Statutory Three-Year Period for Effecting Service Not Extended Due to Emergency Orders—C.A.
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday rejected the contention of a cross-complainant that a party it sued was improperly granted a dismissal based on a failure to serve it within the three-year period set forth in Code of Civil Procedure § 583.210, holding that there was no extension of that period created by any of the emergency orders occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contesting Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura A. Seigle’s order dismissing Ifaomilekun, LLC as a cross-defendant, Ammec Investments, Inc. insisted the three-year period was tolled for 11 months.
Seigle held that the emergency orders Ammec cited “do not state that process servers were prohibited from serving complaints or registered agents were not allowed to be open to accept service through March 16, 2021,” observing:
“During that time, the orders allowed businesses...to function with social distancing and occupancy requirements. The courts were open for most of that year, and lawyers were filing and serving documents, making appearances and conducting trials....Indeed, Ammec actively litigated this case in the period through March 2021, including briefing and arguing a summary judgment motion. Therefore, Ammec did not show that service on Ifaomilekun was impossible or impracticable due to causes beyond Ammec’s control during the three-year period.”
Agreeing with Siegel, Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss of Div. Five said in an opinion that was not certified for publication:
“…Ammec failed to submit any evidence demonstrating the emergency stay-at-home orders it cited applied to process servers or otherwise made service of process infeasible during the period it insists the three-year statute should be tolled.”
The case is Ammec Investments, Inc. v. Ifaomilekun, LLC, B314854.
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