This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/07/2021 at 06:50:41 (UTC).

SYLVIA NOVOA VS ASATOUR POGOSIAN

Case Summary

On 03/19/2019 SYLVIA NOVOA filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ASATOUR POGOSIAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******9389

  • Filing Date:

    03/19/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

NOVOA SYLVIA

POGOSIAN ASATOUR AKA AZATURE POGOSIAN

ESCROW TODAY INC.

Defendant and Cross Defendant

POGOSIAN ASATOUR AKA AZATURE POGOSIAN

Cross Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

POGOSIAN ASATOUR

ESCROW TODAY INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

MOHR JACQUELYN

POLYAKOV LEONARD

ALLEMAND JAMES J.

MARBLE KAREN

FELTEN JENNIFER

Cross Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

MARBLE KAREN

FELTEN JENNIFER

KELLEY PAUL M.

 

Court Documents

Substitution of Attorney

3/15/2021: Substitution of Attorney

Declaration - DECLARATION OF PAUL M. KELLEY REGARDING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR

2/10/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION OF PAUL M. KELLEY REGARDING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT/REVIEW ...)

11/20/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NON-APPEARANCE CASE REVIEW RE CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT/REVIEW ...)

Notice - NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION TO WITHDRAW, NOTICE OF CONTINUED TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE, AND NOTICE OF ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR

11/17/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF RULING ON MOTION TO WITHDRAW, NOTICE OF CONTINUED TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE, AND NOTICE OF ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR

Separate Statement

10/6/2020: Separate Statement

Proof of Service by Mail

10/6/2020: Proof of Service by Mail

Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUED STATUS CONFERENCE

9/16/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUED STATUS CONFERENCE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL ((BY CROSS-DEFENS...)

9/16/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL ((BY CROSS-DEFENS...)

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

3/23/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Cross-Complaint - CROSS-COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER

6/11/2019: Cross-Complaint - CROSS-COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER

General Denial

6/11/2019: General Denial

Request for Dismissal - REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL FILED NOT ENTERED-CROSS-DEFENDANT CANNOT FILE A DISMISSAL.

10/11/2019: Request for Dismissal - REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL FILED NOT ENTERED-CROSS-DEFENDANT CANNOT FILE A DISMISSAL.

Notice of Stay of Proceedings (Bankruptcy)

10/16/2019: Notice of Stay of Proceedings (Bankruptcy)

Answer

8/8/2019: Answer

Answer - ANSWER ASATOUR POGOSIAN'S ANSWER TO ESCROW TODAY, INC'S CROSS-COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER

7/16/2019: Answer - ANSWER ASATOUR POGOSIAN'S ANSWER TO ESCROW TODAY, INC'S CROSS-COMPLAINT IN INTERPLEADER

Case Management Statement

7/8/2019: Case Management Statement

Cross-Complaint

5/17/2019: Cross-Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet

3/19/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet

55 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/27/2021
  • Hearing04/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 04/27/2021
  • Hearing04/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 04/27/2021
  • Hearing04/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 04/27/2021
  • Hearing04/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 04/27/2021
  • Hearing04/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 49 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 03/19/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 49; Trial Setting Conference ((c/f 2/18/21)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 03/19/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses ((c/f 2/18/21)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 03/19/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses ((c/f 2/18/21)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 03/19/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses ((c/f 2/18/21)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 03/19/2021
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses ((c/f 2/18/21)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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85 More Docket Entries
  • 06/11/2019
  • DocketGeneral Denial; Filed by Escrow Today, Inc. (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 06/11/2019
  • DocketNotice and Acknowledgment of Receipt; Filed by Sylvia Novoa (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 05/28/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Asatour Pogosian (Defendant)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by Asatour Pogosian (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Asatour Pogosian (Defendant)

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  • 03/19/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Sylvia Novoa (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/19/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Sylvia Novoa (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/19/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Sylvia Novoa (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/19/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCV09389    Hearing Date: February 18, 2021    Dept: 49


Case Number: 20STCV07904    Hearing Date: February 18, 2021    Dept: 49

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Jon Lambert, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.

20STCV07904

v.

[Tentative] Ruling

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

Defendant.

Hearing Date: February 18, 2021

Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice

Defendant’s Motion to Transfer Venue

Moving Party: Defendant Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

Responding Party: Plaintiffs Jon Lambert and William Joseph Lambert

Ruling: Defendant’s motion is granted.

Defendant Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (“Defendant”) moves for an order transferring this action to the Santa Rosa branch of the Sonoma County Superior Court.

Defendant previously moved to transfer venue in this action to the Santa Rosa branch of the Sonoma County Superior Court pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. § 396b. On August 17, 2020, the court denied Defendant’s motion claiming Defendant acknowledged that its principal place of business is located in Plano, Texas, and the motion to change venue to Sonoma County was not permissible as brought under Code Civ. Proc. § 395.5.

Defendant now moves under Code Civ. Proc. § 397(c) because “the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 397(c).) “A motion for a change of venue grounded upon the convenience of witnesses rests in the discretion of the trial court, the exercise of which will not be disturbed in the absence of a showing of its abuse; and it is settled that a mere preponderance in the number of the witnesses claimed to be necessary to the moving party does not entirely control the exercise of the court's discretion. Regard may be given to the character of the proposed testimony; and the court may therefore determine for itself from the showing made whether or not there be any necessity for the testimony of any or all of the desired witnesses.” (Blossom v. Waller (1916) 30 Cal. App. 439, 441.)

Defendant submits the declaration of its counsel, James Werner, in support of its motion to transfer venue of this action. Plaintiffs Jon Lambert and William Joseph Lambert (“Plaintiffs”) purchased a 2017 Toyota 4Runner vehicle from “Freeman Toyota,” which is a dealership located in Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County, California. (Gribin-Sanchez Decl. ¶ 3; Werner Decl. ¶ 2, Exh. A.) Following the purchase of the vehicle, Plaintiffs had it serviced at Freeman Toyota four times, and once in Ocala, Florida. (Werner Decl. ¶ 3, Exh. B.) Plaintiffs live in Cloverdale, in Sonoma County, California. (Id. ¶ 4.) Defense counsel declares that Defendant’s consultant who will inspect the vehicle has his office in San Ramon, California, which is closer to Sonoma County than to Los Angeles. (Id. ¶ 6.) Werner further declares that “[a]ny testimony regarding the plaintiffs’ concerns with the vehicle, and the repairs performed by the dealership, will come from service personnel at Freeman Toyota, located in Sonoma County.” (Id. ¶ 7.)

Defendant also submits the declaration of Gerry Quinlan, Fixed Operations Director for Defendant, who declares that “[t]he sales and finance personnel involved in this transaction included Brita Von Rechendorff, John Coffaney and the sales manager, Ian Schmucker. All of them live in or near Sonoma County.” (Quinlan Decl. ¶ 3.) “The service advisors and technicians involved with plaintiff's service visits to Freeman Toyota include Ronald Oakes. Luis Trujillo. Robert Augusto, Rene Doess, Michael Gomez and the service manager is Jeff Beck. Mr. Oakes and Gomez no longer work at the dealership. They all live in or near Sonoma County.” (Id. ¶ 5.)

Defendant cites to Pearson v. Superior Court for the court’s conclusion that the “[c]onvenience of witnesses is shown by the fact that the residence of all the witnesses is in the county to which the transfer of the cause is requested. [Citation.] A conclusion that the ends of justice are promoted can be drawn from the fact that by moving the trial closer to the residence of the witnesses, delay and expense in court proceedings are avoided and savings in the witnesses' time and expenses are effected.” (Pearson v. Superior Court, City & Cty. of San Francisco (1962) 199 Cal. App. 2d 69, 77.) “It appears to us that delays will be avoided by having the trial closer to the witnesses. Their personal attendance can be compelled. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1989.) They can easily be recalled or, where their attendance has been compelled by subpoena, can be held subject to call under appropriate directions of the court. “The obvious savings in the witnesses' time and expense in traveling to and from the place of trial also promotes the ends of justice.” (Id. at 79.)

In Pearson, the court reasoned that the distance of 525 miles between the residence of the witnesses to the action and the trial court caused inconvenience warranting a transfer of venue. (Id. at 78.) In Richfield Hotel Management, the court found that a distance of 210 miles between San Mateo County and the lay witnesses would cause significant lost working time and travel expenses and issued a peremptory writ of mandate vacating the trial court order denying the motion to transfer venue. (Richfield Hotel Mgmt., Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 22 Cal. App. 4th 222, 227.) Per the declaration of counsel cited above, the relevant lay witnesses in this action reside in or close to Sonoma County, which is approximately four-hundred miles from Los Angeles County. (Werner Decl. ¶¶ 6-8; Quinlan Decl. ¶¶ 5-6.)

In opposition, Plaintiffs argue that a motion to transfer venue cannot simply consider the convenience of party witnesses and must set forth specific facts as to each lay witness for which the current venue causes inconvenience. Indeed, “convenience of witnesses who are parties (in the absence of unusual circumstances) cannot be considered on such a motion.” (Stanning v. White (1958) 156 Cal. App. 2d 547, 549.) However, the witnesses identified in the declaration are not employees of Defendant Toyota Motor Sales, USA, but are employees of Freeman Toyota. (Werner Decl. ¶ 7, Quinlan Decl. ¶ 5.)

Nevertheless, “[b]efore the convenience of witnesses may be considered as a ground for an order granting a change of venue it must be shown that their proposed testimony is admissible, relevant and material to some issue in the case as shown by the record before the court.” (Peiser v. Mettler (1958) 50 Cal. 2d 594, 607.) “The affidavits in support of the motion for change of venue on this ground must set forth the names of the witnesses, the nature of the testimony expected from each, and the reasons why the attendance of each would be inconvenient.” (Id.) “The nature of the testimony expected of each is necessary so that the court may determine the materiality of the evidence or the necessity of the testimony from such witnesses. [Citation.] The convenience of witnesses whose testimony will be merely cumulative is entitled to little consideration.” (Corfee v. Southern California Edison Co. (1962) 202 Cal.App.2d 473, 477.)

Plaintiffs opine that Defendant has submitted no individualized evidence of what testimony will be provided by each of the identified lay witnesses. Rather, the declarations submitted are limited to naming the individuals who may have relevant information “[i]f any service or sales personnel at Freeman Toyota are called as witnesses at trial.” (Quinlan Decl. ¶¶ 5-6.) Defense counsel declares in conclusory fashion that “[a]ny testimony regarding the plaintiffs’ concerns with the vehicle, and the repairs performed by the dealership, will come from service personnel at Freeman Toyota, located in Sonoma County.” (Werner ¶ 7.) Plaintiff cites to Flanagan v. Flanagan in which the Court of Appeal for the Second District held that there was “no support in the record for the trial court's order granting defendant's motion for change of venue,” because “apart from [the defendant’s] conclusion that [the witnesses] are ‘material and necessary’ it completely omits any recitation concerning that about which she expects them to testify, and nowhere in the record before us does the nature of any expected testimony appear.” (Flanagan v. Flanagan (1959) 175 Cal. App. 2d 641, 644–45.) However, as discussed below, this case is distinguishable from Flanagan in that no witnesses or evidence in this action bear any relation to the action’s current venue.

Testimony pertaining to the sale of the vehicle, the warranties issued, the attempted repairs, and to any offers to repurchase will be relevant to the dispute, and critically, will all be produced by witnesses in or near Sonoma County. Indeed, as stated by Defendant, “Defendant has identified at least nine third-party witnesses who reside outside the County of Los Angeles. Plaintiffs have identified no third-party witnesses that reside in Los Angeles County.” (Reply 2:3-5.) While the declarations submitted fail to articulate with specificity what testimony will be provided to allow the court to determine whether the evidence is cumulative, there is no evidence within the record that any witnesses are located within Los Angeles County. Rather, it appears that the only actors in this matter who are located within Los Angeles County are the parties’ respective attorneys. In Henson v. Superior Court, the Court of Appeal for the Third District held that where a party failed to name a single witness “whose convenience would be served, nor fact suggesting that the ends of justice would be promoted otherwise by retaining venue,” “the denial of the motion by the trial court was not an exercise of discretion serving the ends of justice but an arbitrary failure to exercise discretion.” (Henson v. Superior Court for Yuba Cty. (1963) 218 Cal. App. 2d 327, 330.)

Here, there are no facts which warrant retention of venue in Los Angeles County. Plaintiffs limit their opposition to the argument that Defendant’s evidence is inadequate to carry its burden. Like Henson, there is no evidence that any witness would benefit from convenience, nor any facts suggesting that the ends of justice would be promoted by retaining venue in Los Angeles County. Indeed, it would be a failure to exercise discretion in denying this motion. There is no evidence that any relevant witnesses or facts are located or occurred in Los Angeles County. The subject vehicle was purchased from a dealership in Sonoma County, was owned, and maintained in Sonoma County, and all relevant witnesses are in or close proximity to Sonoma County. Absent from the opposition and Plaintiffs’ counsel’s declaration are any ties between this action and Los Angeles County. In the succinct declaration of Plaintiffs’ counsel, the only statement pertaining to witness convenience is the following: “[s]hould these witnesses be deposed by Plaintiffs, the deposition would occur virtually or at the TMS dealership in Santa Rosa, CA which minimizes any alleged burden or inconvenience.” Plaintiffs submit no authority to support the argument that this assertion defeats Defendant’s motion. In sum, there is no dispute that all witnesses are located in or around Sonoma County.

Defendant’s motion for a transfer of venue to the Santa Rosa branch of the Sonoma County Superior Court, California, is granted. Any costs of transfer shall be borne by Plaintiffs.

Defendant is ordered to provide notice of this ruling.

Date: February 18, 2021

Honorable Stuart M. Rice

Judge of the Superior Court

Case Number: 19STCV09389    Hearing Date: November 17, 2020    Dept: 49

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Sylvia Novoa,

Plaintiff,

Case No.

19STCV09389

v.

[Tentative] Ruling

Asatour Pogosian.

Defendant.

Hearing Date: November 17, 2020

Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice

(1) Motion to be Relieved as Counsel

Moving Party: Attorney Leonard Polyakov

Responding Party: none

Ruling: Polyakov’s motion to be relieved as counsel is granted.

Attorney Leonard Polyakov, counsel of record for Plaintiff Sylvia Novoa has fulfilled the requirements of California Rules of Court Rule 3.3162. The motion to be relieved as counsel is granted. Counsel is reminded that this order is not effective until plaintiff is served with a copy of the order and a proof of service filed with the court.

Date: November 17, 2020

Honorable Stuart M. Rice

Judge of the Superior Court

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