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Tentative Ruling
Judge Colleen Sterne
Department 5 SB-Anacapa
1100 Anacapa Street P.O. Box 21107 Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107

CIVIL LAW & MOTION

Bridgepoint Construction Services, Inc. v. Vista Oceano La Mesa Venture, LLC, et al.

Case No: 1468021
Hearing Date: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:30

Nature of Proceedings: Motion to Dismiss American Contractors Indemnity, or Motion to Amend 6/8/17 Order

 

 

#1468021         Bridgepoint Construction Services, Inc., v. Vista Oceano La Mesa Venture, LLC, et al.

 

Hearing Date:   December 11, 2017                 

 

Hearing:              

Motion to Dismiss American Contractors Indemnity or, in the Alternative, Motion to Amend Court’s June 8, 2017 Order

 

Attorneys:           

For Defendant ACI: Katie C. Brach (Lincoln, Gustafson & Cercos – San Diego)

 

Tentative Ruling:  The court grants American Contractors Indemnity’s motion to dismiss and orders order dismissal of the third amended complaint as to defendant American Contractors Indemnity, with prejudice, and exoneration of ACI’s Release of Lien Bond No. 1001029171, recorded in the Official Records, County of Santa Barbara, on October 10, 2014, as Document No. 2014-0046602.

 

 

Background:    This action, originally filed on July 18, 2014, arises out of the development of real property in Santa Barbara. On November 20, 2015, plaintiffs Bridgepoint Construction Services, Inc. (“Bridgepoint”); Norman Salter (“Salter”); and Spectra America (“Spectra”) filed their third amended complaint (“TAC”) seeking damages from defendants Vista Oceano La Mesa Venture, LLC (“Vista”); Martin Newton (“Newton”); James “Kipp” Lassetter; Point III Holdings, Inc. (“Point III”); Tenacious Adventures II, LLC (“Tenacious”); and American Contractors Indemnity (“ACI”).

 

On May 22, 2017, the court granted the motion for summary adjudication filed by Vista, ACI, Tenacious, Newton, and Point III. The court granted summary adjudication of Bridgepoint Construction Services, Inc.’s first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh causes of action in the third amended complaint; and summary adjudication of Spectra America’s second cause of action in the third amended complaint. The court entered a formal order on June 8. The fifth cause of action for money due on a mechanic’s lien release bond was the only cause of action against ACI.

 

ACI moves for an order dismissing it with prejudice and exonerating its mechanic’s lien release bond or, in the alternative, an order amending the June 8 order to clarify that the bond was exonerated and ACI was dismissed as of May 22. ACI had asked other parties to this action to stipulate to this relief but was unable to obtain a stipulation. Despite any reluctance to stipulate to this relief, no party has opposed the motion.

 

In its ruling on May 22, the court noted that the moving parties sought summary judgment and, in the alternative, summary adjudication. Because Newton and Point III had filed a cross-complaint against, among others, Bridgepoint and Spectra, even if defendants were successful, the cross-complaint would remain and the action between the parties would not be terminated. Therefore, the court determined that the motion was for summary adjudication only. [June 8 Order, 12:14-20] However, as to ACI, the motion did terminate the action between ACI and Bridgepoint and no other party had asserted a claim against ACI. Therefore, as to ACI, the motion was properly a motion for summary judgment.

 

The error in the summary adjudication order was not a clerical error correctible under CCP § 473(d). However, the court has the power “[t]o amend and control its process and orders so as to make them conform to law and justice.” CCP § 128. CCP § 581, enumerating powers of the court to dismiss actions, is not an exclusive enumeration of the court’s power to dismiss an action or dismiss a complaint as to a defendant. The court will grant the unopposed motion and dismiss the third amended complaint as to defendant ACI, with prejudice.

 

That leaves ACI’s request for an order exonerating the bond. ACI did not ask for this relief in its motion for summary judgment.

 

The fifth cause of action was an action on the release of lien bond recorded by Vista as principal and ACI as surety, which had affected the release of Bridgepoint’s mechanic’s lien. Not only has ACI obtained summary adjudication of the action on the bond, but Vista has obtained summary adjudication of the action for the sum owed for the services, labor, equipment, and materials in connection with the work of improvement—the sixth cause of action. The result of these rulings is that there is no liability left to Bridgepoint for the bond to secure.

 

There being no opposition to the motion, the court will order dismissal of the third amended complaint as to defendant ACI, with prejudice, and exoneration of ACI’s Release of Lien Bond No. 1001029171, recorded in the Official Records, County of Santa Barbara, on October 10, 2014, as Document No. 2014-0046602.

 
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