This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 10:13:36 (UTC).

KATHERINE DYMOND VS JON BETUL ET AL

Case Summary

On 11/02/2017 KATHERINE DYMOND filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against JON BETUL. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK and KENNETH R. FREEMAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1790

  • Filing Date:

    11/02/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

KENNETH R. FREEMAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff, Petitioner and Cross Defendant

DYMOND KATHERINE

Respondents, Defendants, Cross Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

CARTER MARSHA

BETUEL JON

SHAH MANAN

BROWN JANICE

PHILLIPS COLLEEN

PERI MONTAN

BRANDON LIGHTHART

PERI JOHN

CARR DOUGLAN

DOES 1-100 INCLUSIVE

HUFFMAN MARC

AGNES HUFF

KEN MEARES

BEUTUEL JON

HOLDINGS MI CASA

LIGHTHART BRANDON

BOZENICH GARY

CANNON KRISTY

DYMOND KATHERINE

ELKINS TIM

29 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

LAW OFFICE OF KAREN A CLARK

MINOR JOHN ARTHUR III

Respondent and Defendant Attorneys

SAMANTHA A. PISTOLE ESQ.

BASSETT MICHAEL L. ESQ.

CARRIE E. PHELAN

ZVONICEK PHILIP CHRISTOPHER

REISINGER ROBERT LEE

GREEN BJORN C. ESQ.

HSU STEPHEN I.

PHELAN CARRIE EILEEN

CLARK KAREN AGNES

BASSETT MICHAEL LYNCH

HICKERSON ANEIKO LAVAUN

BLUM STEVEN AARON

GRAHAM JULIE D. MCELROY/CLAYTON T.

PISTOLE SAMANTHA ANN

SMITH KEITH EVAN

SHAPIRO MARC STEVEN

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

BLUM STEVEN AARON

CLARK KAREN A. ESQ.

Defendant and Cross Defendant Attorneys

GREEN BJORN C. ESQ.

SHAPIRO MARC STEVEN

SAFARIAN HARRY A.

 

Court Documents

Case Management Statement

6/27/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

6/28/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

6/28/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

6/28/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/3/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/8/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/8/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

7/9/2019: Case Management Statement

Minute Order

7/19/2019: Minute Order

Case Management Order

7/19/2019: Case Management Order

Notice

7/23/2019: Notice

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

7/23/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

7/26/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Association of Attorney

8/2/2019: Association of Attorney

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

1/24/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

REQUEST FOR REFUND

2/2/2018: REQUEST FOR REFUND

DEFENDANT BRANDON LIGHTHART'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

2/21/2018: DEFENDANT BRANDON LIGHTHART'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

2/23/2018: SUMMONS CROSS-COMPLAINT

235 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/09/2020
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/03/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 01/16/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Status Conference

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 08/02/2019
  • DocketAssociation of Attorney; Filed by Lighthart Brandon (Defendant); Brandon Lighthart (Cross-Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 07/26/2019
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Janice Brown (Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 07/23/2019
  • DocketNotice (Notice of Trial Setting & Entry of Case Management Order); Filed by The City of Los Angeles (Defendant); City of Los Angeles (Cross-Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 07/23/2019
  • DocketNotice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by The City of Los Angeles (Defendant); City of Los Angeles (Cross-Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 07/19/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 07/19/2019
  • DocketCase Management Order; Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 07/19/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
412 More Docket Entries
  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Manan Shah (Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketFirst Amended Complaint; Filed by Katherine Dymond (Plaintiff)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 12/01/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/08/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/08/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/02/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: NEGLIGENCE

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/02/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Katherine Dymond (Plaintiff)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 11/02/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 06/28/2017
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Marsha Carter (Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 03/08/2017
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by The City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less

Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: ****1790 Hearing Date: July 13, 2021 Dept: 47

Tentative Ruling
Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47
HEARING DATE: July 13, 2021 TRIAL DATE: October 25, 2021
CASE: Katherine Dymond v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.
CASE NO.: ****1790
MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT
MOVING PARTY: Defendant Agnes Huff
RESPONDING PARTY(S): No opposition on eCourt as of July 9, 2021.
PROOF OF SERVICE:
Correct Address: Unknown. No proof of service is attached to any of the moving documents.
16/21 (CCP ; 1005(b)): Unknown. No proof of service is attached to any of the moving documents.
CASE HISTORY:
11/02/17: Complaint filed.
12/01/17: First Amended Complaint filed.
12/04/17: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Janice Brown.
01/18/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Agnes Huff.
02/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marc Huffman.
03/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Ken Meares.
03/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
04/09/18: Cross-Complaint filed by City of Los Angeles.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Gary Bozenich.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Douglas Carr.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Kristy Cannon.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Thomas Dougherty.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marsha Carter.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Colleen Phillips.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiff alleges that a landslide, for which the various Defendants are responsible, caused damage to Plaintiff’s property.
Various Defendants filed cross-complaints for indemnity and/or damage to their property.
Defendant Agnes Huff moves for determination of good faith settlement.
TENTATIVE RULING:
Provided that Defendant Agnes Huff can demonstrate that she properly served her motion for determination of good faith settlement or the parties will stipulate to proper service, Defendant Agnes Huff’s motion for determination of good faith settlement will be GRANTED.
If proper service is not established, the motion will be DENIED without prejudice.
DISCUSSION:
Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement
Defendant Agnes Huff moves for determination of good faith settlement with Plaintiff Honey Lewis.
Any party to an action “in which it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors” is entitled to a hearing “on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff or other claimant and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors, upon giving notice in the manner provided in subdivision (b) of Section 1005.” (CCP ; 877.6(a)(1).)
At a minimum, a party seeking confirmation of a settlement must explain to the court and to all other parties: who has settled with whom, the dollar amount of each settlement, if any settlement is allocated, how it is allocated between issues and/or parties, what nonmonetary consideration has been included, and how the parties to the settlement value the nonmonetary consideration.
(Alcal Roofing & Insulation v. Superior Court (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1121, 1129.)
Who has settled with whom. Huff has settled with Plaintiff Honey Lewis. (Declaration of Charles J. Schmitt ¶ 2.)
The dollar amount of each settlement. Huff has agreed to pay Plaintiff $35,715. (Id. ¶ 7.)
If any settlement is allocated, how it is allocated between issues and/or parties. Huff and Defendant Kenneth Meares, two of the upslope property owners, agreed to pay $71,430 total, with each paying half. (Ibid.)
What nonmonetary consideration has been included. Plaintiff has agreed to a general release and dismissal of the operative pleading with prejudice. (Id. ¶ 10.)
How the parties to the settlement value the nonmonetary consideration. Huff appears to value this nonmonetary consideration at $35,715.
Where a plaintiff settles with one of several joint tortfeasors without releasing the others, a determination of good faith discharges the settling defendant from liability to the other defendants for equitable contribution or comparative indemnity. (CCP ; 877(a)-(b).) The amount paid by the settling defendant reduces the claim against the others (CCP ; 877(a)), but a risk of prejudice remains because an unreasonably low settlement (i.e., with the “most culpable” tortfeasor) exposes the remaining defendants to a judgment exceeding their fair share of the liability. (See Bay Development, Ltd. v. Superior Court (1990) 50 Cal.3d 1012, 1019-1020.)
There is no precise yardstick for measuring the “good faith” of a settlement with one of several tortfeasors, but it must harmonize the public policy favoring settlements with the competing public policy favoring equitable sharing of costs among tortfeasors. (See Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499.)
The nonexclusive factors considered include:
(1) A rough approximation of plaintiffs’ total recovery and the settlor’s proportionate liability;
(2) The amount paid in settlement;
(3) A recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than if found liable after a trial;
(4) The allocation of the settlement proceeds among plaintiffs;
(5) The settlor's financial condition and insurance policy limits, if any; and
(6) Evidence of any collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct between the settlor and the plaintiffs aimed at making the nonsettling parties pay more than their fair share.
(Tech-Bilt, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 499; TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159, 165-166.)
A party that contests the settlement bears the burden of proving that it is in bad faith. (CCP ;877.6(d).) If the party contesting the settlement can show, with admissible evidence, that the settlement is “so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to [the above-referenced factors] as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute,” then the court should find the settlement to be lacking in good faith. (Tech-Bilt, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 499-500.) If no such showing is made, the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith and the settlor is entitled to an order barring any further claims by any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor for “equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity” and/or an order dismissing any such claims. (CCP ;877.6(c).) Further, “when no one objects, the barebones motion which sets forth the ground of good faith, accompanied by a declaration which sets forth a brief background of the case is sufficient.” (City of Grand View Terrace v. Superior Court (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1260-1261.)
Here, no party has contested the settlement, and therefore no party has shown that the settlement is in bad faith.
What is more, Huff’s motion provides a sufficient basis for the Court to determine that the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith.
Experts for the parties have presented two repair plans for the entire hillside with a cost of either $12 million or $20 million. In contrast, the City of Los Angeles has proposed a repair plan that would cost only $4 million.
Huff is one of 20 parties alleged to be joint tortfeasors and only one of the 11 defendant upslope property owners. Her settlement of $35,715 with Plaintiff Honey Lewis is in addition to her previous settlement payments totaling $1,500,000 and is 38.4 percent of the City’s $4 million repair estimate. Each of the 20 would pay only $200,000 if they paid equally for this repair plan. On the other side of the spectrum, Huff’s total payment of $1,535,715 payment is 7.7 percent of the $20 million repair plan; each of the 20 would pay $1,000,000 if they paid equally for this more costly repair plan. Based on Huff’s proposed settlement, she will be paying 1.5 times her proportionate share of the highest repair estimate.
There is no evidence here of any collusion, fraud or tortious conduct in connection with the proposed settlement.
Further, there are 25 lots involved in the case, and if each paid the same amount, their proportional shares would equal only $800,000. Thus, if all parties’ roles in causing the hillside damage were proportional to the amount of property they owned on the relevant hillside, Huff’s settlement of $1,535,715 will contribute more than her proportionate liability.
The evidence submitted indicates that Plaintiff Honey Lewis claims lot-specific expenses of $130,516.04. Huff’s settlement contribution of $35,715 constitutes more than 27 percent of those expenses and, thus, represents a much higher contribution by Huff to these damages in relation to her proportionate share of responsibility.
Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED, so long as Huff can show that the motion was properly served.
Moving parties to give notice, unless waived.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 13, 2021 ___________________________________
Theresa M. Traber
Judge of the Superior Court
"


b'

Case Number: ****1790 Hearing Date: July 12, 2021 Dept: 47

Tentative Ruling
Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47
HEARING DATE: July 12, 2021 TRIAL DATE: October 25, 2021
CASE: Katherine Dymond v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.
CASE NO.: ****1790
MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE
MOVING PARTY: Defendant Janice Brown
RESPONDING PARTY(S): No opposition on eCourt as of July 9, 2021.
PROOF OF SERVICE:
Correct Address: Yes.
16/21 (CCP ; 1005(b)): OK. Served electronically on May 21, 2021.
CASE HISTORY:
11/02/17: Complaint filed.
12/01/17: First Amended Complaint filed.
12/04/17: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Janice Brown.
01/18/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Agnes Huff.
02/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marc Huffman.
03/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Ken Meares.
03/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
04/09/18: Cross-Complaint filed by City of Los Angeles.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Gary Bozenich.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Douglas Carr.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Kristy Cannon.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Thomas Dougherty.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marsha Carter.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Colleen Phillips.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiff alleges that a landslide, for which the various Defendants are responsible, caused damage to Plaintiff’s property.
Various Defendants filed cross-complaints for indemnity and/or damage to their property.
Defendant Janice Brown moves to compel further responses to form interrogatories, set one, from Plaintiff Cabora LLC.
TENTATIVE RULING:
Defendant Janice Brown’s motion to compel further responses to form interrogatories, set one, from Plaintiff Cabora LLC is GRANTED. Plaintiff Cabora LLC is ordered to provide verified, code-compliant responses within 30 days.
Defendant’s request for sanctions is DENIED.
DISCUSSION:
Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One
Defendant Janice Brown moves to compel further responses to form interrogatories (set one) from Plaintiff Cabora LLC and for monetary sanctions in the amount of $1,060 against Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff’s counsel of record.
Legal Standard
Under Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.300, subdivision (a), a court may order a party to serve a further response to an interrogatory when the court finds that: “(1) An answer to a particular interrogatory is evasive or incomplete[;] (2) An exercise of the option to produce documents under Section 2030.230 is unwarranted or the required specification of those documents is inadequate[; or] (3) An objection to an interrogatory is without merit or too general.”
The burden is on the responding party to justify any objection or failure to fully answer the interrogatories. (Fairmont Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.4th 245, 255.)
Meet and Confer
A party making a motion to compel further responses must also include a declaration stating facts showing a “reasonable and good faith attempt” to resolve informally the issues presented by the motion before filing the motion. (Code Civ. Proc., ;; 2016.040, 2031.310, subd. (b)(2).)
The Declaration of Attorney Kristina M. Parido reflects that Defendant’s meet-and-confer efforts were sufficient.
Discussion
Defendant moves to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, Nos. 3.3, 4.1, 11.1, 11.2, and 14.1.
As noted above, the responding party has the burden to justify any objection or failure to fully answer the interrogatories. (Fairmont Ins., supra, 22 Cal.4th at 255.) Here, Plaintiff has not opposed Defendant’s motion and therefore has not met its failure to fully answer these interrogatories.
Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to compel further responses to form interrogatories (set one) is GRANTED. Plaintiff Cabora LLC is ordered to provide verified, code-compliant responses within 30 days.
Sanctions are mandatory against any “person, party, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a further response to interrogatories,” 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.” (CCP ; 2030.300(d).)
Here, the Court finds that Plaintiff Cabora LLC did not act with substantial justification in failing to fully respond to these interrogatories and in failing to oppose this motion. However, Defendant has not shown that Plaintiff itself was responsible for these deficient responses or the failure to respond to the motion; both would typically be the responsibility of counsel. As to Plaintiff’s counsel, however, Defendant’s request for sanctions is procedurally improper. A request for sanctions “shall, in the notice of motion, identify every person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought, and specify the type of sanction sought.” (CCP ; 2023.040.) Here, Defendant did not specify the attorney or attorneys against whom the sanctions were sought.
Accordingly, Defendant’s request for sanctions is DENIED.
Moving party to give notice, unless waived.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 12, 2021 ___________________________________
Theresa M. Traber
Judge of the Superior Court
Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org by no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing. All interested parties must be copied on the email. It should be noted that if you submit on a tentative ruling the court will still conduct a hearing if any party appears. By submitting on the tentative you have, in essence, waived your right to be present at the hearing, and you should be aware that the court may not adopt the tentative, and may issue an order which modifies the tentative ruling in whole or in part.
'


b"

Case Number: ****1790 Hearing Date: July 9, 2021 Dept: 47

Tentative Ruling
Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47
HEARING DATE: July 9, 2021 TRIAL DATE: October 25, 2021
CASE: Katherine Dymond v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.
CASE NO.: ****1790
MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT (x2)
MOVING PARTY: (1) Defendant Ken Meares; (2) Defendant Agnes Huff
RESPONDING PARTY(S): (1)-(2) No opposition on eCourt as of July 6, 2021.
PROOF OF SERVICE:
Correct Address: (1) Yes. (2) Unknown. No proof of service is attached to any of the moving documents.
16/21 (CCP ; 1005(b)): (1) OK. Served electronically on June 14, 2021. (2) Unknown. No proof of service is attached to any of the moving documents.
CASE HISTORY:
11/02/17: Complaint filed.
12/01/17: First Amended Complaint filed.
12/04/17: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Janice Brown.
01/18/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Agnes Huff.
02/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marc Huffman.
03/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Ken Meares.
03/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
04/09/18: Cross-Complaint filed by City of Los Angeles.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Gary Bozenich.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Douglas Carr.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Kristy Cannon.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Thomas Dougherty.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marsha Carter.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Colleen Phillips.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiff alleges that a landslide, for which the various Defendants are responsible, caused damage to Plaintiff’s property.
Various Defendants filed cross-complaints for indemnity and/or damage to their property.
Defendants Ken Meares and Agnes Huff now move for determination of good faith settlement.
TENTATIVE RULING:
Defendant Ken Meares’s motion for determination of good faith settlement is GRANTED.
Provided that Defendant Agnes Huff can demonstrate that she properly served her motion for determination of good faith settlement, Defendant Agnes Huff’s motion for determination of good faith settlement will be GRANTED.
If Defendant Agnes Huff cannot demonstrate that she properly served the motion, it will be DENIED without prejudice.
DISCUSSION:
Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement: Ken Meares
Defendant Ken Meares moves for determination of good faith settlement.
Any party to an action “in which it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors” is entitled to a hearing “on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff or other claimant and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors, upon giving notice in the manner provided in subdivision (b) of Section 1005.” (CCP ; 877.6(a)(1).)
At a minimum, a party seeking confirmation of a settlement must explain to the court and to all other parties: who has settled with whom, the dollar amount of each settlement, if any settlement is allocated, how it is allocated between issues and/or parties, what nonmonetary consideration has been included, and how the parties to the settlement value the nonmonetary consideration.
(Alcal Roofing & Insulation v. Superior Court (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1121, 1129.)
Who has settled with whom. Meares has settled with Plaintiff Honey Lewis. (Declaration of A. Kerry Stack ¶¶ 7, 10.)
The dollar amount of each settlement. Meares has agreed to pay Plaintiff $35,715. (Id. ¶ 7.)
If any settlement is allocated, how it is allocated between issues and/or parties. Meares and Defendant Agnes Huff, two of the upslope property owners, agreed to pay $71,430 total, with each paying half. (Ibid.)
What nonmonetary consideration has been included. Plaintiff has agreed to a general release and dismissal of the operative pleading with prejudice. (Id. ¶ 10.)
How the parties to the settlement value the nonmonetary consideration. Meares appears to value this nonmonetary consideration at $35,715.
Where a plaintiff settles with one of several joint tortfeasors without releasing the others, a determination of good faith discharges the settling defendant from liability to the other defendants for equitable contribution or comparative indemnity. (CCP ; 877(a)-(b).) The amount paid by the settling defendant reduces the claim against the others (CCP ; 877(a)), but a risk of prejudice remains because an unreasonably low settlement (i.e., with the “most culpable” tortfeasor) exposes the remaining defendants to a judgment exceeding their fair share of the liability. (See Bay Development, Ltd. v. Superior Court (1990) 50 Cal.3d 1012, 1019-1020.)
There is no precise yardstick for measuring the “good faith” of a settlement with one of several tortfeasors, but it must harmonize the public policy favoring settlements with the competing public policy favoring equitable sharing of costs among tortfeasors. (See Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499.)
The nonexclusive factors considered include:
(1) A rough approximation of plaintiffs’ total recovery and the settlor’s proportionate liability;
(2) The amount paid in settlement;
(3) A recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than if found liable after a trial;
(4) The allocation of the settlement proceeds among plaintiffs;
(5) The settlor's financial condition and insurance policy limits, if any; and
(6) Evidence of any collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct between the settlor and the plaintiffs aimed at making the nonsettling parties pay more than their fair share.
(Tech-Bilt, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 499; TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159, 165-166.)
A party that contests the settlement bears the burden of proving that it is in bad faith. (CCP ;877.6(d).) If the party contesting the settlement can show, with admissible evidence, that the settlement is “so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to [the above-referenced factors] as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute,” then the court should find the settlement to be lacking in good faith. (Tech-Bilt, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 499-500.) If no such showing is made, the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith and the settlor is entitled to an order barring any further claims by any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor for “equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity” and/or an order dismissing any such claims. (CCP ;877.6(c).) Further, “when no one objects, the barebones motion which sets forth the ground of good faith, accompanied by a declaration which sets forth a brief background of the case is sufficient.” (City of Grand View Terrace v. Superior Court (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1260-1261.)
Here, no party has contested the settlement, and therefore no party has shown that the settlement is in bad faith.
What is more, Meares’ motion provides a sufficient basis for the Court to determine that the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith.
Experts for the parties have presented two repair plans for the entire hillside with a cost of either $12 million or $20 million. In contrast, the City of Los Angeles has proposed a repair plan that would cost only $4 million.
Meares is one of 20 parties alleged to be joint tortfeasors and only one of the 11 defendant upslope property owners. His settlement of $35,715 with Plaintiff Honey Lewis is in addition to his previous settlement payments totaling $1,500,000 is 38.4 percent of the City’s $4 million repair estimate. Each of the 20 would pay only $200,000 if they paid equally for this repair plan. On the other side of the spectrum, Meares’ total payment of $1,535,715 payment is 7.7 percent of the $20 million repair plan; each of the 20 would pay $1,000,000 if they paid equally for this more costly repair plan. Based on Meares’ proposed settlement, he will be paying 1.5 time his proportionate share of the highest repair estimate.
Further, there are 25 lots involved in the case, and if each paid the same amount, their proportional shares would equal only $800,000. Thus, if all parties’ roles in causing the hillside damage were proportional to the amount of property they owned on the relevant hillside, Meares’ settlement of $1,500,000 will contribute more than his proportionate liability.
The evidence submitted indicates that Plaintiff Honey Lewis claims lot-specific expenses of $130,516.04. Meares’ settlement contribution of $35,715 constitutes more than 27 percent of those expenses and, thus, represent a much higher contribution by Meares to these damages in relation to his proportionate share of responsibility.
Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED.
Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement: Agnes Huff
Proof of Service
No proof of service was attached to any of the moving document. Because no oppositions were filed, the Court cannot determine whether the motion was ever served. Accordingly, if Defendant Agnes Huff cannot show that the motion was properly served, it will be DENIED without prejudice. The analysis below assumes that Defendant will be able to show, at or before the hearing, that the motion was properly served.
Analysis
Defendant Agnes Huff moves for determination of good faith settlement.
Any party to an action “in which it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors” is entitled to a hearing “on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff or other claimant and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors, upon giving notice in the manner provided in subdivision (b) of Section 1005.” (CCP ; 877.6(a)(1).)
At a minimum, a party seeking confirmation of a settlement must explain to the court and to all other parties: who has settled with whom, the dollar amount of each settlement, if any settlement is allocated, how it is allocated between issues and/or parties, what nonmonetary consideration has been included, and how the parties to the settlement value the nonmonetary consideration.
(Alcal Roofing & Insulation v. Superior Court (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1121, 1129.)
Who has settled with whom. Huff has settled with Plaintiffs Katherine Dymond, Gary Bozenich, Cabora LLC, Kristy Cannon, Rita Voge as executor to the Estate of Raymond Voge and co-trustee of the Raymond and Rita Voge Family Trust, Monica Garcia as co-trustee of the Raymond and Rita Voge Family Trust, Time Dougherty, and Mi Casa Holdings LLC. (Declaration of Charles J. Schmitt ¶¶ 4, 8.)
The dollar amount of each settlement. Huff has agreed to pay Plaintiffs $1.5 million. (Id. ¶ 8.)
If any settlement is allocated, how it is allocated between issues and/or parties. It does not appear that this settlement is allocated among issues or parties. The amount is to be held, less attorney’s fees and costs, “for the sole dedicated purpose of repairing the landslide that is the subject matter of this Action.” (Id. ¶ 10.) If not necessary for that purpose, the funds are to be disbursed “as agreed to by the Parties in a subsequent writing signed by each of the Parties.” (Ibid.)
What nonmonetary consideration has been included. Plaintiffs have agreed to a general release. (Id. ¶ 9.)
How the parties to the settlement value the nonmonetary consideration. Huff appears to value this nonmonetary consideration at $1.5 million.
Where a plaintiff settles with one of several joint tortfeasors without releasing the others, a determination of good faith discharges the settling defendant from liability to the other defendants for equitable contribution or comparative indemnity. (CCP ; 877(a)-(b).) The amount paid by the settling defendant reduces the claim against the others (CCP ; 877(a)), but a risk of prejudice remains because an unreasonably low settlement (i.e., with the “most culpable” tortfeasor) exposes the remaining defendants to a judgment exceeding their fair share of the liability. (See Bay Development, Ltd. v. Superior Court (1990) 50 Cal.3d 1012, 1019-1020.)
There is no precise yardstick for measuring the “good faith” of a settlement with one of several tortfeasors, but it must harmonize the public policy favoring settlements with the competing public policy favoring equitable sharing of costs among tortfeasors. (See Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499.)
The nonexclusive factors considered include:
(1) A rough approximation of plaintiffs’ total recovery and the settlor’s proportionate liability;
(2) The amount paid in settlement;
(3) A recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than if found liable after a trial;
(4) The allocation of the settlement proceeds among plaintiffs;
(5) The settlor's financial condition and insurance policy limits, if any; and
(6) Evidence of any collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct between the settlor and the plaintiffs aimed at making the nonsettling parties pay more than their fair share.
(Tech-Bilt, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 499; TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159, 165-166.)
A party that contests the settlement bears the burden of proving that it is in bad faith. (CCP ;877.6(d).) If the party contesting the settlement can show, with admissible evidence, that the settlement is “so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to [the above-referenced factors] as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute,” then the court should find the settlement to be lacking in good faith. (Tech-Bilt, supra, 38 Cal.3d at 499-500.) If no such showing is made, the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith and the settlor is entitled to an order barring any further claims by any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor for “equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity” and/or an order dismissing any such claims. (CCP ;877.6(c).) Further, “when no one objects, the barebones motion which sets forth the ground of good faith, accompanied by a declaration which sets forth a brief background of the case is sufficient.” (City of Grand View Terrace v. Superior Court (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1260-1261.)
Here, no party has contested the settlement, and therefore no party has shown that the settlement is in bad faith.
What is more, Huff’s motion provides a sufficient basis for the Court to determine that the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith. The proposed settlement was reached during mediation with an experienced neutral during arms’-length discussions with the other parties in this matter. While she disputes liability, Huff has offered $1.5 million to settle all claims against her, with $500,000 coming from a policy-limits contribution from her primary insurance policy and another $1 million from her excess policy.
Huff is one of 20 parties alleged to be joint tortfeasors and only one of the 11 defendant upslope property owners. Her proposed contribution of $1,500,000 will settle claims brought by seven Plaintiffs with undeveloped downslope properties. If the City’s $4 million repair estimate is accurate, each of the 20 would pay only $200,000 if they paid equally for this repair plan. Huff’s $1.5 million would be significantly more than her proportional share, as well as much more than most of the other settling defendants have paid. On the other side of the spectrum, Huff’s $1,500,000 payment is 7.5 percent of the $20 million repair plan; each of the 20 would pay $1,000,000 if they paid equally for this more costly repair plan. Based on Huff’s proposed settlement, she will be paying 1.5 time his proportionate share of the highest repair estimate.
There is no evidence here of any collusion, fraud or tortious conduct in connection with the proposed settlement.
Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED, so long as Huff can show that the motion was properly served.
Moving parties to give notice, unless waived.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 9, 2021 ___________________________________
Theresa M. Traber
Judge of the Superior Court
Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org by no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing. All interested parties must be copied on the email. It should be noted that if you submit on a tentative ruling the court will still conduct a hearing if any party appears. By submitting on the tentative you have, in essence, waived your right to be present at the hearing, and you should be aware that the court may not adopt the tentative, and may issue an order which modifies the tentative ruling in whole or in part.
"


Case Number: ****1790    Hearing Date: June 3, 2021    Dept: 47

681790TENTATIVE RULING
Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47
HEARING DATE: June 3, 2021 TRIAL DATE:  7/6/21
CASE:  Katherine Dymond, et al. , v. Jon Betul, et al. 
CASE NO.:  ****1790
 
MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT
 
MOVING PARTY: Defendant Kenneth Meares
RESPONDING PARTY(S): No opposition on eCourt as of June 1, 2021.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiffs Katherine Dymond, et al., are the owners of seven downslope vacant properties alleged to have been damaged by Defendants’ development of their upslope residential homes.  Thus far, Plaintiffs have reached settlements with 8 of the 11 Defendants for a total of $4.8 million.  In addition, the settling Plaintiffs have also agreed to contribute $2 million for the repair of the hillside.   
In addition to these settlements, Defendant Meares has agreed to pay Plaintiffs a total of $1,500,000, comprised of the full $500,000 homeowner’s insurance policy limits and another $1,000,000 from his umbrella policy.  
LEGAL STANDARD 
California Code of Civil Procedure section 877.6, subdivision (a)(1), provides, in relevant part, that, on noticed motion, “[a]ny party to an action wherein it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors or co-obligors on a contract debt shall be entitled to a hearing on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff . . . and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors . . . .”  “A determination by the court that the settlement was made in good faith shall bar any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor from any further claims against the settling tortfeasor or co-obligor for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault.”  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 877.6, subd. (c).)  Although a determination that a settlement was in good faith does not discharge any other party from liability, “it shall reduce the claims against the others in the amount stipulated” by the settlement.  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 877, subd. (a).) 
“The party asserting the lack of good faith shall have the burden of proof on that issue.”  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 877.6, subd. (d).) 
In City of Grand View Terrace v. Superior Court (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1261, the court provided the following guidance regarding a motion for a good faith settlement determination: 
This court notes that of the hundreds of motions for good faith determination presented for trial court approval each year, the overwhelming majority are unopposed and granted summarily by the trial court.  At the time of filing in many cases, the moving party does not know if a contest will develop.  If each motion required a full recital by declaration or affidavit setting forth a complete factual response to all of the Tech-Bilt factors, literally thousands of attorney hours would be consumed and inch-thick motions would have to be read and considered by trial courts in an exercise which would waste valuable judicial and legal time and clients’ resources. . . . That is to say, when no one objects, the barebones motion which sets forth the ground of good faith, accompanied by a declaration which sets forth a brief background of the case is sufficient. 
If the good faith settlement is contested, section 877.6, subdivision (d), sets forth a workable ground rule for the hearing by placing the burden of proving the lack of good faith on the contesting party.  Once there is a showing made by the settlor of the settlement, the burden of proof on the issue of good faith shifts to the nonsettlor who asserts that the settlement was not made in good faith.  If contested, declarations by the nonsettlor should be filed which in many cases could require the moving party to file responsive counterdeclarations to negate the lack of good faith asserted by the nonsettling contesting party. 
(192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1260-1261 (citation omitted).) 
In Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499, the California Supreme Court identified the following nonexclusive factors courts are to consider in determining if a settlement is in good faith under section 877.6: “a rough approximation of plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlor's proportionate liability, the amount paid in settlement, the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs, and a recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial.  Other relevant considerations include the financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants, as well as the existence of collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of nonsettling defendants.” 
The evaluation of whether a settlement was made in good faith is required to “be made on the basis of information available at the time of settlement.”  (Tech-Bilt, Inc., supra, 38 Cal.3d at p. 499.)  “‘[A] defendant’s settlement figure must not be grossly disproportionate to what a reasonable person, at the time of the settlement, would estimate the settling defendant’s liability to be.’ [Citation.]”  (Ibid.) 
“The party asserting the lack of good faith, who has the burden of proof on that issue (; 877.6, subd. (d)), should be permitted to demonstrate, if he can, that the settlement is so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to these factors as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute.  Such a demonstration would establish that the proposed settlement was not a ‘settlement made in good faith’ within the terms of section 877.6.”  (Id. at pp. 499-500.) 
“[A] court not only looks at the alleged tortfeasor's potential liability to the plaintiff, but it must also consider the culpability of the tortfeasor vis-à-vis other parties alleged to be responsible for the same injury.  Potential liability for indemnity to a nonsettling defendant is an important consideration for the trial court in determining whether to approve a settlement by an alleged tortfeasor.  [Citation.]”  (TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159, 166.) 
DISCUSSION 
The Court finds that Meares has demonstrated that he has reached a good faith settlement with Plaintiffs.  Tellingly, no party has filed any opposition to his request for a good faith finding by the Court.  
The facts that support the Court’s determination that the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith are as follows.  Experts for the parties have presented two repair plans for the entire hillside with a cost of either $12 million or $20 million.  In contrast, the City of Los Angeles has proposed a repair plan that would cost only $4 million.    
Meares is one of 20 parties alleged to be joint tortfeasors and only one of the 11 defendant upslope property owners. His proposed contribution of $1,500,000 is 37.5 percent of the City’s $4 million repair estimate.  Each of the 20 would pay only $200,000 if they paid equally for this repair plan.  On the other side of the spectrum, Meares’ $1,500,000 payment is 7.5 percent of the $20 million repair plan; each of the 20 would pay $1,000,000 if they paid equally for this more costly repair plan.  Based on Meares’ proposed settlement, he will be paying 1.5 time his proportionate share of the highest repair estimate. 
Further, there are 25 lots involved in the case, and if each paid the same amount, their proportional shares would equal only $800,000.  Thus, if all parties’ roles in causing the hillside damage were proportional to the amount of property they owned on the relevant hillside, Meares’ settlement of $1,500,000 will contribute more than his proportionate liability.  
The Court finds that Meares’ proposed settlement is well within the “ballpark” or reasonable range of a fair settlement amount.  Indeed, it is much greater than all the other settlements previously approved by the Court with many at or below $500,000 and only one in seven figures.   
Turning to the degree of Meares’ liability, the Court finds that the settlement is fair in light of the evidence submitted of his likely culpability.  The record shows that Meares installed roof gutters and downspouts to direct rainfall away from the slope and that he lacked an operational sprinkler system and other features that would have increased surface water run-off.  
Meares is paying his full insurance policy limits of $500,000, plus $1,00,000 from his umbrella policy, all of which is going into a common fund for repairs so no allocation between the parties is necessary and all of the funds contributed will be available to advance the joint goals of all the hillside parties.
Further, there is no evidence of collusion fraud or tortious conduct in connection with the settlement.  Settlement reached during multiple mediation sessions with a retired judge.
For all these reasons, the Court finds that Meares’ settlement of $1,500,000 is within the ballpark of reasonable amounts to settle his liability in this case and, thus, must be considered to be a good faith settlement.  
CONCLUSION
The Court finds that the Meares settlement meets the Tech-Bilt factors and is a good faith settlement within the meaning of that case.  This finding shall bar any cross-complaint by any party in this action against Phillips for equitable indemnity or contribution and any pending or future equitable indemnity or contribution claims pursuant to CCP section 877.6(c).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated:   June 3, 2021 ___________________________________
Theresa M. Traber
Judge of the Superior Court
Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org by no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing.  All interested parties must be copied on the email.  It should be noted that if you submit on a tentative ruling the court will still conduct a hearing if any party appears. By submitting on the tentative you have, in essence, waived your right to be present at the hearing, and you should be aware that the court may not adopt the tentative, and may issue an order which modifies the tentative ruling in whole or in part.


Case Number: ****1790    Hearing Date: May 12, 2021    Dept: 47

TENTATIVE RULING
Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47
HEARING DATE: May 12, 2021 TRIAL DATE:  7/6/21
CASE:  Katherine Dymond, et al. , v. Jon Betul, et al. 
CASE NO.:  ****1790
 
MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT
 
MOVING PARTY: Defendant Colleen Phillis
RESPONDING PARTY(S): No opposition on eCourt as of May 10, 2021.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiffs Katherine Dymond, et al., are the owners of seven downslope vacant properties alleged to have been damaged by Defendants’ development of their upslope residential homes.  Thus far, Plaintiffs have reached settlements with 8 of the 11 Defendants for a total of $4.1 million.  In addition, the settling Plaintiffs have also agreed to contribute $2 million for the repair of the hillside.   
Defendant Phillips has agreed to pay Plaintiffs a total of $700,000, comprised of the full $500,000 homeowner’s insurance policy limits and another $200,000 from her umbrella policy.  Adding this settlement to the other settlements, a total of $6.8 million has been raised for the repair of the hillside.  
LEGAL STANDARD 
California Code of Civil Procedure section 877.6, subdivision (a)(1), provides, in relevant part, that, on noticed motion, “[a]ny party to an action wherein it is alleged that two or more parties are joint tortfeasors or co-obligors on a contract debt shall be entitled to a hearing on the issue of the good faith of a settlement entered into by the plaintiff . . . and one or more alleged tortfeasors or co-obligors . . . .”  “A determination by the court that the settlement was made in good faith shall bar any other joint tortfeasor or co-obligor from any further claims against the settling tortfeasor or co-obligor for equitable comparative contribution, or partial or comparative indemnity, based on comparative negligence or comparative fault.”  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 877.6, subd. (c).)  Although a determination that a settlement was in good faith does not discharge any other party from liability, “it shall reduce the claims against the others in the amount stipulated” by the settlement.  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 877, subd. (a).) 
“The party asserting the lack of good faith shall have the burden of proof on that issue.”  (Code Civ. Proc. ; 877.6, subd. (d).) 
In City of Grand View Terrace v. Superior Court (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1261, the court provided the following guidance regarding a motion for a good faith settlement determination: 
This court notes that of the hundreds of motions for good faith determination presented for trial court approval each year, the overwhelming majority are unopposed and granted summarily by the trial court.  At the time of filing in many cases, the moving party does not know if a contest will develop.  If each motion required a full recital by declaration or affidavit setting forth a complete factual response to all of the Tech-Bilt factors, literally thousands of attorney hours would be consumed and inch-thick motions would have to be read and considered by trial courts in an exercise which would waste valuable judicial and legal time and clients’ resources. . . . That is to say, when no one objects, the barebones motion which sets forth the ground of good faith, accompanied by a declaration which sets forth a brief background of the case is sufficient. 
If the good faith settlement is contested, section 877.6, subdivision (d), sets forth a workable ground rule for the hearing by placing the burden of proving the lack of good faith on the contesting party.  Once there is a showing made by the settlor of the settlement, the burden of proof on the issue of good faith shifts to the nonsettlor who asserts that the settlement was not made in good faith.  If contested, declarations by the nonsettlor should be filed which in many cases could require the moving party to file responsive counterdeclarations to negate the lack of good faith asserted by the nonsettling contesting party. 
(192 Cal.App.3d 1251, 1260-1261 (citation omitted).) 
In Tech-Bilt, Inc. v. Woodward-Clyde & Associates (1985) 38 Cal.3d 488, 499, the California Supreme Court identified the following nonexclusive factors courts are to consider in determining if a settlement is in good faith under section 877.6: “a rough approximation of plaintiffs' total recovery and the settlor's proportionate liability, the amount paid in settlement, the allocation of settlement proceeds among plaintiffs, and a recognition that a settlor should pay less in settlement than he would if he were found liable after a trial.  Other relevant considerations include the financial conditions and insurance policy limits of settling defendants, as well as the existence of collusion, fraud, or tortious conduct aimed to injure the interests of nonsettling defendants.” 
The evaluation of whether a settlement was made in good faith is required to “be made on the basis of information available at the time of settlement.”  (Tech-Bilt, Inc., supra, 38 Cal.3d at p. 499.)  “‘[A] defendant’s settlement figure must not be grossly disproportionate to what a reasonable person, at the time of the settlement, would estimate the settling defendant’s liability to be.’ [Citation.]”  (Ibid.) 
“The party asserting the lack of good faith, who has the burden of proof on that issue (; 877.6, subd. (d)), should be permitted to demonstrate, if he can, that the settlement is so far ‘out of the ballpark’ in relation to these factors as to be inconsistent with the equitable objectives of the statute.  Such a demonstration would establish that the proposed settlement was not a ‘settlement made in good faith’ within the terms of section 877.6.”  (Id. at pp. 499-500.) 
“[A] court not only looks at the alleged tortfeasor's potential liability to the plaintiff, but it must also consider the culpability of the tortfeasor vis-à-vis other parties alleged to be responsible for the same injury.  Potential liability for indemnity to a nonsettling defendant is an important consideration for the trial court in determining whether to approve a settlement by an alleged tortfeasor.  [Citation.]”  (TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159, 166.) 
DISCUSSION 
The Court finds that Phillips has demonstrated that she has reached a good faith settlement with Plaintiffs.  Tellingly, no party has filed any opposition to her request for a good faith finding by the Court.  
The facts that support the Court’s determination that the settlement should be deemed to be in good faith are as follows.  Experts for the parties have presented a repair plan for the entire hillside with a cost of approximately $12 million.  In contrast, the City of Los Angeles has proposed a repair plan that would cost only $4 million.    
Phillips is one of 20 parties alleged to be joint tortfeasors. Her proposed contribution of $700,000 is 17.5 percent of $4 million repair.  Each of the 20 would pay only $200,000 if they paid equally for this repair plan.  Phillips’ $700,000 payment is 5.8 percent of the $12 million repair plan; each of the 20 would pay $600,00 if they paid equally for this more costly repair plan.  Further, there are 25 lots involved in the case, and if each paid the same amount, their proportional shares would equal only $480,000.  
Thus, if all parties’ roles in causing the hillside damage were proportional to the amount of property they owned on the relevant hillside, Phillips’ settlement $700,000 will contribute more than her proportionate liability.  In addition, Phillips has an inverse condemnation claim against the City based on its road cut of Cabora Drive and subsequent failures to maintain that road, both of which were found by the parties’ experts to be significant factors in causing the slope failure.  Relinquishing this claim must also be considered in evaluating Phillips’ total exposure against the settlement payment she is offering.
Phillips is paying her full insurance policy limits of $500,000, plus $200,000 from her umbrella policy, all of which is going into a common fund for repairs so no allocation between the parties is necessary and all of the funds contributed will be available to advance the joint goals of all the hillside parties.
Further, there is no evidence of collusion fraud or tortious conduct in connection with the settlement.  Settlement reached during multiple mediation sessions with a retired judge.
For all these reasons, the Court finds that Phillips’ settlement of $700,000 is within the ballpark of reasonable amounts to settle her liability in this case and, thus, must be considered to be a good faith settlement.  
CONCLUSION
The Court finds that the Phillips settlement meets the Tech-Bilt factors and is a good faith settlement within the meaning of that case.  This finding shall bar any cross-complaint by any party in this action against Phillips for equitable indemnity or contribution and any pending or future equitable indemnity or contribution claims pursuant to CCP section 877.6(c).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated:   May 12, 2021 ___________________________________
Theresa M. Traber
Judge of the Superior Court


Case Number: ****1790    Hearing Date: April 7, 2021    Dept: 47

Tentative Ruling
Judge Theresa M. Traber, Department 47
HEARING DATE: April 7, 2021 TRIAL DATE:  July 6, 2021
CASE:  Katherine Dymond v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.
CASE NO.:  ****1790
             
MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT AGNES HUFF TO PERMIT ENTRY ONTO LAND; REQUEST FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS, EXPERT FEES AND ATTORNEY’S FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF $60,173.75
 
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Honey A. Lewis
RESPONDING PARTY(S): Defendant/Cross-Complainant Agnes Huff
CASE HISTORY:
11/02/17: Complaint filed.
12/01/17: First Amended Complaint filed.
12/04/17: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri
01/11/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Janice Brown.
01/18/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Agnes Huff.
02/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marc Huffman.
03/01/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Ken Meares.
03/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
04/09/18: Cross-Complaint filed by City of Los Angeles.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Jon Betuel.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Gary Bozenich.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Douglas Carr.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Kristy Cannon.
09/28/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Thomas Dougherty.
10/25/18: Second Amended Complaint filed.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by John Peri and Montan Peri.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Marsha Carter.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Colleen Phillips.
11/19/18: Cross-Complaint filed by Brandon Lighthart.
12/17/18: Third Amended Complaint filed [Plaintiff Honey Lewis, BC703130].
01/11/21: [multiple Doe amendments]
02/19/21: [multiple dismissals entered 2/19 through 2/22]
02/25/21: Dismissal entered as to Defendant Brandon Lighthart.
02/26/21: Dismissal entered as to Mi Casa Holdings on Betuel X-C.
03/01/21: Dismissal entered as to Defendant Jon Betuel.
03/05/21: Dismissal entered as to Katherine Dymond on Betuel X-C.
03/05/21: Dismissal entered as to Mi Casa Holdings on Huff X-C.
03/25/21: Dismissal entered as to Defendant Manan Shah.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:
Plaintiff Katherine Dymond alleges that a landslide, for which the various Defendants are responsible, caused damage to Plaintiff’s property. This case was consolidated with ****1790, in which Plaintiff Honey Lewis, a slope owner like Dymond, alleges damage to her property from the same incident.
Various Defendants filed cross-complaints for indemnity and/or damage to their property.
Plaintiff Honey Lewis moves to compel Defendant Agnes Huff, one of the crest owners, to permit entry onto her land. She also seeks sanctions, expert fees, and attorney’s fees totaling $60,173.75.
TENTATIVE RULING:
Plaintiff’s motion to compel is DENIED AS MOOT.
Plaintiff’s request for sanctions, expert fees, and attorney’s fees is DENIED.
Defendant’s request for sanctions is DENIED.
DISCUSSION:
Motion to Compel Entry onto Land [Inspection]
Untimely Exhibit
Defendant is correct that Plaintiff’s Exhibit 17, served and filed on March 22, 2021 for this April 7 hearing, is untimely under CCP ; 1005(b). However, any objection to this exhibit is moot in light of the mootness of the entire motion and the procedural deficiency in the request for sanctions, as discussed below.
Analysis
Any party “may demand that any other party allow the party making the demand . . . to enter on any land or other property that is in the possession, custody, or control of the party on whom the demand is made, and to inspect . . . the land.” (CCP ; 2031.010(d).) If a party fails to respond to a demand for inspection in a timely manner, the party making the demand “may move for an order compelling response to the demand.” (CCP ; 2031.300(b).)
Here, Defendant has agreed to the inspection. (Declaration of Charles J. Schmitt ¶ 5.) There is no reason for the Court to compel a party to do something that she has already agreed to do. Accordingly, the motion to compel is DENIED AS MOOT and remains on calendar only as to the request for sanctions. (CRC 3.1348(a) [“The court may award sanctions under the Discovery Act in favor of a party who files a motion to compel discovery, even though . . . the requested discovery was provided to the moving party after the motion was filed.”].)
Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also DENIED. As Defendant notes, Plaintiff’s notice of motion indicates that Plaintiff seeks sanctions “against Plaintiffs and their attorney of record on a joint and several basis.” (Notice, at p. 2, bold emphasis added.) Nowhere in the notice of motion does Plaintiff specify that sanctions are sought against Defendant Agnes Huff or any of her particular attorneys. Thus, the notice did not clearly “identify each person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought.” (CCP ; 2023.040.) All requests for sanctions must comport with due process, and this due process requirement is no less applicable to a request for over $60,000 in sanctions and fees.
The amount of the discovery sanction sought provides an independent basis on which to deny Plaintiff’s request for sanctions. Spending $60,000 for a simple motion to compel inspection filed on March 15, 2021 based on a demand for inspection made on January 11, 2021 is highly questionable.  Plaintiff attempts to justify this request with reference to a lengthy timeline of attempts to obtain access to Defendant’s property, but none of those previous attempts are timely bases on which to move to compel inspection now. To the extent that this motion had any validity, it would have been a simple matter of explaining that Plaintiff served a demand for inspection, Defendant did not respond, and Plaintiff was forced to move to compel inspection. Anything else that Plaintiff seeks to bring into this motion either renders it untimely or the wrong type of motion to bring. (As an example, when a party has responded to an inspection demand and the propounding party considers the response deficient – as, for example, when the responding party makes unmeritorious objections – the proper motion is a motion to compel further, not a motion to compel. If a party has agreed to an inspection and fails to allow it, the proper motion would be a motion to compel compliance, not a motion to compel. And to the extent that any earlier requests for inspection form the basis for this motion, it is untimely.)
Nevertheless, Defendant’s request for sanctions is also DENIED. Plaintiff’s request to inspect the land was justified, and therefore Plaintiff was justified in keeping the motion on calendar for purposes of considering whether sanctions were appropriate.
Moving party to give notice, unless waived.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated:   April 7, 2021 ___________________________________
Theresa M. Traber
Judge of the Superior Court
Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at  Smcdept47@lacourt.org by no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing.  All interested parties must be copied on the email.  It should be noted that if you submit on a tentative ruling the court will still conduct a hearing if any party appears. By submitting on the tentative you have, in essence, waived your right to be present at the hearing, and you should be aware that the court may not adopt the tentative, and may issue an order which modifies the tentative ruling in whole or in part.


Case Number: ****1790    Hearing Date: February 01, 2021    Dept: 47

Judge Joel L. Lofton, Department 47

HEARING DATE: February 1, 2021 TRIAL DATE: March 22, 2021

CASE: Katherine Dymond v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.

 

CASE NO.: ****1790

(1) MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,220;

(2) MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,920

MOVING PARTY: (1)-(2) Plaintiffs Katherine Dymond, Gary Bozenich, Cabora LLC, Mi Casa Holdings LLC, Kristy Cannon, Raymond Voge, and Tim Dougherty

RESPONDING PARTY(S): (1) Defendant Agnes Huff;

(2) Defendants John Peri, Montan Peri, and Janice Brown

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleges that a landslide, for which the various Defendants are responsible, caused damage to Plaintiff’s property.

Various Defendants filed cross-complaints for indemnity and/or damage to their property.

Plaintiffs move for a protective order as to interrogatories, document requests, and requests for admission served by Defendant Agnes Huff and for sanctions in the amount of $2,220. Plaintiffs also move for a protective order as to interrogatories and document requests served by Defendants Janice Brown and John Peri and for sanctions in the amount of $5920.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiffs’ motion for protective order as to discovery served by Defendant Agnes Huff is DENIED. Plaintiffs’ request for sanctions in the amount of $2,220 is also DENIED. Defendant’s request for sanctions in opposition is also DENIED.

Plaintiffs’ motion for protective order as to discovery served by Defendants Janice Brown and John Peri is DENIED. Plaintiffs’ request for sanctions in the amount of $5,920 is also DENIED. Defendants’ request for sanctions in opposition is also DENIED.

DISCUSSION:

Motion for Protective Order (Agnes Huff)

Meet and Confer

On January 12, 2021, this Court ordered the parties to meet and confer regarding this motion and other matters. The parties were also ordered to file meet-and-confer declarations by January 25, 2021. Defendant did so; Plaintiff did not. Defendant’s meet-and-confer declaration also indicates that Plaintiff’s counsel did not respond to Defendant’s meet-and-confer efforts. The Court will nevertheless consider the motion, rather than postpone it any further.

Analysis

Plaintiffs seek a protective order that they are not required to answer the interrogatories, document requests, and requests for admission served by Defendant Agnes Huff on November 16, 2020. Plaintiffs brought this motion under CCP ;; 2030.090 (interrogatories) and 2031.060 (document requests). Presumably Plaintiffs also intended to bring the motion under CCP ; 2033.080 (requests for admission).

Plaintiffs argue that all of these discovery requests are barred by the Case Management Order (“CMO”) entered in July 2019, which stayed all discovery not specifically permitted in the order, absent leave. (Declaration of Karen Clark, Exh. DD, at p. 9.) The CMO permitted “non-party document discovery of individuals and entities upon proper notice to all parties.” (Ibid.) Otherwise, the particular sets of special interrogatories to be answered were specified in the order, and the documents that had already been produced by the named parties were to “serve as the document production for these parties.” (Id. at p. 10.) Any party could also “apply by noticed motion to request leave of the Court to propose discovery not permitted in this order.” (Id. at p. 9.)

Defendant is correct, however, that the Court opened all discovery as permitted per Code on October 1, 2020. The Court previously stated, on January 12, 2021, that it was “inclined to find” that the stay had been lifted, but it requested the parties to file meet-and-confer declarations as to the status of the CMO and the discovery requests by January 25, 2021. (Minute Order, 1/12/2021, at p. 1.) At this time, based on the Court’s recollection and the other evidence, the Court finds that it did lift the discovery stay on October 1, 2020.

Given that the discovery at issue in this motion was served on November 16, 2020, it was not barred by the previous discovery stay. Nor do Plaintiffs raise any other basis for a protective order in their motion.

Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion for protective order as to discovery propounded by Defendant Agnes Huff is DENIED. The accompanying request for sanctions in the amount of $2,220 is also DENIED.

Defendant’s request for sanctions is also DENIED. Defendant did not state her request for sanctions in the notice of opposition at the beginning of the motion, waiting instead until the last few pages of the motion. Thus, the notice did not clearly “identify each person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought.” (CCP ; 2023.040.)

Motion for Protective Order (Janice Brown and John Peri)

As with the motion for protective order as to discovery propounded by Defendant Agnes Huff, in this motion, Plaintiffs seek a protective order solely on the basis that the discovery stay was still in place when this discovery was propounded on October 2 and 6, 2020.

For the reasons discussed in connection with the motion for protective order as to Defendant Huff, this motion for protective order and request for sanctions in the amount of $5,920 is also DENIED.

Defendants’ request for sanctions is also DENIED. Although Defendants mentioned “requests for sanctions” in the caption of their motion, they did not mention their request for sanctions in their notice of opposition at the beginning of their motion. Thus, as in the previous motion, the notice did not clearly “identify each person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought.” (CCP ; 2023.040.)

Moving party to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.



Case Number: ****1790    Hearing Date: July 10, 2020    Dept: 47

Katherine Dymond v. The City of Los Angeles, et al.

 

GIVEN THE RECENT CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES APPEARENCES BY COURT CALL. PLEASE MAKE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS IF YOU WISH TO APPEAR VIA COURT CALL AT (888) 882-6878 (OR WWW.COURTCALL.COM). IF YOU APPEAR IN PERSON AT THE HEARING, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ALL SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES, INCLUDING THE WEARING OF AN APPROPRIATE FACE MASK/COVERING (ABSENT ANY EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES) AS CONTAINED IN THE APPLICABLE GENERAL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE L.A.S.C.

MOTION FOR PRIORITY TRIAL SETTING PURSUANT TO CCP ; 36(a);

MOVING PARTY: Defendant and Cross-Complainant John Peri

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Defendant City of Los Angeles, Defendant/Cross-Complainant/Cross-Defendant Douglas Carr; Defendant Agnes Huff; Defendant/Cross-Defendant Manan Shah

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleges that a landslide, for which the various Defendants are responsible, caused damage to Plaintiff’s property.

Various Defendants filed cross-complaints for indemnity and/or damage to their property.

Defendant/Cross-Complainant John Peri now moves for priority trial setting.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant/Cross-Complainant John Peri’s motion for priority trial setting pursuant to CCP ; 36(a) is GRANTED. The current trial date of November 9, 2020 is advanced to this date and vacated. Trial is set for November 6, 2020.

DISCUSSION:

Motion for Priority Trial Setting Pursuant to CCP ; 36(a)

Defendant/Cross-Complainant John Peri moves to set a trial date within 120 days of the hearing of this motion on the grounds that he is 96 years old, has a substantial interest in the action, and suffers health conditions that require preference to prevent prejudicing his interest in the litigation.

A party to a civil action who is over 70 years of age may petition the court for a preference, which the court shall grant if the court makes both of the following findings:

(1)  The party has a substantial interest in the action as a whole.

(2)  The health of the party is such that a preference is necessary to prevent prejudicing the party’s interest in the litigation.

(CCP ; 36(a).)  If granted, the Court “shall set the matter for trial not more than 120 days from that date.” (CCP ; 36(f).)

Here, per the Declaration of Defendant/Cross-Complainant’s counsel Gary Ho,[1] Plaintiff is 96 years old and is “very ill.” (Ho Decl. ¶ 2.) Specifically, he suffers from cardiovascular diseases and skin cancer, which have “greatly debilitated him.” (Id. ¶ 3.) He takes several medications to treat a potentially fatal irregular heartbeat and is also hearing-impaired and suffers from a balance disorder. (Id. ¶¶ 3-4.) His physician indicates that he is at increased risk of a “catastrophic cardiac or neurological event such as a massive heart attack or stroke.” (Id. ¶ 6.)

There can be little argument that section 36 was enacted for the purpose of assuring that an aged or terminally ill plaintiff would be able to participate in the trial of his or her case and be able to realize redress upon the claim asserted. Such a preference is not only necessary to assure a party’s peace of mind that he or she will live to see a particular dispute brought to resolution but it can also have substantive consequences. The party’s presence and ability to testify in person and/or assist counsel may be critical to success. In addition, the nature of the ultimate recovery can be adversely affected by a plaintiff's death prior to judgment.

(Looney v. Superior Court (1993) 16 Cal.App.4th 521, 532.)

Four other parties have opposed this motion: the City of Los Angeles, Douglas Carr, Agnes Huff, and Manan Shah.[2] Their collective arguments are as follows: (1) the moving party did not state that all parties have been served or have appeared in the action; (2) the evidence of the moving party’s age is lacking; (3) the medical evidence is lacking; (4) the moving party has not shown a substantial interest in the litigation, in that he has not shown an interest greater than any other party’s; (5) other parties would be adversely affected by scheduling the trial within 120 days; (6) given that the trial is currently scheduled for 123 days from the date of the hearing of this motion, there is no need to grant priority to it; and (7) given the pandemic, giving this trial priority would jeopardize the health of all parties, including the moving party.

First, as to whether all parties have been served or have appeared, this is not one of the mandatory findings that the Court must make under CCP ; 36(a). Nevertheless, the moving party’s counsel declares in his reply declaration that all parties have been served or have appeared. (Reply Declaration of Gary Ho ¶ 2.) If the opposing parties object to the veracity of this evidence offered in reply, they may raise their objections at the hearing.

Second, as to the evidence of the moving party’s age, the opposing parties are correct that the declaration of the moving party’s counsel is insufficient. However, the moving party has now submitted his own declaration in reply that he is 96 years old. (Reply Declaration of John Peri ¶ 2.) If the opposing parties object to the veracity of this evidence offered in reply, they may raise their objections at the hearing.

Third, the moving party has shown that preference is necessary due to his medical condition. Although it may not be clear that Mr. Peri is on his “death bed” or that his health is rapidly deteriorating, one can reasonably extrapolate that a 96-year-old man with a potentially fatal irregular heartbeat and cardiovascular diseases and skin cancer that have “greatly debilitated him,” along with other medical issues, is a person whose health “is such that a preference is necessary to prevent prejudicing the party’s interest in the litigation.” (CCP ; 36(a)(2). Indeed, this is not even a close call. In addition, as to any complaints about Attorney Ho’s lack of medical expertise, the statute itself allows an attorney to file a declaration in lieu of a declaration or records from a medical provider. (See footnote 1 above.) As such, any objections to Attorney Ho’s declaration are specious.

Fourth, as one of the affected landowners in this case, the moving party has shown that he has a substantial interest in this litigation. (Peri Decl. ¶ 3.) No opposing party has cited any authority for the proposition that he must show that he has a greater interest than any other party to show that his interest is “substantial.” (Oppo. of Defendant Manan Shah, at p.3 [conceding, in any event, that Mr. Peri “may have a substantial interest in this action as a whole”].)

Fifth, it is well settled that, even if other parties would be prejudiced by the trial preference, the Court cannot deny the motion on that basis under CCP ; 36(a). (Swaithes v. Superior Court (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 1082, 1086.) In any case, even if the Court could consider the opposing parties’ conflicting interests, it would not deny the motion on that basis. As many of the opposing parties have noted, trial in this matter is currently set for 123 days from the date of this hearing: November 9, 2020. These parties can hardly argue, in all seriousness, that setting the trial one court day earlier would violate their due process rights.

Sixth, it is not the case that there is no need to grant priority because the trial is currently scheduled for 123 days from the date of the hearing of this motion. Even if this were the case, however, the statute does not provide that the Court may deny a motion when the current trial date is “close enough” to 120 days.

Finally, when a party meets the requirements of CCP ; 36(a), the Court cannot deny the motion based on the COVID-19 pandemic. As the opposing parties recognize, many jury trials have already been continued as a result of the pandemic. What is also the case, however, is that trials with preference will be scheduled preferentially if they must be continued due to COVID-19 or any other circumstances outside of the parties’ and the Court’s control. Indeed, the statute recognizes that the Court may continue a preferential matter “upon a showing of good cause stated in the record.” (CCP ; 36(f).) That “good cause” may be that the Court is unable to hear a jury trial on the date scheduled, but that showing has certainly not been made in the context of this motion.

Thus, Defendant/Cross-Complainant John Peri has demonstrated that he is entitled to a mandatory trial setting preference under CCP ; 36(a). Accordingly, the motion for trial preference is GRANTED. The current trial date of November 9, 2020 is advanced to this date and vacated. Trial is set for November 6, 2020.

Moving party to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: July 10, 2020 ___________________________________

Randolph M. Hammock

Judge of the Superior Court

Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org by no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the hearing.  All interested parties must be copied on the email.  It should be noted that if you submit on a tentative ruling the court will still conduct a hearing if any party appears. By submitting on the tentative you have, in essence, waived your right to be present at the hearing, and you should be aware that the court may not adopt the tentative, and may issue an order which modifies the tentative ruling in whole or in part.


[1] “An affidavit submitted in support of a motion for preference under subdivision (a) of Section 36 may be signed by the attorney for the party seeking preference based upon information and belief as to the medical diagnosis and prognosis of any party. The affidavit is not admissible for any purpose other than a motion for preference under subdivision (a) of Section 36.” (CCP ; 36.5.)

[2] Defendant/Cross-Complainant indicates that Mr. Carr withdrew his opposition, but the Court file indicates only that another party – Jon Marc Huffman – withdrew his joinder to the City’s opposition on July 7, 2020.