This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/12/2020 at 01:22:04 (UTC).

STEVEN SMITH VS CANTWELL-ANDERSON

Case Summary

On 01/22/2020 STEVEN SMITH filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against CANTWELL-ANDERSON. 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:

    *******0652

  • Filing Date:

    01/22/2020

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Spring Street Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

SMITH STEVEN

Defendant

CANTWELL-ANDERSON

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant Attorney

EWERT JESSICA M.

 

Court Documents

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to demurrer

8/10/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition to demurrer

Opposition (name extension) - Plaintiff Steven Smith Opposition to Demurrer Defendant Cantwell Anderson

8/28/2020: Opposition (name extension) - Plaintiff Steven Smith Opposition to Demurrer Defendant Cantwell Anderson

Objection (name extension) - Objection Defendant Cantwell-Andersons Objection to Late-filed Opposition to Demurrer And Declaration of Jessica M. Ewert in Support

9/9/2020: Objection (name extension) - Objection Defendant Cantwell-Andersons Objection to Late-filed Opposition to Demurrer And Declaration of Jessica M. Ewert in Support

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

9/10/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike; Order to Show...)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Non-Opposition

8/10/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Non-Opposition

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike) of 08/11/2020

8/11/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike) of 08/11/2020

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

8/11/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 04/28/2020

4/28/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 04/28/2020

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

4/28/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Hearing on Defendant Cantwell-Andersons Demurrer to plaintiffs Complaint

4/30/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Hearing on Defendant Cantwell-Andersons Demurrer to plaintiffs Complaint

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF JESSICA M. EWERT

4/10/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration OF JESSICA M. EWERT

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF JESSICA M. EWERT UNDER CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 430.41(a)(2)

3/11/2020: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration DECLARATION OF JESSICA M. EWERT UNDER CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 430.41(a)(2)

Summons - Summons on Complaint

1/22/2020: Summons - Summons on Complaint

Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/22/2020: Civil Case Cover Sheet - Civil Case Cover Sheet

Complaint - Complaint

1/22/2020: Complaint - Complaint

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

1/22/2020: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court) - Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

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

1/22/2020: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

1/22/2020: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

7 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/25/2023
  • Hearing01/25/2023 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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  • 07/21/2021
  • Hearing07/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 09/10/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Demurrer - without Motion to Strike: Filed By: Cantwell-Anderson (Defendant); Result: Sustained with Leave to Amend; Result Date: 09/10/2020

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  • 09/10/2020
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike; Order to Show...)

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  • 09/10/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 09/10/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 09/10/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 09/10/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Representation scheduled for 09/10/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 09/10/2020; Result Type to Held

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  • 09/09/2020
  • DocketObjection Defendant Cantwell-Anderson?s Objection to Late-filed Opposition to Demurrer And Declaration of Jessica M. Ewert in Support; Filed by: Cantwell-Anderson (Defendant)

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  • 08/28/2020
  • DocketPlaintiff Steven Smith Opposition to Demurrer Defendant Cantwell Anderson; Filed by: Steven Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketHearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike scheduled for 09/10/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 08/11/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Representation scheduled for 09/10/2020 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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13 More Docket Entries
  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Steven Smith (Plaintiff); As to: Cantwell-Anderson (Defendant)

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 01/25/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Steven Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Steven Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Steven Smith (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 26 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 01/22/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 07/21/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 20STLC00652    Hearing Date: September 10, 2020    Dept: 26

DEMURRER

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Cantwell-Anderson’s Demurrer to the Complaint is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Steven Smith (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for negligence and discrimination against Cantwell-Anderson (“Defendant”) on January 22, 2020. Defendant filed a meet and confer

declaration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41 on March 11, 2020. On April 10, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Demurrer to the Complaint. The day before the August 11, 2020 hearing on Demurrer, Plaintiff filed an opposition. At the hearing the Court continued the matter to September 10, 2020 to allow Plaintiff to obtain counsel and concurrently set an Order to Show Cause regarding representation. (Minute Order, 8/11/20.) The Court also ordered that “[t]he amended complaint addressing deficiencies listed below will be due within 20 days from the next hearing date scheduled for 09/10/2020.” (Ibid.)

On August 28, 2020, Plaintiff refiled the opposition previously filed on August 10, 2020.

Discussion

The Court finds that the Demurrer is supported by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Ewert Decl., ¶¶2-5.) The Complaint alleges causes of action for (1) negligence; and (2) discrimination. Defendant demurs to the Complaint for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action. (Citing Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).)

1st Cause of Action for Negligence

A cause of action for negligence must allege the elements of duty, breach, causation and damages. (McIntyre v. Colonies-Pacific, LLC (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 664, 671.) Without the existence of a duty of care, there can be no liability against the defendant for negligence. (J.L. v. Children's Institute, Inc. (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 388, 396.) The existence and scope of duty are questions of law for the court. (Artiglio v. Corning, Inc. (1998) 18 Cal.4th 604, 614.) The Complaint

Defendant argues that the Complaint does not allege that it owed Plaintiff a duty of reasonable care. The cause of action for negligence is alleged against “Cantwell-Anderson/CloudBreak Communities” and contends Defendant was notified of a bed bug infestation and drug dealing activity “within residence.” (Compl., ¶GN-1.) No allegation, however, is made regarding Defendant’s connection to this “residence” or what duty it owed to Plaintiff regarding the existence of either bed bugs or drug dealing. (Ibid.) There is no allegation that Defendant had any ownership, occupation, or control of the “residence” such that it was obligated to address the presence of bed bugs or drug dealers. (Ibid; Kesner v. Superior Court (2016) 1 Cal.5th 1132, 1158 [“Premises liability ‘is grounded in the possession of the premises and the attendant right to control and manage the premises.’”].)

Even assuming the allegations against Defendant arise out of premises liability, with respect to the behavior of third parties such as drug dealers, landlords only have a duty to protect against behavior that can be reasonably anticipated. (Ann M. v. Pacific Plaza Shopping Center (1993) 6 Cal. 4th 666, 676.) No allegations are set forth in the Complaint showing how Defendant could have reasonably anticipated the drug dealing. (Compl., ¶GN-1.) Correspondingly, without allegations that Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty of care, the Complaint does not allege how Defendant breached that duty and thereby caused Plaintiff’s damages.

Plaintiff’s opposition includes facts that would support this cause of action based on Defendant’s purported ownership of the apartment building in which Plaintiff lived. Therefore, the demurrer to the first cause of action is sustained with leave to amend.

2nd Cause of Action for Discrimination

Plaintiff also alleges he suffered discriminated when he failed to pay rent. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that other unpaying tenants who were white males were offered payment plans while CloubBreak tried to evict Plaintiff. (Compl., p. 4.)

A claim for discrimination in housing must allege (1) Plaintiff was a member of a protected class;

(2) applied for and was qualified for a housing accommodation; (3) was denied a housing accommodation; and (4) circumstantial evidence of discriminatory motive, such as similarly situated individuals applied for and obtained housing. (Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Superior Court (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 896, 902.) Here, the Complaint does not allege discrimination by Defendant, but apparently by CloudBreak. It is also unclear whether Plaintiff is a member of a protected class as the Complaint only indicates the race and gender of others who were allegedly offered payment plans. Finally, Plaintiff does not allege that he qualified for a rent payment program.

The demurrer to the second cause of action is also sustained with leave to amend.

Conclusion

Defendant Cantwell-Anderson’s Demurrer to the Complaint is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party to give notice

Case Number: 20STLC00652    Hearing Date: August 11, 2020    Dept: 26

Smith v. Cantwell-Anderson, et al.

DEMURRER

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Cantwell-Anderson’s Demurrer to the Complaint is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

ANALYSIS:

Plaintiff Steven Smith (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for negligence and discrimination against Cantwell-Anderson (“Defendant”) on January 22, 2020. Defendant filed a declaration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41 on March 11, 2020. On April 10, 2020, Defendant filed the instant Demurrer to the Complaint. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Discussion

The Court finds that the Demurrer is supported by a meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrer, Ewert Decl., ¶¶2-5.) The Complaint alleges causes of action for (1) negligence; and (2) discrimination. Defendant demurs to the Complaint for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a cause of action. (Citing Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).)

1st Cause of Action for Negligence

A cause of action for negligence must allege the elements of duty, breach, causation and damages. (McIntyre v. Colonies-Pacific, LLC (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 664, 671.) Without the existence of a duty of care, there can be no liability against the defendant for negligence. (J.L. v. Children's Institute, Inc. (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 388, 396.) The existence and scope of duty are questions of law for the court. (Artiglio v. Corning, Inc. (1998) 18 Cal.4th 604, 614.) The Complaint

Defendant argues that the Complaint does not allege that it owed Plaintiff a duty of reasonable care. The cause of action for negligence is alleged against “Cantwell-Anderson/CloudBreak Communities” and contends Defendant was notified of a bed bug infestation and drug dealing activity “within residence.” (Compl., ¶GN-1.) No allegation, however, is made regarding Defendant’s connection to this “residence” or what duty it owed to Plaintiff regarding the existence of either bed bugs or drug dealing. (Ibid.) There is no allegation that Defendant had any ownership, occupation, or control of the “residence” such that it was obligated to address the presence of bed bugs or drug dealers. (Ibid.) Furthermore, with respect to the behavior of third parties such as drug dealers, landlords only have a duty to protect against behavior that can be reasonably anticipated. (Ann M. v. Pacific Plaza Shopping Center (1993) 6 Cal. 4th 666, 676.) No allegations are set forth in the Complaint showing how Defendant could have reasonably anticipated the drug dealing. (Compl., ¶GN-1.) Correspondingly, without allegations that Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty of care, the Complaint does not allege how Defendant breached that duty and thereby caused Plaintiff’s damages.

Therefore, the demurrer to the first cause of action is sustained with leave to amend.

2nd Cause of Action for Discrimination

Plaintiff also alleges he was discriminated against when he failed to pay rent. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that other unpaying tenants who were white males were offered payment plans while CloubBreak tried to evict Plaintiff. (Compl., p. 4.)

A claim for discrimination in housing must allege (1) Plaintiff was a member of a protected class;

(2) applied for and was qualified for a housing accommodation; (3) was denied a housing accommodation; and (4) circumstantial evidence of discriminatory motive, such as similarly situated individuals applied for and obtained housing. (Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Superior Court (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 896, 902.) Here, the Complaint does not allege discrimination by Defendant, but apparently by CloudBreak. It is also unclear whether Plaintiff is a member of a protected class as the Complaint only indicates the race and gender of other who were allegedly offered. Finally, Plaintiff does not allege that he qualified for a rent payment program.

The demurrer to the second cause of action is also sustained with leave to amend.

Conclusion

Defendant Cantwell-Anderson’s Demurrer to the Complaint is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party to give notice.