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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/07/2019 at 13:58:31 (UTC).

IN RE 323 SOUTH AVENUE 20 LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 90031

Case Summary

On 12/04/2015 IN RE 323 SOUTH AVENUE 20 LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 90031 was filed as an Other lawsuit. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GAIL FEUER. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9440

  • Filing Date:

    12/04/2015

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

GAIL FEUER

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

ASSURED LENDER SERVICES INC.

Claimants

MONTEJANO MINA

ALVARADO ANA

RODRIGUEZ CLAUDIA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

ATTLESEY/STORM LLP

 

Court Documents

PLAINTIFFS/CLAIMANTS ANA ALVARADO AND CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ CLAIM FOR THE ENTIRE SURPLUS PROCEEDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $198,879.21

12/11/2015: PLAINTIFFS/CLAIMANTS ANA ALVARADO AND CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ CLAIM FOR THE ENTIRE SURPLUS PROCEEDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $198,879.21

NOTICE OF CONTINUED STATUS CONFERENCE

2/2/2016: NOTICE OF CONTINUED STATUS CONFERENCE

NOTICE OF ERRATA: AFFIDAVIT OF PLAINTIFF/ CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO IN SUPPORT

2/16/2016: NOTICE OF ERRATA: AFFIDAVIT OF PLAINTIFF/ CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO IN SUPPORT

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

3/25/2016: CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

DECLARATION OF, SUZANNE S STORM RE RELEASE OF PETITIONER/TRUSTEE AND DEPOSIT OF SURPLUS PROCEEDS

5/19/2016: DECLARATION OF, SUZANNE S STORM RE RELEASE OF PETITIONER/TRUSTEE AND DEPOSIT OF SURPLUS PROCEEDS

RULING RE: PETITIONER ASSURED LENDER SERVICES, INC''S PETITION REGARDING UNRESOLVED CLAIMS AND DEPOSIT OF UNDISTRIBUTED SURPLUS PROCEEDS OF TRUSTEE''S SALE.

8/4/2016: RULING RE: PETITIONER ASSURED LENDER SERVICES, INC''S PETITION REGARDING UNRESOLVED CLAIMS AND DEPOSIT OF UNDISTRIBUTED SURPLUS PROCEEDS OF TRUSTEE''S SALE.

CIVIL DEPOSIT

8/17/2016: CIVIL DEPOSIT

CLAIMANTS ANA ALVARADO AND CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ TRIAL BRIEF

11/18/2016: CLAIMANTS ANA ALVARADO AND CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ TRIAL BRIEF

Minute Order

11/18/2016: Minute Order

PLAINTIFF'S TRIAL BRIEF.

11/28/2016: PLAINTIFF'S TRIAL BRIEF.

Minute Order

12/5/2016: Minute Order

CLOSING BRIEF OF CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO

1/24/2017: CLOSING BRIEF OF CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO

Proof of Service

3/1/2017: Proof of Service

CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO'S RESPONSE TO OBJECTION TO PROPOSED JUDGMENT

3/6/2017: CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO'S RESPONSE TO OBJECTION TO PROPOSED JUDGMENT

Proof of Service

4/13/2017: Proof of Service

Proof of Service

6/12/2017: Proof of Service

PROOF OF SERVICE

10/31/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE

68 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/12/2018
  • Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by Creditor

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  • 12/15/2017
  • Proof of Service

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  • 12/15/2017
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Creditor

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/07/2017
  • Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by Creditor

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  • 10/31/2017
  • NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION OF CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO FOR ATTORIEY FEES

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/31/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/31/2017
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Claimant

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  • 10/27/2017
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 78; Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 10/27/2017
  • Minute Order

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  • 10/27/2017
  • CLAIMAINT MINA MONTEJANO S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS FEES

    Read MoreRead Less
120 More Docket Entries
  • 02/01/2016
  • PLAINTIFF/CLAIMANT MINA MONTEJANO'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/01/2016
  • Miscellaneous-Other; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/05/2016
  • Notice of Status Conference filed; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/05/2016
  • NOTICE OF STATUS CONFERENCE AND ORDER

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/17/2015
  • NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

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  • 12/17/2015
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by Assured Lender Services, Inc. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/11/2015
  • Miscellaneous-Other; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/11/2015
  • PLAINTIFFS/CLAIMANTS ANA ALVARADO AND CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ CLAIM FOR THE ENTIRE SURPLUS PROCEEDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $198,879.21

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/04/2015
  • Petition; Filed by null

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/04/2015
  • PETITION AND DECLARATION REGARDING UNRESOLVED CLAIMS AND DEPOSIT OF UNDISTRIBUTED SURPLUS PROCEEDS OF TRUSTEE S SALE

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BS159440    Hearing Date: April 20, 2021    Dept: 78

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 78

IN RE: 323 SOUTH AVENUE 20, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90031

Case No.: BS159440

Hearing Date: April 20, 2021

[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:

claimant mina montejano’s motion for assignment order for restraining judgment debtor

CLAIMANT AND JUDGMENT DEBTOR CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ’ MOTION TO STRIKE OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO TAX COSTS OF CLAIMANT AND JUDGMENT CREDITOR MINA MONTEJANO

Claimant Mina Montejano’s Motion for Assignment Order and Restraining Order’s is GRANTED only as to net proceeds from the Lancaster property. Although the Lancaster property is not currently netting any proceeds, the Lancaster property is also not currently receiving any rents. Restricting this order to net proceeds may allow Rodriguez to retain the property and receive rents in the future, for the benefit of both Rodriguez and Montejano. Upon a change in circumstances and facts in the future, the parties may file a similar motion for future consideration.

Claimant and Judgment Debtor Claudia Rodriguez’ Motion to Strike or Tax Costs of Judgment Creditor Mina Montejano is DENIED.

RELEVANT BACKGROUND

The facts relating to this case are fully forth in prior Rulings by the Court.

On March 24, 2017, the Court entered judgment in this case. The Court ordered the Clerk of the Court to release the surplus funds in the amount of $194,438.93, and the ordered that Mina Montejano (“Montejano”) was to recover from Claimants Ana Alvarado (“Alvarado”) and Claudia Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”), jointly and individually, her costs of suit.

On October 27, 2017, the Court granted Montejano’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees in the amount of $38,845.00 against Alvarado and Rodriguez.

On October 20, 2020, Montejano filed the instant Motion for Order Restraining Judgment Debtor.

On November 5, 2020, Rodriguez filed the instant Motion to Strike or Tax Costs.

On January 7, 2021, Montejano filed an Opposition to the Motion to Strike or Tax Costs.

On January 21, 2021, Rodriguez filed a Reply.

On March 22, 2021, Rodriguez filed an Opposition to the Motion for Order.

On March 22, 2021, Montejano filed a Reply.

On March 29, 2021, the Court continued this matter to allow Rodriquez to file additional information.

On April 9, 2021, Rodriquez filed a Supplemental Declaration.

  1. MOTION FOR ASSIGNMENT ORDER & RESTRAINING ORDER RE COMMUNITY PROPERTY INCOME STREAMS.

CCP § 708.510(a) states, in relevant part: “(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, upon application of the judgment creditor on noticed motion, the court may order the judgment debtor to assign to the judgment creditor or to a receiver appointed pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 708.610) all or part of a right to payment due or to become due, whether or not the right is conditioned on future developments, including but not limited to the following types of payments: (1) Wages dues from the federal government that are not subject to withholding under an earnings withholding order. (2) Rents. (3) Commissions. (4) Royalties. (5) Payments due from a patent or copyright. (6) Insurance policy loan value.”

CCP § 708.510(c), further provides: “[I]n determining whether to order an assignment or the amount of an assignment pursuant to subdivision (a), the court may take into consideration all relevant factors, including the following: (1) The reasonable requirements of a judgment debtor who is a natural person and of persons supported in whole or in part by the judgment debtor. (2) Payments the judgment debtor is required to make or that are deducted in satisfaction of other judgments and wage assignments, including earnings assignment orders for support. (3) The amount remaining due on the money judgment. (4) The amount being or to be received in satisfaction of the right to payment that may be assigned.”

CCP § 708.520(a) states, in relevant part: “When an application is made pursuant to Section 708.510 or thereafter, the judgment creditor may apply to the court for an order restraining the judgment debtor from assigning or otherwise disposing of the right to payment that is sought to be assigned.” “The court may issue an order pursuant to this section upon a showing of need for the order.” (CCP § 708.520(b).)

Judgment Creditor Montejano moves for an order assigning to her the right to “payment(s) is/are due or will become due to the judgment debtor from rents paid on the 3026 E. Newgrove St., Lancaster, CA 93536 property[.]” (Lopez Decl., ¶ 8.) Montejano also asks for an order restraining “the judgment debtor from encumbering, assigning, disposing of or spending the rents because the debtor may dispose of the property or spend the payment(s) received.” (Lopez Decl., ¶ 9.)

Montejano presents evidence that she obtained a judgment in the amount of $38,845 plus interest against Alvarado and Rodriguez on October 27, 2017. (Lopez Decl., Exh. A.) She also presents evidence that Alvarado and Rodriguez have paid $4,000 since 2017, but that the principal remaining due is $38,845, plus $4,573.70 in post judgment costs, plus $7,065.50 in accrued interest as of September 1, 2020 which continues to accrue at 10% per annum (Lopez Decl., Exh. B.)

In Opposition, Rodriguez does not dispute the validity of the judgment. Rodriguez argues only that the Court should assign only the “net proceeds” of rent from the Lancaster property which are “actually collected” and “after payment of the mortgage, insurance and maintenance). (Oppo. at pp. 4-6.) Rodriguez further argues that she is “unable to assign or pay the ‘net’ rents for the Lancaster Property until they are actually collected.” (Oppo. at p. 6.)

Montejano has established that the assignment order and restraining order are reasonably necessary because Rodriguez and Alvarado have failed to make any payments to the principal amount to-date.

On April 9, 2021, Rodriguez submitted a declaration with supplemental information regarding the Lancaster property. Rodriguez declares that the Lancaster property has monthly mortgage payment of $1,310.46 plus $200/mo. in utilities/taxes/upkeep, with an outstanding balance of $7,889.93. (Rodriguez Decl., ¶¶ 5-6.) Rodriguez rents the property for $1,250, but the current tenant pursuant to a lease agreement is 11 months behind on rent and Rodriquez has not been able to pursue eviction procedures due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Rodriguez Decl., ¶¶ 10-11.)

Accordingly, the Motion for Assignment Order and Restraining Order is GRANTED only as to net proceeds. Although the Lancaster property is not currently netting any proceeds, the Lancaster property is also not currently receiving any rents. Restricting this order to net proceeds may allow Rodriguez to retain the property and receive rents in the future, for the benefit of both Rodriguez and Montejano. Upon a change in circumstances and facts in the future, the parties may file a similar motion for future consideration.

  1. MOTION TO STRIKE OR TAX COSTS

Rodriguez disputes the charges added to the principal judgment ordered by the Court on October 27, 2017, which are reflected in the “Memorandum of Costs After Judgment” filed by Montejano on September 2, 2020 and then on October 29, 2020. Rodriguez argues that the $4,560 claimed by Montejano as attorneys’ fees on June 25, 2020 and $5,842.50 on October 28, 2020 are improper, excessive and should be struck. (Motion at pp. 5-10.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 states that “The judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable and necessary costs of enforcing a judgment. Attorney's fees incurred in enforcing a judgment are not included in costs collectible under this title unless otherwise provided by law. Attorney's fees incurred in enforcing a judgment are included as costs collectible under this title if the underlying judgment includes an award of attorney's fees to the judgment creditor pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of Section 1033.5.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 685.040.)

Subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of Section 1033.5 states that attorneys’ fees are recoverable as costs “when authorized by any of the following: (A) Contract. (B) Statute. (C) Law.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5.) “[R]ecoverable litigation costs do include attorney fees, but only when the party entitled to costs has a legal basis, independent of the cost statutes and grounded in an agreement, statute, or other law, upon which to claim recovery of attorney fees.” (Santisas v. Goodin (1998) 17 Cal.4th 599, 606.)

In the Court’s original ruling awarding attorneys’ fees to Montejano on October 27, 2017, the Court found that this case was “an action on a contract” and that Montejano was the “prevailing party.” (Order 10/27/17, pp. 6-7.) The Court found that attorneys’ fees were authorized by the Settlement Agreement in the Bankruptcy Court: “Given that the Bankruptcy Court approved the Settlement in its entirety, and this court found that it is therefore enforceable, the entire agreement – including the attorney fee provision – is enforceable.” (Order 10/27/17, p. 7.) Accordingly, attorneys’ fees were recoverable at the time of the judgment and now in post-judgment.

First, the Court finds that Rodriguez’s Motion to Tax/Strike Costs is untimely as to the Memorandum of Costs filed on September 2, 2020. Pursuant to California Rules of Court Rule 3.1700 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1013, Rodriguez was required to file the Motion within 20 days at the latest. (Nevis Homes LLC v. CW Roofing, Inc. (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 353, 356.) The Memorandum of Costs was filed on September 2, 2020, and the Motion was not filed until November 5, 2020. However, the Motion is timely with respect to the October 29, 2020 Memorandum of Costs.

The October 29, 2020 Memorandum of Costs seeks attorneys’ fees of $5,842.50. Montejano’s attorney declares that this amount includes 9.6 hours of attorney work at $475/hr. (Lopez Decl., ¶ 7.) The work includes meeting with the client, review of litigation file, preparing special interrogatories and requests for production, legal research, drafting the declaration for attorneys’ fees in support of the Memorandum of Costs, and drafting the Memorandum of Costs.

¿“Code of Civil Procedure section 1032, subdivision (b) [], guarantees prevailing parties in civil litigation awards of the costs expended in the litigation: ‘Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding.’” (Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire Dist.¿(2015) 61 Cal.4th 97, 100.).¿¿ 

“If the items on a verified cost bill appear proper charges, they are prima facie evidence that the costs, expenses and services therein listed were necessarily incurred.” (Rappenecker ¿(1979) 93 Cal.App.3d 256, 266.) Although individual cost items are ordinarily challenged by a motion to tax costs, no cost-item is effectively put in issue by “mere statements” claiming them to be unreasonable. (Ibid.)¿ 

In the Court’s experience an attorney billing rate of $475 is reasonable, and the billed tasks for this Memorandum of Costs are reasonably tailored to task of enforcing the outstanding judgment and are supported by a billing statement.

Accordingly, the Motion to Tax/Strike Costs is DENIED.

Date: April 20, 2021

_____________________________________

Hon. Robert S. Draper

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BS159440    Hearing Date: March 29, 2021    Dept: 78

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 78

IN RE: 323 SOUTH AVENUE 20, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90031

Case No.: BS159440

Hearing Date: March 29, 2021

[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:

claimant mina montejano’s motion for assignment order for restraining judgment debtor

CLAIMANT AND JUDGMENT DEBTOR CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ’ MOTION TO STRIKE OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO TAX COSTS OF CLAIMANT AND JUDGMENT CREDITOR MINA MONTEJANO

The Court intends to GRANT Claimant Mina Montejano’s Motion for Assignment Order and Restraining Order. The Court reserves its final decision until after the hearing on this Motion. Rodriguez must provide additional information regarding the typical net proceeds from rent each month from the Lancaster property.

Claimant and Judgment Debtor Claudia Rodriguez’ Motion to Strike or Tax Costs of Judgment Creditor Mina Montejano is DENIED.

RELEVANT BACKGROUND

The facts relating to this case are fully forth in prior Rulings by the Court.

On March 24, 2017, the Court entered judgment in this case. The Court ordered the Clerk of the Court to release the surplus funds in the amount of $194,438.93, and the ordered that Mina Montejano (“Montejano”) was to recover from Claimants Ana Alvarado (“Alvarado”) and Claudia Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”), jointly and individually, her costs of suit.

On October 27, 2017, the Court granted Montejano’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees in the amount of $38,845.00 against Alvarado and Rodriguez.

On October 20, 2020, Montejano filed the instant Motion for Order Restraining Judgment Debtor.

On November 5, 2020, Rodriguez filed the instant Motion to Strike or Tax Costs.

On January 7, 2021, Montejano filed an Opposition to the Motion to Strike or Tax Costs.

On January 21, 2021, Rodriguez filed a Reply.

On March 22, 2021, Rodriguez filed an Opposition to the Motion for Order.

On March 22, 2021, Montejano filed a Reply.

  1. MOTION FOR ASSIGNMENT ORDER & RESTRAINING ORDER RE COMMUNITY PROPERTY INCOME STREAMS.

CCP § 708.510(a) states, in relevant part: “(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, upon application of the judgment creditor on noticed motion, the court may order the judgment debtor to assign to the judgment creditor or to a receiver appointed pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 708.610) all or part of a right to payment due or to become due, whether or not the right is conditioned on future developments, including but not limited to the following types of payments: (1) Wages dues from the federal government that are not subject to withholding under an earnings withholding order. (2) Rents. (3) Commissions. (4) Royalties. (5) Payments due from a patent or copyright. (6) Insurance policy loan value.”

CCP § 708.510(c), further provides: “[I]n determining whether to order an assignment or the amount of an assignment pursuant to subdivision (a), the court may take into consideration all relevant factors, including the following: (1) The reasonable requirements of a judgment debtor who is a natural person and of persons supported in whole or in part by the judgment debtor. (2) Payments the judgment debtor is required to make or that are deducted in satisfaction of other judgments and wage assignments, including earnings assignment orders for support. (3) The amount remaining due on the money judgment. (4) The amount being or to be received in satisfaction of the right to payment that may be assigned.”

CCP § 708.520(a) states, in relevant part: “When an application is made pursuant to Section 708.510 or thereafter, the judgment creditor may apply to the court for an order restraining the judgment debtor from assigning or otherwise disposing of the right to payment that is sought to be assigned.” “The court may issue an order pursuant to this section upon a showing of need for the order.” (CCP § 708.520(b).)

Judgment Creditor Montejano moves for an order assigning to her the right to “payment(s) is/are due or will become due to the judgment debtor from rents paid on the 3026 E. Newgrove St., Lancaster, CA 93536 property[.]” (Lopez Decl., ¶ 8.) Montejano also asks for an order restraining “the judgment debtor from encumbering, assigning, disposing of or spending the rents because the debtor may dispose of the property or spend the payment(s) received.” (Lopez Decl., ¶ 9.)

Montejano presents evidence that she obtained a judgment in the amount of $38,845 plus interest against Alvarado and Rodriguez on October 27, 2017. (Lopez Decl., Exh. A.) She also presents evidence that Alvarado and Rodriguez have paid $4,000 since 2017, but that the principal remaining due is $38,845, plus $4,573.70 in post judgment costs, plus $7,065.50 in accrued interest as of September 1, 2020 which continues to accrue at 10% per annum (Lopez Decl., Exh. B.)

In Opposition, Rodriguez does not dispute the validity of the judgment. Rodriguez argues only that the Court should assign only the “net proceeds” of rent from the Lancaster property which are “actually collected” and “after payment of the mortgage, insurance and maintenance). (Oppo. at pp. 4-6.) Rodriguez further argues that she is “unable to assign or pay the ‘net’ rents for the Lancaster Property until they are actually collected.” (Oppo. at p. 6.)

Montejano has established that the assignment order and restraining order are reasonably necessary because Rodriguez and Alvarado have failed to make any payments to the principal amount to-date.

Accordingly, the Court intends to GRANT the Motion for Assignment Order and Restraining Order. The Court reserves its final decision until after the hearing on this Motion. Rodriguez must provide additional information regarding the typical net proceeds from rent each month from the Lancaster property.

  1. MOTION TO STRIKE OR TAX COSTS

Rodriguez disputes the charges added to the principal judgment ordered by the Court on October 27, 2017, which are reflected in the “Memorandum of Costs After Judgment” filed by Montejano on September 2, 2020 and then on October 29, 2020. Rodriguez argues that the $4,560 claimed by Montejano as attorneys’ fees on June 25, 2020 and $5,842.50 on October 28, 2020 are improper, excessive and should be struck. (Motion at pp. 5-10.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 states that “The judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable and necessary costs of enforcing a judgment. Attorney's fees incurred in enforcing a judgment are not included in costs collectible under this title unless otherwise provided by law. Attorney's fees incurred in enforcing a judgment are included as costs collectible under this title if the underlying judgment includes an award of attorney's fees to the judgment creditor pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of Section 1033.5.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 685.040.)

Subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of Section 1033.5 states that attorneys’ fees are recoverable as costs “when authorized by any of the following: (A) Contract. (B) Statute. (C) Law.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5.) “[R]ecoverable litigation costs do include attorney fees, but only when the party entitled to costs has a legal basis, independent of the cost statutes and grounded in an agreement, statute, or other law, upon which to claim recovery of attorney fees.” (Santisas v. Goodin (1998) 17 Cal.4th 599, 606.)

In the Court’s original ruling awarding attorneys’ fees to Montejano on October 27, 2017, the Court found that this case was “an action on a contract” and that Montejano was the “prevailing party.” (Order 10/27/17, pp. 6-7.) The Court found that attorneys’ fees were authorized by the Settlement Agreement in the Bankruptcy Court: “Given that the Bankruptcy Court approved the Settlement in its entirety, and this court found that it is therefore enforceable, the entire agreement – including the attorney fee provision – is enforceable.” (Order 10/27/17, p. 7.) Accordingly, attorneys’ fees were recoverable at the time of the judgment and now post-judgment.

First, the Court finds that Rodriguez’s Motion to Tax/Strike Costs is untimely as to the Memorandum of Costs filed on September 2, 2020. Pursuant to California Rules of Court Rule 3.1700 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1013, Rodriguez was required to file the Motion within 20 days at the latest. (Nevis Homes LLC v. CW Roofing, Inc. (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 353, 356.) The Memorandum of Costs was filed on September 2, 2020, and the Motion was not filed until November 5, 2020. However, the Motion is timely with respect to the October 29, 2020 Memorandum of Costs.

The October 29, 2020 Memorandum of Costs seeks attorneys’ fees of $5,842.50. Montejano’s attorney declares that this amount includes 9.6 hours of attorney work at $475/hr. (Lopez Decl., ¶ 7.) The work includes meeting with the client, review of litigation file, preparing special interrogatories and requests for production, legal research, drafting the declaration for attorneys’ fees in support of the Memorandum of Costs, and drafting the Memorandum of Costs.

¿“Code of Civil Procedure section 1032, subdivision (b) [], guarantees prevailing parties in civil litigation awards of the costs expended in the litigation: ‘Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding.’” (Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire Dist.¿(2015) 61 Cal.4th 97, 100.).¿¿ 

“If the items on a verified cost bill appear proper charges, they are prima facie evidence that the costs, expenses and services therein listed were necessarily incurred.” (Rappenecker ¿(1979) 93 Cal.App.3d 256, 266.) Although individual cost items are ordinarily challenged by a motion to tax costs, no cost-item is effectively put in issue by “mere statements” claiming them to be unreasonable. (Ibid.)¿ 

In the Court’s experience an attorney billing rate of $475 is reasonable, and the billed tasks for this Memorandum of Costs and the time spent on these tasks are reasonably tailored to task of enforcing the outstanding judgment and are supported by a billing statement.

Accordingly, the Motion to Tax/Strike Costs is DENIED.

Date: March 29, 2021

_____________________________________

Hon. Robert S. Draper

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BS159440    Hearing Date: January 28, 2021    Dept: 78

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 78

IN RE: 323 SOUTH AVENUE 20, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90031

Case No.: BS159440

Hearing Date: January 28, 2021

[TENTATIVE] RULING RE:

CLAIMANT AND JUDGMENT DEBTOR CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ’S MOTION TO STRIKE OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO TAX COSTS OF CLAIMANT AND JUDGMENT CREDITOR MINA MONTEJANO

  1. MOTION TO STRIKE OR TAX COSTS

The Court continues this Motion to Strike or Tax Costs to March 29, 2021 to be heard with the scheduled Motion for Assignment Order and Order for Restraining Judgment Debtor filed by Claimant Mina Montejano.

Parties to file responsive pleadings regarding the status of, and dates of, payments made towards the judgment (including any previously ordered attorneys’ fees and costs), the amounts of any outstanding payments as of the date of the hearing, and the amounts and billings statements of any attorneys’ fees and cost accrued as of the date of the hearing.

The Motion to Strike of Tax Costs is CONTINUED to March 29, 2021.

Date: January 28, 2021

_____________________________________

Hon. Robert S. Draper

Judge of the Superior Court

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