Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/14/2021 at 04:37:17 (UTC).

DEIDRE (A.K.A. DEDREK) FINLEY VS ROSARIO DAWSON, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/18/2019 DEIDRE A K A DEDREK FINLEY filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against ROSARIO DAWSON. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are SUSAN BRYANT-DEASON, CHRISTOPHER K. LUI and ARMEN TAMZARIAN. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******7335

  • Filing Date:

    10/18/2019

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

SUSAN BRYANT-DEASON

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

ARMEN TAMZARIAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

FINLEY DEIDRE AKA DEDREK FINLEY

FINLEY DEIDRE

Defendants

VAZQUEZ GUSTAVO

DAWSON GREGORY

DAWSON ISABEL

DAWSON ROSARIO

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

HILL TASHA

RATNER DAVID

HILL TASHA A.

RATNER DAVID S.

Defendant Attorney

KOSSOFF ALAN

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (POST-MEDIATION STATUS CONFERENCE)

1/7/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (POST-MEDIATION STATUS CONFERENCE)

Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUATION OF HEARING ON: (1) DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS; (2) FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; AND (3) TRIAL

2/16/2021: Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUATION OF HEARING ON: (1) DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR TERMINATING SANCTIONS; (2) FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; AND (3) TRIAL

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION FOR TERMINATING SA...)

5/6/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE; HEARING ON MOTION FOR TERMINATING SA...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER)

5/21/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER)

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF ; DECLARATION OF AMBER MELIUS IN SUPPORT THEREOF

10/20/2020: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF PLAINTIFF ; DECLARATION OF AMBER MELIUS IN SUPPORT THEREOF

Notice of Ruling

11/17/2020: Notice of Ruling

Notice of Rejection Of Electronic Filing - NOTICE OF REJECTION OF ELECTRONIC FILING ***VOIDED DUE TO CLERICAL ERROR****

8/17/2020: Notice of Rejection Of Electronic Filing - NOTICE OF REJECTION OF ELECTRONIC FILING ***VOIDED DUE TO CLERICAL ERROR****

Request for Dismissal

8/7/2020: Request for Dismissal

Notice of Ruling - NOTICE OF RULING ON: 1) DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT, AND 2) ROSARIO DAWSON'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL DISCOVERY AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

7/9/2020: Notice of Ruling - NOTICE OF RULING ON: 1) DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT, AND 2) ROSARIO DAWSON'S MOTIONS TO COMPEL DISCOVERY AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

Case Management Statement

6/23/2020: Case Management Statement

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES

6/23/2020: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES

Reply - REPLY ISO MOTIONS

6/26/2020: Reply - REPLY ISO MOTIONS

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2030.300 IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,600 AGAINST PLAINTI

3/24/2020: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 2030.300 IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,600 AGAINST PLAINTI

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

3/24/2020: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Separate Statement

3/24/2020: Separate Statement

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (2ND)

2/7/2020: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (2ND)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER;)

11/20/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER;)

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

10/21/2019: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

79 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/16/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 52, Armen Tamzarian, Presiding; Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/26/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 52, Armen Tamzarian, Presiding; Jury Trial ((5 days)) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/25/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Rosario Dawson (Defendant); Isabel Dawson (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/21/2021
  • Docketat 2:30 PM in Department 52, Armen Tamzarian, Presiding; Ruling on Submitted Matter

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/21/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Ruling on Submitted Matter)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/21/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Ruling on Submitted Matter) of 05/21/2021); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/19/2021
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 52, Armen Tamzarian, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sanctions - Held - Taken under Submission

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/19/2021
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department 52, Armen Tamzarian, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/19/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Final Status Conference; Hearing on Motion for Terminating Sa...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/12/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 52, Armen Tamzarian, Presiding; Jury Trial ((5 days)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
117 More Docket Entries
  • 11/20/2019
  • DocketAssociation of Attorney; Filed by Deidre Finley (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/18/2019
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Rosario Dawson (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/14/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Deidre Finley (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/05/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/22/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Deidre Finley (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/21/2019
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/18/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/18/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Deidre Finley (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/18/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Deidre Finley (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCV37335    Hearing Date: May 6, 2021    Dept: 52

Tentative Ruling

Defendants Rosario Dawson and Isabel Dawson’s Motion for Terminating Sanctions Against Plaintiff Deidre Finley (aka “Dedrek Finley”);

The court having read the papers and there being no opposition rules as follows:

Defendants move for terminating sanctions.

CCP § 2023.030(d) permits courts to impose terminating sanctions against a plaintiff for misuse of the discovery process. Misuse of the process includes “[f]ailing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery” (CCP § 2023.010(d)) and “[d]isobeying a court order to provide discovery.” (CCP § 2030.010(g).)

Discovery sanctions should be imposed incrementally, “starting with monetary sanctions and ending with the ultimate sanction of termination.” (Lopez v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc. (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 566, 604.) “[A] terminating sanction should generally not be imposed until the court has attempted less severe alternatives and found them to be unsuccessful and/or the record clearly shows lesser sanctions would be ineffective.” (Ibid.)

As Department of Forestry & Fire Protection v. Howell Appropriate sanctions are those “such as are suitable and necessary to enable the party seeking discovery to obtain the objects of the discovery he seeks, but [not] which are designed not to accomplish the objects of discovery but to impose punishment.” (Laguna Auto Body v. Farmers Ins. Exchange (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 481, 488.)

On July 8, 2020, the court imposed $3,000 in monetary sanctions for misuse of discovery and ordered Finley to provide further responses to defendant Rosario Dawson’s Form Interrogatories (Set One), Special Interrogatories (Set One), and Requests for Production (Set One) within 15 days. He did not provide further responses, documents, or verifications. (Melius Decl., ¶ 12.)

On November 16, 2020, the court made several discovery orders. It imposed issue and evidentiary sanctions prohibiting Finley from introducing into evidence any documents responsive to the Requests for Production he had not already produced. The court again ordered Finley to provide further responses to Form Interrogatories (Set One) and Special Interrogatories (Set One) within 20 days. As of December 29, 2020, when defendants filed this motion, Finley had still not served any supplemental responses to the written discovery. (Melius Decl., ¶ 27.)

Finally, at the November 16 hearing, the court ordered Finley to submit to an independent mental examination by a psychiatrist on December 17, 2020. On December 16, Finley emailed defense counsel saying he needed to reschedule because he was exposed to COVID-19. (Melius Decl., ¶ 28, Ex. N.) Defense counsel asked for documentation of his exposure and need to quarantine. On December 21, Finley provided a note from the Los Angeles LGBT Center stating he was a patient on December 18 and “may not return to work/school until 1/1/2020.” (Melius Decl., Ex. O.)

Defense counsel replied to ask for better documentation. On December 22, Finley provided a new doctor’s note dated that day from the LGBT Center stating:

“[Plaintiff] has been under my care and was advised by Ethan Hamilton, RN on December 15, 2020, per Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations to, ‘assume they are positive for COVID-19, given recent exposure and symptoms. RN advised patient to try and reschedule or delay court appointed psych evaluation, due to inability to safely test, and inability to travel to evaluation without potentially exposing others to COVID-19.’

[Plaintiff] has been under my care since and MAY NOT return to court until after January 01, 2021.”

(Melius Decl., Ex. P, p. 3.)

In his email attaching the doctor’s note, Finley also wrote, “I was looking forward to meeting with the doctor. Please let me know the soonest date we can reschedule this appointment, thank you.” (Melius Decl., Ex. P., p. 1.)

The Declaration of Amber Melius never shows defense counsel’s response to Finley’s offer to reschedule. It does not mention any events after Finley’s email on December 22, 2020. Defendants filed this motion on December 29, 2020.

The record before the court does not justify terminating sanctions. It is not yet apparent that less severe sanctions could not enable defendants to get the discovery they seek. The most recent event evidenced in the record is plaintiff’s offer to reschedule the mental examination on December 22, 2020. More than four months have passed. Defendants have not presented evidence showing that they tried to reschedule, but Finley would not comply.

The record also does not show that Finley’s disobedience was willful. From this evidence, it appears that Finley cancelled the mental examination for a legitimate reason and offered to reschedule it. (Melius Decl., Ex. P.) As for the outstanding interrogatories, Finley’s disobedience appears to be from a lack of sophistication and difficulty composing the answers rather than a refusal to do so. (See Melius Decl., Ex. O.)

Finally, the record does not show defendants made a good faith attempt to obtain the discovery. (See Creed-21 v. City of Wildomar (2017) 18 Cal.App.5th 690, 702 [courts consider “the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery”].)

Finley’s former counsel withdrew on November 12, 2020. The evidence does not show any communication with Finley since then in an attempt to get the further interrogatory responses. In the attached correspondence, only Finley mentions the interrogatories. (Melius Decl., Ex. O.) Again, the evidence does not include any response to Finley’s offer to reschedule the examination on December 22. (Melius Decl., Ex. P, p. 1.)

The record does not paint a picture of a plaintiff willfully disobeying court orders or refusing to comply with his discovery obligations. Rather, the record suggests that defendants have been trying to get terminating sanctions against an unsophisticated, unrepresented plaintiff instead of trying to actually obtain the objects of the discovery they seek.

The motion is DENIED.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases represented by Lawyer HILL TASHA

Latest cases represented by Lawyer RATNER, DAVID