On 06/20/2016 DIANA KASIAN filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against BLAKE LEIBEL. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are LAURA A. SEIGLE, AMY D. HOGUE and JAMES A. KADDO. The case status is Other.
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
LAURA A. SEIGLE
AMY D. HOGUE
JAMES A. KADDO
ESTATE OF IANA KASIAN
DOES 1 THROUGH 50
SIMON LAW GROUP LLP THE
LAW OFFICES OF JAKE D. FINKEL APC
SIMON ROBERT TERRENCE ESQ.
FINKEL JAKE DANIEL ESQ.
8/20/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION ADAM J TENSER
1/11/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER PERMITTING DISCOVERY OF DEFENDANT'S FINANCIAL CONDITION [CAL. CIV. CODE ? 3295(C)]; ETC.
3/21/2018: ORDER RE: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PRETRIAL DISCOVERY OF DEFENDANT'S FINANCIAL CONDITION; MOTION GRANTED
4/25/2018: PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION TO STAY ALL CIVIL PROCEEDINGS; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF THOMAS J. CONROY IN SUPPORT THEREOF
10/23/2018: Ex Parte Application - Ex Parte Application for an order shortening time to hear Motion compelling Apple Inc. to assist in the recovery of Decedent's personal data
11/16/2018: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel
2/5/2019: Proof of Personal Service
2/5/2019: Proof of Personal Service
2/6/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)
2/6/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)
6/20/2016: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. WRONGFUL DEATH; ETC
6/28/2016: SUMMONS -
9/6/2016: Proof of Service -
6/16/2017: Minute Order -
6/16/2017: OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS EX PARTE APPLICATION TO VACATE ENTRY OF DEFAULT AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT PROVE-UP HEARING; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF THOMAS J. CONROY IN SUPPORT THER
9/22/2017: ORDER RE: PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR AN ORDER PERMITTING DISCOVERY OF DEFENDANT'S FINANCIAL CONDITION
10/6/2017: DECLARATION OF BLAKE LEIBEL IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO SET ASIDE CLERK'S DEFAULT, AND ETC
12/7/2017: ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC [AND REIATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES] PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY (CENTRAL DISTRICT)
Hearing01/07/2020 at 13:30 PM in Department 4B at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Set Aside/Vacate Judgment (CCP 473)Read MoreRead Less
DocketAbstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by Olga Kasian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (Notice of Association of Counsel); Filed by Diana Kasian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMotion to Vacate (ENTRY OF JUDGMENT); Filed by Blake Leibel (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration (Adam J Tenser); Filed by Blake Leibel (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 4B, Laura A. Seigle, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by Diana Kasian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 08:30 AM in Department G; Non-Appearance Case Review (to Monitor the submission of the Proposed Judgment) - Not Held - Vacated by CourtRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT ON VERDICT); Filed by Diana Kasian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 4B, Laura A. Seigle, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (Issuance of Rogatory Letter) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by PartyRead MoreRead Less
DocketSTATEMENT OF DAMAGES (PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUI DEATH)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
DocketSUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons Issued; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketOrd Apptng Guardian Ad Litem; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. WRONGFUL DEATH; ETCRead MoreRead Less
DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM-CIVILRead MoreRead Less
DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by Estate of Iana Kasian (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC624321 Hearing Date: January 07, 2020 Dept: 4B
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO VACATE ENTRY OF JUDGMENT
On June 20, 2016, plaintiffs Diana Kasian, the Estate of Iana Kasian, and Olga Kasian (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed this action against defendant Blake Leibel (“Defendant”) for wrongful death and survivor action arising from the death of Iana Kasian (“Decedent”). The complaint alleged Defendant murdered Decedent, the mother of his child Diana, in 2016. In 2018, Defendant was tried and convicted of homicide.
In this civil case, Defendant was represented by Moses Bardavid. On August 15, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ trial preference motion and set the trial for February 6, 2019. Defendant’s counsel, Mr. Bardavid, was present at the August 15, 2018 hearing when the trial date was set, and on August 16, 2018, Plaintiffs’ counsel gave notice of the February 6, 2019 trial date to Mr. Bardavid. Accordingly, Defendant had notice of the trial date as of August 15, 2018.
On November 16, 2018, Mr. Bardavid filed a motion to be relieved as counsel and served Defendant at the prison where he was incarcerated. On December 10, 2019, Mr. Bardavid filed a notice of rescheduled hearing on the motion to be relieved with the new January 7, 2019 hearing date. The notice attached copies of an amended motion to be relieved. He served Defendant with the notice of the new hearing date on December 10, 2019.
On January 7, 2019, the Court granted Mr. Bardavid’s motion to be relieved from representing Defendant. Mr. Bardavid immediately served Defendant with the order at the prison where Decedent was incarcerated, and on January 9, 2019, Mr. Bardavid filed a proof of service of the order. On February 6, 2019, the Court found that Defendant had received notice of the final status conference date and the trial date. On February 21, 2019, following a bench trial, judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiffs. Defendant did not appear at the trial and had no legal representative appear. On February 26, 2019, Plaintiffs gave notice of the entry of judgment on verdict to Defendant.
On August 20, 2019, Defendant moved to vacate entry of the judgment under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b). His attorney, Adam Tenser, submitted an unsigned declaration stating that he had been engaged as Defendant’s “civil attorney since 2013 and was empowered with power of attorney to appoint counsel” in this case. He stated that on October 4, 2018, he contacted Mr. Bardavid to provide evidence of his representation of Defendant but that Mr. Bardavid withdrew as Defendant’s counsel without giving Mr. Tenser notice. He stated that in January (of what year is unstated), Defendant attempted to contact him from prison but they were unable to communicate. He stated, “During the months preceding this Court’s judgment February 21, 2019 [sic], I made good faith efforts to stay informed on the progress of the case and took reasonable steps to do so.” He stated he did not know about the judgment and was surprised when he heard about it in the news.
As an initial matter, Defendant did not file a proof of service showing he served Plaintiffs with the motion to vacate. Plaintiffs’ counsel states Plaintiffs were not served. The declaration submitted with the motion is not signed. The motion is otherwise defective in not complying with the Rules of Court for motions. Nor did Defendant file a substitution of counsel substituting Mr. Tensor as counsel of record in this case. There is no evidence Defendant has retained Mr. Tensor as his attorney to litigate this case.
Despite these defects, the Court will consider the merits of motion. A court has discretion to vacate the entry of judgment through Code of Civil Procedure, section 473, subdivision (b). “The court may, upon any terms as may be just, relieve a party or his or her legal representative from a judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding taken against him or her through his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).) The second part of the section covers only defaults, default judgments and dismissals, not a judgment after trial.
There is no evidence of any mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect because Mr. Tenser did not sign his declaration. More specifically, there is no evidence that Mr. Tenser represented Defendant at any point as counsel of record in this litigation. There is no evidence that anyone ever informed the Court or Plaintiffs that Mr. Tenser was representing Defendant and should receive notice of filings, hearings, and orders in this case. Mr. Tenser did not submit any documentary evidence of his power of attorney or his communications with Mr. Bardavid.
In addition, while Mr. Tenser contends he did not know of Mr. Bardavid’s withdrawal, he does not contend that he did not know about the trial date in this case. Mr. Tenser declares he was surprised that a judgment had been entered but not claim to be surprised that a trial date had been set or that a trial had proceeded on that date. The “‘term “surprise,” as used in section 473, refers to “ ‘some condition or situation in which a party . . . is unexpectedly placed to his injury, without any default or negligence of his own, which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against.’” [Citation.]’ [Citation.]” (Hearn v. Howard (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 1193, 1206.) Defendant has not shown a situation – a trial resulting in a judgment – in which he was unexpectedly placed. Defendant had proper notice of his trial date, the motion to be relieved, and the order relieving his counsel. Mr. Tenser did not show that his surprise about the judgment was not the result of negligence on his part. If Mr. Tenser was keeping himself apprised of the progress of the case, as he says he was, he should have known about the trial date and that a trial could result in a verdict against Defendant. Thus, Defendant and Mr. Tenser have not shown that Mr. Tenser’s surprise about the judgment was the type of surprise for which a judgment may be vacated.
For all of these reasons, Defendant’s motion is DENIED.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SSCDEPT4B@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative.