Posted 8/2/2015

County of Los Angeles v. Financial Casualty & Surety, Inc., Case No. B254010 (Cal.App. July 24, 2015) modified the Court’s opinion reported at 2015 WL 3937351 (Cal.App. June 26, 2015) but did not change the result.  The surety that had paid a judgment while an appeal was pending was still entitled to interest on the amount paid after the judgment was reversed.

In County of Los Angeles v. Financial Casualty & Surety, Inc., 2015 WL 4557280 (Cal.App. July 29, 2015) the surety filed a timely motion to extend the appearance period.  When the motion was called the surety’s attorney was not present and the case was taken off the calendar.  The court subsequently entered summary judgment and the surety promptly moved to set aside the judgment pursuant to Code of Civ. Proc. §473(b) based on its attorney’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect.  The attorney submitted a Declaration explaining the events in the case that caused the confusion.  The trial court reasoned that §473 cannot be used to extend the appearance period and, therefore, it lacked jurisdiction to grant the relief requested.  The surety appealed from denial of its motion.  The Court of Appeals held that the trial court had jurisdiction to consider the surety’s motion pursuant to §473 because the surety did not seek to extend the statutory time period.  The Court equated relief under §473 with a showing of good cause under Penal Code §1305(j) and remanded the case for the trial court to consider the merits of the surety’s motion.  [Not Published].