July 21, 2018

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Civil Tentative Ruling Announcement
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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 civil.tentatives@stanct.org 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 3.12 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.

July 20, 2018

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge Marie S. Silveira in Department 21:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 21***

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge Stacy P. Speiller in Department 22:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 22***

 

 

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

 

 

2028896 – DISCOVER BANK VS. RHODES, DUSTY - Plaintiff’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings – GRANTED, and unopposed.

 

The Court finds that the Complaint states facts sufficient to constitute the stated cause of action against the Defendant, and the Answer does not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense. (Code Civ. Proc. §438(3)(A).)  The Court will sign the proposed order submitted by Counsel.

 

 

9000364 – ROJAS, YVONNE VS. HUGHSON NUT INC - Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and PAGA settlement – GRANTED, and unopposed.

 

The Court finds that proper notice to the settlement class has been given in compliance with the law and as required by the Court’s order granting preliminary approval.  Having considered the unopposed motion for final approval and the supporting declarations and evidence, the Court finds that the settlement was entered into in good faith, is fair, reasonable and adequate, and satisfies the standards for final approval under California law.  (Civil Code §1781; Code Civ. Proc. §382; Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 3.769.)  Good cause appearing to the satisfaction of the Court, the proposed settlement and the associated fees and costs are approved as set forth in the motion and supporting papers.

 

In addition, the Court orders that Notice of the Court’s Order Granting Final Approval and Judgment shall be posted on the Settlement Administrator’s website for a period of at least 90 days.  (Civ. Code §1781(g); Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 3.771(b).) Class Counsel shall submit a revised proposed order incorporating the above notice provision for the Court’s signature.

 

 

2020354 – YANEZ, NAZARIO ARIAS VS. VENOBLE, EVELYN - Defendant’s Motion to Enforce Court Judgment or, in the alternative, Dismiss Case – DROPPED, at the request of the moving party.

 

 

2017458 – CARLSON, STACEY VS. GANT, VERNON - Defendant VERNON GANT, an individual and dba LAW OFFICE OF GANT & GANT’s Motion for Summary Judgment - DENIED.

 

Defendant, as the moving party, has met his burden of establishing a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment, and the burden then shifts to Plaintiff to submit admissible evidence which raises a triable issue of material fact.  Plaintiff has met her burden in this regard and has demonstrated material disputes of fact concerning, at a minimum, the issues set forth in Defendant’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts 30, 31, 34, 36, and Plaintiff’s additional Disputed Material Facts 53, 63, 65, 66, 77, 78, and 79. With regard to the issue of the application of the statute of limitations, the Court finds that Plaintiff has demonstrated the existence of disputed factual issues that are material to the determination of when the attorney-client relationship ended. (See e.g., Facts 30, 31, 34, 36, 63, 66, 77.) With regard to the element of causation, the Court finds that Plaintiff has produced evidence which creates a material factual issue as to the causal relationship between Defendant’s alleged negligence and Plaintiff’s claimed damages. (See e.g., Facts 30, 31, 36, 53, 65, 78, 79.)  Finally, with regard to the application of the unclean hands doctrine, the Court finds that Plaintiff has produced evidence which creates a material factual issue as to the relationship of Plaintiff’s purported misconduct to her claimed injuries. (See e.g., Fact 31.)

 

Defendant’s objections to portions of Plaintiff’s opposing declaration are SUSTAINED.  The Court further notes that Plaintiff’s opposition is deficient in that Plaintiff failed to comply with the requirements of Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 3.1354 regarding evidentiary objections.

 

 

9000484 – MOUNTAIN VIEW FEED & SEED CO. INC. VS. AMARAL, JOHN - Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Default – DENIED.

 

The Court finds that the instant motion was filed outside the time limit prescribed by Code Civ. Proc. §473(b); therefore, the Court is without jurisdiction to grant relief.  The Court further finds that, even if the motion is treated as one to set aside the default judgment, which was entered on 6-12-18, Defendant has not stated sufficient grounds to establish “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect,” within the meaning of Code Civ. Proc. §473(b). 

 

 

2025974 – HSBC BANK USA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION VS. TRUHETT, DOMINIC - Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendant Roxanne Reddick’s Further Responses to Written Discovery and for Sanctions – MOOT, in part; GRANTED, in part; DENIED, in part.

 

The Court finds that the meet and confer process required by its order of 6-22-18 has resulted in resolution of most of the outstanding issues.  Moreover, the Court finds that the Separate Statement Regarding Remaining Discovery Items in Dispute, submitted by Plaintiff on 7-13-18, fails to reflect the Defendant’s Second Supplemental Responses, served on July 11, 2018, as to the following:  Form Interrogatory 15.1, as concerns Defendant’s responses to the allegations of the Complaint at paragraphs 7 and 13, and; Form Interrogatory 17.1, as concerns Defendant’s responses to Request for Admissions 3 and 4.  The Court recognizes that the timing of Defendant’s service of her Second Supplemental Responses likely prevented Plaintiff from incorporating them into the updated Separate Statement in this regard; however, the Court finds that the instant motion is MOOT with regard to the above-described issues in view of such responses. 

 

With regard to the remaining issues identified in Plaintiff’s updated Separate Statement, the Court finds that Defendant has failed to provide a response to Form Interrogatory 15.1 as concerns her response to the allegations of the Complaint at paragraph 27.  Therefore, the motion is GRANTED as to that issue.  Defendant shall serve a verified further response to Form Interrogatory within 14 days.

 

The motion is DENIED with regard to all remaining issues.  Specifically, the Court finds no basis to compel further responses to Form Interrogatory 15.1 concerning Defendant’s responses to the allegations of the Complaint at paragraphs 15 and 16.  As to Defendant’s response to Special Interrogatory 2, the Court finds that Defendant provided a legally sufficient response.  In responding to interrogatories, a party is not obligated to obtain information which is “equally available to the propounding party.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §2030.220(c).)  There is no duty to inquire from independent witnesses in order to answer interrogatories.  (See, e.g., Holguin v. Superior Court (Hoage) 91972) 22 Cal.App.3d 812, 821.)

 

Under all of the circumstances, the Court declines to award sanctions in connection with this discovery dispute.

 

Lastly, as a point of instruction, the Court notes that Plaintiff’s updated Separate Statement is deficient with regard to the dispute surrounding Defendant’s response to Form Interrogatory 17.1.  Cal. Rules of Ct., rule 3.1345(c) requires that a moving separate statement shall contain not only verbatim recitations of the discovery at issue, but where the response to a particular discovery request is “dependent on the response given to another discovery request, or if the reasons a further response to a particular discovery request is deemed necessary are based on the response to some other discovery request, the other request and the response to it must be set forth.”  Therefore, while Plaintiff set forth Defendant’s purportedly insufficient response to Form Interrogatory 17.1, the response depended on the responses to the corresponding Requests for Admission, which were not set forth in the moving separate statement.  Counsel is cautioned to observe the requirements of the Rules of Court in future filings.

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge Roger M. Beauchesne in Department 24:

 

 

CV-18-000200 - IN RE:  545 INAUDI CT., PATTERSON, CA - Petition re: Surplus Funds is CONTINUED on the Court’s own motion to August 17, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 24.  The Court received one claim to the funds from legal counsel purportedly representing Mr. Rafael H. Rios.  The claim indicates that Ms. Patricia L. Rios – the former co-owner of the property – is deceased and that Mr. Rios is therefore the only remaining former owner.  The claim further indicates that Mr. Rios is the only person entitled to make a claim as to the property – but does not discuss the disposition of Ms. Rios’s estate and the possibility of other heirs, etc.  This uncertainty was the exact reason the trustee determined a need to deposit these surplus funds with the Court in the first place.  For the Court to issue an Order granting Mr. Rios’s claim, he must first prove that he is who he says he is – counsel’s inarticulate verification of that fact is insufficient.  A declaration from Mr. Rios under penalty of perjury attaching a certified copy of his marriage certificate would be sufficient to demonstrate this fact. Mr. Rios must also demonstrate that Ms. Rios is actually deceased, via reference to a certified copy of her death certificate. Further, Mr. Rios must demonstrate that he is the only person who has a “right” to the surplus funds – there is no Probate action involving Ms. Rios’s estate, etc.  Documentation of Mr. Rios’s claim must be received by the Court by not later than August 9, 2017, in order for the Court to have time to review it prior to the continued hearing date. It is not the Court’s intent to unnecessarily delay the distribution of these funds to a rightful claimant – however, Mr. Rios’s claim is insufficient and poorly documented, thus it cannot serve as a valid basis for an order distributing the funds to him under Civil Code section 2923(k) or 2924j.

 

 

2020042 – THOMPSON, VIRGIL VS. MONDAY, KATHY - On June 26, 2018, Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment was continued to this date on the Court’s own motion.  The Court is in receipt of a letter dated August 13, 2018, from Plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Michael J. Dyer, indicating that he is not available on Friday, July 20th. (The letter is copied to Defendants’ counsel.)  Based on that letter, the Court will CONTINUE the motion to be heard on August 8, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 24.  If either party is not available on that date, the Court would appreciate learning of that fact sooner rather than later.

 

 

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***