This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/01/2020 at 05:54:31 (UTC).

LORI DENNIS, INC. VS SETH K GROSS, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 03/05/2019 LORI DENNIS, INC filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against SETH K GROSS. 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:

    *******2322

  • Filing Date:

    03/05/2019

  • 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

LORI DENNIS INC. DBA SOCAL CONTRACTOR; A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

KUONG FIONA

GROSS SETH K

Cross Defendants

YERUSHALMI ROI

LORI DENNIS INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

MELKONIAN GEOFFREY

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

BYZOVA NATALYA

 

Court Documents

Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

7/23/2019: Cross-Complaint - Cross-Complaint

Answer - Answer

7/23/2019: Answer - Answer

Summons - Summons on Cross Complaint

8/29/2019: Summons - Summons on Cross Complaint

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

11/7/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Notice of Motion - Notice of Motion and Motion to Strike

12/10/2019: Notice of Motion - Notice of Motion and Motion to Strike

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to demurrer

1/9/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to demurrer

Reply (name extension) - Reply to Opposition to Demurrer

1/15/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply to Opposition to Demurrer

Notice (name extension) - Notice of No Opposition to Motion to Strike

1/15/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of No Opposition to Motion to Strike

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Opposition to Motion for Reclassification

2/4/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Opposition to Motion for Reclassification

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other Reclassification from limited to un...)

2/4/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion - Other Reclassification from limited to un...)

Notice (name extension) - Notice JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING ISSUES THAT REMAIN TO BE RESOLVED WITH RESPECT TO DEMURRER

2/5/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING ISSUES THAT REMAIN TO BE RESOLVED WITH RESPECT TO DEMURRER

Reply (name extension) - Reply to Opposition to Motion for Reclassification

2/24/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply to Opposition to Motion for Reclassification

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

4/21/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

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

7/23/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Hea...)

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

3/5/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

3/5/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

3/5/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

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

3/5/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

16 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/25/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/01/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Vacated by Court on 07/23/2020

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10); Hea...)

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) scheduled for 07/23/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/23/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion - Other Reclassification from limited to unlimited case scheduled for 07/23/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/23/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/01/2020 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/23/2020; Result Type to Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 07/23/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 03/08/2022 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/23/2020; Result Type to Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketReset - Court Unavailable, Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) scheduled for 05/12/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 07/23/2020 10:30 AM

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  • 04/21/2020
  • DocketReset - Court Unavailable, Hearing on Motion - Other Reclassification from limited to unlimited case scheduled for 05/12/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 07/23/2020 10:30 AM

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29 More Docket Entries
  • 07/23/2019
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by: Seth K Gross (Cross-Complainant); Fiona Kuong (Cross-Complainant); As to: Lori Dennis, Inc. (Cross-Defendant); Roi Yerushalmi (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 03/08/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 03/08/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 03/08/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 09/01/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 03/08/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Lori Dennis, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Seth K Gross (Defendant); Fiona Kuong (Defendant)

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Lori Dennis, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Seth K Gross (Defendant); Fiona Kuong (Defendant)

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Lori Dennis, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Seth K Gross (Defendant); Fiona Kuong (Defendant)

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  • 03/05/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Lori Dennis, Inc. (Plaintiff); As to: Seth K Gross (Defendant); Fiona Kuong (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC02322    Hearing Date: July 23, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., July 23, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Lori Dennis, Inc. v. Gross, et al. COMP. FILED: 03-05-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC02322 DISC. C/O: 08-02-20

NOTICE: OK MOTION C/O: 08-17-20

TRIAL DATE: 09-01-20

PROCEEDINGS: (1) DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR RECLASSIFICATION

MOVING PARTY: Defendants Seth K. Gross and Fiona Kuong

RESP. PARTY: Plaintiff Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor

MOTION FOR RECLASSIFICATION

(CCP §403.040)

PROCEEDINGS: (2) CROSS-DEFENDANTS’ DEMURRER WITH MOTION TO STRIKE

MOVING PARTY: Cross-Defendants Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor and Roy Yerushalmi

RESP. PARTY: Defendants Seth K. Gross and Fiona Kuong

DEMURRER AND MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 430.10, et seq.; 435, 436)

TENTATIVE RULING:

On the Court’s own motion, this action is RECLASSIFIED as an unlimited jurisdiction case and is transferred to the transfer/reclassification desk for collection of fees and reassignment. Defendants are ordered to pay the reclassification fee within ten (10) days of this order. In addition, Cross-Defendants’ Demurrer and Motion to Strike are PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

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

Motion for Reclassification

OPPOSITION: Filed on February 4, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on February 24, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

Demurrer

OPPOSITION: Filed on January 9, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on January 15, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

Motion to Strike

OPPOSITION: Filed on January 16, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: None filed as of July 21, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On May 23, 2017, Plaintiff Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor (“Plaintiff”) and Defendants Seth K. Gross and Fiona Kuong (collectively, “Defendants” or “Cross-Complainants”) executed a Construction Proposal (the “Contract”) for the improvement of Defendants’ real property located at 279 Mabery Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90402 (the “Subject Property”). (Compl., ¶ 8, Exh. 1.)

On March 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed an action for breach of contract, account stated, open book account, reasonable value, and to foreclose on mechanic’s lien against Defendants. On July 23, 2019, Defendants filed an Answer and a Cross-Complaint for breach of contract, fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, declaratory relief, and mandatory injunction to release the lien against Cross-Defendants Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor and Roi Yerushalmi (“Yerushalmi”) (collectively, “Cross-Defendants”).

On September 30, 2019, Defendants filed the instant Motion for Reclassification (the “Reclassification Motion”). The Motion initially came up for hearing on February 4, 2020. At that time, Cross-Defendants’ counsel informed the Court he had e-filed an opposition to the Reclassification Motion that did not appear on the Court’s docket. (2/4/20 Minute Order.) The Court continued the Motion and ordered Cross-Defendants to immediately resubmit the opposition for the Court’s review. (Id.) That same day, Cross-Defendants filed their Opposition. On February 24, 2020, Defendants filed a Reply.

In addition, on November 25, 2019, Defendants filed a First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”). On December 10, 2019, Cross-Defendants filed a Demurrer to the FACC (the “Demurrer”) and Motion to Strike (the “Motion to Strike”). On January 9, 2020, Defendants filed an Opposition to the Demurrer and on January 15, 2020, Cross-Defendants filed a Reply. On January 16, 2020, Defendants filed an Opposition to the Motion to Strike.

II. Legal Standard & Discussion

A. Reclassification

1. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040 allows a plaintiff to file a motion for reclassification of an action within the time allowed for that party to amend the initial pleading. (Code Civ. Proc., § 403.040, subd. (a).) A court may, on its own motion, reclassify the action at any time. (Id.)

If the motion is made after the time for the plaintiff to amend the pleading, the motion may only be granted if (1) the case is incorrectly classified; and (2) the plaintiff shows good cause for not seeking reclassification earlier. (Code Civ. Proc., § 403.040, subd. (b).) In Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257, 262, the California Supreme Court held that a matter may be reclassified from unlimited to limited only if it appears to a legal certainty that the plaintiff's damages will necessarily be less than $25,000. (Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257.) If there is a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00, the case cannot be transferred to limited. (Ibid.) This high standard is appropriate in light of “the circumscribed procedures and recovery available in the limited civil courts.” (Ytuarte v. Superior Court (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 266, 278.)

In Ytuarte, the Court of Appeals examined the principles it set forth in Walker and held that “the court should reject the plaintiff's effort to reclassify the action as unlimited only when the lack of jurisdiction as an “unlimited” case is certain and clear.” (Id. at 279.) (Emphasis added.) Nevertheless, the plaintiff must present evidence to demonstrate a possibility that the damages will exceed $25,000.00 and the trial court must review the record to determine “whether a judgment in excess of $25,000.00 is obtainable.” (Ibid.)

2. Discussion

As an initial matter, the Court notes that after Defendants filed the Reclassification Motion, they filed their FACC, but did not refile their request to reclassify the action based on the new operative pleading. Thus, Defendants’ Reclassification Motion is MOOT.

Importantly, the FACC seeks declaratory relief. (FACC, ¶¶ 66-74.) Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 580, subdivision (b)(4), “[d]eclaratory relief, except as authorized by section 86,” is not permissible in a limited jurisdiction court.” Section 86 permits an action for declaratory relief when it is brought by way of cross-complaint as to a right of indemnity with respect to the relief demanded or when sought to conduct a trial after a nonbinding fee arbitration between an attorney and his client. (Code Civ. Proc., § 86, subd. (a)(7).) Section 86 is not applicable here. Thus, Defendants’ request for declaratory relief deprives this Court of jurisdiction.

B. Demurrer and Motion to Strike

As the action has been reclassified, Cross-Defendants’ Demurrer and Motion to Strike are PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

IV. Conclusion & Order

On the Court’s own motion, this action is RECLASSIFIED as an unlimited jurisdiction case and is transferred to the transfer/reclassification desk for collection of fees and reassignment. Defendants are ordered to pay the reclassification fee within ten (10) days of this order. In addition, Cross-Defendants’ Demurrer and Motion to Strike are PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

Moving parties are ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC02322    Hearing Date: March 02, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION FOR RECLASSIFICATION

(CCP §403.040)

DEMURRER WITH MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 430.41; 436)

Motion for Reclassification

OPPOSITION: Filed on February 4, 2020

REPLY: Filed on February 24, 2020

Demurrer with Motion to Strike

OPPOSITION: Filed on January 9, 2020

REPLY: Filed on January 15, 2020

CONTINUANCE:

The Court is taking additional time to consider and review the parties’ moving and opposing papers. On the Court’s own motion, the (1) Motion for Reclassification, and (2) Demurrer with Motion to Strike are CONTINUED TO MAY 12, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Counsel need not appear at the hearing set previously for Monday, MAY 12, 2020.

Moving parties are ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC02322    Hearing Date: February 04, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION FOR RECLASSIFICATION

(CCP §403.040)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants/Cross-Complainant’s unopposed Motion for Reclassification is GRANTED. Defendants/Cross-Complainants are to pay the reclassification fee as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040, subdivision (c)(1) within 15 days of this Order.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On May 23, 2017, Plaintiff Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor (“Plaintiff”) and Defendants Seth K. Gross and Fiona Kuong (collectively, “Defendants or Cross-Complainants”) executed a Contruction Proposal (the “Contract”) for the improvement of Cross-Complainants’ real property located at 279 Mabery Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90402 (the “Subject Property”).

On March 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed an action for breach of contract, account stated, open book account, reasonable value, and to foreclose on mechanic’s lien against Defendants. On July 23, 2019, Cross-Complainants filed an Answer. They also filed a Cross-Complaint for breach of contract, fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, declaratory relief, and mandatory injunction to release the lien against Cross-Defendants Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor and Roi Yerushalmi (“Yerushalmi”) (collectively, “Cross-Defendants”).

On September 30, 2019, Cross-Complainants filed the instant Motion for Reclassification (the “Motion”). Thereafter, on November 25, 2019, Cross-Complainants filed a First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”). To date, no opposition or reply briefs have been filed.

On December 10, 2019, Cross-Defendants filed a Demurrer to the FACC and Motion to Strike, which are scheduled to be heard on March 2, 2020.

II. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040 provides, in relevant part:

“(a) The plaintiff, cross-complainant, or petitioner may file a motion for reclassification within the time allowed for that party to amend the initial pleading. The defendant or cross-defendant may file a motion for reclassification within the time allowed for that party to respond to the initial pleading. The court, on its own motion, may reclassify a case at any time. A motion for reclassification does not extend the moving party’s time to amend or answer or otherwise respond. The court shall grant the motion and enter an order for reclassification, regardless of any fault or lack of fault, if the case has been classified in an incorrect jurisdictional classification.

(b) If a party files a motion for reclassification after the time for that party to amend that party’s initial pleading or to respond to a complaint, cross-complaint, or other initial pleading, the court shall grant the motion and enter an order for reclassification only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The case is incorrectly classified.

(2) The moving party shows good cause for not seeking reclassification earlier.”

III. Discussion

Cross-Complainants ask the Court to reclassify this action to unlimited jurisdiction court because they seek damages in excess of $25,000. In the Cross-Complaint, the first cause of action for breach of contract alleges Cross-Defendants are liable for at least $190,000 in delay damages. (Cross-Compl., ¶ 52.) The FACC subsequently filed on November 25, 2019 alleges the same. (FACC., ¶ 52.)

Cross-Complaints filed this Motion approximately two months after filing the Cross-Complaint, but before Cross-Defendants filed a response. In addition, this Court has no jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief or declaratory relief. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 85, 86, 580, subd. (b).) Thus, the unopposed Motion is GRANTED.

IV. Conclusion & Order

In light of the foregoing, Defendants/Cross-Complainant’s unopposed Motion for Reclassification is GRANTED. Defendants/Cross-Complainants are to pay the reclassification fee as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040, subdivision (c)(1) within 15 days of this Order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC02322    Hearing Date: January 23, 2020    Dept: 25

DEMURRER; MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq.; 435)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Cross-Defendants Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor and Roi Yerushalmi’s Demurrer and Motion to Strike is CONTINUED TO MARCH 2nd at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25.

At least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, Cross-Defendants are to file a declaration demonstrating compliance with the meet and confer requirement. Also, at least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, the parties are to file a joint statement of the issues that remain to be resolved with respect to the Demurrer. Failure to comply with the court’s orders may result in the Demurrer and Motion to Strike being placed off calendar, or further action as the Court may see fit.

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On March 5, 2019, Plaintiff Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor (“Lori Dennis, Inc.”) filed an action against Defendants Seth K. Gross and Fiona Kuong (collectively, “Defendants” or “Cross-Complainants”) for breach of contract, account stated, open book account, reasonable value, and mechanic’s lien. On July 23, 2019, Cross-Complainants filed an Answer and a Cross-Complaint against Lori Dennis, Inc. and Roi Yerushalmi (collectively, “Cross-Defendants”) for breach of contract, fraud and deceit, negligent misrepresentation, declaratory relief, and for release of mechanic’s lien.

On September 30, 2019, Cross-Complainants filed a Motion for Reclassification of this action from limited to unlimited because Cross-Complainants seek damages in excess of the $25,000 jurisdictional limit in limited cases. The hearing on that motion to reclassify is scheduled for February 4, 2020.

On November 25, 2019, Cross-Complainants filed a First Amended Cross-Complaint (“FACC”). On December 10, 2019, Cross-Defendants filed the instant Demurrer to First Amended Cross-Complaint (the “Demurrer”) and Motion to Strike Portions of Cross-Complainant’s First Amended Cross-Complaint (the “Motion to Strike”).

On January 9, 2020, Cross-Complainants filed an Opposition to the Demurrer. On January 15, 2020, Cross-Defendants filed a Notice of No Opposition to the Motion to Strike and a Reply brief to the Opposition to the Demurrer. On January 16, 2020, Cross-Complainants filed a late Opposition to the Motion to Strike.

II. Legal Standard

  1. Demurrer

“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.)

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. 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 that are not filed or drawn in conformity with applicable laws, rules or orders. (Code Civ. Proc., § 436 subd. (b).) Motions to strike in limited jurisdiction courts may only challenge pleadings on the basis that “the damages or relief sought are not supported by the allegations of the complaint.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 92 subd. (d).) A motion to strike is used to address defects that appear on the face of a pleading or from judicially noticed matter but that are not grounds for a demurrer. (Pierson v. Sharp Memorial Hospital (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 340, 342; see also City & County of San Francisco v. Strahlendorf (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1911, 1913 [motion may not be based on a party's declaration or factual representations made by counsel in the motion papers].)

In particular, a motion to strike can be used to attack the entire pleading or any part thereof – in other words, a motion may target single words or phrases, unlike demurrers. (Warren v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 24, 40.) California’s policy of liberal construction applies to motions to strike. (Code Civ. Proc., § 452; see also Duffy v. Campbell (1967) 250 Cal.App.2d 662, 666 [noting that courts must resolve all reasonable doubts in favor of the pleading when considering a motion to strike].) The Code of Civil Procedure also authorizes the Court to act on its own initiative to strike matters, empowering the Court to enter orders striking matter “at any time in its discretion, and upon terms it deems proper.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 436.)

Finally, Code of Civil Procedure section 435.5 requires that “[b]efore filing a motion to strike pursuant to this chapter, the moving party shall meet and confer in person or by telephone with the party who filed the pleading that is subject to the motion to strike for the purpose of determining whether an agreement can be reached that resolves the objections to be raised in the motion to strike.” (Code Civ. Proc § 435.5, subd. (a).)

III. Discussion

As an initial matter, the Court addresses the meet and confer requirement.

The Court finds that Cross-Defendants have not satisfied the meet and confer requirement set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41 or section 435.5. Specifically, before filing a demurrer or motion to strike, Code of Civil Procedure requires that the parties meet and confer “in person or by telephone.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a); Code Civ. Proc., § 435.5, subd. (a).) (Italics added.)

The meet and confer declaration made by counsel for Cross-Defendants states only that a letter regarding the FACC was faxed to counsel for Cross-Complainants on November 1, 2019. (Melkonian Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.) Nothing in his declaration or meet and confer letter indicate that the attorneys met in person, spoke over the phone, or made any attempt to do so. (Id.) Instead, the November 1, 2019 meet and confer letter only requests that the FACC be cured of the defects pointed out in the letter or the instant Demurrer and Motion to Strike would be filed. (Id.)

III. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Cross-Defendants Lori Dennis, Inc. dba SoCal Contractor and Roi Yerushalmi’s Demurrer and Motion to Strike is CONTINUED TO MARCH 2nd at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25.

At least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, Cross-Defendants are to file a declaration demonstrating compliance with the meet and confer requirement. Also, at least 16 court days prior to the new hearing date, the parties are to file a joint statement of the issues that remain to be resolved with respect to the Demurrer. Failure to comply with the Court’s orders may result in the Demurrer and Motion to Strike being placed off calendar, or further action as the Court may see fit.

Moving party to give notice.