Judge: Daniel S. Murphy, Case: 20STCV37713, Date: 2022-08-03 Tentative Ruling



Case Number: 20STCV37713    Hearing Date: August 3, 2022    Dept: 32

 

julie bae; and gordon choi,

                        Plaintiffs,

            v.

 

TAE EO, et al.,

                        Defendants.

 

  Case No.:  20STCV37713

  Hearing Date:  August 3, 2022

 

     [TENTATIVE] order RE:

(1)   cross-defendant djwt, inc.’s motion to compel responses to form interrogatories; and

 

(2)   cross-defendant djwt, inc.’s motion to compel further responses to requests for production

TAE EO; and TAE WOL SHIN,

                       Cross-Complainants,

            v.

DJWT, INC., et. al.,

                       Cross-Defendants.

 

BACKGROUND

            This action was initiated on October 1, 2020 when Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant Julie Bae (“Bae”) alleged defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress against Defendants and Cross-Complainants Tae Eo (“Eo”) and Tae Wol Shin (“Shin”). Bae’s complaint arises from alleged statements made by Eo and Shin to the Bureau of Real Estate Complaint Intake Unit accusing Bae of deliberate misrepresentation in connection with the sale of a grocery store.

            On December 15, 2020, Eo and Shin (collectively “Cross-Complainants”) filed a cross-complaint against Bae, Choi, DJWT, Inc. (“DJWT”), United Escrow Co. (“United Escrow”), Duke Seo (“Seo”), Je Sung Yoo (“Yoo”), and Eunice Ko (“Ko”), alleging fraud, negligence, and breach of contract. The operative Second Amended Cross-Complaint alleges that Cross-Defendants sold Cross-Complainants a grocery store without the proper permits, which caused the store to be closed down. DJWT has its own cross-complaint against Eo and Shin for breach of contract, interference with contract, and conversion.

            On June 13, 2022, DJWT filed the instant motions to compel responses to Form Interrogatories and further responses to Requests for Production against Shin.

LEGAL STANDARD

“Within 30 days after service of interrogatories, the party to whom the interrogatories are propounded shall serve the original of the response to them on the propounding party, unless on motion of the propounding party the court has shortened the time for response, or unless on motion of the responding party the court has extended the time for response.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.260, subd. (a).) If a party fails to timely respond to interrogatories, the propounding party may move for an order compelling a response. (Id., § 2030.290, subd. (b).)

 On receipt of a response to a request for inspection, the demanding party may move for an order compelling further responses to the demand if the demanding party deems that (1) a statement of compliance with the demand is incomplete, (2) a representation of inability to

comply is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive, or (3) an objection in the response is without merit or too general. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (a).) Motions to compel further responses to requests for inspection must set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the request. (Id., subd. (b)(1).)

MEET AND CONFER

            A motion to compel further responses must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b)(2).) The Court finds that Cross-Defendant has satisfied the meet and confer requirement. (See Park Decl. ¶¶ 3-4.)

DISCUSSION

I. Form Interrogatories

            DJWT propounded FROGs to Shin on April 11, 2022. (Park Decl. ¶ 2.) Cross-Complainant did not respond to the FROGs within the 30-day deadline. (Id., ¶¶ 2, 4.) It appears the FROGs at issue were propounded by DJWT as cross-complainant to Shin as cross-defendant. (Park Decl. ¶ 2, Ex. 1.) DJWT has its own cross-complaint against Shin. Shin has only responded to the FROGs propounded by DJWT as cross-defendant. (See Shin’s Ex. 1.) Therefore, the motion is GRANTED as to the FROGs.

II. Requests for Production

            Cross-Defendant DJWT propounded 35 RFPs requesting documents mentioned in Cross-Complainant Shin’s responses to interrogatories, documents supporting Shin’s allegations, and correspondence regarding the sale of the grocery store. (Park Decl., Ex. 1.) This establishes good cause for the information, and DJWT is entitled to discover information to defend against Shin’s cross-complaint.  

            Shin responded to the discovery requests with a legal argument that mirrors the allegations in the cross-complaint and then “denied ALL and/or ANY documents” based on relevance and privilege. (Park Decl., Ex. 2.)

            First, the response is improper because it fails to address each RFP separately. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.210.) Second, the objections are without merit. The documents are relevant because they relate to Shin’s own allegations or were identified in his own responses to interrogatories. Shin does not articulate any privilege protecting the documents at issue. Therefore, the motion is GRANTED as to the RFPs.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

DJWT, Inc.’s motions to compel are GRANTED. Tae Wol Shin is to provide responses to Form Interrogatories and further responses to Requests for Production within 20 days. Sanctions are denied as the parties acted with substantial justification.