This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/26/2019 at 03:22:57 (UTC).

INVESERVE CORPORATION VS. GGG HOLDINGS, L.L.C., ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/05/2018 INVESERVE CORPORATION filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against GGG HOLDINGS, L L C . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8125

  • Filing Date:

    04/05/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Burbank Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant

INVESERVE CORPORATION A CALIFORNIA

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

HANSON GLORIA

HANSON GEORGE P.

GGG HOLDINGS L.L.C. A NEVADA LIMITED

HANSON GEORGE P.AND GLORIA HANSON

HANSON GEORGE P.AND GLORIA

TALLASSEE HOLDINGS LLC A NEVADA LIMITED

GPH HOLDINGS LLC A NEVADA LIMITED

CONDE HOLDINGS LLC A NEVADA LIMITED

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

RONALD M. HIRANO ESQ.

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorney

CALVIN A. SLATER ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Civil Case Cover Sheet

4/5/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons

4/5/2018: Summons

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

5/16/2018: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

5/16/2018: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

5/16/2018: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

Unknown

5/31/2018: Unknown

Notice

6/1/2018: Notice

Minute Order

9/4/2018: Minute Order

Other -

9/4/2018: Other -

Notice

2/26/2019: Notice

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

4/9/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

4/9/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

4/9/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Request for Judicial Notice

4/9/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Request for Judicial Notice

4/9/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Order

6/7/2019: Order

Minute Order

6/7/2019: Minute Order

Notice

6/17/2019: Notice

27 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/17/2019
  • Notice (of Court Order Re: Motions to Compel Further Responses); Filed by GGG Holdings, L.L.C., a Nevada limited (Defendant); George P.and Gloria Hanson (Defendant)

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  • 06/10/2019
  • Order (Court's Order re: Motions to Compel Further Responses); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel Interrogatories - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 06/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Motion Granted

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Motion Granted

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department B; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Motion Granted

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/07/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses; Hear...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/15/2019
  • at 09:30 AM in Department B; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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33 More Docket Entries
  • 05/31/2018
  • Cross-Compl fld- No Summons Issued; Filed by GGG Holdings, L.L.C., a Nevada limited (Defendant); George P.and Gloria Hanson (Defendant); GPH HOLDINGS, LLC, a NEVADA LIMITED (Cross-Complainant) et al.

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  • 05/31/2018
  • Answer; Filed by GGG Holdings, L.L.C., a Nevada limited (Defendant); George P.and Gloria Hanson (Defendant)

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  • 05/16/2018
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by InveServe Corporation, a California (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/16/2018
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by InveServe Corporation, a California (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/16/2018
  • Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by InveServe Corporation, a California (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Summons; Filed by InveServe Corporation, a California (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Complaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by InveServe Corporation, a California (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by InveServe Corporation, a California (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC068125    Hearing Date: August 14, 2020    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

Inveserve corporation,

Plaintiff,

v.

GGG HOLDINGS, LLC, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: EC068125

Hearing Date: August 14, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

(1) motion for leave to file a first amended cross-complaint; and

(2) motion for terminating sanctions

BACKGROUND

A. Allegations of the Operative Complaint

Plaintiff InveServe Corporation (“Plaintiff”) alleges that it entered into a written Property Management Agreement with Defendant GGG Holdings, LLC (“GGG”) on December 2, 2014, regarding the management of the Passage Avenue Apartments located at 16844 Passage Avenue in Paramount. The agreement contemplated that Plaintiff would perform and coordinate maintenance, repairs, alterations, and make capital improvements at the apartment in exchange for GGG’s payment. Plaintiff alleges it performed on the agreement from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, and made improvements in the sum of $25,424.08, but GGG breached the agreement by failing to make any payments.

Plaintiff also alleges that on June 3, 2013, it entered into a Property Management Agreement with Defendants George P. Hanson and Gloria G. Hanson, the trustees of the Hanson Trust dated August 3, 1987 (“Trust Defendants”) for the management of certain apartments located at 605 South Verdugo Road in Glendale (“Verdugo Road Apartments”), 3229 Baldwin Park Boulevard in Baldwin Park (“Baldwin Park Apartments”), 743 South Sierra Vista Avenue in Alhambra (“Sierra Vista Apartments”), and 2737 Via Paseo in Montebello (“Via Paseo Apartments”). Plaintiff alleges that it performed maintenance and made capital improvements in the total sum of $56,671.69 on these properties, but Trust Defendants have not made payments.

The Complaint, filed April 5, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) breach of contract; (2) account stated; (3) breach of contract; and (4) account stated. The 1st and 2nd causes of action are alleged against GGG. The 3rd and 4th causes of action are alleged against the Trust Defendants.

On May 31, 2018, GGG and the Trust Defendants filed an answer to the complaint. That same day, GGG, Trust Defendants, GPH Holdings, LLC, Conde Holdings LLC, and Tallassee Holdings LLC (“Cross-Complainants”) filed a cross-complaint against Plaintiff InveServe for: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; and (3) accounting.

B. Relevant Background and Motions on Calendar

On March 6, 2020, the parties filed a joint stipulation and [proposed] order for leave to file the first amended cross-complaint (“FAXC”). The Court rejected the stipulation and proposed order.

On March 23, 2020, Cross-Complainants applied ex parte for leave to file the FAXC. The Court denied the application finding that there were no exigent circumstances.

On March 27, 2020, Cross-Complainants GGG, Trust Defendants, GPH Holdings, LLC, Conde Holdings LLC, and Tallassee Holdings LLC filed a motion for leave to file the FAXC. The Court is not in receipt of an opposition brief.

On April 10, 2020, Defendants GGG and George P. Hanson, Trustee of the Hanson Trust dated August 3, 1987 (“Hanson Trust”) filed a motion for terminating sanctions and/or issue/evidentiary sanctions. The Court is not in receipt of an opposition brief.

DISCUSSION RE MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE THE FAXC

  1. Legal Standard

CCP §473(a)(1) states: “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading or proceeding by adding or striking out the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party, or a mistake in any other respect; and may, upon like terms, enlarge the time for answer or demurrer. The court may likewise, in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading or proceeding in other particulars; and may upon like terms allow an answer to be made after the time limited by this code.”

CRC rule 3.1324 requires a motion seeking leave to amend to include a copy of the proposed pleadings, to identify the amendments, and to be accompanied by a declaration including the following facts:

1) The effect of the amendment;

2) Why the amendment is necessary and proper;

3) When the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and

4) The reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.

The Court’s discretion regarding granting leave to amend is usually exercised liberally to permit amendment of pleadings. (Nestle v. Santa Monica (1972) 6 Cal.3d 920, 939.) If a motion to amend is timely made and the granting of the motion will not prejudice the opposing party, it is error to refuse permission to amend. (Morgan v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527, 530.)

  1. Merits of Motion for Leave to File the FAXC

Cross-Complainants move for leave to file the proposed FAXC against InveServe, Albert Rivera, Jr., Ricardo Santana, and Santana Contractors, Inc. A copy of the FAXC is attached to the declaration of Vaughn A. Blackman, counsel for Cross-Complainants, as Exhibit A. Exhibit B includes a red-line (strike-through) version of the initial cross-complaint.

In support of the motion, Cross-Complainants provide the declaration of their counsel, Mr. Blackman. Mr. Blackman states that the effect of the amendment would be to add additional causes of action against Plaintiff for negligence, violation of Business & Professions Code, §7031, conversion, and money had and received; and substitute Albert Rivera Jr., Ricardo Santana, and Santana Contractors, Inc. as ROEs 1-3 and add a cause of action against them. (Blackman Decl., ¶28(a).) He states the amendment is necessary and proper as to Plaintiff to ensure that Cross-Complainants obtain relief for injuries suffered, Plaintiff has stipulated to the filing of the FAXC, and Cross-Complainants only recently became aware of the identity of the new Cross-Defendants. (Id., ¶28(b).) Mr. Blackman states that he received Plaintiff’s partial discovery responses on February 5, 2019 identifying Albert Rivera as a contractor and Santana Contractors Inc. for pulling permits; discovered on July 17, 2019 that Ricardo Santana was a contractor that performed work at some of the properties; and discovered on January 23, 2020 that Albert Rivera was a contractor that performed work at the remaining properties. (Id., ¶28(c).) Mr. Blackman states that the amendment was not made sooner because Cross-Complainants did not have completed information regarding who performed work at the properties due to Plaintiff’s delayed discovery responses. (Id., ¶28(d).)

Based on the declaration of Mr. Blackman and the liberal policy in favor of allowing amendments to the pleading, the Court grants Cross-Complainants’ motion for leave to file the proposed FAXC as against Cross-Defendant InveServe.

While InveServe itself does not object to the amendment, the Court is concerned about the other parties who are being involved in this dispute at this late date. Even though it is obvious to the Court that InveServe has not properly provided discovery, the moving parties have known the identity of Albert Rivera Jr., Ricardo Santana, and Santana Contractors, Inc. for some time. But what did these parties do to merit their involvement? What evidence has been uncovered to show that they committed some actionable offense? Merely “pulling permits” or being identified as a subcontractor is not actionable. There is no evidence referred to that would indicate that these parties breached a duty to the Cross-Complainants. What evidence, unknown to Cross-Complainants until now, merits involving these parties? (See CRC Rule 3.1324.) Thus, the Court is inclined to deny the motion as to the new parties.

DISCUSSION RE MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

Defendants GGG and Hanson Trust seek terminating sanctions against Plaintiff InveServe on InveServe’s complaint and the cross-complaint. Defendants argue that despite the Court’s orders requiring InveServe to comply with its discovery obligations, InveServe has failed to provide responses to requests for production of documents (“RPD”) and form interrogatories (“FROG”).

  1. Terminating Sanctions

CCP §2023.030 permits the Court to impose terminating sanctions for discovery misuses, which are defined by CCP §2023.010 to include the failure to respond to an authorized method of discovery and the failure to comply with a Court discovery order. The Court weighs the following factors when considering the present motion: (1) defendants’ conduct, indicating whether their actions were willful; (2) the detriment to the party seeking discovery; and (3) the number of formal and informal unsuccessful attempts to obtain discovery. (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.) Ultimate discovery sanctions are justified where there is a willful discovery order violation, a history of abuse, and evidence showing that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with discovery rules. (Van Sickle v. Gilbert (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, 1516.)

On January 17, 2020, the Court held a hearing on GGG and Hanson Trust’s first motion for terminating sanctions and/or issue/evidentiary sanctions against InveServe.[1] The Court ordered Plaintiff’s counsel to produce 8,400 pages of discovery documents to defense counsel by January 22, 2020 and to produce any other response by January 23, 2020 for the Court to consider. The Court ordered the documents to be brought for the Court’s review by January 24, 2020. The Court continued the hearing on the first motion to January 24, 2020. On January 24, 2020, the Court issued its ruling on the first motion, wherein it denied the request for terminating sanctions as Defendants were attempting to comply with discovery. However, the Court granted in part the request for issue/evidentiary sanctions such that InveServe “is prevented from introducing into evidence any document not produced to date, and from calling any witness that has not been identified in its discovery responses to date”, as well the request for monetary sanctions in the sum of $8,100.

Defendants argue that despite having various court orders to provide discovery responses, InveServe has failed to comply with multiple court orders. Despite having been ordered to produce all documents by January 24, 2020, Defendants argue that InveServe failed to do so and the Court had declined to impose terminating sanctions at that time. Following the January 24, 2020 hearing, Defendants argue that they have made repeated attempts to obtain InveServe’s outstanding discovery responses to RPD, sets one and two; GGG’s FROG, set two; and Hanson Trust’s FROG, set two. (Mot. at p.4.) Defendants thus argue that InveServe has still not yet complied with the Court’s orders of June 10, 2019, October 18, 2019, and January 17, 2020.

Defendants have shown that InveServe has willfully disregarded to the Court’s orders and its discovery obligations. Defendants have also recounted the attempts they have made—by communicating with Plaintiff’s counsel and filing motions. However, since the January 17 and 24, 2020 hearings, nothing new appears to have occurred between the parties, such as new discovery propounded on InveServe or InveServe’s failure to comply with a subsequent court order. Following the January 17, 2020 hearing on the first motion and the continued hearing on January 24, 2020, the Court took into consideration InveServe’s lack of compliance with the Court’s prior discovery orders and its more recent January 17, 2020 order for the production of documents. In doing so, the Court declined to impose terminating sanctions against InveServe, but instead granted Defendants’ alternative request for relief for issue/evidentiary sanctions.

Here, too, the Court declines to impose terminating sanctions against InveServe for the outstanding discovery that was previously discussed in the Court’s January 2020 orders.

  1. Issue/Evidentiary Sanctions

Under CCP §2023.030, the Court may impose issue sanctions ordering that designated facts be taken as established in the action in accordance with the claim of the party adversely affected by the misuse of the discovery process. (CCP §2023.030(b).) The Court may impose an evidence sanction by an order prohibiting any party engaging in the misuse of the discovery process from introducing designated matters in evidence. (CCP §2023.030(c).) Any motion for issue or evidentiary sanctions must be accompanied by a separate statement. (CRC Rule 3.1345(a)(7).)

Evidence or issue sanctions may be imposed only after parties violated discovery orders compelling further responses, except in exceptional circumstances, including where there was sufficiently egregious misconduct regarding a failure to respond to discovery, or a prior discovery order would be futile. (New Albertsons, Inc. v. Sup. Ct. (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1403, 1426.) Two prerequisites for the imposition of non-monetary sanctions are: (1) there must be a failure to comply; and (2) the failure must be willful. (Vallbona v. Springer (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 1525, 1545.) The party requesting sanctions under CCP §2023.030 and §2023.010(g) must establish that the other party has failed to comply or disobeyed a court order to provide discovery. (CCP §2023.010(g); Miranda v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 913, 929 [first requirement of failure to comply].) To avoid sanctions, the burden of proving that a discovery violation was not willful is on the party on whom the discovery was served. (Cornwall v. Santa Monica Dairy Co. (1977) 66 Cal.App.3d 250, 252- 253.)

Defendants request issue sanctions against InveServe to establish the following issues: (1) InveServe's contractors and workers were not licensed from January 1, 2013 to the present and were not qualified to perform the work; and (2) InveServe and its contractors/workers did not maintain worker's compensation insurance from January 1, 2013 to the present. Defendants also seek issue/evidentiary sanctions such that: (3) InveServe is not entitled to any damages on any of its causes of action; (4) Defendants are not liable to InveServe for any of its causes of action; (5) InveServe is liable for breach of contract for failure to perform work correctly and competently, for failure to pull permits and comply with city codes/regulations, and by hiring unlicensed and unqualified workers/contractors to perform the work; (6) InveServe is liable for breach of fiduciary duty for failure to hire licensed and qualified workers/contractors, and for failure to use Defendants' selected workers/contractors and instead using InveServe's workers/contractors that were unqualified and unlicensed and performed the work incorrectly; (7) all work performed by InveServe at all of Defendants' properties was defective and performed improperly and incorrectly; (8) the work performed by InveServe at all of Defendants' properties was done without permits and in violation of city codes/regulations; (9) InveServe was already paid for the work stated in its Complaint, and thus, InveServe is not entitled to recover damages; (10) InveServe failed to use properly qualified and licensed contractors and workers in performing the work at all of Defendants properties; (11) all of the work performed by InveServe at all of Defendants' properties was defective, incorrect and improper, and Defendants are entitled to reimbursement of all monies paid to InveServe related to the maintenance, repairs and improvements at the properties; (12) Defendants are entitled to reimbursement of all monies paid to InveServe for work that required a contractor's license; (13) Defendants are entitled to reimbursement of all monies paid to InveServe for work that required permits; (14) InveServe cannot introduce evidence that it performed work correctly or in compliance with city codes/regulations, or that it obtained permits; (15) InveServe cannot introduce evidence that it was not paid for the work stated in its Complaint; and (16) InveServe cannot introduce evidence that it used properly qualified licensed contractors and workers in performing the work. With regard to GGG and Hanson Trust’s respective FROG 17.1, Defendants seek an issue sanctions against InveServe deeming GGG’s RFAs, set two, and Hanson Trust’s RFAs, set two, admitted.

While the Court will not grant the full extent of the issue/evidentiary sanctions, the Court will grant the request for issue/evidentiary sanctions in that InveServe will not be permitted to recover on its causes of action in the Complaint. Beyond that, however, Cross-Complainant will still bear the burden of proof on its Cross-Complaint but InveServe will not be permitted to introduce documents that it failed to produce or witnesses that it failed to identify in the discovery responses.

  1. Monetary Sanctions

CCP §2023.030(a) states: “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 also 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.”

In connection with the first motion, the Court awarded monetary sanctions in favor of Defendants in the amount of $8,100.

Now, Defendants seek $8,460 for having to file this second motion. Defense counsel, Vaughn A. Blackman, states that he spent 17 hours on this matter, including preparing the motion, declaration, separate statement, and proposed order; expects spending 4 hours to review the opposition and draft the reply brief; and 3 hours for the hearing at a rate of $350/hour (plus $60 filing fees). A total of 24 hours spent on this motion is excessive, plus the Court has already imposed sanctions against InveServe for defense counsel’s efforts undertaken to obtain discovery from InveServe and Plaintiff’s counsel. Thus, the Court will award monetary sanctions to Defendants but in a reduced amount of $1,810.00 ($350/hour x 5 hours, plus $60 filing fees).

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Cross-Complainants’ motion for leave to file the proposed FAXC is granted as to Cross-Defendant InveServe and denied as to the additional parties, Albert Rivera Jr., Ricardo Santana, and Santana Contractors, Inc. Cross-Complainants are ordered to electronically file a separate version of the FAXC with the Court by this date following the hearing on the matter.

Defendants GGG and Hanson Trust’s motion for terminating sanctions is denied. The motion for issue/evidentiary sanctions is granted in part as follows: InveServe will not be permitted to recover on its causes of action in the Complaint. Beyond that, however, Cross-Complainant will still bear the burden of proof on its Cross-Complaint but InveServe will not be permitted to introduce documents that it failed to produce or witnesses that it failed to identify in the discovery responses.

Defendants’ request for monetary sanctions against InveServe and its counsel of record is granted in the sum of $1,810.00, which shall be payable within 20 days of this order.

Defendants/Cross-Complainants shall provide notice of this order.


[1] In the first motion for sanctions, Defendants argued that Plaintiff failed to respond to RPDs, SROGs, FROGs, and RFAs propounded on September 14, 2018, as well as discovery propounded on February 14, 2019. In its January 24, 2020 order, the Court noted that on June 7, 2019, it granted Defendants’ motion to compel further responses to the discovery propounded on September 14, 2018; and that on October 18, 2019, it granted Defendants’ motion to compel initial responses to SROG and RPD.

Case Number: EC068125    Hearing Date: January 17, 2020    Dept: NCB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

North Central District

Department B

Inveserve corporation,

Plaintiff,

v.

GGG HOLDINGS, LLC, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: EC068125

Hearing Date: January 17, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion for terminating sanctions, or issue/evidentiary sanctions, and for monetary sanctions

BACKGROUND

A. Allegations of the Operative Complaint

Plaintiff InveServe Corporation (“Plaintiff”) alleges that it entered into a written Property Management Agreement with Defendant GGG Holdings, LLC (“GGG”) on December 2, 2014, regarding the management of the Passage Avenue Apartments located at 16844 Passage Avenue in Paramount, such that Plaintiff would perform and coordinate maintenance, repairs, and alterations and to perform capital improvements at the apartment in exchange for GGG’s payment. Plaintiff alleges it performed on the agreement from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, and made improvements in the sum of $25,424.08, but that GGG breached the agreement by failing to make any payments.

Plaintiff also alleges that on June 3, 2013, it entered into a Property Management Agreement with Defendants George P. Hanson and Gloria G. Hanson, the trustees of the Hanson Trust dated August 3, 1987 (“Trust Defendants”) for the management of certain apartments located at 605 South Verdugo Road in Glendale (“Verdugo Road Apartments”), 3229 Baldwin Park Boulevard in Baldwin Park; (“Baldwin Park Apartments”), 743 South Sierra Vista Avenue in Alhambra (“Sierra Vista Apartments”), and 2737 Via Paseo in Montebello (“Via Paseo Apartments”). Plaintiff alleges that it performed maintenance and made capital improvements in the total sum of $56,671.69 on these properties, but Trust Defendants have not made payments.

The Complaint, filed April 5, 2018, alleges causes of action for: (1) breach of contract; (2) account stated; (3) breach of contract; and (4) account stated. The 1st and 2nd causes of action are alleged against GGG. The 3rd and 4th causes of action are alleged against the Trust Defendants.

B. Motion on Calendar

On December 20, 2019, GGG and George P. Hanson, Trustee of the Hanson Trust Dated August 3, 1987 (“Hanson Trust”) filed a motion for terminating sanctions or issue/evidentiary sanctions, and monetary sanctions in the amount of $8,810 against Plaintiff.

The Court is not in receipt of an opposition brief. On January 8, 2020, GGG and Hanson Trust filed a notice of Plaintiff’s non-opposition to the motion, stating they have not received any opposition to the motion.

DISCUSSION

A. Terminating Sanctions

CCP §2023.030 permits the Court to impose terminating sanctions for discovery misuses, which are defined by CCP §2023.010 to include the failure to respond to an authorized method of discovery and the failure to comply with a Court discovery order. The Court weighs the following factors when considering the present motion: (1) defendants’ conduct, indicating whether their actions were willful; (2) the detriment to the party seeking discovery; and (3) the number of formal and informal unsuccessful attempts to obtain discovery. (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.) Ultimate discovery sanctions are justified where there is a willful discovery order violation, a history of abuse, and evidence showing that less severe sanctions would not produce compliance with discovery rules. (Van Sickle v. Gilbert (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1495, 1516.)

Defendants argue that there has been a history of misuse of the discovery process by Plaintiff. Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to properly respond to 2 different sets of discovery. According to the declaration of defense counsel, Vaughn A. Blackman:

· On September 14, 2018, Defendants served RPDs, SROGs, FROGs, and RFAs on Plaintiff. (Blackman Decl., Ex. A.) On February 5, 2019, Plaintiff served deficient responses. (Id., Ex. F.) On June 7, 2019, the Court granted Defendants’ 6 motions to compel further responses to the discovery and ordered Plaintiff to provide further responses within 20 days. (Id., Ex. M.) The Court awarded sanctions to Defendants in the sum of $4,378.80, and stayed the sanctions until July 18, 2019 so that Plaintiff had an opportunity to comply with the Court’s order. Despite the Court’s order, Plaintiff failed to timely provide responses, and only later provided some responses. (Id., ¶¶25-26.) (On July 18, 2019, the Court lifted the stay and ordered Plaintiff to pay the sanctions.)

· On February 14, 2019, Defendant served more discovery requests on Plaintiff. (Id., Exs. V-Z, AA, BB.) On September 12, 2019, Plaintiff served responses to the RFAs only. (Id., Exs. EE-FF.) On October 18, 2019, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to compel (initial) responses to SROG and RPD and responses were due within 30 days. The Court awarded sanctions to Defendants in the sum of $3,117.00.

· Plaintiff represented it would provide further responses by December 23, 2019. (Id., Exs. T-U.)

Defendants move for terminating sanctions arguing that Plaintiff has not violated the Court’s orders made on two separate hearing dates regarding various discovery motions. As of the filing date of the motion (December 20, 2019), Defendants state that they are not in receipt of any further discovery responses. In their notice of non-opposition filing (filed January 8, 2020), Mr. Blackman provides his supplemental declaration stating that he is not in receipt of an opposition brief to this motion and that he is not in receipt or any additional discovery responses from Plaintiff or production of documents as ordered by the Court. (Suppl. Blackman Decl., ¶¶3-4.)

Despite numerous opportunities for Plaintiff to provide responses to the various sets of discovery, Plaintiff has still failed to provide responses in compliance with its discovery obligations and the Court’s orders. In light of Plaintiff’s conduct and lack of opposition to this motion, the Court is unaware of whether Plaintiff intends to comply with the Court’s orders.

Nevertheless, the Court is concerned that ful terminating sanctions would do more damage than is warranted by the failure to make discovery.

Issue and Evidence Sanctions

In the moving papers, Defendants seek issue and evidentiary sanctions on 17 matters. (See Mot. at pp.13-14.) Defendants’ alternative request for issue and/or evidentiary sanctions is granted in part as follows:

1. The Complaint is stricken.

2. The Plaintiff is prevented from introducing into evidence any document not produced to date, and from calling any witness that has not been identified in its discovery responses to date.

B. Monetary Sanctions

CCP §2023.030(a) states: “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 also 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.”

The Court awards further monetary sanctions in favor of Defendants in the amount of $5,000.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendants GGG and Hanson Trust’s motion for terminating sanctions is granted in part. The Court strikes Plaintiff’s operative complaint.

The requests for issue/evidentiary sanctions and monetary sanctions is granted in part. Defendants are ordered to provide notice of this order.

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