Davis v. Superior Court of Los Angeles: Procedure

Jaime Davis (Petitioner) v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Respondent)
Curtis J. Sathre, III (Real Party in Interest)

California Court of Appeal, Second District

Published Opinion (2020) 50 Cal.App.5th 607

File Date:

Sathre obtained an arbitration award against Davis, an indigent, self-represented litigant. Sathre filed an application to take Davis’ judgment debtor examination. Davis filed an ex parte application to quash the order to take her judgment debtor exam, or in the alternative, a continuance of the hearing. The clerk in Department 44 of the LASC previously told Davis that she could not appear by telephone at the ex parte hearing, but also stated that an appearance at an ex parte hearing was not necessary because the judge would rule on the request in chambers. The superior court denied Davis’ attempts to quash, denied her requests for a court reporter, and denied her requests to appear by telephone. 

When Davis failed to appear for her judgment debtor examination, the court issued a bench warrant for her arrest. Davis filed a petition for writ of mandate, contending the superior court erred in refusing to honor her request for a court reporter, in prohibiting her from appearing telephonically at court hearings, and in issued the bench warrant. Supreme Court precedent and the California Rules of Court require trial courts to protect the right to appellate review by ensuring there is a complete record of the proceedings, and they encourage trial courts to allow litigants to participate in court proceedings telephonically. 

The Court of Appeal ordered the superior court to hold a new hearing on Davis’ motion to quash and her ex parte applications. The Court of Appeal also directed the SC to recall and quash the bench warrant. 

Opinion: Davis v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Sathre) 6-15-20

The case listed here was not handled by Walzer Melcher unless the description states that Walzer Melcher appeared as counsel.