Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/25/2019 at 03:47:05 (UTC).

YAN LI VS APRIL LIN

Case Summary

On 12/12/2017 YAN LI filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against APRIL LIN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is GLORIA WHITE-BROWN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9873

  • Filing Date:

    12/12/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Pomona Courthouse South

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

GLORIA WHITE-BROWN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

MESARICA MANAGEMENT LLC

LI YAN

STATE FARM GENERAL INS. CO.

LIN PEIZHEN

YOUNG LILI

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

CHENG JUI YUAN

HAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC

HAN REALTY

MOON MANAGEMENT CONSULTING LLC

LI SHIGANG

LI APRIL

LIN APRIL

YANG ZHIGANG

HAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC. DBA HAN REALTY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

FU DAVID D. ESQ LAW OFFICES OF

PLEASANT JOSEPH M

FU DAVID DAI-WUNG

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

HAND ESQ. J. THOMAS

ALKANA EUGENE

CHEN PETER C ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Summons

12/12/2017: Summons

Unknown

2/27/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

6/13/2018: Minute Order

Declaration

7/16/2018: Declaration

Cross-Complaint

7/16/2018: Cross-Complaint

Cross-Complaint

7/16/2018: Cross-Complaint

Notice of Ruling

7/31/2018: Notice of Ruling

Unknown

8/6/2018: Unknown

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

10/1/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Summons

10/19/2018: Summons

Other -

11/15/2018: Other -

Notice

12/4/2018: Notice

Declaration

12/7/2018: Declaration

Substitution of Attorney

12/11/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Substitution of Attorney

12/11/2018: Substitution of Attorney

Case Management Statement

12/11/2018: Case Management Statement

Minute Order

12/14/2018: Minute Order

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

5/23/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)

66 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/23/2019
  • Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) (DOE 1 ZHIGANG YANG); Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/28/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department J, Gloria White-Brown, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - Continued

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/28/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/25/2019
  • Request for Dismissal; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/13/2019
  • Notice (Notice of Unavailability of Counsel); Filed by April Lin (Cross-Complainant); Shigang Li (Cross-Complainant); Han International Group, Inc. (Cross-Complainant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/13/2019
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by State Farm General Ins. Co. (Plaintiff in Intervention)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/04/2019
  • Notice of Rejection - Pleadings; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/30/2019
  • Minute Order; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/02/2019
  • Notice (Notice of Case Reassignment); Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/26/2018
  • Answer; Filed by Han International Group, Inc. (Defendant); April Lin (Defendant); Shigang Li (Defendant) et al.

    Read MoreRead Less
98 More Docket Entries
  • 12/15/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/15/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/15/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/15/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/14/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/12/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff); Mesarica Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/12/2017
  • Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/12/2017
  • Summons (on Complaint)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/12/2017
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 03/08/2011
  • Reply To Motion; Filed by Yan Li (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: KC069873    Hearing Date: March 8, 2021    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Monday, March 8, 2021

NOTICE: OK[1]

RE: Li, et al. v. Lin, et al. (KC069873)

______________________________________________________________________________

1. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO DEEM THE TRUTH OF MATTERS SPECIFIED IN

REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

ADMITTED AND CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 2/26/21, 8:25 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

2. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 2/26/21, 8:25 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

3. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 2/26/21, 8:25 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

4. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 2/26/21, 8:25 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

Tentative Ruling

1. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Deem the Truth of Matters Specified in Requests for

Admissions, Set One, for Defendant Zhigang Yang Admitted and Conclusively Established

is GRANTED. Pursuant to Code Civil Procedure § 2033.280, subdivision (b), the court

orders that the truth of the matters specified in the Requests for Admissions, Set One,

propounded by Yan to Yang be deemed admitted. Sanctions are awarded in the reduced

amount of $361.65 and are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

2. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, for

Defendant Zhigang Yang is GRANTED. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified

responses, without objections, to Yan’s Form Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions are awarded in the reduced amount of $361.65 and are payable within 30 days.

3. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Compel Responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One, for

Defendant Zhigang Yang is GRANTED. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified

responses, without objections, to Yan’s Special Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions are awarded in the reduced amount of $361.65 and are payable within 30 days.

4. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Compel Responses to Request for Production of Documents,

Set One, for Defendant Zhigang Yang is GRANTED. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan

verified responses, without objections, to Yan’s Request for Production of Documents, Set

One within 20 days. Sanctions are awarded in the reduced amount of $361.65 and are

payable within 30 days.

Background

Plaintiff Yan Li (“Yan”) owns the property located at 20711 E. Mesarica Road in San Dimas (“subject property”) and manages same through Plaintiff Mesarica Management, LLC (“Mesarica”). On or about April 5, 2016, Yan entered into a “Lease Listing Agreement—Exclusive Authorization to Lease or Rent” with Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty (“Han”). Yan alleges that Han’s supervising broker, April Lin (“A. Lin”), represented to Yan that her friend Shigang Li (“S. Li”) was interested in leasing the subject property for himself and his son to use when they visited from overseas, and that S. Li was also looking to operate a consulting business on the subject property. When Yan objected to S. Li as a tenant for his lack of credit history in the United States, A. Lin promised she would also be a tenant on the lease. Yan contends that A. Lin, S. Lim Jui Yuan Cheng and Moon Management Consulting, LLC (“Moon”) failed to disclose their intent to operate short-term rentals and use the subject property to operate businesses for a profit, including social events such as parties and weddings. Yan alleges that the subject property was severely damaged during a March 25, 2017 social event.

On March 15, 2018, the court sustained Plaintiffs’ demurrer to A. Lin, et al.’s cross-complaint, without leave to amend. On August 6, 2018, S. Li, Cheng and Moon filed their First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”), asserting causes of action therein against Lili Young (“Young”) and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Fraud and Deceit by Intentional Misrepresentation
  3. Fraud and Deceit by Concealment and Nondisclosure of Known Facts
  4. Negligent Misrepresentation
  5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  6. Equitable Indemnity
  7. Contribution

On October 19, 2018, the court sustained Young’s demurrer to the FACC without leave to amend.

On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff-In-Intervention State Farm General Ins. Co. filed its complaint in intervention. On February 25, 2019, Plaintiffs dismissed Cheng, without prejudice.

On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amendment to Complaint, wherein Zhigang Yang (“Yang”) was substituted in lieu of Doe 1.

On July 8, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint, asserting causes of action against Defendants A. Lin, Han, S. Li, Yang, Moon and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Breach of Contract—Listing Agreement
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  4. Professional Negligence
  5. Breach of Contract—Lease Agreement
  6. Negligence

On August 10, 2020, S. Li’s default was entered.

A Status Conference Re: Discovery is set for March 8, 2021. The Final Status Conference is set for April 4, 2022. Trial is set for April 12, 2022.

1. Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted

Legal Standard

A response to requests for admission is due 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., §

2033.250, subd. (a).) If a party to whom the requests for admission are directed fails to serve a

timely response, the requesting party may move for an order that the genuineness of any

documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted. (Code Civ.

Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (b).)

The court shall make this order, unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).) It is mandatory that the court impose a monetary sanction on the party or attorney, or both, whose failure to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitated this motion. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order deeming the truth of all matters specified in Yan’s Request for Admissions, Set One, admitted and conclusively established. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65.

Yan’s counsel, Samuel H. Jones (“Jones”), represents, and the accompanying exhibits reflect, as follows: On September 1, 2020, Yan served the subject discovery on Yang’s then-counsel Eugene Alkana. (Jones Decl., ¶2, Exh. A.) On September 11, 2020, Jones emailed Alkana, who confirmed that he had sent the subject discovery to Yang both before and after he was relieved [i.e., on September 4, 2020] as Yang’s counsel. (Id., ¶3, Exh. B.) Responses were due on or before October 6, 2020. (Id., ¶4.) On October 8, 2020, Jones sent a letter to Yang regarding his lack of responses. (Id., ¶5, Exh. C.) On October 16, 2020, Jones sent a follow-up letter to Yang. (Id., ¶6, Exh. D.) No responses have been received. (Id., ¶7).

The motion is granted. Pursuant to Code Civil Procedure § 2033.280, subdivision (b), the court orders that the truth of the matters specified in the Requests for Admissions, Set One, propounded by Yan to Yang be deemed admitted.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [calculated as follows: 2.4 hours preparing motion and meeting/conferring, plus 1 hour preparing reply, plus 1 hour attending hearing at $300.00/hour, plus $61.65 filing fee].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

2. Motion to Compel Re: Form Interrogatories

Legal Standard

A response to interrogatories is due 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd.

(a).) If a party to whom the interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response to it, the

party propounding the interrogatories may move for an order compelling response to the

interrogatories. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b).)

The court shall impose a monetary sanction against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes such a motion to compel, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (c).)

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order compelling Yang to provide responses to Yan’s Form

Interrogatories, Set One, without objections. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in the

amount of $1,381.65.

See synopsis of Motion #1.

The motion is granted. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified responses, without objections, to

Yan’s Form Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [See above re: calculation].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

3. Motion to Compel Re: Special Interrogatories

Legal Standard

See Motion #2.

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order compelling Yang to provide responses to Yan’s Special

Interrogatories, Set One, without objections. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in the

amount of $1,381.65.

See synopsis of Motion #1.

The motion is granted. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified responses, without objections, to

Yan’s Special Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [See above re: calculation].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

4. Motion to Compel Re: Requests for Production

Legal Standard

A response to a request for production of documents is due 30 days after service. (Code Civ.

Proc., § 2031.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom a request for production of documents is

directed fails to serve a timely response to it, the party making the demand may move for an

order compelling response to the demand. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (b).)

The court shall impose a monetary sanction against any party, person, or attorney who

unsuccessfully makes or opposes such a motion to compel, unless it finds that the one subject to

the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition

of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (c).)

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order compelling Yang to provide responses to Yan’s Requests for

Production of Documents, Set One, without objections. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in

the amount of $1,381.65.

See synopsis of Motion #1.

The motion is granted. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified responses, without objections, to

Yan’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [See above re: calculation].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.


[1] Motions #1-#4 were filed on December 24, 2020; Motions #1 and #2 were set for hearing on January 27, 2021 and Motions #3 and #4 were set for hearing on February 2, 2021. Amended proofs of service reflect that Motions #1-#4 were mail-served on December 28, 2020. On January 6, 2021, Plaintiffs filed (and mail-served) a “Notice of Rescheduled Hearings on Motions to Compel Discovery for Request for Production of Documents, Set One and Special Interrogatories, Set One Against Defendant Zhigang Yang,” advising therein that the February 2, 2021 hearing date on Motions #3 and #4 had been advanced to January 27, 2021. On January 22, 20201, the court, on its own motion, rescheduled the January 27 2021 hearing date on Motions #1-#4 to March 8, 2021; Plaintiffs’ counsel was ordered to give notice. On January 22, 2021, Plaintiffs filed (and served via email) a “Notice of Ruling,” advising therein of the rescheduled March 8, 2021 hearing date.

Case Number: KC069873    Hearing Date: January 27, 2021    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

NOTICE: OK[1]

RE: Li, et al. v. Lin, et al. (KC069873)

______________________________________________________________________________

1. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO DEEM THE TRUTH OF MATTERS SPECIFIED IN

REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

ADMITTED AND CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 1/15/21, 11:45 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

2. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 1/15/21, 11:45 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

3. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 1/15/21, 11:45 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

4. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS, SET ONE, FOR DEFENDANT ZHIGANG YANG

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 1/15/21, 11:45 a.m.; due 1/13/21)

Tentative Ruling

1. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Deem the Truth of Matters Specified in Requests for

Admissions, Set One, for Defendant Zhigang Yang Admitted and Conclusively Established

is GRANTED. Pursuant to Code Civil Procedure § 2033.280, subdivision (b), the court

orders that the truth of the matters specified in the Requests for Admissions, Set One,

propounded by Yan to Yang be deemed admitted. Sanctions are awarded in the reduced

amount of $361.65 and are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

2. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Compel Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, for

Defendant Zhigang Yang is GRANTED. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified

responses, without objections, to Yan’s Form Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions are awarded in the reduced amount of $361.65 and are payable within 30 days.

3. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Compel Responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One, for

Defendant Zhigang Yang is GRANTED. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified

responses, without objections, to Yan’s Special Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions are awarded in the reduced amount of $361.65 and are payable within 30 days.

4. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Compel Responses to Request for Production of Documents,

Set One, for Defendant Zhigang Yang is GRANTED. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan

verified responses, without objections, to Yan’s Request for Production of Documents, Set

One within 20 days. Sanctions are awarded in the reduced amount of $361.65 and are

payable within 30 days.

Background

Plaintiff Yan Li (“Yan”) owns the property located at 20711 E. Mesarica Road in San Dimas (“subject property”) and manages same through Plaintiff Mesarica Management, LLC (“Mesarica”). On or about April 5, 2016, Yan entered into a “Lease Listing Agreement—Exclusive Authorization to Lease or Rent” with Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty (“Han”). Yan alleges that Han’s supervising broker, April Lin (“A. Lin”), represented to Yan that her friend Shigang Li (“S. Li”) was interested in leasing the subject property for himself and his son to use when they visited from overseas, and that S. Li was also looking to operate a consulting business on the subject property. When Yan objected to S. Li as a tenant for his lack of credit history in the United States, A. Lin promised she would also be a tenant on the lease. Yan contends that A. Lin, S. Lim Jui Yuan Cheng and Moon Management Consulting, LLC (“Moon”) failed to disclose their intent to operate short-term rentals and use the subject property to operate businesses for a profit, including social events such as parties and weddings. Yan alleges that the subject property was severely damaged during a March 25, 2017 social event.

On March 15, 2018, the court sustained Plaintiffs’ demurrer to A. Lin, et al.’s cross-complaint, without leave to amend. On August 6, 2018, S. Li, Cheng and Moon filed their First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”), asserting causes of action therein against Lili Young (“Young”) and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Fraud and Deceit by Intentional Misrepresentation
  3. Fraud and Deceit by Concealment and Nondisclosure of Known Facts
  4. Negligent Misrepresentation
  5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  6. Equitable Indemnity
  7. Contribution

On October 19, 2018, the court sustained Young’s demurrer to the FACC without leave to amend.

On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff-In-Intervention State Farm General Ins. Co. filed its complaint in intervention. On February 25, 2019, Plaintiffs dismissed Cheng, without prejudice.

On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amendment to Complaint, wherein Zhigang Yang (“Yang”) was substituted in lieu of Doe 1.

On July 8, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint, asserting causes of action against Defendants A. Lin, Han, S. Li, Yang, Moon and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Breach of Contract—Listing Agreement
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  4. Professional Negligence
  5. Breach of Contract—Lease Agreement
  6. Negligence

On August 10, 2020, S. Li’s default was entered.

The Final Status Conference is set for April 4, 2022. Trial is set for April 12, 2022.

1. Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted

Legal Standard

A response to requests for admission is due 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., §

2033.250, subd. (a).) If a party to whom the requests for admission are directed fails to serve a

timely response, the requesting party may move for an order that the genuineness of any

documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted. (Code Civ.

Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (b).)

The court shall make this order, unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).) It is mandatory that the court impose a monetary sanction on the party or attorney, or both, whose failure to serve a timely response to requests for admission necessitated this motion. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280, subd. (c).

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order deeming the truth of all matters specified in Yan’s Request for Admissions, Set One, admitted and conclusively established. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65.

Yan’s counsel, Samuel H. Jones (“Jones”), represents, and the accompanying exhibits reflect, as follows: On September 1, 2020, Yan served the subject discovery on Yang’s then-counsel Eugene Alkana. (Jones Decl., ¶2, Exh. A.) On September 11, 2020, Jones emailed Alkana, who confirmed that he had sent the subject discovery to Yang both before and after he was relieved [i.e., on September 4, 2020] as Yang’s counsel. (Id., ¶3, Exh. B.) Responses were due on or before October 6, 2020. (Id., ¶4.) On October 8, 2020, Jones sent a letter to Yang regarding his lack of responses. (Id., ¶5, Exh. C.) On October 16, 2020, Jones sent a follow-up letter to Yang. (Id., ¶6, Exh. D.) No responses have been received. (Id., ¶7).

The motion is granted. Pursuant to Code Civil Procedure § 2033.280, subdivision (b), the court orders that the truth of the matters specified in the Requests for Admissions, Set One, propounded by Yan to Yang be deemed admitted.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [calculated as follows: 2.4 hours preparing motion and meeting/conferring, plus 1 hour preparing reply, plus 1 hour attending hearing at $300.00/hour, plus $61.65 filing fee].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

2. Motion to Compel Re: Form Interrogatories

Legal Standard

A response to interrogatories is due 30 days after service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd.

(a).) If a party to whom the interrogatories are directed fails to serve a timely response to it, the

party propounding the interrogatories may move for an order compelling response to the

interrogatories. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (b).)

The court shall impose a monetary sanction against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes such a motion to compel, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290, subd. (c).)

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order compelling Yang to provide responses to Yan’s Form

Interrogatories, Set One, without objections. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in the

amount of $1,381.65.

See synopsis of Motion #1.

The motion is granted. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified responses, without objections, to

Yan’s Form Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [See above re: calculation].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

3. Motion to Compel Re: Special Interrogatories

Legal Standard

See Motion #2.

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order compelling Yang to provide responses to Yan’s Special

Interrogatories, Set One, without objections. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in the

amount of $1,381.65.

See synopsis of Motion #1.

The motion is granted. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified responses, without objections, to

Yan’s Special Interrogatories, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [See above re: calculation].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.

4. Motion to Compel Re: Requests for Production

Legal Standard

A response to a request for production of documents is due 30 days after service. (Code Civ.

Proc., § 2031.260, subd. (a).) If a party to whom a request for production of documents is

directed fails to serve a timely response to it, the party making the demand may move for an

order compelling response to the demand. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (b).)

The court shall impose a monetary sanction against any party, person, or attorney who

unsuccessfully makes or opposes such a motion to compel, unless it finds that the one subject to

the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition

of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300, subd. (c).)

Discussion

Yan moves the court for an order compelling Yang to provide responses to Yan’s Requests for

Production of Documents, Set One, without objections. Yan also seeks sanctions against Yang in

the amount of $1,381.65.

See synopsis of Motion #1.

The motion is granted. Yang is ordered to serve on Yan verified responses, without objections, to

Yan’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set One within 20 days.

Sanctions

Yan seeks sanctions against Yang in the amount of $1,381.65 [See above re: calculation].

Utilizing a Lodestar approach, and in view of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that the total and reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the work performed in connection with the pending motion is $361.65. Sanctions are payable within 30 days of the date of the hearing.


[1] Motions #1-#4 were filed on December 24, 2020; Motions #1 and #2 were set for hearing on January 27, 2021 and Motions #3 and #4 were set for hearing on February 2, 2021. Amended proofs of service reflect that Motions #1-#4 were mail-served on December 28, 2020. On January 6, 2021, Plaintiffs filed (and mail-served) a “Notice of Rescheduled Hearings on Motions to Compel Discovery for Request for Production of Documents, Set One and Special Interrogatories, Set One Against Defendant Zhigang Yang,” advising therein that the February 2, 2021 hearing date on Motions #3 and #4 had been advanced to January 27, 2021.

Case Number: KC069873    Hearing Date: October 13, 2020    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

NOTICE: See below[1]

RE: Li, et al. v. Lin, et al. (KC069873)

______________________________________________________________________________

Defendant April Lin’s MOTION TO SET ASIDE DEFAULT AND GRANT LEAVE TO

FILE ANSWER

Responding Party: Plaintiff, Yan Li

Tentative Ruling

Defendant April Lin’s Motion to Set Aside Default and Grant Leave to File Answer is

DENIED.

Background

Plaintiff Yan Li (“Yan”) owns the property located at 20711 E. Mesarica Road in San Dimas (“subject property”) and manages same through Plaintiff Mesarica Management, LLC (“Mesarica”). On or about April 5, 2016, Yan entered into a “Lease Listing Agreement—Exclusive Authorization to Lease or Rent” with Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty (“Han”). Yan alleges that Han’s supervising broker, April Lin (“A. Lin”), represented to Yan that her friend Shigang Li (“S. Li”) was interested in leasing the subject property for himself and his son to use when they visited from overseas, and that S. Li was also looking to operate a consulting business on the subject property. When Yan objected to S. Li as a tenant for his lack of credit history in the United States, A. Lin promised she would also be a tenant on the lease. Yan contends that A. Lin, S. Lim Jui Yuan Cheng and Moon Management Consulting, LLC (“Moon”) failed to disclose their intent to operate short-term rentals and use the subject property to operate businesses for a profit, including social events such as parties and weddings. Yan alleges that the subject property was severely damaged during a March 25, 2017 social event.

On March 15, 2018, the court sustained Plaintiffs’ demurrer to A. Lin, et al.’s cross-complaint, without leave to amend. On August 6, 2018, S. Li, Cheng and Moon filed their First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”), asserting causes of action therein against Lili Young (“Young”) and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Fraud and Deceit by Intentional Misrepresentation
  3. Fraud and Deceit by Concealment and Nondisclosure of Known Facts
  4. Negligent Misrepresentation
  5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  6. Equitable Indemnity
  7. Contribution

On October 19, 2018, the court sustained Young’s demurrer to the FACC without leave to amend.

On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff-In-Intervention State Farm General Ins. Co. filed its complaint in intervention. On February 25, 2019, Plaintiffs dismissed Cheng, without prejudice.

On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amendment to Complaint, wherein Zhigang Yang (“Yang”) was substituted in lieu of Doe 1.

On July 8, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint, asserting causes of action against Defendants A. Lin, Han, S. Li, Yang, Moon and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Breach of Contract—Listing Agreement
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  4. Professional Negligence
  5. Breach of Contract—Lease Agreement
  6. Negligence

On August 10, 2020, A. Lin’s and S. Li’s defaults were entered.

A Trial Setting Conference is set for October 13, 2020.

Legal Standard

Relief under Code of Civil Procedure section 473 is either discretionary or mandatory. A motion for mandatory relief “must be made no more than six months after entry of judgment” and be “accompanied by an attorney’s sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).) The attorney affidavit of fault must contain a “straightforward admission of fault.” (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Pietak (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 600, 610.) The attorney affidavit of fault, however, need not include an explanation of the reasons for the attorney’s mistake, inadvertence surprise or neglect. (Martin Potts & Assocs., Inc. v. Corsair, LLC (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 432, 438-441.) “Relief is mandatory when a complying affidavit is filed, even if the attorney’s neglect is inexcusable.” (Rodrigues v. Superior Court (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 1027, 1033.) Relief must be granted “unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.” (Id.)

Where a party cannot obtain an attorney affidavit of fault, the party may seek discretionary relief under section 473(b) due to “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.” (Code Civ., Proc., § 473, subd. (b).) A motion for discretionary relief must be made “within a reasonable time but in no instance exceeding six months after the judgment, dismissal, order, or proceeding was taken.” (Id.) “The burden of proof is on the moving party who must establish his position by a preponderance of the evidence.” (Luz v. Lopes (1960) 55 Cal.2d 54, 62.)

A motion for relief under section 473, subdivision (b) “shall be accompanied by a copy of the answer or other pleading proposed to be filed therein, otherwise the application shall not be granted. . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (b).)

Discussion

A. Lin moves the court for an order setting aside the default entered against her on August 10, 2020 on the basis of inadvertence.

A. Lin represents that, although she was present at the July 8, 2020 hearing when Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint was granted, she did not understand the details of the court’s order (specifically, that the amended complaint was filed and served on July 8, 2020), because she is a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and is not fluent in English, and there was no interpreter to help (A. Lin Decl., ¶2); that nobody gave her a copy of the amended complaint or the court order (Id.); that she brought the language issue to the court’s attention and that, while the court arranged for an interpreter for the September 4, 2020 hearing, that did not help her on July 8, 2020 (Id.); that she was never personally served with a copy of Plaintiff’s amended complaint (Id., ¶3); that the amended complaint came in the mail to her real estate office located at 207 1st Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006 (“Arcadia Address”), from her former attorney, Eugene Alkana (“Alkana”), without any explanation (Id.); that she picked up her mail on August 15, 2020 (Id.); that she could not do regular business, including receiving mail, at her real estate office because it is a non-essential business under the coronavirus pandemic emergency orders (Id., ¶4); that she had no business reason to visit for mail collection anyways, as they had “zero business” due to the pandemic (Id.); that when she picked up her mail on August 15, 2020, she did not know how to calculate the due date for her answer (Id., ¶5) and that she immediately prepared her answer and filed it on Monday, August 17, 2020 (Id.)

The court queries whether A. Lin is capable of submitting and executing a declaration in English, due to her above-cited language limitations.

On July 8, 2020, the court granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint and Alkana’s Motions to Be Relieved as Counsel of Record for A. Lin, Moon S. Li and Han; the former motion was deemed filed and served on that date, with 20 days given to Defendants to answer, and the latter motions were granted effective upon the filing of the proof of service showing service of the signed orders upon the clients. The court also set an Order to Show Cause Re: Representation of Corporation and a Trial Setting Conference for July 28, 2020. A. Lin appeared at the July 8, 2020 hearing. On July 13, 2020, Plaintiff served a “Notice of Court Ruling Re July 10, 2020 Hearing on Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend/Amendment for Complaint; Alkana’s Four Motions to be Relieved as Counsel; Trial Setting Conference; OSC Re: Representation of Corporation,” which was mail-served to Alkana and A. Lin at the Arcadia Address. On July 20, 2020, Alkana filed proofs of service on the orders granting his Motions to Be Relieved as Counsel; that day, Yang (whom Plaintiff represents is A. Lin’s husband) answered the FAC.

On July 28, 2020, a Trial Setting Conference and OSC Re: Representation of Corporation was held; A. Lin appeared. The July 28, 2020 minute order reflected that Mandarin interpreter Yajing Dong interpreted for A. Lin. At that time, the court continued the hearing to August 18, 2020, instructed A. Lin to hire counsel for corporate defendants, and ordered Plaintiff’s counsel to give notice. On July 30, 2020, Plaintiff filed a “Notice of Continuance of the Trial Setting Conference and OSC Re: Representation of Corporation;” A. Lin was mail-served with same that day at the Arcadia Address.

The court determines that, even if A. Lin’s declaration is considered, A. Lin has failed to show inadvertence. A. Lin provided the Arcadia Address as her address of record for this litigation. Although A. Lin may have been prohibited from conducting real estate business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there were no orders from in effect precluding A. Lin from going to the Arcadia Address and retrieving her mail. If the business was closed, A. Lin would be the only person there and thus would have had minimal, if any, risk of exposure. Additionally, A. Lin was present at the July 8, 2020 hearing and was represented by Alkana until July 20, 2020. Even if the court were to accept A. Lin’s proffered language limitation as fact, the court notes both that Yang was able to file his answer on July 20, 2020 and that an interpreter was present during the July 28, 2020 hearing.

The motion, then, is denied.


[1] The motion was filed on September 18, 2020 (mail-served September 16, 2020) for an October 13, 2020 hearing date. Although the motion itself was timely filed, A. Lin did not provide an additional 5 calendar days’ notice for mailing, as per Code of Civil Procedure § 1005, subdivision (b). With that said, the motion is opposed on its merits: “It is well settled that the appearance of a party at the hearing of a motion and his or her opposition to the motion on its merits is a waiver of any defects or irregularities in the notice of motion.” (Tate v. Superior Court (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 925, 930.) Accordingly, the court will entertain the motion on its merits.

Case Number: KC069873    Hearing Date: September 04, 2020    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Friday, September 4, 2020

NOTICE: OK[1]

RE: Li, et al. v. Lin, et al. (KC069873)

______________________________________________________________________________

Counsel for Zhigang Yang’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, APLC) MOTION TO BE

RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 8/24/20, 3:31 p.m.; due 8/24/20)

Tentative Ruling

Counsel for Zhigang Yang’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, APLC) Motion to be Relieved as

Counsel is GRANTED, effective upon the filing of the proof of service reflecting service of

the signed order upon the Client.

Background

Plaintiff Yan Li (“Yan”) owns the property located at 20711 E. Mesarica Road in San Dimas (“subject property”) and manages same through Plaintiff Mesarica Management, LLC (“Mesarica”). On or about April 5, 2016, Yan entered into a “Lease Listing Agreement—Exclusive Authorization to Lease or Rent” with Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty (“Han”). Yan alleges that Han’s supervising broker, April Lin (“A. Lin”), represented to Yan that her friend Shigang Li (“S. Li”) was interested in leasing the subject property for himself and his son to use when they visited from overseas, and that S. Li was also looking to operate a consulting business on the subject property. When Yan objected to S. Li as a tenant for his lack of credit history in the United States, A. Lin promised she would also be a tenant on the lease. Yan contends that A. Lin, S. Lim Jui Yuan Cheng and Moon Management Consulting, LLC (“Moon”) failed to disclose their intent to operate short-term rentals and use the subject property to operate businesses for a profit, including social events such as parties and weddings. Yan alleges that the subject property was severely damaged during a March 25, 2017 social event.

On March 15, 2018, the court sustained Plaintiffs’ demurrer to A. Lin, et al.’s cross-complaint, without leave to amend. On August 6, 2018, S. Li, Cheng and Moon filed their First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”), asserting causes of action therein against Lili Young (“Young”) and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Fraud and Deceit by Intentional Misrepresentation
  3. Fraud and Deceit by Concealment and Nondisclosure of Known Facts
  4. Negligent Misrepresentation
  5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  6. Equitable Indemnity
  7. Contribution

On October 19, 2018, the court sustained Young’s demurrer to the FACC without leave to amend.

On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff-In-Intervention State Farm General Ins. Co. filed its complaint in intervention. On February 25, 2019, Plaintiffs dismissed Cheng, without prejudice.

On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amendment to Complaint, wherein Zhigang Yang (“Yang”) was substituted in lieu of Doe 1.

On July 8, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint, asserting causes of action against Defendants A. Lin, Han, S. Li, Yang, Moon and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Breach of Contract—Listing Agreement
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  4. Professional Negligence
  5. Breach of Contract—Lease Agreement
  6. Negligence

On August 10, 2020, A. Lin’s and S. Li’s defaults were entered.

An Oder to Show Cause Re: Representation of Corporation and a Trial Setting Conference are set for September 4, 2020.

Discussion

Eugene S. Alkana, APLC, seeks to be relieved as counsel of record for Yang (“Client”).

The court has discretion to allow an attorney to withdraw, and such a motion should be granted provided that there is no prejudice to the client and it does not disrupt the orderly process of

justice. (See Ramirez v. Sturdevant (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 904, 915; People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398.)

California Rule of Court (“CRC”) Rule 3.1362 requires (1) a notice of motion and motion directed to the client (made on the Notice of Motion and Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-051)); (2) a declaration stating in general terms and without compromising the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship why a motion under Code of Civil Procedure § 284(2) is brought instead of filing a consent under section 284(1) (made on the Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-052)); (3) service of the notice of motion and motion and declaration on all other parties who have appeared in the case; and (4) a proposed order relieving counsel (prepared on the Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-053)). The court may delay the effective date of the order relieving counsel until proof of service of a copy of the signed order on the client has been filed with the court.

Attorney Eugene S. Alkana (“Alkana”) states in his declaration that “[t]here has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and inability to communicate with the client. Defendant has ample time to obtain replacement counsel, so he is not prejudice[d] if this motion is granted.”

Alkana states that he has served the Client by mail at the Client’s last known address with copies of the motion papers served with his declaration and that he has been able to confirm, within the past 30 days, that the address is current, via conversation.

The court determines that the requirements of Rules of Court Rule 3.1362 enumerated above

have been sufficiently met. Accordingly, the motion is granted, effective upon the filing of the

proof of service reflecting service of the signed order upon the Client.


[1] The motion was filed and mail-served on July 15, 2020 and originally set for hearing on October 2, 2020. On August 18, 2020, moving counsel filed (and mail-served) a “Notice of Advanced Hearing on the Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel, TSC, OSC,” advising therein that the October 2, 2020 hearing date on the motion had been rescheduled to September 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Case Number: KC069873    Hearing Date: July 08, 2020    Dept: J

HEARING DATE: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

NOTICE: Motion #1: OK

Motions #2-#5: See below[1]

RE: Li, et al. v. Lin, et al. (KC069873)

______________________________________________________________________________

 

1. Plaintiff Yan Li’s MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

Responding Party: Defendants April Lin, Han International Group, Inc. dba Han Realty, Moon Management Consulting, LLC, Shigang Li and Zhigang Yang

2. Counsel for Shigang Li’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC)

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 6/26/20, 8:32 a.m.; due 6/24/20)

3. Counsel for Moon Management Consulting, LLC’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. of

Eugene S. Alkana, APLC) MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 6/26/20, 8:32 a.m.; due 6/24/20)

4. Counsel for April Lin’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC)

MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 6/26/20, 8:32 a.m.; due 6/24/20)

5. Counsel for Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana,

Esq. of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC) MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

Responding Party: None (unopposed, as of 6/26/20, 8:32 a.m.; due 6/24/20)

Tentative Ruling

1. Plaintiff Yan Li’s Motion to Amend Complaint is GRANTED.

2. Counsel for Shigang Li’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC)

Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED, contingent upon counsel for S. Li’s

production of a proof of service reflecting CCP § 1005(b) compliance regarding notice of

the July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon the filing of the proof of

service showing service of the signed order upon the Client.

3. Counsel for Moon Management Consulting, LLC’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. of

Eugene S. Alkana, APLC) Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED, contingent

upon counsel for Moon’s production of a proof of service reflecting CCP § 1005(b)

compliance regarding notice of the July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon

the filing of the proof of service showing service of the signed order upon the Client. The

court sets an Order to Show Cause Re: Representation of LLC for July 22, 2020, 10 a.m.

4. Counsel for April Lin’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC)

Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED, contingent upon counsel for A. Lin’s

production of a proof of service reflecting CCP § 1005(b) compliance regarding notice of

the July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon the filing of the proof of

service showing service of the signed order upon the Client.

5. Counsel for Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty’s (i.e., Eugene S. Alkana,

Esq. of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC) Motion to be Relieved as Counsel is GRANTED,

contingent upon counsel for Han’s production of a proof of service reflecting CCP §

1005(b) compliance regarding notice of the July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective

upon the filing of the proof of service showing service of the signed order upon the Client.

The court sets an Order to Show Cause Re: Representation of Corporation for

July 22, 2020, 10 a.m.

Background

Plaintiff Yan Li (“Yan”) owns the property located at 20711 E. Mesarica Road in San Dimas (“subject property”) and manages same through Plaintiff Mesarica Management, LLC (“Mesarica”). On or about April 5, 2016, Yan entered into a “Lease Listing Agreement—Exclusive Authorization to Lease or Rent” with Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty (“Han”). Yan alleges that Han’s supervising broker, April Lin (“A. Lin”), represented to Yan that her friend Shigang Li (“S. Li”) was interested in leasing the subject property for himself and his son to use when they visited from overseas, and that S. Li was also looking to operate a consulting business on the subject property. When Yan objected to S. Li as a tenant for his lack of credit history in the United States, A. Lin promised she would also be a tenant on the lease. Yan contends that A. Lin, S. Lim Jui Yuan Cheng (“Cheng”) and Moon Management Consulting, LLC (“Moon”) failed to disclose their intent to operate short-term rentals and use the subject property to operate businesses for a profit, including social events such as parties and weddings. Yan alleges that the subject property was severely damaged during a March 25, 2017 social event.

On December 12, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a complaint, asserting causes of action against Defendants A. Lin, Han, S. Li, Cheng, Moon and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Breach of Contract—Listing Agreement
  3. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  4. Professional Negligence
  5. Breach of Contract—Lease Agreement
  6. Negligence
  7.  

On March 15, 2018, the court sustained Plaintiffs’ demurrer to A. Lin, et al.’s cross-complaint, without leave to amend. On August 6, 2018, S. Li, Cheng and Moon filed their First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”), asserting causes of action therein against Lili Young (“Young”) and Does 1-10 for:

  1. Fraud
  2. Fraud and Deceit by Intentional Misrepresentation
  3. Fraud and Deceit by Concealment and Nondisclosure of Known Facts
  4. Negligent Misrepresentation
  5. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  6. Equitable Indemnity
  7. Contribution

On October 19, 2018, the court sustained Young’s demurrer to the FACC without leave to amend.

On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff-In-Intervention State Farm General Ins. Co. filed its complaint in intervention. On February 25, 2019, Plaintiffs dismissed Cheng, without prejudice.

On May 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amendment to Complaint, wherein Zhigang Yang (“Yang”) was substituted in lieu of Doe 1.

A Trial Setting Conference is set for July 8, 2020.

1. Motion to Amend Complaint

Legal Standard

“The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (a)(1); and see § 576 [“Any judge, at any time before or after commencement or trial, in the furtherance of justice, and upon such terms as may be proper, may allow the amendment of any pleading or pretrial conference order”].)

“[T]he trial court has wide discretion in allowing the amendment of any pleading.” (Bedolla v. Logan & Frazer (1975) 52 Cal.App.3d 118, 135.) “[I]t is irrelevant that new legal theories are introduced as long as the proposed amendments ‘relate to the same general set of facts.’” (Kittredge Sports Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 1045, 1048, quoting Hirsa v. Superior Court (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 486, 489.) “[E]ven if the proposed legal theory is a novel one, ‘the preferable practice would be to permit the amendment and allow the parties to test its legal sufficiency by demurrer motion for judgment on the pleadings or other appropriate proceedings.’” (Id., quoting California Casualty Gen. Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 274, 281.)

Courts must apply a policy of great liberality in permitting amendments to the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial, when no prejudice is shown to the adverse party. (Atkinson v. Elk Corp. (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 739, 761.) However, “even if a good amendment is proposed in proper form, unwarranted delay in presenting it may—of itself—be a valid reason for denial. . . denial may rest upon the lack of diligence in offering the amendment after knowledge of the facts, or the effect of the delay on the adverse party.” (Roemer v. Retail Credit Co. (1975) 44 Cal.App.3d 926, 940.)

Also, “[a] motion to amend a pleading before trial must: (1) Include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments; (2) State what allegations in the previous pleading are proposed to be deleted, if any, and where, by page, paragraph and line number, the deleted allegations are located; and (3) State what allegations are proposed to be added to the previous pleading, if any, and where, by page, paragraph, and line number, the additional allegations are located.” (California Rules of Court (“CRC”) Rule 3.1324(a).)

Additionally, “[a] separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify: (1) The effect of the amendment; (2) Why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) When the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) The reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.” (CRC Rule 3.1324(b).)

Discussion

Plaintiffs move the court for an order granting leave to amend the complaint to “correct an inadvertent omission of facts with respect to the cause of action for breach of the Listing Agreement” and to “provide additional facts to establish alter ego liability against Defendant ZHIGANG YANG with respect to Defendant MOON MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, LLC’s actions, as well as against the DOE defendants in general.” (Motion, 2:7-11.)

The motion is granted. The motion reflects compliance with CRC Rule 3.1324(a) and counsel’s declaration reflects compliance with subsection (b). On October 21, 2019, the court summarily denied Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Adjudication in its entirety as against Zhigang Yang, on the basis that the complaint, inter alia, was devoid of alter ego allegations directed against Doe defendants. The court, on that date, further denied Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Adjudication as to the second cause of action (i.e., for Breach of Contract—Listing Agreement) against the other defendants on the basis that the “Listing Agreement, on its face, shows that the listing expired on July 5, 2016, over two months prior to the execution of the Lease” and that “[n]o extension of the term of the Listing Agreement was pled in Plaintiffs’ complaint.” Plaintiffs seek to correct the complaint to address these issues. Additionally, the June 22, 2020 trial date was vacated.

2. Motion to be Relieved Re: Shigang Li

Eugene S. Alkana, Esq. (“Alkana”) of Eugene S. Alkana, APLC, seeks to be relieved as counsel

of record for S. Li (“Client”).

The court has discretion to allow an attorney to withdraw, and such a motion should be granted provided that there is no prejudice to the client and it does not disrupt the orderly process of

justice. (See Ramirez v. Sturdevant (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 904, 915; People v. Prince (1968) 268 Cal.App.2d 398.)

California Rule of Court (“CRC”) Rule 3.1362 requires (1) a notice of motion and motion directed to the client (made on the Notice of Motion and Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-051)); (2) a declaration stating in general terms and without compromising the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship why a motion under Code of Civil Procedure § 284(2) is brought instead of filing a consent under section 284(1) (made on the Declaration in Support of Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-052)); (3) service of the notice of motion and motion and declaration on all other parties who have appeared in the case; and (4) a proposed order relieving counsel (prepared on the Order Granting Attorney's Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel—Civil form (MC-053)). The court may delay the effective date of the order relieving counsel until proof of service of a copy of the signed order on the client has been filed with the court.

Alkana states in his declaration that “[t]here has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and inability to communicate with the client. Defendant has ample time to obtain replacement counsel, so he is not prejudice[d] if this motion is granted.”

Alkana states that he has served the Client by mail at the Client’s last known address with copies of the motion papers served with his declaration and that he has been able to confirm, within the past 30 days, that the address is current, via conversation.

The court determines that the requirements of Rules of Court Rule 3.1362 enumerated above

have been sufficiently met. Accordingly, the motion is granted, contingent upon counsel for S.

Li’s production of a proof of service reflecting CCP §1015 compliance regarding notice of the

July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon the filing of the proof of service showing

service of the signed order upon the Client.

3. Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel Re: Moon Management Consulting, LLC

Alkana also seeks to be relieved as counsel of record for Moon (“Client”).

Alkana states in his declaration that “[t]here has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and inability to communicate with the client. Defendant has ample time to obtain replacement counsel, so he [sic] is not prejudice[d] if this motion is granted.”

Alkana states that he has served the Client by mail at the Client’s last known address with copies of the motion papers served with his declaration and that he has been able to confirm, within the past 30 days, that the address is current, via conversation.

The court determines that the requirements of Rules of Court Rule 3.1362 enumerated above

have been sufficiently met. Accordingly, the motion is granted, contingent upon counsel for

Moon’s production of a proof of service reflecting CCP §1015 compliance regarding notice of

the July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon the filing of the proof of service showing

service of the signed order upon the Client.

The court sets an Order to Show Cause Re: Representation of LLC for July 22, 2020, 10 a.m.

Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel Re: April Lin

Alkana seeks to be relieved as counsel of record for A. Lin (“Client”).

Alkana states in his declaration that “[t]here has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and inability to communicate with the client. Defendant has ample time to obtain replacement counsel, so he [sic] is not prejudice[d] if this motion is granted.”

Alkana states that he has served the Client by mail at the Client’s last known address with copies of the motion papers served with his declaration and that he has been able to confirm, within the past 30 days, that the address is current, via conversation.

The court determines that the requirements of Rules of Court Rule 3.1362 enumerated above

have been sufficiently met. Accordingly, the motion is granted, contingent upon counsel for A.

Lin’s production of a proof of service reflecting CCP §1015 compliance regarding notice of the

July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon the filing of the proof of service showing

service of the signed order upon the Client.

5. Motion to Be Relieved as Counsel Re: Han International Group Inc. dba Han Realty

Alkana seeks to be relieved as counsel of record for Han (“Client”).

Alkana states in his declaration that “[t]here has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and inability to communicate with the client. Defendant has ample time to obtain replacement counsel, so he [sic] is not prejudice[d] if this motion is granted.”

Alkana states that he has served the Client by mail at the Client’s last known address with copies of the motion papers served with his declaration and that he has been able to confirm, within the past 30 days, that the address is current, via conversation.

The court determines that the requirements of Rules of Court Rule 3.1362 enumerated above

have been sufficiently met. Accordingly, the motion is granted, contingent upon counsel for

Han’s production of a proof of service reflecting CCP §1015 compliance regarding notice of the

July 8, 2020 hearing date/time and effective upon the filing of the proof of service showing

service of the signed order upon the Client.

The court sets an Order to Show Cause Re: Representation of Corporation for

July 22, 2020, 10a.m.


[1] Motion #1 was filed and mail-served on March 5, 2020 and originally set for hearing on April 2, 2020. On March 18, 2020, the court rescheduled the hearing for Motion #1, on the court’s own motion, to June 11, 2020; the court provided notice of same. Motion #2 was filed and mail-served on March 18, 2020 and originally set for hearing on May 4, 2020. Motion #3 was filed on March 23, 2020 (mail-served on March 18, 2020) and originally set for hearing on May 4, 2020. Motions #4 and #5 were filed and mail-served on April 1, 2020 and originally set for hearing on May 22, 2020. On March 24, 2020, the court rescheduled the hearings for Motions #2 and #3, on the court’s own motion, to June 11, 2020; the court provided notice of same to counsel. On April 1, 2020, Plaintiffs filed (mail-served March 31, 2020 to counsel) a “Notice of Continuance of Trial and Two Hearings (Motion to Amend and Motion to be Relieved),” advising of the continued June 11, 2020 hearing date on Motions #1-#3. On April 16, 2020, the court continued the hearings on Motions #1-#5 to July 8, 2020; notice was provided to all counsel. On May 4, 2020, the court, on its own motion, continued the time of the July 8, 2020 hearing date (i.e., to 10:00 a.m.); notice was provided to all counsel. There is no indication on ecourt, as of June 26, 2020 at 8:32 a.m., that the clients re: Motions #2-#5 have been given notice of the July 8, 2020 hearing date/time.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where HAN REALTY is a litigant

Latest cases where State Farm General Insurance Company is a litigant

Latest cases represented by Lawyer FU DAVID DAIWUNG

Latest cases represented by Lawyer HARLAN M. REESE & ASSOCIATES - JOSEPH M. PLEASANT