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Gutierrez v. Vantia Properties, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 13, 2015

NATIVIDAD GUTIERREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
VANTIA PROPERTIES, LLC, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ENFORCE JUDGMENT (DOC. NO. 47)

SHEILA K. OBERTO, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On June 16, 2014, the Court entered default judgment against Defendant Vantia Properties, LLC in the amount of $12, 157.05. (Docs. 43, 44.) On November 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to enforce the judgment. (Doc. 47.) The hearing on Plaintiff's motion is set for January 14, 2015. No opposition was filed. The Court has reviewed Plaintiff's motion and all supporting documentation and finds this matter suitable for decision without argument pursuant to Local Rule 230(g). Thus, the January 14, 2015, hearing is VACATED. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

II. BACKGROUND

On May 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213; the California Unruh Act, California Civil Code § 51 et seq.; and California Health & Safety Code §§ 19955, 19959. (Doc. 1.) The complaint sought an award of statutory damages, prejudgment interest on the damages, costs of suit, attorney's fees, and declaratory and injunctive relief. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff alleged that he requires the use of a wheelchair when traveling in public (Doc. 1, ¶ 8), and the property that is the subject of this suit, Taqueria San Juan (the "Property"), presents numerous architectural barriers that interfered with his ability to use and enjoy the goods, services, privileges, and accommodations offered at the facility (Doc. 1, ¶ 10). Defendant Vantia Properties, LLC ("Vantia") was served with the complaint on May 20, 2013, and failed to file a responsive pleading. ( See Doc. 10). Vantia's default was entered by the Clerk of Court on June 27, 2013, and judgment was entered against Vantia on June 16, 2014. (Docs. 12, 43, 44.)

On November 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to enforce the judgment against Vantia in the form of an assignment of rents order requiring Vantia's tenants at certain properties to pay their rents to Plaintiff as they become due until all amounts due are paid in full. (Doc. 47.) It is this motion that is pending before the Court.

III. DISCUSSION

A federal district court has the authority to enforce its money judgments in accordance with the practice and procedure of the state in which it sits. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 69(a); Paul Revere Ins. Grp. v. United States, 500 F.3d 957, 960 (9th Cir. 2007). An assignment order under California Code of Civil Procedure § 708.510 "is a court order assigning to the judgment creditor... the debtor's right to payments due from a third person." Rutter Group, California Practice Guide-Enforcing Judgments and Debts § 6.1422.5 (2008) ("Rutter Group"). California Code of Civil Procedure § 708.510 provides in relevant part:

Except as otherwise provided by law, upon application of the judgment creditor on noticed motion, the court may order the judgment debtor to assign to the judgment creditor... all or part of a right to payment due to or to become due, whether or not the right is conditioned on future developments including but not limited to the following types of payments: (1) Wages due from the federal government that are not subject to withholding under an earnings withholding order. (2) Rents. (3) Commissions. (4) Royalties. (5) Payments due from a patent or copyright. (6) Insurance policy loan value.

Cal. Code Civ. Pro. § 708.510(a). This section also provides that "notice of the motion shall be served on the judgment debtor. Service shall be made personally or by mail." Cal. Code Civ. Pro. § 708.510(b).

Plaintiff seeks an enforcement order requiring Vantia's tenants to pay their rental or lease payments directly to Plaintiff. In support of Plaintiff's motion, Plaintiff's counsel filed a declaration stating the following in relevant part:

3. I have researched the properties owned by Vantia using various public records search devices and have determined that Vantia owns the following properties as of November 13, 2014:
a) 121 North Maple Avenue in Fresno, California 93702
b) 133 North Maple Avenue in Fresno, ...

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