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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/10/2019 at 07:48:34 (UTC).

ANTONIO SOTO RIOS VS WOODLAND PARK ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/05/2017 ANTONIO SOTO RIOS filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against WOODLAND PARK. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GEORGINA T. RIZK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5884

  • Filing Date:

    12/05/2017

  • 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 Judge

GEORGINA T. RIZK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

RIOS ANTONIO SOTO

Defendants and Respondents

SAND HILL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

WOODLAND PARK PROPERTY

WOODLAND PARK COMMUNITIES

WOODLAND PARK APARTMENTS

WOODLAND PARK

SAND HILL

EQUITY RESIDENTIAL

EQUITY APARTMENTS

DOES 1-50

SAND HILL PROPERTY

HILL SAND

COMMUNITIES WOODLAND PARK

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

LAW OFFICES OF BOB B. KHAKSHOOY

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

5/21/2019: Minute Order

SUMMONS

12/5/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE AND PREMISES LIABILITY

12/5/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE AND PREMISES LIABILITY

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/05/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 05/21/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 2, Georgina T. Rizk, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Held

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  • 05/21/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Final Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/05/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/05/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: 1. NEGLIGENCE AND PREMISES LIABILITY

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  • 12/05/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Antonio Soto Rios (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC685884    Hearing Date: April 26, 2021    Dept: 29

....CONT FROM 04/06/2021 TO ALLOW ARGUMENT TO BE PRESENTED - REQUESTED BY PLTFF

Rios  vs.  Woodland Park,  et.  al.

TENTATIVE

The moving parties’ motion to transfer venue of the instant action is GRANTED.

Legal Standard

1. Proper Venue: General Rule

California Code of Civil Procedure (“Code Civ. Proc.”), section 395 provides that:

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law and subject to the power of the court to transfer actions or proceedings as provided in this title, the superior court in the county where the defendants or some of them reside at the commencement of the action is the proper court for the trial of the action. If the action is for injury to person or personal property or for death from wrongful act or negligence, the superior court in either the county where the injury occurs or the injury causing death occurs or the county where the defendants, or some of them reside at the commencement of the action, is a proper court for the trial of the action…

2. Mandatory Transfer of an Action Where Venue is Improper

If the plaintiff files an action with an improper court, that court must transfer the action to a proper court, either upon the defendant’s motion or on its own motion. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 396a(b), 396b.) The motion must be made within 30 days after service, unless extended by stipulation or court order. (Code Civ. Proc., § 396b.)

3. Discretionary Transfer of an Action Where Venue is Improper

An improper court may nonetheless adjudicate an action if it has subject matter jurisdiction, unless the defendant objects. (Code Civ. Proc., § 396b(a).) Even where the defendant objects, the court may retain the action “if it appears that the convenience of the witnesses or the ends of justice will thereby be promoted.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 396b(d).)

A court may, on motion, transfer an action if (a) the action was filed in the improper court; (b) an impartial trial cannot be held therein; (c) for the convenience of witnesses and to promote justice; (d) where no judge therein is qualified to act; or (e) where a dissolution of marriage action has been filed in the county in which the defendant has resided for three months. (Code Civ. Proc., § 397.) If a court orders a transfer based on CCP §§397(b)-(d), that court must transfer the action to a court with subject matter jurisdiction upon the written agreement of the parties. (Code Civ. Proc., § 398.) The prevailing party shall recover the “costs and fees of the transfer, and of filing the papers…” for an action brought under Code Civ. Proc., §§ 397(b)-(e). (CCP § 399(a).)

4. Burden of Proof on Moving Party

Plaintiff’s choice of venue is presumptively correct. (Battaglia Enterprises, Inc. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 309, 313-14.) So, the burden is on the moving party to establish that the venue selected by Plaintiff is improper. And the moving party has the burden of “negating the propriety of venue as laid on all possible grounds.” (Karson Industries, Inc. v. Sup. Ct. (1969) 273 Cal.App.2d 7, 8-9.)

Discussion

1. Los Angeles County is an Improper Venue for the Instant Action

Here, the instant action’s venue is improper. A court is proper if it is in the county in which the defendants reside, or the injury at issue occurred, or where the contract at issue was executed in. (CCP §§ 395(a), 395(b).) Defendants are foreign business entities whom had registered with the Secretary of State in California and have all identified their principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff initially filed its complaint in December 5, 2017, naming numerous entities improperly. Due to Plaintiff’s errors, Plaintiff did not serve the summon of complaint and complaint on any defendant for 18 months. On January 4, 2021, Plaintiff amended his complaint to substitute the moving Defendants. Thus, the initial Defendants could not have challenged venue until recently. 

Further, the instant action is filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. As noted above, none of the moving Defendants are incorporated, or reside, in Los Angeles County, whereas Plaintiff’s injuries are alleged to have occurred in San Mateo County. Consequently, the instant action’s venue is improper because the Defendants do not reside therein, nor is Los Angeles County the county in which Plaintiff’s injuries were alleged to have occurred. (Karson Industries, Inc., 273 Cal.App.2d at 8-9.) Due to improper venue, the Court must transfer the instant action to a proper venue.

2. Transfer Must be Made to San Mateo County, Where Venue is Proper

Here, the Court finds it appropriate to transfer the instant action to San Mateo County where venue is proper. A court may, on motion, transfer an action if (a) the action was filed in the improper court. (Code Civ. Proc., § 397(a).) 

As was noted above, Plaintiff committed errors by incorrectly naming defendants on its initial complaint. On January 4, 2021, Plaintiff amended his complaint to substitute the moving Defendants. Thus, the initial Defendants could not have challenged venue until recently. Defendants moved this Court on March 9, 2021, to transfer the instant action to San Mateo County. 

Hence, the Court finds that San Mateo County is a proper venue for the instant action because it is the location where Plaintiff’s injuries at issue are alleged to have occurred. (Code Civ. Proc., § 395(a).) 

Conclusion

Therefore, the motion to transfer venue of the instant action to San Mateo County, as filed by defendants Equity Residential Management, L.L.C., erroneously sued as Equity Residential, EQR-Woodland Park A Limited Partnership, EQR-Woodland Park B Limited Partnership, EQR-Woodland Park C Limited Partnership (sued as Does 1-3), is GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to pay the transfer fees associated with the transferring of this action as required by this Court and by the San Mateo County Superior Court.  [Cal. Code Civil Procedure Section 399.]

Moving party is ordered to give notice.  

Case Number: BC685884    Hearing Date: April 6, 2021    Dept: 29

Rios  vs.  Woodland Park,  et.  al.

TENTATIVE

The moving parties’ motion to transfer venue of the instant action is GRANTED.

Legal Standard

1. Proper Venue: General Rule

California Code of Civil Procedure (“Code Civ. Proc.”), section 395 provides that:

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law and subject to the power of the court to transfer actions or proceedings as provided in this title, the superior court in the county where the defendants or some of them reside at the commencement of the action is the proper court for the trial of the action. If the action is for injury to person or personal property or for death from wrongful act or negligence, the superior court in either the county where the injury occurs or the injury causing death occurs or the county where the defendants, or some of them reside at the commencement of the action, is a proper court for the trial of the action…

2. Mandatory Transfer of an Action Where Venue is Improper

If the plaintiff files an action with an improper court, that court must transfer the action to a proper court, either upon the defendant’s motion or on its own motion. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 396a(b), 396b.) The motion must be made within 30 days after service, unless extended by stipulation or court order. (Code Civ. Proc., § 396b.)

3. Discretionary Transfer of an Action Where Venue is Improper

An improper court may nonetheless adjudicate an action if it has subject matter jurisdiction, unless the defendant objects. (Code Civ. Proc., § 396b(a).) Even where the defendant objects, the court may retain the action “if it appears that the convenience of the witnesses or the ends of justice will thereby be promoted.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 396b(d).)

A court may, on motion, transfer an action if (a) the action was filed in the improper court; (b) an impartial trial cannot be held therein; (c) for the convenience of witnesses and to promote justice; (d) where no judge therein is qualified to act; or (e) where a dissolution of marriage action has been filed in the county in which the defendant has resided for three months. (Code Civ. Proc., § 397.) If a court orders a transfer based on CCP §§397(b)-(d), that court must transfer the action to a court with subject matter jurisdiction upon the written agreement of the parties. (Code Civ. Proc., § 398.) The prevailing party shall recover the “costs and fees of the transfer, and of filing the papers…” for an action brought under Code Civ. Proc., §§ 397(b)-(e). (CCP § 399(a).)

4. Burden of Proof on Moving Party

Plaintiff’s choice of venue is presumptively correct. (Battaglia Enterprises, Inc. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 309, 313-14.) So, the burden is on the moving party to establish that the venue selected by Plaintiff is improper. And the moving party has the burden of “negating the propriety of venue as laid on all possible grounds.” (Karson Industries, Inc. v. Sup. Ct. (1969) 273 Cal.App.2d 7, 8-9.)

Discussion

1. Los Angeles County is an Improper Venue for the Instant Action

Here, the instant action’s venue is improper. A court is proper if it is in the county in which the defendants reside, or the injury at issue occurred, or where the contract at issue was executed in. (CCP §§ 395(a), 395(b).) Defendants are foreign business entities whom had registered with the Secretary of State in California and have all identified their principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff initially filed its complaint in December 5, 2017, naming numerous entities improperly. Due to Plaintiff’s errors, Plaintiff did not serve the summon of complaint and complaint on any defendant for 18 months. On January 4, 2021, Plaintiff amended his complaint to substitute the moving Defendants. Thus, the initial Defendants could not have challenged venue until recently. 

Further, the instant action is filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. As noted above, none of the moving Defendants are incorporated, or reside, in Los Angeles County, whereas Plaintiff’s injuries are alleged to have occurred in San Mateo County. Consequently, the instant action’s venue is improper because the Defendants do not reside therein, nor is Los Angeles County the county in which Plaintiff’s injuries were alleged to have occurred. (Karson Industries, Inc., 273 Cal.App.2d at 8-9.) Due to improper venue, the Court must transfer the instant action to a proper venue.

2. Transfer Must be Made to San Mateo County, Where Venue is Proper

Here, the Court finds it appropriate to transfer the instant action to San Mateo County where venue is proper. A court may, on motion, transfer an action if (a) the action was filed in the improper court. (Code Civ. Proc., § 397(a).) 

As was noted above, Plaintiff committed errors by incorrectly naming defendants on its initial complaint. On January 4, 2021, Plaintiff amended his complaint to substitute the moving Defendants. Thus, the initial Defendants could not have challenged venue until recently. Defendants moved this Court on March 9, 2021, to transfer the instant action to San Mateo County. 

Hence, the Court finds that San Mateo County is a proper venue for the instant action because it is the location where Plaintiff’s injuries at issue are alleged to have occurred. (Code Civ. Proc., § 395(a).) 

Conclusion

Therefore, the motion to transfer venue of the instant action to San Mateo County, as filed by defendants Equity Residential Management, L.L.C., erroneously sued as Equity Residential, EQR-Woodland Park A Limited Partnership, EQR-Woodland Park B Limited Partnership, EQR-Woodland Park C Limited Partnership (sued as Does 1-3), is GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to pay the transfer fees associated with the transferring of this action as required by this Court and by the San Mateo County Superior Court.  [Cal. Code Civil Procedure Section 399.]

Moving party is ordered to give notice.  

   

Case Number: BC685884    Hearing Date: October 30, 2020    Dept: 29

Rios v. Woodland Park et al.

Plaintiff’s Three Motions to Compel Defendant Equity Residential Management, LLC’s Response To Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Demand for Production of Documents, Request for Sanctions, are DENIED, except as to sanctions.

The Supplemental Declaration of Jack C. Nick In Opposition to Plaintiff’s Four Motions to Compel Responses to Discovery (“Supplemental Declaration”), filed on 10/9/2020, states that verified responses to the three sets of discovery listed above have been served. Thus, an order compelling written responses is no longer required.

Objections that were previously, timely made in responses signed by Defendant’s attorney are not waived. (See, e.g., Code Civ. Proc. 2033.240, subd. (c).) Responses signed by an attorney are sufficient to preserve objections without verifications.

Imposition of sanctions against Defendant Equity Residential Management LLC is warranted for the failure to timely provide various responses to authorized methods of discovery, which is discovery abuse. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2023.010(d).) The amount of sanctions is addressed below.

Plaintiff’s Motion to Have Requests for Admission Deemed Admitted; Request for Sanctions is DENIED, except as to sanctions.

The Supplemental Declaration states that verified responses to the requests for admission have been served. The court may not deem requests admitted when verified responses have been served prior to the hearing. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280.)

However, sanctions are mandatory where the failure to properly respond to requests for admission necessitated the motion. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Accordingly, the Court imposes total sanctions of $640.00 for all four motions in favor of Plaintiff Antonio Rios and against Defendant, Equity Residential Management, LLC and their counsel of record, Jack C. Nick, Esq., of Prindle, Goetz, Barnes & Reinholtz, LLP, jointly and severally.

Defendant Equity Residential Management LLC’s Motion for an Order Compelling Plaintiff’s Deposition, Imposing Sanctions and Continuing the Trial is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff is ordered to appear for his deposition at a time and date duly noticed by Defendant. The parties are ordered to meet and confer regarding dates. The deposition is to take place within 30 days of the date of this order. The court has reviewed the record and concludes that the imposition of sanctions in connection with the deposition would be unjust, and thus the court declines to impose them. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2025.450, subd. (g)(2).)

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: BC685884    Hearing Date: October 13, 2020    Dept: 29

Rios v. Woodland Park et al.

Plaintiff’s Three Motions to Compel Defendant Equity Residential Management, LLC’s Response To Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Demand for Production of Documents, Request for Sanctions, are GRANTED. Defendant Equity Residential Management LLC is ordered to provide verified responses within 20 days of notice of the order.

Substantive responses require verifications; responses without verifications are “tantamount to no response at all.” (Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 635-36.)

Objections that were previously, timely made in responses signed by Defendant’s attorney are not waived. (See, e.g., Code Civ. Proc. 2033.240, subd. (c).) Responses signed by an attorney are sufficient to preserve objections without verifications.

Imposition of sanctions against Defendant Equity Residential Management LLC is warranted for the failure to timely provide various responses to authorized methods of discovery, which is discovery abuse. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2023.010(d).) The amount of sanctions is addressed below.

Plaintiff’s Motion to Have Requests for Admission Deemed Admitted; Request for Sanctions is GRANTED.

Defendant Equity Residential Management LLC has not served verified responses to the requests for admission. Although unverified responses have been served, these do not substantially comply with the statute because unsworn responses are equivalent to no responses at all. (See e.g., Allen-Pacific Ltd. V. Superior Court (1997) 57 Cal. App. 4th 1546, 1551 [disapproved on other grounds in Wilcox v. Birthwhistle (1999) 21 Cal. 4th 973, 983]; St. Mary v. Superior Court (2014) 223 Cal. App. 4th 762, 780 [stating in dicta that unverified responses to RFAs do not substantially comply with the law]; Steele v. Totah (1986) 180 Cal. App. 3d 545 [requests must be deemed admitted when responses are unverified.]).

Sanctions are mandatory where the failure to properly respond necessitated the motion. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280, subd. (c).)

Accordingly, the Court imposes total sanctions of $840.00 for all four motions in favor of Plaintiff, Antonio Rios, and against Defendant, Equity Residential Management, LLC and their counsel of record, Jack C. Nick, Esq., of Prindle, Goetz, Barnes & Reinholtz, LLP, jointly and severally.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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