November 17, 2017

Civil Tentative Ruling Announcement

If the Tentative Ruling in your case is satisfactory, you need not appear at the scheduled time, the ruling becomes final, and the prevailing party prepares the order.

However, if you are not satisfied with the Tentative Ruling, and wish to appear and argue the matter, YOU MUST NOTIFY the Clerk’s Office and opposing counsel of your intent before 4:00 p.m. TODAY. If a TELEPHONIC HEARING is requested per CCP §367.5, COURT CALL MUST be notified AND the Clerk’s Office MUST also be notified before 4:00 p.m. TODAY.

When doing so, you must indicate as to which issue(s) and/or motion(s) a hearing is being requested. If requesting a hearing for clarification of a tentative ruling, specify what matter(s) and/or issue(s) need clarification.

You may request a hearing by calling the calendar line at (209) 530-3162 or the main line at (209) 530-3100, prior to 4:00 p.m. - OR- by e-mailing at Email requests must be made prior to 4:00 p.m. AND confirmed by return e-mail. If you do not receive confirmation e-mail from the clerk, you MUST call (209) 530-3162 to request your hearing.

Please refer to Local Rule of Court 3.21 (b) concerning Court reporter fees.

If a Hearing is required or you have requested a Hearing for a Law and Motion Matter Scheduled in Department 21, 22, 23 or 24 in Modesto, please contact the Court Reporter Coordinator at (209) 530-3105 to request a reporter and determine availability. If a Staff Reporter is not available, you may need to provide your own.

Effective April 2, 2012

Staff Court Reporters may be available, though it is not guaranteed, to report law and motion matters on the following schedule:

Department 21 -- Wednesdays and Fridays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please call to confirm.
Department 22 -- Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Wednesdays and Fridays. Please call to confirm.
Department 23 -- Wednesdays and Fridays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please call to confirm.
Department 24 -- Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Wednesdays or Fridays. Please call to confirm.

If a Staff Reporter is not available, counsel can make arrangements to have their hearing reported by a private CSR. Please contact the Court Reporter Coordinator at (209)530-3105 to request a Staff Reporter and to determine if a Staff Reporter will be available for your hearing.

November 17, 2017



The following is the tentative ruling for a case calendared before Judge Marie S. Silveira in Department 21:



2017207 - RIVAS, ISIDRO VS. PIERRE HEGOAS & SONS - Defendant Vintage Angus Ranch, LLC’s Motion to Compel New Verifications - GRANTED.  The Court makes the following findings:  First, the verification form utilized by Plaintiffs does not comply with Code of Civil Procedure § 2015.5, in that it fails to establish that the Plaintiffs have “personal knowledge” of their answers to discovery such that they can declare “under penalty of perjury” that the answers are “true and correct”.  One cannot possibly attest to the truth of a fact that one has no knowledge of.  The only way to “confirm” that Plaintiffs have personal knowledge of the facts contained in the discovery responses is to explicitly set forth that they have “read or reviewed them”.  Asserting general familiarity with the discovery responses leaves too much room for doubt, and would allow a declarant to avoid the consequences of making a declaration “under penalty of perjury”.  Second, Defendant’s motion to compel is timely with regard to all three “sets” of discovery propounded on the Plaintiffs.  Improperly verified (or unverified) discovery responses are “tantamount to no response at all” and therefore Defendant could move “at any time” for properly verified responses.  Melendrez v. Superior Court of the State of California (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1343. Third, Defendant’s motion was substantially justified under the circumstances here, and therefore no award of sanctions is appropriate.


Plaintiffs shall provide new verifications for each of the discovery responses propounded by Defendant Vintage Angus Ranch LLC, as set forth in the Separate Statement filed herein.  The new verifications shall comply with Section 2015.5 and shall declare that Plaintiffs have “read and reviewed” their own discovery responses (or have had the discovery responses read to them, if necessary) such that they can attest to their truth under penalty of perjury.  If, as noted by Plaintiffs’ counsel, certain responses are made “on information and belief”, Plaintiffs shall provide amended responses with proper verification which identify those responses accordingly.  The Court recognizes that this is no small task, and therefore will allow Plaintiffs until January 8, 2018, to provide Defendant Vintage Angus Ranch LLC with the new verifications and, if necessary, amended responses. 



The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge Timothy W. Salter in Department 22:



2027137 - SOLOMON MANDEL COUNTRY SQUIRE LLC VS. OWEN, BONNIE J. - Petitioner’s Petition for Judicial Declaration of Abandonment - GRANTED, and unopposed.  The mobile home is declared abandoned.  Petitioner is awarded damages in the amount of $17.17 per day, beginning on April 1, 2017.  As of the date of the hearing, the damages total $3,949.10.  Petitioner is also awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs pending the filing of petitioner’s memorandum of costs.



2020148 - LEAL, BOBBY VS. STROBLE, BRIAN - Berg Injury Lawyers and William S. Ginsburg’s Motion to Be Relieved as counsel for Plaintiff Bobby Leal - GRANTED, and unopposed.  Based upon a review of the moving papers and in the absence of any opposition thereto and good cause shown therein, the motion is granted.  Moving counsel is hereby relieved as attorney of record for Plaintiff Bobby Leal.  The order will become effective upon the filing of the proof of service of the Order on Plaintiff Bobby Leal.



2026937 - WORLD INTERNATIONAL LLC VS. SOUZA, JOSEPH O. - The Order to Show Cause re: Preliminary Injunction - CONTINUED on the Court’s own motion and pursuant to the Plaintiff’s request, to December 7, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 22.  Defendants served their Opposition several days late, and Plaintiff did not receive it until after the deadline for its Reply had already passed.  Rather than exercise its discretion to consider the matter unopposed, the Court will consider the Opposition.  However, it will also grant the Plaintiff time to reply.  Plaintiff’s Reply shall be due not later than November 28, 2017.  No further pleadings will be allowed.  The temporary restraining order issued on October 5, 2017, shall remain in full force and effect pending the continued hearing date of December 7, 2017.



684866 - PATTERSON FROZEN FOODS VS. PATTERSON VEGETABLE COMPANY - Defendants’ Motion for Summary Adjudication of the 22nd Cause of Action for Quiet Title in Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amended Verified Complaint - GRANTED.  Defendants support their motion with ample evidence of the fact that nothing in the public record supports Plaintiffs’ claim to own the Defendants’ wells and/or all water rights beneath their land in the form of the Declaration of Charles Whitecotton and attached exhibits.  Plaintiffs oppose the motion with two forms of evidence – evidence that supports a heretofore un-pleaded theory of relief and evidence that Defendants had “actual notice” of Plaintiffs’ claims prior to purchasing the property in question. “A party cannot successfully resist summary judgment on a theory not pleaded.  The burden of a Defendant moving for summary judgment only requires that he or she negate Plaintiff’s theories of liability as alleged in the Complaint. A moving party need not refute liability on some theoretical possibility not included in the pleadings.”  County of Santa Clara v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2006) 137 Cal.App.4th 292. Even if Plaintiffs’ evidence related to the allegedly “fraudulent” nature of the recorded deeds and agreements from the 2007 purchase of Plaintiffs’ assets by Patterson Vegetable Company were admissible and considered by the Court – it wouldn’t raise a triable dispute as to whether the moving Defendants had actual or constructive notice of Plaintiffs’ claims.  Plaintiffs’ evidence related to Defendants’ “actual notice” of any claim to water rights or water from the Well on the Downtown Parcel fails to raise a triable dispute of material fact, as well.  As noted by the Defendants in Reply: “While learning that [Plaintiffs] controlled an option to purchase Parcel 5 was enough to make Defendants wary of acquiring Parcel 5, it did not constitute actual notice that Plaintiffs claimed to hold rights in the property these parties did intend to purchase, the Downtown Parcels.” (Emphasis the Court’s.)


The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge John D. Freeland in Department 23:



***There are no tentative rulings for Department 23***



The following is the tentative ruling for a case calendared before Judge Roger M. Beauchesne in Department 24:



2016103 – SAND, GERIT VS. ROOT, GREGORY – Defendants’ Motion for Terminating Sanctions for Dismissal with Prejudice of Complaint, or in the Alternative for Issue Sanctions – CONTINUED on the Court’s own motion to Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 24.  Any opposition to the motion shall be filed by November 29, 2017.  Any reply in support of the motion shall be filed by December 5, 2017.



The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Commissioner Jared D. Beeson in Department 19 located at the Turlock Division at 300 Starr Avenue, Turlock, CA:



***There are no tentative rulings for Department 19***