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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/10/2020 at 00:22:57 (UTC).

AZOOCA INC VS FOXLINK INTERNATIONAL INC

Case Summary

On 05/12/2017 AZOOCA INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against FOXLINK INTERNATIONAL 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 ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0992

  • Filing Date:

    05/12/2017

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

AZOOCA INC.

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1-20

FOXLINK INTERNATIONAL INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

BAHADORI CHINI LLP

 

Court Documents

Minute Order -

11/22/2017: Minute Order -

Minute Order -

10/23/2017: Minute Order -

COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC

5/12/2017: COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC

SUMMONS -

5/12/2017: SUMMONS -

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

5/22/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

6/1/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/18/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Defendant/Respondent

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  • 11/22/2017
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48; (OSC RE Dismissal; Order of Dismissal) -

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  • 11/22/2017
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 10/23/2017
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48; Case Management Conference (Conference-Case Management; No Appearance) -

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  • 10/23/2017
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 06/01/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/01/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 05/22/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/22/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 05/12/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 05/12/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC

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  • 05/12/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Azooca, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC660992    Hearing Date: January 06, 2021    Dept: 48

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: MOTION TO SET ASIDE AND VACATE DISMISSAL

On May 12, 2017, Plaintiff Azooca, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendant Foxlink International, Inc. (“Defendant”) alleging breach of contract, fraud, and negligent interference with prospective economic benefit. No one appeared for the case management conference on October 23, 2017, so the Court set an order to show cause re: dismissal and/or sanctions for Plaintiff’s failure to appear and failure to file a proof of service of the summons and complaint. At the November 22, 2017 OSC, Plaintiff again failed to appear or file a proof of service. The Court therefore dismissed the action. On October 19, 2020, Plaintiff filed this motion to set aside and vacate the order of dismissal.

Defendant’s objections to the Declaration of Yu “Brian” Zhang are overruled.

To vacate an order of dismissal due to extrinsic mistake, the defaulted party must (1) show that it has a meritorious case, (2) articulate a satisfactory excuse for not presenting a defense to the original action, and (3) demonstrate that it was diligent in seeking to set aside the default once it had been discovered. (Aldrich v. San Fernando Valley Lumber Co. (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 725, 738 (Aldrich).)

First, Plaintiff contends that it has a meritorious case. The complaint alleges that in November 2014, Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a development agreement under which Defendant was to develop a toy portal for Plaintiff, but Defendant failed to perform. (Complaint ¶¶ 9, 11.) As a result, Plaintiff was unable to fulfill a substantial contract with a large retailer, costing Plaintiff several million dollars and affecting Plaintiff’s relationship with large third-party sellers, viability, and business opportunities. (Id. at ¶¶ 20-22.) Plaintiff’s Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Yu “Brian” Zheng, declares that he has personal knowledge of the matters, and he was actively involved in the development of the products that Plaintiff contracted with Defendant to develop. (Zheng Decl. ¶¶ 1-2.) Plaintiff paid Defendant over $400,000 to build a system to interact with Android and iOS systems using an app and to build hardware to offer an interactive system. (Id. at ¶ 2.) In 2016, Defendant informed Plaintiff that the system could not communicate with Android devices, and accordingly, Plaintiff was unable to fulfill its product orders. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Plaintiff lost replenishment orders, business from retailers, and its investments into the technology in an amount over $4 million. (Ibid.) Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s failure to attach the purported agreement to the complaint renders the pleading insufficient. (Opposition at pp. 2-3.) However, Plaintiff’s declaration based on personal knowledge is sufficient to show a meritorious case. (See Aldrich, supra, 170 Cal.App.3d at p. 738.)

Second, Plaintiff articulated a satisfactory excuse for not proceeding with the original action. Zheng declares that former counsel Amid T. Bahadori did not inform him about the case management conference or the OSC, nor did he inform him that the case had been dismissed. (Zheng Decl. ¶ 5.) Through early 2020, Zheng periodically communicated with Bahadori about this case via email, phone, and text. (Id. at ¶ 6; Zheng Suppl. Decl. ¶ 4 & Ex. 4.) In October 2018, Bahadori sent Zheng a declaration purportedly to support a motion for summary judgment. (Zheng Decl. ¶ 6; id. at Ex. 1; Zheng Suppl. Decl. ¶¶ 2-3 & Exs. 2-3.) In August 2020, Bahadori stopped communicating with Zheng and did not respond to phone calls, emails, or text messages. (Zheng Decl. ¶ 7.) On August 19, 2020, Zheng emailed Bahadori requesting an update on the case, and he stated that if he did not receive a response by August 21, he would file a complaint with the State Bar. (Id. at ¶ 7; Zheng Suppl. Decl. ¶ 4 & Ex. 4.) Zheng did not hear from Bahadori, and he filed a State Bar complaint. (Zheng Decl. ¶ 7; Zheng Suppl. Decl. ¶ 5 & Ex. 5.) Zheng then retained Plaintiff’s current counsel in September 2020, and on September 9, 2020, he learned that this case had been dismissed in November 2017. (Zheng Decl. ¶ 8; Carter Decl. ¶ 3.)

Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s only remedy should be in an action for malpractice because Plaintiff’s former counsel is still in good standing with the State Bar with no record of discipline or investigation. (Opposition at pp. 3-4.) However, Plaintiff filed his complaint with the State Bar only on October 15, 2020. (Zheng Suppl. Decl., Ex. 5.) An absence of prior discipline or investigation does not preclude misconduct in this case. Moreover, “in a case where the client is relatively free from negligence, and the attorney’s neglect is of an extreme degree amounting to positive misconduct, the attorney’s conduct is said to obliterate the existence of the attorney-client relationship.” (Aldrich, supra, 170 Cal.App.3d at p. 738.) “Where a client is unknowingly deprived of effective representation by counsel the client will not be charged with responsibility for misconduct if the client acts with due diligence in moving for relief after discovering the attorney’s neglect and if the other side will not be prejudiced by the delay.” (Id. at p. 739.) Defendant argues that it has suffered prejudice from the delay because it was not served with the lawsuit before dismissal, and it has been deprived of the ability to preserve documents, witness statements, and testimony. (Opposition at p. 6.) However, Defendant filed an answer on December 18, 2017, and it provides no evidence or specific arguments regarding prejudice or what evidence it may have lost due to delay.

Finally, Plaintiff has shown diligence in seeking relief after discovering the default. After Plaintiff retained its current counsel on September 1, 2020, it learned on September 9, 2020 that this case had been dismissed. (Zheng Decl. ¶ 8; Carter Decl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff’s current counsel attempted to contact Bahadori several times between September 4-18, 2020, but Bahadori did not respond. (Carter Suppl. Decl. ¶¶ 4-7.) Plaintiff filed this motion on October 19, 2020. Defendant speculates about the intended use of the October 2018 declaration that Bahadori sent Plaintiff (Opposition at p. 5), but it does not provide any argument or evidence that Plaintiff was not diligent in filing this motion after discovering the dismissal.

Accordingly, the motion to vacate dismissal is GRANTED. The Court sets a Case Management Conference for March 9, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

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.