This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/05/2021 at 07:40:43 (UTC).

MARIA ESTHER NUNEZ VS JOSE AGUIRRE, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 07/10/2020 MARIA ESTHER NUNEZ filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against JOSE AGUIRRE. 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:

    *******5763

  • Filing Date:

    07/10/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

NUNEZ MARIA ESTHER

Defendants

AGUIRRE JOSE

AGUIRRE ALMA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

PALEY ROBIN

 

Court Documents

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

2/3/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

10/29/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

10/29/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

10/29/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

10/29/2020: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

10/2/2020: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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

9/4/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Complaint - Complaint

7/10/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

7/10/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

7/10/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

7/10/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

7/10/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

7/10/2020: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

1 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/14/2023
  • Hearing07/14/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 01/07/2022
  • Hearing01/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 02/03/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

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  • 02/03/2021
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 02/03/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 02/03/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff); As to: Jose Aguirre (Defendant); Service Date: 09/04/2020; Service Cost: 20.00; Service Cost Waived: Yes

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff); Service Date: 09/04/2020; Service Cost: 20.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff); Service Date: 10/16/2020; Service Cost: 20.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff); As to: Jose Aguirre (Defendant); Service Date: 10/16/2020; Service Cost: 20.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/05/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 02/03/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 10/02/2020
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by: Jose Aguirre (Defendant); Alma Aguirre (Defendant)

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff); As to: Jose Aguirre (Defendant); Alma Aguirre (Defendant)

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 07/14/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Maria Esther Nunez (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 07/10/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 01/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC05763    Hearing Date: February 03, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Wed., February 3, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Nunez v. Aguirre, et al. COMPL. FILED: 07-10-20

CASE NUMBER: 20STLC05763 DISC. C/O: 12-08-21

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 12-23-21

TRIAL DATE: 01-07-22

PROCEEDINGS: DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT

MOVING PARTY: Defendants Jose Aguirre and Alma Aguirre

RESP. PARTY: None

DEMURRER

(CCP § 430.10, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants Jose and Alma Aguirre’s Demurrer to Plaintiff’s Complaint is SUSTAINED AS TO THE FIRST THROUGH THIRD CAUSES OF ACTION. In the interest of resolving this matter on the merits, Plaintiff is GRANTED 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT.

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: None filed as of February 1, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of February 1, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On July 10, 2020, Plaintiff Maria Esther Nunez (“Plaintiff”), in pro per, filed an action for breach of contract and negligence against Defendants Jose Aguirre and Alma Aguirre (collectively, “Defendants”).

Defendants filed the instant Demurrer to Plaintiff’s Complaint (the “Demurrer”) on October 2, 2020. To date, no opposition has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

“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.)

A general demurrer may be brought under Code of Civil Procedure section 430.10, subdivision (e) if insufficient facts are stated to support the cause of action asserted or under section 430.10, subdivision (a), where the court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of action alleged in the pleading. All other grounds listed in Section 430.10, including uncertainty under subdivision (f), are special demurrers. Special demurrers are not allowed in limited jurisdiction courts. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).)

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. Discussion

As an initial matter, the Court notes Defendants’ meet and confer efforts are insufficient. Section 430.41, subdivision (a) requires that parties meet and confer in person or by telephone. Defendants’ counsel states he only sent Plaintiff a letter. However, a determination that a party’s meet and confer efforts are insufficient, alone, is not grounds to sustain or overrule a demurrer. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a)(4).) Rather than continuing the hearing and ordering Defendants’ counsel to adequately meet and confer with the self-represented Plaintiff, the Court finds it is in the interest of judicial economy to make a ruling on the merits because a meet and confer conference would not be productive.

Defendants argue all three causes of action asserted by Plaintiff fail to state a cause of action. (Dem., p. 3:6-17.)

A. First Cause of Action – Breach of Contract

“To establish a cause of action for breach of contract, the plaintiff must plead and prove (1) the existence of the contract, (2) the plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) the defendant’s breach, and (4) resulting damages to the plaintiff. [Citation.]” (Maxwell v. Dolezal (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 93, 97-98.) “The elements of a breach of oral contract are the same as those for breach of a written contract. [Citations.]” (Stockton Mortgage, Inc. v. Tope (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 437, 453.) To survive a demurrer, a plaintiff must “[specify] the nature of the contract” and identify the specific terms plaintiff claims were breached. (Holcomb v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 490, 501.) A plaintiff must also set out the actual terms of the contract, either verbatim or in legal effect. (Gautier v. General Telephone Co. (1965) 234 Cal.App.2d 302, 305.)

Here, Plaintiff alleges that (1) on July 1, 2018, the parties entered into an oral agreement; (2) that Plaintiff would rent Defendants’ RV to use as a residence and pay $600.00 for its use; (3) that RV was located at Defendants’ property located at 1000 Lucas St., San Fernando, CA 91340 (the “Lucas Address”); (4) that Defendants breached the agreement on November 21, 2018 by providing a 60-day notice to quit; (5) that Plaintiff incurred expenses in finding alternative lodging, including moving expenses and an increase in rental rate; and (6) that as a result, Plaintiff seeks restitution of all back paid rent. (Compl., p. 3.)

Plaintiff’s allegations are insufficient. Plaintiff has not set forth the length of the alleged contract, has not explained how providing the 60-day notice to quit was a breach of the contract, has not alleged whether she performed under the contract or was excused from performance, and has not alleged what her monetary damages are.

Thus, the Demurrer to the first cause of action is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

B. Second Cause of Action – General Negligence

The elements of a negligence cause of action are duty, breach of that duty, proximate cause, and damages. (Peredia v. HR Mobile Services, Inc. (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 680, 687.)

As to the second cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that on July 31, 2019, Defendants negligently rented Plaintiff a motor home in violation of local zoning ordinances and that “[b]y breaching their duty to rent a motor home they violated R-2 by storing a vehicle that was not approved vehicle and renting it out for occupancy.” (Compl., p. 4.) However, Plaintiff failed to allege any duty owed to her by Defendants, failed to allege how Defendants’ actions allegedly breached that duty, and failed to allege that Defendants’ alleged breach proximately caused her specific damages.

Thus, Defendants’ Demurrer as to the second cause of action is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

C. Third Cause of Action – Intentional Tort

Plaintiff’s third cause of action appears to be for infliction of emotional distress.

A cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) “requires proof of: (1) extreme and outrageous conduct by the defendant with the intention of causing, or reckless disregard of the possibility of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress; and (3) the defendant’s extreme and outrageous conduct was the actual and proximate cause of the severe emotional distress. [Citation.]” (Crouch v. Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, Inc. (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 995, 1007.) Conduct is considered “outrageous” if it is “so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized community.” (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1050-51.) “Generally, conduct will be found to be actionable where the ‘recitation of facts to an average member of the community would arouse his resentment against the actor and lead him to exclaim “Outrageous!” ’ [Citations.]” (Cochran v. Cochran (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 488, 494.) In addition, the bar for severe emotional distress is a high one, requiring that the “emotional distress [is] of such substantial quality or enduring quality that no reasonable person in a civilized society should be expected to endure…” [Citation.]” (Id. at p. 1051.)

On the other hand, negligently causing emotional distress is not an independent tort; rather, it is the tort of negligence and the traditional elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages apply. (Erikson v. Nunnik (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 708, 729.) “While recovery for the negligent infliction of emotional distress is generally denied, it has been permitted in two types of situations, referred to as ‘bystander’ and ‘direct victim’ cases. [Citation.]” (Ess v. Estaton Properties, Inc. (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 120, 126-27.) Bystander claims are permitted where the plaintiff is “closely related to the victim of a physical injury, is present at the scene of the injury-causing event and is then aware that it is causing injury, and suffers emotional distress beyond that which would be anticipated in a disinterested witness.” (Id. at p. 127.) Direct victim claims, on the other hand, “involve the breach of a duty owed the plaintiff that was assumed by the defendant, imposed on the defendant as a matter of law, or arose out of a preexisting relationship between the two.” (Id.) The Supreme Court has made clear that “to recover damages for emotional distress on a claim of negligence where there is no accompanying personal, physical injury, the plaintiff must show that the emotional distress was ‘serious.’” [Citation.]” (Wong v. Jing (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 1354, 1377.) “ ‘[S]erious emotional distress may be found where a reasonable man, normally constituted, would be unable to adequately cope with the mental stress engendered by the circumstances of the case.’ [Citation.]’ [Citation.]” (Id. at p. 1377-78.)

In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges (1) that in July 2019, Defendants rented Plaintiff a rental unit they knew was not permitted to be used as a rental unit; (2) that Despite this knowledge, Defendants “deliberately and intentionally rented [the] unit to Plaintiffs [sic]”; (3) that Defendants rented this unit knowing violation of existing regulations of the City of San Fernando; (4) that Defendants knew the City of San Fernando would “order” them off the Lucas Address; (5) that Plaintiff was asked to leave; and (6) as a result, Plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress, which remains to this date. (Compl., p. 5.)

The Court finds these allegations insufficient. First, Plaintiff has not alleged any extreme or outrageous conduct committed with intent or reckless disregard. In addition, Plaintiff has not alleged any facts that would support a bystander or a direct victim negligent infliction of emotional distress claim.

Thus the Demurrer as to the third cause of action is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendants Jose and Alma Aguirre’s Demurrer to Plaintiff’s Complaint is SUSTAINED AS TO THE FIRST THROUGH THIRD CAUSES OF ACTION. In the interest of resolving this matter on the merits, Plaintiff is GRANTED 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.