Judge: Nathan R. Scott, Case: Bergazin v. Callisto, Date: 2022-08-05 Tentative Ruling

Plaintiff Debra Bergazin’s motion to bifurcate is granted.  (See Code Civ. Proc., §§ 598, 1048, subd. (b).)

 

The court will try the case in these phases:

 

Phase 1a:  Bench trial on Bergazin’s first cause of action for partition – whether and how to partition, which may result in an interlocutory judgment and appointment of referee.  (See Code Civ. Proc., §§ 872.710, subd. (a), 872.720.)

 

Phase 1b:  Bench trial on Bergazin’s first cause of action for partition – accounting.  (See Code Civ. Proc., § 872.140; Wallace v. Daley (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 1028, 1035-1036.)

 

Phase 2 – Jury trial on any claims that are not mooted or disposed by Phase 1, likely only the contract and fraud claims.  (See Orange County Water Dist. v. Alcoa Global Fasteners, Inc. (2017) 12 Cal.App.5th 252, 355 [“the better practice for trial courts is to decide equitable issues first for the explicit reason that a jury trial on any legal issues may be avoided”].)

 

Phase 3 – Punitive damages on the Callistos’ fraud claim (if needed).

 

Defendants Sandra Callisto and Michael Callisto’s request for judicial notice is granted.  (See Evid. Code, § 452, subd. (d).)

 

Plaintiff shall give notice.