Judge: Bruce G. Iwasaki, Case: 22STCV37924, Date: 2023-02-23 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22STCV37924    Hearing Date: February 23, 2023    Dept: 58

Judge Bruce G. Iwasaki

Department 58

Hearing Date:             February 23, 2023

Case Name:                E.H. v. Doe 1 et al.

Case No.:                    22STCV37924

Matter:                        Ex parte application for an order sealing certificate of merit and permitting service on Doe Defendants

Moving Party:             Plaintiff E.H.

Responding Party:      Unopposed

Tentative Ruling:      The Court grants the ex parte application.


On December 5, 2022, Plaintiff E.H. filed this action against Doe 1, a religious corporation, arising from childhood sexual assault. Plaintiff now moves an ex parte for an order to seal the certificates of merit and permit service on Doe 1.


Sealing certificates of merit


In an action arising from childhood sexual assault, a plaintiff who is “40 years of age or older at the time the action is filed shall file certificates of merit” from “the attorney for the plaintiff and by a licensed mental health practitioner selected by the plaintiff.”  The Court must review these certificates in camera.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 340.1, subds. (f)-(g), (i).) 


As records examined in camera must be filed under seal (California Rules of Court, rule 2.585(b)), the request to seal Plaintiff’s Certificates of Merit is granted. 


Service on Doe Defendant


A defendant may not be served until the court has reviewed the certificates of merit in camera and found, based solely on those certificates of merit, that there is “reasonable and meritorious cause for the filing of the action against that defendant.”  (Code Civ. Proc., § 340.1, subd. (i).) 


Plaintiff’s Certificates of Merit comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1, subdivision (g).  The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s Certificates of Merit and finds that there is reasonable and meritorious cause for the filing of the action against Doe 1.  Accordingly, the request for permission to serve Doe 1 is granted.