This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 03/04/2021 at 04:07:35 (UTC).

NIKOLAI NOVAK VS TARA MOORE & ASSOCATES, INC., ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/22/2020 NIKOLAI NOVAK filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against TARA MOORE ASSOCATES, INC . 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:

    *******8962

  • Filing Date:

    10/22/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

NOVAK NIKOLAI

Defendants

TARA MOORE & ASSOCATES INC.

MOORE TARA

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

SKLYAROV MAKSIMILIAN V.

Defendant Attorney

WEINER BERNARD L.

 

Court Documents

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Plaintiff Nikolai Novak's Opposition to Defendants Tara Moore and Tara Moore & Associates, Inc.'s Demurrer to Plaintiff's Complaint

2/17/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition Plaintiff Nikolai Novak's Opposition to Defendants Tara Moore and Tara Moore & Associates, Inc.'s Demurrer to Plaintiff's Complaint

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

12/16/2020: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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

11/20/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

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

11/20/2020: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Errata to Plaintiff Nikolai Novak's Complaint

11/2/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Errata to Plaintiff Nikolai Novak's Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

10/22/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

10/22/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint - Complaint

10/22/2020: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

10/22/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

10/22/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/26/2023
  • Hearing10/26/2023 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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  • 04/21/2022
  • Hearing04/21/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 03/02/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - without Motion to Strike: Filed By: Tara Moore & Assocates, Inc. (Defendant),Tara Moore (Defendant); Result: Overruled; Result Date: 03/02/2021

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

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  • 03/02/2021
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 03/02/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 03/02/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 02/19/2021
  • DocketResponse IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER; Filed by: Tara Moore & Assocates, Inc. (Defendant); Tara Moore (Defendant)

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  • 02/19/2021
  • DocketAddress for Maksimilian V. Sklyarov (Attorney) updated

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  • 02/18/2021
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by: Maksimilian V. Sklyarov (Attorney)

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  • 02/17/2021
  • DocketOpposition Plaintiff Nikolai Novak's Opposition to Defendants Tara Moore and Tara Moore & Associates, Inc.'s Demurrer to Plaintiff's Complaint; Filed by: Nikolai Novak (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/17/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 03/02/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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2 More Docket Entries
  • 11/20/2020
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Nikolai Novak (Plaintiff); As to: Tara Moore (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 11/20/2020; Service Cost: 112.40; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 11/02/2020
  • DocketNotice of Errata to Plaintiff Nikolai Novak's Complaint; Filed by: Nikolai Novak (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/21/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/26/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Nikolai Novak (Plaintiff); As to: Tara Moore & Assocates, Inc. (Defendant); Tara Moore (Defendant)

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Nikolai Novak (Plaintiff); As to: Tara Moore & Assocates, Inc. (Defendant); Tara Moore (Defendant)

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Nikolai Novak (Plaintiff); As to: Tara Moore & Assocates, Inc. (Defendant); Tara Moore (Defendant)

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/22/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC08962    Hearing Date: March 02, 2021    Dept: 26

Novak v. Tara Moore & Assocs., Inc., et al.

DEMURRER

(CCP § 430.10, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendants Tara Moore & Associates, Inc. and Tara Moore’s Demurrer to the Complaint is OVERRULED. DEFENDANTS ARE TO FILE AND SERVE AN ANSWER WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

ANALYSIS:

On October 22, 2020, Plaintiff Nicolai Novak (“Plaintiff”) filed the Complaint in this action against Defendants Tara Moore & Associates, Inc. and Tara Moore (“Defendants”). The Complaint alleges causes of action for (1) breach of contract; (2) conversion; (3) fraud; (4) negligent misrepresentation; (5) unjust enrichment; and (6) unfair business practices. Defendants filed the instant Demurrer to the Complaint on December 16, 2020. Plaintiff filed an opposition on February 17, 2021 and Defendants replied on February 19, 2021.

Discussion

The Demurrer is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Weiner Decl., ¶2 and Exh. A.) Defendants demur to the sixth cause of action for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).)

The Complaint alleges that the parties entered into an agreement for design and home improvement services with respect to Plaintiff’s real property. (Compl., ¶11.) Defendant represented herself as a licensed and qualified Architectural Designer and represented that Defendants would be able to complete the work and services sought by Plaintiff pursuant to Plaintiff’s timeline. (Id. at ¶¶11-12.) Based on these representations, Plaintiff entered into an agreement with Defendants on March 22, 2019. (Id. at ¶13 and Exh. A.) Defendants, however, did not complete any of the design services under the agreement and Plaintiff terminated the contract on May 13, 2019. (Id. at ¶¶16-18.) To date, Defendant has refused to return Plaintiff’s $3,200.00 deposit. (Id. at ¶¶14, 19.)

The sixth cause of action is brought on the grounds the Defendants’ conduct amounted to unlawful and unfair business practices. (Id. at ¶61 (emphasis added).) A cause of action for unlawful or unfair business practices is brought pursuant to Cal. Business & Professions Code section 17200, et seq.

As Plaintiff points out, Defendants’ reliance on an anti-competition case is inapposite to the facts of this breach of contract action. “[A] breach of contract may ... form the predicate for Section 17200 claims, provided it also constitutes conduct that is ‘unlawful, or unfair, or fraudulent.’ ” (Puentes v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 638, 645 [citing Watson Laboratories, Inc. v. Rhone–Poulenc Rorer, Inc. (2001) 178 F.Supp.2d 1099, 1117, fn. 12].)

With respect to unfair business practices, the Court of Appeals in Davis v. Ford Motor Credit Co. LLC (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 581 gives an extensive explanation of unfair business practices in consumer cases. Davis ultimately held that unfair business practices in consumer cases should be determined using the test set forth in section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act: (1) the consumer injury must be substantial; (2) the injury must not be outweighed by any countervailing benefits to consumers or competition; and (3) it must be an injury that consumers themselves could not reasonably have avoided. (Davis v. Ford Motor Credit Co. LLC (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 581, 597.) The Complaint does not allege facts demonstrating that these factors have been met in this action. Therefore, the sixth cause of action has not sufficiently alleged that Defendants engaged in unfair business practices.

With respect to unlawful practices, “ ‘virtually any law or regulation—federal or state, statutory or common law—can serve as [a] predicate for a ... [section] 17200 “unlawful” violation.’ [Citation].” (Klein v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 1342, 1383 [citing Paulus v. Bob Lynch Ford, Inc. (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 659, 681].) Given that the Complaint alleges other causes of action against Defendant—including fraud—the sixth cause of action sufficiently a violation of Cal. Business & Professions Code section 17200, et seq. based on unlawful business practices.

Conclusion

Defendants Tara Moore & Associates, Inc. and Tara Moore’s Demurrer to the Complaint is OVERRULED. DEFENDANTS ARE TO FILE AND SERVE AN ANSWER WITHIN 20 DAYS’ SERVICE OF THIS ORDER.

Plaintiff to give notice.

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