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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/01/2019 at 19:37:20 (UTC).

MIKE KALTA ET AL VS FLEET 101 INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 11/14/2016 MIKE KALTA filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against FLEET 101 INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0449

  • Filing Date:

    11/14/2016

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

KALTA MIKE

GREENFIELD LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE

Defendants and Respondents

FLEET 101 INC.

AHANGI MIKE

DOES 1 TO 50

FLEETS 101 INC.

Not Classified By Court

CLAY TECKLA

TEST PARTY FOR TRUST CONVERSION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

SIMONS STEVEN A. ESQ.

Defendant Attorney

GROSS JARED ESQ.

 

Court Documents

PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY THE LITIGATION; DECLARATION OF STEVEN A. SIMONS; EXHIBIT

2/15/2018: PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY THE LITIGATION; DECLARATION OF STEVEN A. SIMONS; EXHIBIT

DECLARATION OF STEVEN A. SIMONS REGARDING PRETRIAL MEET AND CONFER OVER TRIAL DOCUMENTS

2/22/2018: DECLARATION OF STEVEN A. SIMONS REGARDING PRETRIAL MEET AND CONFER OVER TRIAL DOCUMENTS

(PROPOSED) WITNESS LIST

2/22/2018: (PROPOSED) WITNESS LIST

(PROPOSED) EXHIBIT LIST JURY TRIAL DEMANDED TRIAL DATE: 03/06/2018

2/22/2018: (PROPOSED) EXHIBIT LIST JURY TRIAL DEMANDED TRIAL DATE: 03/06/2018

(PROPOSED) EXHIBIT LIST

4/16/2018: (PROPOSED) EXHIBIT LIST

(PROPOSED) STATEMENT OF THE CASE

4/16/2018: (PROPOSED) STATEMENT OF THE CASE

NOTICE OF TRIAL CONTINUANCE

4/23/2018: NOTICE OF TRIAL CONTINUANCE

JURY INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN

5/14/2018: JURY INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN

Minute Order

5/14/2018: Minute Order

SPECIAL VERDICT

5/14/2018: SPECIAL VERDICT

RULING

6/20/2018: RULING

NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

6/26/2018: NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT OR ORDER

APPELLANT'S NOTICE DESIGNATING RECORD ON APPEAL (UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE)

8/27/2018: APPELLANT'S NOTICE DESIGNATING RECORD ON APPEAL (UNLIMITED CIVIL CASE)

PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES BASED ON: 1) VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA'S CONSUMER LEGAL REMEDIES ACT; ETC

11/14/2016: PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES BASED ON: 1) VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA'S CONSUMER LEGAL REMEDIES ACT; ETC

SUMMONS

11/14/2016: SUMMONS

Unknown

4/13/2017: Unknown

Unknown

4/13/2017: Unknown

NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF

12/8/2017: NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF

68 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/05/2019
  • Appeal Record Delivered; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/16/2019
  • Appeal - Original Clerk's Transcript 1 - 5 Volumes Certified; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/19/2018
  • Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/21/2018
  • Notice of Default; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/25/2018
  • Appeal - Notice Court Reporter to Prepare Appeal Transcript (B292185); Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/15/2018
  • Writ of Execution ((Los Angeles)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/10/2018
  • Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest

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  • 09/27/2018
  • Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Filed by Creditor

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  • 09/27/2018
  • Writ-Other Issued; Filed by Creditor

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  • 09/12/2018
  • NOTICE OF DEFAULT (UNLIMITED CIVIL APPEALS)

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152 More Docket Entries
  • 12/28/2016
  • Answer; Filed by Mike Ahangi (Defendant); Fleets 101, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 11/29/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Greenfield Landscaping and Maintenance, (Plaintiff); Mike Kalta (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/29/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 11/29/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Greenfield Landscaping and Maintenance, (Plaintiff); Mike Kalta (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/29/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 11/15/2016
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/15/2016
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 11/14/2016
  • PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES BASED ON: 1) VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA'S CONSUMER LEGAL REMEDIES ACT; ETC

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  • 11/14/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Greenfield Landscaping and Maintenance, (Plaintiff); Mike Kalta (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/14/2016
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC640449    Hearing Date: July 10, 2020    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO CORRECT JUDGMENT; MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS

MOTION TO CORRECT JUDGMENT

On June 20, 2018, after a jury trial, the Court entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs Mike Kalta and Greenfield Landscaping and Maintenance, Inc. and against defendant Fleets 101, Inc. (“Defendant”). The judgment awarded Plaintiffs “the amount of $5,200.00 as against Fleets 101, Inc. and $2,992.92 as against Fleets 101, Inc.” However, those numbers are inconsistent with the jury’s verdict, which awarded Plaintiffs $24,435.88. On January 23, 2020, Mike Kalta filed this motion for a nunc pro tunc order correcting the judgment. There is no opposition.

“The court may, upon motion of the injured party, or its own motion, correct clerical mistakes in its judgment or orders as entered.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (d).) There is no time limit by which a motion must be brought. “Generally, a clerical error is one inadvertently made, while a judicial error is one made advertently in the exercise of judgment or discretion.” (People v. Jack (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 913, 915.) Examples of clerical error include the amount of the judgment or decree (Pettigrew v. Grand Rent-A-Car (1984) 154 Cal.App.3d 204) and other errors in computation (Erickson v. Stockton & T.C.R. Co. (1905) 148 Cal. 206).

The judgment as entered on June 20, 2018 did not correctly list the amount awarded by the jury. Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff is directed within five court days to separately submit a proposed judgment changing the amount awarded to $24,435.88.

MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS

On June 20, 2018, after a jury trial, the Court entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs Mike Kalta and Greenfield Landscaping and Maintenance, Inc. (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) and against defendant Fleets 101, Inc. (“Defendant”) in this action for violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”). The judgment awarded Plaintiffs their costs and attorney fees in an amount to be determined. Defendant appealed and the Court of Appeal affirmed, awarding Plaintiffs their costs on appeal. Remittitur was issued on January 2, 2020.

On January 23, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a motion for attorney fees and costs, seeking $112,792.50 in attorney fees and $13,411.16 in costs.

ATTORNEY FEES

Timeliness of Motion

Defendant contends that Plaintiffs’ motion is untimely under California Rule of Court rule 3.1702, which states that a motion for attorney fees must be filed and served within the time for filing a notice of appeal, i.e., the earliest of 60 days after service of a Notice of Entry of judgment or 180 days after entry of judgment. (Opposition at p. 3.) Plaintiffs explain that the parties agreed that Plaintiffs would delay filing their motion for attorney fees until after the appeal, and they attach correspondence confirming that agreement. (Reply at p. 2, 4-5, Exs. A-B.)

The parties may file a stipulation, within the time for filing a notice of appeal, to extend the time for filing a motion for attorney fees until the time for filing a memorandum of costs on appeal. (California Rules of Court, rule 3.1702(b)(2).) No stipulation was filed. However, for good cause, the Court may extend the time for filing a motion for attorney fees. (California Rules of Court, rule 3.1702(d).) This rule “is ‘remedial’ and is to be given a liberal, rather than strict interpretation.” (Lewow v. Surfside III Condominium Owners’ Assn., Inc. (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 128, 135.)

Plaintiffs presented evidence of an agreement to delay Plaintiffs’ filing of a motion for attorney fees until after the appeal, based on the parties’ desire to conserve resources. This agreement presents good cause for extending the time to file the motion. Because Plaintiffs raised the issue of the agreement for the first time in their reply, the Court will continue the hearing at Defendant’s request, if Defendants wish additional time to address this issue and the attached correspondence.

Defendant’s reliance on Bankes v. Lucas (1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 365 (Bankes) is unavailing. (Opposition at pp. 3-4.) In the portion of the case quoted by Defendant, the court rejected the opposing party’s argument that the trial court was without jurisdiction to award attorney fees pursuant to a motion that was filed after a notice of appeal. (Bankes, 9 Cal.App.4th at pp. 368-369.) The court stated that the appeal did not stay the proceedings to determine costs and did not prevent the trial court from determining an award of attorney fees. (Id. at p. 369.) Nevertheless, the court found that the motion for attorney fees was untimely because a (since amended) rule permitted the court to extend the time no more than 30 days. (Id. at pp. 371-372, citing Nazemi v. Tseng (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 1633.)

Accordingly, the Court finds good cause to extend the time for filing a motion for attorney fees, and it accepts Plaintiffs’ motion, subject to Defendant requesting additional time to address the issue and evidence submitted with the reply.

Amount of Attorney Fees

As the prevailing parties in this CLRA action, Plaintiffs are entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees. (Civil Code, § 1780, subd. (e).) California courts apply the “lodestar” approach to determine what fees are reasonable. (See, e.g., Holguin v. DISH Network LLC (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1310, 1332.) This inquiry “begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate.” (PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095.) From there, the “lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on consideration of factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided.” (Ibid.) Relevant factors include “(1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2) the skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, [and] (4) the contingent nature of the fee award.” (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132.) The party seeking fees has the burden of documenting the appropriate hours expended and hourly rates. (City of Colton v. Singletary (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 751, 784.)

Plaintiffs’ counsel charges various hourly rates: $650 per hour for Steven Simons; $175 per hour for paralegal Faviana Gonzalez; $175 per hour for paralegal Mayra Mendez; and $450 for attorney Steve Crilly. (Simons Decl. ¶¶ 13, 38-39.) The Court finds the stated rates are reasonable based on counsel’s qualifications, skills, and experience.

Plaintiff’s counsel spent 210 hours working on this case, including drafting the complaint, discovery, trial, and the appeal. (Simons Decl., Ex. 2.) At counsel’s respective billing rates, Plaintiff requests $112,792.50 in fees. (Simons Decl. ¶ 32 & Ex. 2.) Defendants contends that 1.10 hours for reading the Court of Appeal’s opinion is unreasonable because it is a four-page opinion, with only a cover page and captions on the first page. (Opposition at p. 6.) Plaintiffs concede this point and agree to a reduction of one hour. (Reply at p. 8.) Thus, the Court reduces the award by one hour at Simons’s $650 billing rate.

The Court finds that Plaintiff’s requested hours (reduced by one hour) are reasonable considering the work involved in this case, the fact that it includes a jury trial and an appeal, and the nature of and issues in this case. Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to $112,142.50 in attorney fees.

COSTS

Prejudgment Costs

A prevailing party must file and serve a memorandum of costs within 15 days after service of the notice of judgment. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1700(a)(1).) The Court entered judgment on June 20, 2018.

Plaintiffs filed and served a memorandum of costs on May 29, 2018, seeking $10,563.96 in costs. Although this was filed and served before the entry of judgment, “the premature filing of a memorandum of costs is treated as ‘a mere irregularity at best’ that does not constitute reversible error absent a showing of prejudice. [Citation.]” (Haley v. Casa Del Rey Homeowners Assn. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 863, 880.) “Rather, courts treat prematurely filed cost bills as being timely filed.” (Ibid.) Defendant has not shown than Plaintiffs’ premature filing of the memorandum of costs caused any prejudice.

Any motion to tax costs must be filed and served within 15 days of service of the memorandum of costs. (California Rules of Court, rule 3.1700(b)(1).) The May 29, 2018 memorandum of costs was served by mail, so any motion to tax costs was due by June 18, 2018. Defendant did not file a motion to tax costs, and in any event the requested costs that they challenge in their opposition are recoverable.

Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to $10,563.96 in costs pursuant to their May 29, 2018 memorandum of costs.

Costs on Appeal

A prevailing party on appeal must file and serve a verified memorandum of costs within 40 days after issuance of remittitur. (California Rules of Court, rule 8.278(c)(1).) A party’s failure to file a timely memorandum of costs using the Judicial Council form Memorandum of Costs on Appeal waives and forfeits entitlement to costs. (Moulin Electric Corp. v. Roach (1981) 120 Cal.App.3d 1067, 1070; Eisenberg et al., Cal. Practice Guide: Civil Appeals and Writs (The Rutter Group Nov. 2019 Update) ¶¶ 14:97, 14:100.) Plaintiffs have not filed a verified memorandum of costs for their costs on appeal.

Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ request for costs on appeal is denied.

CONCLUSION

The motion for attorney fees and costs is GRANTED IN PART. The Court awards Plaintiffs $112,142.50 in attorney fees and $10,563.96 in costs.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.

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