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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/31/2019 at 00:04:06 (UTC).

MICHAEL CHAYES VS CEDARS SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

Case Summary

On 01/25/2017 MICHAEL CHAYES filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against CEDARS SINAI MEDICAL CENTER. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8102

  • Filing Date:

    01/25/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

CHAYES MICHAEL

Defendants and Respondents

CEDARS SIANAI MEDICAL CENTER

DOES 1 TO 50

THE RMR GROUP INC.

THE RMR GROUP LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

STEINER NEIL S. ESQ.

STEINER NEIL STUART

Defendant Attorneys

CHERMELA JASON RYAN

HEDRICK KRISTI K.

 

Court Documents

PROPOSED ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL FSC AND RELATED MOTION DISCOVERY DATES PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY CENTRAL DISTICT

6/22/2018: PROPOSED ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL FSC AND RELATED MOTION DISCOVERY DATES PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY CENTRAL DISTICT

NOTICE OF RULING RE STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE

7/2/2018: NOTICE OF RULING RE STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE

Unknown

7/6/2018: Unknown

JURY DEMAND OF DEFENDANT CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

7/6/2018: JURY DEMAND OF DEFENDANT CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES BY DEFENDANT CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

7/6/2018: NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES BY DEFENDANT CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

ANSWER OF DEFENDANT CEDARSSINAI MEDICAL CENTER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

7/6/2018: ANSWER OF DEFENDANT CEDARSSINAI MEDICAL CENTER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

11/15/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Proof of Personal Service

11/21/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Ex Parte Application

12/17/2018: Ex Parte Application

Order

12/17/2018: Order

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

12/26/2018: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Answer

12/26/2018: Answer

Demand for Jury Trial

12/26/2018: Demand for Jury Trial

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

3/8/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

Demand for Jury Trial

4/12/2019: Demand for Jury Trial

Answer

4/12/2019: Answer

Request for Dismissal

5/1/2019: Request for Dismissal

Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service

5/15/2019: Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service

9 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/15/2019
  • Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service; Filed by Cedars Sianai Medical Center (Defendant)

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  • 05/01/2019
  • Request for Dismissal; Filed by Michael Chayes (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/12/2019
  • Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by The RMR Group LLC (Defendant)

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  • 04/12/2019
  • Answer; Filed by The RMR Group LLC (Defendant)

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  • 03/08/2019
  • Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by Michael Chayes (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/18/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 01/08/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 01/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 4; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (for an Order to Continue Trial) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 12/26/2018
  • Demand for Jury Trial; Filed by The RMR Group, INC. (Defendant)

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  • 12/26/2018
  • Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by The RMR Group, INC. (Defendant)

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15 More Docket Entries
  • 07/06/2018
  • Notice; Filed by Cedars Sianai Medical Center (Defendant)

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  • 07/02/2018
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by Cedars Sianai Medical Center (Defendant)

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  • 07/02/2018
  • NOTICE OF RULING RE STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE

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  • 06/22/2018
  • PROPOSED ORDER AND STIPULATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL FSC AND RELATED MOTION DISCOVERY DATES PERSONAL INJURY COURTS ONLY CENTRAL DISTICT

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  • 06/22/2018
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Cedars Sianai Medical Center (Defendant)

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  • 06/13/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 06/13/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Michael Chayes (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/25/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Michael Chayes (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/25/2017
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 01/25/2017
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC648102    Hearing Date: August 03, 2020    Dept: 28

Motion to Quash Service of Summons for Lack of Jurisdiction Due to Defective Service and to Dismiss for Failure to Serve Summons and Complaint Within Three Years of the Commencement of the Action

Having considered the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the Court rules as follows.

BACKGROUND

On January 25, 2017, Plaintiff Michael Chayes (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  Plaintiff alleges premises liability and general negligence in the complaint for a trip and fall that occurred on January 26, 2015.

On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff filed an amendment to complaint renaming Doe 2 as Defendant RMR Group Inc.

On March 8, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to complaint renaming Doe 3 as Defendant The RMR Group LLC.

On May 2, 2019, the Court dismissed Defendant Cedars-Sinai Medical Center without prejudice.

On December 24, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to complaint renaming Doe 4 as Defendant S & H Medical Office Properties Trust.

On December 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amendment to complaint renaming Doe 5 as Defendant SNH Medical Office Properties Trust.

On February 3, 2020, Defendant SNH Medical Office Properties Trust (“Defendant SNH”) filed a motion to quash service of summons and dismiss the action pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 418.10 and 583.210.

On March 20, 2020, the Court continued the hearing on Defendant SNH’s motion to May 13, 2020.

On April 17, 2020, the Court continued the hearing on Defendant SNH’s motion to August 10, 2020.

On May 28, 2020, the Defendant SNH filed another motion to dismiss the action pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 583.210.

On June 1, 2020, the Court advanced the hearing on Defendant SNH’s motion to August 3, 2020.

A trial setting conference is scheduled for August 3, 2020.

PARTYS REQUEST

Defendant SNH asks the Court to quash the service of summons for defective service and dismissing the action for failure to serve the summons and complaint within three years of commencement of this action.

LEGAL STANDARD

Quash Service of Summons

“A defendant . . . may serve and file a notice of motion for one or more of the following purposes:  (1) To quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over him or her . . . .”  (Code Civ. Proc., § 418.10, subd. (a).) ompliance with the statutory procedures for service of process is essential to establish personal jurisdiction. [Citation.]” (Dill v. Berquist Construction Co. (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 1426, 1444.) “[T]he filing of a proof of service creates a rebuttable presumption that the service was proper” but only if it “complies with the statutory requirements regarding such proofs.”  (Id. at pp. 1441-1442.)  When a defendant moves to quash service of the summons and complaint, the plaintiff has “the burden of proving the facts that did give the court jurisdiction, that is the facts requisite to an effective service.”  (Coulston v. Cooper (1966) 245 Cal.App.2d 866, 868.) “A court lacks jurisdiction over a party if there has not been proper service of process.”  (Ruttenberg v. Ruttenberg (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 801, 808.)

California Code of Civil Procedure section 474 permits the designation of a defendant by a fictitious name when the plaintiff is ignorant of the defendant’s name.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 474.)  Section 474 further provides that when the defendant’s true name is discovered, the pleading must be amended accordingly and that the copy of the summons or other process must provide a notice stating in substance: “‘To the person served: You are hereby served in the within action (or proceedings) as (or on behalf of) the person sued under the fictitious name of (designating it).’”  (Ibid.)  “The certificate or affidavit of service must state the fictitious name under which such defendant was served and the fact that notice of identity was given by endorsement upon the document served as required by this section.”  (Ibid.)  “Absent compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 474, service of a summons on a purported Doe defendant is ineffective.”  (Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. Sparks Construction, Inc. (2004) 114 Cal.App.4th 1135, 1145; see also McClatchy v. Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP (2016) 247 Cal.App.368, 375 [“‘[i]f the terms of . . .  section 474 have not been complied with, the purported defendant has not been named as such in the complaint.  A service upon one not named in a complaint does not confer jurisdiction to proceed upon the complaint against him, and a motion to quash is proper’”] [quoting Maier Brewing Co. v. Flora Crane Service, Inc. (1969) 270 Cal.App.2d 873, 875].)

Dismissal for Delay in Prosecution

California Code of Civil Procedure section 583.210 requires the summons and complaint be served upon a defendant within three years after the complaint is filed.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 583.210, subd. (a).)  If service of the summons and complaint has not been served upon a defendant within the three-year statutory time period, the court shall dismiss the action.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 583.250.) served as a Doe defendant named in the original complaint, later amended to show his or her true name.”  (Inversiones Papaluchi S.A.S. v. Superior Court (2018) 20 Cal.App.5th 1055, 1061.)  Thus, “a plaintiff has three years from the date of filing the complaint to identify and serve a Doe defendant.”  (Ibid.)

California Code of Civil Procedure section 583.240, subdivision (d) excludes the time in which a plaintiff has to identify and serve a Doe defendant after filing the complaint if service was impossible, impractical, or futile because of causes beyond the plaintiff’s control.  Importantly, that subdivision expressly states the “[f]ailure to discover relevant facts or evidence is not a cause beyond the plaintiff’s control . . . .”  (Ibid.)

DISCUSSION

Quash Service of Summons

Defendant SNH moves to quash service of the summons and complaint for failure to comply with California Code of Civil Procedure section 474.

Here, Defendant SNH was substituted in for Doe 5 on December 26, 2019. Defendant SNH has attached a copy of the summons served on and received by its agent for service of process. Siedel, Jr. Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. A.)  The notice portion of the summons is incomplete and fails to indicate that Defendant SNH is being served under the fictitious name Doe 5.  (Ibid.Plaintiff has thus failed to comply with California Code of Civil Procedure section 474 and the motion to quash is properly granted.

Plaintiff argues the summons should not be quashed because Defendant SNH had actual notice of this action.  The Court disagrees.  The most probative evidence of Defendant SNH having actual notice of the action is found in Exhibit C to Defendant SNH’s motion, which shows Defendant SNH was served with “DOE 5 re SNH Medical Office Properties Trust.”  Yet, this does not explain what was served on Defendant SNH.  Even if this document refers to the complaint amendment renaming Doe 5 as Defendant SNH, this does not show the service of summons was proper.  Importantly, actual notice of an action is not a substitute of the statutory mandates in serving a party with a summons.  (See Kappel v. Bartlett (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 1457, 1466-1467.) As such, the summons is properly quashed.

Dismissal for Failure to Serve Within Three Years

Defendant SNH moves to dismiss this action for failure to serve the summons and complaint within three yearsIn the motion filed on February 3, 2020, Defendant SNH address the purported December 26, 2019 service. May 28, 2020, Defendant SNH addresses the purported April 22, 2020 service.

Here, Plaintiff filed the original complaint on January 25, 2017.  Defendant SNH was served as a Doe defendant.  Plaintiff thus had until January 25, 2020 to serve the summons and complaint on Defendant SNH.  While Plaintiff attempted such service on December 26, 2019, as discussed above, the service was ineffective for failure to comply with California Code of Civil Procedure section 474.  The April 22, 2020 attempted service was not within the three-year deadline.  As the three-year deadline has passed, the action against Defendant SNH must be dismissed pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 583.250. the action is properly dismissed against Defendant SNH.

Plaintiff argues in opposition that the time between the complaint was filed and when Defendant SNH was named as a Doe defendant should not be calculated toward the three-year deadline because Defendant SNH’s identity was not known until December 26, 2019.  The Court is unpersuaded.  Plaintiff’s failure to identify Defendant SNH is a failure to discover a relevant fact, which is not a cause beyond Plaintiff’s control pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 583.240, subdivision (d).  As such, Plaintiff’s lack of knowledge of Defendant SNH’s identity before naming it as a Doe defendant does not toll the three-year deadline to serve Defendant SNH with the summons.

CONCLUSION

The motion is GRANTED.

The service of summons on Defendant SNH on December 26, 2019 is QUASHED.

The action against Defendant SNH is DISMISSED.

Defendant SNH is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

The parties are directed to the header of this tentative ruling for further instructions.

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