On 12/29/2017 ROSARIO MORALES filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are GREGORY W. ALARCON and ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
GREGORY W. ALARCON
ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE
MORALES ROSARIO V.
LOS ANGELES CITY OF
DOES 1 TO 10
CESSOR LINDA M.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES
HULL ANN A. ESQ.
BLACK SHANISE MARIE
4/3/2018: NOTICE OF REASSIGNMENT
4/6/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
4/11/2018: REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS CITY OF LOS ANGELES' DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
4/11/2018: DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' NOTICE OF DEMURRER AND DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES; DECLARATION OF SHANISE BLACK
5/11/2018: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' DEMURRER
5/21/2018: DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO ITS DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
6/5/2018: Minute Order
10/17/2018: Ex Parte Application
3/15/2019: Request for Judicial Notice
5/13/2019: Ex Parte Application
1/24/2018: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER
at 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Hearing on Defendant City of Los Angeles' Motion for Summary ...)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Ruling: Motion for Summary Judgment or Alternatively, Summary Adjudication; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Hearing on Defendant City of Los Angeles' Motion for Summary ...) of 05/29/2019); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Notice (of Errata); Filed by Ann A. Hull, Esq. (Attorney)Read MoreRead Less
Declaration (Part 2 of Declaration of Ann A. Hull); Filed by Ann A. Hull, Esq. (Attorney)Read MoreRead Less
Request for Judicial Notice; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Objection ([Defendant] Evidentiary Objections to Plaintiff's Opposition to MSJ; Suppl Decl of S. Black); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Response ([Defendant] Response to Plaintiff's Objections to Declarations of Norma Gutierrez & Gary Hill ISO MSJ); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Reply ([Defendant] to Plaintiff's Opposition to its MSJ or alternatively Summary Adjudication); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Minute OrderRead MoreRead Less
DECLARATION OF SHANISE BLACK IN SUPPORT OF AUTOMATIC 30-DAY EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE A RESPONSIVE PLEADING IN ACCORDANCE WITH CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 430.41(A)(2)Read MoreRead Less
Declaration; Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICERRead MoreRead Less
Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Defendant/RespondentRead MoreRead Less
Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)Read MoreRead Less
PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Rosario V. Morales (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT: (1) WRONGFUL TERMINATION IN VIOLATION IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY; ETCRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC688647 Hearing Date: July 10, 2020 Dept: 48
[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE MOTION TO COMPEL DEPOSITION
On December 29, 2017, Plaintiff Rosario Morales filed this action alleging various claims related to her employment with and termination from the Los Angeles Fire Department. In 2019, Plaintiff agreed to dismiss Karen Richter as a defendant based on an agreement that Defendant City of Los Angeles would make her available for a deposition. Plaintiff requested Richter’s deposition in 2018.
On March 15, 2019, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff requested the deposition of Karen Richter in April and May 2019. Plaintiff filed an opposition to the summary judgment motion on May 15, 2019, which included a declaration from counsel stating that Richter among others had information concerning the summary judgment issues, but that the evidence could not be presented because the witnesses had not yet been opposed. At the hearing on May 29, 2019, the Court granted the continuance of the motion to July 15, 2019 to allow depositions. The Court also continued the trial date from July 15, 2019 to August 15, 2019, but did not continue the discovery cutoff dates. Fact discovery therefore cutoff on June 15, 2019.
On May 29, 2019, defense counsel asked Plaintiff’s counsel for the names of the people to be deposed for Plaintiff to oppose the summary judgment motion and stated she needed the names by June 5, 2019. Plaintiff’s counsel responded on June 17, 2019 (after the fact discovery cutoff date), and received an email back that defense counsel was out of the office until July 1, 2019.
After the June 15, 2019 fact discovery cutoff, Plaintiff’s counsel continued to ask for Richter’s deposition. On August 20, 2019, the parties filed a joint witness list identifying Richter as a witness. The Court continued the July 15, 2019 trial due to various schedule conflicts and ultimately took it off calendar due to the pandemic. The new trial date has not yet been set.
On April 9, 2020, Plaintiff filed this motion to compel Richter’s deposition. Plaintiff argues that she will be prejudiced without the deposition because Richter is on Defendant’s witness list. Defendant argues that fact discovery ended more than a year ago. In her reply, Plaintiff argues her motion should be considered as a motion to reopen fact discovery.
Except as otherwise provided, any party shall be entitled as a matter of right to complete discovery proceedings on or before the 30th day, and to have motions concerning discovery heard on or before the 15th day, before the date initially set for trial of the action. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.020, subd. (a).) On the motion of any party, the court may reopen discovery after a new trial date has been set. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.050.) The court shall take into consideration any matter relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to: (1) the necessity and the reasons for the discovery, (2) the diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking the discovery, 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, and (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).)
Plaintiff argues Richter’s deposition is necessary because she will be a witness at trial, was her supervisor, and terminated her. Defendant does not dispute that Richter has relevant knowledge of issues in dispute. The joint witness list states that she has knowledge about Plaintiff’s jury service, which does not sound like a key witness. Richter does not seem to be an important part of Plaintiff’s case because Plaintiff does not explain what knowledge Richter has that others do not and did not make substantial efforts to obtain her deposition.
Plaintiff showed little diligence in seeking the discovery. Plaintiff could have moved to compel the deposition in 2018 or 2019. After the Court continued the summary judgment hearing date, Plaintiff could have immediately asked a date for Richter’s deposition. Plaintiff’s counsel could have responded quickly to defense counsel’s letter asking for the names of deponents for the summary judgment opposition by June 5, 2019. After the June 15, 2019 cutoff date, Plaintiff could have moved to reopen discovery instead of waiting eleven months to raise the issue in a reply brief. Plaintiff presents no satisfactory excuse for not taking these steps.
Permitting discovery will not affect the trial date as it is not yet re-set, and Defendant has not argued it will be prejudiced.
On balance, Plaintiff has had years to obtain Richter’s deposition but waited until long after the discovery cutoff to make this request. The motion is DENIED.
Moving party to give notice.
Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCDEPT48@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit. Parties intending to appear are STRONGLY encouraged to appear remotely.
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