This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/27/2019 at 00:09:25 (UTC).

MITRA RASHTI VS COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/18/2017 MITRA RASHTI filed an Other - Writ Of Mandamus lawsuit against COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES C. CHALFANT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9304

  • Filing Date:

    04/18/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Writ Of Mandamus

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

JAMES C. CHALFANT

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

RASHTI MITRA

Defendants and Respondents

ITS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

LOS ANGELES COUNTY OF

THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY CIVIL SERVICE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

LAW OFFICES OF HELENA S. WISE

Defendant and Respondent Attorney

HAUSMAN JEFFREY M. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Brief

11/30/2018: Brief

Minute Order

1/15/2019: Minute Order

Stipulation and Order

1/15/2019: Stipulation and Order

STIPULATION AND ORDER RE CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE

2/1/2018: STIPULATION AND ORDER RE CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE

AMENDED STIPULATION AND IN ORDER RE CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE

2/8/2018: AMENDED STIPULATION AND IN ORDER RE CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Minute Order

7/5/2018: Minute Order

STIPULATION RE RESCHEDULING WRIT TRIAL AND ORDER RE BRIEFING SCHEDULE

7/5/2018: STIPULATION RE RESCHEDULING WRIT TRIAL AND ORDER RE BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Minute Order

1/9/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF RULING

1/11/2018: NOTICE OF RULING

Minute Order

10/12/2017: Minute Order

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE SUMMONS

4/18/2017: PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE SUMMONS

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE (VERIFIED)

4/18/2017: PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE (VERIFIED)

NOTICE OF TRIAL SELLING CONFERENCE & ATTACHED ORDERS THEREON

4/20/2017: NOTICE OF TRIAL SELLING CONFERENCE & ATTACHED ORDERS THEREON

NOTICE OF TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE

5/1/2017: NOTICE OF TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE

RETURN AND ANSWER TO PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE; ETC

5/24/2017: RETURN AND ANSWER TO PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE; ETC

NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

6/30/2017: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

6/30/2017: NOTICE RE: CONTINUANCE OF HEARING

Minute Order

8/15/2017: Minute Order

9 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/19/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 85, James C. Chalfant, Presiding; Hearing on Petition for Writ of Mandate - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 01/15/2019
  • at 4:30 PM in Department 85, James C. Chalfant, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 01/15/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (rescheduling writ trial and partial continuance of briefing schedule)

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  • 01/15/2019
  • Minute Order ((Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/30/2018
  • Brief (Opening); Filed by Mitra Rashti (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/30/2018
  • Request for Judicial Notice; Filed by Mitra Rashti (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/25/2018
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 85; Hearing on Petition for Writ of Mandate (Hearing--Writ of Mandate; Continued by Stipulation) -

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  • 09/25/2018
  • Minute order entered: 2018-09-25 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/05/2018
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 85; Court Order - Held

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  • 07/05/2018
  • Stipulation and Order; Filed by Los Angeles, County of (Defendant)

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34 More Docket Entries
  • 05/24/2017
  • RETURN AND ANSWER TO PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE; ETC

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  • 05/24/2017
  • Answer; Filed by Los Angeles, County of (Defendant)

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  • 05/01/2017
  • NOTICE OF TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE

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  • 05/01/2017
  • Notice; Filed by Mitra Rashti (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/20/2017
  • Notice of Trial Setting Conference and Attached Orders Thereon; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/20/2017
  • NOTICE OF TRIAL SELLING CONFERENCE & ATTACHED ORDERS THEREON

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  • 04/20/2017
  • Notice of Trial Setting Conference and Attached Orders Thereon; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/18/2017
  • PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE (VERIFIED)

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  • 04/18/2017
  • PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE SUMMONS

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  • 04/18/2017
  • Petition; Filed by null

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BS169304    Hearing Date: March 12, 2020    Dept: 85

Mitra Rashti v. County of Los Angeles, et al., BS169304

Tentative decision on motion for settled statement: granted

Petitioner Mitra Rashti (“Rashti”) moves to use a settled statement including the Argument and Changing of Rulings from the September 10, 2019 hearing on her petition for writ of mandate.

The court has read and considered the moving papers and opposition[1], and reply, and renders the following tentative decision.

A. Statement of the Case

1. Petition

Petitioner Rashti commenced this proceeding on April 18, 2017, alleging a cause of action for mandamus. The verified Petition alleges in pertinent part as follows.

Rashti was first employed by the County in 1988, and at all relevant times has been assigned as an Architectural Assistant in DPW’s Design Division. In 1993, while attending a DPW meeting, Rashti suffered serious injuries when a box of books fell and struck her on the neck, shoulders, and back. From then on, Rashti complained of injuries to these areas and perceived herself as suffering from disabilities within the meaning of the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) as well as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). The County and DPW treated Rashti as disabled and provided various ergonomic accommodations that did not resolve Rashti’s physical impairments, but rather aggravated them.

In 2002, the County placed Rashti on long-term disability but refused to apply for her disability retirement as required by Govt. Code section 31721(a), instead opting to cause those benefits to be stopped after two years. The County then at various times returned Rashti to work, only to order her off work.

Rashti sought legal redress but was unable to procure orders compelling continuation of her long-term disability benefits. Rashti filed grievances in 2007, 2009, and 2010, which were placed in abeyance because Rashti was not allowed to work. On April 9, 2014, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (“LACERA”) Retirement Board (“Board”) rejected Rashti’s application for permanent disability, and then DPW refused to reinstate her. Rashti filed another grievance and DPW agreed to combine all her previous grievances and granted her a hearing.

At the grievance hearing on July 9, 2015, DPW’s Head of Personnel assured Rashti that the matter would be amicably resolved, only to later state that the grievance process would not be completed.

Rashti filed a Petition with the Commission seeking compliance with Civil Service Rule (“CSR”) 9.08 and applicable state laws prohibiting an employer from denying employment on the ground of disability and then denying disability retirement on the ground that the employee is not is permanently disabled. Rashti also sought to compel the County to make her whole for all losses sustained preceding the determination that she was not eligible to receive a permanent disability retirement.

The County and DPW opposed, asserting inter alia that Rashti’s petition was untimely. The Commission agreed, declining to calendar her case for hearing even though she is still suffering the consequences of disability discrimination.

Petitioner Rashti contends that the County has bypassed the legislative intent of a statute ensuring that a disabled public employee is not deprived of their right to continuing public employment, without benefit of due process, a fair trial, and fundamental fairness.

2. Course of Proceedings

On September 10, 2019, the court denied Rashti’s petition for writ of mandate. Rashti filed a Notice of Appeal from judgment on writ on December 6, 2019. Rashti’s appeal was placed in default on December 31, 2019 for failure to timely serve and file notice designating the record on appeal.

B. Applicable Law

A settled statement is a summary of the superior court proceedings approved by the superior court. An appellant may elect or make a motion to use a settled statement as the record of the oral proceedings in the superior court instead of a reporter's transcript. CRC 8.137(a).

An appellant may elect in his or her notice designating the record on appeal under CRC 8.121 to use a settled statement as the record of the oral proceedings in the superior court if (A) the designated oral proceedings in the superior court were not reported by a court reporter, or (B) the appellant has an order waiving his or her court fees and costs. CRC 8.137(b)(1).

An appellant intending to proceed via a settlement statement for other reasons must serve and file in superior court a motion to use a settled statement with its notice designating the record on appeal under CRC 8.121.

The motion must be supported by a showing that (i) a substantial cost saving will result, and the statement can be settled without significantly burdening opposing parties or the court; (ii) the designated oral proceedings cannot be transcribed; or (iii) although the appellant does not have a fee waiver, he or she is unable to pay for a reporter's transcript and funds are not available from the Transcript Reimbursement Fund (see CRC 8.130(c)). CRC 8.137(b)(2).

The motion must (A) specify the date of each oral proceeding to be included in the settled statement, (B) identify whether each proceeding designated under (A) was reported by a court reporter and, if so, for each such proceeding (i) provide the name of the court reporter, if known, and (ii) identify whether a certified transcript has previously been prepared by checking the appropriate box on Appellant's Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil Case) (form APP-003) or, if that form is not used, placing an asterisk before that proceeding in the notice. CRC 8.137(b)(3).

C. Analysis

Petitioner Rashti fails to include a memorandum of points and authorities with her motion and relies solely on the Judicial Council form to make her argument. A party filing a motion, with inapplicable exceptions, must serve and file a memorandum of points and authorities. CRC 3.1113(a). Rashti should have attached the judgment and the court’s tentative decision, adopted as orally modified, to her memorandum.

Despite Rashti’s failure, it is undisputed that a settled statement is required because the reporter’s notes have been lost due to the reporter’s computer malfunction. Petitioner Rashti seeks to use the settled statement attached as Exhibit A to her reply.[2] Rashti states that, during the hearing, the court agreed to modify its tentative ruling to reflect that Rashti could seek relief in a DFEH lawsuit and that the court’s mandamus ruling was not intended to foreclose such relief in Rashti’s pending action in Case No. BC718438. Reply at 1. Reply Ex. A, ¶9.

The County opposes, arguing that Rashti is improperly requesting that the court issue an advisory opinion regarding the applicability of its judgment. Opp. at 2. The County states that the settled statement should provide that at oral argument the court modified its tentative and stated (1) the absence of Commission jurisdiction was not a basis to deny Rashti’s petition; (2) in light of Phillips v. County of Fresno, (“Phillips”)(1990) 225 Cal.App.3d 1240, the court had mandamus jurisdiction over issues of back pay, and (3) Rashti failed to establish the right to mandamus relief. Opp. at 3.

Rashti replies that the County’s opposition does not dispute the necessity for a settled statement, and yet it declined to meet and confer on the matter. Reply at 1. Rashti asserts that, in light of ongoing settlement discussions, and because the signed judgment relies upon a transcript of proceedings that is unavailable, a settled statement must issue. Reply at 1.

The court agrees. The parties are ordered to meet and confer to agree on a settled statement. In this regard, the court has reviewed its written tentative and has the following comments.

First, the judgment does refer to a reporter’s transcript that does not exist, and the settlement statement should address that point.

Second, the court’s tentative denied Rashti a hearing before the Commission, or in the alternative, mandamus compensating her for back pay. Dec., p. 14. The tentative explained that back pay cannot be awarded by a mandamus court unaccompanied by a reinstatement decision, Rashti could not compel the Commission to hold a mandatory hearing on discharge after she had been reinstated, and the Commission properly denied her a hearing because her request was untimely and not subject to equitable tolling. Dec., pp. 14, 19.

At oral argument, the court apparently withdrew its statement about the unavailability of mandamus for back pay after Rashti’s counsel cited Phillips, supra, 225 Cal.App.3d at 1240. (The court has no current recollection of the issue.) A review of Phillips shows that it held only that mandamus is available where back pay and reinstatement are at issue (225 Cal.App.3d at 1248), and that an appellant who has been denied disability retirement under Govt. Code section 31725 must be reinstated, even if not to active duty. Id. at 1257-58. Thus, it appears that the court’s tentative was correct. In any event, the parties agree that the court withdrew the tentative’s discussion that back pay was not available in mandamus without a reinstatement decision, and therefore left the back pay issue to Rashti’s pending damages lawsuit.

D. Conclusion

The motion is granted. Counsel are ordered to meet and confer and the court will set a date for determination of the settled statement.


[1] Respondent failed to lodge a courtesy copy of its opposition brief in violation of the Presiding Judge’s General Order Re: Mandatory Electronic Filing. Its counsel is admonished to provide courtesy copies in all future filings.

[2] The proposed statement is attached to Rashti’s reply brief as Exhibit A.