Judge: Michael P. Linfield, Case: 22STCV19525, Date: 2023-03-28 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22STCV19525    Hearing Date: March 28, 2023    Dept: 34

SUBJECT:         Request for Entry of Default Judgment

 

Moving Party:  Plaintiff Bruce A. Massman

Resp. Party:    None

 

 

 

Plaintiff’s Request for Court Judgment is DENIED. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for _________.

 

BACKGROUND:

 

On June 14, 2022, Plaintiff Bruce A. Massman filed their Complaint against Defendant Austin Realty, Inc. on a cause of action for declaratory relief.

 

On February 23, 2023, Plaintiff filed CIV-100, Request for Entry of Default and Court Judgment against Defendant. The Clerk’s Office entered default against Defendant that same day.

 

On March 20, 2023, Plaintiff filed Compliance with CRC Rule 3.1800 Re Default Judgments.

 

ANALYSIS:

 

I.           Legal Standard

 

For a cause of action to quiet title, “[t]he court shall examine into and determine the plaintiff’s title against the claims of all the defendants. The court shall not enter judgment by default but shall in all cases require evidence of plaintiff’s title and hear such evidence as may be offered respecting the claims of any of the defendants, other than claims the validity of which is admitted by the plaintiff in the complaint. The court shall render judgment in accordance with the evidence and the law.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 764.010.)

 

“[W]e conclude a quiet title judgment requires a hearing in open court.” (Harbor Vista, LLC v. HSBC Mortgage Servs. Inc. (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 1496, 1507.)

 

II.        Discussion

 

Plaintiff requests entry of default judgment on their cause of action for declaratory relief.

 

However, the underlying issue in this case involves voiding a deed of trust and a promissory note. Thus, the cause of action for declaratory relief is actually a cause of action for quiet title.

 

The Court cannot enter default judgment on a cause of action to quiet title. (Code Civ. Proc., § 764.010; Harbor Vista, supra, at 1499–1500.) Instead, the Court must hold an evidentiary hearing on the matter, where all parties (including those in default) may participate. (Harbor Vista, supra, at 1502.)

 

The Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Request for Court Judgment.

 

III.      Conclusion 

 

Plaintiff’s Request for Court Judgment is DENIED. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for _________.