California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division
KAMYAR R. SHAYAN, Plaintiff and Respondent,
SPINE CARE AND ORTHOPEDIC PHYSICIANS et al., Defendants and Appellants.
from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County
No. BC656852, Richard Fruin, Jr., Judge. Affirmed.
Herzog, Yuhas, Ehrlich & Ardell, Evan D. Marshall, Ian
Herzog for Defendants and Appellants.
Offices of Kamyar R. Shayan and Kamyar R. Shayan for
Plaintiff and Respondent.
and Respondent Kamyar Shayan filed an interpleader action to
resolve claims about a disputed $19, 365 sum. Two claimants
and defendants had notice of the trial date but failed to
appear. The court conducted the trial, adjudicated the case
on the merits, and entered judgment. Later these claimants
filed a motion for relief under the mandatory provision of
subdivision (b) of section 473 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. (All statutory citations are to this code.) This
mandatory provision applies only to defaults, default
judgments, and dismissals. The trial court denied this motion
because the trial on the merits had not been a default, a
default judgment, or a dismissal. Rather, it had been a trial
on the merits. We affirm the trial court's
straightforward interpretation of statutory language.
essential facts are these. Shayan is a lawyer who recovered
about $30, 000 for his client Angelica Mazariegos in a
personal injury action. Various entities had liens on this
recovery. Among them were Appellants Spine Care &
Orthopedic Physicians (Spine Care) and C&C Factoring
Solutions (C&C). Shayan subtracted about $10, 000 for his
fee, deposited the remaining $19, 365, and initiated this
interpleader action, naming Mazariegos, Spine Care, and
C&C as interpleader defendants. These three defendants
filed answers. The court set the trial date. All parties had
actual notice of this trial date, which was June 4, 2018.
Spine Care and C&C did not appear at the trial. The trial
court proceeded with trial, heard evidence, and rendered
judgment. The court signed the judgment on June 16, 2018 and
Shayan gave notice. Then on July 25, 2018, Spine Care and
C&C, represented by new counsel, filed a motion to vacate
default and default judgment. The court heard this motion and
took additional briefing. It denied the motion after a second
hearing. Its main reason was that the motion sought relief
under the mandatory portion of subdivision (b) of section
473, but that section applied only to defaults, default
judgments, and dismissals, none of which had occurred in this
case. Spine Care and C&C appeal this ruling.
review is independent. (The Urban Wildlands Group, Inc.
v. City of Los Angeles (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 993, 998
lawyers make mistakes, they try to turn to subdivision (b) of
section 473 for relief. This subdivision offers two kinds of
relief. One is discretionary. The other is mandatory. The
mandatory provision is the one at issue here.
text of subdivision (b) of section 473 is the focus of this
dispute, so we excerpt the pertinent text and italicize its
court shall... 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
trial court said this provision applied only to defaults,
default judgments, and dismissals and thus did not apply
here, where there were no defaults, default judgments, or
Care and C&C argue for a more sweeping application of
this subdivision that would expand the wording about
defaults, default judgments, and dismissals to all
“analogous” situations. There is some older case
law support for this “analogous” approach. But
more recent cases have hewed to the statute as the
Legislature wrote it. We join with these more recent cases.
Justice Paul Turner thoroughly canvassed the cases and the
arguments in his Urban decision. Quoting a range of
authorities, the Urban decision basically ruled this
statute means what it says and says what it means, which
resolves the issue: the statute covers only defaults, default
judgments, and dismissals. The Urban case
acknowledged and disagreed with earlier and contrary
authority, which had expanded the reach of the statute to
situations “analogous” to defaults, default
judgments, and dismissals. Urban rejected these
extensions of the statute as contrary to its plain language.
(See Urban, supra, 10 Cal.App.5th at pp.
Weil and Brown treatise agrees. It states “more recent
cases hold that the provision for mandatory relief does not
apply absent an actual default, default judgment or
dismissal. This is probably the better view, since CCP §
473(b) refers only to ‘defaults' and
‘dismissals.'” (Weil & Brown, Cal.