Judge: Daniel M. Crowley, Case: 21STCV13441, Date: 2022-08-16 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 21STCV13441    Hearing Date: August 16, 2022    Dept: 28

Defendant Sweet Green LA, LLC’s Motion to Continue Trial

 

Having considered the moving, opposing and reply papers, the Court rules as follows. 

 

BACKGROUND

On April 8, 2021, Plaintiff Colleen Murphy (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Defendants Sweetgreen, Inc. (“Sweetgreen”) and Third Base Group, LLC (“TBG”) for negligence and premises liability. Plaintiff later amended the complaint to add Defendants Continental Management Group, LLC (“CMG”) and Sweetgreen LA, LLC (“Sweetgreen LA”).

On June 4, 2021, Sweetgreen filed an answer and a Cross-Complaint against Cross-Defendant TBG for implied indemnity, express indemnity, contribution and declaratory relief. On August 5, 2021, TBG filed an answer.

On June 30, 2021, TBG filed an answer.

On November 4, 2021, Sweetgreen LA filed an answer and a Cross-Complaint against Cross-Defendant TBG for implied indemnity, express indemnity, contribution and declaratory relief. Sweetgreen LA amended the Cross-Complaint to include Cross-Defendant CMG. On February 18, 2022, TBG and CMG filed an answer.

On November 19, 2021, CMG filed an answer.

On July 25, 2022, Sweetgreen LA filed a Motion to Continue Trial to be heard on August 16, 2022. On August 3, 2022, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On August 9, 2022, Sweetgreen LA filed a reply.

Trial is currently scheduled for September 22, 2022.

 

PARTY’S REQUESTS

Sweetgreen LA requests the Court continue trial to April 6, 2023, with all related discovery and motion cut-off dates trailing the new date.

Plaintiff requests the Court deny the motion.

 

LEGAL STANDARD

CRC rule 3.1332(b) outlines that “a party seeking a continuance of the date set for trial, whether contested or uncontested or stipulated to by the parties, must make the request for a continuance by a noticed motion or an ex parte application under the rules in chapter 4 of this division, with supporting declarations. The party must make the motion or application as soon as reasonably practical once the necessity for the continuance is discovered.”

Under CRC 3.1332(c), The Court may grant a continuance only on an affirmative showing of good cause requiring the continuance. Circumstances that may indicate good cause include “a party's excused inability to obtain essential testimony, documents, or other material evidence despite diligent efforts,” or the unavailability of a party, counsel, or expert due to death, illness or other excusable circumstance. The Court should consider all facts and circumstances relevant to the determination, such as proximity of the trial date, prior continuances, prejudice suffered, whether all parties have stipulated to a continuance, and whether the interests of justice are served. CRC 3.1332(d).

DISCUSSION

Sweetgreen LA requests the Court continue trial on the basis that Sweetgreen LA recently substituted in new counsel and that Sweetgreen LA has a MSJ hearing reserved for February 16, 2023, which was the first available date. The Court does not find there is good cause on the basis that new counsel wants to conduct additional discovery; Sweetgreen LA first appeared in this case in November of 2021. Sweetgreen LA has provided no reason as to why necessary discovery was not on track to be completed by the time of trial, given that trial has already been scheduled as such. Sweetgreen LA merely states that it first appeared six months after the initial complaint is filed—this alone is not sufficient good cause to show a “party’s excuse inability to obtain essential [discovery].”

Sweetgreen LA does not indicate when it first sought to bring an MSJ.  An MSJ is supposed to be heard 30 days prior to trial, with papers being filed and served at least 75 days prior to that hearing. Meaning that any papers should have been filed at the latest by June 18, 2022, given the current trial date. Sweetgreen LA has served no papers.

Based on the above, the Court does not find there is no good cause to grant a continuance.

CONCLUSION

Defendant Sweet Green LA, LLC’s Motion to Continue Trial is DENIED.

 

Moving party is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Moving Party is ordered to file the proof of service of this ruling with the Court within five days.

The parties are directed to the header of this tentative ruling for further instructions.