Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/26/2021 at 02:38:06 (UTC).

ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA VS BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 08/10/2020 ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******6648

  • Filing Date:

    08/10/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ARHANGELSKAYA ALEXANDRA

Defendants

1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE LLC

BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES INC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

KESTNER DAVID

Defendant Attorney

ABRAMSON MICHAEL A.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10))

2/24/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10))

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

2/24/2021: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER

12/30/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition motion to strike

12/30/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition motion to strike

Reply (name extension) - Reply IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

1/4/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

Reply (name extension) - Reply IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

1/6/2021: Reply (name extension) - Reply IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

1/11/2021: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice (name extension) - Notice OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON DEFENDANTS DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE

1/14/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON DEFENDANTS DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

9/14/2020: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

9/14/2020: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

9/14/2020: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt - Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

8/14/2020: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt - Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt - Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

8/14/2020: Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt - Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

8/10/2020: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

Summons - Summons on Complaint

8/10/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/10/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

8/10/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

8/10/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/14/2023
  • Hearing08/14/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/07/2022
  • Hearing02/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 04/22/2021
  • Hearing04/22/2021 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/24/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC (Defendant); 1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE, LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/24/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10))

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/24/2021
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) scheduled for 02/24/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Held - Continued was rescheduled to 04/22/2021 10:30 AM

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/14/2021
  • DocketNotice OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON DEFENDANT?S DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE; Filed by: BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC (Defendant); 1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE, LLC (Defendant); As to: ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/11/2021
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/11/2021
  • DocketThere being no judge available this date, Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) scheduled for 01/13/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 02/24/2021 10:30 AM

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/06/2021
  • DocketReply IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS? COMPLAINT; Filed by: BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC (Defendant); 1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE, LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
9 More Docket Entries
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA (Plaintiff); As to: BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC (Defendant); 1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE, LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA (Plaintiff); As to: BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC (Defendant); 1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE, LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA (Plaintiff); As to: BABU-KHAN ENTERPRISES, INC (Defendant); 1217 N. MCCADDEN PLACE, LLC (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: ALEXANDRA ARHANGELSKAYA (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 02/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/10/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 08/14/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC06648    Hearing Date: February 24, 2021    Dept: 25


Case Number: 20STLC10358    Hearing Date: February 24, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Wed., February 24, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Chen v. Home Aid Remodeling, et al. COMPL. FILED: 12-11-20

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC10358 DISC. C/O: 05-11-22

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 05-26-22

TRIAL DATE: 06-10-22

PROCEEDINGS: DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF’S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Aid Home Remodeling, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Yinjian Chen, in pro per

DEMURRER

(CCP § 430.10, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Aid Home Remodeling, Inc.’s Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: Filed on February 10, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: Filed on February 17, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On December 11, 2020, self-represented Plaintiff Yinjiang Chen (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for negligence against Defendants Aid Home Remodeling, Inc. (“Aid Home”) and SureTec Indemnity Company (“SureTec”). Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) on December 23, 2020.

Defendant Aid Home filed the instant Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint (the “Demurrer”) on January 27, 2021. Plaintiff filed a late Opposition on February 10, and Defendant Aid Home filed a Reply on February 17.

  1. Legal Standard

“The primary function of a pleading is to give the other party notice so that it may prepare its

case [citation], and a defect in a pleading that otherwise properly notifies a party cannot be said to

affect substantial rights.” (Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013) 56 Cal.4th 203, 240.)

“A demurrer tests the legal sufficiency of the factual allegations in a complaint.” (Ivanoff v. Bank of

America, N.A. (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 719, 725.) The Court looks to whether “the complaint alleges

facts sufficient to state a cause of action or discloses a complete defense.” (Id.) The Court does not

“read passages from a complaint in isolation; in reviewing a ruling on a demurrer, we read the

complaint ‘as a whole and its parts in their context.’ [Citation.]” (West v. JPMorgan Chase Bank,

N.A. (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 780, 804.) The Court “assume[s] the truth of the properly pleaded

factual allegations, facts that reasonably can be inferred from those expressly pleaded and matters of

which judicial notice has been taken.” (Harris, supra, 56 Cal.4th p. 240.) “The court does not,

however, assume the truth of contentions, deductions or conclusions of law. [Citation.]” (Durell v.

Sharp Healthcare (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 1350, 1358.)

A general demurrer may be brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10, subdivision (e) if insufficient facts are stated to support the cause of action asserted or under section 430.10, subdivision (a), where the court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of action alleged in the pleading. All other grounds listed in Section 430.10, including uncertainty under subdivision (f), are special demurrers. Special demurrers are not allowed in limited jurisdiction courts. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).)

Leave to amend must be allowed where there is a reasonable possibility of successful amendment. (Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 348.) The burden is on the complainant to show the Court that a pleading can be amended successfully. (Id.)

Finally, Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41 requires that “[b]efore filing a demurrer pursuant to this chapter, the demurring party shall meet and confer in person or by telephone with the party who filed the pleading that is subject to demurrer for the purpose of determining whether an agreement can be reached that would resolve the objections to be raised in the demurrer.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a).) The parties are to meet and confer at least five days before the date the responsive pleading is due. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a)(2).) Thereafter, the demurring party shall file and serve a declaration detailing their meet and confer efforts. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a)(3).)

  1. Discussion

The Demurrer is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41, subdivision (a).

Plaintiff alleges the following: (1) that Plaintiff and Defendant Aid Home entered into a contract to replace Plaintiff’s roof; (2) that Defendant Aid Home’s installation of the roof deviated from acceptable trade standards; (3) that Defendant Aid Home’s deficient installation caused leaking and damages to the inside of Plaintiff’s home; (6) that Plaintiff filed a small claims action against Defendant Aid Home on December 30, 2019; (4) that Defendant SureTec conducted an inspection of Plaintiff’s home on August 6, 2020; (7) that a trial on the small claims case took place on August 20, 2020; (8) that the court entered a judgment in favor of Defendant Aid Home in the small claims action, finding Defendant Aid Home did not owe Plaintiff any money; (9) that Plaintiff received Defendant SureTec’s report for the August 6 inspection on August 24, 2020; (5) that the SureTech inspector estimated the cost to repair the roof was $28,639.00; (10) that Defendant SureTec was not justified in denying a bond payment to Plaintiff or in requesting that Plaintiff first obtain a final judgment or an arbitration award against Defendant Aid Home. (FAC, Attach., pp. 1-2, Exhs. G, J, K.)

Defendant Aid Home demurs to the FAC on the basis that it is barred under the doctrine of res judicata. (Dem., p. 2:4-7.)

“ “‘Res judicata’ describes the preclusive effect of a final judgment on the merits. Res judicata, or claim preclusion, prevents relitigation of the same cause of action in a second suit between the same parties or parties in privity with them.” [Citation.] “A predictable doctrine of res judicata benefits both the parties and the courts because it ‘seeks to curtail multiple litigation causing vexation and expense to the parties and wasted effort and expense in judicial administration.” [Citation.]” (Consumer Advocacy Group, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Corp. (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 675, 683.)

“A prior judgment is not res judicata on a subsequent action unless three elements are satisfied: ‘(1) the issues decided in the prior adjudication are identical with those presented in the later action; (2) there was a final judgment on the merits in the prior action; and (3) the party against whom the plea is raised was a party or was in privity with a party to the prior adjudication. [Citation.]” (Id. at p. 685-86.) The term “cause of action” refers to the invasion of a primary right, that is, injury to a person or property, and is based on the harm suffered, rather than the particular theory of recovery asserted by the plaintiff. (Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. v. Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Co. (1993) 5 Cal.4th 854, 860.) Thus, “[t]o prevent piecemeal litigation, the doctrine of res judicata also applies to bar a second suit arising out of the same factual situation involving matters which were relevant and within the same scope of the first action, which thus could have been raised in the first suit. [Citation.]” (Duffy v. City of Long Beach (1988) 201 Cal.App.3d 1352, 1257-58.) (Italics in original.)

There is no question that this action involves the same parties as the small claims action or that there was a final judgment on the merits issued in the small claims action. (FAC, Attach., pp. 1-2, Exh G, J, K.) The parties’ main point of contention is whether the small claims action and the instant action involve the same issues.

Plaintiff includes with his FAC a copy of the small claims complaint and the transcript of the August 20, 2020 small claims non-jury trial. (FAC, Exh. G, J.) The small claims claim form states, in pertinent part:

“[Defendant Aid Home] cheated by using low quality GAF underlayment in substitution for the high-quality Owens Corning Deck Defense Waterproof underlayment per the roof replacement contract signed.

The roof installed by [Defendant Aid Home ] is not approved by La Canada city…because of defendant illegal and irresponsible activities, which caused massive water damages to the plaintiff’s property including the interior ceilings, walls, floors, and insulator as well as damages to exterior gutter, fence, wall and pool.

The roof installed by the defendant is illegal and defective, and needs to be replaced by another independent contractor.

The plaintiff demands $8,500 back from [Defendant Aid Home] to hire another independent contractor to replace the defective and illegal roof with the high-quality Owens Corning Deck Defense Waterproof underlayment and get the roof replacement approved by La Canada city.” (FAC, Exh. G.) (Emphasis added.)

At the small claims trial when the presiding judge, the Hon. Charles Lee, asked Plaintiff to explain what his case was about, Plaintiff stated not only that Defendant Aid Home used allegedly inferior materials to complete the roofing job, but also that the slope was incorrect, that Defendant Aid Home did not use enough underlayment materials, that Defendant Aid Home tore Plaintiff’s roof without a city permit, and that “there [were] too many flaw[s] in [Defendant Aid Home]’s replacement.” (Id., Exh. J, Transcript, pp. 3:16-4:13.) David Bitan, the former owner of Defendant Aid Home, stated that the $8,500.00 Plaintiff sought to recover was charged to Plaintiff’s credit card but then disputed by Plaintiff with his bank. (Id. at p. 6:27-7:7; pp. 8:10-10:15; pp. 10:28-11:26.) The dispute ultimately resulted in the charge being reversed by Plaintiff’s bank, depriving Defendant Aid Home of any payment. (Id.) Judge Lee asked Plaintiff, “Is it true that the $8500 you’re suing for today in your complaint, that you’ve already been given back?” (Id. at p. 7:25-27.) Plaintiff denied that the charge was reversed by his credit card company. (Id. at pp. 7:28-8:7.)

In Opposition, Plaintiff argues he discovered the true extent of the damages following his receipt of Defendant SureTec’s August 6, 2020 report on August 24, 2020, so the facts giving rise to the instant FAC were unknown when the small claims action was filed. (Oppo., pp 16:25-17:16.) The Court is not persuaded. Plaintiff is confusing knowledge of the facts with knowledge of the extent of the damages suffered. Both the small claims complaint and the small claims transcript attached to Plaintiff’s FAC demonstrate he believed Defendant Aid Home’s installation was defective when the small claims action was filed. Thus, Plaintiff was aware of the facts giving rise to the potential liability of Defendant Aid Home. Importantly, Plaintiff admits in his Opposition that he knew a second inspection of his property had taken place on August 6, 2020, but did not believe continuing the trial was necessary. (Oppo., p. 15:25-28.) That Plaintiff chose to proceed with the small claims trial without knowing the outcome of Defendant SureTec’s August 6, 2020 report does not take away from the fact Plaintiff was aware of the facts underlying this action, that is, Defendant Aid Home’s installation of an allegedly defective roof.

Plaintiff also argues res judicata is inapplicable because this action involves the failure to follow industry standards while the Small Claims Action involved a breach of contract. (Oppo., p. 14:8-18.) However, as noted above, a cause of action refers to the invasion of a primary right, i.e., the injury suffered, not the particular theory of recovery asserted by a plaintiff. (Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. v. Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Co., supra, 5 Cal.4th at p. 860.) Here, Plaintiff’s alleged injury is damage to his property as a result of Defendant Aid Home’s failure to properly install a roof. Importantly, Plaintiff admits the Small Claims Action and the instant action arise out of the same issue, i.e., the defective roof. (Oppo., p. 15:19-20.)

The Court notes that Plaintiff is correct that res judicata does not bar subsequent litigation when the plaintiff is unaware of the relevant facts when filing a complaint. (Oppo., p. 10:3-8; Allied Fire Protection v. Diede Construction, Inc. (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 150, 155.) However, the court in Allied also noted that “ ‘[a] party cannot by negligence or design withhold issues and litigate them in [a] consecutive action’ ” and that “a claim should be barred if with diligence it could have been brought earlier.” (Id. at p. 156.) (Italics added.) As discussed above, Plaintiff’s FAC and Opposition demonstrate Plaintiff was aware of the facts giving rise to his injury, i.e., the allegedly defective roof. Plaintiff also made a conscious choice to proceed with the small claims action without waiting to receive Defendant SureTec’s August 6, 2020 inspection report to ascertain the extent of the damages Plaintiff allegedly suffered.

“[T]he claim preclusion aspect of the doctrine of res judicata applies to small claims judgments.” (Pitzen v. Superior Court (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 1374, 1381.) In Pitzen, the Court held that small claims records that were sufficiently clear to enable courts to determine that a particular issue was litigated and decided against a plaintiff in small claims court would preclude subsequent actions. (Id. at p. 1388.)

Here, the Small Claims Action trial transcript demonstrates that Judge Lee considered (1) the parties arguments and exhibits regarding an $8,500.00 charge by Defendant to Plaintiff’s credit card that was disputed and allegedly reversed and (2) the parties’ arguments and exhibits regarding whether Defendant properly installed Plaintiff’s roof or whether Defendant’s work deviated from industry standards. (FAC, Exh. J, Trial Transcript.) The trial transcript demonstrates Judge Lee considered an inspection report provided by Plaintiff. (Id. at pp. 14:4-15:23.) The Court also considered Defendant Aid Home’s report from a third-party contractor through a bond company that stated the roof installed on Plaintiff’s property did not depart from industry standards. (Id. at pp. 16:8-27; p. 18:7-18.) Having considered the parties' arguments and documentary evidence, Judge Lee ordered a judgment entered on Plaintiff’s claim as follows: “[Defendant Aid Home] does not owe the [Plaintiff] any money on [P]laintiff’s claim.” (FAC, Exh. K.) Thus, the small claims action record demonstrates the issue of whether Defendant’s work deviated from industry standard was considered and ultimately rejected by the small claims court. (Id.)

As a final judgment on the merits was issued in the small claims action, which raised the same issues in this action, Plaintiff’s FAC is barred by the doctrine of res judicata.

Accordingly, Defendant Aid Home’s Demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Aid Home Remodeling, Inc.’s Demurrer to Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.