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Tentative Ruling
Judge Thomas Anderle
Department 3 SB-Anacapa
1100 Anacapa Street P.O. Box 21107 Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107

CIVIL LAW & MOTION

Haley Daria vs Mark Tuttle et al

Case No: SB230268
Hearing Date: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:30

Nature of Proceedings: Motion Reform a Void Provision of a Settlement Contract

Motion to Reform Void Provision of Settlement Agreement RULING: Plaintiff’s motion to reform void provision of settlement agreement is denied without prejudice for the reasons stated herein. BACKGROUND: The complaint in this action was filed on April 30, 1999, more than fourteen years ago, and included ten causes of action, including claims for constructive trust, specific performance, fraud and deceit, and declaratory relief. Plaintiff Haley Daria alleged that while she and defendant Mark Tuttle were living together, Tuttle promised to give her a portion of defendant World Wide Web Associates, LLC (later, Web Associates, Inc.). Tuttle and Web Associates denied that plaintiff was entitled to anything, but in February 2000, the parties reached a settlement that called for plaintiff to dismiss her complaint in exchange for a $5,000 cash payment and a 0.66% (two-thirds of one percent) ownership interest in Web Associates. Under the settlement agreement, plaintiff was to retain ownership of the shares of stock until August 18, 2000, at which time the shares were to be purchased back from her by defendants at an agreed-upon price. It is unclear whether the settlement was ever concluded, but on September 28, 2000, plaintiff filed a request for dismissal of the entire action as to all parties without prejudice. Plaintiff now moves for an order to reform what she claims are void provisions of the February 2000 settlement agreement relating to her ownership interest in Web Associates. The motion was filed on September 11, 2013. On September 13, 2013, plaintiff filed an amended motion. On September 16, 2013, plaintiff filed a second amended motion. The proofs of service that were filed with the Court show that the moving papers were served by regular mail on attorney Kathleen Hurly of the firm of Kaufman Dolowich Voluck & Gonzo, LLP, 425 California Street, Suite 2100, San Francisco, California 94104. The Court understands from its review of the file in the case of Haley Daria v. Robert Klein, et al., Santa Barbara Superior Court Case No. 1341441, which action was ordered dismissed by the Court (the Hon. Donna D. Geck) on April 5, 2013, that Ms. Hurly represents Level Studios, Inc., a defendant in that action. The Court file in the present matter does not reflect that Ms. Hurly represents any party in this case as defendants Mark Tuttle and Web Associates, Inc. were/are represented by attorney Mack S. Staton of the firm of Mullen & Henzell, LLP. ANALYSIS: The Court will deny plaintiff’s motion without prejudice. There is no indication in the file that the settling defendants, Mark Tuttle and Web Associates, were ever served with the moving papers. Code Civ. Proc. §1005. Should plaintiff elect to re-file her motion, the Court will require that the motion be served in the manner of a summons as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.10 et seq. While the statutes may not require service in this manner, the Court believes that such service is necessary to ensure actual service on defendants and due process. As discussed above, more than thirteen years have passed since the action was dismissed and the status of defendants and whether they are currently represented by counsel are unknown.