Oct 24, 2016







WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016, 3:00 P.M.

Courtroom 16 – Hon. Nancy Case Shaffer

3035 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa



The following tentative rulings will become the ruling of the Court unless a party desires to be heard.  If you desire to appear and present oral argument as to any motion, you will need to contact the Judicial Assistant by telephone at (707) 521-6729 by 4:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, October 18, 2016.  Any party requesting an appearance must notify all other opposing parties of their intent to appear.  Parties in small claims cases and motions for claims of exemption are exempt from this requirement.


CourtCall is available for all Law and Motion appearances, EXCEPT parties in small claims cases and motions for claims of exemption which are mandatory appearances.  CourtCall can be reached directly at (888) 882-6878.




1.  MCV-202670, Chrysler Financial v. Pacheco

Appearances required.


2. SCV-252696, O’Hagins v. O’Hagin

Cross-complainant Harry O’Hagin (“O’Hagin”) moves for sanctions against Cross-complainant A. Peter Trombetta (“Trombetta”) pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 128.5 and 128.7 and writ of execution.   An opposition was filed on behalf of Trombetta by the Gearinger Law Group, indicating that they are “specially appearing” for Trombetta.   No notice of limited scope representation has been filed.   Although Trombetta is an attorney, he is a party to this motion.  While attorneys routinely make special appearances for other attorneys in ongoing matters, to cover a court appearance as counsel, no authority has been cited in the opposition suggesting that an attorney may “specially appear” for a party.   There are four case numbers associated with this motion.   The court did not find a Notice of Limited Scope Representation of Trombetta by the Gearinger Law Group in the court’s docket for any of these cases.  Accordingly, it does not appear that the court may consider the opposition filed on behalf of Trombetta.

This motion arises out of a series of lawsuits that has probably spanned a decade or possibly more between movant O’Hagin, his former wife, and a series of entities and parties involved in disputes that can be characterized, in the most general terms, as arising out of or related to the O’Hagins’ divorce and martial property division.  As far as this court was aware, all of the other litigation, state, federal, and international, had finally been resolved.  According to the pleadings on this motion, that appears not to be true.  According to O’Hagin, his former wife has filed further litigation in federal court.   O’Hagin links his request for sanctions to the new litigation.  The claims and counter-claims between O’Hagin and Trombetta were markedly contentious as was all of the related litigation.  However, the new litigation has nothing to do with this motion and has not been considered by the court in ruling on this motion.

Trombetta’s underlying motion for reconsideration, the primary subject of this motion for reconsideration, was filed after judgment was entered.  Accordingly, Trombetta either agrees with O’Hagin that the court was not divested of jurisdiction to decide his motion by means of the global settlement, which expressly did not include a reservation of jurisdiction to enforce the settlement, or he consented to jurisdiction when he invoked the jurisdiction of the court on his motion for reconsideration.

With respect to the request for sanctions pursuant to section 128.5, the court finds that Trombetta’s motion for reconsideration, while tenuous at best, was not frivolous, within the meaning of the statute as it has been interpreted by the courts, or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.   With respect to the request for sanctions pursuant to section 128.7, O’Hagin did not establish compliance with the procedural requirements of the statute.  The request fails to comply with the procedural requirements of Section 128.5(c)(1) and is therefore denied.

With respect to the request for clarification, the court’s prior sanctions awards are clear and unequivocal.  The amounts are clearly stated.  The court has not ordered that they be offset as though they were equivalent.  The orders were entered at different times and each may bear interest.  Accordingly, the court is not in a position to enter an order identifying the amount of the difference, if any, at this time.  The request for a writ of execution is denied without prejudice.


3.  SCV-255993, Thomas v. Peak Foreclosure

Plaintiff’s motion to seal is denied.  Plaintiff has not established grounds to remove the documents from the public record.


4.  SCV-258462, Lansdown v. Bayview

Appearances required.  The matter was continued for the parties to discuss a stipulation.  The declarations submitted are evidentiary in nature.


© 2016 Superior Court of Sonoma County