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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/09/2019 at 01:42:38 (UTC).

J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION INC. VS U.S. CONTROLS INC

Case Summary

On 11/03/2017 J F SHEA CONSTRUCTION INC filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against U S CONTROLS INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are OKI, DAN THOMAS, PETER A. HERNANDEZ and DUKES, ROBERT A.. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9770

  • Filing Date:

    11/03/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Pomona Courthouse South

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

OKI, DAN THOMAS

PETER A. HERNANDEZ

DUKES, ROBERT A.

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION INC

J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION INC.

U.S. CONTROLS INC.

CAPOCCIA ANTHONY MARC ALIAS MARC CAPOCCIA

Defendants, Cross Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

U S CONTROLS IMC

AMERICAN CONTRACTORS INDEMNITY COMPANY

U.S. CONTROLS INC.

CAPOCCIA ANTHONY MARC ALIAS MARC CAPOCCIA

THE WESTERN SURETY COMPANY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

ANDRADE RICHARD B.

CADAMBI BAHAAR

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

MENTHE ESQ. DARREL C.

KIM AMBER NICOLE

Cross Defendant Attorney

CROWDER DOUGLAS ANDREW

 

Court Documents

Complaint

11/3/2017: Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

11/3/2017: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons

11/3/2017: Summons

Unknown

11/14/2017: Unknown

Unknown

11/28/2017: Unknown

Cross-Complaint

1/16/2018: Cross-Complaint

Summons

1/16/2018: Summons

Case Management Statement

3/21/2018: Case Management Statement

Answer

4/2/2018: Answer

Case Management Statement

5/11/2018: Case Management Statement

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

2/11/2019: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Order

3/11/2019: Order

Minute Order

3/20/2019: Minute Order

Cross-Complaint

4/10/2019: Cross-Complaint

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

4/19/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Minute Order

4/25/2019: Minute Order

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

5/8/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Substitution of Attorney

5/24/2019: Substitution of Attorney

33 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/05/2019
  • Answer; Filed by U.S. CONTROLS, Inc. (Cross-Defendant); Marc Capoccia Anthony (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by AMERICAN CONTRACTORS INDEMNITY COMPANY (Defendant)

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  • 05/29/2019
  • Answer; Filed by The Western Surety Company (Defendant)

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  • 05/24/2019
  • Substitution of Attorney; Filed by J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/08/2019
  • Proof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by AMERICAN CONTRACTORS INDEMNITY COMPANY (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/29/2019
  • Substitution of Attorney; Filed by U.S. CONTROLS, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Status Conference (ReCounsel) - Held

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  • 04/25/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference Re: Counsel;)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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55 More Docket Entries
  • 11/17/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/17/2017
  • Notice-Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/14/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/14/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 11/08/2017
  • Notice-Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/08/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/03/2017
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by J.F. SHEA CONSTRUCTION, INC. (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/03/2017
  • Summons (on Complaint)

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  • 11/03/2017
  • Complaint Filed

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  • 11/03/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by null

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: KC069770    Hearing Date: October 21, 2020    Dept: O

After hearing, Defendant and Cross-Defendant’s counsel, Crowder Law Center, P.C.’s motion to be relieved as counsel is GRANTED. The order shall take effect when the proof of service of a copy of the signed order on the client is filed with the Court and Crowder Law Center, P.C., demonstrates that the previously Court-imposed discovery sanctions have been paid to Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant JF Shea Construction, Inc. The Court will order proof of service and payment be provided to the Court by November 9, 2020.

Good cause exists to grant the motion based on any of the grounds under Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3-700(C). Rule 3-700(c) provides that an attorney may withdraw based on any of the following:

(1) The client

(a) insists upon presenting a claim or defense that is not warranted under existing law and cannot be supported by good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, or

(b) seeks to pursue an illegal course of conduct, or

(c) insists that the member pursue a course of conduct that is illegal or that is prohibited under these rules or the State Bar Act, or

(d) by other conduct renders it unreasonably difficult for the member to carry out the employment effectively, or

(e) insists, in a matter not pending before a tribunal, that the member engage in conduct that is contrary to the judgment and advice of the member but not prohibited under these rules or the State Bar Act, or

(f) breaches an agreement or obligation to the member as to expenses or fees.

(2) The continued employment is likely to result in a violation of these rules or of the State Bar Act; or

(3) The inability to work with co-counsel indicates that the best interests of the client likely will be served by withdrawal; or

(4) The member's mental or physical condition renders it difficult for the member to carry out the employment effectively; or

(5) The client knowingly and freely assents to termination of the employment; or

(6) The member believes in good faith, in a proceeding pending before a tribunal, that the tribunal will find the existence of other good cause for withdrawal.

The attorney declaration of Douglas Crowder on behalf of Crowder Law Center, P.C. (the “Attorney”) demonstrates good cause for withdrawal. The Attorney’s client, Defendant and Cross-Defendant US Controls, Inc. (the “Client”), is a corporation that has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and has been appointed a trustee. The trustee has taken ownership and control of the assets of the corporate Client. Because of this, the Attorney no longer has authority to speak to its Client, and therefore the Attorney no longer has any attorney-client relationship with the corporation. The Client was served by mail at an address confirmed to be current within the past 30 days.

Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant JF Shea Construction, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed a declaration partially objecting to this Court relieving Crowder Law Center, P.C. as counsel until the firm has paid Plaintiff an outstanding discovery sanction of $3,895.00. This Court previously imposed discovery sanctions against Attorney and Client, jointly and severally, for failing to respond to several discovery motions sent by Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that the sanctions for $3,895.00 has not been paid by the Client or the Crowder Law Center, P.C. Because of Client’s insolvency, Plaintiff requests that this Court have Attorney pay the outstanding sanctions so that Plaintiff is not prejudiced from recovering sanctions owed to it.

Thus, the motion is GRANTED.  The order shall take effect when the proof of service of a copy of the signed order on the Client is filed with the Court, and when Crowder Law Center, P.C. demonstrates that the previously court-imposed discovery sanctions of $3,895.00 has been paid to Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant JF Shea Construction, Inc.

Case Number: KC069770    Hearing Date: February 25, 2020    Dept: O

1 Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.’s motion for monetary sanctions for violation of court order is GRANTED. Defendant and its counsel are jointly ordered to pay the court in the reasonable amount of $500.00.

JUDICIAL NOTICE is taken of Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction Inc.’s (“Plaintiff”) Exhibit A. (Evid. Code § 452.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 177.5 allows the court to impose monetary sanctions on a party and its counsel for their failure to comply with a court order not to exceed $500.00.

The Court previously issued an order on November 18, 2019 that Defendant U.S. Control, Inc. (“Defendant”) and its counsel shall provide Plaintiff with additional discovery responses, and for Defendant to pay $3,895 in sanctions. (Patel Decl., ¶ 7; RJN, Ex. A.) Plaintiff submits his counsel’s declaration that it has not received additional discovery responses nor the sanctions this court awarded to it. (Patel Decl., ¶ 8.) The Court notes that Defendant and its counsel failed to file any opposition to the motion.

Thus, motion is GRANTED. Defendant and its counsel are jointly ordered to pay the court in the reasonable amount of $500.00 payable within 30 days.

2 Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.’s motion for terminating sanctions is GRANTED. Monetary sanctions are imposed against Defendant in the adjusted reasonable sum of $1,830.00, payable within 30 days.

Plaintiff moves for terminating sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030 against Defendant.

If anyone engages in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process, the court may impose monetary sanction, issue sanction, evidence sanction, terminating sanction, and contempt sanction. (CCP § 2023.030.) The sanctions the court may impose are such as are suitable and necessary to enable the party seeking discovery to obtain the objects of the discovery he seeks, but the court may not impose sanctions 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, 487.) A prerequisite to the imposition of the dismissal sanction is that the party has willfully failed to comply with a court order. (Ibid.) Terminating sanctions should only be ordered when there has been previous noncompliance with a rule or order and it appears a less severe sanction would not be effective. (Link v. Cater (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1326.) A terminating sanction issued solely because of a failure to pay a monetary sanction is never justified. (Newland v. Sup.Ct. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 608, 615.)

On November 18, 2019, this Court ordered Defendant to respond to Plaintiffs’ discovery requests within 30 days. As of the date of the motion, Defendant has still failed to respond to discovery.

Terminating sanctions are warranted because less severe sanctions will not accomplish the objective of discovery, and Defendant appears to have abandoned the action.

Accordingly, motion is GRANTED. Monetary sanctions are imposed against Defendant in the adjusted reasonable sum of $1,830.00, payable within 30 days.

Case Number: KC069770    Hearing Date: November 18, 2019    Dept: O

ANALYSIS

  1. After hearing, Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.’s Motions to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production of Documents are GRANTED. Defendant is ordered to provide responses within 20 days.

Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction, Inc. (“Plaintiff”), moves the court for orders requiring Defendant U.S. Controls, Inc. (“Defendant”) to provide verified responses to its form interrogatories (sets 1 & 2), special interrogatories (set 2), and request for production of documents (sets 1 & 2).

Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290(b) and 2031.300(b) allow the propounding party to file a motion to compel responses to interrogatories and document demands if a response has not been received. If responses are untimely, responding party waives objections. (CCP §§ 2030.290(a) and 2031.300(a).)

Set One

On or about June 29, 2018, Plaintiff served its Form Interrogatories, Set One and Request for Production of Documents, Set One, on Defendant. (See Declaration of Bahaar Cadambi (“Cadambi Decl. Set One”) ¶ 2.) Defendant’s responses were due on August 3, 2018. (Id.)

It appears that Defendant responded to Requests ##1-3 for Production of Documents on July 27, 2018 by stating that it would produce documents responsive to the requests, but Defendant never produced any documents. (Id. at ¶¶ 3-4.) However, Defendant failed to respond to Requests ##4-5 and Interrogatories ## 324.1 and 326.1.

Plaintiff sent Defendant a letter on August 14, 2019 demanding compliance with the Requests ##1-3 for Production of Documents, Set One. At the time Plaintiff filed and served these motions, it still has not received any responses to its discovery requests from Defendant. The Court is also not in receipt of any opposition from Defendant.

Because technically Defendant did provide responses to Requests ##1-3 for Production of Documents (Set One), at first glance, it appeared the motion to compel Requests ##1-3 was a motion to compel further response to the demand for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling. (CCP § 2031.310.) While section 2031.310 provides only a 45-day period for filing such a motion after the service of verified responses before the demanding party waives any right to compel a further response to the demand, at the hearing, counsel for Plaintiff argued that the applicable Code of Civil Procedure section was section 2031.320. This section does not include a 45-day filing period after verification has been received. On July 27, 2019, Defendant asserted that it would provide the responsive documents and “thereafter failed[ed] to permit” the production. (CCP § 2031.320(a).) As a result, section 2031.320 applies to these set of facts more than section 2031.310. The Motion to Compel Responses is GRANTED under section 2031.320 for Requests #1-3 and under section 2031.310 for Requests ##4-5 and Interrogatories 324.1 and 326.1.

Defendant is ordered to provide responses to the outstanding discovery requests within 20 days.

Set Two

On or about August 14, 2019, Plaintiff served its Form Interrogatories (Set Two), Special Interrogatories (Set Two), and Request for Production of Documents (Set Two) on Defendant. (See Declaration of Bahaar Cadambi (“Cadambi Decl. Set Two”) ¶ 2.) Defendant’s responses were due on September 18, 2019. (Id.) At the time Plaintiff filed and served these motions, it still has not received any responses to its discovery requests from Defendant nor any request for an extension of time. (Id. at ¶ 3.) The Court is also not in receipt of any opposition from Defendant.

The Motions to Compel Form Interrogatories (Set Two), Special Interrogatories (Set Two) and Request for Production of Documents (Set Two) are GRANTED. Defendant is ordered to provide responses to these discovery requests within 20 days.

  1. After hearing, Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.’s motion for order deeming admitted truth of facts is GRANTED.

Plaintiff J.F. Shea Construction (“Plaintiff”) moves for an order deeming its Requests for Admission (Set Two) propounded on Defendant admitted pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280.

Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280(b) and (c) allows the propounding party to file a motion requesting that the truth of any matters specified in the request for admissions be deemed admitted unless the party to whom the requests have been directed has served before the hearing a proposed response that is in substantial compliance.

On August 14, 2019, Plaintiff served its Request for Admissions, Set Two. (Cadambi Decl. Set Two ¶ 2.) Defendant’s responses were due on September 18, 2019. (Id.) At the time, Plaintiff filed and served these motions, it still had not received any responses to its discovery requests from Defendant nor any request for an extension of time. (Id. at ¶ 3.) The Court also notes that it did not receive an opposition from Defendant, and presumably, Plaintiff still has not received responses from Defendant either.

This motion, then, is GRANTED.

  1. After hearing, sanctions awarded to Plaintiff in the adjusted reasonable amount of $3,895.00 for all the discovery motions against Defendant and its counsel.

Code of Civil Procedure sections 2023.010(d), 2030.290(c) and 2031.300(c) authorize the court to impose sanctions for failure to respond to discovery without substantial justification.

Section 2033.280(c) also authorizes the court to impose a sanction against any party/attorney who fails to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitating this motion.

Thus, sanctions are awarded in the adjusted reasonable sum of $3,895.00.

The Court also notes that Plaintiff failed to reserve separate motions for these six discovery motions and filed two motions under the reservation numbers 073289311065 and 082812325163. Going forward Plaintiff must comply with CRS guidelines and to file (and pay for) separate motions for each discovery vehicle at issue. This department sets limits via the CRS system on the number and types of motions to be heard daily to efficiently manage its law and motion on more than 500 cases assigned to it.

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