This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/13/2019 at 02:18:21 (UTC).

PHILLIP AHN VS STEVEN SELOVER

Case Summary

On 01/25/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by PHILLIP AHN against STEVEN SELOVER in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1782

  • Filing Date:

    01/25/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

CHRISTOPHER K. LUI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

AHN PHILLIP

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 TO 10

SELOVER STEVEN

 

Court Documents

[Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person

4/12/2019: [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Person

Notice

4/15/2019: Notice

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

3/20/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

ANSWER ON DEFENDANT STEVEN SELOVER PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

3/28/2018: ANSWER ON DEFENDANT STEVEN SELOVER PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

DEFENDANT'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

3/29/2018: DEFENDANT'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

CIVIL DEPOSIT

3/29/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

SUMMONS

1/25/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

1/25/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/11/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 4A, Christopher K. Lui, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 04/15/2019
  • Notice (of Entry of Judgment or Order); Filed by Steven Selover (Defendant)

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  • 04/12/2019
  • [Proposed Order] and Stipulation to Continue Trial, FSC (and Related Motion/Discovery Dates) Personal Injury Courts Only (Central District); Filed by Phillip Ahn (Plaintiff); Steven Selover (Defendant)

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  • 03/29/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by Steven Selover (Defendant)

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  • 03/29/2018
  • DEFENDANT'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

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  • 03/29/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 03/29/2018
  • Notice; Filed by Steven Selover (Defendant)

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  • 03/28/2018
  • ANSWER ON DEFENDANT STEVEN SELOVER PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

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  • 03/28/2018
  • Answer; Filed by Steven Selover (Defendant)

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  • 03/20/2018
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 03/20/2018
  • Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Phillip Ahn (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/25/2018
  • COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)

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  • 01/25/2018
  • SUMMONS

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by Phillip Ahn (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC691782    Hearing Date: December 20, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Quash Subpoena

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

BACKGROUND

On January 25, 2018, Plaintiff Phillip Ahn (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Steven Selover (“Defendant”) alleging motor vehicle a general negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on February 5, 2016.

On November 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to quash a deposition subpoena pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1.

Trial is set for April 2, 2020.

PARTYS REQUESTS

Plaintiff asks the Court to quash Defendant’s deposition subpoena issued to Torrid, LLC arguing that it is overbroad and seeks information that is irrelevant and protected by Plaintiff’s right to privacy.

Plaintiff also asks the Court to impose $2,090 in monetary sanctions against Defendant and his counsel of record for forcing him to bring this motion.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, subdivision (a) states, “[i]f a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by any person described in subdivision (b), or upon the court’s own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders.  In addition, the court may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.”

“[U]pon motion reasonably made by the party, judges may rule upon motions for quashing, modifying or compelling compliance with, subpoenas.”  (Lee v. Swansboro Country Property Owners Ass'n (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 575, 582-583.)

In making an order pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, “the court may in its discretion award the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in making or opposing the motion, including reasonable attorney's fees, if the court finds the motion was made or opposed in bad faith or without substantial justification or that one or more of the requirements of the subpoena was oppressive.”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 1987.2, subd. (a).)

A motion to quash a subpoena must be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration showing a good faith and reasonable attempt at an informal resolution took place.  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2016.040, 2025.410, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

A person has a right to privacy in that person’s employment records.  (El Dorado Savings & Loan Assn. v. Superior Court (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 342, 346 (disapproved of on other grounds in Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 69, 557, fn. 8).)  However, “. . . privacy interests may have to give way to [an] opponent’s right to a fair trial.  Thus courts must balance the right of civil litigants to discover relevant facts against the privacy interests of persons subject to discovery.”  (Vinson v. Superior Court (1987) 43 Cal.3d 833, 842.)

On November 1, 2019, Defendant issued a deposition subpoena that was served on Plaintiff’s employer, Torrid LLC, seeking to depose a person most qualified on nine categories and requesting a various categories of documents.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.)

Defendant seeks a person most qualified to testify about the following:  (1) all information regarding Plaintiff and his employment at Torrid LLC from hire to present, (2) all information regarding Plaintiff and his employment at Torrid LLC, (3) all information regarding the facts and circumstances of the hiring of Plaintiff, (4) the daily tasks, duties, and/or responsibilities Plaintiff performed as an employee, as well as his duties related to supervision of other employees, (5) all information regarding the supervision of Plaintiff, (6) information regarding difficulty, inability and/or restrictions that Plaintiff had in performing his daily tasks, duties, and/or responsibilities as a result of any physical, mental, and/or psychological injury and/or impairment, (7) information regarding disciplinary issues, (8) information regarding tardiness issues or absences from work as a result of any physical, mental, and or psychological injury and/or impairment, and (9) all information regarding facts and circumstances of the resignation or termination of employment of Plaintiff.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.)

Defendant seeks the following documents related to Plaintiff’s employment:  (1) all applications, (2) all forms and/or paperwork completed in conjunction with hiring, (3) all civil and criminal background checks performed, (4) all information regarding medical conditions, (5) all questionnaires and/or employment tests, (6) all performance reviews and/or evaluations, (6) all information regarding the scope of work, tasks performed, and nature of services provided,  (7) all documents evidencing attendance, scheduling, absences, tardiness, and/or leaving early from work, (8) all cell phone logs, records, text messages, and photos, and (9) all documents evidencing disciplinary issues.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.)

Plaintiff does not claim damages for a loss of earnings or a loss of earning capacity.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 5.)  Plaintiff requested an ergonomic keyboard and mouse at his workplace following the collision that gives rise to this action.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 6, Exh. 3.)

Defendant argues the motion is moot because he has withdrawn the subpoena that Plaintiff seeks to quash.  (Zakaria Decl., 11, Exh. H.)  However, Defendant issued a slightly amended subpoena on November 22, 2019 (Twomey Decl., 6, Exh. 5.)  The subsequent subpoena contains the same categories of testimony requested in the first subpoena, except for (1) all information regarding Plaintiff and his employment at Torrid LLC from hire to present and (2) all information regarding Plaintiff and his employment at Torrid LLC.  The subsequent subpoena requests the same documents as the first subpoena, except for (1) all applications and (2) all forms and/or paperwork completed in conjunction with hiringThe motion is certainly not moot as to the overlapping categories of testimony and documents.

The Court finds the subpoena to be overbroad and in violation of Plaintiff’s right to privacy.  There is no justification whatsoever as to documents and categories of testimony requested that predate the February 5, 2016 collision.  The only documents and categories of testimony that are not entirely beyond the scope of the matters that Plaintiff has placed at issue in this lawsuit relate to any accommodations Plaintiff has received at work as a result of the collision and any work Plaintiff missed after the collision because of his injuries.   Because the parties have not submitted a proposed protective order to this effect, however, the proper remedy is to quash the subpoena as overbroad and violative of Plaintiff’s right to privacy.

Plaintiff’s request for $2,090 in sanctions consists of 2 hours in preparing the moving papers, 1 hour in preparing reply papers, and 1 hour in traveling to the hearing at a rate of $350 an hour plus two $60 filing fees, one $140 overnight deliver fee, and one $80 service fee of reply papers by overnight delivery.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 12-13.)  The Court finds this to be unreasonable.  Only one $60 filing fee is necessary.  The moving papers did not need to be served by overnight delivery.  Plaintiff’s reply was not necessary in seeking the relief requested.  Rather, the Court finds $1,460 ($350/hr. x 4 hrs. plus one $60 filing fee.) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Defendant and Defendant’s counsel of record, jointly and severally.

The motion is therefore GRANTED.

The deposition subpoena Defendant issued to Torrid LLC on November 22, 2019 is QUASHED.

Defendant and his counsel of record are ordered to pay Plaintiff $1,460, jointly and severally, within 30 days of this ruling.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC691782    Hearing Date: November 05, 2019    Dept: 4A

Motion to Quash Subpoena

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

BACKGROUND

On January 25, 2018, Plaintiff Phillip Ahn (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint against Defendant Steven Selover (“Defendant”) alleging motor vehicle a general negligence for an automobile collision that occurred on February 5, 2016.

On October 2, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to quash a deposition subpoena pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1.

Trial is set for January 16, 2020.

PARTYS REQUESTS

Plaintiff asks the Court to quash Defendants deposition subpoena issued to Dr. Chia-Wen Hsieh, PsyD because it is overbroad and seeks information that is irrelevant and protected by Plaintiff’s right to privacy.

Plaintiff also asks the Court to impose $3,140 in monetary sanctions against Defendant and his counsel of record for bringing this motion.

LEGAL STANDARD

California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, subdivision (a) states, “[i]f a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by any person described in subdivision (b), or upon the court’s own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders.  In addition, the court may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.”

“[U]pon motion reasonably made by the party, judges may rule upon motions for quashing, modifying or compelling compliance with, subpoenas.”  (Lee v. Swansboro Country Property Owners Ass'n (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 575, 582-583.)

In making an order pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1987.1, “the court may in its discretion award the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in making or opposing the motion, including reasonable attorney's fees, if the court finds the motion was made or opposed in bad faith or without substantial justification or that one or more of the requirements of the subpoena was oppressive.”  (Code Civ. Proc. § 1987.2, subd. (a).)

A motion to quash a subpoena must be accompanied with a meet and confer declaration showing a good faith and reasonable attempt at an informal resolution took place.  (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 2016.040, 2025.410, subd. (c).)

DISCUSSION

“[P]laintiffs are ‘not obligated to sacrifice all privacy to seek redress for a specific [physical,] mental or emotional injury’; while they may not withhold information which relates to any physical or mental condition which they have put in issue by bringing [a] lawsuit, . . . they are entitled to retain the confidentiality of all unrelated medical or psychotherapeutic treatment they may have undergone in the past.” (Britt v. Superior Court (1978) 20 Cal.3d 844, 864 (citation and footnote omitted).) However, “. . . privacy interests may have to give way to [an] opponent’s right to a fair trial.  Thus courts must balance the right of civil litigants to discover relevant facts against the privacy interests of persons subject to discovery.”  (Vinson v. Superior Court (1987) 43 Cal.3d 833, 842.)

On September 10, 2019, Defendant issued a deposition subpoena on Dr. Chia-Wen Hsieh, PsyD seeking Dr. Hsieh’s testimony and production documents related to the psychological/psychotherapy consultations with Plaintiff, opinions of Plaintiff’s psychological condition, documents prepared on behalf of Plaintiff, and a variety of other documents.  (Twomey Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.)  Plaintiff contends he suffered a traumatic brain injury/concussion and post-concussion syndrome after the collision that gave rise to this action.  (Twomey Decl., 3.)  This has resulted in chronic headaches, nausea and vomiting, photophobia, memory defects, and poor sleep.  (Ibid.)  Plaintiff does not claim to have suffered any psychological injuries with the crash, such as anxiety or depression.  (Twomey Decl., 5.)  Plaintiff does not claim to have received any psychological treatment as a result of the collision.  (Ibid.)

Defendant argues that because Plaintiff testified that he suffered from anxiety and depression for many years, Defendant should be allowed to seek a wide range of psychological/psychotherapy records, like those identified in Defendant’s subpoena.  Importantly, the documents requested in Defendant’s subpoena are not limited in time or scope in any way.  Rather, Defendant requests any and all records related to Plaintiff.  This subpoena is seriously overbroad.  Plaintiff does not seek a protective order and the parties do not provide any reasonable suggestion as to how a protective order might be tailored to allow for some discovery of Plaintiff’s psychological/psychotherapy records.

Plaintiff’s request for $3,140 in monetary sanctions consists of 4 hours in preparing the moving papers, 1.5 hours in preparing a reply, and 2.5 hours in traveling to and appearing at the hearing at a rate of $350 an hour, plus one $60 filing fee, $140 overnight delivery of the moving papers, and $80 in overnight delivery of the reply papers.  (Twomey Decl., ¶¶ 11-12.)  The Court finds this to be unreasonable because the motion is relatively straight-forward.  Rather, the Court finds $1,460 ($350/hr. x 4 hrs. plus one $60 filing fee) to be a reasonable amount of sanctions to be imposed against Defendant and his counsel of record.

The motion is therefore GRANTED.

The deposition subpoena Defendants issued Dr. Chia-Wen Hsieh, PsyD on September 10, 2019 is QUASHED.

Defendant and his counsel of record are ordered to pay Plaintiff $1,460, jointly and severally, within 30 days of this ruling.

Plaintiff is ordered to give notice of this ruling.