This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/16/2019 at 05:04:09 (UTC).

ALEXIA ROSENFIELD VS C&S ENTERPRISE #1, L.P.

Case Summary

On 01/07/2019 ALEXIA ROSENFIELD filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against C S ENTERPRISE 1, L P. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0207

  • Filing Date:

    01/07/2019

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ROSENFIELD ALEXIA

Defendant

C&S ENTERPRISE #1 L.P.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

FIGUEROA IRVING ERNESTO

Defendant Attorney

CONDON BRIAN R

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

5/2/2019: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

5/2/2019: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

5/2/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

5/13/2019: Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/8/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Hearing

4/8/2019: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Hearing

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

4/8/2019: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER

3/18/2019: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition PLAINTIFFS' MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER

Reply (name extension) - Reply to Opposition to Demurrer

3/19/2019: Reply (name extension) - Reply to Opposition to Demurrer

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

3/5/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

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

3/6/2019: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

1/18/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/7/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/7/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

1/7/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

1/7/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Complaint - Complaint

1/7/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

1/7/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

8 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/13/2019
  • Memorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant); As to: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); Total Costs: 415.80

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/06/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 05/03/2019

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  • 05/03/2019
  • Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/10/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 05/03/2019

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Updated -- Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10): Filed By: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant); Result: Sustained with Leave to Amend; Result Date: 05/02/2019

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • On the Complaint filed by Alexia Rosenfield on 01/07/2019, entered Request for Dismissal without prejudice filed by Alexia Rosenfield as to the entire action

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Request for Dismissal; Filed by: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); As to: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 05/02/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 05/02/2019; Result Type to Held

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  • 04/08/2019
  • Declaration Of Brian R. Condon Pursuant to CCP Section 430.41 of Meet and Confer on Demurrer to Complaint; Filed by: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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12 More Docket Entries
  • 01/18/2019
  • Proof of Personal Service; Filed by: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); As to: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant); Service Date: 01/11/2019; Service Cost: 80.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/09/2019
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/06/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/09/2019
  • Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/10/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 01/09/2019
  • Case assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 01/07/2019
  • Complaint; Filed by: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); As to: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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  • 01/07/2019
  • Summons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); As to: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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  • 01/07/2019
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); As to: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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  • 01/07/2019
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Alexia Rosenfield (Plaintiff); As to: C&S Enterprise #1, L.P. (Defendant)

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  • 01/07/2019
  • Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/07/2019
  • First Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC00207    Hearing Date: September 02, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:    Wed., September 2, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME Rosenfield v. C&S Enterprise #1, LP  COMP. FILED: 01-07-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC00207 DISC. C/O: NONE

NOTICE: OK MOTION C/O: NONE

TRIAL DATE: NONE

PROCEEDINGS    MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES

MOVING PARTY:    Defendant C&S Enterprises #1, LP

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Alexia Rosenfield

MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES

(CCP §§ 1021, 1032, 1033.5, subd. (a)(10)(A))

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees is DENIED.

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 11/26/2019 [  ] Late [  ] None

REPLY: Filed on 12/3/2019 [  ] Late [  ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

This action arises out of allegations of a security deposit that was wrongfully withheld when plaintiff moved out.

On January 7, 2019, Plaintiff Alexia Rosenfield (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action against Defendant C&S Enterprises #1, LP (“Defendant”). The Complaint alleges causes of action for (1) Violation of Civil Code section 1950.5(b); (2) Violation of Civil Code section 1950.5(e); (3) Violation of Civil Code section 1950.5(f); (4) Violation of Civil Code section 1950.5(g); (5) Violation of Civil Code section 1950.5(l); (6) Breach of Contract; and (7) Unfair, Unlawful and Deceptive Business Practices.

More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant owns and manages the property at 1348 North Sierra Bonita, Unit 202, Los Angeles, California (“the subject property”), for which Plaintiff executed a one-year lease. (Compl., ¶¶ 11-12.) The lease agreement states that the tenants are Plaintiff and Victoria Nguyen (“Nguyen”). (Id. at Exh. 1, p. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that she tendered to Defendant a security deposit in the amount of $2,495.00 pursuant to the rental agreement. (Id. at ¶ 12.) In anticipation of the end of the one-year lease agreement, on May 29, 2018, Plaintiff informed Defendant that she would vacate the subject property. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Plaintiff vacated the property, but Defendant did not return the security deposit to her because Nguyen elected to renew the lease.

Defendant filed a demurrer on March 6, 2019 that the Court heard on May 2, 2019. The Court sustained Defendant’s demurrer to the entire complaint with 20 days leave to amend for every cause of action. In its ruling, the Court held that Nguyen is defined as a tenant and Nguyen’s failure to vacate the premises renders Plaintiff’s claims involving the security deposit and the lack of a pre-move out inspection fatal.

Instead of amending her complaint, Plaintiff dismissed all of her claims without prejudice on May 3, 2019.

Defendant now moves for $15,899.20 in attorney fees for its successful defense of the tort claims against it.

Plaintiff opposes, arguing that Plaintiff’s claims were “on the contract” and the Court cannot award attorney fees because she voluntarily dismissed her claims. To the extent that the Court holds otherwise, Plaintiff also argues that Defendant’s fee requests are unreasonable because they should be apportioned.

Defendant filed a reply.

  1. Legal Standard

Attorney’s fees are recoverable when authorized by contract, statute, or law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10).)

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5, subdivision (a)(10), attorney fees when authorized by contract, statute or law are allowable as costs and may be awarded upon a noticed motion pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5, subdivision (c)(5).

Where a contract specifically provides for attorney’s fees and costs incurred to enforce the contract, attorney’s fees and costs must be awarded to the party who is determined to be the prevailing party on the contract. (Civ. Code., § 1717, subd. (a).) “Reasonable attorney’s fees shall be fixed by the court and shall be an element of the costs of suit.” (Ibid.)

A prevailing party is defined as follows:

(4) “Prevailing party” includes the party with a net monetary recovery, a defendant in whose favor a dismissal is entered, a defendant where neither plaintiff nor defendant obtains any relief, and a defendant as against those plaintiffs who do not recover any relief against that defendant. If any party recovers other than monetary relief and in situations other than as specified, the “prevailing party” shall be as determined by the court, and under those circumstances, the court, in its discretion, may allow costs or not and, if allowed, may apportion costs between the parties on the same or adverse sides pursuant to rules adopted under Section 1034.

(Code Civ. Proc., § 1032, subd. (a)(4).)

In determining what fees are reasonable, California courts apply the “lodestar” approach. (See, e.g., Holguin v. DISH Network LLC (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1310, 1332.) This inquiry “begins with the ‘lodestar,’ i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate.” (See PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095.) From there, the “[t]he lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on consideration of factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided.” (Ibid.) Relevant factors include: “(1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2) the skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, [and] (4) the contingent nature of the fee award.” (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132.)

The party seeking fees has the burden of documenting the appropriate hours expended and hourly rates. (City of Colton v. Singletary (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 751, 784.) This burden requires competent evidence as to the nature and value of the services rendered. (Martino v. Denevi (1986) 182 Cal.App.3d 553, 559.)

A plaintiff’s verified billing invoices are prima facie evidence that the costs, expenses, and services listed were necessarily incurred. (Hadley v. Krepel (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d 677, 682.)

  1. Discussion

Defendant seeks attorney fees for the tort claims asserted against it based on the parties’ lease agreement. The express language provides for attorney fees to the prevailing party:

ATTORNEY’S FEES: If any legal action or proceeding be brought by either party to this agreement the prevailing party shall be reimbursed for all reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in addition to other damages awarded. Due to the ever-increasing fees that can be charged by attorneys, it is agreed by the parties that both sides will waive their right to a trial.

(Complaint Exh. 1, at ¶ 23.)

The parties do not dispute that the agreement provides for attorney fees.

However, the parties dispute whether Defendant is the prevailing party. Defendant argues it is the prevailing party under Code of Civil Procedure section 1032, subdivision (a)(4) and Plaintiff’s five of six claims sound in tort and not contract, whereby the safe harbor of Civil Code section 1717 does not apply to this action. Plaintiff argues that all of her claims were to enforce the contract and Defendant is not the prevailing party because the safe harbor of Civil Code section 1717 applies.

This determination depends on whether the action here is to enforce the contract or tort and statutory violations, i.e., Civil Code section 1950.5.

In determining whether the action is to enforce the contract, the focus should not be on the remedy sought. (Amtower v. Photon Dynamics, Inc. (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1582, 1602 [“Whether an action is based on contract or tort depends upon the nature of the right sued upon, not the form of the pleading or relief demanded.”] internal quotes omitted.)

Here, nearly all of the claims are not breach of contract claims. However, this identification is not dispositive. Instead, the key is whether the action here is to enforce the contract. The Court finds that it is. (See Complaint Exh. 1, at ¶ 3 [security deposit to be refunded within 21 days].) Plaintiff’s claims sound from the contractual agreement involving the return of the security deposit, i.e., she seeks to enforce her rights under the lease that happen to also be protected by an additional statute.  (See Barrientos v. 1801-1825 Morton LLC (9th Cir. 2009) 583 F.3d 1197, 1216.) Defendant cannot otherwise rely on Drybread Chipain

Because the Court does not find Defendant to be the prevailing party, it is unnecessary to examine the reasonableness of the attorney fees. Nevertheless, the Court addresses this issue briefly. Plaintiff only opposes based on Defendant’s failure to apportion its fees, and not under the reasonableness of the billing rate or hours incurred. The Court otherwise has no reason to question the $325 hourly rate and the 51.6 hours incurred, even if the Court were to credit Plaintiff’s apportionment argument.

  1. Conclusion & Order

Defendant’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC00207    Hearing Date: March 02, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

(CCP §§ 1032, 1033.5)

OPPOSITION: Filed on November 26, 2019

REPLY: Filed on December 3, 2019

CONTINUANCE

The Court is taking additional time to review the parties’ moving and opposing papers. On the Court’s own motion, the Motion For Attorney’s Fees is CONTINUED TO MAY 6, 2020, AT 10;00 a.m.in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Counsel need not appear at the hearing set previously for Monday, March 2, 2020.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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