This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/23/2020 at 00:51:14 (UTC).

AIDA SIFONTES ET AL VS MABEL PENA

Case Summary

On 02/21/2018 AIDA SIFONTES filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against MABEL PENA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GEORGINA T. RIZK, KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE and MARK A. BORENSTEIN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4941

  • Filing Date:

    02/21/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

GEORGINA T. RIZK

KRISTIN S. ESCALANTE

MARK A. BORENSTEIN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

ZALDIVAR MARITZA

PRIETO GERARDO A DISABLED PERSON

SIFONTES AIDA A DISABLED PERSON

PRIETO GERARDO

GUILLERMO PRIETO

SIFONTES AIDA

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 TO 10

PENA MABEL

WASHINGTON PENA (DOE 1)

WASHINGTON PENA DOE 1

PENA DOE 1 WASHINGTON

Guardian Ad Litems

PRIETOM GUILLERMO

GUILLERMO PRIETOM

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

BEUGELMANS JACQUES ESQ.

BEUGELMANS JACQUES

FRAENKEL STUART ROLF ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

CARRON PAUL ANDREW

CARRON PAUL ANDREW ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON PETITION TO CONFIRM MINOR'S COMPROMISE WITH SPECIA...)

8/21/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON PETITION TO CONFIRM MINOR'S COMPROMISE WITH SPECIA...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE DUE TO COVID-19;) OF 04/14/2020

4/14/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE DUE TO COVID-19;) OF 04/14/2020

Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim

3/2/2020: Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim

Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim

11/13/2019: Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER; THE COURT'S ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE OF THE 12/02...) OF 11/22/2019

11/22/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER; THE COURT'S ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE OF THE 12/02...) OF 11/22/2019

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER; THE COURT'S ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE OF THE 12/02...)

11/22/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER; THE COURT'S ORDER RE: CONTINUANCE OF THE 12/02...)

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

12/4/2019: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

Proof of Service by Mail

8/28/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Motion re: - MOTION RE: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTON FOR REDUCTION O DHCS/MEDICAL LIEN; DECLARATION OF JACQUES BEUGELMANS;

8/21/2019: Motion re: - MOTION RE: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTON FOR REDUCTION O DHCS/MEDICAL LIEN; DECLARATION OF JACQUES BEUGELMANS;

Answer

1/9/2019: Answer

Notice of Deposit - Jury

1/18/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury

[Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO

5/29/2019: [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL EX PARTE

5/23/2018: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL EX PARTE

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL EX PARTE

5/23/2018: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM?CIVIL EX PARTE

AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT -

3/2/2018: AMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT -

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

3/20/2018: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

3/20/2018: APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

NOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

3/20/2018: NOTICE OF REJECTION - APPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

21 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/22/2021
  • Hearing02/22/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 29 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 10/21/2020
  • Hearing10/21/2020 at 13:30 PM in Department 29 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Special Needs Trust

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  • 08/21/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Special Needs Trust (Petitioner/Guardian Ad Litem, Guillermo Prieto's Petition To Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim of Gerardo Prieto, a Person With a Disability) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 08/21/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Specia...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/16/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Special Needs Trust (Petitioner/Guardian Ad Litem, Guillermo Prieto's Petition To Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim of Gerardo Prieto, a Person With a Disability) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 07/16/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Petitioner/Guardian Ad Litem, Guillermo Prieto's P...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/20/2020
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Hearing on Petition to Confirm Minor's Compromise with Special Needs Trust (Petitioner/Guardian Ad Litem, Guillermo Prieto's Petition To Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim of Gerardo Prieto, a Person With a Disability) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/14/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 29, Kristin S. Escalante, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 04/14/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order Re: Continuance due to COVID-19;)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/14/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order Re: Continuance due to COVID-19;) of 04/14/2020); Filed by Clerk

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38 More Docket Entries
  • 03/20/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/20/2018
  • DocketApplication ; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/20/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 03/20/2018
  • DocketAPPLICATION AND ORDER FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketCIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketAMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketAmendment to Complaint; Filed by Prieto Guillermo (Plaintiff); Aida Sifontes (Plaintiff); Gerardo, Prieto (Plaintiff) et al.

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketReceipt; Filed by Aida Sifontes (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Aida Sifontes (Plaintiff); Gerardo, Prieto (Plaintiff); Maritza Zaldivar (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES/NEGLIGENCE

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC694941    Hearing Date: August 21, 2020    Dept: 29

Sifontes et al. v. Pena

The Court has reviewed the Amended Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim of a Person With a Disability (Gerardo Prieto, Age 54) filed on 3/2/20. The probate department has identified defects in the special needs trust that need to be corrected before the Court can approve the settlement. The defects are described below. The Court continues the hearing to 10/21/20 so that Petitioner can address the defects. Petitioner is ordered to file the additional information set forth above in a Supplement to the Petition by 9/21/20 for review by the Probate Department.

This action arises from a fire that occurred on 12/9/17 at Plaintiffs residence. Plaintiffs allege they were tenants of Defendant, Mabel Pena. Plaintiffs allege the electrical system in the residence was not code compliant and was a fire hazard. A fire ensued resulting in the death of Aida Sifontes and injuries to Plaintiffs Martiza Zaldifar and Gerardo Prieto (“Gerardo”). Petitioner Guillermo Prieto (“Guillermo”), is Gerardo’s brother and the Guardian ad Litem in this civil case. Guillermo alleges that Gerardo “suffers from retardation and is severally mentally handicapped.” Amended Petition, page 21.

At paragraph 19b, Petitioner states that there is no conservatorship of the estate of Gerardo, and at paragraph 19b(4) requests that the net proceeds of the subject settlement be paid to Gerardo, $18,810.13, to be distributed to a Special Needs Trust (“SNT”) pursuant to Prob C § 3604 and §3611(c) to be held by a trustee for the benefit of Gerardo.

Given the relatively modest settlement amount, Petitioner seeks to have the proceeds distributed to a pooled SNT, to wit, the CPT Pooled Special Needs Trust, in accordance with 42 U.S.C. Section 1396p(d)(4)(C).

As previously noted, the Court finds that there are defects affecting the Court’s ability to approve the petition at this time.

1. There are insufficient facts set forth in the Petition to make the findings required under Prob Code § 3604 to establish a special needs trust for the benefit of Gerardo

As per Prob C § 3604(b), a special needs trust “may be established and continued only if the Court determines all of the following:

1) That the minor or person with a disability has a disability that substantially impairs the individual’s ability to provide for the individual’s own care or custody and constitutes a substantial handicap;

2) That the minor or person with a disability is likely to have special needs that will not be met without the trust; and,

3) That money to be paid to the trust does not exceed the amount that appears reasonably necessary to meet the special needs of the minor or person with a disability.”

At page 21 of the Petition, Guillermo alleges that Gerardo “suffers from retardation and is severally mentally handicapped.” Petitioner should supplement this petition with additional information that supports that conclusion. Petitioner may want to obtain a declaration signed under penalty of perjury from a medical professional who has personal knowledge of Gerardo’s condition and can attest to facts to support the conclusion that Gerardo is an adult person with a disability as that term is defined at Prob C § 3603.

Petitioner could also present evidence that Gerardo is a person who has qualified for, and is currently receiving, Medi-Cal or other government benefits, provided the same is true, as per Prob C 3603.

Furthermore, other evidence should be presented that will allow the Court to make the above referenced required findings at Prob C 3604(b)(2)-(3). The Court requires specific information to make those findings. For example, petitioners often present evidence in the form of a “life care plan” that includes information regarding the costs of goods and services not covered by government benefits and that require funding from some other source, such as a special needs trust, to meet the same.

In sum, there is insufficient information set forth in the Petition to make the required findings under Prob C 3604 to allow distribution of such proceeds to a pooled SNT for Gerardo.

2. Notice of Hearing

As required by Prob C § 3602(f) and §3611(c), 15-day notice of hearing and a copy of the Petition must be served to the following parties entitled to notice:

1) the State Director of Health Care Services (DHS),

2) the Director of State Hospitals (DSH), and

3) the Director of Developmental Services (DDS).

Petitioner attaches a proof of service of the Petition to a copy of the petition. The proof of service does not reflect that DSH and DDS were served with the amended petition as required.

Furthermore, per the Court’s minute order of 7/16/20 continuing the matter to 8/21/20 at 1:30 p.m., “the moving party is ordered to give notice.” There is no proof of service of notice filed in this case for the current hearing set for 8/21/20 at 1:30 p.m.

3. A copy of the pooled SNT or copy of the accompanying joinder agreement to the pooled SNT has not been submitted

When a Petitioner seeks an order allowing distribution to a pooled special needs trust, the Court must review a copy of the proposed trust to ensure the same complies with the requirements of CRC 7.903. Additionally, a copy of the joinder agreement whereunder this particular Claimant will be bound by the terms of the general terms of the Pooled SNT should be provided for review.

The Court’s file does not reflect that not appear that Guillermo has provided a copy of the master pooled special needs trust agreement nor provided a copy of the joinder agreement that will bind this particular Claimant, Gerardo, to the same.

The Court orders that copies of those documents be submitted as exhibits to a supplement to the Amended Petition.

Accordingly, the Court continues the hearing on this matter to permit Petitioner to cure the defects set forth above. The hearing is continued to 10/21/20. Petitioner is ordered to file the additional information set forth above in a Supplement to the Petition by 9/21/20 for review by the Probate Department.

Case Number: BC694941    Hearing Date: July 16, 2020    Dept: 29

The Court has reviewed the Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim of a Person With a Disability (Gerardo Prieto, Age 54) filed on 3/2/20.

Petitioner proposes to transfer the settlement funds into a special needs trust for the benefit of the Claimant. Petition, Attachment 19a(3). The Probate Department must review the terms of the trust. LA. County Super. Ct. R 2.7(f) and 4.115(c).

The hearing is continued to Friday, August 21, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 29, to permit the Probate Department to review the terms of the special needs trust. The Court excuses the personal appearance of the Claimant, Gerardo Prieto. The petitioner and guardian ad litem, Guillermo Prieto, may appear at the time of the hearing by telephone or video.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC694941    Hearing Date: February 21, 2020    Dept: 29

Sifontes v. Pena

The Court CONTINUES the hearing on Guillermo Prieto’s Petition to Approve Compromise of a Disputed Claim of Gerardo Prieto, a Person with a Disability, to 4/20/2020, at 1:30 p.m.

The Petitioner proposes to transfer the settlement funds into a special needs trust for the benefit of the claimant. Petition, Attachment 19a(3). The terms of the trust are required to be specified in Attachment 19b(4). See Petition 19.b(4). Additionally, the Probate Department must review the terms of the trust. LA. County Super. Ct. R 2.7(f) and 4.115(c). These requirements have not been complied with.

The Petitioner is ordered to file an Amended Petition that includes the terms of the special needs trust as Attachment 19.b(4).  Courtesy copy to the Court.  Upon receipt the Court will submit said amended Petition to the Probate Department for review. 

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC694941    Hearing Date: December 23, 2019    Dept: 2

Sifontes et al v. Mabel Pena

SUBJECT TO HEARING AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE THEREON:

The parties having appeared (CRC 7.952(a)), and the court having reviewed and heard the Petition to Approve Compromise of Disputed Claim of a Person With a Disability (Gerardo Prieto, Age 54) filed on 11/13/19, the court finds that the settlement is reasonable.

The court intends to approve distribution of the $50,000 settlement as follows:

Attorney’s fees (30%)

$15,000.00

Medical expenses

14,748.13

Costs

1,441.74

Total fees and costs

$31,189.87

Total Settlement

$50,000.00

Less credits

-31,189.87

Net Settlement

$18,810.13

Petitioner proposes to transfer the settlement funds into a special needs trust for the benefit of the claimant. Petition, Attachment 19a(3). The terms of the trust are required to be specified in Attachment 19b(4). See Petition 19.b(4). Additionally, the Probate Department must review the terms of the trust. LA. County Super. Ct. R 2.7(f) and 4.115(c). 

Petitioner is ordered to file an Amended Petition that includes the terms of the special needs trust as Attachment 19.b(4). The hearing is continued to 2/21/20 to permit Probate to review the terms of the special needs trust.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC694941    Hearing Date: December 02, 2019    Dept: 2

On the court’s own motion, the hearing on the Petition to Confirm Minor’s Compromise set for hearing on 12/2/19 is continued to 12/23/19 at 1:30 p.m. in Department SS-2.