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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/29/2020 at 09:25:27 (UTC).

PARTNER ASSESSMENT CORPORATION VS ALAMO GROUP, LLC, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/25/2019 PARTNER ASSESSMENT CORPORATION filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ALAMO GROUP, LLC. 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:

    *******9890

  • Filing Date:

    10/25/2019

  • 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

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

PARTNER ASSESSMENT CORPORATION DBA PARTNER ENGINEERING & SCIENCE INC.

Defendants

ALAMO GROUP LLC DBA THE ALAMO GROUP

GAUBE DONALD F

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

CLAUSEN DANA JEAN

Defendant Attorney

PHILLIPS SCOTT

 

Court Documents

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

2/6/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

2/6/2020: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Answer - Answer

2/19/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

12/20/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

12/20/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

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

11/18/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

10/25/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

10/25/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

10/25/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

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

10/25/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Complaint - Complaint

10/25/2019: Complaint - Complaint

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/28/2022
  • Hearing10/28/2022 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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  • 04/23/2021
  • Hearing04/23/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 02/19/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Alamo Group, LLC (Defendant); Donald F Gaube (Defendant)

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  • 02/06/2020
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 12/20/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Alamo Group, LLC (Defendant); Service Date: 12/10/2019; Service Cost: 144.35; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 12/20/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Donald F Gaube (Defendant); Service Date: 12/10/2019; Service Cost: 60.35; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 11/18/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Alamo Group, LLC (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 11/07/2019; Service Cost: 163.70; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/28/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/23/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/28/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/28/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/28/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Alamo Group, LLC (Defendant); Donald F Gaube (Defendant)

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Alamo Group, LLC (Defendant); Donald F Gaube (Defendant)

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Partner Assessment Corporation (Plaintiff); As to: Alamo Group, LLC (Defendant); Donald F Gaube (Defendant)

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/25/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC09890    Hearing Date: March 22, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE:    Mon., March 22, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME Partner Assessment Corporation v. Alamo Group, LLC, et al.

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC09890 COMPL. FILED: 10-25-19

NOTICE:   OK DISC. C/O: 03-24-21

DISC. MOT. C/O:    04-08-21

TRIAL DATE: 04-23-21

PROCEEDINGS    MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

MOVING PARTY:   Plaintiff Partner Assessment Corporation dba Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.

RESP. PARTY: Defendants Donald F. Gaube and Alamo Group, LLC

 MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

(CCP § 437c)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Partner Assessment Corporation’s request for summary adjudication as to the breach of contract claim against Defendant Alamo Group, LLC is GRANTED. 

SERVICE

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP 1013, 1013a)  OK

[X] 75/80 Day Lapse (CCP 12c and 1005 (b))  OK

OPPOSITION: Filed on March 8, 2021 [   ] Late [   ] None

REPLY: Filed on March 15, 2021 [   ] Late [   ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On October 25, 2019, Plaintiff Partner Assessment Corporation dba Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, open book account, account stated, and work, labor, and services performed against Defendants Alamo Group, LLC dba The Alamo Group (“Alamo”) and Donald F. Gaube (“Gaube”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Defendants filed a joint Answer on February 19, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment or, in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication (the “Motion”) on January 6, 2021. Defendants filed an Opposition on March 8 and Plaintiff filed a Reply on March 15.

  1. Legal Standard

A party seeking summary judgment has the burden of producing evidentiary facts sufficient to entitle him/her to judgment as a matter of law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (c); Vesely v. Sager (1971) 5 Cal.3d 153.) The moving party must make an affirmative showing that he/she is entitled to judgment irrespective of whether or not the opposing party files an opposition. (Villa v. McFerren (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 733.)

When a Defendant or Cross-Defendant seeks summary judgment, he/she must show either (1) that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established; or (2) that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).) When a Plaintiff or Cross-Complainant seeks summary judgment, he/she must produce admissible evidence on each element of each cause of action on which judgment is sought. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(1).) The moving party’s “affidavits must cite evidentiary facts, not legal conclusions or ‘ultimate’ facts” and be strictly construed. (Scalf v. D. B. Log Homes, Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1510, 1519; Hayman v. Block (1986) 176 Cal.App.3d 629, 639.)

The opposing party on a motion for summary judgment is under no evidentiary burden to produce rebuttal evidence until the moving party meets his or her initial movant’s burden. (Binder v. Aetna Life Insurance Company (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 832.) Once the initial movant’s burden is met, then the burden shifts to the opposing party to show, with admissible evidence, that there is a triable issue requiring the weighing procedures of trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p).) The opposing party may not simply rely on his/her allegations to show a triable issue but must present evidentiary facts that are substantial in nature and rise beyond mere speculation. (Sangster v. Paetkau (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 151.) As to any alternative request for summary adjudication, such alternative relief must be clearly set forth in the Notice of Motion and the general burden-shifting rules apply but the issues upon which summary adjudication may be sought are limited by statute. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).) “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (f)(1).)

  1. Discussion

Plaintiff brings this Motion on the basis that there are no triable issues of material facts on Plaintiff’s causes of action in this litigation. (Mot., p. 1:9-12)

A. Defendants’ Procedural Arguments

In Opposition, Defendants accept the undisputed facts presented by Plaintiff but argue Plaintiff’s Motion should be denied because it suffers from a fatal procedural flaw. (Oppo., p. 3:4-11.) Specifically, Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s Motion fails to specify the issues and claims it seeks to summarily adjudicate. (Id.)

California Rules of Court, rule 3.1350, subdivision (b), provides that a motion for summary adjudication made in the alternative to a motion for summary judgment may make reference to and depend on the same evidence. “If summary adjudication is sought, whether separately or as an alternative to the motion for summary judgment, the specific cause of action, affirmative defense, claims for damages, or issues of duty must be stated specifically in the notice of motion and be repeated verbatim in the separate statement of undisputed material facts.” (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1350, subd. (b).)

Plaintiff’s Notice of Motion does not specifically refer to any one cause of action, affirmative defense, claim for damages, or issue of duty. (See Mot., p. 1:2-17.) The Notice of Motion states, in pertinent part, (1) that Plaintiff moves for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication, against Defendant Alamo; (2) that the Motion is sought on the grounds that there are no triable issues of material fact on Plaintiff’s causes of action; and (3) that Defendant Alamo’s responses to Plaintiff’s Requests for Admissions admitted liability in this case. (Id.) (Italics added.) Plaintiff’s Separate Statement also does not refer to any one specific cause of action. (Mot., Separate Statement.)

In Reply, Plaintiff argues the Motion itself states that “ ‘[t]his is a simple breach of contract action’ ” and that the Motion repeatedly articulates that the claim it seeks to summarily adjudicate is its breach of contract claim against Defendant Alamo. (Reply, p. 1:16-20.)

Here, although Plaintiff’s Notice of Motion did not specifically refer to the breach of contract cause of action, Plaintiff’s Motion only discusses breach of contract. The introduction of the Motion states that “[t]his is a simple breach of contract cause of action.” (Id. at p. 1:3-9.) Plaintiff requests in the Motion that the court enter “summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication as to Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim against [Defendant] Alamo, so that the parties can avoid the time and expense of trial in this matter.” (Mot., p. 4:10-15.) The conclusion of the Motion likewise states: “No triable issue of material fact exists, because Defendant has admitted every material fact necessary to establish Plaintiff’s claims. Accordingly, Plaintiff respectfully submits that the Court should grant summary judgment or, at a minimum, summary adjudication against [Defendant] Alamo on Plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract.” (Id. at p. 4:4:16-20.)

Summary judgment asks the court to determine that there is no defense to the entire action and to terminate the action without the need for trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (a).) Summary judgment would be improper because Plaintiff did not discuss or provide any evidence as to its causes of action for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, open book account, account stated, and work, labor, and services performed. However, taken together, the Notice of Motion and Motion make Plaintiff’s intent to seek summary adjudication as to the breach of contract cause of action against Defendant Alamo clear.

Thus, the Court finds Defendants were on notice that Plaintiff sought summary adjudication of the breach of contract cause of action against Defendant Alamo only.

B. 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 following facts are undisputed: (1) that on November 21, 2016, Plaintiff and Defendant Alamo entered into a written contract entitled 2 Cite Portfolio, Proposal Number 16-175658 (the “Agreement”); (2) that the Agreement contains a proposal for an environmental site assessment for two properties, one in Butte, Montana and the other in Lewiston, Idaho; (3) that Alamo’s authorized agent executed the Agreement on Defendant Alamo’s behalf; (4) that Plaintiff performed all of its contractual obligations; (5) that Defendant received invoices for the amounts owed under the Agreement; (6) that, as of the date the Motion was filed, Defendant owed $10,700.00 under the Agreement. (UMF Nos. 1-11.)

The above carries Plaintiff’s initial burden. The burden show shifts to Defendants to establish a triable issue of material fact exists as to this cause of action. However, as noted above, Defendants do not dispute these material facts. Thus, summary adjudication is appropriate.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Partner Assessment Corporation’s request for summary adjudication as to the breach of contract claim against Defendant Alamo Group, LLC is GRANTED. 

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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