Department 3 SB-Anacapa
1100 Anacapa Street P.O. Box 21107 Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107
CIVIL LAW & MOTION
Rose Pawloski vs Holiday Inn of Goleta
|Hearing Date:||Tue May 13, 2014 9:30|
Nature of Proceedings: Motion Expunge or Reduce Liens
Motion to Expunge or Reduce Medical Liens
Plaintiff’s motion for order expunging or reducing the medical liens in the case is denied. The case was dismissed on September 11, 2013, and the Court is without jurisdiction to rule further in the matter.
This is an action for premises liability. Plaintiff alleges that on August 25, 2012, she slipped and fell on defendant’s stairs, sustaining fractures to her wrist and knee. Plaintiff filed her complaint on April 2, 2013. The case settled at mediation for $99,500.00. On September 11, 2013, plaintiff filed a request for dismissal of the action with prejudice. The dismissal was entered that same day.
Plaintiff claims that the settlement is being held up by the various medical providers who have refused to reduce their medical liens. The medical liens total approximately $43,000. By this motion, plaintiff asks the Court for an order expunging or reducing the medical liens so that the settlement can be concluded. There is no filed opposition to the motion.
Plaintiff’s motion will be denied. A voluntary dismissal of an action with prejudice deprives the Court of both personal and subject matter jurisdiction, except for the limited purpose of awarding costs and statutory attorney’s fees. Gogri v. Jack in the Box, Inc. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 255, 261. “[W]here the plaintiff has filed a voluntary dismissal of an action . . . , the court is without jurisdiction to act further . . . , and any subsequent orders of the court are simply void.” Paniagua v. Orange County Fire Authority (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 83, 89. Here, plaintiff dismissed her complaint with prejudice on September 11, 2013, thus terminating the Court’s jurisdiction. If plaintiff wishes to have the dismissal set aside, she will need to seek relief under Code of Civil Procedure Section 473.
In the future, counsel can avoid this problem simply by stating in the request for dismissal that the Court retains jurisdiction to adjudicate issues pertaining to the settlement until the settlement has been fully performed.