This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/16/2019 at 01:08:45 (UTC).

KAMERON SEGAL VS SARA JOCHEM

Case Summary

On 03/01/2018 a Small Claim - Other Small Claim case was filed by KAMERON SEGAL against SARA JOCHEM in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******2285

  • Filing Date:

    03/01/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Small Claim - Other Small Claim

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

RAY A. SANTANA

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

SEGAL KAMERON

Defendant

JOCHEM SARA

 

Court Documents

Proof of Service - Personal (Small Claims)

5/25/2018: Proof of Service - Personal (Small Claims)

Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims)

6/20/2018: Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims)

Minute Order - (Non-Jury Trial)

6/20/2018: Minute Order - (Non-Jury Trial)

Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court - (Amended)

6/20/2018: Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court - (Amended)

Plaintiff's Claim Cover Sheet (Postponement Before Service)

6/20/2018: Plaintiff's Claim Cover Sheet (Postponement Before Service)

Proof of Service - Personal (Small Claims)

7/10/2018: Proof of Service - Personal (Small Claims)

Notice of Entry of Judgment (Small Claims)

8/13/2018: Notice of Entry of Judgment (Small Claims)

Minute Order - (Non-Jury Trial)

8/13/2018: Minute Order - (Non-Jury Trial)

Plaintiff's Claim Cover Sheet (Postponement Before Service)

4/24/2018: Plaintiff's Claim Cover Sheet (Postponement Before Service)

Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims)

4/24/2018: Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims)

Minute Order - (Non-Jury Trial)

4/24/2018: Minute Order - (Non-Jury Trial)

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/13/2018
  • Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

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  • 08/13/2018
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment (Small Claims); Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/13/2018
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/13/2018 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 90 updated: Result Date to 08/13/2018; Result Type to Held

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  • 08/13/2018
  • Court orders judgment entered for Plaintiff Kameron Segal against Defendant Sara Jochem on the Amended Plaintiff's Claim (1st) filed by Kameron Segal on 06/20/2018 for the principal amount of $3,000.00 and costs of $50.00 for a total of $3,050.00.

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  • 07/10/2018
  • Proof of Service - Personal (Small Claims); Filed by: Kameron Segal (Plaintiff); As to: Sara Jochem (Defendant); Service Cost: 0.00; Service Cost Waived: No; Service Date: 07/05/2018

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  • 06/20/2018
  • Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

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  • 06/20/2018
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/20/2018 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 90 updated: Result Date to 06/20/2018; Result Type to Held

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  • 06/20/2018
  • Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims); Filed by: Kameron Segal (Plaintiff); Has the Claim Been Served?: No

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  • 06/20/2018
  • Plaintiff's Claim Cover Sheet (Postponement Before Service); Filed by:

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  • 06/20/2018
  • Address for Kameron Segal (Plaintiff) amendment

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1 More Docket Entries
  • 05/25/2018
  • Proof of Service - Personal (Small Claims); Filed by: Kameron Segal (Plaintiff); As to: Sara Jochem (Defendant); Service Cost: 0.00; Service Cost Waived: No; Service Date: 05/23/18

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  • 04/24/2018
  • Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)

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  • 04/24/2018
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/24/2018 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 90

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  • 04/24/2018
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 06/20/2018 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 90

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  • 04/24/2018
  • Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims); Filed by: Kameron Segal (Plaintiff); Has the Claim Been Served?: No

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  • 04/24/2018
  • Plaintiff's Claim Cover Sheet (Postponement Before Service); Filed by:

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  • 03/01/2018
  • Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court; Filed by: Kameron Segal (Plaintiff); As to: Sara Jochem (Defendant)

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  • 03/01/2018
  • Case assigned to Hon. Ray A. Santana in Department 90 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 03/01/2018
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/24/2018 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 90

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  • 03/01/2018
  • Non-Jury Trial scheduled for 08/13/2018 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 90

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STSC02285    Hearing Date: January 09, 2020    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Tokyo Villa Homeowners Association Inc.

OPPOSITION: Plaintiff Jane Doe

Plaintiff Jane Doe (“Plaintiff”) sues Defendants Tokyo Villa Homeowners Association Inc. (“Defendant”) and Jenkins Properties Management Company (“Jenkins”)--Jenkins was Defendant’s managing agent. Plaintiff alleges that she was raped by an agent/employee of Defendant, when he was performing maintenance work in her residence and her Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) alleges causes of action for:

  1. Negligent Hiring, Supervision, Retention of Employee

  2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty

  3. Negligence

  4. Battery

  5. Sexual Battery

  6. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

  7. Aiding and Abetting a Breach of Fiduciary Duty (Jenkins only)

Defendant filed a demurrer as to the Second through Sixth causes of action and a motion to attorneys’ fees.

Duplicative: Defendant argues that all of Plaintiff’s causes of actions, except the first, are duplicative and that the demurrer should be sustained on this ground. Case law is mixed about whether this is a proper ground for a demurrer. (See Award Metals, Inc. v. Superior Court (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 1128, 1135 [permitting a demurrer where the duplicative cause of action added nothing by way of fact or theory of recovery.].) Conversely, Blickman Turkus, LP v. MF Downtown Sunnyvale, LLC (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 858, 889-890, held that duplication is not a ground on which a demurrer may be sustained and that “[t]his is the sort of defect that, if it justifies any judicial intervention at all, is ordinarily dealt with most economically at trial, or on a dispositive motion such as summary judgment.”

The Court will not sustain the demurer on this ground. The Court does not agree with Defendant’s argument that all of Plaintiff’s causes of action are the same facts and theories. Although, all the causes of action arise from the same nucleus of facts each cause of action is a different theory of recovery. For example, the sexual battery claim requires that the victim suffer sexually offensive contact, which is not an element of the battery claim. Similarly, the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim requires proving elements different than those of the battery claims: This ground the demurrer is OVERRULED.

Second Cause of Action, Breach of Fiduciary Duty: OVERRULED

Defendant argues that they have no fiduciary duty to Plaintiff. Defendant cites to Frances T. v. Village Green Owners Assn. (1986) 42 Cal.3d 490, in which a plaintiff sued the homeowners association after she was assaulted by a criminal. Plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to provide adequate lighting outside of her unit and forced her to take down lighting that she herself had installed. (Id. at p. 495.) The court held that there is dual relationship between a homeowners association and residents. The relationships are one of director-shareholder and landlord-tenant. A landlord and tenant do not generally have a fiduciary relationship. (Ibid.) Plaintiff alleged that the homeowners association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CC&Rs”) created a fiduciary duty. The court rejected plaintiff’s argument because “plaintiff alleged that the Association, as a landlord, breached its duty to her as a tenant rather than as a shareholder. Indeed, the defendants fulfilled their duty to plaintiff as a shareholder by strictly enforcing the provision in the CC&R’s that prohibited alteration of the common areas except with the prior written consent of the board.” (Id. at p. 513-514.)

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that “[t]he duties and powers of a homeowners association are controlled both by statute and by the association’s governing documents.” Ostayan v. Nordhoff Townhomes Assn., Inc. (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 120, 126-127.

The Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged her breach of fiduciary duty claim. Unlike in Francis, Plaintiff is not alleging that Defendant violated a fiduciary duty arising from a landlord-tenant relationship. Instead, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated their duty under the CC&Rs by failing to supervise its agent/employees. (SAC, ¶¶ 46-51.)

Third through Sixth Causes of Action: OVERRULED

Plaintiff argues that Defendant is vicariously liable or ratified their employee’s tortious acts.

Defendant argues that the doctrine of respondeat superior does not apply. “Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is vicariously liable for his employee’s torts committed within the scope of the employment.” Perez v. Van Groningen & Sons (1986) 41 Cal.3d 962, 967. As acknowledged by Plaintiff, the general rule is that an employer is not vicariously liable for a sexual assault committed by an employee. Sexual assault is not per se beyond the scope of employment but for it to fall within the scope of employment, it must be an outgrowth of the employment and the risk of tortious injury must be inherent in the working environment or typical of or broadly incidental to the enterprise the employer has undertaken. Lisa M. v. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (1995) 12 Cal.4th 291, 298.

Determining whether an employee has acted within the scope of employment is usually a question of fact. It can be decided as a question of law when “the relationship between an employee’s work and wrongful conduct is so attenuated that a jury could not reasonably conclude that the act was within the scope of employment.” Maria D. v. Westec Residential Sec. (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 125, 137-138. A few courts have determined that sexual assault did not fall within the scope of employment at the demurrer stage. (See Alma W. v. Oakland Unified School Dist. (1981) 123 Cal.App.3d 133, Debbie Reynolds Prof. Rehearsal Studios v. Sup. Ct. (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 222; and Daza v. Los Angeles Community College Dist. (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 260 [respectively holding that sexual assault was not within the scope of employment of a school janitor, dance instructor, and guidance counselor.].) Although a finding that an employee’s sexual assault was within the scope of their employment is exceedingly rare, the Court cannot at this stage of the proceedings decide the issue as a matter of law.

Accordingly, on this ground the demurrer is OVERRULED.

“As an alternate theory to respondeat superior, an employer may be liable for an employee’s act where the employer either authorized the tortious act or subsequently ratified an originally unauthorized tort…. Whether an employer has ratified an employee’s conduct is generally a factual question.” C.R. v. Tenet Healthcare Corp. (2009) 169 Cal.App.4th 1094, 1110-1111. The Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged ratification. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant knew their employee was a violent predator with a criminal background, that they were aware that the employee assaulted Plaintiff in January/February, and that Defendant failed to immediately terminate the employee who subsequently raped Plaintiff. (SAC, ¶¶ 67-70.)

Motion to Strike: Defendant moves to strike references to vicarious liability from the SAC. Defendant raises the same argument about respondeat superior that was rejected in the demurrer section. Accordingly, the motion to strike references to vicarious liability is DENIED.

Defendant also seeks to strike out attorneys’ fees from the body of the SAC and the prayer.

Strike Standard: The court may, upon a motion, or at any time in its discretion, and upon terms it deems proper, strike any irrelevant, false, or improper matter inserted in any pleading. (CCP § 436(a).) The court may also strike all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule, or an order of the court. CCP § 436(b). It may be an abuse of discretion to deny leave to amend after granting a motion to strike a complaint if the defect is curable. CLD Const., Inc. v. City of San Ramon (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 1141, 1146-1147.

Both parties acknowledge that under Civil Code § 5975 a prevailing party can be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees, if the action is to enforce the association’s governing documents. Plaintiff argues that the instant action is to enforce the association’s governing documents, the CC&Rs, because Defendant failed to ensure that their employee properly performed and to competently delegate their power to Defendant Jenkins, which was required by the CC&Rs. The Court agrees with Defendant that it is unclear which portion of the governing documents Plaintiff alleges she is seeking to enforce.

Accordingly, the motion to strike references to attorneys’ fees is GRANTED.

Conclusion: Defendant’s Demurrer is OVERRULED, while the Motion to Strike is GRANTED.

Defendant to provide notice.