This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/03/2022 at 05:32:21 (UTC).

MARTEL REID VS CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION ET AL

Case Summary

On 09/19/2017 MARTEL REID filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are CHRISTOPHER K. LUI, JAMES R. DUNN and LAWRENCE P. RIFF. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6461

  • Filing Date:

    09/19/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

JAMES R. DUNN

LAWRENCE P. RIFF

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

REID MARTEL

GAYLE MONIQUE

ESPINOZA WENDY

BENNETT DOARIAN

REID GWENDENECE

REID GERALD

INVESTMENT BANKERS NETWORK INC. DBA INBANET

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST I BY US BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

GUILLEN VERONICA

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA

US BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION

GAYLE MONIQUE

CENTER STREET LENDING CORPORATION

KWIAT SONYA

36 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorneys

ANAST ALEXANDRA N.

MDINARADZE MAIA

WOOD DAVID F.

Cross Defendant Attorney

ARMSTRONG THOMAS

 

Court Documents

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: NOTICE OF LODGING

12/15/2017: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: NOTICE OF LODGING

Order - ORDER COMPELLING DEPONENT'S ATTENDANCE AND TESTIMONY AND PRODUCTION FOR INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION, AND FOR AWARD OF MONETARY SANCTIONS

1/4/2018: Order - ORDER COMPELLING DEPONENT'S ATTENDANCE AND TESTIMONY AND PRODUCTION FOR INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS AT DEPOSITION, AND FOR AWARD OF MONETARY SANCTIONS

Proof of Service by Mail

8/19/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

10/2/2019: Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

10/2/2019: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

11/13/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

12/23/2019: Amendment to Cross-Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Brief - BRIEF STATEMENT OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES PURSUANT TO C.C.P. 425.115 TO CROSS-DEFENDANT SOUTHERN CALIFORNA HOME INVESTORS, INC.

1/10/2020: Brief - BRIEF STATEMENT OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES PURSUANT TO C.C.P. 425.115 TO CROSS-DEFENDANT SOUTHERN CALIFORNA HOME INVESTORS, INC.

Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

1/13/2020: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

1/21/2020: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

1/29/2020: Motion to Compel Discovery (not Further Discovery) - 1 moving party, 1 motion

Proof of Personal Service

1/30/2020: Proof of Personal Service

Substitution of Attorney

2/20/2020: Substitution of Attorney

Notice - NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER

2/28/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING DEPONENT'S ATTENDANCE ...)

2/28/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING DEPONENT'S ATTENDANCE ...)

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/18/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/18/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

RETURNED MAIL - RETURNED MAIL (NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING AND ORDER)

3/24/2020: RETURNED MAIL - RETURNED MAIL (NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING AND ORDER)

399 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/31/2022
  • Hearing05/31/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 76 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement)

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  • 01/18/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 76, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Jury Trial ((7 Days)) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 01/03/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 76, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 12/28/2021
  • DocketNotice (of Entry of Order [Minute Order Re Notice of Settlement]); Filed by Martel Reid (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/23/2021
  • Docketat 5:00 PM in Department 76, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 12/23/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order Re: Notice of Settlement of Entire Case;)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/23/2021
  • DocketNotice of Settlement; Filed by Martel Reid (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/23/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order Re: Notice of Settlement of Entire Case;) of 12/23/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/08/2021
  • DocketNotice (of Entry of Order (Extending the Time of Attachment)); Filed by Martel Reid (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/03/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 76, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Order (Extending the Time of Attachment [Res. ID# 913452829100]) - Held - Motion Granted

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642 More Docket Entries
  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketReceipt-Depository; Filed by TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA (Defendant)

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  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA (Defendant)

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  • 09/29/2017
  • DocketCIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 09/27/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/27/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 09/25/2017
  • DocketNotice of Lis Pendens; Filed by MARTEL REID (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/25/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION (LIS PENDENS)

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  • 09/19/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. CANCELLATION OF WRITTEN INSTRUMENT (PROMISSORY NOTE) (CIVIL CODE 3412); ETC

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  • 09/19/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by MARTEL REID (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/19/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****6461 Hearing Date: September 29, 2022 Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.\

Defendant/Cross-Complainant Center Street Lending Corporation moves for an order to enforce the settlement agreement and release against Defendant/Cross-Defendant Wendy Espinoza, in pro per.

TENTATIVE RULING

The hearing on Defendant/Cross-Complainant Center Street Lending Corporation’s motion for an order to enforce the settlement agreement and release against Defendant/Cross-Defendant Wendy Espinoza, in pro per is CONTINUED to October 28, 2022.

Although Defendant Wendy Espinoza—against whom this motion is brought—is in pro per, she was only served by e-mail. However, the Substitution of Attorney form filed on June 28, 2021, lists Espinoza’s address as 705 W. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. There is no indication that Espinoza consented to receive notice electronically. CCP 1010.6(d)(4) provides that: “Unrepresented persons are exempt from mandatory electronic filing and service.”

Moving party is to serve Defendant Espinoza with a copy of this motion by mail pursuant to the notice period set forth in CCP 1005(b), and to give notice of the continuance of the hearing on this motion. Proof of service to be filed by October 20, 2022.



Case Number: ****6461 Hearing Date: March 10, 2022 Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.

The following parties bring a joint application for determination of good faith settlement: Plaintiff Martel Reid, individually and as a surviving & successor trustee of the Reid Living Trust dated January 10, 2008; Defendant/Cross-Complainant Andrew Kwiat and Sonya Kwiat as Trustees of their Living Trust dated July 13the, 1990; Defendant/Cross-Defendant Monique Gayle; Defendant/Cross-Defendant Doarian Bennett; Defendant/Cross-Defendant Wendy Espinoza; Cross-Defendant Paradyme Investment Funding, Inc.; Cross-Defendant Investment Bankers Network Inc. dba Inbanet; Cross-Defendant Seller’s Choice Escrow, Inc.

TENTATIVE RULING

Notice of this motion was served by mail and e-mail on February 15, 2021, which is only 16 court days, taking into account the President’s Day holiday. At least an additional 2 court days’ notice is required for notice by email (Civ. Proc. Code, 1010.6(a)(4)(B)), and an additional 5 days’ notice is required for notice by mail. (Civ. Proc. Code, 1005(b).)

The hearing on the joint application for determination of good faith settlement is CONTINUED to March 30, 2022 due to insufficient notice. Moving parties are to give notice of the continuance forthwith.



b'

Case Number: ****6461 Hearing Date: December 3, 2021 Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for an order extending the time of attachment.

TENTATIVE RULING

Plaintiff Martel Reid’s motion to extend the attachment for a period of one-year is GRANTED.

ANALYSIS

Motion To Extend Time of Attachment

Request For Judicial Notice

Plaintiff requests that the Court take judicial notice of the following; (1) Deed of Trust recorded March 4, 2019; (2) Grant Deed recorded November 28, 2017. Requests Nos. 1 and 2 are GRANTED. The Court may take judicial notice of recorded documents. (Evans v. California Trailer Court, Inc. (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 540, 549, overruled on other grounds in Black Sky Capital, LLC v. Cobb (2019) 7 Cal.5th 156, 165; Alfaro v. Community Housing Improvement System & Planning Assn., Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 263, 274).

Discussion

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for an order extending the time of attachment pursuant to CCP ; 488.510(d). The prejudgment attachment was issued on January 2, 2018 against the specified property of Defendant Monique Gayle and was extended for an additional year, now set to expire on January 2, 2022. Plaintiff seeks to extent the attachment for an additional year, i.e., to January 2, 2023.

CCP ; 488.510(b) provides that the time for attachment may be extended for up to one year on a showing of good cause, on notice o no less than five days to the defendant whose property is attached. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 488.510(b).)

(a) Unless sooner released or discharged, any attachment shall cease to be of any force or effect, and the property levied upon shall be released from the operation of the attachment, at the expiration of three years from the date of issuance of the writ of attachment under which the levy was made.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), upon motion of the plaintiff, made not less than 10 or more than 60 days before the expiration of the three-year period and upon notice of not less than five days to the defendant whose property is attached, the court in which the action is pending may, by order filed prior to the expiration of the period and for good cause, extend the time of the attachment for a period not exceeding one year from the date on which the attachment would otherwise expire.

(Code Civ. Proc., ; 488.510(a) & (b).)

CCP ; 488.510(d) provides:

(d) Any attachment may be extended from time to time in the manner prescribed in this section, but the maximum period of the attachment, including the extensions, shall not exceed eight years from the date of issuance of the writ of attachment under which the levy of attachment was made.

Plaintiff has demonstrated good cause for a one-year extension. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trial date has been continued to January 18, 2022, and trial cannot occur before the attachment expires on January 2, 2022. Moreover, Defendant Monique Gayle, subsequent to the attachment levy, has encumbered the property with a deed of trust. (RJN, Exhs. A & B.) Although Gayle has since received a deed back, eliminating the encumbrance, Gayle may attempt to transfer or encumber the property if Plaintiff’s attachment lien if it is not extended to a date after trial is held.

Accordingly, the motion to extend the attachment for an additional period of one-year is GRANTED.

'


Case Number: ****6461    Hearing Date: December 18, 2020    Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for terminating sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza, including an order striking the answer of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and the entry of default, or in the alternative, an order imposing evidence and issue sanctions, and also for monetary sanctions.

The Court continued the hearing on this motion to give Defendant Wendy Espinoza one final chance to appear for her deposition to avoid terminating sanctions.

TENTATIVE RULING

Plaintiff Martel Reid’s motion for terminating sanctions is DENIED.

Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions is GRANTED against Defendant Wendy Espinoza in the reduced amount of $1,746.65. Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 10 days.

ANALYSIS

Motion For Terminating and Monetary Sanctions

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for terminating sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza, including an order striking the answer of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and the entry of default, or in the alternative, an order imposing evidence and issue sanctions, and also for monetary sanctions.

The grounds for this motion are that Defendant Wendy Espinoza failed to attend her deposition with production of documents within 20 days as ordered by the Court on February 28, 2020, despite several rescheduled depositions. Also, Defendant Espinoza has provided a false address on her substitution of attorney form (mail has been returned as undeliverable and a process server concluded Espinoza does not reside at that address), has avoided service of notices, and failed to respond to telephone calls or emails. (See Declaration of Thomas Armstrong and Exhibits thereto.)

The court has the authority to impose sanctions against a party that engages in the misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2023.030.) This includes failing to respond to an authorized method of discovery and disobeying a court order to provide discovery. (Code Civ. Proc. ;; 2023.010 (d) and (g).) A party engaging in such conduct may be subject to monetary, issue and/or evidentiary, and terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc. ;; 2023.030(a), (b) (c) and (d).)

Where a party fails to obey an order compelling responses, “ the court may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction . . . In lieu of or in addition to that sanction, the court may impose a monetary sanction. . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2030.290(c); ; 2031.300(c).) Indeed, the court may impose terminating sanctions after a party’s failure to comply with one court order to produce discovery if it is an “attempt[ ] to tailor the sanction to the harm caused by the withheld discovery.” (Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartunian (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1618-19.)

"[T]he question before this court is not whether the trial court should have imposed a lesser sanction; rather, the question is whether the trial court abused its discretion by imposing the sanction it chose. [Citation.] Moreover, imposition of a lesser sanction would have permitted [defendants] to benefit from their stalling tactics. [Citation.] The trial court did not abuse its discretion by tailoring the sanction to the particular abuse. [Citation.]" ( Id. at pp. 36-37.)

(Collisson, supra, 21 Cal.App.4th at 1620.)

In deciding whether to impose a terminating sanction, the trial court is to consider the totality of the circumstances: “conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.” (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.)

Here, disobedience of only one discovery order would normally not warrant terminating sanctions. Yet, it does appear that Defendant is evading her obligation to sit for her deposition.

The Court is mindful of the impact of COVID-19 (see Espinoza Declaration) and, in that regard, indicated its willingness to give Defendant Espinoza one more opportunity to fulfill her deposition obligation.

Accordingly, the Court continued the hearing on this motion to give Defendant Wendy Espinoza one file chance to appear for her deposition to avoid terminating sanctions. The Court ordered Defendant Wendy Espinoza to appear for her deposition before that date.

The Court indicated that if Defendant has not sat for her deposition by the December 18, 2020 hearing date, the Court intends to grant terminating sanctions by striking Defendant’s answer and entering her default. The Court reserved its ruling on monetary sanctions for the December 18, 2020 hearing.

Per the status report filed by Plaintiff, the deposition of Defendant Wendy Espinoza took place on December 2, 2010, Defendant appeared with counsel and answered all questions. As such, the motion for terminating sanctions is DENIED.

The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the imposition of monetary sanctions is appropriate. The request for monetary sanctions is GRANTED against Defendant Wendy Espinoza in the reduced amount of $1,746.65. (See Declaration of Thomas Armstrong, ¶ 30.) Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 10 days.



Case Number: ****6461    Hearing Date: November 04, 2020    Dept: 76

Plaintiff alleges that his signature was forged on two promissory notes, two guaranties and two deeds of trust relative to loans which Plaintiff claims he did not take out. Plaintiff seeks cancellation of these written instruments.

Defendants Andrew and Sonya Kwiat filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendant Gerald Reid (Plaintiff Martel Reid’s son) impersonated Martel Reid in obtaining the loan from the Kwiats and forged Martel Reid’s signature. Other Cross-Defendants are alleged to have conspired with Gerald Reid to obtain loan proceeds.

Defendant Center Street Lending Corporation filed a Cross-Complaint alleging that Cross-Defendants made misrepresentations in obtaining a loan from Center Street that the loan was not an owner-occupied loan, and also that Gerald Reid (Martel Reid’s son) may have impersonated Martel Reid in executing the loan documents.

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves for terminating sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza, including an order striking the answer of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and the entry of default, or in the alternative, an order imposing evidence and issue sanctions, and also for monetary sanctions.

TENTATIVE RULING

The hearing on Plaintiff Martel Reid’s motion for terminating sanctions is CONTINUED to December 18, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. The Court orders Defendant Wendy Espinoza to appear for her deposition before that date. The parties are to meet and confer on the date, time and method for such deposition to occur.

If Defendant has not sat for her deposition by the December 18, 2020 hearing date, the Court intends to grant terminating sanctions by striking Defendant’s answer and entering her default. Plaintiff is to file a status report by the December 11, 2020.

ANALYSIS

The court has the authority to impose sanctions against a party that engages in the misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2023.030.) This includes failing to respond to an authorized method of discovery and disobeying a court order to provide discovery. (Code Civ. Proc. ;; 2023.010 (d) and (g).) A party engaging in such conduct may be subject to monetary, issue and/or evidentiary, and terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc. ;; 2023.030(a), (b) (c) and (d).)

Where a party fails to obey an order compelling responses, “ the court may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction . . . In lieu of or in addition to that sanction, the court may impose a monetary sanction. . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2030.290(c); ; 2031.300(c).) Indeed, the court may impose terminating sanctions after a party’s failure to comply with one court order to produce discovery if it is an “attempt[ ] to tailor the sanction to the harm caused by the withheld discovery.” (Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartunian (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1618-19.)

"[T]he question before this court is not whether the trial court should have imposed a lesser sanction; rather, the question is whether the trial court abused its discretion by imposing the sanction it chose. [Citation.] Moreover, imposition of a lesser sanction would have permitted [defendants] to benefit from their stalling tactics. [Citation.] The trial court did not abuse its discretion by tailoring the sanction to the particular abuse. [Citation.]" ( Id. at pp. 36-37.)

(Collisson, supra, 21 Cal.App.4th at 1620.)

In deciding whether to impose a terminating sanction, the trial court is to consider the totality of the circumstances: “conduct of the party to determine if the actions were willful; the detriment to the propounding party; and the number of formal and informal attempts to obtain the discovery.” (Lang v. Hochman (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1246.)

Here, disobedience of only one discovery order would normally not warrant terminating sanctions. Yet, it does appear that Defendant is evading her obligation to sit for her deposition.

The Court is mindful of the impact of COVID-19 (see Espinoza Declaration) and, in that regard, is willing to give Defendant Espinoza one more opportunity to fulfill her deposition obligation.

Accordingly, the hearing on the motion for terminating sanctions is CONTINUED to December 18, 2020. The Court orders Defendant Wendy Espinoza to appear for her deposition before that date. The parties are to meet and confer on the date, time and method for such deposition to occur.

If Defendant has not sat for her deposition by the December 18, 2020 hearing date, the Court intends to grant terminating sanctions by striking Defendant’s answer and entering her default. Plaintiff is to file a status report by the December 11, 2020.

The Court will reserve its ruling on monetary sanctions for the December 18, 2020 hearing.



Case Number: ****6461    Hearing Date: February 28, 2020    Dept: 76

Motion To Compel Deposition and Production of Documents

Plaintiff Martel Reid moves to compel the deposition of Defendant Wendy Espinoza and for production of documents at deposition. Plaintiff also requests an award of monetary sanctions.

(a) If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, managing agent, or employee of a party, or a person designated by an organization that is a party under Section 2025.230, without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

(b) A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following:

(1) The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice.

(2) The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.

CCP ; 2025.450(a) & (b)(bold emphasis added).

Moving party has submitted a declaration indicating that the deponent’s counsel was contacted about the deponent, Wendy Espinoza’s, non-appearance at her January 22, 2020 noticed deposition. Declaration of Thomas Armstrong, ¶¶ 6 – 10. Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling Espinoza’s deposition, as there has been no showing by Espinoza justifying her failure to appear.

A copy of the Second Amended Deposition Notice for January 22, 2020 is attached as Exhibit A to the Declaration of Thomas Armstrong.

Plaintiff argues that document categories 1 through 17 are necessary to establish any communications between Espinoza—who allegedly received loan proceeds—and other parties to the case, or other parties involved in the loan transactions. Plaintiff argues that document categories 18 and 19 are directly relevant to each of the $20,000.00 loan disbursements that Espinoza requested escrow to make, in that she informed escrow that the Plaintiff owed $20,000.00 to Opulence Asset Group and $20,000 to Southern California Home Investors, Inc., and requested an instruction for each disbursement.

Plaintiff has demonstrated good cause justifying production of the documents identified in the deposition notice. Accordingly, Plaintiff is entitled to an order compelling production of documents categories Nos. 1 – 19.

The motion to compel the deposition of Defendant Wendy Espinoza, and production of documents at deposition, is GRANTED. Deposition and production of documents is to occur within 20 days.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions against Defendant Wendy Espinoza only is GRANTED in the reduced amount of $1,570 (5 hours at $300/hour plus $70 filing fees—see Armstrong Decl, ¶ 15). Sanctions are to be paid to Plaintiff’s counsel within 20 days.   



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