This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/21/2020 at 20:36:11 (UTC).

R. CHRISTOPHER HARSHMAN VS ALBERT MENG, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/17/2019 R CHRISTOPHER HARSHMAN filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against ALBERT MENG. 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:

    *******9631

  • Filing Date:

    10/17/2019

  • 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

HARSHMAN R. CHRISTOPHER

Defendants

MENG ALBERT

CHU CONNIE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

HARSHMAN R. CHRISTOPHER

Defendant Attorney

KENNA TIMOTHY WILLIAM

 

Court Documents

Answer - Answer

2/10/2020: Answer - Answer

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

1/14/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

1/16/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Reply (name extension) - Reply in support of demurrer

1/7/2020: Reply (name extension) - Reply in support of demurrer

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Demurrer

12/31/2019: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Demurrer

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

12/2/2019: 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

12/2/2019: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Answer - Answer

12/2/2019: Answer - Answer

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

12/3/2019: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Demurring or Moving Party Regarding Meet and Confer

12/3/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Demurring or Moving Party Regarding Meet and Confer

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Demurring or Moving Party Regarding Meet and Confer

12/3/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Demurring or Moving Party Regarding Meet and Confer

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

11/7/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

11/7/2019: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Complaint - Complaint

10/17/2019: Complaint - Complaint

Summons - Summons on Complaint

10/17/2019: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

10/17/2019: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

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

10/17/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

10/17/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/20/2022
  • Hearing10/20/2022 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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  • 04/15/2021
  • Hearing04/15/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 02/10/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: Albert Meng (Defendant); Connie Chu (Defendant); As to: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/16/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

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  • 01/14/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 01/14/2020 at 10:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94 updated: Result Date to 01/14/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 01/07/2020
  • DocketReply in support of demurrer; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/31/2019
  • DocketOpposition to Demurrer; Filed by: Albert Meng (Defendant); Connie Chu (Defendant)

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike Amended; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/04/2019
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 01/14/2020 at 10:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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6 More Docket Entries
  • 11/07/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff); As to: Connie Chu (Defendant); Service Date: 11/02/2019; Service Cost: 74.50; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 11/07/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff); As to: Albert Meng (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 11/05/2019; Service Cost: 74.50; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/18/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/15/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/18/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/20/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/18/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 10/17/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff); As to: Albert Meng (Defendant); Connie Chu (Defendant)

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  • 10/17/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff); As to: Albert Meng (Defendant); Connie Chu (Defendant)

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  • 10/17/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: R. Christopher Harshman (Plaintiff); As to: Albert Meng (Defendant); Connie Chu (Defendant)

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  • 10/17/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/17/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC09631    Hearing Date: January 14, 2020    Dept: 94

DEMURRER TO ANSWER

(CCP §§ 430.10 et seq., 436)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Christopher Harshman’s Amended Demurrer to Defendants’ Answer is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

OPPOSITION: Filed December 31, 2019 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed January 7, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On October 17, 2019, Plaintiff Christopher Harshman (“Plaintiff”) filed an action against Defendants Albert Meng and Connie Chu (collectively, “Defendants”) for negligence, trespass, nuisance, and breach of equitable servitudes. On December 2, 2019, Defendants filed an answer, which included a general denial and thirteen affirmative defenses.

On December 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Demurrer to Defendants’ Answer. On December 5, 2019, Defendant filed the instant Amended Demurrer to Defendants’ Answer (the “Demurrer”). On December 31, 20119, Defendants filed an Opposition. Plaintiff filed a reply brief on January 7, 2020.

  1. Legal Standard

When pleading affirmative defenses in an answer, the same pleading of “ultimate facts” rather than evidentiary matter or legal conclusions is required as when pleading the complaint. (FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashimi (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 367, 384.) The answer must aver facts as carefully and with as much detail as the facts which constitute the cause of action and which are alleged in the complaint. (Ibid.) The various affirmative defenses must be separately stated and must refer to the causes of action to which they relate “in a manner by which they may be intelligently distinguished.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 431.30, subd. (g).)

“The determination of the sufficiency of the answer requires an examination of the complaint because its adequacy is with reference to the complaint it purports to answer. (Chadbourn, Grossman, Van Alstyne, Cal. Pleading, § 1334, pp. 490, 491; Miller & Lux, Inc., v. San Joaquin Light & Power Corp., 120 Cal.App. 589, 600, 8 P.2d 560.) This requirement, however, does not mean that the allegations of the complaint, if denied, are to be taken as true, the rule being that the demurrer to the answer admits all issuable facts pleaded therein and eliminates all allegations of the complaint denied by the answer. (Miller & Lux, Inc., v. San Joaquin Light & Power Corp., supra, 120 Cal.App. p. 600, 8 P.2d 560; Sheward v. Citizens' Water Co., 90 Cal. 635, 639, 27 P. 439; Chadbourn, Grossman, Van Alstyne, Cal. Pleading, § 1334, p. 489.)”

(South Shore Land Co. v. Petersen (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d 725, 733.)

“If one of the defenses or counterclaims is free from the objections urged by the demurrer, then a demurrer to the entire answer must be overruled.” (South Shore Land (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d at 734.)

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

The Court finds that the Demurrer is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Harshman Decl., ¶ 2.)

Plaintiff demurs to all thirteen affirmative defenses set forth in Defendants’ Answer on the ground that the defenses do not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense and that they fail to refer to the causes of actions which they are intended to answer. (Mot., p. 1.)

The Court agrees. Affirmative defenses numbers one, two, and four through thirteen do not state to which cause of action they refer. The Court finds that this does not comply with Code of Civil Procedure, section 431.30, subdivision (g). In addition, affirmative defenses number one through twelve only set forth legal conclusions and do not provide any facts or detail as required. (See FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashimi 231 Cal.App.3d at 384.)

Lastly, affirmative defense number 13 states:

“[t]he Defendants may have insufficient knowledge or information on which to form a belief as to whether additional affirmative defenses apply and therefore reserve herein their rights to assert additional defenses if discovery and investigation indicate such additional defenses apply.” (Answer, p. 3: 19-21.)

Plaintiff argues this is not an affirmative defense. The Court agrees. Affirmative defenses are referred to as “new matter,” that is, something that would not be in issue under a denial and must be specially pleaded in the answer. (Code Civ. Proc., § 431.30, subd. (b); Walsh v. West Valley Mission Comm. College Dist. (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 1532, 1546.) Defendants lack of knowledge or information regarding additional affirmative defenses does not constitute new matter.

Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s Demurer should be overruled because the Answer contains a general denial. (Oppo., p. 3.) Relying on South Shore Land (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d at 734, they argue that because the general denial is free from the objections Plaintiff raises against the thirteen affirmative defenses, then the demurrer to the entire answer should be overruled. (Id.) However, Plaintiff is not demurring to the entire answer. Rather, is demurring specifically to Defendants’ thirteen affirmative defenses. (Demurrer, pp. 3:2-3, 10:18-20; Reply, p. 5:16-18.)

Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Demurrer to Defendants’ thirteen affirmative defenses is SUSTAINED.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Christopher Hershman’s Amended Demurrer to Defendants’ Answer is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the Court at SMCdept94@lacourt.org as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If the department does not receive an email and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion will be placed off calendar.