Judge: Frank M. Tavelman, Case: 20BBCV00536, Date: 2022-08-12 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 20BBCV00536    Hearing Date: August 12, 2022    Dept: A


Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Melissa Person


Defendant/Cross-Complainant Kenneth D. Mathis




Melissa Person ("Plaintiff") filed suit against Kenneth D. Mathis ("Mathis") and Forward Studio City, Inc. d/b/a Keller Williams Reality-Studio City ("Keller," and together, "Defendants"), alleging that Mathis sexually harassed Plaintiff and terminated her when she did not reciprocate.


Plaintiff filed a Complaint on September 3, 2020 alleging 10 causes of action: (1) Sexual Harassment (Gov. Code § 12940 et seq.); (2) Failure to Prevent Sexual Harassment (Gov. Code § 12940(k) et seq.; (3) Discrimination (Gov. Code § 12940(k) et seq.; (4) Sexual Harassment (Civil Code § 51.9); (5) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress ("IIED"); (6) Failure to Pay Minimum Wages (Labor Code § 1194); (7) Failure to Pay Wages Upon Termination (Lab. Code § 203); (8) Failure to Provide Accurate Itemized Wage Statements (Lab. Code § 226(a)); (9) Failure to Provide Meal Periods (Lab. Code § 226(a)); and (10) Failure to Provide Rest Periods (Lab. Code § 226(a)).


Mathis filed a Cross-Complaint on October 16, 2020 against Plaintiff alleging two (2) causes of action sounding in (1) Defamation and (2) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.




On July 18, 2022 Plaintiff filed the Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Matters Admitted; the opposition filed by Defendants on August 1, 2022; and the reply filed by Plaintiff on August 5, 2022.




Plaintiff moves for an order deeming the truth of all matters in Plaintiff’s Requests for Admission, Set One, admitted. Plaintiff also moves for associated sanctions in the amount of $3,700.






If a party fails to timely respond to requests for admission, the propounding party may move for a Court order deeming the Requests for Admission (“RfA”) admitted. (Code Civ. Proc. § 2033.280.) An untimely responding party waives all objections, including privilege, unless they subsequently serve responses in substantial compliance with the Civil Discovery Act and demonstrate that their failure is the result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.290(a); § 2033.280(a).) The Court shall impose monetary sanctions for failure to timely respond to requests for admission unless the party acted with substantial justification or the circumstances render imposition of sanctions unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280(c).) For untimely responses to Requests for Admission, the Court shall deem the Requests for Admission admitted unless the responding party serves a code compliant response prior to the hearing. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2033.280(c).) The Court must impose a monetary sanction on the party or attorney whose failure to serve timely Requests for Admission responses necessitated the motion. (Ibid.)


II.        MERITS


Plaintiff asserts that she served Requests for Admission, Set One, on Mathis on May 25, 2021. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Plaintiff then asserts that the parties agreed to an indefinite extension of the RfA deadline due to upcoming settlement negotiations (Decl. Engelhardt, ¶ 4); but that Plaintiff withdrew the extension on March 11, 2022, and requested responses within 30 days, by April 11, 2022 (Id. at ¶ 5.) The parties agreed to a two-week extension to April 25, 2022 but responses were not received by this extended deadline. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-7.)


In opposition, Defendants only represent that they will provide responses before the hearing date pursuant to CCP § 2033.280(c).


The Court will thus grant the instant motion if such responses have not been provided by the hearing date.




Whether or not responses are provided by the hearing date, the Court awards sanctions to Plaintiff against Defendants in the amount of $410, representing one hour of attorney work at $350 per hour, plus a $60 filing fee.






In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.




Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant Melissa Person's Motion to Deem RfA Matters Admitted came on regularly for hearing on August 12, 2022, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:


THE MOTION TO DEEM REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS MATTERS ADMITTED IS CONDITIONALLY GRANTED. Should the defendant failed to provide the required answers by August 12, 2022 at 9:00 A.M., THE request for admissions will be granted. If the answers are provided, the request for admissions will be denied. SANCTIONS ARE AWARDED FOR PLAINTIFF AGAINST DEFENDANTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $410.




DATE:  August 12, 2022                               _______________________________

                                                                        FM. TAVELMAN, Judge

                                                                        Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles