This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/27/2019 at 03:52:57 (UTC).

TEDDY CANNON, AN INDIVIDUAL VS. BELLUM ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Case Summary

On 09/01/2017 TEDDY CANNON, AN INDIVIDUAL filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against BELLUM ENTERTAINMENT LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RALPH C. HOFER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7250

  • Filing Date:

    09/01/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Burbank Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RALPH C. HOFER

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Defendants

POWNALL CHRISTOPHER AN INDIVIDUAL

GARBER KAREN AN INDIVIDUAL

CANNON TEDDY AN INDIVIDUAL

POWNALL CHRISTOPHER

CANNON TEDDY

MCDONNELL MARY CAROLE AN INDIVIDUAL

BELLUM ENTERTAINMENT LLC

GARBER KAREN

MCDONNELL MARY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

MICHAEL J. WEISS ESQ

KOWALSKY MICHAEL BURTON

WEISS MICHAEL JARRETT

Defendant Attorneys

ERVIN COHEN & JESSUP

ZUIDERWEG GORDON JAMES

 

Court Documents

Substitution of Attorney

3/1/2019: Substitution of Attorney

Summons

9/1/2017: Summons

Notice of Case Management Conference

9/1/2017: Notice of Case Management Conference

Request For Copies

9/8/2017: Request For Copies

Legacy Document

7/25/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

7/25/2018: Legacy Document

Legacy Document

7/25/2018: Legacy Document

Notice

12/6/2018: Notice

Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

8/17/2018: Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

8/17/2018: Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

8/17/2018: Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

Notice of Entry of Judgment

8/20/2018: Notice of Entry of Judgment

Notice of Entry of Judgment

8/20/2018: Notice of Entry of Judgment

Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

7/25/2018: Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel-Civil

46 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/01/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department D; Hearing on Motion - Other (To Lift Stay and for an Order Striking Defendants' Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint and for Payment of Expenses incurred for Failure to Arbitrate filed on behalf of Plaintiffs Teddy Cannon, et al.) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 03/01/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion - Other To Lift Stay and for an Order Strik...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/01/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by BELLUM ENTERTAINMENT, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 03/01/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by MARY MCDONNELL (Defendant)

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  • 02/28/2019
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by KAREN, GARBER (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2019
  • DocketMotion for Order (MOTION TO LIFT STAY AND FOR AN ORDER); Filed by TEDDY, CANNON (Plaintiff); CHRISTOPHER, POWNALL (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/30/2019
  • DocketNotice (of continuance of order to show cause); Filed by TEDDY, CANNON (Plaintiff); CHRISTOPHER, POWNALL (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/28/2019
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department D; Jury Trial

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  • 01/17/2019
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department D; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 01/17/2019
  • Docketat 09:00 AM in Department D; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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69 More Docket Entries
  • 10/04/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by BELLUM ENTERTAINMENT, LLC (Defendant); MARY MCDONNELL (Defendant); KAREN, GARBER (Defendant)

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  • 09/08/2017
  • DocketRequest For Copies

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by null

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketNotice (of OSC)

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketSummons Filed

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by null

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  • 09/01/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC067250    Hearing Date: November 01, 2019    Dept: NCD

TENTATIVE RULING

Calendar: 12

Date: 11/1/19

Case No.: EC 067250

Case Name: Cannon, et al. v. Bellum Entertainment, LLC, et al.

MOTION TO LIFT STAY

Moving Party: Plaintiff Teddy Cannon and Christopher Pownall Responding Party: Defendants Bellum Entertainment, LLC, Mary Carol McDonnell and

Karen Garber (No Opposition)

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Lift stay and for order striking defendants’ answer and for payment of all expenses incurred for failure to arbitrate.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND: Plaintiffs Teddy Cannon and Christopher Pownall allege that they were hired as a video editor and producer in connection with television series’ being produced by defendant Bellum Entertainment, LLC. Defendant Mary Carole McConnell is alleged to be the chief executive officer of Bellum, and defendant Karen Garber is alleged to have been the chief financial officer. Plaintiffs allege that during plaintiffs’ employment, defendants failed to provide plaintiffs with meal and rest breaks, pay overtime compensation and minimum wage, remit payment of wages twice per month and promptly pay plaintiffs final wages and waiting time penalties.

On July 25, 2018, the parties submitted a Proposed Order to Stay Proceedings and Submit Claims to Binding Arbitration, which was signed by the court the same date and was filed as an order of the court.

The order states this matter is “stayed pending resolution of such claims in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association. It is further ordered that the Court shall retain jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ claims pending the full and final resolution of such claims in arbitration.”

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiffs indicate that pursuant to the stipulation between the parties, the parties agreed to submit the claims to arbitration within twenty days from the date the stipulation was executed, and defendants, as plaintiffs’ former employers, stipulated to pay all costs of arbitration. [Ex. A].

On March 1, 2019, the court heard a previous motion by plaintiffs to lift the stay, plaintiffs arguing that defendants had not responded to communications from the AAA concerning the arbitration. The motion was denied without prejudice, as the court was concerned that it was not at that point clear that defendants were in fact refusing to pay the costs of arbitration as agreed or had engaged in conduct rising to the level of having repudiated the agreement to arbitrate.

The moving papers now submit evidence that since that time, the AAA has confirmed that defendants had not made payment, the AAA arbitrator then determined to suspend the matter until arbitrator compensation was received, and ultimately closed the matter due to non-payment. [See Kowalsky Decl. ¶¶ 13-18, Exs. J-O].

This conduct now appears sufficient to constitute repudiation of the arbitration agreement and agreement to stay this matter sufficient for this court to lift the stay. The Second District has recognized that an order staying a civil action pending arbitration may be set aside by the trial court where there is evidence of conduct by the parties, in that case repeated failure to comply with orders of the arbitrator and to reach an agreement concerning the payment of arbitration fees, which can be construed as a repudiation of the terms of the arbitration agreement itself. Cinel v. Barna (2012, 2nd Dist.) 206 Cal.App.4th 1383.

Defendants have filed an opposition to the motion, in which they address only the request for sanctions in the moving papers and concede that the arbitration did not go forward because defendants did not pay the arbitration fees and costs. The opposition accordingly appears to concede that defendants are in agreement that the stay should be lifted, and the matter be returned to the court. The motion accordingly is granted, the stay lifted, and this matter assigned a future date.

The opposition argues that defendants should not be subject to sanctions, as they did not intentionally fail to arbitrate the matter and did not intend to delay or frustrate the arbitration of plaintiff’s claims, but argue that defendant Bellum Entertainment has ceased operations and is moribund, with its digital library and other assets lost via a UCC sale by a creditor, so it has no assets or funds. The individual defendants argue that the are also not able to pay arbitration fees or costs and did not believe they would be obligated to pay fees and costs, as the underlying agreements are between plaintiffs and defendant Bellum only, and the individual defendants did not authorize former counsel to agree that they would individually pay arbitration costs and fees.

The motion seeks sanctions under CCP section 128.5, which provides, in pertinent part:

“(a) A trial court may order a party, the party's attorney, or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. This section also applies to judicial arbitration proceedings under Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1141.10) of Title 3 of Part 3. (b) For purposes of this section:   (1) "Actions or tactics" include, but are not limited to, the making or opposing of motions or the filing and service of a complaint, cross-complaint, answer, or other responsive pleading. The mere filing of a complaint without service thereof on an opposing party does not constitute "actions or tactics" for purposes of this section.   (2) "Frivolous" means totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party.”

Sanctions were previously denied by the court on the ground the conduct at issue did not constitute actions or tactics in this matter, but in an arbitration, which was not a “judicial arbitration proceeding” mentioned in the statute. The motion does not explain how this request for sanctions is any different from the previous request, in effect, concerning conduct in the arbitration, not in this matter. The motion appears to limit

the request to the cost of making this motion, but it would appear that if the tactic here is the failure to withdraw the stipulation regarding the stay, a safe harbor to permit defendants to avoid the motion should have been afforded. No sanctions are awarded.

RULING:

Motion to Lift Stay is GRANTED.

Request for monetary sanctions pursuant to CCP § 128.5 is DENIED.

A CMC is set for December 5, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. with new CMC statements due 3 court days before the CMC.