This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/15/2020 at 04:28:44 (UTC).

RAYMOND PEREZ VS JENNIFER MELLON, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 05/27/2020 RAYMOND PEREZ filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against JENNIFER MELLON. 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:

    *******4489

  • Filing Date:

    05/27/2020

  • 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

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

PEREZ RAYMOND DBA LAW OFFICES RAYMOND PEREZ

PEREZ RAYMOND

Defendants

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY

MELLON JENNIFER

DOWNTOWN L.A. LAW GROUP

YAGHOUBTIL FARID

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

PEREZ RAYMOND

Defendant Attorney

FRADKIN IGOR

 

Court Documents

Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint (2nd)

10/23/2020: Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint (2nd)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)) of 10/29/2020

10/29/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)) of 10/29/2020

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

10/29/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10))

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 08/19/2020

8/19/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 08/19/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

8/19/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

7/2/2020: Motion to Strike (not initial pleading) - Motion to Strike (not initial pleading)

Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

7/2/2020: Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

6/1/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Summons - Summons on Complaint

6/1/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint

6/1/2020: Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint

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

5/27/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

Complaint - Complaint

5/27/2020: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

5/27/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

1 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/31/2023
  • Hearing05/31/2023 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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  • 11/24/2021
  • Hearing11/24/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10))

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10)) of 10/29/2020; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) scheduled for 10/29/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 10/29/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 10/23/2020
  • DocketAmended Complaint (2nd); Filed by: Raymond Perez (Plaintiff); As to: Jennifer Mellon (Defendant); Downtown L.A. Law Group (Defendant); Farid Yaghoubtil (Defendant) et al.

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10): As To Parties: removed

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10): As To Parties: removed

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10): As To Parties: removed

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  • 08/19/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) scheduled for 10/29/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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4 More Docket Entries
  • 06/02/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Amended Complaint 1st: Name Extension: 1st; As To Parties changed from Jennifer Mellon (Defendant), State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Defendant), Farid Yaghoubtil (Defendant), Downtown L.A. Law Group (Defendant) to Jennifer Mellon (Defendant), Farid Yaghoubtil (Defendant), State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Defendant), Downtown L.A. Law Group (Defendant)

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  • 06/01/2020
  • DocketAmended Complaint; Filed by: Raymond Perez (Plaintiff); As to: Jennifer Mellon (Defendant); Downtown L.A. Law Group (Defendant); Farid Yaghoubtil (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/01/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Raymond Perez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/01/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Raymond Perez (Plaintiff); As to: Jennifer Mellon (Defendant); Downtown L.A. Law Group (Defendant); Farid Yaghoubtil (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/27/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 11/24/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 05/27/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 05/31/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 05/27/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Raymond Perez (Plaintiff); As to: Jennifer Mellon (Defendant); Downtown L.A. Law Group (Defendant); Farid Yaghoubtil (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/27/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/27/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 05/27/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC04489    Hearing Date: October 29, 2020    Dept: 26

Perez v. Mellon, et al.

DEMURRER; MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq., 435, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

 

Defendants Jennifer Mellon, Downtown L.A. Law Group and Farid Yaghoubtil’s Demurrer to the First Amended Complaint is OVERRULED AS TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION AND SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND AS TO THE FIRST, THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH CAUSES OF ACTION.

 

Defendants Jennifer Mellon, Downtown L.A. Law Group and Farid Yaghoubtil’s Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

ANALYSIS:

On May 27, 2020, Plaintiff Raymond Perez aka Law Offices Raymond Perez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action against Defendants Jennifer Mellon; Downtown L.A. Law Group, Farid Yaghoubtil (“Moving Defendants”) and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint alleging (1) declaratory relief; (2) quantum meruit; (3) interference with prospective economic advantage; (4) imposition of involuntary trust; and (5) constructive trust. On July 2, 2020, Moving Defendants filed the instant Demurrer and Motion to Strike the First Amended Complaint. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Demurrer

The Court finds that the Demurrer is accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Fradkin Decl., ¶¶2-3.) Moving Defendants demur to each cause of action for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e)) and uncertainty ((Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (f)). Special demurrers are not allowed in a court of limited jurisdiction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).) Therefore, the Court will not rule on the demurrers for uncertainty.

The First Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff and Defendant Mellon entered into a retainer agreement on January 5, 2018 whereby Plaintiff would provide legal services regarding a motor vehicle accident. (FAC, ¶8.) Plaintiff alleges that said retainer agreement provided for a contingent fee and attorney fee lien on any monies Defendant Mellon collected from the accident. (Ibid.) Plaintiff allegedly performed all obligations under the retainer agreement until October 23, 2018 when Defendants Law Group and Farid substituted in as counsel. (Id. at ¶¶9-10.) Plaintiff allegedly informed Defendants and the opposing insurer that he had a lien on Defendant Mellon’s recovery, but upon payment of the money/settlement, Defendants failed to include Plaintiff as a payee and have failed to pay his reasonable fees. (Id. at ¶¶11-15.)

Each of the five causes of action is premised on these allegations. The first cause of action for declaratory relief must allege that an actual, present controversy exists and the facts of the respective claims concerning the disputed subject matter. (City of Cotati v. Cashman (2002) 29 Cal.4th 69, 79.) It must also not be used to resolve a dispute engaged by other causes of action. (Hood v. Superior Court (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 319, 324.) The First Amended Complaint makes a bald allegation that an actual, present controversy exists and nothing more. (FAC, ¶18.) However, there are no allegations regarding the parties’ respective claims and the same dispute over the retainer agreement and lien is engaged in the four other causes of action. The cause of action for declaratory relief, therefore, is inappropriate. The demurrer to the first cause of action is sustained without leave to amend.

The second cause of action for quantum meruit, brought solely against Defendant Mellon, must allege (1) Plaintiff’s performance of services, work or labor; (2) at defendant’s request; and (3) circumstances inferring defendant’s promise to pay a reasonable value. (Maglica v. Maglica (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 442, 449-450.) The First Amended Complaint alleges these elements insofar as Plaintiff performed legal services at Defendant Mellon’s request and agreed to pay for said services. The demurrer to the second cause of action is overruled.

The third cause of action for interference with prospective economic advantage must allege (1) the existence of a prospective economic relationship with the probability of future economic benefit to plaintiff; (2) defendant’s knowledge of the relationship and intent to disrupt it; (3) actual disruption of the relationship; (4) caused by the defendant’s wrongful and unjustified conduct; and (5) plaintiff suffered damages as a result. (Youst v. Longo (1987) 43 Cal.3d 64, 71.) Further, the interference must be wrongful by some measure beyond the fact of the interference itself. (Della Penna v. Toyota Motor Sales (1995) 11 Cal.4th 376, 393.) The First Amended Complaint does not allege the existence of a prospective economic relationship. Rather, it alleges the existence of a prior economic relationship that was apparently breached. (FAC, ¶¶23-24.) Nor does the First Amended Complaint allege that Defendants’ conduct was wrongful other than the interference itself. (Ibid.) The demurrer to the third cause of action is sustained without leave to amend.

The fourth and fifth causes of action ask for the imposition of constructive and involuntary trusts, which are not causes of action, but equitable remedies. (Campbell v. Superior Court (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 904, 920.) Moving Defendants’ demurrer fails to explain why these remedies are inadequately alleged other than to broadly contend the First Amended Complaint relies on legal conclusions. As noted above, Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged the basis of his entitlement to attorney fees. However, to the extent these are not causes of action and should be pled as remedies the demurrer to the fourth and fifth causes of action are also sustained without leave to amend.

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 which are not filed or drawn in conformity with applicable laws, rules or orders. (Code Civ. Proc., § 436, subd. (b).) However, in a court of limited jurisdiction, motions to strike may only be brought on grounds that the allegations do not support the request for relief or damages. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).)

Moving Defendants ask to the Court to strike the request for attorney fees from the First Amended Complaint. Attorney fees are only recoverable when authorized by contract, statute or law. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 10221, 1033.5, subd. (a)(10).) The First Amended Complaint does not allege a basis for the attorney fees in contract, statute or law. (FAC, Prayer, ¶(e).) Therefore, the First Amended Complaint lacks sufficient allegations to make a claim for attorney fees. The Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint is granted without leave to amend.

Conclusion

Defendants Jennifer Mellon, Downtown L.A. Law Group and Farid Yaghoubtil’s Demurrer to the First Amended Complaint is OVERRULED AS TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION AND SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND AS TO THE FIRST, THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH CAUSES OF ACTION.

Defendants Jennifer Mellon, Downtown L.A. Law Group and Farid Yaghoubtil’s Motion to Strike Portions of the First Amended Complaint is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party to give notice.