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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/13/2019 at 05:20:46 (UTC).

SHIZI PU VS KEJIA ZHANG ET AL

Case Summary

On 10/06/2017 SHIZI PU filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against KEJIA ZHANG. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8577

  • Filing Date:

    10/06/2017

  • 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

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

 

Party Details

Plaintiff, Petitioner and Cross Defendant

PU SHIZI

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

ZHOU XIUJU

ZHANG KEJIA

DOES 1 TO 100

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

IODICE MARK L.

Defendant Attorneys

GRANDY JAMES LAWTON

COTE HEATHER GREEN

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

COTE HEATHER G.

 

Court Documents

Unknown

2/22/2018: Unknown

ANSWER TO COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF SHIZI PU

2/22/2018: ANSWER TO COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF SHIZI PU

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

2/22/2018: NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

2/28/2018: NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER RE STIPULATION TO CONSOLIDATE

4/24/2018: NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER RE STIPULATION TO CONSOLIDATE

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF CHANGE OF HANDLING ATTORNEY

7/9/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF CHANGE OF HANDLING ATTORNEY

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

9/19/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

Unknown

9/19/2018: Unknown

Motion for Leave to File a Cross-Complaint

10/17/2018: Motion for Leave to File a Cross-Complaint

Motion for Summary Adjudication

12/18/2018: Motion for Summary Adjudication

Notice

1/14/2019: Notice

Motion re:

1/24/2019: Motion re:

Opposition

2/7/2019: Opposition

Request for Judicial Notice

5/30/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Motion for Summary Judgment

5/31/2019: Motion for Summary Judgment

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

11/3/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

SUMMONS

10/6/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

10/6/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

13 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/31/2019
  • Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Notice of Motion; Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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  • 04/08/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/22/2019
  • at 10:00 AM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 02/21/2019
  • at 1:30 PM in Department 5, Stephen I. Goorvitch, Presiding; Hearing on Motion - Other (to Specially Set the Hearings on Defendant's Motion for Summary Adjudication, or in the Alternative, to Continue Trial) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/11/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (Joint and Mutual Stipulation by all Parties to Continue Trial and Related Dates); Filed by SHIZI PU (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 02/07/2019
  • Opposition (Plaintiff Helen Chow's Opposition and Response to Defendant's Motion to Continue Trial); Filed by SHIZI PU (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/24/2019
  • Motion re: (Motion to Specially Set Hearing on Defendant's Motion for Summary Adjudication or Continue Trial); Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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  • 01/14/2019
  • Notice (of Order Re Motion for Leave to File Cross-Complaint); Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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25 More Docket Entries
  • 02/22/2018
  • Answer; Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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  • 02/22/2018
  • NOTICE OF RELATED CASE

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  • 02/22/2018
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by KEJIA ZHANG (Defendant); XIUJU ZHOU (Defendant)

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  • 02/22/2018
  • ANSWER TO COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF SHIZI PU

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  • 02/22/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 11/03/2017
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by SHIZI PU (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/03/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 10/06/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. NEGLIGENCE ;ETC

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  • 10/06/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by SHIZI PU (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/06/2017
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC678577    Hearing Date: October 08, 2020    Dept: C

SHIZU PU v. KEJIA ZHANG, et al.

CASE NO.: BC678577 (consolidated with BC692392)

HEARING: 10/8/2020

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

#7

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant Xiuju Zhou’s Motion for Summary Adjudication is GRANTED as to the Complaint’s allegation of vicarious liability. The Motion is DENIED as to the remaining claims of negligence and negligent entrustment.

On February 1, 2018, Plaintiff Helen Chow (“Chow”) filed a complaint (in BC692392) against Defendants Kejia Zhang (“Zhang”) and Xiuju Zhou (“Zhou”) (collectively “Defendants”), asserting causes of action for motor vehicle and general negligence. Plaintiff’s claims arise out of an alleged automobile accident that occurred on August 5, 2017.Plaintiff alleges that Zhang was driving the vehicle involved in the accident, and that Zhou owned the vehicle. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants negligently owned, operated, maintained, entrusted, and controlled their vehicle so as to allow it to collide with the guard rail and light pole, injuring Plaintiff and causing damages.

On April 12, 2018, the Court consolidated BC692392 and BC678577, with BC678577 as the lead case.

On December 18, 2018, Zhou filed a Motion for Summary Adjudication against Chow.

Zhou moves for summary adjudication of three issues:

1. Chow’s first cause of action for motor vehicle negligence fails because Zhou was not driving any vehicle involved in the subject incident;

2. Chow’s second cause of action for general negligence fails because Zhou was not driving any vehicle involved nor was Zhou present;

3. Chow’s allegations of respondeat superior fail because Zhou did not employ nor have an agency relationship with anyone involved in the incident; and

4. Chow’s negligent entrustment claim fails because Zhou did not negligently own, maintain, operate, entrust or drive the vehicle involved in the incident.

The parties agree to, and Defendants establish through evidence, the following: the incident occurred on August 5, 2017, at approximately 11:40 p.m. in Norwalk, CA. (UMF 3.) Zhang was driving his mother Zhou’s Porsche Cayenne at the time of the incident. (UMF 4.) Pu was the front seat passenger and Chow was the center rear passenger. (Id.) At the time of the incident, Pu, Chow and Zhang were driving back from the airport to drop Pu at his home in Lake Forest, CA. (UMF 6.) Zhou regularly allowed Zhang to drive the vehicle, and Zhang had driven the vehicle many times before the incident. (UMF 8.) At the time of the incident Zhou was in China, and was unaware that Zhang intended to drive Chow and Pu to or from the airport. (UMF 13.) At the time of the incident, Zhou had a provisional driver’s license. (UMF 15.)

First, Zhou moves for summary adjudication of the motor vehicle and general negligence claims on the grounds that Zhou was not operating any of the vehicles involved in the incident. In this succinct argument, Zhou references only the fact that Chow filed a lawsuit for personal injury against Zhou and Zhang, and that Zhou was neither operating the vehicle nor present at the scene of the incident. (UMF 1, 12.) It appears that Zhou is requesting that the court infer that no negligence could have arisen on Zhou’s behalf because she was not present at the collision. However, Zhou fails to articulate any argument disposing of one or more elements of a negligence claim. Notably, in this paragraph, Zhou references only once in its closing line that “Defendant did not owe any duty of care to Plaintiff Chow at the time of the accident.” (Motion 6:15-16.)

As the moving party, Zhou bears the burden of setting forth facts and authority to demonstrate the non-existence of a triable issue as to Zhou’s duty of care. Merely stating that she was not as the scene, and therefore requiring the Court to make an inference that no duty of care could arise from the incident involving her vehicle does not do so.

Second, Zhou contends that there are no triable issues of fact as to agency or respondeat superior liability. Zhou argues that “Plaintiff cannot demonstrate an employment relationship or any liability based on Respondeat Superior because Defendant did not employ her son or any other party involved in the subject accident and neither Defendant Zhang, Ms. Chow or Mr. Pu were acting within the course and scope of any such employment.” (Motion 6:28-7:3.) Zhou submits that no employment relationship existed between herself and her son at the time of the incident; rather, Zhou had given her son permission to use the vehicle on an ongoing basis. (UMF 8.) Additionally, Zhou declares that at the time of the incident, she was in China, and was unaware that Zhang was using the vehicle to transport Chow and Pu. (UMF 13.)

As Zhou declares that she was unaware that Zhang was using the vehicle to transport Pu and Chow to or from the airport, there can be no finding of any assent to control so as to create an agency relationship between the two.

The burden shifts to Chow.

In opposition, Chow raises an argument that the motion for summary adjudication is procedurally defective because the defenses raised in the motion were never pled in the Answer to Chow’s complaint. However, the Answer, filed on February 22, 2018, in case BC692392, raises the affirmative defense that Chow’s complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action. Notably, Chow provides no authority whatsoever that the arguments raised in the motion for summary adjudication are procedurally improper.

Chow then argues that “Plaintiff has not contended and never alleged in her complaint or elsewhere that Defendant Zhang was ‘an employee’ of his mother Zhang, the moving party here. Whether or not Zhang could have been ‘running an errand’ for his mother at the time of the accident is an open factual question.” (Opp. 10:19-22.) This assertion is misleading; the form Complaint alleges that “[t]he defendants who employed the persons who operated a motor vehicle in the course of their employment are . . . Xiuju Zhou.” (Compl. § MV-2 b.) The only argument as to the substance of this issue is that “there are at least colorable facts suggestive that Defendant Zhang could have been ‘running an errand’ in some capacity for his mother, sufficient to create a triable issue on this point.” (Opp. 10:27-28.) Chow refers the Court to her own declaration, wherein she declares that

Since Kejia was left alone fending for himself when his mom was out of the country, he would have to go out to eat or get groceries and run errands. He mentioned going out to eat to me during this period, and we went out to get food before going to pick up Pu on the night of the accident. We also have gotten food together before and going to the grocery stores with other friends with him driving.

(Chow Decl. ¶ 7.)

This portion of Chow’s declaration creates no triable issue as to Zhou’s awareness or agency relationship with her son, Zhang. Rather, Chow’s declaration explicitly states that Zhang was “fending for himself.” (Id.)

Ultimately, the evidence reflects that Zhou was unaware that Zhang was picking up Chow and Pu from the airport. Chow creates no triable issue as to the employment agency relationship alleged in § MV-2 b. of the form Complaint. As such, the motion for summary adjudication is GRANTED as to the respondeat superior claim.

Finally, Zhou argues that no triable issues exist as to the negligent entrustment claim because “there is no evidence to suggest that Defendant knew of any inability or incompetence on her son's part at the time of the accident.” (Motion 8:3-4.) However, evidence that Zhou regularly allowed Zhang to use the vehicle, and evidence that Zhang did so, does not dispose of this issue. Zhou characterizes her declaration that Zhang had “driven the vehicle many times prior to the subject accident,” and Pu’s testimony that the Porsche Cayenne was the vehicle that Zhang “usually drove” do little to establish that Zhou “had no reason to refuse to allow her son to use the vehicle” as argued in the motion. (Zhou Decl. ¶ 5, Pu Depo. 13:4-8. Motion 7:5-6.) Zhou also contends that Zhang had a provisional license, had never been involved in an accident, and had never received a single traffic citation. In support of this assertion, Zhou merely submits Zhang’s declaration that “[p]rior to the subject accident, I had never been the driver in any other motor vehicle accidents, received any traffic citations, or had my license suspended or revoked,” and that “[a]t the time of the accident, I had no disability or infirmity that would have affected my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.” (Zhang Decl. ¶¶ 3-4.)

This evidence does not establish that no triable issue remains as to whether Zhou negligently entrusted the vehicle to Zhang. Although evidence that Zhang has had no prior incidents may weigh in favor of the determination that Zhou would have no reason to know that Zhang was incompetent or unfit to operate the vehicle, it is not dispositive of the issue. Because the two self-serving declarations submitted do not establish that Chow cannot prove that Zhou negligently entrusted her vehicle to her son, Zhou fails to shift the burden on summary adjudication.

Finally, Zhou argues that her liability is limited by Vehicle Code §§ 17150 and 17151. Pursuant to § 17151,

[t]he liability of an owner, bailee of an owner, or personal representative of a decedent imposed by this chapter and not arising through the relationship of principal and agent or master and servant is limited to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for the death of or injury to one person in any one accident and, subject to the limit as to one person, is limited to the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the death of or injury to more than one person in any one accident and is limited to the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for damage to property of others in any one accident.

“This limitation does not apply, however, to a vehicle owner's own common law negligence, as distinguished from the owner's statutory vicarious liability for the operator's negligence.” (Fremont Comp. Ins. Co. v. Hartnett (1993) 19 Cal. App. 4th 669, 675–76.) Here, a common law claim for negligent entrustment is brought against Zhou. The statutory cap does not apply.

Based on the foregoing, the Motion for Summary Adjudication is GRANTED as to the Complaint’s allegation of vicarious liability. The Motion is DENIED as to the remaining claims of negligence and negligent entrustment.

**********

SHIZU PU v. KEJIA ZHANG, et al.

CASE NO.: BC678577 (consolidated with BC692392)

HEARING: 10/8/2020

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

#7

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant Xiuju Zhou and Kejia Zhang’s Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

On February 1, 2018, Plaintiff Helen Chow (“Chow”) filed a complaint (in BC692392) against Defendants Kejia Zhang (“Zhang”) and Xiuju Zhou (“Zhou”) (collectively “Defendants”), asserting causes of action for motor vehicle and general negligence. Plaintiff’s claims arise out of an alleged automobile accident that occurred on August 5, 2017.Plaintiff alleges that Zhang was driving the vehicle involved in the accident, and that Zhou owned the vehicle. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants negligently owned, operated, maintained, entrusted, and controlled their vehicle so as to allow it to collide with the guard rail and light pole, injuring Plaintiff and causing damages.

On April 12, 2018, the Court consolidated BC692392 and BC678577, with BC678577 as the lead case.

On December 18, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment of Plaintiff Shizhi Pu’s Complaint, or in the alternative for Summary Adjudication on the issues of agency and respondeat superior.

Defendants contend that summary judgment should be entered in their favor because Zhang was acting as the agent of Pu at the time of the incident, and thus Pu is vicariously liable for any negligence found Defendants’ part. “The rule of respondeat superior is familiar and simply stated: an employer is vicariously liable for the torts of its employees committed within the scope of the employment. Equally well established, if somewhat surprising on ¿rst encounter, is the principle that an employee’s willful, malicious and even criminal torts may fall within the scope of his or her employment for purposes of respondeat superior, even though the employer has not authorized the employee to commit crimes or intentional torts.” (Lisa M. v. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (1995) 12 Cal.4th 291, 296–29.)

The parties agree to, and Defendants establish through evidence, the following: the incident occurred on August 5, 2017, at approximately 11:40 p.m. in Norwalk, CA. (UMF 4.) Zhang was driving his mother Zhou’s Porsche Cayenne at the time of the incident. (UMF 5.) Pu was the front seat passenger and Chow was the center rear passenger. (Id.) At the time of the incident, Pu, Chow and Zhang were driving back from the airport to drop Pu at his home in Lake Forest, CA. (UMF 7.) Zhang, Pu, and Chow intended to get food in Irvine, CA, before dropping Pu off at his home. (UMF 8.) Pu was still in China when he asked Zhang to pick him up from the airport when Pu arrived in California, and because Pu did not have a car at the airport. (UMF 9, 11.)

Based on the foregoing, Defendants argue that because Zhang was driving from the airport for the sole purpose of picking Pu up and driving him to his home in Lake Forest, CA, an agency relationship arose, and Pu is subsequently responsible for all injuries and damages arising from the incident.

This argument is unavailing. At the very least, a triable issue remains as to whether an agency relationship existed in the facts at hand. Defendants set forth no evidence to demonstrate that the nonexistence of a triable issue as to whether Pu and Zhang were in a principal-agent relationship. “The existence of an agency is a factual question within the province of the trier of fact whose determination may not be disturbed on appeal if supported by substantial evidence.” (L. Byron Culver & Associates v. Jaoudi Industrial & Trading Corp. (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 300, 305.) Critically, “it may not be held ‘ . . . that one who performs a mere favor for another, without being subject to any legal duty of service and without assenting to any right of control, can be an agent.” (Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. Hanks, Conard & Sons, Inc. (1967) 250 Cal. App. 2d 156, 161.)

Defendants submit no evidence that Zhang was proving anything more than a “mere favor” when picking up Pu from the airport. As the moving party on summary judgment, Defendants bear the burden of setting forth evidence and authority demonstrating that no triable issue remains as to Pu’s claims. Merely submitting evidence showing that Pu asked Zhang to pick him up from the airport, and that Zhang did so, fails to demonstrate that no triable issue exist as to a potential principal-agent relationship between the two. Furthermore, Defendants’; own evidence tends to contradict their unsupported position that Zhang “was driving for the sole benefit of Plaintiff Pu and subject to Plaintiff Pu's control at the time of the subject accident.” (Motion 8:17-18.) Defendants submit Pu’s deposition testimony in which he stated that Zhang, Pu, and Chow decided to get food in Irvine, but hadn’t decided on a restaurant. (Pu Depo 15:4-16:4.) There is no evidence of any control over Zhang other than Pu requesting a ride from the airport, and the parties apparently engaged in collective decisions as to stops made on the way from the airport to Pu’s home.

Based on the foregoing, the Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

 

Case Number: BC678577    Hearing Date: January 09, 2020    Dept: SEC

SHIZU PU v. KEJIA ZHANG, et al.

CASE NO.: BC678577 (consolidated with BC692392)

HEARING: 1/9/20

JUDGE: OLIVIA ROSALES

#4

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant Kejia Zhang’s motion to quash is granted as to Nos. 1-5 and 10-11, and denied as to Nos. 6-9 and 12-15.

Plaintiff Helen Chow’s request for sanctions is denied.

Moving Party to give Notice.

Relevant Background

On February 1, 2018, Plaintiff Helen Chow (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint (in BC692392) against Defendants Kejia Zhang (“Zhang”) and Xiuju Zhou (“Zhou”) (collectively “Defendants”), asserting causes of action for motor vehicle and general negligence. Plaintiff’s claims arise out of an alleged automobile accident that occurred on August 5, 2017. Plaintiff alleged Zhang was driving the vehicle involved in the accident and Zhou owned the vehicle involved in the accident. Plaintiff alleged Defendants negligently owned, operated, maintained, entrusted, and controlled their vehicle so as to allow it to collide with the guard rail and light pole and, as a result, Plaintiff suffered injuries and damages.

On February 22, 2018, Defendants filed an answer to Plaintiff’s complaint (in BC692392).

On April 12, 2018, the Court consolidated BC692392 and BC678577, with BC678577 as the lead case.

Legal Standard

C.C.P. §1987.1(a) provides, as follows: “If a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, electronically stored information, 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.”

Discussion

Zhang moves for an order quashing or modifying Plaintiff’s subpoena for production of records issued to the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”). Zhang argues the subpoena is overbroad, irrelevant, violates Defendant’s right to privacy, and is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Plaintiff issued a Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records to the DMV on April 29, 2019. Zhang served an objection to the subpoena, asserting the following objections: (1) relevance; (2) overbroad; (3) burdensome; and (4) harassing. (Declaration of Grandy ¶¶2-3; Exhibits A-B.)

Privacy

Plaintiff, relying on Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 263, argues Defendant waived the right to object to the subpoena based on privacy because “no objection based on ‘privacy’ was asserted in the original objection…” (Opposition, pg. 11.) However, Plaintiff’s reliance on Scottsdale Ins. Co. is misplaced. The case is distinguishable. Scottsdale Ins. Co. did not involve a motion to quash or a waiver of the right to privacy. (See Scottsdale Ins. Co. at 274 (“We conclude that failure to include an objection expressly based upon attorney-client privilege in the initial response results in waiver of the attorney-client privilege.”).) Moreover, privacy rights are constitutional in nature and arguably “cannot be waived by a ‘technical shortfall.’” (Weil & Brown, California Practice Guide, Civil Procedure Before Trial §8:319.2.) (See Heda v. Superior Court (1990) 225 Cal.App.3d 525, 529 (“Plaintiff contends, however, that defendant has waived any privacy rights by objecting to interrogatories only on relevancy grounds and by disclosing his medical condition to plaintiff. We find no waiver. [¶] Plaintiff's first set of interrogatories, propounded with no introduction or explanation, asked defendant to state what physical ailments he suffered which are life-impairing or potentially life-threatening, and asked defendant to state the latest prognosis from his doctors. Code of Civil Procedure section 36, subdivision (d), was not mentioned. Defendant objected on the ground of relevance, an obvious objection under the circumstances. Plaintiff now claims that failure also to object on privacy grounds forever waives defendant's privacy rights. Plaintiff cites no persuasive authority for such a draconian rule. We reject plaintiff's contention.”).)

C.C.P. §1985.3

Zhang argues Plaintiff failed to timely serve a Notice to Consumer prior to issuing the subpoena. (Z-SS, pg. 4.) Zhang contends “Plaintiff served the subpoena on Defendant by mail on April 29, 2019” and, according to the copy of the subpoena provided to Zhang, “the subpoena was issued to the custodian of records the same day, when the earliest date Plaintiff is permitted to serve the custodian is May 9, 2019.” (Z-SS, pg. 4.) (See C.C.P. §1985.3(b)(3).) However, Plaintiff submitted evidence Zhang was served with a Notice to Consumer via mail on April 29, 2019, and the subpoena was served on the DMV (via personal delivery) on May 14, 2019. (Declaration of Borrelli ¶¶5-6; Exhibits 1-3.)

Requests Nos. 1-5 and 10-11

Requests Nos. 1-5 and 10-11 seek production of the following: (1) a copy of the complete file and records of the DMV relating to driver Zhang; (2) all documents relating to any citation, warning, ticket, suspension or other adverse action or information relating to Zhang; (3) all documents relating to the current licensing status of Zhang; (4) all documents relating to the past licensing status of Zhang as a driver (without limitation as relates to any prior learner’s permits or applications relating thereto); (5) a copy of the complete driving record of Zhang; (6) all documents that relate to how Zhang performed on any testing administered by the DMV including, without limitation, any driving tests or vision tests; and (7) all documents that relate to any restrictions on the license of driver Zhang including, without limitation, as it relates to corrective lenses. (Declaration of Grandy ¶2; Exhibit A.)

The Requests are overbroad. Plaintiff did not limit the Requests in scope and/or time. The Requests are so overbroad they include documents that are not relevant to the instant action and/or documents protected by the right to privacy. For example, the Requests are broad enough to include documents pertaining to unrelated matters, “records related to post-accident matters, [Zhang’s] current license status, and other events and information that are wholly unrelated to this litigation, Plaintiff’s claim of negligence, and Plaintiff’s claim of personal injuries.” (Z-SS, pgs. 2-3.)

Based on the foregoing, Zhang’s motion to quash is granted as to Nos. 1-5 and 10-11.

Requests Nos. 13-15

Requests Nos. 13-15 seek production of the following: (1) a copy of any and all information and materials given by the DMV to drivers relating to any vision or corrective lenses restrictions applicable to drivers; (2) a copy of any and all information and materials given by the DMV to drivers relating to “provisional” license status; and (3) a copy of any and all information and materials given by the DMV to drivers under the age of 18 years old.

Zhang’s objections to Requests Nos. 13-15 are without merit. Zhang did not establish the Requests are overbroad, burdensome, or harassing, and/or the Requests seek information that is not relevant to this action. Zhang also did not establish the Requests implicate the right to privacy.

Zhang appears to concede the objections are without merit. In the notice of motion, Zhang requested the Court, in the alternative, “modify Plaintiff’s subpoena to permit the production of documents as to Requests 13, 14, and 15 only.” (Notice of Motion, pg. 2.) (Emphasis Added.)

Based on the foregoing, Zhang’s motion to quash is denied as to Nos. 13-15.

Requests Nos. 6-9 and 12

Requests Nos. 6-9 and 12 seek production of the following: (1) all documents that relate to the Traffic Collision Report (“TCR”) pertaining to the subject incident; (2) all documents contained in the DMV records that relate to the subject automobile accident; (3) any and all documents that relate to the “DS 427 driver re-evaluation” referenced on page 7, line 34, which the author of the TCR stated was mailed to Zhang; (4) any and all documents that relate to any subsequent actions regarding Zhang which relate to the “DS 427 driver re-evaluation;” and (5) all documents relating to “RSTR CORR LENS” designation which appears on the Driver’s License for Zhang. (Declaration of Grandy ¶2; Exhibit A.)

Zhang’s objections to Requests Nos. 6-9 and 12 without merit. Zhang did not establish the Requests are overbroad, burdensome, or harassing, and/or the Requests seek information that is not relevant to this action. The Requests are limited in scope and time by virtue of the fact that they seek documents related to the subject incident and Zhang’s license (at the time of the incident). Zhang also did not establish he has an “objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in the given circumstances” and the “threatened intrusion is serious.” (Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 552.) Even assuming, arguendo, a balancing of interests is required, Zhang’s right to privacy is outweighed by compelling interests, specifically “seeking the truth in court proceedings” and “ensuring those injured by the actionable conduct of others receive full redress of those injuries.” (Johnson v. Superior Court (2000) 80 Cal.App.4th 1050, 1071 (disapproved on other grounds in Williams at 557).)

Based on the foregoing, Zhang’s motion to quash is denied as to Nos. 6-9 and 12.

Conclusion

Zhang’s motion to quash subpoena is granted as to Nos. 1-5 and 10-11, and denied as to Nos. 6-9 and 12-15.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is denied. Sanctions are not warranted in light of the ruling on the motion.

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