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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:23:27 (UTC).

18131 VENTURA BLVD, LLC, ET AL VS. 5223 LINDLEY, LLC

Case Summary

On 10/06/2017 18131 VENTURA BLVD, LLC filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against 5223 LINDLEY, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Van Nuys Courthouse East located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is SHIRLEY K. WATKINS. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6325

  • Filing Date:

    10/06/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Van Nuys Courthouse East

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

SHIRLEY K. WATKINS

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

VENTANA MEDICAL CENTER LP

18131 VENTURA BLVD LLC

Defendants

DOES 1-10

5223 LINDLEY LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SHAYEFAR MATTHEW

Defendant Attorney

LARR WILLIAM RAY

 

Court Documents

Motion re:

5/29/2019: Motion re:

Minute Order

6/11/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

6/25/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Case Management Conference

10/6/2017: Notice of Case Management Conference

Summons

10/6/2017: Summons

Minute Order

4/2/2018: Minute Order

Notice

10/9/2018: Notice

Motion for Summary Judgment

12/7/2018: Motion for Summary Judgment

Separate Statement

12/7/2018: Separate Statement

Notice of Lodging

12/7/2018: Notice of Lodging

Opposition

2/7/2019: Opposition

Objection

2/15/2019: Objection

Reply

2/15/2019: Reply

Opposition

5/6/2019: Opposition

Opposition

5/6/2019: Opposition

Reply

5/8/2019: Reply

Minute Order

5/10/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

5/20/2019: Minute Order

99 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/12/2019
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department T, Shirley K. Watkins, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review (ReMatter taken under submission) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 08/09/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department T, Shirley K. Watkins, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review (ReMatter taken under submission) - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 08/09/2019
  • Docketat 4:30 PM in Department T, Shirley K. Watkins, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review - Held - Taken under Submission

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  • 08/09/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Non-Appearance Case Review)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/09/2019
  • DocketBrief (Closing Reply Brief of Defendant 5223 Lindley, LLC); Filed by 5223 Lindley, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 08/09/2019
  • DocketBrief (Plaintiffs' Responsive Closing Brief); Filed by 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketBrief (Plaintiffs' Closing Brief); Filed by 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketNotice of Lodging (Notice of Lodging Trial Transcripts); Filed by 5223 Lindley, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketBrief (Closing Argument Brief of Defendant 5223 Lindley, LLC); Filed by 5223 Lindley, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 06/25/2019
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department T, Shirley K. Watkins, Presiding; Non-Jury Trial - Held - Continued

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135 More Docket Entries
  • 02/23/2018
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department T; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 02/23/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-02-23 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/13/2018
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC (Plaintiff); Ventana Medical Center, LP (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/07/2018
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by 5223 Lindley, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 12/20/2017
  • DocketMotion-Strike; Filed by 5223 Lindley, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 12/05/2017
  • DocketProof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC (Plaintiff); Ventana Medical Center, LP (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by null

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC (Plaintiff); Ventana Medical Center, LP (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC (Plaintiff); Ventana Medical Center, LP (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: LC106325    Hearing Date: August 19, 2020    Dept: T

18131 VENTURA BLVD, LLC; et. al.,

Plaintiff,

vs.

5223 LINDLEY LLC,

Defendants.

CASE NO: LC106325

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

MOTION TO TAX COSTS

Dept. T

8:30 a.m.

Aug. 19, 2020

[TENTATIVE] ORDER: The Motion to Tax Costs is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART as stated below.

1. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs 18131 Ventura Blvd, LLC and Ventana Medical Center, LP (“Plaintiffs”) move to tax the costs of Defendant 5223 Lindley LLC (“Defendant”). Courts have discretion to disallow costs that were unreasonably incurred. Michell v. Olick (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 1194, 1201. Plaintiffs argument that Defendant did not incur the costs requested because its insurer covered the costs is unpersuasive and there is no evidence of same. Defendant’s insurer is not a party to this action and thus could not have incurred any costs. There is no legal authority that a party which is being defended by its insurance company cannot recover costs as a prevailing party.

A. Depositions:

(1) Safeway Inc.’s Person Most Knowledgeable and Sam Shink – DENY. It is not the purview of the court to determine retrospectively whether the taking of the deposition was reasonable but rather whether it was reasonable at the time taken. Litigation is constantly in flux during the discovery phase. There were significant issues at trial concerning the intent of the parties in creating the easement, what was known between prior owners, sellers, etc. The court finds that these costs were not unreasonably incurred.

(2) Craig Danley of Delta Pipeline – DENY. The deposition of Mr. Danley is seen to be reasonably necessary because Delta Pipeline installed the drain line in the easement area and gave testimony regarding whether the location of the meters would indicate that the utilities were in the easement area.

(3) Bank of America’s Luis Reyes and Jeffrey Jackson – DENY. Again, Bank of America’s ownership of property, transfers, creation of the easement, knowledge and intent of the parties and prior owners and sellers were in issue.

(4) Utility Company representatives – DENY. The date of placement of utilities, where they were located, and related issues were hotly contested. It was not unreasonable to take these depositions.

B. Expedited Transcripts GRANT. Tax $4,218.55. Costs for expedited transcription are not seen as reasonably necessary because there is no showing of any time restraint in obtaining the transcripts. As argued by Plaintiffs, the depositions were conducted well before the trial date.

C. Service of Process – DENY. The Memo of Costs identifies 33 persons that were served and the costs for service. Of those 33 persons served, Plaintiffs argue that the service was not reasonably necessary because the persons were served the subpoenas at their depositions. However, Plaintiffs only provide evidence of four witnesses that were served at the depositions. Without evidence to support Plaintiffs’ contention as to the remaining 29 witnesses, the argument, at least as to the remaining 29 witnesses, is unpersuasive. Even with the four witnesses being served at their deposition, the arguments do not take into consideration that trial was continued and the witnesses were reserved. Plaintiffs’ argue that the witnesses also agreed to be on-call. However, the deposition transcripts for the four witnesses Plaintiffs identify, the record only shows that the witnesses were given the agreements and they were expressly told that they were not required to agree to be on-call. The deposition transcripts do not support Plaintiffs’ contention that the four witnesses agreed to be on-call for trial. Plaintiffs’ arguments are not persuasive.

D. Witness Fees – DENY. For the same reason as the court allows the costs for the deposition, the witness fees for those depositions are reasonable. Likewise, witness fees for witnesses who were served but did not testify would also not be unreasonable.

E. Expert Witness Fees: GRANT in Part. Tax $7,912.80 pre-offer fees. Whether a CCP § 998 offer was reasonable is tested by the circumstances existing at the time the offer was made, and not by hindsight. Fortman v. Hemco, Inc. (1989) 211 Cal.App.3d 241, 264. Although CCP § 998 makes no reference to “good faith,” courts have read into the statute a good faith requirement. However, where “the offeror obtains a judgment more favorable than its offer, the judgment constitutes prima facie evidence showing the offer was reasonable and the offeror is eligible for costs as specified in section 998. The burden is therefore properly on plaintiff, as offeree, to prove otherwise. ” Santantonio v. Westinghouse Broad. Co. (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 102, 117.3-28-19. Plaintiffs’ only argument that the 998 offer was not made in good faith is that the offer of $10,000 was minimal in comparison to the over $200,000 in damages being sought. However, this is countered by the fact that Plaintiff was not awarded any monetary damages and prevailed on no issues. The judgment ultimately recovered has a bearing on “reasonableness” of the offer. Elrod v. Oregon Cummins Diesel, Inc. (1987) 195 Cal. App. 3d 692, 700 (“Elrod”). Other factors that could have been addressed by Plaintiff but were not are Defendant’s insurance coverage or lack thereof; jury reports; and whether plaintiff had information to evaluate the offer when it was made. Elrod supra @ 688-689. Because Plaintiff’s argument is equally countered by the judgment’s zero award to Plaintiff, the argument is unpersuasive and does not tip the scale in Plaintiff’s favor to show lack of good faith.

Plaintiff disputes the fees for Timothy Lowe and Jeff Hughes and argues that they are not experts. However, Mr. Lowe was offered as Defendant’s expert on diminution of value of the property. Jeff Hughes clearly testified to matters which are beyond the lay knowledge of an average person and expressed opinions about relevant matters.

As to Plaintiffs’ argument against BWE/Thomas Newsom, the argument is unpersuasive because Defendant identifies the expert as their geotechnical consultant.

Plaintiffs identify five items of expert witness fees paid pre-offer. Pre-offer fees are not recoverable and the amount of $7,912.80 is taxed.

F. Court Ordered Transcripts – GRANT. Tax $6,230.30. As provided by Plaintiffs, the court did not order any transcripts. The entirety of this cost item is stricken.

G. Trial Exhibits – DENY. The amount for binders and enlarged maps are not unreasonable in amount.

H. Court Reporter Fees – DENY. Defendant explains that the additional amounts in fees was for “real time.” The Court finds the amount reasonable and reasonably necessary.

The parties agreed at the outset to provide “real time” access.

2. CONCLUSION

The following amounts are taxed:

Expedited Transcripts: Tax $4,218.55.

Expert Witness Fees: Tax $7,912.80.

Court Ordered Transcripts: Tax $6,230.30.

Total taxed = $18,361.65

IT IS SO ORDERED, CLERK TO GIVE NOTICE. CLERK TO ENTER COSTS AWARDED IN THE SUM OF $65,765.30.