This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/30/2021 at 05:33:56 (UTC).

CHABAD OF LAKE ENCINO, INC. VS PETER BEAR, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 11/19/2020 CHABAD OF LAKE ENCINO, INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against PETER BEAR. 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 BERNIE C. LAFORTEZA. The case status is Other.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1359

  • Filing Date:

    11/19/2020

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

BERNIE C. LAFORTEZA

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CHABAD OF LAKE ENCINO INC.

Defendants

MAGNUM PROPERTY INVESTMENTS LLC A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

BEAR PETER

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

ISAACS BARAK

Defendant Attorney

NUSSBAUM LANE M.

 

Court Documents

Notice of Case Management Conference

11/20/2020: Notice of Case Management Conference

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

11/19/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Complaint

11/19/2020: Complaint

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

11/19/2020: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

3/22/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Answer

3/9/2021: Answer

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

3/2/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

Case Management Statement

3/1/2021: Case Management Statement

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT; DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF

2/23/2021: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT; DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

2/16/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

Request for Judicial Notice

2/4/2021: Request for Judicial Notice

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

2/4/2021: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

1/27/2021: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS PER 177.5 CCP FOR DEFENSE C...)

5/12/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS PER 177.5 CCP FOR DEFENSE C...)

Case Management Statement

5/12/2021: Case Management Statement

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

8/24/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Request for Dismissal

10/20/2021: Request for Dismissal

5 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/28/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Bernie C. LaForteza, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 10/20/2021
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Chabad of Lake Encino, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/24/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Bernie C. LaForteza, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 08/24/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/12/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Bernie C. LaForteza, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 05/12/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Bernie C. LaForteza, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Sanctions per 177.5 CCP for Defense Counsel's Failure to Appear on 03/22/2021) - Held

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  • 05/12/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions per 177.5 CCP for Defense C...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/12/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Peter Bear (Defendant); Magnum Property Investments, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (Defendant)

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  • 03/22/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department U, Bernie C. LaForteza, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 03/22/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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3 More Docket Entries
  • 03/01/2021
  • DocketCase Management Statement; Filed by Chabad of Lake Encino, Inc. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketReply (DEFENDANTS? REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF?S COMPLAINT; DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF); Filed by Peter Bear (Defendant); Magnum Property Investments, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (Defendant)

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  • 02/16/2021
  • DocketOpposition (to Demurrer); Filed by Chabad of Lake Encino, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by Peter Bear (Defendant); Magnum Property Investments, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (Defendant)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by Peter Bear (Defendant); Magnum Property Investments, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (Defendant)

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  • 01/27/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/20/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/19/2020
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Chabad of Lake Encino, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/19/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/19/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Chabad of Lake Encino, Inc. (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******1359    Hearing Date: March 02, 2021    Dept: U


Case Number: BC716229    Hearing Date: March 02, 2021    Dept: U

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - NORTHWEST DISTRICT

JASMIN MICHELLE GUZMAN,

Plaintiff,

vs.

JAMES JOHN ARMSTRONG; and DOES 1-100, inclusive,

Defendants.

CASE NO: BC716229

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION & REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

Dept. U

8:30 a.m.

March 2, 2021

I. BACKGROUND

Jasmin Michelle Guzman (Plaintiff) filed a complaint against James John Armstrong (Defendant) and Does 1 through 100, alleging one claim for negligence resulting from a motor vehicle accident.

On December 23, 2020, Defendant filed this motion to compel Mitra Razipour, D.C. (Doctor) to appear for a deposition, to product documents at her deposition, and to set the amount and timing of Doctor’s deposition fees. Defendant also requests $2,361.65 in monetary sanctions.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

a. Motion to Compel Deposition

If a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, electronically stored information, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made . . . or upon the court's own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 1987.1(a).)

When the production of specific documents is sought, a declaration must be submitted detailing the specific facts justifying the documents. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2031.310(b)(1); Calcor Space Facility v. Superior Court (1997) 53 Cal. App. 4th 216, 224 (directing trial court to vacate its order compelling the defendant to produce records because the plaintiff had failed to provide specific facts showing good cause for their production); Digital Music News LLC v Superior Court (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 216, 224 (identifying manner for establishing good cause under Calcor) “To establish good cause, a discovery proponent must identify a disputed fact that is of consequence in the action and explain how the discovery sought will tend in reason to prove or disprove that fact or lead to other evidence that will tend to prove or disprove the fact.” (Ibid.)

b. Deposition Fees

A party seeking to depose an expert witness, including a treating physician, shall pay the expert's reasonable and customary hourly or daily fee for any time spent at the deposition from the time noticed in the deposition subpoena, or from the time of the arrival of the expert witness should that time be later than the time noticed in the deposition subpoena, until the time the expert witness is dismissed from the deposition, regardless of whether the expert is actually deposed by any party attending the deposition. (Code Civ. Proc., ;; 2034.430(a)(2) & (b).)

If a party desiring to take the deposition of an expert witness . . . deems that the hourly or daily fee of that expert for providing deposition testimony is unreasonable, that party may move for an order setting the compensation of that expert. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2034.40(a).) Such a motion must include evidence of an attempt at meeting and conferring and:

(1) Proof of the ordinary and customary fee actually charged and received by that expert for similar services provided outside the subject litigation;

(2) The total number of times the presently demanded fee has ever been charged and received by that expert.

(3) The frequency and regularity with which the presently demanded fee has been charged and received by that expert within the two-year period preceding the hearing on the motion.

(Code Civ. Proc., ; 2034.470(b).)

This evidence can be submitted by either the moving party or the deponent. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2034.470(b).)

III. DISCUSSION

a. Motion

Plaintiff received chiropractic care from Doctor from September 13, 2016 through December 22, 2016. Plaintiff was billed $5,840 for this treatment. (Exhibit A.)

Defendant noticed Doctor’s deposition on April 29, 2020 scheduling the deposition for May 28, 2020. (Exhibit B.) Doctor’s office was served with notice of Doctor’s deposition and request for production of Plaintiff’s entire medical and billing record on May 11, 2020. (Exhibit C.)

Doctor’s deposition was continued due to the pandemic. In response to this continuance, Doctor’s office sent an email requesting payment of his deposition fees two to three weeks prior to his being deposed. (Exhibit E.) Doctor sent defense counsel a letter on July 20, 2020, stating that her deposition fee was $2,500 per hour with a minimum of two hours and reiterated the request for upfront payment. (Exhibit G.) Defense counsel contested this request for the second time on July 23, 2020. As of filing this motion, defense counsel has not seen Doctor’s fee schedule.

Defendant re-noticed Doctor’s deposition on July 28, 2020 scheduling it for August 19, 2020 (Exhibit I.) On August 18, 2020, defense counsel attempted to meet and confer with Doctor and offered to pay her $600 per hour if a motion was not necessitated. However, Doctor never responded to this communication. (Exhibit K.) Defense counsel took this deposition off calendar as a result of Doctor’s failure to communicate about an agreed-upon deposition fee.

Defendant argues Doctor’s deposition is relevant discovery because it goes to the issue of the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s alleged injuries and the reasonableness and necessity of Doctor’s treatment and the amount of medical bills. Defendant contends Doctor has never provided the required evidence under Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.470(b).

Defendant requests Doctor’s deposition fee be set at $300 per hour. Defense counsel retained an independent medical examination of Plaintiff by board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Nagelberg, M.D. (Nagelberg). Nagelberg’s deposition fee is only $975. (Trafton Decl., ¶ 20.)

Doctor states she requested pre-payment for this deposition because she rescheduled her patients’ appointments and then her deposition was cancelled in May 27, 2020. (Id., ¶ 9.) Doctor’s deposition was cancelled again in August 2020 after the dispute arose one-day prior to her second-scheduled deposition. (Id., ¶ 16.) Doctor requested $2,500 per hour for this case because she considers it complex due to Plaintiff’s injuries and the duration of her course of treatment. (Id., ¶ 10.)

While evidence of Doctor’s deposition fees paid by defense counsel has been submitted, the Court orders Doctor to submit the evidence specifically required by Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.470(b) based on the $2,500 per hour deposition fee.

Defendant has not met his burden in showing specific facts in a declaration demonstrating why Plaintiff’s medical records are necessary.

b. Monetary Sanctions

Doctor opposes sanctions on the grounds that she had to retrieve Plaintiff’s patient file from storage when her deposition was noticed and it took a lot of time to review Plaintiff’s file because she treated with Doctor for over three months. (Doctor Decl., ¶ 4.) Doctor declares she had to block off time usually spent with patients to schedule her deposition only to have it cancelled twice. (Id., ¶ 5.)

Doctor was previously deposed by defense counsel for another matter and, the evening before the deposition, the time of the deposition was changed, causing Doctor to reschedule a patient’s appointment. (Id., Exhibit 1.) In that prior case, defense counsel paid a $1,500 deposition fee. (Id., Exhibit 2.) Defense counsel has already compiled with Doctor’s fee and pre-payment for another case as well. (Id., Exhibit 4.)

Doctor states she requested pre-payment for this deposition because she rescheduled her patients’ appointments and then her deposition was cancelled in May 27, 2020. (Id., ¶ 9.) Doctor’s deposition was cancelled again in August 2020 after the dispute arose one day prior to her second-scheduled deposition. (Id., ¶ 16.) Doctor requests $2,500 per hour for this case because she considers it complex due to Plaintiff’s injuries and the duration of her course of treatment. (Id., ¶ 10.)

The Court finds that monetary sanctions are inappropriate at this time because Doctor acted in substantial justification based on defense counsel cancelling her deposition twice on short notice.

IV. CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant’s motion to compel Doctor’s attendance at his deposition is GRANTED, production of documents at his deposition DENIED, and setting deposition fees is DENIED.

Doctor is ordered to produce the required evidence set out in Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.470(b).

Defendant’s request for sanction is DENIED.

Defendant is ordered to give notice of the Court’s rulings.

DATED: March 2, 2021

_____________________

Hon. Bernie C. LaForteza

Judge of the Superior Court

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES - NORTHWEST DISTRICT

JASMIN MICHELLE GUZMAN,

JAMES JOHN ARMSTRONG; and DOES 1-100, inclusive,

CASE NO: BC716229

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

Dept. U

8:30 a.m.

March 2, 2021

I. BACKGROUND

Jasmin Michelle Guzman (Plaintiff) filed a complaint against James John Armstrong (Defendant) and Does 1 through 100, alleging one claim for negligence resulting from a motor vehicle accident.

On February 25, 2020, Plaintiff filed this motion for sanctions against Defendant pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 128.5 on the grounds that Defendant evaded service of process for over one-year.  

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A trial court may order a party, the party's attorney, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 128.5(a).)

III. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff argues Defendant evaded service of process for over one-year. Plaintiff filed her complaint on August 8, 2018 and began trying to serve Defendant on August 11, 2018. Plaintiff has tried to personally serve Defendant at his residence around 13 times. (Exhibit C.) Defendant refused to open the door for process servers despite cars parked outside and lights on inside. An investigatory service attempted to serve Defendant twice before attempting substituted service. (Gamble Decl.) On August 26, 2019, Plaintiff served Defendant at his place of business. The summons and complaint were handed to Defendant’s receptionist Torie Gates. The process server misheard the receptionist’s name and indicated it was “Tokie” on the Proof of Service. (Exhibit D.)

Defendant then moved to quash the service of summons on the grounds that no one with a name sounding similar to “Tokie” worked for him. On August 9, 2019, Plaintiff’s counsel called Defendant’s office and asked to speak with the receptionist who refused to provide her name.

The Court finds Plaintiff’s motion well-taken based on the number of times Plaintiff tried to attempt service on Defendant between August 2018 and October 16, 2019, when service was finally effectuated. Combining this extended time period with the fact that Defendant’s receptionist’s name is Torie, which is very similar to “Tokie,” despite Defendant’s prior misrepresentations, the Court finds that Defendant acted in bad faith in trying to evade service of process.

Plaintiff’s counsel, Paul Ashbala (counsel) declares he spent three hours drafting this motion, the supporting declaration, and researching the applicable law. (Counsel’s declaration, ¶ 30.) Counsel expects to spend another two hours traveling to and appearing for this motion hearing. (Id., ¶ 31.) Counsel’s hourly rate is $300. (Id., ¶ 32.) Plaintiff also requests a $60 filing fee and the cost of service, including the $1,593.95 cost of hiring of private investigators. (Id., ¶ 34.)

Here, the Court finds $300 per hour for drafting this simple motion excessive, thus, reducing it to $250 per hour. Three hours spent drafting this simple motion is excessive, thus, the Court reduces it to one and one-half hours. As counsel will likely appear telephonically, the time spent appearing for the hearing is reduced to one hour. Therefore, the Court finds $685 (($250/hour x 2.5 hours) + $60 filing fee) reasonable and $1,593.95 for service of process costs.

IV. CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions is GRANTED in the amount of $685 and $1,593.95 in service costs.

Defendant is ordered to pay $2,278.95 in sanctions.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of the Court’s rulings.

DATED: March 2, 2021

_____________________

Hon. Bernie C. LaForteza

Judge of the Superior Court


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