This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/29/2019 at 01:48:00 (UTC).

DONNA CRANDELL ET AL VS LINETTE BANAAG MURILLO ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/22/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by DONNA CRANDELL against LINETTE BANAAG MURILLO 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:

    ****8895

  • Filing Date:

    03/22/2018

  • 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

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

CRANDELL DONNA

TUGMON HEIDI

Respondents and Defendants

MURILLO LINETTE BANAAG

MURILLO ARTURO TANDOC

DOES 1 TO 50 INCLUSIVE

 

Court Documents

Answer

5/1/2019: Answer

Notice of Deposit - Jury

5/1/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury

Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

6/28/2019: Stipulation to Continue Trial/FSC [and Related Motion/Discovery Dates] Personal Injury Courts Only (Department 91, 92, 93, 97)

PLAINTIFF'S DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

3/28/2018: PLAINTIFF'S DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

CoverSheet

3/22/2018: CoverSheet

Civil Case Cover Sheet

3/22/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons

3/22/2018: Summons

Complaint

3/22/2018: Complaint

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/28/2019
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Donna Crandell (Plaintiff); Heidi Tugmon (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/01/2019
  • Answer; Filed by Linette Banaag Murillo (Defendant); Arturo Tandoc Murillo (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/01/2019
  • Notice of Deposit - Jury; Filed by Linette Banaag Murillo (Defendant); Arturo Tandoc Murillo (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/28/2018
  • Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by Donna Crandell (Plaintiff); Heidi Tugmon (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/28/2018
  • PLAINTIFF'S DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/22/2018
  • Complaint

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/22/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/22/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Donna Crandell (Plaintiff); Heidi Tugmon (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/22/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Donna Crandell (Plaintiff); Heidi Tugmon (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC698895    Hearing Date: November 08, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motions to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One)

Having considered the moving papers, the Court rules as follows. No opposing papers were filed.

BACKGROUND

On March 22, 2018, Plaintiffs Donna Crandell and Heidi Tugmon (“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against Defendants Linette Banaag Murillo and Arturo Tandoc Murillo (“Defendants”) alleging motor vehicle and general negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on April 11, 2016.

On October 7, 2019, Defendants filed motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents (All Set One) pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290, subdivision (b) and 2031.300, subdivision (b).

Trial is set for March 23, 2020.

PARTIES’ REQUESTS

Defendants requests that the Court compel Plaintiffs to provide verified responses without objections to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) within 10 days of the hearing due to Plaintiffs failure to provide timely responses.

Defendants also ask the Court to impose monetary sanctions of $1,329.45 against Plaintiff Crandell and 1,329.45 against Plaintiff Tugmon for their abuse of the discovery process.

LEGAL STANDARD

If a party to whom interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses and for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b).) The statute contains no time limit for a motion to compel where no responses have been served. All that need be shown in the moving papers is that a set of interrogatories was properly served on the opposing party, that the time to respond has expired, and that no response of any kind has been served. (Leach v. Superior Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 902, 905906.)

Where there has been no timely response to a demand for the production of documents, the demanding party may seek an order compelling a response. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (b).) Failure to timely respond waives all objections, including privilege and work product. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (a).)  Thus, unless the party to whom the demand was directed obtains relief from waiver, he or she cannot raise objections to the documents demanded. There is no deadline for a motion to compel responses. Likewise, for failure to respond, the moving party need not attempt to resolve the matter outside court before filing the motion.

Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (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.)

Sanctions are mandatory in connection with motions to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production of documents against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel 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.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c).)

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 May 1, 2019, Defendants served Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) on Plaintiffs by U.S. mail.  (All Six Alexandra Boyadjian Declarations (“Boyadjian Decl.”), ¶ 2, Exh. A.)  Defendants provided one extension, allowing Plaintiffs up until June 19, 2019 to provide the outstanding responses without objections.  (Boyadjian Decl., ¶ 4, Exh. B-D.)  On September 6, 2019, Plaintiffs provided unverified responses to Request for Production (Set One).  (Boyadjian Decl., ¶¶ 8, 10, Exh. E, G.)  Defendants had not received responses to the remaining outstanding discovery as of the time Alexandra Boyadjian signed her declarations October 3, 2019.  (Boyadjian Decl., ¶ 7, 9.)

The discovery was properly served and Plaintiffs failed to provide the requisite responses to Form Interrogatories and Special Interrogatories (Both Set One) in a timely fashion.  Further, the unverified responses to Request for Production (Set One) are akin to no responses at all.  (See Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636.)  There are no facts presented showing Plaintiffs acted with a substantial justification or that other circumstances exist such that an imposition of sanctions would be unjust.

Defendant’s request of $1,329.45 in monetary sanctions against each Plaintiff individually consists of 3 hours in preparing the motions and 3 in appearing at the hearings at a rate of $143.75 an hour, plus three $61.65 for filing fees and three $94 Court Call fees.  (Boyadjian Decl., ¶¶ 8, 10, 12)  The Court finds this to be unreasonable.  A total of 6 hours will not be required for the hearings on all 6 motions nor will there be a need for multiple Courtcall appearances since the hearings are to take place on the same date, at the same time, consecutively.  Rather, the Court finds $782.08 ($143.75/hr. x 3.5 hrs. plus three $61.65 filing fees plus one $94 Courtcall fee) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against each Plaintiff and their counsel of record for their abuse of the discovery process.

The motions are therefore GRANTED.

The Court orders Plaintiffs to serve verified responses without objections to Defendants Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Request for Production (All Set One) within 30 days of this order.

The Court also orders Plaintiff Crandell and her counsel of record pay Defendant $782.08, jointly and severally, within 30 days of this order.

The Court further orders Plaintiff Tugmon and her counsel of record pay Defendant $782.08, jointly and severally, within 30 days of this order.

Defendants are ordered to give notice of this ruling.