This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/25/2020 at 12:43:39 (UTC).

DONG C CHOI VS ALEXANDER JOHNSON ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/27/2011 DONG C CHOI filed a Contract - Business lawsuit against ALEXANDER JOHNSON. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GREGORY W. ALARCON, ALAN S. ROSENFIELD and YOLANDA OROZCO. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****2444

  • Filing Date:

    05/27/2011

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

GREGORY W. ALARCON

ALAN S. ROSENFIELD

YOLANDA OROZCO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CHOI DONG C.

Defendants

DOES 1-10

JOHNSON ALEXANDER

MEHRBAN MORSE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

HO HIEU D. ESQ.

DO HIEU D. ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

BAUTISTA RUMMEL MOR LAW OFFICES OF

MEHRBAN JULIE

MEHRBAN JULIE A.

BAUTISTA RUMMEL

 

Court Documents

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

6/11/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

8/28/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

12/9/2020: Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

SUMMONS -

5/27/2011: SUMMONS -

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

6/2/2011: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

7/14/2011: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

7/14/2011: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

Minute Order -

7/14/2011: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGFMENT CONFERENCE

7/19/2011: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGFMENT CONFERENCE

EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO SERVE PLEADING AND ORDER EXTENDING TIME TO SERVE

7/21/2011: EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO SERVE PLEADING AND ORDER EXTENDING TIME TO SERVE

Minute Order -

7/21/2011: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF RULING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION BY DEFENDANTS AND CONTINUED CASE MANAGFMENT CONFERENCE

8/3/2011: NOTICE OF RULING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION BY DEFENDANTS AND CONTINUED CASE MANAGFMENT CONFERENCE

DEFENDANTS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE DONG C. CHOI'S COMPLAINT; POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

9/6/2011: DEFENDANTS' NOTICE OF MOTION AND SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE DONG C. CHOI'S COMPLAINT; POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE SUPPORTING DEFENDANTS' SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE DONG C. CHOI'S COMPLATNT

9/6/2011: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE SUPPORTING DEFENDANTS' SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE DONG C. CHOI'S COMPLATNT

Minute Order -

10/3/2011: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

11/3/2011: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

12/6/2011: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES

3/6/2012: NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES

29 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/17/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Submission of Judgment) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 12/16/2020
  • Docketat 3:14 PM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 12/16/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/15/2020
  • DocketJudgment; Filed by Alexander Johnson (Defendant); Morse Mehrban (Defendant)

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  • 12/09/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by Alexander Johnson (Defendant); Morse Mehrban (Defendant)

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  • 12/08/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (to Enter Judgment) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 12/08/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion - Other to Enter Judgment)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/03/2020
  • DocketNotice (of Entry of Judgment or Order); Filed by Alexander Johnson (Defendant); Morse Mehrban (Defendant)

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  • 08/28/2020
  • Docketat 11:51 AM in Department 31, Yolanda Orozco, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 08/28/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order) of 08/28/2020); Filed by Clerk

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69 More Docket Entries
  • 07/14/2011
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/14/2011
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Dong C. Choi (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/14/2011
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2011-07-14 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/12/2011
  • DocketAFFIDAVIT OF PREJUDICE PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER, ETC

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  • 07/12/2011
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Morse Mehrban (Defendant)

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  • 06/02/2011
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/02/2011
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 05/27/2011
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Dong C. Choi (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/27/2011
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 05/27/2011
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR: 1. UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES; ETC.

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC462444    Hearing Date: December 08, 2020    Dept: 31

MOTION TO ENFORCE JUDGMENT IS GRANTED.

Background

On May 27, 2011, Plaintiff Dong C. Choi filed the instant action against Defendants Alexander Johnson; Morse Mehrban; and Does 1 through 10. The Complaint asserts causes of action for:

  1. Unfair Business Practices;

  2. Tortious or Fraudulent Abuse of Process; and

  3. Negligence.

On November 3, 2011, the Court granted Defendants’ Special Motion to Strike (Anti-SLAPP) and ordered Defendant to prepare a proposed order and judgment. On December 2, 2011, before the Court could enter judgment striking Plaintiff’s complaint, Plaintiff dismissed the action without prejudice.

On December 5, 2011, the Court purported to enter an order striking Plaintiff’s Complaint. On March 29, 2012, the Court then entered an order purporting to award attorney fees pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16.

On June 5, 2020, the Clerk filed a Notice of Rejection – Miscellaneous Judgments stating that “the 3-29-12 Order awarding Attorney fees is not a judgment, therefore it cannot be renewed. You need to file a Noticed Motion.”

Defendant now seeks an order entering judgment incorporating the Court’s December 5, 2011 order striking Plaintiff’s complaint and the Court’s March 29, 2012 order awarding Defendants $11,635.00 in attorney fees against Plaintiff.

Legal Standard

Pursuant to Code of civil Procedure section 128, “California courts have inherent power to “take appropriate action to secure compliance with ... orders, to punish contempt, and to control its proceedings.” [Citation.]” (Vidrio v. Hernandez (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 1443, 1454–1455.)

Discussion

Defendants move for an order entering judgment incorporating the Court’s December 5, 2011 order striking Plaintiff’s complaint and the Court’s March 29, 2012 order awarding Defendants $11,635.00 in attorney fees against Plaintiff.

Voluntary Dismissal by Plaintiff

Code of Civil Procedure section 581 provides, in relevant part:

(b) An action may be dismissed in any of the following instances:

(1) With or without prejudice, upon written request of the plaintiff to the clerk, filed with papers in the case, or by oral or written request to the court at any time before the actual commencement of trial, upon payment of the costs, if any.

(Code Civ. Proc., § 581(b)(1).)

“[C]ourts have defined the term “trial” in section 581 so broadly as to encompass certain pretrial proceedings that were dispositive of a case. . . . The thread running through all these cases seems to be one of fairness: once the parties commence putting forth the facts of their case before some sort of fact finder, such as an arbitrator, or at the pretrial stage a ruling is made on an issue of law or on admitted facts which effectively disposes of the plaintiff's case against him, it is unfair—and perhaps a mockery of the system—to allow the plaintiff to dismiss his complaint and refile. While our system is adversary and grounded on vigorous disputation, it is also dedicated to justice and grounded on the fundamental fairness of its proceedings.” (Gray v. Superior Court (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 165, 172–173.)

The Court notes at the outset that the processing of Plaintiff’s Request for Dismissal on December 2, 2011 by the clerk was improper.

Here, Plaintiff moved to dismiss the case without prejudice after the Court issued a ruling on a pretrial proceeding that was dispositive of the case, the anti-SLAPP motion moving to strike the entire complaint. Accordingly, Plaintiff was not entitled to dismiss the case after such an adverse ruling, as trial had “actually commenced” within the meaning of Section 581. Moreover, the allowance of such a dismissal would work an injustice. Thus, the Court, on its own motion, orders the dismissal entered on December 2, 2011 STRICKEN. The Court deems its order on December 5, 2011 the operative dismissal, with prejudice, in this case.

Statutory Renewal Process

“The statutory renewal of judgment is an automatic, ministerial act accomplished by the clerk of the court; entry of the renewal of judgment does not constitute a new or separate judgment. “Filing the renewal application (and paying the appropriate filing fee, Gov.C. § 70626(b)) results in automatic renewal of the judgment. No court order or new judgment is required. The court clerk simply enters the renewal of judgment in the court records. [Citations.] Thus, “[t]he judgment renewal procedure is a different mechanism to extend the life of a judgment than that of bringing an independent action on a judgment. [Citation.] Entry by the trial court clerk of a renewal is a ministerial act.” [Citation.] “[R]enewal does not create a new judgment or modify the present judgment. Renewal merely extends the enforceability of the judgment.” [Citation.] The renewed judgment “has no independent existence” from the original judgment. [Citation.]” (Goldman v. Simpson (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 255, 262.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 683.020 provides:

Except as otherwise provided by statute, upon the expiration of 10 years after the date of entry of a money judgment or a judgment for possession or sale of property:

(a) The judgment may not be enforced.

(b) All enforcement procedures pursuant to the judgment or to a writ or order issued pursuant to the judgment shall cease.

(c) Any lien created by an enforcement procedure pursuant to the judgment is extinguished.

Code of Civil Procedure section 683.120, in turn, provides:

(a) The judgment creditor may renew a judgment by filing an application for renewal of the judgment with the court in which the judgment was entered.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this article, the filing of the application renews the judgment in the amount determined under Section 683.150 and extends the period of enforceability of the judgment as renewed for a period of 10 years from the date the application is filed.

(c) In the case of a money judgment payable in installments, for the purposes of enforcement and of any later renewal, the amount of the judgment as renewed shall be treated as a lump-sum money judgment entered on the date the application is filed.

Defendants assert that on June 5, 2020, the Court ordered Defendants to file the instant motion before the latter fee award could be renewed pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 683.120 et seq. Defendants contend that California courts have inherent and statutory power to enforce and compel obedience to their judgments, orders, and process.

The Court finds that Defendants have established that they are entitled to the relief sought. As noted above, the Court has inherent authority to take appropriate action to secure compliance with its orders. Here, Defendants seek to enter judgment pursuant to the Court’s December 5, 2011 and March 29, 2012 Orders in order to “renew” the judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 683.020 and 683.120. Because entry of a judgment would essentially “renew” the judgment and the period of enforceability of a judgment is the same upon entry of judgment and renewal, the Court finds that Defendants are entitled to the relief sought.

Based on the foregoing, Defendants’ unopposed motion to enter judgment is GRANTED.

Conclusion

Defendants’ unopposed motion to enter judgment is GRANTED and judgment is entered in favor of Defendants and against Plaintiff.

Moving party is to give notice.

The parties are strongly encouraged to attend all scheduled hearings virtually or by audio. Effective July 20, 2020, all matters will be scheduled virtually and/or with audio through the Court’s LACourtConnect technology. The parties are strongly encouraged to use LACourtConnect for all their matters. All social distancing protocols will be observed at the Courthouse and in the courtrooms.