01, 2021    Dept: 53

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles – Central District

Department 53

bonie duboff ,

Plaintiff,

vs.

linda schermer , et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC617750

Hearing Date:

February 1, 2021

Time:

10:00 a.m.

[Tentative] Order RE:

motion to compel the deposition of linda schermer and to compel a property inspection

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Bonnie Duboff

RESPONDING PARTY: Defendant Linda Schermer

Motion to Compel the Deposition of Linda Schermer and to Compel a Property Inspection

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Bonnie Duboff (“Plaintiff”) filed this action on April 21, 2016, against defendants Linda Schermer, individually (“Defendant”), Linda Schermer as Trustee of the Surviving Trustor’s Trust Under the Schermer Family Trust, Linda Schermer as Trustee of the Deceased Trustor’s Trust Under the Schermer Family Trust, and Linda Schermer as Trustee of the Marital Trust Under the Schermer Family Trust. This action arises out of a partnership dispute regarding the management of a 25-unit apartment building located in Beverly Hills, California (the “Spalding Building”).

On January 15, 16, and 18, 2019, the court conducted a nonjury trial in this action on phase one of a bifurcated trial on the issue of whether Plaintiff has standing to pursue derivative claims on behalf of 245 Spalding Partners, L.P. (the “Partnership”). On January 27, 2020, the court issued its tentative statement of decision finding that Plaintiff was a limited partner and had standing to bring the litigation. (Minute Order, filed January 27, 2020.) The court subsequently issued its statement of decision on phase one of the bifurcated trial on June 5, 2020.

On January 31, 2020, the court held a trial-setting conference and scheduled the nonjury trial on phase two of the bifurcated trial for October 28, 2020. (Minute Order, filed January 31, 2020.) On September 30, 2020, Defendant presented to the court an ex parte application for an order to continue the nonjury trial on phase two of the bifurcated trial. The court granted Defendant’s ex parte application and continued the nonjury trial on phase two of the bifurcated trial to March 17, 2021. The court also issued an order that “[a]ll discovery cut-off and discovery motion cut-off dates are reopened only for discovery requests (including notices of depositions) served before 9/30/20.” (Minute Order, filed September 30, 2020.)

On August 7, 2020, Plaintiff served on Defendant her (1) Notice of Deposition of Linda Schermer, and (2) Demand for Inspection of Real Property. (Weisskopf Decl., filed December 21, 2020, ¶ 4, Exs. A-B.) On September 30, 2020, Plaintiff re-served on Defendant the two discovery requests. On November 17, 2020, Defendant served responses and objections to each discovery request. (Bohm Decl., field December 31, 2020, ¶¶ 32-33, Exs. 25-26.)

Plaintiff now moves for an order (1) compelling Defendant to appear for deposition, and (2) compelling inspection of the Spalding Building. Plaintiff also requests sanctions against Defendant. Defendant opposes the motion.

DISCUSSION

  1. Motion to Compel Deposition

On December 11, 2017, Defendant appeared for a 7-hour deposition. (Bohm Decl., ¶ 25, Ex. 20.) Plaintiff now seeks to compel Defendant’s appearance for a second, half-day deposition. In her opposition to the motion, Defendant contends that Plaintiff is not entitled to another deposition of Defendant because, under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.610, subdivision (a), once a party has been deposed, that party may not be required to sit for a subsequent deposition. The court agrees. Section 2025.290, subdivision (a) provides that a deposition examination of a witness by all counsel, other than the witness’ counsel of record, shall be limited to seven hours of total testimony. Section 2025.610, subdivision (a) provides: “Once any party has taken the deposition of any natural person, including that of a party to the action, neither the party who gave, nor any other party who has been served with a deposition notice pursuant to 2025.240 may take a subsequent deposition of that deponent.”

Section 2025.610, subdivision (b) provides: “Notwithstanding subdivision (a), for good cause shown, the court may grant leave to take a subsequent deposition, and the parties, with the consent of any deponent who is not a party, may stipulate that a subsequent deposition be taken.” Although the court agrees with Defendant that Plaintiff is not entitled to take a second deposition of Defendant without a court order granting Plaintiff leave to do so, the court notes that Plaintiff argues in her motion that there is good cause for leave to take a subsequent deposition of Defendant. The court therefore exercises its discretion to deem Plaintiff’s motion to compel deposition as a motion for leave to take a subsequent deposition pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.610, subdivision (b).

In her motion, Plaintiff points out that it has been three years since Defendant’s December 2017 deposition. Plaintiff claims that the Spalding Building has fallen into greater disrepair and that Defendant has done little to nothing to renovate the property, lease vacant units, and generate income for the Partnership. Plaintiff also states that she recently learned through third party discovery that a significant structural defect was discovered in the Spalding Building within the last few years. Plaintiff contends that a subsequent deposition of Defendant is necessary for Plaintiff to prepare for trial and that Plaintiff should be able to update Defendant’s testimony as to the conditions of the property and Defendant’s conduct with respect to the property since the December 2017 deposition.

In response to the deposition notice, Defendant served objections on the grounds of relevancy, attorney-client privilege, burden, oppressiveness, and harassment. The court finds that these objections are without merit. In opposition to the motion, Defendant argues that Defendant’s December 2017 deposition was extensive and covered numerous topics relevant to this action. Defendant argues that there is no good cause to grant leave for a subsequent deposition because, since the conclusion of the first phase of the bifurcated trial, there has been no material change to the Spalding Building, and Defendant’s testimony at a second deposition would amount to a reiteration and confirmation of this fact.

After considering the arguments presented, the court finds that Plaintiff has shown good cause to take a subsequent deposition of Defendant under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.610, subdivision (b). Plaintiff has shown good cause to take a subsequent deposition of Defendant, which Plaintiff states would be a half-day deposition, because it has been more than three years since Defendant’s last deposition and Plaintiff should be able to update the testimony of Defendant as to the conditions of the Spalding Building as well as Defendant’s conduct with respect to the Spalding Building since her last deposition. The court therefore grants Plaintiff leave to take a subsequent deposition of Defendant. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.610, subd. (b).)

  1. Motion to Compel Inspection of Real Property

Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.010, subdivision (a) provides that any party may obtain discovery “by inspecting . . . land or other property . . . in the possession, custody, or control of any other party to the action.” On receipt of a response to a demand for inspection, the propounding party may move for an order compelling further responses if the propounding party deems that the response is deficient. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (a).)

The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the demand, and must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Code of Civil Procedure section 2016.040. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b).) “Good cause” may be found to justify discovery where specific facts show that the discovery is necessary for effective trial preparation or to prevent surprise at trial. (Associated Brewers Distributing Co. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (1967) 65 Cal.2d 583, 586-588; see also Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2017.010, 2019.030, subd. (a)(1) [information is discoverable if it is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and it is not unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive]; Lipton v. Superior Court (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1599, 1611-1612 [noting a “party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action . . . if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence . . . .”].)

Plaintiff presents evidence that (1) she served on Defendant her Demand for Inspection of Real Property (the Spalding Building), (2) Defendant served responses to the demand consisting of objections and has refused to allow access to the Spalding Building, and (3) Plaintiff’s counsel attempted to meet and confer in good faith prior to filing this motion. Plaintiff contends that Defendant’s objections to Plaintiff’s demand are not valid, except Defendant’s objections based on COVID-19 safety concerns. Plaintiff states that she will take whatever precautions are necessary to protect Defendant’s safety. Plaintiff argues that there is good cause justifying inspection of the Spalding Building because Plaintiff learned through third-party discovery that a significant structural defect was discovered in the Spalding Building within the last few years, and Defendant hid this information from Plaintiff even after the court found that Plaintiff is a limited partner.

In opposition, Defendant contends that there is no good cause to grant Plaintiff’s demand for a property inspection of the Spalding Building because Defendant is willing to attest under oath that the Spalding Building is in substantially the same condition as it was when Plaintiff last inspected it. Defendant also points out that Plaintiff possesses a 2019 report which fully describes the condition of the Spalding Building and the need for renovation.

In reply, Plaintiff argues that, even if Defendant is willing to attest to the condition of the Spalding Building under oath, Plaintiff is entitled to an independent inspection by her experts to determine the current state of the property since the last inspection over three years ago. Plaintiff also points out that the 2019 report will be outdated by the time of trial, and a two-year old report is not an appropriate substitute for Plaintiff’s physical inspection of the building.

The court finds that Plaintiff has set forth specific facts showing good cause for an order compelling inspection of the Spalding Building. As the parties point out, it has been three years since the last property inspection of the Spalding Building. Plaintiff states that she learned of a significant structural defect in the Spalding Building, and Plaintiff should be able to update her inspection to see if there are any changes to the condition of the Spalding Building. Although Defendant claims that there are no changes to the condition of the Spalding Building, Plaintiff does not have to accept Defendant’s testimony, and Plaintiff is entitled to discovery of the condition of the Spalding Building. The court therefore finds that Defendant’s objections to Plaintiff’s Demand for Inspection of the Spalding Building are without merit. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (a)(3).)

ORDER

For the reasons set forth above, the court orders as follows.

The court grants plaintiff Bonnie Duboff’s motion for leave to take a subsequent deposition of defendant Linda Schermer. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.610, subd. (b).)

The court grants plaintiff Bonnie Duboff leave to take a subsequent deposition of defendant Linda Schermer. The court orders defendant Linda Schermer to appear for deposition no later than February 16, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. on a date to be agreed upon by the parties’ counsel. The court orders that defendant Linda Schermer may appear for the deposition remotely by videoconferencing.

The court grants plaintiff Bonnie Duboff’s motion to compel a property inspection of the Spalding Building. The court orders defendant Linda Schermer to make the real property located at 245 Spalding Drive, Beverly Hills, California available for a property inspection by plaintiff Bonnie Duboff no later than February 16, 2021, on a date to be agreed upon by the parties’ counsel.

Plaintiff requests that the court impose monetary sanctions in the amount of $3,249.15 against Defendant. (Plaintiff’s moving Memorandum of Points and Authorities, filed December 21, 2020, p. 9:18-20.) Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.040 provides: “A request for a sanction shall, in the notice of motion, identify every person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought, and specify the type of sanction sought. The notice of motion shall be supported by a memorandum of points and authorities, and accompanied by a declaration setting forth facts supporting the amount of any monetary sanctions sought.” Here, Plaintiff has not specified the type of sanctions sought in her notice of motion. The court therefore denies Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions.

The court orders plaintiff Bonnie Duboff to give notice of this order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: February 1, 2021

_____________________________

Robert B. Broadbelt III

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BC617750    Hearing Date: August 04, 2020    Dept: 53

Duboff v. Schermer, BC617750

On August 4, 2020, plaintiff Bonnie Duboff presented to the court another Ex Parte Application for an Order Setting an Expedited Hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction (“Ex Parte Application”).

Although the law firm of RMO LLP filed an opposition to the August 4, 2020 Ex Parte Application on behalf of defendant Linda Schermer, as the court noted in its July 31, 2020 order denying plaintiff’s previous Ex Parte Application seeking the same relief, the court again notes that defendant Linda Schermer is representing herself in pro per at this time, and it does not appear that RMO LLP has filed either a Substitution of Attorney – Civil form (Judicial Council mandatory form MC-050) or a Notice of Limited Scope Representation (Judicial Council mandatory form CIV-150) to represent her as her attorney of record in this case. Therefore, RMO LLP is not authorized to file pleadings or documents on behalf of defendant Linda Schermer in this action.

On July 31, 2020, plaintiff presented an Ex Parte Application for an Order Setting an Expedited Hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction which sought the same relief as the Ex Parte Application she has presented to the court today. On July 31, 2020, the court issued a minute order denying plaintiff’s previous Ex Parte Application.

First, the court finds that plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application presented to the court on August 4, 2020 does not comply with the requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 3.1202, subdivision (b), which provides that “[i]f an ex parte application has been refused in whole or in part, any subsequent application of the same character or for the same relief, although made upon an alleged different state of facts, must include a full disclosure of all previous applications and of the court’s actions.”

Second, the court finds that plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application presented to the court on August 4, 2020 does not comply with the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, subdivision (b).

Third, the court finds that, in her Ex Parte Application presented to the court on August 4, 2020, plaintiff again has not satisfied the requirement of California Rules of Court, rule 3.1202, subdivision (c), that an applicant for an ex parte order must make an affirmative factual showing in a declaration containing competent testimony based on personal knowledge of irreparable harm, immediate danger, or other statutory basis for granting relief ex parte.

Fourth, the court again does not find good cause to grant plaintiff’s request for an order setting an expedited hearing date on plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction or to prescribe shorter times for the filing and service of papers than the times specified in Code of Civil Procedure section 1005, subdivision (b). (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1300, subd. (b).)

The court therefore denies plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application presented to the court on August 4, 2020.

The court orders the parties and their counsel to hold a meeting, conference call, or videoconference to discuss and try to resolve the issues raised in plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction no later than August 12, 2020.

The court orders plaintiff to give notice of this order.

Case Number: BC617750    Hearing Date: July 06, 2020    Dept: 53

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles – Central District

Department 53

bonnie duboff ;

Plaintiff,

vs.

linda schermer , et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC617750

Hearing Date:

July 6, 2020

Time:

10:00 a.m.

[Tentative] Order RE:

Motion to be relieved as counsel

MOVING PARTY: Alex M. Weingarten, Guido E. Toscano, and Venable LLP

RESPONDING PARTY: n/a

Motion to be Relieved as Counsel

The court considered the moving papers. No opposition was filed.

DISCUSSION

Alex M. Weingarten, Guido E. Toscano, and Venable LLP (“Defendant’s Counsel”) move to be relieved as counsel of record for defendant Linda J. Schermer.

“The question of granting or denying an application of an attorney to withdraw as counsel (Code Civ. Proc., § 284, subd. (2)) is one which lies within the sound discretion of the trial court ‘having in mind whether such withdrawal might work an injustice in the handling of the case.’” (People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398, 406 [internal quotations omitted].) The court should also consider whether the attorney’s “withdrawal can be accomplished without undue prejudice to the client’s interests.” (Ramirez v. Sturdevant (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 904, 915.)

For a motion to be relieved as counsel under Code of Civil Procedure section 284, subdivision (2), California Rules of Court, rule 3.1362 requires (1) a notice of motion and motion directed to the client (made on the Notice of Motion and Motion to be Relieved as Counsel -- Civil form (MC-051)); (2) a declaration stating in general terms and without compromising the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship why a motion under Code of Civil Procedure section 284(2) is brought instead of filing a consent under Code of Civil Procedure section 284(1) (made on the Declaration in Support of Attorney’s Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel -- Civil form (MC-052)); (3) service of the notice of motion and motion, declaration, and proposed order on the client and on all other parties who have appeared in the case; and (4) the proposed order relieving counsel (prepared on the Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel -- Civil form (MC-053)).

The court finds that Defendant’s Counsel have complied with the applicable rules and provided sufficient grounds for granting the relief requested as to their motion to be relieved as counsel of record for defendant Linda J. Schermer. Accordingly, the court grants Alex M. Weingarten, Guido E. Toscano, and Venable LLP’s motion to be relieved as counsel for defendant Linda J. Schermer. Alex M. Weingarten, Guido E. Toscano, and Venable LLP will be relieved as counsel of record for defendant Linda J. Schermer effective upon the filing of the proof of service of the signed “Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel – Civil” as to defendant Linda J. Schermer.

Alex M. Weingarten, Guido E. Toscano, and Venable LLP are ordered to give notice of this ruling and the “Order Granting Attorney’s Motion to be Relieved as Counsel – Civil” to defendant Linda J. Schermer, and all parties to this action.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: July 6, 2020

_____________________________

Robert B. Broadbelt III

Judge of the Superior Court

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