This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/19/2022 at 19:30:49 (UTC).

NICHOLE MARTINEZ VS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 01/14/2020 NICHOLE MARTINEZ filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES,. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GAIL KILLEFER and RICHARD J. BURDGE JR.. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1683

  • Filing Date:

    01/14/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

GAIL KILLEFER

RICHARD J. BURDGE JR.

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

MARTINEZ NICHOLE

Defendants

NAGARE MELISSA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES

THE CHIROPRACTIC BUSINESS ACADEMY INC.

RUSSELL ROBB

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

SHEGERIAN CARNEY R.

MAYO-ABRAMS LAUREN

Defendant Attorneys

DARROW TANJA LAVONNE

ROTMAN RAQUEL S.

BOWLES TIMOTHY

 

Court Documents

Notice - NOTICE TO PRODUCE WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS AT TRIAL (SECOND AMENDED)

6/3/2022: Notice - NOTICE TO PRODUCE WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS AT TRIAL (SECOND AMENDED)

Notice - NOTICE OF RULING UNOPPOSED EX PARTE APPLICATION

6/3/2022: Notice - NOTICE OF RULING UNOPPOSED EX PARTE APPLICATION

Declaration - DECLARATION OF RAQUEL Z. ROTMAN IN SUPPORT OF SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3

5/26/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF RAQUEL Z. ROTMAN IN SUPPORT OF SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 1-3

5/26/2022: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS. 1-3

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

5/26/2022: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF RAQUEL Z. ROTMAN IN SUPPORT OF SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2

5/26/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF RAQUEL Z. ROTMAN IN SUPPORT OF SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2

Declaration - DECLARATION OF WHITNEY WILLIAMS IN SUPPORT OF SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1

5/26/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF WHITNEY WILLIAMS IN SUPPORT OF SHORT JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUES IN SUPPORT OF AND OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 1

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

5/31/2022: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application - DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION OF RAQUEL Z. ROTMAN IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

6/1/2022: Declaration in Support of Ex Parte Application - DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION OF RAQUEL Z. ROTMAN IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION UNOPPOSED EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

6/1/2022: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION UNOPPOSED EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

6/1/2022: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL)

6/2/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL)

Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFF NICHOLE MARTINEZS OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANTS C.C.P. 1987(B) AND (C) NOTICE TO PRODUCE WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS AT TRIAL

5/20/2022: Objection - OBJECTION PLAINTIFF NICHOLE MARTINEZS OBJECTIONS TO DEFENDANTS C.C.P. 1987(B) AND (C) NOTICE TO PRODUCE WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS AT TRIAL

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

5/17/2022: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Association of Attorney

7/13/2021: Association of Attorney

Notice - NOTICE 1987 (MARTINEZ)

7/21/2021: Notice - NOTICE 1987 (MARTINEZ)

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE

7/23/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO EX PARTE

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION TO REOPEN DISCOVERY TO TAKE A NON-PARTY WITNESS DEPOSITION

7/23/2021: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION TO REOPEN DISCOVERY TO TAKE A NON-PARTY WITNESS DEPOSITION

85 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/05/2022
  • Hearing10/05/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 37 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion - Other Motion to Allow Extensive Oral Voir Dire and Written Juror Questionnaire

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  • 09/13/2022
  • Hearing09/13/2022 at 10:00 AM in Department 37 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 09/06/2022
  • Hearing09/06/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 37 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 06/14/2022
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 37; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 06/07/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 37; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 06/03/2022
  • DocketNotice (OF RULING UNOPPOSED EX PARTE APPLICATION); Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/03/2022
  • DocketNotice (TO PRODUCE WITNESSES AND DOCUMENTS AT TRIAL (Second Amended)); Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/02/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 37, Gail Killefer, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Continue Trial) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/02/2022
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application to Continue Trial)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/01/2022
  • DocketDeclaration (of Raquel Z. Rotman in Support of Ex Pare); Filed by Southern California University of Health Sciences (Defendant); Robb Russell (Defendant); Melissa Nagare (Defendant)

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103 More Docket Entries
  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketStipulation and Order (to Extend filing and service date); Filed by The Chiropractic Business Academy, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 03/20/2020
  • DocketNotice (of Case Management Conference); Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/27/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/21/2020
  • DocketAnswer (to Complaint); Filed by Southern California University of Health Sciences (Defendant); Robb Russell (Defendant); Melissa Nagare (Defendant)

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  • 01/21/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Failure to File Proof of Service; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Nichole Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: *******1683 Hearing Date: December 9, 2021 Dept: 37

HEARING DATE: December 9, 2021

CASE NUMBER: *******1683

CASE NAME: Nichole Martinez v. Southern California University of Health Sciences, a California corporation, et al.

MOVING PARTIES: Defendants, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Robb Russell and Melissa Nagare

OPPOSING PARTY: Plaintiff Nichole Martinez

TRIAL DATE: June 14, 2022

PROOF OF SERVICE: Insufficient

MOTION: Defendants’ Motion to Compel Deposition of Maria Neill

OPPOSITION: November 29, 2021

REPLY: December 2, 2021

TENTATIVE: Moving Defendants’ motion is denied. Moving Defendants to give notice.

Background

This action arises in connection with Plaintiff, Nichole Martinez’s (“Plaintiff”) prior employment at Defendant, Southern California University of Health Sciences (“SCUHS”) as its Director of Health Systems Business Development. Plaintiff alleges that she began working for SCUHS in this role on September 24, 2015 pursuant to a year-to-year employment contract and that in 2017, SCUHS hired Defendant the Chiropractic Business Academy (“CBA”) to provide consulting services. According to Plaintiff, her job at SCUHS was put in jeopardy by her refusal to participate in “Scientology-based marketing.” Plaintiff allegedly complained to Defendants Robb Russell (“Russell”) and Melissa Nagare (“Nagare”) weekly regarding CBA’s practices but in response, Defendants started treating Plaintiff rudely and discipling her without cause, resulting in her eventual termination.

Plaintiff’s Complaint, filed January 14, 2020, alleges the following causes of action: (1) religion/religious creed discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Employment Act (“FEHA”) against CBA, SCUHS, (2) harassment based on religion/religious creed, (3) retaliation in violation of the FEHA against CBA, SCUHS, (4) wrongful termination in violation of public policy against CBA, SCUHS, (5) failure to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace against CBA, SCUHS, (6) retaliation in violation of California Labor Code ;1102.5 against CBA and SCUHS, (7) employer’s breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against SCUHS, (8) unfair business practices (violation of Business and Professions Code ; 17200), (9) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (10) negligent hiring and retention against CUHS, (11) defamation.

On February 21, 2020, SCUHS, Russell and Nagare (“Moving Defendants”) filed their answer to the Complaint.

On March 2, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Request for Dismissal as to CBA.

On May 14, 2021, Moving Defendants’ Ex Parte to Continue Trial was granted. Trial was continued from July 6, 2021 to August 24, 2021. Additionally, all cut-off dates would be based on the new trial date.

On August 6, 2021, Moving Defendants’ Motion to Extend Discovery Cut-Off Date was granted. The court’s ruling provided as follows: “Moving Defendants’ motion is granted. Discovery is reopened until August 16, 2021 for the purpose of taking Ms. Neill’s deposition only.”

On August 10, 2021, the court continued trial to June 14, 2022, pursuant to the parties’ Joint Stipulation to Continue Trial.

Moving Defendants now move to compel Ms. Neill’s deposition. Plaintiff opposes the motion.

Meet and Confer Efforts

A motion to compel deposition must be accompanied by a good faith 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.” ; (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2025.450, ;subd. ;(b)(2).) ; ;A ;declaration ;under section 2016.040 ;must state facts showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented in the motion. ; ;(Code Civ. Proc., ;; 2016.040.) ;

Moving Defendants submit the declaration of their counsel, Raquel Z. Rotman (“Rotman”) to demonstrate compliance with statutory meet and confer requirements. Rotman attests that Moving Defendants attempted to serve Ms. Neill for several weeks and were successful on August 9, 2021. (Declaration of Raquel Rotman (“Rotman Decl.”), ¶ 9, Exh. A.) Ms. Neill allegedly failed to appear for deposition as noticed on August 16, 2021 despite Moving Defendants’ many attempts to provide her the remote deposition information prior to that date. (Rotman Decl. ¶¶ 1-14, Exh. E.) Rotman attests that she attempted to contact Ms. Neill “through several avenues” without success prior to filing this motion. (Rotman Decl. ¶ 17.) According to Rotman, emails to Ms. Neill’s last known email address have been returned undeliverable and text messages are also undelivered. (Id.)

The Rotman Declaration is sufficient for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.450.

Discussion

  1. Legal Authority

“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.” (Code Civ. Proc. ; 2025.450, subd. (a).) The motion must set forth specific facts justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice. ; (Id. ;; 2025.450, ;subd. (b)(1).) ;

  1. Analysis

Moving Defendants contend that Ms. Neill must be ordered to attend her deposition because Ms. Neill did not appear for deposition on August 16, 2021 or respond to the attempts to contact her regarding information about how to login to her zoom deposition. (Motion, 4-5.) Moving Defendants also request that, due to Ms. Neill’s attempts to evade service, Moving Defendants be permitted to serve Ms. Neill with notice of motion “by mail and posting a copy of the moving papers on her door.” (Id.)

In opposition, Plaintiff asserts that Moving Defendants’ motion must be denied because discovery is now closed, as the court’s August 6, 2021 order stated that discovery shall not extend beyond August 16, 2021. (Opposition, 1.) Plaintiff additionally asserts that Moving Defendants’ motion should be denied because it does not set forth what testimony is anticipated from Ms. Neill or how such testimony is relevant. (Opposition, 1-2.) Plaintiff also requests a protective order precluding Moving Defendants from seeking discovery after the discovery cut-off pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.420(b). (Opposition, 2-3.)

In reply, Moving Defendants assert that Plaintiff’s opposition should be disregarded as untimely because it should have been filed on November 24, 2021. (Reply, 2.) Moving Defendants assert that they are still entitled to take Ms. Neill’s deposition because the court reopened discovery for the purposes of taking Ms. Neill deposition and did not rule that Moving Defendants may not file a motion to compel if the deposition could not be completed. (Id.) Moving Defendants also argue that Ms. Neill is a key witness because Plaintiff testified that she spoke to Ms. Neill about her complaints ten to twelve times. (Id.)

The court finds that discovery is closed and discovery motions are closed. In addition, the deponent has not been served with this motion, so the court cannot decide it. The proof of service attached to Moving Defendants’ motion does not demonstrate that Ms. Neill was actually served in this or any other manner. There is also no showing that Ms. Neill agreed to electronic service. Ms. Neill did not oppose the motion, but it is likely she did not know about it.

For these reasons, Moving Defendants’ motion is denied.

Monetary Sanctions

Moving Defendants request sanctions in the amount of $7,500 against Ms. Neill. Having denied Moving Defendants’ motion, Moving Defendants’ request for sanctions is denied.

Conclusion

Moving Defendants’ motion is denied. Moving Defendants’ request for sanction is denied. Moving Defendants to give notice.

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b'

Case Number: *******1683 Hearing Date: August 6, 2021 Dept: 37

HEARING DATE: August 6, 2021

CASE NUMBER: *******1683

CASE NAME: Nichole Martinez v. Southern California University of Health Sciences, a California corporation, et al.

MOVING PARTIES: Defendants, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Robb Russell and Melissa Nagare

OPPOSING PARTY: Plaintiff Nichole Martinez

TRIAL DATE: August 24, 2021

PROOF OF SERVICE: OK

MOTION: Defendants’ Motion to Extend Discovery Cut-Off Date

OPPOSITION: August 3, 2021

REPLY: August 4, 2021

TENTATIVE: Moving Defendants’ motion is granted. Discovery is reopened until August 16 for the purpose of taking Ms. Neill’s deposition only. Moving Defendants are to give notice.

Background

This action arises in connection with Plaintiff, Nichole Martinez’s (“Plaintiff”) prior employment at Defendant, Southern California University of Health Sciences (“SCUHS”) as its Director of Health Systems Business Development. Plaintiff alleges that she began working for SCUHS in this role on September 24, 2015 pursuant to a year-to-year employment contract and that in 2017, SCUHS hired Defendant the Chiropractic Business Academy (“CBA”) to provide consulting services. According to Plaintiff, her job at SCUHS was put in jeopardy by her refusal to participate in “Scientology-based marketing.” Plaintiff allegedly complained to Defendants Robb Russell (“Russell”) and Melissa Nagare (“Nagare”) weekly regarding CBA’s practices but that in response, Defendants started treating Plaintiff rudely and discipling her without cause, resulting in her eventual termination.

Plaintiff’s Complaint, filed January 14, 2020, alleges the following causes of action: (1) religion/religious creed discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Employment Act (“FEHA”) against CBA, SCUHS, (2) harassment based on religion/religious creed, (3) retaliation in violation of the FEHA against CBA, SCUHS, (4) wrongful termination in violation of public policy against CBA, SCUHS, (5) failure to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace against CBA, SCUHS, (6) retaliation in violation of California Labor Code ;1102.5 against CBA and SCUHS, (7) employer’s breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against SCUHS, (8) unfair business practices (violation of Business and Professions Code ; 17200), (9) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (10) negligent hiring and retention against CUHS, (11) defamation.

On February 21, 2020, SCUHS, Russell and Nagare (“Moving Defendants”) filed their answer to the Complaint.

On March 2, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Request for Dismissal as to CBA.

On May 14, 2021, Moving Defendants’ Ex Parte to Continue Trial was granted. Trial was continued from July 6, 2021 to August 24, 2021. Additionally, all cut-off dates would be based on the new trial date.

On July 23, 2021, Moving Defendants filed an Ex Parte to Reopen Discovery for the limited purpose of taking non-party Marie Neill’s deposition. The Ex Parte was denied without prejudice on July 26, 2021. The court’s ruling provided in pertinent part as follows: “No motion to re-open discovery has been filed. The Court finds no good cause shown for delay in seeking deposition.”

Moving Defendants now move to reopen discovery for the purpose of taking non-party Marie Neill’s (“Ms. Neill”) deposition. The motion is unopposed.

Meet and Confer Efforts

A motion for leave to reopen discovery “shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2024.050, subd. (a).) The declaration must state facts showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented in the motion. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2016.040.) “[A] reasonable and good faith attempt at informal resolution entails something more than bickering with [opposing] counsel…. Rather, the law requires that counsel attempt to talk the matter over, compare their views, consult, and deliberate.” (Clement v. Alegre (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 1277, 1294.) “A determination of whether an attempt at informal resolution is adequate involves the exercise of discretion.” (Stewart v. Colonial W. Agency (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1006, 1016, internal ellipses omitted.) Where a party fails to make any real effort at informal resolution, a particularly egregious failure may justify an immediate and outright denial of further discovery. (Obregon v. Sup. Ct. (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 424, 433-34, citing Townsend v. Sup. Ct. (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 1431, 1437.)

Moving Defendants submit the declaration of their counsel, Raquel Zilberman Rotman to demonstrate compliance with statutory meet and confer requirements. Rotman attests that prior to filing Moving Defendants’ ex parte to reopen discovery, she conferred with Plaintiff’s counsel regarding the request to reopen discovery and did not reach an agreement. (Rotman Decl. ¶ 3.) The Rotman Declaration is sufficient for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure section 2024.050.

Discussion

  1. Legal Standard

    Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 2024.020, parties are entitled as a matter of right to complete discovery proceedings on or before the 30th day before the initial date of trial and to have motions concerning discovery heard on or before the 15th day. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2024.020, subd. (a).) A continuance or postponement of the trial date does not reopen discovery proceedings absent a motion under section 2024.050. (Id. at ; 2024.020, subd. (b).)

    Section 2024.050 provides the means by which a party may move to have discovery reopened after a new trial date has been set. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2024.050, subd. (a).)

    (b) In exercising its discretion to grant or deny this motion, the court shall take into consideration any matter relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to, the following:

    (1) The necessity and the reasons for the discovery.

    (2) The diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking the discovery or the hearing of a discovery motion, and the reasons that the discovery was not completed or that the discovery motion was not heard earlier.

    (3) Any likelihood that permitting the discovery or hearing the discovery motion will prevent the case from going to trial on the date set, or otherwise interfere with the trial calendar, or result in prejudice to any other party.

    (4) The length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set, and the date presently set, for the trial of the action.

    (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2024.050, subd. (b).)

  2. Analysis

Moving Defendants contend that permitting them to take Ms. Neill’s deposition after the discovery cut-off is necessary because Ms. Neill is a critical witness and she has evaded service. (Motion, 4-5.)

Moving Defendants submit the declaration of their counsel, Karimah J. Lamar (“Lamar”) to demonstrate compliance with statutory meet and confer requirements. Lamar attests that the parties began exchanging discovery after the Case Management Conference on July 9, 2020 and ultimately agreed to stay discovery on August 14, 2020 pending mediation. (Lamar Decl. ¶¶ 2-3.) The parties resumed discovery after the February 8, 2021 mediation. (Lamar Decl. ¶¶ 4-5.) After discovery resumed, Plaintiff requested and was granted 2 extensions of time to respond to discovery, thus serving her discovery responses on April 26, 2021. (Lamar Decl. ¶ 6.) Plaintiff’s deposition was taken on June 29-30, 2021. (Lamar Decl. ¶ 9.)

Moving Defendants also submit the Rotman Declaration in support of their motion. Rotman attests that on June 7, 2021, Moving Defendants began attempting to serve Ms. Neill. (Rotman Decl. ¶¶ 5-6.) Moving Defendants obtained a new address to attempt service on July 8, 2021, which was attempted but unsuccessful. (Rotman Decl. ¶ 7.) Moving Defendants’ investigator then spoke with Ms. Neill on July 13, 2021 who confirmed her address. (Rotman Decl. ¶ 9.) Despite this, service was unsuccessful as Ms. Neill did not answer the door and stopped answering the phone. (Rotman Decl. ¶ 10.) According to Rotman, Ms. Neill was not identified as witness until April 26, 2021, and Moving Defendants did not become aware that she was a critical witness until Plaintiff testified as such on June 29, 2021. (Rotman Decl. ¶ 14, Exh. E (Plaintiff Deposition), 171:5-16, 187:14-17.)

In opposition, Plaintiff contends that Moving Defendants’ motion is moot because the court has already determined that Moving Defendants have not shown good cause to reopen discovery in connection with their Ex Parte seeking the same relief filed June 26, 2021. (Opposition, 4-6.) additionally, Plaintiff contends that Defendants were dilatory in seeking Ms. Neill’s deposition because Moving Defendants could and should have served and deposed Ms. Neill sometime during the year they had knowledge of her potential knowledge as a witness. (Opposition, 6.) According to Plaintiff’s counsel Aaron Gbewonyo, Plaintiff served responses to Moving Defendants’ Special Interrogatories on July 23, 2020 in which she identified Ms. Neill as a witness. (Gbewonyo Deecl., Exh. 1.) Finally, Plaintiff contends that granting the motion would prejudice the parties from proceeding to trial because the parties will have to allocate resources towards deposing Ms. Neill and Ms. Neill would require time to review and edit her transcript pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.520. (Opposition, 6-7.)

The court notes that Plaintiff’s responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One are dated April 26, 2021. The proof of service includes one date of July 23, 2020, but the bottom is also dated April 26, 2021.

In reply, Moving Defendants contend that the court’s previous ruling on their Ex Parte does not bar the instant motion as the Ex Parte was denied without prejudice to bringing a noticed motion to reopen discovery (Reply, 2.) Additionally, Moving Defendants point out that Plaintiff’s discovery responses were dated April 26, 2021 notwithstanding the Gbewonyo Declaration. (Reply, 2-3.) Moving Defendants also contend that taking Ms. Neill’s deposition would not delay trial because Defendants can expedite the transcript for Ms. Neill’s review and there is no need to compel her deposition. (Id.)

The court finds that good causes exists to reopen discovery for the purpose of taking Ms. Neill’s deposition only. As Moving Defendants correctly point out, the July 26, 2021 ruling on their Ex Parte denied the Ex Parte without prejudice. Additionally, Plaintiff is incorrect that Ms. Neill’s name has been known to Moving Defendants since one year ago, as Plaintiff’s responses were dated April 26, 2021. Moving Defendants have demonstrated reasonable due diligence in their attempts to obtain Ms. Neill’s deposition and that Ms. Neill is a critical witness. Further, Plaintiff does not oppose Moving Defendants’ motion or otherwise challenge Moving Defendants’ arguments.

For these reasons, Moving Defendants’ motion is granted.

Conclusion

Moving Defendants’ motion is granted. Discovery is reopened until August 16, 2021 for the purpose of taking Ms. Neill’s deposition only. Moving Defendants are to give notice.

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