This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/13/2021 at 22:17:37 (UTC).

SPACIOT, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL. VS DUC PHAM, AN INDIVIDUAL, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 12/04/2020 SPACIOT, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, filed a Property - Other Property Fraud lawsuit against DUC PHAM, AN INDIVIDUAL,. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******6551

  • Filing Date:

    12/04/2020

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Property Fraud

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

PACIOTTI ALESSANDRO

SPACIOT LLC

Defendants

VERONA STREET HOLDINGS LLC

ATLAS REAL ESTATE GROUP

HINMAN DANIEL

BARRY MASON ENTERPRISES LP

MOURAD ALI

MERIANS ROGER

PHAM DUC

PHAM VINCENT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

GOODMAN SHOLOM

 

Court Documents

Complaint

12/4/2020: Complaint

Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

12/4/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

Civil Case Cover Sheet

12/4/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice of Case Management Conference

12/21/2020: Notice of Case Management Conference

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE) OF 04/06/2021

4/6/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE) OF 04/06/2021

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

4/6/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO ...)

5/6/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO ...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO ...) OF 05/06/2021

5/6/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO ...) OF 05/06/2021

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL)

6/11/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL) OF 06/11/2021

6/11/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DISMISSAL) OF 06/11/2021

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/11/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal - Held

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  • 06/11/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal) of 06/11/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/11/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/06/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Case Management Conference - Held

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  • 05/06/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Order to Show Cause Re: (Sanctions for Plaintiff's Failure to Appear at the 04/06/2021 Hearing, Failure to File a Case Management Statement and Failure to File a Proof of Service) - Held

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  • 05/06/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions for Plaintiff's Failure to ...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/06/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions for Plaintiff's Failure to ...) of 05/06/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/06/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 34; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 04/06/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/06/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Case Management Conference) of 04/06/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/04/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by SPACIOT, LLC (Plaintiff); Alessandro Paciotti (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/04/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by SPACIOT, LLC (Plaintiff); Alessandro Paciotti (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/04/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******6551 Hearing Date: April 8, 2022 Dept: 34

SUBJECT: Plaintiffs Spaciot, LLC and Alessandro Paciotti’s Motion for Relief under CCP 473(b), to Set Aside Dismissal with Prejudice

Moving Party: Plaintiffs Spaciot, LLC and Alessandro Paciotti (“Plaintiffs”)

Resp. Party: None

I. BACKGROUND

On December 04, 2020, Plaintiffs Spaciot, LLC and Alessandro Paciotti filed a complaint against Defendants Duc Pham, Vincent Pham, Verona Street Holdings, LLC, Barry Mason Enterprises, LP, Atlas Real Estate Group, Ali Mourad, Roger Merians, Daniel Hinman, and Does 1 to 25, to allege the following:

1. Breach of Contract

2. Negligence

3. Negligent Misrepresentation

4. Fraud

5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty

On May 6, 2021, the Court order Plaintiffs’ counsel Sholom Goodman “to pay sanctions in the amount of $250.00 to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles by 06/07/2021 pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 177.5 for Failure to Appear at the 04/06/2021 Hearing, Failure to File a Case Management Statement and Failure to File a Proof of Service, and Failure to Appear at the 05/05/21 Hearing.” (Minute Order, May 6, 2021, p. 1.)

On June 11, 2021, the Court, noting no appearance by or for either side nor any communication with the Court as to why there was no appearance by or for either side, dismissed the Complaint filed on December 4, 2020 with prejudice. (Minute Order, June 11, 2021.)

On December 10, 2021, Plaintiffs Spaciot, LLC and Alessandro Paciotti each substituted Steven L. Boortz as their new counsel.

On December 10, 2021, Plaintiffs moved the Court for an order to set aside this Court’s Dismissal with Prejudice of June 11, 2021, pursuant to CCP 473(b), et seq.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b) provides, in relevant part:

“The court may, upon any terms as may be just, relieve a party or his or her legal representative from a judgment, dismissal, order, or other proceeding taken against him or her through his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. Application for this relief shall be accompanied by a copy of the answer or other pleading proposed to be filed therein, otherwise the application shall not be granted, and shall be made within a reasonable time, in no case exceeding six months, after the judgment, dismissal, order, or proceeding was taken.” (Code Civ. Proc., 473, subd. (b).)

The court has broad discretion to vacate the entry of default, default judgment, a dismissal, or other proceeding, but that discretion can be exercised only if the moving party establishes a proper ground for relief, by the proper procedure and within the set time limits. Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 473(b), a motion to set aside/vacate cannot be brought more than six months after the proceeding was taken and must be made within a “reasonable time.”

Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b) allows a court to vacate a prior order upon a showing that the order was entered due to a party’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. The terms mistake, inadvertence, surprise, and excusable neglect which warrant relief under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b) are defined as follows:

“Mistake is not a ground for relief under section 473, subdivision (b), when ‘the court finds that the “mistake” is simply the result of professional incompetence, general ignorance of the law, or unjustifiable negligence in discovering the law ....’ [Citation] Further, ‘[t]he term “surprise,” as used in section 473, refers to “some condition or situation in which a party ... is unexpectedly placed to his injury, without any default or negligence of his own, which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against.” [Citation] Finally, as for inadvertence or neglect, ‘[t]o warrant relief under section 473 a litigant's neglect must have been such as might have been the act of a reasonably prudent person under the same circumstances. The inadvertence contemplated by the statute does not mean mere inadvertence in the abstract. If it is wholly inexcusable it does not justify relief.’ [Citation].” (Henderson v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 215, 229-230.)

Relief under CCP 473(b) is available to plaintiffs and defendants. For example, relief is available from an order of dismissal for failure to make discovery, because such dismissal is the “practical equivalent of a default judgment.” (Aldrich v. San Fernando Valley Lumber Co., Inc. (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 725, 736.)

“Despite the general rule which imputes the attorney's neglect to the client, there are exceptional cases in which the client, relatively free from personal neglect, will be relieved of a default or dismissal attributable to the inaction or procrastination of his counsel.

Here the neglect was inexcusable and extreme, amounting to positive misconduct. Mr. Hopkins' consistent and long-continued inaction was so visibly and inevitably disastrous, that his client was effectually and unknowingly deprived of representation. An attorney's authority to bind his client does not permit him to impair or destroy the client's cause of action. … Attorney neglect urged in opposition to dismissal or in support of a motion to vacate usually consists of errors of judgment, mistake or ignorance of law, or lapses in law office management. Such mishaps are pallid compared with Attorney Hopkins' mistreatment of his client's interests. Under these unusual circumstances, where the client was unknowingly deprived of effective representation, she will not be charged with responsibility for the misconduct of her nominal counsel of record.” (Daley v. Butte County (1964) 227 Cal.App.2d 380, 391–392 (cleaned up).)

B. Discussion

The Court dismissed Plaintiffs’ Complaint with prejudice on June 11, 2021. The deadline to file a motion to set aside dismissal was December 11, 2021. Plaintiffs filed their motion to set aside dismissal on December 10, 2021. The Court finds that the instant motion is timely.

Plaintiff Alessandro Paciotti attests that during his last communication with his former counsel Shalom Goodman on December 1, 2020, they discussed filing a complaint against persons Paciotti believes to have defrauded him on a real estate transaction. (Paciotti Decl., 2.) Checking Court records, Paciotti learned that Goodman filed Plaintiffs’ Complaint on December 4, 2020. (Id.) Hearing nothing from Goodman, Paciotti sought other representation in November 2021. (Paciotti Decl., 3-4.) In consultation with attorney Steven L. Boortz Paciotti learned that the Court dismissed the case on June 11, 2021, and that Goodman failed to respond to the Court or appear at any hearings. (Paciotti Decl., 5.) Paciotti attests that he had no notice of the three Court hearings in 2021 and only learned of the hearings, his lack of representation during said hearings, and the Court’s dismissal of his Complaint on November 24, 2021. (Paciotti Decl., 6.)

Paciotti argues that Attorney Goodman’s treatment of his case mirrors the situation discussed in Daley v. Butte County (1964) 227 Cal.App.2d 380. (Motion, MPA, p. 9:10-15.) The Court finds that Attorney Goodman failed to serve the Complaint, failed to appear at the Case Management Conference, the Order to Show Cause re Sanctions, and the Order to Show Cause re Dismissal, and failed to communicate with both the Court and his client. (Motion, MPA, p. 9:17-20.) Further, since Defendants have not been prejudiced in this case because there is no evidence that they have been served by Plaintiffs. In deference to public policy that heavily favors dispute resolution on the merits and finding no prejudice to Defendants and the Court interest in avoiding punitive measures toward clients for their counsel’s mistakes, the Court finds relief warranted.

III. CONCLUSION

Plaintiffs Spaciot, LLC and Alessandro Paciotti’s Motion for Relief under CCP 473(b), to Set Aside Dismissal with Prejudice is GRANTED.

The Court sets a Case Management Conference for June 2022. Plaintiff to have served all defendants prior to that date. Plaintiff to give notice.



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