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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/15/2020 at 05:24:46 (UTC).

LINDA SOFFER VS NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 06/11/2019 LINDA SOFFER filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are JAMES C. CHALFANT and RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0524

  • Filing Date:

    06/11/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

JAMES C. CHALFANT

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

SOFFER LINDA

Defendants

AFFINIA DEFAULT SERVICES LLC

DEUTSCHE MELLON NATIONAL ASSET LLC

NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

CHAPPARS MIKE

Defendant Attorney

ANDERSON AMANDA V

 

Court Documents

Notice of Stay of Proceedings (Bankruptcy)

10/7/2019: Notice of Stay of Proceedings (Bankruptcy)

Answer

10/9/2019: Answer

Notice - NOTICE OF TERMINATION OR MODIFICATION OF STAY

10/15/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF TERMINATION OR MODIFICATION OF STAY

Case Management Order

9/18/2019: Case Management Order

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

9/18/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

7/2/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION BY PLAINTIFF FOR TEMPORARY RE...)

7/2/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION BY PLAINTIFF FOR TEMPORARY RE...)

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

7/2/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE APPLICATION

7/3/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE APPLICATION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION BY PLAINTIFF FOR TEMPORARY RE...)

7/5/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION BY PLAINTIFF FOR TEMPORARY RE...)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF DEMURRING OR MOVING PARTY IN SUPPORT OF AUTOMATIC EXTENSION

8/29/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF DEMURRING OR MOVING PARTY IN SUPPORT OF AUTOMATIC EXTENSION

Case Management Statement

9/3/2019: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

9/6/2019: Case Management Statement

Notice of Case Management Conference

6/18/2019: Notice of Case Management Conference

Complaint

6/11/2019: Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

6/11/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

6/11/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

6/13/2019: Summons - SUMMONS ON COMPLAINT

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/21/2020
  • Hearing12/21/2020 at 09:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 11/13/2020
  • Hearing11/13/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Post-Mediation Status Conference

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  • 04/06/2020
  • Hearing04/06/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Appearance Case Review

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  • 02/10/2020
  • DocketDeclaration (of Non-Monetary Status to Plaintiff's Complaint by Foreclosure Trustee Pursuant to Cal. Civ. Code 29241); Filed by AFFINIA DEFAULT SERVICES, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketNotice ( OF TERMINATION OR MODIFICATION OF STAY); Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/09/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 10/07/2019
  • DocketNotice of Stay of Proceedings (Bankruptcy); Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/18/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 09/18/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/18/2019
  • DocketCase Management Order; Filed by Clerk

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5 More Docket Entries
  • 07/03/2019
  • DocketOpposition (To Ex Parte Application); Filed by NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 07/02/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 85, James C. Chalfant, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for Temporary restraining order) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 07/02/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application by Plaintiff for Temporary re...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/02/2019
  • DocketEx Parte Application (Ex Parte Application for Temporary restraining order); Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/02/2019
  • DocketEx Parte Application (Ex Parte Application for Temporary restraining order); Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/18/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/11/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/11/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/11/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by LINDA SOFFER (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCV20524    Hearing Date: November 09, 2020    Dept: 47

Linda Soffer v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, et al.

 

GIVEN THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES REMOTE APPEARENCES BY “LACourtConnect.” PLEASE MAKE SUCH ARRANGEMENTS IF YOU WISH TO APPEAR REMOTELY AT WWW.LACOURT.ORG/LACC/. NO OTHER TYPES OF REMOTE APPEARANCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURTROOM, INCLUDING COURT CALL. 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 TO EXPUNGE LIS PENDENS

MOVING PARTY: Former Defendant Nationstar Mortgage LLC

RESPONDING PARTY(S): No opposition on eCourt as of November 5, 2020

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Deutsche Mellon filed a fraudulent assignment of deed of trust to her property and that Defendant Nationstar improperly sought to foreclose on the property. She seeks to quiet title to her property and alleges unfair competition and violation of Civil Code § 2924, et seq.

Former Defendant Nationstar moves to expunge lis pendens.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Conditioned on the Court granting former defendant Nationstar Mortgage LLC leave to intervene, the motion to expunge lis pendens will be GRANTED.

DISCUSSION:

Motion To Expunge Lis Pendens

Non-Party Movant

The movant, Nationstar Mortgage LLC, was dismissed from this lawsuit on November 7, 2020 – before it filed this motion on October 14, 2020.

A motion to expunge a notice of pending action may be filed by a “nonparty with an interest in the real property affected” by the notice. (CCP § 405.30.) “However, a person who is not a party to the action shall obtain leave to intervene from the court at or before the time the party brings the motion to expunge the notice.” (Ibid., bold emphasis added)

Here, as noted above, Nationstar was dismissed from this action before it filed this motion, and yet it did not seek the Court’s leave to intervene to make the motion.

If Nationstar requests leave to intervene at or before the hearing on this motion, the Court will consider it. Otherwise, this motion will be taken off calendar.

The remaining discussion below assumes that Nationstar has been given leave to intervene.

Nonexistent Request for Judicial Notice

Nationstar refers to a Request for Judicial Notice in the caption of its motion and throughout the motion and declarations, but Nationstar did not file any such request.

Analysis

On a motion to expunge lis pendens, the court shall order the notice of lis pendens expunged if the court finds that the pleading on which the notice is based does not contain a real property claim (CCP § 405.31) or if claimant has not established by a preponderance of the evidence the probable validity of the real property claim (CCP § 405.32). A real property claim is a cause of action that would, if meritorious, affect title to, or the right to possession of, specific real property or the use of an easement. (CCP § 405.4.)

A lis pendens will be expunged without an undertaking if the court finds that the complaint does not contain a real property claim or that the claimant has not established the probable validity of the real property claim by a preponderance of the evidence. (CCP § 405.32; Weil and Brown, Cal. Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (The Rutter Group 2019) ¶ 9:429). If conflicting evidence is presented, the Court must weigh the evidence in deciding whether plaintiff has sustained his burden. (Id. ¶ 9:436.2.)

Pleading Does Not Contain A Real Property Claim – CCP § 405.31

A court must expunge a notice of pendency of action (lis pendens) if the action does not contain a real property claim:

In proceedings under this chapter, the court shall order the notice expunged if the court finds that the pleading on which the notice is based does not contain a real property claim. The court shall not order an undertaking to be given as a condition of expunging the notice where the court finds the pleading does not contain a real property claim.

(CCP § 405.31 (bold emphasis added).)

To determine whether a pleading contains a real property claim, the Court must “engage in a demurrer-like analysis.” (Campbell v. Superior Court (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 904, 911.)

“Rather than analyzing whether the pleading states any claim at all, as on a general demurrer, the court must undertake the more limited analysis of whether the pleading states a real property claim.” [Citation.] Review “involves only a review of the adequacy of the pleading and normally should not involve evidence from either side, other than possibly that which may be judicially noticed as on a demurrer.” [Citation.] Therefore, review of an expungement order under section 405.31 is limited to whether a real property claim has been properly pled by the claimant.

(Id. at 911-912.)

A “real property claim” is defined as follows:

“Real property claim” means the cause or causes of action in a pleading which would, if meritorious, affect (a) title to, or the right to possession of, specific real property or (b) the use of an easement identified in the pleading, other than an easement obtained pursuant to statute by any regulated public utility.

(CCP § 405.4 (bold emphasis added).)

“Unlike most other motions, when a motion to expunge is brought, the burden is on the party opposing the motion to show the existence of a real property claim.” (Campbell v. Superior Court (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 904, 911 (bold emphasis and underlining added).)

Here, Plaintiff has not opposed the motion and therefore has not met this burden. Nationstar does effectively concede that the complaint contains a real property claim by arguing only that Plaintiff’s quiet title claim lacks probable validity, but in any case, Plaintiff did not meet her burden to show that the complaint contains a real property claim. 

Lack of Probable Validity Of Real Property Claim – CCP § 405.32

CCP § 405.32 provides:

In proceedings under this chapter, the court shall order that the notice be expunged if the court finds that the claimant has not established by a preponderance of the evidence the probable validity of the real property claim. The court shall not order an undertaking to be given as a condition of expunging the notice if the court finds the claimant has not established the probable validity of the real property claim.

On a motion to expunge, the burden is on the claimant to prove the probable validity of the real property claim under CCP § 405.32: “Evidence or declarations may be filed with the motion to expunge the notice. The court may permit evidence to be received in the form of oral testimony, and may make any orders it deems just to provide for discovery by any party affected by a motion to expunge the notice. The claimant shall have the burden of proof under Sections 405.31 and 405.32.” (CCP § 405.30.) “‘Probable validity,’ with respect to a real property claim, means that it is more likely than not that the claimant will obtain a judgment against the defendant on the claim.” (CCP § 405.3.)

Here, because Plaintiff did not meet her burden to show that the pleading contains a real property claim, it is unnecessary to consider whether any of Plaintiff’s claims have probable validity.

Nevertheless, if it had been necessary to reach the question whether any real property claim had probable validity, Plaintiff would not have met that burden, as Plaintiff did not oppose this motion.

Conclusion

Accordingly, Former Defendant Nationwide Mortgage, LLC’s motion to expunge the lis pendens is GRANTED.

Attorney’s Fees

“The court shall direct that the party prevailing on any motion under this chapter be awarded the reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of making or opposing the motion unless the court finds that the other party acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of attorney’s fees and costs unjust.” (CCP § 405.38.)

Because Plaintiff did not file an opposition, the Court does not find that Plaintiff acted with substantial justification or that imposing attorney’s fees and costs would be unjust.

Accordingly, Nationstar’s request for attorney’s fees is GRANTED in the amount of $1,410.00 (6 hours plus $60 filing fee), representing the reasonable fees and costs incurred in bringing this motion.

Nationstar to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: November 9, 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.

Case Number: 19STCV20524    Hearing Date: July 14, 2020    Dept: 47

Linda Soffer v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, 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 SANCTIONS AGAINST PLAINTIFF LINDA SOFFER AND HER ATTORNEY OF RECORD, LAW OFFICE OF MIKE CHAPPARS, PURSUANT TO CCP §§ 128.5 AND 128.7

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Nationstar Mortgage LLC

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Linda Soffer

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Deutsche Mellon filed a fraudulent assignment of deed of trust to her property and that Defendant Nationstar improperly sought to foreclose on the property. She seeks to quiet title to her property and alleges unfair competition and violation of Civil Code § 2924, et seq.

Defendant Nationstar moves for sanctions, including terminating sanctions and monetary sanctions, against Plaintiff and her counsel of record.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Nationstar Mortgage LLC’s motion for sanctions against Plaintiff Linda Soffer and her attorney of record, Law Office of Mike Chappars, pursuant to CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7 is DENIED without prejudice.

DISCUSSION:

Motion for Sanctions

Defendant seeks terminating sanctions and monetary sanctions in the amount of $26,983.14 against Plaintiff and her counsel of record on the ground that the complaint is “barred by the settlement agreement that ended the previous lawsuit between Plaintiff and Nationstar concerning the property.” (Notice of Motion, at p. 2.) Defendant therefore argues that the lawsuit is “coercive and frivolous” in violation of CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7. (Ibid.)

Defendant’s Requests for Judicial Notice

Defendant requests judicial notice of a document described as the “Honorable Dale S. Fisher’s order that removed the fraudulent deed assignment from the Property, assigned the case number 2:18-cv-03041, dated May 15, 2019.” This request is DENIED. Defendant did not attach a copy of the document to its request as it claimed to have done, and therefore the request violates CRC Rule 3.1306(c), which requires the party requesting judicial notice to “provide the court and each party with a copy of the material.” Without the document, the Court has no way to evaluate this request.

In reply, Defendant also requests judicial notice of three documents that are attached to the request: (1) a Notice of Trustee’s sale, recorded on June 13, 2019, in the Recorder’s Office for the County of Los Angeles as Document Number 20190557919; (2) a July 5, 2019 Minute Order denying Plaintiff’s TRO on the merits; and (3) an order to void fraudulent instruments, recorded on June 14, 2019, in the Recorder’s Office for the County of Los Angeles as Document Number 20190567893.

These requests are DENIED. These documents may be judicially noticeable under certain circumstances, but the Court declines to consider them when they were not submitted except in reply. “The general rule of motion practice, which applies here, is that new evidence is not permitted with reply papers.” (Jay v. Mahaffey (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1522, 1537.) This is particularly true where, as here, Defendant is requesting the ultimate sanction – dismissal of the Complaint – without even giving Plaintiff the opportunity to respond to the evidence it claims supports its motion that it did not provide with its opening papers.

Compliance with the Safe Harbor Provisions of CCP § 128.5(f)(1)(B) and

CCP § 128.7(c)(1)

Defendant seeks sanctions under CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7. The safe harbor provision of CCP § 128.5 provides:

If the alleged action or tactic is the making or opposing of a written motion or the filing and service of a complaint, cross-complaint, answer, or other responsive pleading that can be withdrawn or appropriately corrected, a notice of motion shall be served as provided in Section 1010, but shall not be filed with or presented to the court, unless 21 days after service of the motion or any other period as the court may prescribe, the challenged action or tactic is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected.

(CCP § 128.5(f)(1)(B) (bold emphasis added).) Likewise, the safe-harbor provision of CCP § 128.7 provides, in relevant part:

A motion for sanctions under this section shall be made separately from other motions or requests and shall describe the specific conduct alleged to violate subdivision (b). Notice of motion shall be served as provided in Section 1010, but shall not be filed with or presented to the court unless, within 21 days after service of the motion, or any other period as the court may prescribe, the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, allegation, or denial is not withdrawn or appropriately corrected.

(CCP § 128.7(c)(1).)

Defendant complied with these provisions by serving Plaintiff with the motion and a request to withdraw the complaint via email and U.S. Mail on March 5, 2020. (Declaration of Jered T. Ede, Exh. D.) Plaintiff therefore had until March 26, 2020 (21 days + 5 days for service by mail) to withdraw the complaint. Plaintiff did not do so, and Defendant filed this motion on April 6, 2020. Thus, Defendant met the requirements of both safe-harbor provisions.

Analysis

Defendant seeks sanctions under CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7 on the ground that Plaintiff’s complaint is frivolous and was presented for an improper purpose.

Under CCP § 128.5, the Court may order a party, the party’s attorney, or both to pay the “reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.” (CCP § 128.5(a).) “Actions or tactics” include, but are not limited to, the “filing and service of a complaint.” (CCP § 128.5(b)(1).) “Frivolous” means “totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party.” (CCP § 128.5(b)(2).)

Likewise, under CCP § 128.7, if the Court determines that subsection (b) has been violated, it may “impose an appropriate sanction upon the attorneys, law firms, or parties that have violated subdivision (b) or are responsible for the violation.” (CCP § 128.7(c).) Violations of subsection (b) include presenting a pleading “primarily for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.” (CCP § 128.7(b)(1).)

An order pursuant to section 128.5 “shall be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of the action or tactic or comparable action or tactic by others similarly situated.” (CCP § 128.5(f)(2). If “imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence,” the sanction may include “an order directing payment to the movant of some or all of the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses incurred as a direct result of the action or tactic described in subdivision (a).” (Ibid.)

Here, Defendant has not shown that Plaintiff’s complaint is frivolous or presented for an improper purpose. To obtain sanctions on this ground, the moving party must show the “party’s conduct in asserting the claim was objectively unreasonable,” meaning that “any reasonable attorney would agree that [it] is totally and completely without merit.” (Bucar v. Ahmad (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 175, 189.) Indeed, even “the fact that a plaintiff fails to provide a sufficient showing to overcome a demurrer or to survive summary judgment is not, in itself, enough to warrant the imposition of sanctions.” (Peake v. Underwood (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 428, 448.) Yet in the year that this action has been pending, Defendant has not attempted to make either of these showings before seeking the ultimate sanction.

Perhaps Defendant may still show that the complaint is without merit, but Defendant has not done so in the context of this motion. First, Defendant has not shown that the parties’ settlement agreement must be interpreted to bar this lawsuit. This conclusion would require evidence that is not before the Court on this motion. Second, based on the declaration of Plaintiff’s counsel, it is not clear that filing the complaint was objectively unreasonable. (Declaration of Mike Chappars ¶¶ 4-5.) Plaintiff had informed her counsel that a Trustee’s sale had been scheduled without a Notice of Trustee’s Sale, and her counsel’s investigation confirmed that this was the case, as of the time of filing the complaint. (Ibid.)

Of course, Plaintiff’s attorney’s declaration echoes Zero Mostel’s statement (as Max Bialystock) at the end of “The Producers,” after Gene Wilder (as Leo Bloom) has given an impassioned defense of their actions, that “we’ve learned our lesson and we’ll never do it again.” Likewise, here, Plaintiff’s counsel defends his actions but concludes that he is “completely deterred from filing any future case remotely similar to this one,” which undercuts his whole defense of his actions. (Chappars Decl. ¶ 24.) Nevertheless, this statement is relevant to the extent that the Court is required to limit any sanctions imposed to “what is sufficient to deter repetition of this conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated.” (CCP § 128.7(d).) Moreover, even if Defendant had shown that the complaint was frivolous, sanctions would not necessarily be appropriate – especially the ultimate sanction of dismissing the complaint. Sanctions orders are to be “made with restraint” and “are not mandatory even if a claim is frivolous.” (Ibid.) Defendant has not shown that the circumstances here warrant the ultimate sanction.

Monetary Sanctions

In addition to terminating sanctions, Defendant requests an award of monetary sanctions against Plaintiff and her counsel of record in the amount of $26,983.14.

In light of the Court’s denial of the motion for terminating sanctions, monetary sanctions would be inappropriate. (CCP § 128.5(a) [“A trial court may order a party, the party’s attorney, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.”]; CCP § 128.7(c)(1) [“If warranted, the court may award to the party prevailing on the motion the reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees incurred in presenting . . . the motion.” (bold emphasis added)].) Accordingly, Defendant’s request for monetary sanctions in connection with this motion is DENIED.

In conclusion, although this motion is being denied at this time, for the reasons stated above, it is being denied with out prejudice. At the end of this case, if Defendant does in fact prevail, the Defendant is free to file any new request for monetary sanctions under CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7, as may be allowable and justified under the law. This Court would then be in a much better position to determine whether the initial Complaint was filed for improper reasons, and whether monetary sanctions are warranted.

Moving party to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: July 14, 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.

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