This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/08/2020 at 01:33:14 (UTC).

LOREN ZWICK VS THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS

Case Summary

On 01/28/2020 LOREN ZWICK filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS. 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:

    *******0842

  • Filing Date:

    01/28/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

ZWICK LOREN

Defendant

THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

CORLESS THOMAS

 

Court Documents

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO STRIKE

9/17/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO STRIKE

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition TO DEMURRER; POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

9/17/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition TO DEMURRER; POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

Reply (name extension) - Reply TO PLAINTIFF LOREN ZWICKS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

9/29/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply TO PLAINTIFF LOREN ZWICKS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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

10/6/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike to Plaintiff L...)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

7/30/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 07/30/2020

7/30/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 07/30/2020

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

4/24/2020: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Brianna S. Wilson

4/24/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Brianna S. Wilson

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

4/24/2020: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

4/24/2020: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Brianna S. Wilson

4/24/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Brianna S. Wilson

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Demurring or Moving Party ISO Automatic Extension

3/26/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Demurring or Moving Party ISO Automatic Extension

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

3/4/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Complaint - Complaint

1/28/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/28/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

1/28/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

1/28/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

1/28/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/31/2023
  • Hearing01/31/2023 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

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  • 07/27/2021
  • Hearing07/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10): Filed By: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant); Result: Sustained with Leave to Amend; Result Date: 10/06/2020

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  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion to Strike (not initial pleading): Filed By: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant); Result: Granted; Result Date: 10/06/2020

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  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike to Plaintiff L...)

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  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike to Plaintiff Loren Zwick's Complaint scheduled for 10/06/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 10/06/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 10/06/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Strike Loren Zwick's Punitive Damage Allegations scheduled for 10/06/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 10/06/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 09/29/2020
  • DocketReply TO PLAINTIFF LOREN ZWICK?S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT?S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF?S COMPLAINT; Filed by: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant)

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  • 09/17/2020
  • DocketOpposition TO DEMURRER; POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; Filed by: Loren Zwick (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/17/2020
  • DocketOpposition NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO STRIKE; Filed by: Loren Zwick (Plaintiff)

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10 More Docket Entries
  • 03/26/2020
  • DocketDeclaration of Demurring or Moving Party ISO Automatic Extension; Filed by: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant)

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  • 03/04/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Loren Zwick (Plaintiff); As to: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant); Service Date: 02/25/2020; Service Cost: 66.67; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 01/29/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/27/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 01/29/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/31/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 01/29/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 01/28/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Loren Zwick (Plaintiff); As to: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant)

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  • 01/28/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Loren Zwick (Plaintiff); As to: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant)

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  • 01/28/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Loren Zwick (Plaintiff); As to: THE GREAT REPUBLIC LOFTS (Defendant)

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  • 01/28/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/28/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC00842    Hearing Date: October 06, 2020    Dept: 26

Zwick v. The Great Republic Lofts, et al

DEMURRER; MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq., 435, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant The Great Republic Lofts’ Demurrer to the Complaint is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND AS TO THE FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD CAUSES OF ACTION.

Defendant The Great Republic Lofts’ Motion to Strike Portions of the Complaint is GRANTED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

ANALYSIS:

On January 28, 2020, pro se Plaintiff Loren Zwick (“Plaintiff”) filed the Complaint in this action against Defendant The Great Republic Lofts (“Defendant”) for (1) negligence; (2) gross negligence; and (3) breach of contract. On April 24, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Demurrer and Motion to Strike the Complaint. Plaintiff filed an opposition to the Demurrer on September 17, 2020 and a notice of non-opposition to the Motion to Strike on the same date. Defendant filed its Reply on September 29, 2020.

Demurrer

The Court finds that the Demurrer is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Wilson Decl., ¶¶3-5 and Exh. B.) Defendant demurs to each cause of action for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).)

The Court additionally notes that the opposition to the demurrer was filed by Attorney Steven Zwick. (Opp., p. 1.) The Complaint, however, was filed by Plaintiff in pro per and to date, no Substitution of Attorney has been filed or otherwise recognized by the Court. (See Code Civ. Proc., §§ 284, 285.) The Court, therefore, does not recognize the filing by Attorney Steven Zwick unless Plaintiff demonstrates consent to the substitution.

First Cause of Action for Negligence

A cause of action for negligence must allege the elements of duty, breach, causation and damages. (Johnson v. Prasad (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 74, 78.) The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff leased an apartment at Defendant’s property, pursuant to which he was provided a storage locker. (Compl., ¶9.) Defendant allegedly breached its duty to keep the premises, including the storage locker, safe from break-ins and theft by failing to use ordinary care in the management of its property. (Id. at ¶¶10-11.) As a result, a break-in and theft occurred at Plaintiff’s storage unit and caused him damage in the amount of $26,250.00. (Id. at ¶12.) No facts are alleged regarding Defendant’s failure to use ordinary care managing the property. Simply alleging the failure to use ordinary care is the legal conclusion of negligence. Plaintiff must allege what conduct by Defendant amounted to a failure of ordinary care.

Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant breached its duty to inform him of the break-in and theft by failing to tell him until months later. (Id. at ¶11.) However, no allegations are included in the Complaint to show how this purported breach caused Plaintiff damage. (Id. at ¶¶8-5.)

Therefore, the demurrer to the first cause of action for negligence is sustained with leave to amend.

Second Cause of Action for Gross Negligence

California does not recognize a distinct common law cause of action for gross negligence apart from negligence. (Jimenez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 546, 552 fn. 3.) Rather, to set forth a claim for “gross negligence” the plaintiff must also allege negligent conduct by the defendant involving either “want of even scant care” or “an extreme departure from the ordinary standard of conduct.” (Chavez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 632, 640.) Alleging negligence and gross negligence in separate causes of action, therefore, is improper. Also, as discussed above, no facts are alleged in the Complaint as to how Defendant’s conduct was negligent, let alone an extreme departure from the standard of care.

Therefore, the demurrer to the second cause of action for gross negligence is sustained with leave to amend, with any allegations in support thereof to be included in the first cause of action.

Third Cause of Action for Breach of Contract

In order to state a cause of action for breach of contract, Plaintiff must plead (1) the contract; (2) plaintiff’s performance or excuse for non-performance; (3) defendant’s breach; and (4) damage to plaintiff therefrom. (Acoustics, Inc. v. Trepte Constr. Co. (1971) 14 Cal.App.3d 887, 913.)

Plaintiff alleges Defendant breached an implied agreement that the storage lockers would be safely and securely managed and maintained, and be reasonably protected from break ins and theft, and that if a break in occurred, that Plaintiff would be promptly notified. (Compl., ¶22.) An implied-in-fact contract is implied by the promisor’s conduct. (Yari v. Producers Guild of America, Inc. (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 172, 182.) Here, the Complaint does not allege by what conduct Defendant agreed to keep the storage lockers free from break-ins and theft.

Therefore, the Demurrer to the third cause of action for breach of contract is sustained with leave to amend.

Motion to Strike

California law authorizes a party’s motion to strike matter from an opposing party’s pleading if it is irrelevant, false, or improper. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 435; 436, subd. (a).) Motions may also target pleadings or parts of pleadings which are not filed or drawn in conformity with applicable laws, rules or orders. (Code Civ. Proc., § 436, subd. (b).) However, in a court of limited jurisdiction, motions to strike may only be brought on grounds that the allegations do not support the request for relief or damages. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).)

Defendant moves to strike the allegations in support of the request for punitive damages in the Complaint. A request for punitive damages may be made pursuant to Cal. Civil Code 3294, which provides, as follows: “In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.” (Civ. Code, § 3294, subd. (a).)

Here, the only basis for a punitive damages claim is allegation of gross negligence, which is insufficient as explained above. The Court having sustained the demurrer to the gross negligence cause of action finds the punitive damages allegations are also inadequate.

The Motion to Strike Portions of the Complaint is granted with leave to amend.

Conclusion

Defendant The Great Republic Lofts’ Demurrer to the Complaint is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND AS TO THE FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD CAUSES OF ACTION.

Defendant The Great Republic Lofts’ Motion to Strike Portions of the Complaint is GRANTED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party to give notice.