Search

Attributes

This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/23/2020 at 09:00:16 (UTC).

CHRIS LANGER VS GEORGE S. STERN, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 12/05/2019 CHRIS LANGER filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against GEORGE S STERN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is SERENA R. MURILLO. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******1164

  • Filing Date:

    12/05/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

LANGER CHRIS

Defendants

STERN IN INDIVIDUAL AND REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY AS TRUSTEE UNDER THE TRUST AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BETWEEN GEORGE S. STERN AND ADELE R. STERN DATED FEBRUARY 27 1985 GEORGE S.

STERN IN DIVIDUAL AND REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY AS TRUSTEE UNDER THE TRUST AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BETWEEN GEORGE S. STERN AND ADELE R. STERN DATED FEBRUARY 27 1985 ADELE R.

VELASCO MIGUEL ANGEL MARTINEZ

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

GRACE PHYL

Defendant Attorney

KEREKES STEVEN WILLIAM

 

Court Documents

Answer - Answer

1/16/2020: Answer - Answer

Answer - Answer

1/17/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

12/30/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

12/30/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

12/18/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Summons - Summons on Complaint

12/5/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

12/5/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

12/5/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Complaint - Complaint

12/5/2019: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

12/5/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/08/2022
  • Hearing12/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 06/03/2021
  • Hearing06/03/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/17/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: George S. Stern in individual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Adele R. Stern in dividual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); As to: Chris Langer (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/16/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Chris Langer (Plaintiff); As to: George S. Stern in individual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 12/23/2019; Service Cost: 30.00; Service Cost Waived: No

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/30/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Chris Langer (Plaintiff); As to: Adele R. Stern in dividual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Service Date: 12/20/2019; Service Cost: 30.00; Service Cost Waived: No

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/18/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Chris Langer (Plaintiff); As to: Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco (Defendant); Service Date: 12/13/2019; Service Cost Waived: No

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/06/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/03/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/06/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 12/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/06/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Chris Langer (Plaintiff); As to: George S. Stern in individual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Adele R. Stern in dividual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Chris Langer (Plaintiff); As to: George S. Stern in individual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Adele R. Stern in dividual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Chris Langer (Plaintiff); As to: George S. Stern in individual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Adele R. Stern in dividual and representative capacity as trustee under the Trust Agreement Entered into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27 1985 (Defendant); Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco (Defendant)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less

Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC11164    Hearing Date: March 8, 2021    Dept: 26

Langer v. Stern, et al.

JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

(Code Civ. Proc., § 438; Smiley v. Citibank (1995) 11 Cal.4th 138, 145-146)

TENTATIVE RULING:

The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings of Defendant Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco, joined by Defendants George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern, is DENIED.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Chris Langer (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action against Defendants George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern, individually and in their capacity as trustees under the Trust Agreement Entered

into between George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern dated February 27, 1985 (“Stern Defendants”) and Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco (“Defendant Velasco”) on December 5, 2019.

On August 11, 2020, Defendant Velasco filed the instant Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (“the Motion”). The Stern Defendants filed a Notice of Joinder in the Motion on August 25, 2020. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Legal Standard

The standard for ruling on a motion for judgment on the pleadings is essentially the same as that applicable to a general demurrer, that is, under the state of the pleadings, together with matters that may be judicially noticed, it appears that a party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (Bezirdjian v. O'Reilly (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 316, 321-322, citing Schabarum v. California Legislature (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1205, 1216.) Matters which are subject to mandatory judicial notice may be treated as part of the complaint and may be considered without notice to the parties. Matters which are subject to permissive judicial notice must be specified in the notice of motion, the supporting points and authorities, or as the court otherwise permits. (Id.) The motion may not be supported by extrinsic evidence. (Barker v. Hull (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 221, 236.)

While a statutory motion for judgment on the pleadings brought pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 438, et seq. must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration, there is no such requirement for a motion for judgment on the pleadings brought pursuant to the common law. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 439 (moving party must file declaration demonstrating an attempt to meet and confer in person or by telephone, at least five days before the date a motion for judgment on the pleadings is filed.)

Discussion

The Motion is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 439. (Motion, Garber Decl., ¶¶2-3; Kerekes Decl., ¶¶2-3.) Defendants submit a Request for Judicial Notice of (1) the federal complaint in Langer v. Stern, et al., Federal Case No. 2:19-cv-02151-AB-J EM, filed on March 22, 2019; (2) the Order dated November 25, 2019, granting summary judgment on the federal complaint; and (3) the judgment on the federal complaint, dated December 17, 2019. The Court grants the request pursuant to Cal. Evidence Code section 452, subdivisions (c) and (d).

These documents show that Plaintiff filed a federal court action against Defendants on March 22, 2019 in which he alleged causes of action for (1) violation of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990; and (2) violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act. (Motion, RJN, Exh. A. pp. 5:7.) In the federal action, Plaintiff alleged that he is a paraplegic and uses a wheelchair for mobility. (Demurrer, RJN, Exh. A, ¶1.) Plaintiff alleged he visited Defendants’ store at 2616 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (“the Store”) in February 2019. (Id. at ¶¶2-7, 12.) Plaintiff alleged that at the time of his visit, the Store lacked handicap accessible parking spaces or sales counters in conformity with ADA standards. (Id. at ¶¶15-21.) Plaintiff alleged he was denied full and fair access to the Store as a result of the parking violations. (Id. at ¶¶17-18.) Plaintiff also alleged he experienced difficult and discomfort due to these accessibility barriers. (Id. at ¶19.) Plaintiff sought injunctive relief on the ADA cause of action and monetary damages on the Unruh cause of action. (Id. at Prayer.)

On November 25, 2019, the federal court issued a ruling on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. (Motion, RJN, Exh. B.) The federal court found that no genuine dispute existed as to whether the Store was now compliant with the ADA, entitling Defendants to summary judgment on the first cause of action because Plaintiff lacked standing under the ADA such that his ADA claim was moot. (Id. at pp. 4:6-7:9.) The federal court also declined to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction to hear the Unruh state law claim concurrent with a federal claim. (Id. at pp. 7:10-8:1.) On that basis, the federal court found it appropriate to dismiss the Unruh claim. (Id. at p. 7:23-8:1.) Instead, the federal court ruled that “[s]tate court is the proper forum for Plaintiff to litigate his remaining claim. (Id. at p. 8:1-2.)

Pursuant to this ruling, the federal court entered judgment on December 17, 2019. (Motion, RJN, Exh. C.)

Defendants now bring the instant Motion brought on two grounds: Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10 subdivision (c) and res judicata. The Court will address each in turn.

Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10 subdivision (c)

 

Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10 subdivision (c) states a party may object to a complaint on the grounds that “[t]here is another action pending between the same parties on the same cause of action.” The federal action filed by Plaintiff against Defendants on March 22, 2019 and dismissed on December 17, 2019 included a cause of action for violation of sections 51-53 of the Unruh Act. (Motion, RJN, Exh. A, p. 7:8-27.) Likewise, the Complaint in this action is brought pursuant to the same sections of the Unruh Act for the alleged accessibility barriers Plaintiff encountered at the Store in February 2019. (Compl., ¶¶12-21.) Although the Complaint in this action was filed on December 5, 2019, while the federal action was still technically pending, the federal action has since been dismissed. Indeed, the federal court’s ruling on November 25, 2019 made it clear that the Unruh Act claim was no longer viable in that court.

Because there is now only one action pending with respect to the Store’s violation of the Unruh Act in February 2019, the basis for judgment on the pleadings under subdivision (c) of section 430.10 no longer applies. Judgment on the pleadings under Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10, subdivision (c) is denied.

Res Judicata

Res judicata precludes a party from relitigating certain matters that were resolved in a prior proceeding, if certain circumstances are met. (Brinton v. Bankers Pension Services, Inc. (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 550, 556.) These circumstances are: (1) a claim or issue raised in the present action is identical to a claim or issue litigated in a prior proceeding; (2) the prior proceeding resulted in a final judgment on the merits; and (3) the party against whom the doctrine is being asserted was a party or in privity with a party to the prior proceeding. (Teitelbaum Furs, Inc. v. Dominion Ins. Co., Ltd. (1962) 58 Cal.2d 601, 604 [citing Bernhard v. Bank of America (1942) 19 Cal.2d 807, 813].)

There is no question that this action and the federal case raise identical claims under the Unruh Act and that the parties’ asserting the doctrine are the same parties in both actions. As to the remaining circumstance of whether the federal action resulted in a final judgment on the merits of the Unruh claim, the Court finds it did not. The federal court’s ruling on the Unruh Act claim was based on the propriety of litigating that claim in federal court, not on the merits. (Motion, RJN, Exh. B, p. 7:10-28.) It is clear from the ruling on November 25, 2019 that the federal court made no determination regarding whether the alleged accessibility barriers were violations of the Unruh Act and entitled Plaintiff to damages under the same. In fact, the federal court expressly ruled that “[s]tate court is the proper forum for Plaintiff to litigate his remaining claim.” (Id. at p. 8:1-2.)

Therefore, res judicata also does not provide a basis to grant Defendants judgment on the pleadings.

Conclusion

The Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings of Defendant Miguel Angel Martinez Velasco, joined by Defendants George S. Stern and Adele R. Stern, is DENIED.

Court clerk to give notice.

related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases represented by Lawyer GRACE PHYL