Judge: Audra Mori, Case: 20STCV22067, Date: 2023-03-09 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 20STCV22067    Hearing Date: March 9, 2023    Dept: 31






















      CASE NO: 20STCV22067




Dept. 31

1:30 p.m.

March 9, 2023


Plaintiff Magaly Vasquez (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendants Edgar Marcos-Bautista and Alvarado Bautista (collectively, “Defendants”) for damages arising from a motor vehicle accident.  Trial is currently set for April 24, 2023. 


Defendants now move to continue the current trial date so as to allow Defendants’ motion to compel Plaintiff’s deposition to be heard, which is currently set for hearing for May 8, 2023.  Alternatively, Defendants request the hearing date for the motion to compel be advanced to a hearing date before trial.  The motion is unopposed. 


Defendants filed the instant motion on February 15, 2023, with proof of service showing electronic service on Plaintiff on February 14, 2023.  Pursuant to CCP § 1005, all moving and supporting papers must be served and filed at least 16 court days prior to the hearing.  Additionally, “[a]ny period of notice, or any right or duty to do any act or make any response within any period or on a date certain after the service of the document, which time period or date is prescribed by statute or rule of court, shall be extended after service by electronic means by two court days.”  (CCP § 1010.6(a)(4)(B).)  Eighteen court days before this hearing would have been February 9, 2023.  Consequently, Defendants did not timely file and serve the motion.  


            Defendants’ counsel is put on notice that failure to timely file and serve papers in the future may result in matters being taken off calendar.  Because the motion is unopposed, and because the parties previously filed a motion to continue trial,[1] if all parties appear on March 9, 2023, and consent to going forward, the Court will rule on the motion as follows:


Although continuances of trials are disfavored, each request for a continuance must be considered on its own merits.  (CRC Rule 3.1332(c).)  The Court may grant a continuance only on an affirmative showing of good cause requiring the continuance.  (CRC Rule 3.1332(c).) The Court may look to the following factors in determining whether a trial continuance is warranted:  (1) proximity of the trial date; (2) whether there was any previous continuance of trial due to any party; (3) the length of the continuance requested; (4) the availability of alternative means to address the problem that gave rise to the motion; (5) the prejudice that parties or witnesses will suffer as a result of the continuance; and (6) whether trial counsel is engaged in another trial.  (See generally, CRC Rule 3.1332(d)(1)-(11).)  Additional factors for the Court to consider include: a party’s excused inability to obtain essential testimony, documents, or other material evidence despite diligent efforts; whether all parties have stipulated to a continuance; and any other fact or circumstance relevant to the fair determination of the motion or application.  (CRC Rule 3.1332(c), (d).)


Here, Defendants assert there is good cause to continue the trial date because they timely filed and served their motion to compel Plaintiff’s deposition on February 6, 2023, to be heard on May 8, 2023, which was the earliest available hearing date.  Accordingly, Defendants are seeking to continue the trial date to allow their motion to compel to be heard, or to advance the hearing date to allow the motion to be heard before trial.  Defendants contend that Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by the proposed continuance. 


As to the request to advance the hearing date, as the Standing Order Re: Personal Injury Procedures at the Spring Street Courthouse provides, the Personal Injury courts do not have the capacity to add hearings to their fully booked motion calendars.  The proper relief to seek is to continue trial instead of seeking to advance or shorten the hearing time.  The request to advance the hearing date is denied. 


            As to the request to continue the trial date, Defendants timely filed their motion to compel Plaintiff’s deposition, but Defendants’ inability to have the motion heard is due to the Court’s calendar.  Therefore, there is good cause grant a short trial continuance.   


However, given the age of the case, the parties must expect no further continuances.  They must plan all motion and discovery practice accordingly. 


Defendants’ motion to continue trial is granted.  The April 24, 2023 trial date is continued to ______________ at 8:30 a.m. in Department 31 of the Spring Street Courthouse.  The April 10, 2023 Final Status Conference is continued to _______________ at 10:00 a.m. in Department 31.  All discovery and expert cutoff dates are continued to reflect the new trial date. 


Defendants are ordered to give notice. 




Dated this 9th day of March 2023





Hon. Audra Mori

Judge of the Superior Court



[1] The Court’s records show that on February 24, 2023, the parties submitted a stipulation to continue the trial date.  However, the stipulation was rejected due to the parties’ failure to state good cause for the requested six month continuance.