Laurel Plaza, LLC v. Secure Car Care, LLC, et al.

Plaintiff Laurel Plaza, LLC’s Motion to Vacate Default and Default Judgment is DENIED.

II. Legal Standard

“Notwithstanding any other requirements of this section, the court shall, whenever an application for relief is made no more than six months after entry of judgment, is in proper form, and is accompanied by an attorney's sworn affidavit attesting to his or her mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect, vacate any (1) resulting default entered by the clerk against his or her client, and which will result in entry of a default judgment, or (2) resulting default judgment or dismissal entered against his or her client, unless the court finds that the default or dismissal was not in fact caused by the attorney's mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or neglect.” (CCP § 473(b).)

III. Discussion

On September 13, 2016, Plaintiff Laurel Plaza, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for breach of contract against Defendant Secure Car Care, LLC (“Defendant”). On March 22, 2018, the Court entered an amended judgment in Plaintiff’s favor. On October 18, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Vacate Judgment (the “Motion”) under the mandatory provision of CCP § 473(b). The motion was initially set for hearing on December 11, 2018, at which time neither party appeared. The court continued the hearing to February 21, 2019. To date, no additional briefing has been filed.

Six-month limitation period for relief from default judgment based on attorney’s neglect commences at time default judgment is rendered, rather than earlier when default is entered. (Sugasawara v. Newland (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 294.) Here, the default judgment was entered on March 22, 2018, but the instant Motion to Vacate was not filed until October 18, 2018—six months and 22 days later. “The six-month time limit for granting statutory relief is jurisdictional and the court may not consider a motion for relief made after that period has elapsed. [Citation.]” (Manson, Iver & York v. Black (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 36, 42.) As the Motion was untimely filed after the six-month time limitation, the Court has no jurisdiction and cannot grant the requested relief under the mandatory provision of Section 473(b).

IV. Conclusion

In light of the foregoing, Defendant’s Motion to Vacate Default and Default Judgment is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.