This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/21/2019 at 02:31:52 (UTC).

CHRISTOPHER CEBALLOS VS JOAN PANIAGUA

Case Summary

On 05/23/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by CHRISTOPHER CEBALLOS against JOAN PANIAGUA 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:

    ****7380

  • Filing Date:

    05/23/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

CEBALLOS CHRISTOPHER

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 TO 25

PANIAGUA JOAN

 

Court Documents

ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

5/24/2018: ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

CLERK'S NOTICE OF VOIDING OF FILING

6/13/2018: CLERK'S NOTICE OF VOIDING OF FILING

NOTICE OF AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER REINSTATING TILE CAPTIONED CASE MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; DECLARATION OF MICHAEL SHEMTOUB IN SUPPORT THEREOF;

7/6/2018: NOTICE OF AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER REINSTATING TILE CAPTIONED CASE MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; DECLARATION OF MICHAEL SHEMTOUB IN SUPPORT THEREOF;

NOTICE OF AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER REINSTATING THE CAPTIONED CASE

7/30/2018: NOTICE OF AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER REINSTATING THE CAPTIONED CASE

ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE DISMISSAL

8/17/2018: ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE DISMISSAL

Minute Order

8/17/2018: Minute Order

DECLARATION OF COUNSEL

8/20/2018: DECLARATION OF COUNSEL

Answer

5/14/2019: Answer

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

5/14/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Proof of Personal Service

5/22/2019: Proof of Personal Service

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

5/23/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/22/2019
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by Christopher Ceballos (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/14/2019
  • Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Joan Paniagua (Defendant)

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  • 05/14/2019
  • Answer; Filed by Joan Paniagua (Defendant)

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  • 08/20/2018
  • Declaration (of Counsel); Filed by Christopher Ceballos (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/20/2018
  • DECLARATION OF COUNSEL

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  • 08/17/2018
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 5; Hearing on Motion for Order - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 08/17/2018
  • Order; Filed by Court

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  • 08/17/2018
  • Minute order entered: 2018-08-17 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/17/2018
  • Minute Order

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  • 08/17/2018
  • ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE DISMISSAL

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  • 07/30/2018
  • Motion for an Order; Filed by Christopher Ceballos (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/30/2018
  • NOTICE OF AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER REINSTATING THE CAPTIONED CASE

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  • 07/06/2018
  • Motion for an Order; Filed by Christopher Ceballos (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/06/2018
  • NOTICE OF AND MOTION FOR AN ORDER REINSTATING TILE CAPTIONED CASE MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF; DECLARATION OF MICHAEL SHEMTOUB IN SUPPORT THEREOF;

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  • 06/13/2018
  • CLERK'S NOTICE OF VOIDING OF FILING

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  • 06/13/2018
  • Clerk's Notice of Voiding of Filing; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/24/2018
  • Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/24/2018
  • ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 05/23/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Christopher Ceballos (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/23/2018
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC707380    Hearing Date: November 14, 2019    Dept: 5

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 5

CHRISTOPHER CEBALLOS,

Plaintiff,

v.

JOAN PANIAGUA,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC707380

Hearing Date: November 14, 2019

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Christopher Ceballos (“Plaintiff”) filed this action following a motor vehicle collision with Defendant Joan Paniagua (“Defendant”). Defendant moves to compel third party Gerald Alexander, M.D. (“Dr. Alexander”) to comply with a deposition subpoena for the production of medical records. Defendant personally served the motion upon Dr. Alexander, and the motion is unopposed. The motion is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1 provides, “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 trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by [a party or witness] . . . may make an order . . . directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 1987.1.) Prior to serving a subpoena on a third party for the production of personal records, the party seeking the discovery must serve a copy of the subpoena on the individual to whom the records pertain. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1985.3, subd. (e).)

DISCUSSION

On May 23, 2019, Defendant served a deposition subpoena upon the custodian of records for Gerald Alexander, M.D. for the production of Plaintiff’s medical records, which are relevant because they relate to the injuries at issue in this litigation. Plaintiff objected after Defendant served him with a copy of the subpoena. Plaintiff’s objections are overruled for two independent reasons. If Plaintiff sought to stop production of the documents, he was required to file a motion to quash the subpoena. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 1987.1, subd. (c), 1985.3, subd. (g).) The subpoena set the date for production as June 20, 2019, so Plaintiff should have filed his motion to quash the subpoena before June 14, 2019. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 1985.3, subd. (g).) As Plaintiff did not timely move to quash the subpoena, he has waived any right to prevent the production of the subpoenaed documents.

Putting that aside, even if the Court were to reach the merits of Plaintiff’s objections, they would be overruled. Plaintiff “may not withhold information which relates to any physical or mental condition which they have put in issue by bringing the lawsuit.” (Britt v. Superior Court (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 864; City & County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1951) 37 Cal.2d 227, 232.) Therefore, Plaintiff has waived any privacy interest or privilege associated with these records.

Defendant seeks sanctions against Plaintiff’s counsel, Michael Schemtoub, in the amount of $1,430.00, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 2023.030. “The 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. The court may impose this sanction on one unsuccessfully asserting that another has engaged in the misuse of the discovery process, or on any attorney who advised that assertion, or on both. 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.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2023.030, subd. (a).) Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s counsel had made, without substantial justification, an unmeritorious objection to discovery, which has ultimately resulted in Defendant needing to bring this motion.

The Court initially heard this motion on November 8, 2019. However, the Court continued the hearing to November 14, 2019, because Defendant’s counsel stated that she did not receive advance notice that Plaintiff’s counsel would challenge the sanctions award, and Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to file a supplemental declaration on the issue whether sanctions were appropriate. The Court has now reviewed and considered that declaration, but it does not change the Court’s tentative decision to order sanctions.

Defendant served the subpoena upon Dr. Alexander on May 23, 2019. (Declaration of Mona L. Bauer, ¶ 5 & Exh. A.) Plaintiff’s counsel objected on June 15, 2019. (Id., ¶¶ 7-8 & Exh. C & D.) Plaintiff’s counsel did not withdraw the objection before the motion was filed. (Declaration of Stephanie Folan, ¶ 4.) The objection was withdrawn on October 23, 2019. (Ibid.) Nor did Plaintiff’s counsel inform Defendant’s counsel that the objection would be withdrawn prior to the filing of the motion. (Ibid.) Instead, Plaintiff’s counsel persisted in making a meritless objection from June 15, 2019 to October 23, 2019, necessitating this motion. As discussed, it was inappropriate to make an objection to Dr, Alexander, which presumably was the reason he did not comply with the subpoena. Moreover, the objection had no merit for the reasons discussed. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s counsel abused the discovery process, necessitating this motion, which warrants sanctions. The Court orders sanctions in the amount of $585 based upon three hours of attorney time at a billing rate of $195, plus one filing fee of $60, for a total of $645.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Per Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, Defendant’s motion to compel compliance with the subpoena it served on Deponent is granted. The Court finds that Plaintiff has waived any privacy interest and privilege in the medical records in Dr. Gerald Alexander, M.D.’s possession and orders him to produce these records within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. The Court orders Plaintiff’s counsel, Michael Schemtoub, to pay sanctions in the amount of $645 to Defendant, through counsel, within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: November 14, 2019 ___________________________

Hon. Stephen Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BC707380    Hearing Date: November 08, 2019    Dept: 5

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 5

CHRISTOPHER CEBALLOS,

Plaintiff,

v.

JOAN PANIAGUA,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC707380

Hearing Date: November 8, 2019

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Christopher Ceballos (“Plaintiff”) filed this action following a motor vehicle collision with Defendant Joan Paniagua (“Defendant”). Defendant moves to compel third party Gerald Alexander, M.D. (“Dr. Alexander”) to comply with a deposition subpoena for the production of medical records. Defendant personally served the motion upon Dr. Alexander, and the motion is unopposed. The motion is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1 provides, “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 trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by [a party or witness] . . . may make an order . . . directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 1987.1.) Prior to serving a subpoena on a third party for the production of personal records, the party seeking the discovery must serve a copy of the subpoena on the individual to whom the records pertain. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1985.3, subd. (e).)

DISCUSSION

On May 23, 2019, Defendant served a deposition subpoena upon the custodian of records for Gerald Alexander, M.D. for the production of Plaintiff’s medical records, which are relevant because they relate to the injuries at issue in this litigation. Plaintiff objected after Defendant served him with a copy of the subpoena. Plaintiff’s objections are overruled for two independent reasons. If Plaintiff sought to stop production of the documents, he was required to file a motion to quash the subpoena. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 1987.1, subd. (c), 1985.3, subd. (g).) The subpoena set the date for production as June 20, 2019, so Plaintiff should have filed his motion to quash the subpoena before June 14, 2019. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 1985.3, subd. (g).) As Plaintiff did not timely move to quash the subpoena, he has waived any right to prevent the production of the subpoenaed documents.

Putting that aside, even if the Court were to reach the merits of Plaintiff’s objections, they would be overruled. Plaintiff “may not withhold information which relates to any physical or mental condition which they have put in issue by bringing the lawsuit.” (Britt v. Superior Court (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 864; City & County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1951) 37 Cal.2d 227, 232.) Therefore, Plaintiff has waived any privacy interest or privilege associated with these records.

Defendant seeks sanctions against Plaintiff’s counsel, Michael Schemtoub, in the amount of $1,430.00, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 2023.030. “The 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. The court may impose this sanction on one unsuccessfully asserting that another has engaged in the misuse of the discovery process, or on any attorney who advised that assertion, or on both. 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.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 2023.030, subd. (a).) Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s counsel had made, without substantial justification, an unmeritorious objection to discovery, which has ultimately resulted in Defendant needing to bring this motion. The Court agrees. As discussed, it was inappropriate to make an objection to Dr, Alexander, which presumably was the reason he did not comply with the subpoena. Moreover, the objection had no merit for the reasons discussed. Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s counsel abused the discovery process, necessitating this motion, which warrants sanctions. The Court orders sanctions in the amount of $585 based upon three hours of attorney time at a billing rate of $195, plus one filing fee of $60, for a total of $645.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Per Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, Defendant’s motion to compel compliance with the subpoena it served on Deponent is granted. The Court finds that Plaintiff has waived any privacy interest and privilege in the medical records in Dr. Gerald Alexander, M.D.’s possession and orders him to produce these records within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. The Court orders Plaintiff’s counsel, Michael Schemtoub, to pay sanctions in the amount of $645 to Defendant, through counsel, within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: November 8, 2019 ___________________________

Hon. Stephen Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: BC707380    Hearing Date: October 30, 2019    Dept: 5

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 5

christopher ceballos,

Plaintiff,

v.

joan paniagua,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC707380

Hearing Date: October 30, 2019

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

Motion TO ENFORCE SUBPOENA

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Christopher Ceballos (“Plaintiff”) filed this action following a motor vehicle collision with Defendant Joan Paniagua (“Defendant”). Defendant moves to compel third party Newport Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (“Deponent”) to comply with a deposition subpoena for the production of medical records. Plaintiff has not opposed the motion. The motion is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1 provides, “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 by [a party or a witness] . . . may make an order . . . directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1987.1.) Prior to serving a subpoena on a third party for the production of personal records, the party seeking the discovery must serve a copy of the subpoena on the individual to whom the records pertain. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1985.3, subd. (e.)

DISCUSSION

Defendant subpoenaed Plaintiff’s medical records, which are relevant because they relate to the injuries at issue in this litigation. Plaintiff objected after Defendant served him with a copy of the subpoena. There are two problems with Plaintiff’s approach. First, Plaintiff “may not withhold information which relates to any physical or mental condition which they have put in issue by bringing this lawsuit.” (Britt v. Superior Court (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 864; City & County of San Francisco v. Superior Court (1951) 37 Cal.2d 227, 232.) Second, as a party to the action, if Plaintiff sought to stop production of the documents, he was required to file a motion to quash the subpoena. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 1987.1, subd. (c), 1985.3, subd. (g).) As the subpoena set the date for production as June 20, 2019, Plaintiffs should have filed his motion to quash the subpoena before June 14, 2019. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1985.3, subd. (g).) As Plaintiff did not timely move to quash the subpoena, and Plaintiff did not oppose this motion, he has waived any right to prevent the production of the subpoenaed documents.

Defendant seeks sanctions against Plaintiff. Defendant did not include a request for sanctions in the notice of motion. Accordingly, the Court cannot award sanctions.  (See Blumenthal v. Superior Court (1980) 103 Cal.App.3d 317, 320.)

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Per Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, Defendant’s motion to compel compliance with the subpoenas it served on Deponent is granted. Deponent shall comply with the subpoena within twenty (20) days of notice of this order. Defendant shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: October 30, 2019 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court