This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/25/2020 at 07:58:34 (UTC).

SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC VS CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Case Summary

On 10/02/2019 SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC filed an Other - Other Judicial Review lawsuit against CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH. 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:

    *******4302

  • Filing Date:

    10/02/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Other Judicial Review

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Petitioner

SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER LLC

Defendant

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner Attorney

WALKER KATHLEEN M

Defendant Attorney

BURNS JANET

 

Court Documents

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore - Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore Karen Vilicich, CSR #7634

7/15/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore - Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore Karen Vilicich, CSR #7634

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

7/21/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Answer)

7/15/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Answer)

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Quash and/or Strike Defendant's Answer to the Complaint; Declaration of Janet E. Burns in Support Thereof

7/1/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Quash and/or Strike Defendant's Answer to the Complaint; Declaration of Janet E. Burns in Support Thereof

Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

4/28/2020: Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order - Notice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order

Notice (name extension) - Notice OF CONTINUANCE OF PLAINTIFF SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLCS MOTION TO QUASH AND/OR STRIKE DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANSWER TO THE COMP

4/30/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice OF CONTINUANCE OF PLAINTIFF SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLCS MOTION TO QUASH AND/OR STRIKE DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANSWER TO THE COMP

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Change of Location

3/2/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Change of Location

Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

2/5/2020: Notice of Ruling - Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Petition Complaint)

2/5/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Petition Complaint)

Request for Refund / Order - Request for Refund / Order

1/8/2020: Request for Refund / Order - Request for Refund / Order

Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application for Reconsideration of Plaintiffs Request for Default Judgment

12/18/2019: Ex Parte Application (name extension) - Ex Parte Application for Reconsideration of Plaintiffs Request for Default Judgment

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for Reconsideration of Plaint...)

12/18/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application for Reconsideration of Plaint...)

General Denial - General Denial

12/3/2019: General Denial - General Denial

Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

11/14/2019: Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

10/2/2019: Notice of Hearing on Petition - Notice of Hearing on Petition

Complaint - Complaint

10/2/2019: Complaint - Complaint

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

10/2/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

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

10/2/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

14 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/05/2021
  • Hearing04/05/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 07/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner)

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  • 07/15/2020
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore Karen Vilicich, CSR #7634; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner)

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  • 07/15/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion to Quash Answer)

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  • 07/15/2020
  • DocketHearing on Motion to Quash Answer scheduled for 07/15/2020 at 09:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/15/2020; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 07/08/2020
  • DocketReply to Opposition; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketOpposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Quash and/or Strike Defendant's Answer to the Complaint; Declaration of Janet E. Burns in Support Thereof; Filed by: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Defendant)

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  • 04/30/2020
  • DocketNotice OF CONTINUANCE OF PLAINTIFF SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC?S MOTION TO QUASH AND/OR STRIKE DEFENDANT CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANSWER TO THE COMPLAINT; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner); As to: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Defendant)

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  • 04/28/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 04/28/2020
  • DocketReset - Court Unavailable, Hearing on Motion to Quash Answer scheduled for 06/15/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court was rescheduled to 07/15/2020 09:00 AM

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19 More Docket Entries
  • 11/14/2019
  • DocketNotice of Hearing on Petition; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner)

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  • 10/11/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner); As to: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Defendant); Service Date: 10/08/2019; Service Cost: 115.93; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/03/2019
  • DocketHearing on Petition Complaint scheduled for 02/05/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/03/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 10/02/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner); As to: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Defendant)

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  • 10/02/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner); As to: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Defendant)

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  • 10/02/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: SANTA FE HEIGHTS HEALTHCARE CENTER, LLC (Petitioner); As to: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Defendant)

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  • 10/02/2019
  • DocketNotice of Hearing on Petition; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/02/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/02/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCP04302    Hearing Date: July 15, 2020    Dept: 25

MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP §§ 435, 436)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Santa Fe Heights Healthcare Center, LLC’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Answer is DENIED.

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: Filed on July 1, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on July 8, 2020 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On October 2, 2019, Plaintiff Santa Fe Heights Healthcare Center, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action challenging the issuance of a citation for violation of the Long-Term Care Health, Safety and Security Act of 1973 against Defendant State of California Department of Health (“Defendant”). The initial pleading is a Complaint to dismiss the citation and the civil penalties imposed or, in the alternative, to reduce the violation and penalties.

On November 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Request for Entry of Default. That same day, the clerk mailed a Notice of Rejection because the proof of service did not demonstrate service on Defendant’s “authorized agent.” (11/26/20 Notice of Rejection.) On December 3, 2019, Defendant electronically filed and served its Answer.

On December 17, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Quash and/or Strike Defendant’s Answer to the Complaint (the “Motion”). On July 1, 2020, Defendant filed an Opposition and on July 7, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Reply.

  1. Legal Standard

A motion to strike may be brought pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure sections 435 and 436, which authorize 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).) A motion to strike is used to address defects that appear on the face of a pleading or from judicially noticed matter but that are not grounds for a demurrer. (Pierson v. Sharp Memorial Hospital (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 340, 342; see also City & County of San Francisco v. Strahlendorf (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1911, 1913 (motion may not be based on a party's declaration or factual representations made by counsel in the motion papers).)

However, motions to strike in limited jurisdiction courts may only challenge pleadings on the basis that “the damages or relief sought are not supported by the allegations of the [pleading].” (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (d).) (Emphasis added.)

Finally, Code of Civil Procedure section 435.5 requires that “[b]efore filing a motion to strike pursuant to this chapter, the moving party shall meet and confer in person or by telephone with the party who filed the pleading that is subject to the motion to strike for the purpose of determining whether an agreement can be reached that resolves the objections to be raised in the motion to strike.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 435.5, subd. (a).)

  1. Discussion

A. Strike Answer

1. Meet and Confer Requirement

As an initial matter, the Court notes while the Motion is timely, it is not accompanied by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 435.5. In Reply, Plaintiff argues counsel complied with all meet and confer requirements because it served Plaintiff’s ex parte application and motion to strike Defendant’s Answer in December of 2019, and thus, Defendant had notice of the specific allegations and issues it would raise. (Reply, p. 6:5-17.) However, as noted above, Code of Civil Procedure section 435.5 requires that the moving party meet and confer in person or by telephone, and that it attach a declaration attesting to its efforts to the Motion itself. (Code Civ. Proc., 435.5, subd. (a)(1), (3).) (Emphasis added.) Plaintiff did not do so here. However, based on the Court’s calendar and issues presented in the papers, the Court finds it is in the interest of judicial economy to proceed and make a ruling on the merits.

2. Merits

On the merits, Plaintiff argues that the Answer must be stricken because Defendant was technically in default when it was filed. (Mot., p. 4:3-5.) However, even when the time to respond has expired, a defendant may still file its responsive pleading if default has not yet been entered against it. (Goddard v. Pollock (1974) 37 Cal.App.3rd 137, 141; Fiorentino v. City of Fresno (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 596, 605; ) In Goddard, the Court noted that, by failing to have default entered against the defendant, “the plaintiff has, in effect, granted the defendant additional time within which to plead and he is not strictly in default.” (Goddard v. Pollock, supra, at p. 141.) In addition, although an untimely answer is subject to a motion to strike at the trial court’s discretion (Buck v. Morrossis (1952) 114 Cal.App.2d 461, 464-65), the instant Motion to exceeds the scope of motions permitted in civil limited courts under Code of Civil Procedure section 92, subdivision (d).

In Reply, Plaintiff argues that Section 92 only limits motions to strike a complaint, but under subsection (e) “all other motions are permitted,” including motions to strike the answer. (Reply, p. 5:24-6:4.) The Court disagrees. Plaintiff is construing the language of the statute too narrowly. The statute provides, “[m]otions to strike are allowed only on the ground that damages or relief sought are not supported by the allegations in the complaint” (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (d)), not “motions to strike the complaint are allowed on the ground…” In addition, Defendant has not provided any case law construing the statute the way it proposes. For this reason, the Court finds it does not have jurisdiction to consider Plaintiff’s Motion.

B. Strike Affirmative Defenses in Defendant’s Answer

In the alternative to striking Defendant’s entire Answer and entering its default, Plaintiff requests that the Court strike the four affirmative defenses asserted in the Answer. (Mot., p. 6:14-19.) Plaintiff argues that, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 430.80, subdivision (a), any affirmative defenses have been waived by Defendant’s failure to timely file its Answer. (Id.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 430.80, subdivision (a), provides:

“If the party against whom a complaint or cross-complaint has been filed fails to object to the pleading, either by demurrer or answer, that party is deemed to have waived the objection unless it is an objection that the court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of action alleged in the pleading or an objection that the pleading does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.”

(Code Civ. Proc., § 430.40, subd. (a).)

However, as the Court noted above, limited civil courts do not have jurisdiction to consider motions to strike on a basis other than what is explicitly stated in Section 92, subdivision (d). Even if the Court did have jurisdiction to strike the affirmative defenses as requested, Defendant did not entirely fail to assert its affirmative defenses; it did so, albeit in a late pleading. Courts have permitted affirmative defenses even when a responsive pleading is untimely filed if that procedural defect does not affect the substantial rights of the parties as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 475. (Vitkievcz v. Valverde (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 1306, 1314.) Indeed, “courts consistently place substance above form and are guided in their decisions by considerations of common sense, justice and fair play, uninfluenced by frivolous technicalities.” (In re Palmer’s Estate (1956) 145 Cal.App.2d 428, 434.) Here, the litigation is still in its early stages, and Plaintiff cannot be said to have its substantial rights affected by Defendant’s late Answer.

Thus, Plaintiff’s request to strike Defendant’s affirmative defenses is DENIED.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Santa Fe Heights Healthcare Center, LLC’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Answer is DENIED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STCP04302    Hearing Date: February 05, 2020    Dept: 25

 DISMISS CITATION FOR VIOLATION OF THE LONG-TERM CARE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND SECURITY ACT OF 1973

(Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1428)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Hearing on Petition is PLACED OFF CALENDAR. The matter is set for trial on APRIL 5, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 25, SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.. 

ANALYSIS:

I. Background & Discussion

On October 2, 2019, Plaintiff Santa Fe Heights Healthcare Center, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action challenging the issuance of a citation for violation of the Long-Term Care Health, Safety and Security Act of 1973 against Defendant State of California Department of Health (“Defendant”). The initial pleading is a Complaint to dismiss the citation and the civil penalties imposed or, in the alternative, to reduce the violation and penalties. On December 3, 2019, Defendant filed an Answer.

When the Complaint was filed, a hearing date of February 5, 2020 was erroneously set with respect to a non-existent petition. Accordingly, the hearing on the non-existent petition is PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

II. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Hearing on Petition is PLACED OFF CALENDAR. The matter is set for trial on APRIL 5, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 25, SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Moving party is ordered to give notice. 

Case Number: 19STCP04302    Hearing Date: February 04, 2020    Dept: 25

TENTATIVE RULING:

Hearing on Petition is PLACED OFF CALENDAR. The matter is set for trial on APRIL 4, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 25, SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE..

ANALYSIS:

I. Background & Discussion

On October 2, 2019, Plaintiff Santa Fe Heights Healthcare Center, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action challenging the issuance of a citation for violation of the Long-Term Care Health, Safety and Security Act of 1973 against Defendant State of California Department of Health (“Defendant”). The initial pleading is a Complaint to dismiss the citation and the civil penalties imposed or, in the alternative, to reduce the violation and penalties. On December 3, 2019, Defendant filed an Answer.

When the Complaint was filed, a hearing date of February 5, 2020 was erroneously set with respect to a non-existent petition. Accordingly, the hearing on the non-existent petition is PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

II. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Hearing on Petition is PLACED OFF CALENDAR. The matter is set for trial on APRIL 5, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 25, SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.