This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/14/2019 at 09:32:34 (UTC).

STEPHEN WINICK VS NOBLE LA EVENTS INC

Case Summary

On 01/12/2015 STEPHEN WINICK filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against NOBLE LA EVENTS INC. 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 L. HESS. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9126

  • Filing Date:

    01/12/2015

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

ROBERT L. HESS

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WINICK STEPHEN

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS INC.

DOES 1 TO 25

HILTON MANAGEMENT LLC

MCKILLOP JOHN

NOBLE LA EVENTS INC.

HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION

NOBLE ASSOCIATES WORLDWIDE INC.

DIXON ROBERT

OASIS WEST REALTY LLC

ROCK SECURITY INC.

APPLEWHITE THOMAS

PROSIGHT SPECIALTY INSURANCE

Cross Defendant

EVENT CREDENTIALS LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

EVENSTAD BENJAMIN

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

KATZ MARTIN D. ESQ.

RODRIGUEZ STEVEN LEE

BORDIN-WOSK JOSHUA D

KLEVENS JOEL N

GALPERIN YURY

TANNER FREDERIC T

Cross Defendant Attorney

CAREY JANE E

 

Court Documents

Motion in Limine

8/1/2019: Motion in Limine

NOTICE OF CHANGE OF FIRM NAME AND ADDRESS

12/27/2017: NOTICE OF CHANGE OF FIRM NAME AND ADDRESS

DECLARATION OF FREDERIC T. TANNER,ESQ. RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

1/4/2018: DECLARATION OF FREDERIC T. TANNER,ESQ. RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

1/10/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

PROOF OF SERVICE RE: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION, ETC

7/3/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE RE: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION, ETC

Minute Order

1/3/2019: Minute Order

Motion in Limine

2/15/2019: Motion in Limine

Statement of the Case

2/26/2019: Statement of the Case

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

2/26/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Order

5/24/2019: Order

SUMMONS

1/12/2015: SUMMONS

DEFENDANT DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS, INC.'S REPLY MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF ITS DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

8/20/2015: DEFENDANT DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS, INC.'S REPLY MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF ITS DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

DEFENDANT NOBLE LA EVENTS, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND THINGS TO PLAINTIFF AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUN

9/16/2015: DEFENDANT NOBLE LA EVENTS, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS AND THINGS TO PLAINTIFF AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUN

DEFENDANT NOBLE LA EVENTS, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES PROPOUNDED TO PLAINTIFF AND ETC

9/17/2015: DEFENDANT NOBLE LA EVENTS, INC.'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES PROPOUNDED TO PLAINTIFF AND ETC

CIVIL DEPOSIT

5/17/2017: CIVIL DEPOSIT

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/15/2017: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

CIVIL DEPOSIT

10/17/2017: CIVIL DEPOSIT

CROSS-DEFENDANT, EVENT CREDENTIALS LLC'S ANSWER TO THE UNVERIFIED CROSS-COMPLAINT OF NOBLE ASSOCIATES WORLDWIDE INCORPORATED

10/17/2017: CROSS-DEFENDANT, EVENT CREDENTIALS LLC'S ANSWER TO THE UNVERIFIED CROSS-COMPLAINT OF NOBLE ASSOCIATES WORLDWIDE INCORPORATED

233 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/31/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery")

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  • 08/27/2019
  • Hearingat 10:00 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 08/15/2019
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 08/15/2019
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 24 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (name extension)

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketMotion in Limine (NO. 2 TO EXCLUDE THE TESTIMONY OF LOU PALUMBO FOR NOT PRESENTING FOR HIS COURT ORDERED DEPOSITION, VIOLATING THE KENNEMUR STANDARD); Filed by Dick Clark Productions, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketMotion in Limine (NO. 1 TO EXCLUDE THE TESTIMONY OF PLAINTIFF IN ITS ENTIRETY FOR NOT PRESENTING FOR HIS COURT ORDERED DEPOSITION, OR ALTERNATIVELY EXCLUDE ANY TESTIMONY SPECULATING WHETHER DEFENDANT?S EMPLOYEES WERE); Filed by Dick Clark Productions, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/12/2019
  • DocketMotion in Limine (NO. 3 TO EXCLUDE THE TESTIMONY OF BENITA MILLER AS TO DEFENDANT?S ROLE AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES); Filed by Dick Clark Productions, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/09/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 24; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Continue Trial or to Shorten Time for Hearing) - Held - Continued

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  • 08/09/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (Declaration); Filed by Dick Clark Productions, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 08/09/2019
  • DocketEx Parte Application (Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial or to Shorten Time for Hearing); Filed by Dick Clark Productions, Inc. (Defendant)

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413 More Docket Entries
  • 03/05/2015
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 03/03/2015
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/18/2015
  • DocketAMBNDPD COMPLAINT

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  • 02/18/2015
  • DocketAmended Complaint 1) False Imprisonment 2) Violation of the Bane Civil Rights Act (Cal. Civ. Code 52.1) 3) Negligence 4) Assault and Battery; Filed by Stephen Winick (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/18/2015
  • Docket1ST AMENDED SUMMONS

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  • 02/18/2015
  • DocketAmended Complaint; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 02/18/2015
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 01/12/2015
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Stephen Winick (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/12/2015
  • DocketCOMPLAINT 1. FALSE IMPRISONMENT; ETC

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  • 01/12/2015
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC569126    Hearing Date: June 23, 2020    Dept: 24

Defendant Dick Clark Productions's motion to compel compliance is DENIED.

This action arises out of an alleged incident that occurred on January 12, 2014, at the Golden Globes Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel (“Hotel”). Plaintiff Stephen Winick alleges he was physically removed from the event, his personal property was taken from him, he was detained and then forced to leave, despite being an authorized guest.

On January 12, 2015, Plaintiff filed the instant false imprisonment action against Defendants Noble LA Events Inc. ("Noble"), John McKillop ("McKillop"), Dick Clark Productions, Inc. ("DCP"), and Hilton Management LLC ("Hilton"). Plaintiff subsequently named the following Doe Defendants: Robert Dixon ("Dixon"), Thomas Applewhite ("Applewhite"), Noble Associates Worldwide, Inc. ("Noble Associates"), Hollywood Foreign Press Association ("HFPA"), Rock Security, Inc. ("Rock Security"), Oasis West Realty, LLC ("Oasis"). HFPA was dismissed on September 29, 2017. Oasis was dismissed on October 12, 2017.

On September 17, 2015, Plaintiff filed the operative third amended complaint ("TAC"), which alleges the following seven causes of action: (1) False Imprisonment, (2) Violation of the Bane Civil Rights Act, (3) Negligence, (4) Assault and Battery, (5) Doctrine of Respondeat Superior, (6) Negligent Selection, Retention, and Hiring, and (7) IIED. On December 14, 2015, the Court sustained without leave to amend DCP's demurrer the second, fifth, sixth and seventh causes of action.

Over five years of litigation, multiple cross-complaints were filed. McKillop and Noble LA Events brought a cross-complaint against Even Credentials LLC for equitable indemnity, contribution and declaratory relief. Similarly, Noble Associates Worldwide Inc. brought a cross-complaint against Event Credentials LLC for equitable indemnity, total indemnity, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief.

The case proceeded to a bench trial on August 29, 2019 through September 9, 2019. After issuing a tentative statement of decision, the Court issued a final statement of decision on January 7, 2020. On February 7, 2020, the Court entered judgment for each Defendant and against Plaintiff on all counts.

On March 26, 2020, DCP filed the instant motion to compel Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel of record to pay previously-awarded sanctions in the amount of $1,530.00 and for additional sanctions in the amount of $2,640.00. On May 20, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel Samuel O. Ogbogu (“Ogbogu”) filed an opposition on his own behalf, and a joinder for Plaintiff.

The Court notes that Plaintiff submitted a motion for new trial on March 2, 2020, set for hearing concurrently with this motion.

Discussion

 

DCP moves to compel the enforcement of a prior Court order for payment of sanctions in the amount of $1,530.00 against Plaintiff and his attorney of record Ben Evenstad (“Evenstad”), and a request for an additional sanction against Plaintiff and his attorneys of record Evenstad and Ogbogu in the amount of $2,640.00. Notably absent from the motion is any authority that allows this Court to make such an order.

First the Court must examine whether it may “compel” Plaintiff and counsel of record’s compliance with the January 7, 2020 order. DCP cites several statutes as authority for this order, including CCP sections 2023.010, 2023.030, 2024.050, and 2025.450.

CCP section 2023.010 compiles a list of misuses of the discovery process. These include, but are not limited to:

(a) persisting, over objection and without substantial justification, in an attempt to obtain information or materials that are outside the scope of permissible discovery;

(b) using a discovery method in a manner that does not comply with its specified procedures;

(c) employing a discovery method in a manner or to an extent that causes unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, or oppression, or undue burden and expense;

(d) failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery;

(e) making, without substantial justification, an unmeritorious objection to discovery;

(f) making an evasive response to discovery;

(g) disobeying a court order to provide discovery;

(h) making or opposing, unsuccessfully and without substantial justification, a motion to compel or to limit discovery; and

(i) failing to confer in person, by telephone, or by letter with an opposing party or attorney in a reasonable and good faith attempt to resolve informally any dispute concerning discovery, if the section governing a particular discovery motion requires the filing of a declaration stating facts showing that an attempt at informal resolution has been made.

Facially, none of the categories of this section apply. Plaintiff’s failure to pay sanctions is not an attempt to obtain discovery; in fact, it is not a discovery method at all. Further, it is not an objection to discovery, a response to discovery, disobedience of an order to provide discovery, a motion to compel or limit discovery, or a failure to meet and confer. It is readily apparent that failure to pay sanctions is not a misuse of discovery. This section simply does not apply.

CCP section 2023.030 provides a list of discovery sanctions that the Court may impose against “anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process.” As discussed above, failing to comply with a sanction is not a misuse of the discovery process per CCP section 2023.010.

CCP section 2024.050(a) states: “On motion of any party, the court may grant leave to complete discovery proceedings, or to have a motion concerning discovery heard, closer to the initial trial date, or to reopen discovery after a new trial date has been set.” This also facially does not apply here. DCP does not want to re-open discovery post-trial.

CCP section 2025.450 lays out the process by which a party may compel a person to deposition. This citation is equally arbitrary as the last: the section also simply does not apply.

Defendant posits no authority that states the Court should re-sanction and re-order Plaintiff to pay the discovery sanctions. The dearth of authority is to be expected, because the instant motion is simply unnecessary: DCP already has an enforceable money judgment against Plaintiff and the indicated counsel of record. (See Newland v. Superior Court (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 608, 615.) As the Second District once noted: “many attorneys seem to be unaware that monetary sanction orders are enforceable through the execution of judgment laws. [Citation omitted.] These orders have the force and effect of a money judgment, and are immediately enforceable through execution, except to the extent the trial court may order a stay of the sanction. [Citation omitted.] Unawareness of this remedy may explain why terminating sanctions are often sought when monetary sanctions are unpaid.” (Newland v. Superior Court (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 608, 615.) Thus, any order simply re-affirming previously granted sanctions would be the equivalent of the Court ineffectually saying: “This time, we mean it!” The Court meant it the first time, and the January 7 order granting sanctions is fully enforceable as-is. Repeating the order here does not, somehow, make it more enforceable.

DCP also moves for an additional sanction. This motion is equally without authority. Defendant cites to CCP section 2023.020 as the basis for this additional sanction. However, Defendant fails to explain how this provision applies to the case at hand. Examining the text of the statute, it does not. This section states: “Notwithstanding the outcome of the particular discovery motion, the court shall impose a monetary sanction ordering that any party or attorney who fails to confer as required pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct.” (CCP § 2023.020 [emphasis added].) This does not allow for the imposition of sanctions against parties who fail to pay a sanction. Rather, this enables the court to sanction parties who do not meet and confer as described in the Discovery Act. (See CCP § 2023.010(f); see also Ellis v. Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 853, 880 [discussing sanctions for failing to meet and confer].) DCP frames this issue as counsel’s failure to meet and confer regarding the sanction. However, the Discovery Act does not require a meet and confer effort after a motion to compel is granted and sanctions are awarded. This would be non-sensical, and DCP provides no contrary authority. Simply put, there is no requirement that the parties to meet and confer regarding a sanction. Thus, Plaintiff did not fail to “confer as required” and no additional sanctions could be imposed under CCP section 2023.020.

This also harmonizes with the purpose of discovery sanctions. Sanctions are imposed for a specific purpose: to dissuade those litigants who unreasonably interfere with the discovery process and cover the costs of the parties entitled to discovery. Here, Plaintiff has apparently complied with the discovery at issue. Thus, further sanctions are meaningless. Such sanctions would only be to punish Plaintiff, a desire which is unrelated to the ends of discovery.

Additional sanctions would not further the purpose of discovery at this time. Thus, additional sanctions are not warranted.

Accordingly, DCP’s motion is DENIED.

Sanctions per CCP § 128.5/128.7

The Court does not find a basis to sanction DCP’s counsel per CCP section 128.7(h), as the motion does not appear to have been brought to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or increase the cost of litigation. Rather, sanctions may be better stated under CCP section 128.5. However, there is a question as to whether the Court could find that the motion was made in bad faith per CCP section 128.5.

“Frivolous” under that section means totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party. “Because the Legislature intended that the conditions for sanctions under the current version of section 128.5 mirror section 128.7, [the California Court of Appeal has held] that the objective standard used to evaluate section 128.7 sanctions motions applies to section 128.5.” (San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1306, 1318.) “Although the objective standard of proof is easier to satisfy, the Legislature intended to ‘retain the extremely high proof required for such awards’ with its applicability lying with ‘truly egregious behaviors.’ ” (Id. at 1318-19.) An objectively reasonable attorney standard applies to this determination. (Id. at 1319.) “Whether a claim is meritless or for the sole purpose of harassment must be evaluated by examining whether the factual allegations of the claim had evidentiary support.” (Ibid.) The “ultimate burden of providing sanctionable conduct remains with the moving party.” (Id. at 1320.) The moving party must provide evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie case that the action is meritless or for the sole purpose of harassment. (Id. at 1319-1320.) If the court finds that this evidence has satisfied the moving party’s burden, then the burden shifts to the opposing party to refute the prima facie case. (Id. at 1320.)

Newsom supports the position that this motion was not made in bad faith. Indeed, “many attorneys seem to be unaware that monetary sanction orders are enforceable through the execution of judgment laws. (Newsom, supra, 40 Cal.App.4th at 615.) If many attorneys are unaware of this aspect of sanctions, then the Court could not conclude that, objectively, DCP’s counsel’s conduct was unreasonable and egregious enough to warrant counter sanctions. However, the Court will allow Plaintiff to further address this argument at the hearing.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Plaintiff Stephen Winick’s motion for new trial.

This action arises out of an alleged incident that occurred on January 12, 2014, at the Golden Globes Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel (“Hotel”). Plaintiff Stephen Winick alleges he was physically removed from the event, his personal property was taken from him, he was detained and then forced to leave, despite being an authorized guest.

On January 12, 2015, Plaintiff filed the instant false imprisonment action against Defendants Noble LA Events Inc. ("Noble"), John McKillop ("McKillop"), Dick Clark Productions, Inc. ("DCP"), and Hilton Management LLC ("Hilton"). Plaintiff subsequently named the following Doe Defendants: Robert Dixon ("Dixon"), Thomas Applewhite ("Applewhite"), Noble Associates Worldwide, Inc. ("Noble Associates"), Hollywood Foreign Press Association ("HFPA"), Rock Security, Inc. ("Rock Security"), Oasis West Realty, LLC ("Oasis"). HFPA was dismissed on September 29, 2017. Oasis was dismissed on October 12, 2017.

On September 17, 2015, Plaintiff filed the operative third amended complaint ("TAC"), which alleges the following seven causes of action: (1) False Imprisonment, (2) Violation of the Bane Civil Rights Act, (3) Negligence, (4) Assault and Battery, (5) Doctrine of Respondeat Superior, (6) Negligent Selection, Retention, and Hiring, and (7) IIED. Prior to trial, the only remaining causes of action were False Imprisonment, Negligence, and Assault and Battery.

Over five years of litigation, multiple cross-complaints were filed. McKillop and Noble LA Events brought a cross-complaint against Even Credentials LLC for equitable indemnity, contribution and declaratory relief. Similarly, Noble Associates Worldwide Inc. brought a cross-complaint against Event Credentials LLC for equitable indemnity, total indemnity, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief.

The case proceeded to a bench trial on August 29, 2019 through September 9, 2019. After issuing a tentative statement of decision, the Court issued a final statement of decision on January 7, 2020. On February 7, 2020, the Court entered judgment for each Defendant and against Plaintiff on all counts.

On February 21, 2020, Plaintiff filed a notice of intent to move for new trial. On March 2, 2020, Plaintiff moved for new trial. On March 12, 2020, DCP filed an opposition. On March 13, 2020, Applewhite, McKillop, Noble Associates, and Prosight Specialty filed a joinder to the opposition. On March 24, 2020, Plaintiff filed an objection to the opposition to the motion. On March 27, 2020, Plaintiff filed a reply.

The Court notes that DCP filed a motion to compel against Plaintiff to be heard with the instant motion.

Legal Standard

“A motion for new trial is a creature of statute; . . .” (Neal v. Montgomery Elevator Co. (1992) 7 Cal. App. 4th 1194, 1198.) A movant must satisfy Code of Civil Procedure sections 657 and 659. Under Code of Civil Procedure section 657, a motion for new trial may be granted if there is any:

[¶] 1. Irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury, or adverse party, or any order of the court or abuse of discretion by which either party was prevented from having a fair trial. [¶] 2. Misconduct of the jury; and whenever any one or more of the jurors have been induced to assent to any general or special verdict, or to a finding on any question submitted to them by the court, by a resort to the determination of chance, such misconduct may be proved by the affidavit of any one of the jurors. [¶] 3. Accident or surprise, which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against. [¶] 4. Newly discovered evidence, material for the party making the application, which he could not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced at the trial. [¶] 5. Excessive or inadequate damages. [¶] 6. Insufficiency of the evidence to justify the verdict or other decision, or the verdict or other decision is against law. [¶] 7. Error in law, occurring at the trial and excepted to by the party making the application.

(CCP, § 657.)

When ruling on an application for a new trial, the court sits as an independent trier of fact. (Lane v. Hughes Aircraft Co. (2000) 22 Cal.4th 405, 412.) The court, therefore, has broad discretion to order new trials, limited only by the obligation to state its reasons for granting a new trial and the existence of substantial evidence in the record to support those reasons. (Ibid.) In assessing the need for a new trial, the court must rely on its view of the overall record, taking into account such factors, among others, as the nature and seriousness of the alleged misconduct, the general atmosphere, including the judge’s control, of the trial, the likelihood of prejudicing the jury, and the efficacy of objection or admonition under all the circumstances. (Dominguez v. Pantalone (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 201, 211.)

Procedural Requirements

The party intending to move for a new trial must file with the clerk and serve upon each adverse party a notice of his intention to move for a new trial, designating the grounds upon which the motion will be made and whether the same will be made upon affidavits or the minutes of the court or both, either (1) “after a decision is rendered and before the entry of judgment”; (2) “within 15 days of the date of mailing notice of entry of judgment by the clerk of the court . . . , or service upon him or her by any party of written notice of entry of judgment, or within 180 days after the entry of judgment, whichever is earliest”; or (3) if another party files the first motion for new trial, “each other party shall have 15 days after the service of that notice upon him or her to file and serve a notice of intention to move for a new trial.” (CCP § 659.) These time limits are jurisdictional and cannot extended or waived by stipulation nor court order. (Marriage of Herr (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 1463, 1469 [while trial judge characterized order as one “granting reconsideration,” ruling effectively granted new trial and was untimely].)

Plaintiff meets the procedural requirements noted here.

Late-Filed Reply

The motion was initially scheduled to April 2, 2020. The deadline to file a Reply was March 17, 2020. Plaintiff failed to timely file a Reply or assert any objections by that date. The Court observes that Plaintiff filed an objection to the opposition on the grounds that Defendants failed to serve co-counsel with the opposition. (Ogbogu Decl., ¶ 5.) Given the lack of prejudice (and legal authority for the objection), the Court will consider the opposition. Likewise, given the lack of prejudice for the late-filed reply, and the continuances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court will exercise its discretion to consider the reply.

Evidentiary Objections

Defendants objections nos. 1, 3 4 are SUSTAINED. Objection no. 2 is OVERRULED.

Defendants objections to reply evidence are OVERRULED.

The Court has only addressed preliminary issues with regard to this motion.  The Court will entertain argument at the hearing and issue its ruling.