Judge: Teresa A. Beaudet, Case: 21STCP01985, Date: 2022-08-04 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 21STCP01985    Hearing Date: August 4, 2022    Dept: 50



Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50








Case No.:


Hearing Date:

August 4, 2022

Hearing Time:

10:00 a.m.








On June 21, 2021, Petitioner Nicole Sullivan (“Petitioner”) filed a “Petition for Order From Relief From Claim Statute” (“Petition”) in this action against the County of Los Angeles (“County”) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, (jointly “Respondents”).

On May 2, 2022, the Court issued an order denying Petitioner’s Petition for Order From [sic] Relief From Claim Statute. On May 13, 2022, the County filed and served notice of the May 2, 2022 Order. 

Petitioner now moves for an order for reconsideration and/or to vacate and/or to set aside the May 2, 2022 Order. The County opposes.  




Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, subdivision (a) provides:


When an application for an order has been made to a judge, or to a court, and refused in whole or in part, or granted, or granted conditionally, or on terms, any party affected by the order may, within 10 days after service upon the party of written notice of entry of the order and based upon new or different facts, circumstances, or law, make application to the same judge or court that made the order, to reconsider the matter and modify, amend, or revoke the prior order. The party making the application shall state by affidavit what application was made before, when and to what judge, what order or decisions were made, and what new or different facts, circumstances, or law are claimed to be shown.



The legislative intent was to restrict motions for reconsideration to circumstances where a party offers the court some fact or circumstance not previously considered, and some valid reason for not offering it earlier. ((Gilberd v. AC Transit (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 1494, 1500); (Mink v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1338, 1342 [“[T]he party seeking reconsideration must provide not only new evidence but also a satisfactory explanation for the failure to produce that evidence at an earlier time.”]); (New York Times Co. v. Superior Court (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 206, 212-213 [“The burden under section 1008 is comparable to that of a party seeking a new trial on the ground of newly discovered evidence: the information must be such that the moving party could not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered or produced it at the trial.”].)

Reconsideration cannot be granted based on claims the court misinterpreted the law in its initial ruling; that is not a “new” or “different” matter. ((Gilberd v. AC Transit, supra, 32 Cal.App.4th at p. 1500.) Moreover, counsel’s mistake based on ignorance of the law is not a proper basis for reconsideration. (Pazderka v. Caballeros Dimas Alang, Inc. (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 658, 670.)


Petitioner first argues that the “the May 2, 2022 Order is based on error(s) of law.” (Mot. at p. 8:9.) But as the County notes, this is not the standard for a motion for reconsideration under Code of Civil Procedure section 1008. Although it is not entirely clear, Petitioner appears to point to different” law, citing to J.J. v. County of San Diego (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1214, 1221, where the Court of Appeal noted that “[r]elief from the six-month limit is granted under the same showing as is required for relief under Code of Civil Procedure section 473. It is the well-recognized policy of the law to liberally construe remedial statutes designed to protect persons within their purview, and the modern trend of judicial decisions favors granting relief unless absolutely forbidden by statute.” (Internal citations and quotations omitted.)[1] Petitioner asserts that given this policy, the Court erred in denying the petition.  

Next, Petitioner contends that the “May 2, 2022 Order is based on error(s) of fact.” (Mot. at p. 10:9.) The Court notes that this is also not the standard for a motion for reconsideration under Code of Civil Procedure section 1008. In any event, Petitioner points out that her counsel

inadvertently failed to attach a November 27, 2020 document titled “Application to Present a Late Claim,” to the petition. (Williams Affidavit, ¶ 35.) Petitioner’s counsel also states that at the hearing on the petition, he requested leave to amend the petition in order to include the complete application to present a late claim. (Williams Affidavit, ¶ 45.) 

As the parties note, the “Late Claim Application” attached as Exhibit “C” to Petitioner’s counsel’s affidavit was also attached to Petitioner’s reply in support of the petition. The Court notes that, [p]oints raised for the first time in a reply brief will ordinarily not be considered, because such consideration would deprive the respondent of an opportunity to counter the argument.” (American Drug Stores, Inc. v. Stroh (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1446, 1453.) However, the Court also notes that pursuant to Government Code section 946.6, subdivision (e), “[t]he court shall make an independent determination upon the petition [for an order relieving the petitioner from Section 945.4]. The determination shall be made upon the basis of the petition, any affidavits in support of or in opposition to the petition, and any additional evidence received at the hearing on the petition.” (Emphasis added.)

Because Petitioner attached the November 27, 2020 “Application to Present a Late Claim” document to her reply in support of the petition, and because her counsel made an oral request at the at the May 2, 2022 hearing for leave to amend the petition accordingly, there appears to be additional evidence that the Court should have considered in connection with the petition.


Based on the foregoing, Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration is granted. The Court vacates its May 2, 2022 Order denying Petitioner’s Petition for Order From [sic] Relief From Claim Statute.

Petitioner may file an amended petition, and has until August 11, 2022, to reserve a hearing date thereon via the Court’s online reservation system. Any hearing on an amended petition must be set so the County receives at least 16 court days of notice per Code of Civil Procedure section 1005, subdivision (b). Any opposition and reply papers must be filed and served per Code of Civil Procedure section 1005, subdivision (b)

Petitioner is ordered to give notice of this Order.


DATED:  August 4, 2022                                                                              


Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

[1]The Court notes that J.J. v. County of San Diego (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1214 was not cited to by petitioner in the petition.