This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/15/2019 at 16:20:47 (UTC).

GILDA YOUNESI VS STEPHANIE ORTEGA

Case Summary

On 06/05/2018 GILDA YOUNESI filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against STEPHANIE ORTEGA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9384

  • Filing Date:

    06/05/2018

  • 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

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

YOUNESI GILDA

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 THROUGH 10 INCLUSIVE

ORTEGA STEPHANIE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

SADIGHIM RAMTIN R. ESQ.

Defendant Attorney

GARCIA ROY ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal

12/17/2019: Request for Dismissal

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/27/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFF'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT TO ANSWER DEPOSITION QUESTIONS; DECLARATION OF ROXANA ELI

12/3/2019: Reply - REPLY PLAINTIFF'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT TO ANSWER DEPOSITION QUESTIONS; DECLARATION OF ROXANA ELI

Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF GILDA YOUNESI'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SACTIONS

11/25/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF GILDA YOUNESI'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SACTIONS

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

10/7/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

[Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO

10/18/2019: [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person - [PROPOSED ORDER] AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL, FSC (AND RELATED MOTION/DISCOVERY DATES) PERSO

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT STEPHANIE ORTEGA TO ANSWER DEPOSITION QUESTIONS; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT, LAW OFFICES OF GREGORY J.

11/13/2019: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT STEPHANIE ORTEGA TO ANSWER DEPOSITION QUESTIONS; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS AGAINST COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT, LAW OFFICES OF GREGORY J.

Separate Statement

11/13/2019: Separate Statement

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

8/16/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

DEMAND FOR JURY

8/16/2018: DEMAND FOR JURY

CIVIL DEPOSIT -

8/16/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT -

Proof of Personal Service -

6/29/2018: Proof of Personal Service -

CoverSheet -

6/5/2018: CoverSheet -

Summons -

6/5/2018: Summons -

Complaint -

6/5/2018: Complaint -

3 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/17/2019
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/10/2019
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel (Motion to Compel Defendant Stephanie Ortega to Answer Deposition Questions) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 12/05/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 12/03/2019
  • DocketReply (Plaintiff's Reply in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Defendant to Answer Deposition Questions; Declaration of Roxana Eli); Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/27/2019
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Stephanie Ortega (Defendant)

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  • 11/25/2019
  • DocketOpposition (DEFENDANT'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF GILDA YOUNESI'S MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT AND REQUEST FOR MONETARY SACTIONS); Filed by Stephanie Ortega (Defendant)

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  • 11/19/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 11/13/2019
  • DocketMotion to Compel (Motion to Compel Defendant Stephanie Ortega to Answer Deposition Questions; Request for Monetary Sanctions Against Counsel for Defendant, Law Offices of Gregory J. Lucett; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof; Declaration of Roxana Eli); Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/13/2019
  • DocketSeparate Statement; Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/18/2019
  • Docket[Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Stephanie Ortega (Defendant)

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 08/16/2018
  • DocketDemand for Jury Trial; Filed by Stephanie Ortega (Defendant)

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  • 08/16/2018
  • DocketANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 08/16/2018
  • DocketCIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 08/16/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Stephanie Ortega (Defendant)

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  • 08/16/2018
  • DocketReceipt; Filed by Stephanie Ortega (Defendant)

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketProof of Personal Service

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  • 06/29/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/05/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/05/2018
  • DocketComplaint

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  • 06/05/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Gilda Younesi (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC709384    Hearing Date: December 10, 2019    Dept: 5

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 5

gilda younesi,

Plaintiff,

v.

stephanie ortega,

Defendant.

Case No.: BC709384

Hearing Date: December 10, 2019

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion for order compelling Defendant to respond to deposition questions

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Gilda Younesi (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendant Stephanie Ortega (“Defendant”) following a motor vehicle collision. Plaintiff moves to compel Defendant to respond to certain deposition questions. The motion is denied.

LEGAL STANDARD

Per Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, if a deponent fails to answer any question at deposition, the party that noticed the deposition may move to compel the deponent to answer. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (a).)

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff seeks to compel answers to the following questions:

1. Do you believe you’re at fault for causing the collision?

2. Based on your knowledge of driving laws and the way this incident occurred, do you feel that you’re any part at fault for causing the collision?

3. Before we break, I’m going to ask, do you think that the plaintiff is at fault?

4. And do you think anybody else was at fault for this?

Defendant’s counsel objected and instructed Defendant not to answer, citing Rifkind v. Superior Court (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1255.

Although Defendant’s counsel should not have instructed Defendant not to answer, per Stewart v. Colonial Western Agency, Inc. (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1006, 1014, Plaintiff’s counsel’s questions were improper. In Rifkind, the Second District recognized that requiring a witness “to make a law-to-fact application is beyond the competence of most lay persons.” (Rifkind v. Superior Court (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1255, 1262, internal quotations omitted.) The Court noted that even if such questions could be characterized as not calling for a legal opinion, these types of questions when used at deposition “are unfair.” (Ibid.) The Court stated, “If the deposing party wants to know facts, it can ask for facts; if it wants to know what the adverse party is contending, or how it rationalizes the facts as supporting a contention, it may ask that question in an interrogatory. The party answering the interrogatory may then, with aid of counsel, apply the legal reasoning involved in marshaling the facts relied upon for each of its contentions.” (Ibid.)

Plaintiff attempts to characterize the questions as “about the basis for factual conclusions . . . .” (Motion to Compel Defendant to Answer Deposition Questions, p. 7.) The Court disagrees because the questions are not purely factual. Indeed, Plaintiff concedes that the questions ask whether “Defendant feels she is at fault for causing the collision, based on the undisputed facts of the case . . . .” (Motion to Compel Defendant to Answer Deposition Questions, p. 9.) Plaintiff was free to ask Defendant about Defendant’s perception of how and why the accident occurred. Plaintiff was not, however, entitled to require Defendant to state an opinion about legal responsibility for the accident.

Both parties argue that opposing counsel behaved improperly at deposition and should be sanctioned. The parties have provided the Court with brief excerpts of the deposition transcript. The Court cannot determine from these excerpts if either counsel’s behavior interfered with the deposition to such an extent that sanctions are warranted. It is clear, however, that both counsel were discourteous and combative. Moreover, the Court finds that both counsel acted inappropriately: Plaintiff’s counsel asked impermissible questions and Defendant’s counsel impermissibly instructed Defendant not to answer. Therefore, the Court declines to award sanctions to either party. In the future, if such conduct persists, the Court would consider issuing an Order to Show Cause against both parties with any sanctions payable to the Court instead of the opposing party.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Plaintiff’s motion to compel Defendant to answer deposition questions is denied. Both parties’ requests for sanctions are denied. Plaintiff shall provide notice and file proof of such with the Court.

DATED: December 10, 2019 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court