This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/27/2019 at 03:09:26 (UTC).

CHRISTINE M. WEBER VS JAMES BRUCE TAYLOR

Case Summary

On 03/23/2018 CHRISTINE M WEBER filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against JAMES BRUCE TAYLOR. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Santa Monica Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS and GERALD ROSENBERG. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9036

  • Filing Date:

    03/23/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Santa Monica Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MARC D. GROSS

GERALD ROSENBERG

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

WEBER CHRISTINE M.

Defendants

TAYLOR JAMES BRUCE

BURCH WENDY

TAYLOR BRUCE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

FISHER HOWARD S.

FISHER HOWARD SCOTT

Defendant Attorneys

BALL LAW FIRM THE

MILLER DAVID SCOTT

DAGRELLA LAW FIRM P.C.

SEVERO MICHAEL VINCENT

 

Court Documents

Complaint

3/23/2018: Complaint

Legacy Document

4/13/2018: Legacy Document

Declaration

7/19/2018: Declaration

Notice of Motion

7/19/2018: Notice of Motion

Substitution of Attorney

8/6/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Minute Order

9/20/2018: Minute Order

Notice of Rejection - Fax Filing

10/11/2018: Notice of Rejection - Fax Filing

Reply

11/14/2018: Reply

Notice

11/27/2018: Notice

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/25/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice

4/26/2019: Notice

Notice of Lodging

4/29/2019: Notice of Lodging

Minute Order

5/2/2019: Minute Order

Notice of Ruling

5/3/2019: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order

6/12/2019: Minute Order

Substitution of Attorney

6/17/2019: Substitution of Attorney

Stipulation and Order

6/27/2019: Stipulation and Order

Notice

7/17/2019: Notice

35 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/17/2019
  • Notice (OF ENTRY OF - OTHER ORDER STIP RE TRIAL DATES AND OTHER MATTERS); Filed by CHRISTINE M. WEBER (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/27/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (STIPULATION RE TRIAL DATES AND PROPOSED ORDER THEREON); Filed by CHRISTINE M. WEBER (Plaintiff); JAMES BRUCE TAYLOR (Defendant); WENDY BURCH (Defendant)

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  • 06/17/2019
  • Substitution of Attorney; Filed by WENDY BURCH (Defendant)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • at 10:30 AM in Department R, Marc D. Gross, Presiding; Informal Discovery Conference (IDC) - Held

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  • 06/14/2019
  • Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by CHRISTINE M. WEBER (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/14/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Informal Discovery Conference (IDC))); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/12/2019
  • at 11:30 AM in Department R, Marc D. Gross, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review

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  • 06/12/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Non-Appearance Case Review Re: Party's Request for Informal D...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/20/2019
  • Substitution of Attorney; Filed by JAMES BRUCE TAYLOR (Defendant)

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Proof of Service - Order Granting Attorney's Motion to be Relieved as Counsel; Filed by JAMES BRUCE TAYLOR (Defendant)

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50 More Docket Entries
  • 05/14/2018
  • Answer; Filed by WENDY BURCH (Defendant)

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  • 05/11/2018
  • Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by CHRISTINE M. WEBER (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/11/2018
  • Ntc and Acknowledgement of Receipt; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 04/13/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by CHRISTINE M. WEBER (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/13/2018
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 03/23/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 03/23/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by CHRISTINE M. WEBER (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/23/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/23/2018
  • Complaint Filed

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  • 03/23/2018
  • Summons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: SC129036    Hearing Date: November 17, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Christine Weber v. James Bruce Taylor et al., Case No. SC129036

Hearing Date November 17, 2020

Plaintiff Weber’s Supplemental Opposition to Request to Set Aside Default

Defendant moved to set aside the default. On October 21, 2020, the court issued a tentative ruling setting aside the default judgment due to mistake/excusable neglect. The court granting plaintiff’s request to continue the motion to file opposition.

Under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §473(b), a court may relieve any party from a judgment taken against him or her through “mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.” Because there is a strong public policy in favor of deciding matters on their merits, rather than through default, “any doubts in applying section 473 must be resolved in favor of the party seeking relief from default.” Elston v. City of Turlock (1985) 38 Cal.3d 227, 233.

Plaintiff argues defendant is not entitled to relief because she did not file a proposed answer with her motion but admits the motion attached Exhibit A, a “Proposed Answer.” While the proposed answer is likely insufficient, the proper vehicle for that argument is a demurrer, not an opposition to a motion to set aside default. Plaintiff argues relief should not be granted because the default occurred based on defendant’s admitted ignorance of the law. Good-faith mistake of law by a party can serve as a valid basis for granting relief from default. Svistunoff v. Svistunoff, et al. (1952) 108 Cal.App.2d 638, 654. The court’s prior tentative is the final ruling. As there is no evidence of bad faith, plaintiff’s requested sanction will not be granted. GRANTED.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPEAR REMOTELY VIA LA COURT CONNECT.

Case Number: SC129036    Hearing Date: October 21, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Christine Weber v. James Bruce Taylor et al., Case No. SC129036

Hearing Date October 21, 2020

Defendant Burch’s Motion to Set Aside Default;

Defendant Taylor’s Motion to Set Aside Default;

Plaintiff Weber alleges defendants failed to provide promised investment funds to run a medical marijuana facility. Defendant Burch did not answer the first amended complaint but argues she had no knowledge of the alleged promise and has a colorable defense of unclean hands, stating plaintiff did not have a license to sell or distribute medical marijuana. Burch moves to set aside the default judgment.

Under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. §473(b), a court may relieve any party from a judgment taken against him or her through “mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.” Because there is a strong public policy in favor of deciding matters on their merits, rather than through default, “any doubts in applying section 473 must be resolved in favor of the party seeking relief from default.” Elston v. City of Turlock (1985) 38 Cal.3d 227, 233.

Pro per defendant Burch failed to answer the first amended complaint, incorrectly under the impression that her answer to the initial complaint was sufficient. Ex Parte application at pg. 8. This constitutes mistake and/or excusable neglect, and she is entitled to relief under 473(b). Plaintiff argues the ex parte motion is procedurally insufficient because defendant fails to show a proper basis for emergency relief. Relief will be granted, whether via ex parte relief or a noticed motion. Defendant answered the original complaint on 5/14/18, evidencing an interest in disputing the claim and participating in the judicial process. She presents adequate evidence to allow this matter to be heard on the merits, not be decided via default. Motion to set aside the default GRANTED.

Defendant Taylor’s motion is based on a memorandum citing to largely irrelevant authority and a pair of declarations not signed under penalty of perjury. To the extent the court can determine Taylor’s basis for seeking to set aside the default, it is based on the argument that service of the first amended complaint was improper. Since the declaration is not signed under penalty of perjury, the court cannot treat it as admissible evidence rebutting the proof of service.  The motion is DENIED as to Taylor.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPEAR REMOTELY VIA LA COURT CONNECT.

Case Number: SC129036    Hearing Date: August 10, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Christine M. Weber v. James Bruce Taylor, Case No. SC129036

Hearing Date August 10, 2020

Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint

Plaintiff seeks to add a new cause of action for securities fraud. The proposed amendment does not add new defendants or factual allegations. On July 7, 2020 the court issued a tentative ruling granting the motion. The court did not adopt the tentative to allow defendants to file an opposition by July 17, 2020. Defendants failed to comply with this due date, filing an opposition on July 20, 2020. In the interests of justice, the court will consider this untimely opposition but warns defendants that further late filings will be disregarded.

There is a strong public policy in California in favor of amending pleadings if the non-amending party is not prejudiced. Nestle v. Santa Monica (1972) 6 Cal.3d 920, 939. A motion for leave to amend can be denied if the moving party has delayed unreasonable in seeking to amend, or if the proposed amendment fails to state a cause of action. Id., Howard v. County of San Diego (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1422, 1428.

Plaintiff argues there will be no prejudice to defendants if the motion is granted, since a trial date has not been scheduled, there are no new factual allegations in the proposed amendment and no depositions have been taken. Defendants argue the motion should be denied since the action was initially filed in 2018. Additionally, defendants allege the proposed amendment would cause prejudice by expanding the issues and requiring additional discovery. Plaintiff adequately explained the delay, attributing it to information discovered in February 2020. Further, the court disagrees that any substantial prejudice will result, given that the new claim relies on the same facts as the initial complaint and no trial date is scheduled. GRANTED.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO AVOID IN-PERSON APPEARANCES AND TO APPEAR REMOTELY. LA COURT CONNECT IS NOW AVAILABLE.

Case Number: SC129036    Hearing Date: July 07, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Christine M. Weber v. James Bruce Taylor, Case No. SC129036

Hearing Date July 7, 2020

Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint (UNOPPOSED)

Background/Analysis

There is a strong public policy in California in favor of amending pleadings if the non-amending party is not prejudiced. Nestle v. Santa Monica (1972) 6 Cal.3d 920, 939.

Plaintiff seeks to add a new cause of action for securities fraud. Motion at page 6. Defendant does not oppose the motion. Notice of non-opposition at pg. 1. There is no evidence suggesting the amendment would prejudice defendant.

GRANTED.

BECAUSE OF THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO AVOID IN-PERSON APPEARANCES AT COURT AND TO APPEAR VIA COURT CALL WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

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