On 05/15/2018 a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle case was filed by RAMIN NOURI against HAMAD ALAJMI in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
DOES 1 TO 50
4/30/2019: Notice of Deposit - Jury
6/27/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment
6/27/2019: Separate Statement
6/27/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities
6/27/2019: Request for Judicial Notice
6/22/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS
8/15/2018: DEFENDANT SIXT RENT-A-CAR, LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL; NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES
8/15/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT
8/21/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF ERRATA
5/15/2018: COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)
Memorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Declaration (Declaration of Michelle Y. Dixon in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Request for Judicial Notice; Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Separate Statement; Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice (Notice of Lodgment in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Deposit - Jury; Filed by Ramin Nouri (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice; Filed by Ramin Nouri (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF ERRATARead MoreRead Less
Receipt; Filed by Hamad Alajmi (Defendant); Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Sixt Rent-A-Car, LLC Erroneously Sued As Sixt Rent-A-Car (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DEFENDANT SIXT RENT-A-CAR, LLC'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT; DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL; NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEESRead MoreRead Less
CIVIL DEPOSITRead MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Ramin Nouri (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT-PERS. INJURY, PROP DAMAGE, WRONGFUL DEATH (2 PAGES)Read MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Ramin Nouri (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC706149 Hearing Date: October 28, 2019 Dept: 2
Nouri v. Alajmi, et al.
Defendant Sixt Rent-a-Car, LLC’s Motion to Set Aside Dismissal Without Prejudice and For Terminating Sanctions is DENIED.
On June 27, 2019, Defendant Sixt Rent-a-Car LLC (“Sixt” or “Defendant”) filed a motion for summary judgment, with a hearing set for September 11, 2019. Plaintiff’s opposition was due on August 28, 2019, but none was filed. On August 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed a request for dismissal without prejudice against Defendant Sixt Rent-a-Car. Plaintiff did not object to the request for dismissal prior to the date scheduled for the hearing, or otherwise ask the Court to keep the hearing on the summary judgment motion on calendar. On September 10, 2019, the Court advanced and vacated the hearing on summary judgment motion. Sixt did not object to the vacation of date for the hearing on the summary judgment motion.
In the present motion, Sixt seeks to set aside the dismissal, arguing that Plaintiff could not properly dismiss the case without prejudice after the time for filing an opposition had passed. But Sixt does not ask the Court to calendar a hearing on the summary judgment motion, or otherwise rule on the motion. Instead, Sixt seeks terminating sanctions pursuant to CCP § 128.7(c)(1) for Plaintiff’s alleged bad faith.
A plaintiff generally has the right to dismiss an action against a defendant without prejudice “any time before the actual commencement of trial.” Code of Civil Proc. § 581(b). An exception to that rule arises when either (a) the trial court has publicly issued a tentative ruling indicating intent to enter judgment against the plaintiff or to otherwise dismiss the case with prejudice; or (b) “some procedural dereliction” by the plaintiff made judgment or dismissal with prejudice against the plaintiff “otherwise inevitable.” Franklin Capital Corp. v. Wilson (2007) 148 Cal. App. 4th 187, 200.
In Cravens v. State Board of Equalization for the State of California (1997) 52 Cal. App. 4th 253, 253 fell into the second category. The Court held that “a plaintiff may not frustrate the summary judgment state by interposing a voluntary dismissal without prejudice in lieu of opposition to a defendant’s motion. The plaintiff who waits until a motion for summary judgment has been filed, and the time for opposition has passed, to attempt to dismiss his or her complaint, is subject to the trial court’s continuing jurisdiction to hear and rule on the pending motion.”
In that case, a defendant had moved for summary judgment, which the plaintiff has not opposed. On the day before the hearing, the plaintiff dismissed the complaint without prejudice. The defendant had not received notice of the dismissal and appeared at the hearing. The Court ruled on the motion and granted judgment in favor of the defendant. The defendant appealed, arguing that the voluntary dismissal was effective. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, stating, “As we can see from the trial court’s ruling, respondents’ moving papers met their burden of negating appellant’s claims, entitling them to judgment as a matter of law if no issues of disputed fact were raised.” Cravens, supra, 52 Cal. App. 4th at 257.
The Court of Appeal’s ruling is consistent with the general rule that even when no opposition is filed, a court may grant summary judgment only when the moving party has shown entitlement to judgment in its favor. “There is no obligation on the opposing party … to establish anything by affidavit unless and until the moving party has by affidavit stated facts establishing every element … necessary to sustain a judgment in his favor.” Consumer Cause, Inc. v. SmileCare (2001) 91 Cal. App. 4th 454, 468 (emphasis in original; internal quotes omitted). While an opposing party’s failure to file a separate statement of disputed facts constitutes “a sufficient ground, in the court’s discretion, for granting the motion,” the court may properly exercise this discretion only where the moving papers establish grounds for granting summary judgment. CCP 437c(b)(3); Thatcher v. Lucky Stores, Inc. (2000) 79 Cal. App. 4th 1081, 1085-1086; Teselle v. McLoughlin (2009) 173 Cal. App. 4th 156, 160 (plaintiff's failure to file timely opposition separate statement not ground for summary judgment where defendant's separate statement did not address material fact in complaint).
Thus, if the Court were to vacate the voluntary dismissal, that would not automatically entitle Sixt to judgment in its favor. Rather, the Court would have to reset the hearing on the summary judgment motion and analyze the moving papers to see if Sixt had presented sufficient evidence to meet its initial burden. The Court cannot say at this juncture whether Sixt’s motion would be granted or denied if it were to be heard. But Sixt has not asked the Court to vacate the judgment so that a hearing on its summary judgment motion may be re-set.
Rather, as previously noted, Sixt asks the Court to vacate the dismissal so that it may issue terminating sanctions and monetary sanctions under CCP §§ 128.5 and 128.7. Sixt has presented no evidence that would warrant the imposition of sanctions under either section. The Court does not find that there was bad faith. Sixt essentially asks the Court to enforce a settlement agreement between the parties, but the proper mechanism to ask for that relief is pursuant to CCP § 664.6. That section requires, among other things, a writing signed by the parties personally – the litigants, not their attorneys. Levy v. Superior Court (1995) 10 Cal.4th 578, 584. Sixt has not presented evidence of any such writing.
Thus, the Court DENIES the request to set aside the dismissal so that terminating sanctions and monetary sanctions may be imposed. The Court declines to set aside the dismissal so that a hearing on the motion for summary judgment may be set because the motion does not seek such relief.
Moving party is ordered to give notice.