This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/14/2019 at 00:33:52 (UTC).

BODEE MAXWELL VS ALBERT SHAMORADIAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/21/2018 a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury case was filed by BODEE MAXWELL against ALBERT SHAMORADIAN in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9037

  • Filing Date:

    03/21/2018

  • 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

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

MAXWELL BODEE

Respondents and Defendants

SHAMORADIAN ALBERT

DOES 1 TO 50

MANGASAR SCARLET

 

Court Documents

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/2/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

Unknown

5/2/2018: Unknown

DECLARATION OF DILIGENCE

5/2/2018: DECLARATION OF DILIGENCE

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

5/2/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUMMONS

3/21/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

3/21/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/27/2019
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Albert Shamoradian (Defendant); Scarlet Mangasar (Defendant)

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  • 03/27/2019
  • Notice of Deposit - Jury; Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/07/2019
  • Notice of Deposit - Jury; Filed by Albert Shamoradian (Defendant)

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  • 01/29/2019
  • Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/15/2018
  • Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by Albert Shamoradian (Defendant); Scarlet Mangasar (Defendant)

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  • 06/15/2018
  • DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

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  • 06/15/2018
  • Answer

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  • 06/15/2018
  • Answer; Filed by Albert Shamoradian (Defendant); Scarlet Mangasar (Defendant)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • DECLARATION OF DILIGENCE

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  • 05/02/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 05/02/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 05/02/2018
  • Proof of Service by 1st Class Mail

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  • 05/02/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • Declaration; Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/21/2018
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 03/21/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Bodee Maxwell (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/21/2018
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC699037    Hearing Date: January 10, 2020    Dept: 4A

Motion to Compel Deposition

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On September 27, 2016, Plaintiff Duncan E. Druce (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Kathryn Tomiko Iwata (“Defendant”) alleging motor vehicle negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on September 30, 2014.

On December 5, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to compel the deposition of Plaintiff pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

Trial is set for March 6, 2020.

PARTYS REQUESTS

Defendant asks the Court to compel Plaintiff’s appearance and testimony at a deposition within 10 days of the hearing on this motion.

Defendant also asks the Court to impose $540 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff for Plaintiff’s abuse of the discovery process within 20 days of the hearing on this motion.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (a) provides: “If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action . . . , without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document . . . described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document . . . described in the deposition notice.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (b) provides: “A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following:

  1. The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

  1. The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (c) provides, “(1) If a motion under subdivision (a) is granted, the court shall impose a monetary sanction . . . in favor of the party who noticed the deposition and against the deponent or the party with whom the deponent is affiliated, unless the court finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010, subd. (d).)

California Rules of Court, rule 3.1348, subdivision (a) states: “The court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though no opposition to the motion was filed, or opposition to the motion was withdrawn, or the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion was filed.”

DISCUSSION

On November 5, 2019, Defendant served a notice of taking the deposition of Plaintiff by U.S. mail setting the deposition date for November 22, 2019.  (Reader Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.)  Plaintiff failed to appear for his deposition.  (Reader Decl., ¶ 4-5, Exh. B.)

The Court finds the motion must be granted.  Plaintiff was properly served with the November 5, 2019 deposition notice.  Plaintiff failed to hear at the corresponding November 22, 2019 deposition date.  There is no evidence showing Plaintiff acted with a substantial justification or that there are circumstances showing an imposition of sanctions would be unjust.

Defendant’s request for $540 for this straight-forward motion is unreasonable.  Rather, the Court finds $350 to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Plaintiff when considering this simple and unopposed motion.

The motion is GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to appear at a deposition within 20 days of this ruling on a date mutually agreeable with Defendant.

Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s counsel of record are ordered to pay $350 to Defendant within 30 days of this ruling.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC699037    Hearing Date: December 20, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Compel Deposition

Having considered the moving and opposing papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On March 21, 2018, Plaintiff Bodee Maxwell (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendants Albert Shahmoradian and Scarlet Mangasar (“Defendants”) alleging premises liability and negligence for a trip-and-fall that occurred on December 2, 2017.

On November 13, 2019, Defendants filed a motion to compel the deposition of Plaintiff pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

Trial is set for March 20, 2020.

PARTIES REQUESTS

Defendants ask the Court to compel Plaintiff’s appearance and testimony at a deposition within 10 days of the hearing on this motion.

Defendants also ask the Court to impose $763 in monetary sanctions against Plaintiff for Plaintiff’s abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (a) provides: “If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action . . . , without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document . . . described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document . . . described in the deposition notice.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (b) provides: “A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following:

  1. The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

  1. The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.”

California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450, subdivision (c) provides, “(1) If a motion under subdivision (a) is granted, the court shall impose a monetary sanction . . . in favor of the party who noticed the deposition and against the deponent or the party with whom the deponent is affiliated, unless the court finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subd. (a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2023.010, subd. (d).)

DISCUSSION

On March 11, 2019, July 2, 2019, August 2, 2019, and October 9, 2019, Defendants served notices of taking depositions of Plaintiff on Plaintiff’s counsel.  (Lerman Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.)  On September 9, 2019, Plaintiff fired her counsel.  (Maxwell Decl, 4.)  On September 9, 2019, Defendants served a notice of taking Plaintiff’s deposition on Plaintiff directly, setting a deposition date for October 30, 2019.  (Lerman Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. A.)  Plaintiff failed to appear for her October 30, 2019 deposition.  (Lerman Decl., ¶ 5, Exh. C.)

Plaintiff declares she was unable to reach her prior counsel for a year prior to the initial September 2019 trial date.  (Maxwell Decl., ¶¶ 2-3.)  Plaintiff’s prior counsel was unprepared, had no idea about Plaintiff’s case, and continued trial solely based on Plaintiff’s counsel’s failure to prepare for trial.  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff declares that she did not appear at the October 30, 2019 deposition based on information and documents received from Plaintiff’s prior law firm. Maxwell Decl., ¶¶ 8-9.)

The Court finds the motion must be granted.  Plaintiff was properly served with the October 9, 2019 deposition notice.  Plaintiff failed to appear at the noticed October 30, 2019 deposition date.  Plaintiff does not explain her cryptic remark that she failed to appear at her deposition based on information and documents received from her prior law firm.  The Court cannot determine whether this information either justifies Plaintiff’s non-appearance or acts as a substantial justification in not awarding sanctions.  What is more, the absence of any explanation results in a lack of evidence showing that imposing sanctions would be unjust.

The Court notes that the imposition for sanctions for fees incurred while Plaintiff was represented by her prior counsel would be unjust.  It is apparent that Plaintiff’s prior counsel was not communicating key dates, such as Plaintiff’s noticed deposition dates, to Plaintiff.  Thus, it would be unjust to hold Plaintiff accountable for any fees Defendants incurred in seeking Plaintiff’s deposition prior to the last noticed deposition. 

Defendants’ request for $763 in monetary sanctions consists of 1 hour in waiting for Plaintiff to appear at her depositions on May 8, 2019, July 17, 2019, September 11, 2019, and October 30, 2019, 1 hour in preparing the moving papers, and 2 hours in appearing at the hearing at a rate of $120 an hour, plus one $23 filing fee, a $130 no-show fee for the September 11, 2019 deposition, and a $130 no-show fee for the October 30, 2019 deposition.  (Lerman Decl., ¶ 7.)  The Court finds these fees to be unreasonable.  The hour spent waiting for Plaintiff to appear at depositions includes, without differentiating, time spent at depositions that took place while Plaintiff was represented by her prior counsel.  Similarly, one of the no-show fees was incurred while Plaintiff was represented by her prior counsel.  As discussed above, sanctions in connection with these dates would be unjust.  Rather, the Court finds $513 ($120/hr. x 3 hrs. plus one $23 filing fee and one $130 no-show fee) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Plaintiff.

The motion is GRANTED.

Plaintiff is ordered to appear at a deposition within 20 days of this ruling on a date mutually agreeable with Defendants.

Plaintiff is ordered to pay $513 to Defendants within 30 days of this ruling.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.