This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/18/2021 at 00:57:05 (UTC).

TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC., VS AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC., ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/13/2020 TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC filed a Contract - Business lawsuit against AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC . This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******8657

  • Filing Date:

    10/13/2020

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA INC.

BUILDER SERVICES GROUP INC.

Defendants

KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES

AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

BAYUK CHRISTOPHER WEBB

Defendant Attorneys

DENNISTON KAROL K.

KIM JACQUELINE

J. LLOYD THOMAS

ROMYN DAVID

VERA RONALD T.

 

Court Documents

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

10/4/2021: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Regarding Dismissal (Settlement))

10/15/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Regarding Dismissal (Settlement))

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

10/1/2021: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

10/1/2021: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Answer - Answer

8/24/2021: Answer - Answer

Answer - Answer TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

8/24/2021: Answer - Answer TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

8/24/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Association of Attorney - Association of Attorney

8/26/2021: Association of Attorney - Association of Attorney

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 08/27/2021

8/27/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Court Order) of 08/27/2021

Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

8/27/2021: Notice of Settlement - Notice of Settlement

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

8/27/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued CMC and OSC

8/2/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued CMC and OSC

Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference)

7/30/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference)

Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint First Amended (1st)

7/21/2021: Amended Complaint - Amended Complaint First Amended (1st)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Demurrer of Defendant, Keck Graduate Institute, to Complaint ...)

7/13/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Demurrer of Defendant, Keck Graduate Institute, to Complaint ...)

Order (name extension) - Ruling

7/13/2021: Order (name extension) - Ruling

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Demurrer of Defendant, Keck Graduate Institute, to Complaint ...) of 07/13/2021

7/13/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Demurrer of Defendant, Keck Graduate Institute, to Complaint ...) of 07/13/2021

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

7/15/2021: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

42 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/15/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Order to Show Cause Regarding Dismissal (Settlement))

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  • 10/15/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) scheduled for 10/15/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 71 updated: Result Date to 10/15/2021; Result Type to Held

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  • 10/04/2021
  • DocketOn the Amended Complaint (1st) filed by TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC.,, et al. on 07/21/2021, entered Request for Dismissal with prejudice filed by Builder Services Group Inc. as to American Multifamily, Inc. and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences

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  • 10/01/2021
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Karol K. Denniston (Attorney)

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  • 10/01/2021
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by: Karol K. Denniston (Attorney)

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  • 08/27/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (Settlement) scheduled for 10/15/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 71

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  • 08/27/2021
  • DocketAddress for Karol K. Denniston (Attorney) updated

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  • 08/27/2021
  • DocketAddress for Thomas J. Lloyd (Attorney) updated

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  • 08/27/2021
  • DocketAddress for Jacqueline Kim (Attorney) updated

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  • 08/27/2021
  • DocketAddress for Ronald T. Vera (Attorney) updated

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64 More Docket Entries
  • 12/29/2020
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by: AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC. (Defendant)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/12/2022 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/17/2023 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC., (Plaintiff); As to: AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC. (Defendant); KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES (Defendant)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC., (Plaintiff); As to: AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC. (Defendant); KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES (Defendant)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC., (Plaintiff); As to: AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC. (Defendant); KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES (Defendant)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: TRUTEAM OF CALIFORNIA, INC., (Plaintiff); As to: AMERICAN MULTIFAMILY, INC. (Defendant); KECK GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES (Defendant)

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/13/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: 20STLC08657 Hearing Date: July 13, 2021 Dept: 71

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Superior\r\nCourt of California

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County\r\nof Los Angeles

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DEPARTMENT 71

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TENTATIVE RULING

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TRUTEAM\r\n OF CALIFORNIA, INC.,

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vs.

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AMERICAN\r\n MULTIFAMILY, INC., et al.

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Case No.: \r\n 20STLC08657 \r\n [Related to 19STCV29503 (Lead Case)]

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Hearing Date: July 13, 2021

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Defendant Keck Graduate Institute’s unopposed demurrer the complaint of\r\nPlaintiff Truteam of California, Inc. is sustained with leave to amend within\r\n10 days.

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Defendant Keck Graduate Institute (“Keck”)\r\ndemurs to the 5th (foreclosure of mechanic’s lien) cause of action\r\nin the complaint of Plaintiff Truteam of California, Inc. (“Plaintiff”). Keck demurs on the following grounds: (1) the\r\npreliminary notice and mechanic’s lien are insufficient to identify the subject\r\nproperty in violation of Civil Code §8416(5); (2) Plaintiff lacks standing to\r\nsue since it is an inactive California corporation; and (3) Plaintiff has not\r\nalleged it held a valid California Contractor’s license during the course of\r\nthe subject construction project and is barred as a matter of law from any\r\nrecovery against Keck pursuant to Business & Profession’s Code §7031(a) and\r\n(c). (Notice of Motion, pg. 3.) As only 5th cause of action in the\r\ncomplaint is asserted against Keck, Keck demurs to the complaint in its\r\nentirety.

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Keck’s 4/15/21 request for judicial\r\nnotice is granted. (RJN, Exhs. A, B, C.) \r\n

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On October 13, 2021, Plaintiff filed\r\nits complaint against Keck and American Multifamily, Inc. (“AMF”), which was\r\nrelated and consolidated with the instant action and other related cases on January\r\n8, 2021, for pretrial purposes only. \r\nThe complaint alleges causes of action for breach of contract, open book\r\naccount, account stated, and reasonable value against AMF and foreclosure of\r\nmechanic’s lien against Keck. On April\r\n15, 2021, Keck filed the instant demurrer. On March 12, 2021, the Court granted HP and\r\nHanover’s motions to compel arbitration as to 14 plaintiffs; however, HP and\r\nHanover are not defendants in Plaintiff’s complaint, and as such, did not move\r\nto compel arbitration as to Plaintiff.

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Background

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The instant action arises out of a\r\nconstruction project for graduate student housing on Keck’s campus (“Project”). Keck owns the real property site of the\r\nProject, located in Claremont, California (“Property”). (Complaint ¶3.) Plaintiff was hired to provide materials,\r\nlabor, and equipment to perform work at the Property and Plaintiff ordered various\r\nmaterials and supplies which were incorporated into the Property. (Complaint\r\n¶7.) Plaintiff recorded a mechanic’s lien against\r\nthe Property on July 23, 2020. \r\n(Complaint ¶34, Exh. 2.)

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Foreclosure\r\nof Mechanic’s Lien (1st COA)

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“Mechanic's\r\nlien law derives from our state Constitution, which provides: Mechanics, persons furnishing\r\nmaterials, artisans, and laborers of every class, shall have a lien upon the\r\nproperty upon which they have bestowed labor or furnished material for the\r\nvalue of such labor done and material furnished; and the Legislature shall\r\nprovide, by law, for the speedy and efficient enforcement of such liens.’\r\n[Citation] The mechanic's lien is the only creditors’ remedy stemming from constitutional command and our courts ‘have uniformly\r\nclassified the mechanics’ lien laws as remedial legislation, to be liberally\r\nconstrued for the protection of laborers and materialmen.’ [Citation] ‘[State]\r\npolicy strongly supports the preservation of laws which give the laborer and\r\nmaterialman security for their claims.’ [Citation]” (Hutnick v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. (1988) 47\r\nCal.3d 456, 462.)

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“The\r\npurpose of the release bond procedure is to provide a means by which, before a\r\nfinal determination of the lien claimant’s rights and without prejudice to those\r\nrights, the property may be freed of the lien, so that it may be sold,\r\ndeveloped, or used as security for a loan. Section 3143[1]\r\nprovides that a mechanic’s lien release bond ‘shall be conditioned for the\r\npayment of any sum which the claimant may recover on the claim together with\r\nhis costs of suit in the action, if he recovers therein.’ The ‘claim’ for which\r\nthe principal and surety assume liability in the bond is the ‘claim of lien.’\r\n[Citation] The release bond procedure thus protects the lien claimant by\r\nproviding an alternate source of recovery on the claim of lien. The release\r\nbond procedure ‘does not deprive the [lien claimant] of its constitutional\r\nright to a lien’ but ‘[on] the contrary, it provides for the speedy and efficient\r\nenforcement of such lien…’ [Citation] The recording of the release bond does\r\nnot extinguish the lien; rather, the bond is substituted for the land as the\r\nobject to which the lien attaches. [Citation]” (Id. at 462-463.)

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“Because\r\nrecovery on the bond is a part of the process for enforcing the mechanic’s\r\nlien, authorities from other jurisdictions have concluded that a cause of\r\naction to foreclose a mechanic’s lien is substantially the same whether relief\r\nis sought against the liened property or against a bond which has been substituted\r\nfor the property. Thus, it has been said that the bond ‘does not change the\r\nrelation or rights of the parties otherwise than in substituting its\r\nobligations for the [property] subject to the lien, and it was not within the legislative\r\npurpose in permitting the substitution to deteriorate the lienor's rights.’\r\n[Citations]” (Id. at 463.)

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Plaintiff’s foreclosure of mechanic’s\r\nlien cause of action is based on the following allegations: (1) Keck owns the\r\nProperty and Plaintiff performed work on the Project utilizing labor, materials,\r\nand supplies, at the request of defendant owners, which were used in the Property;\r\n(2) Plaintiff served a preliminary notice (Exhibit 1); (3) Plaintiff made\r\ndemand for payment of said services in the sum of $23,053.63, and Plaintiff has\r\ncompleted and performed all things required of it; (4) Keck claims an interest\r\nin the Property, but said claim is subordinate to the claims of Plaintiff; (5)\r\non July 23, 2020, within the statutory timeline, Plaintiff filed a Mechanic’s Lien\r\nwith the County Record’s Office of Los Angeles County (Exhibit 2), which was\r\nserved on Keck and AMF by certified mail; (6) the total sum is still due, owing\r\nand unpaid from Defendants to Plaintiff. \r\n(Complaint ¶¶27-37.) The Court notes the complaint identifies the “Property”\r\nonly as “Keck Graduate Student Housing, Claremont, California, 91711, County of\r\nLos Angeles, State of California,” without identifying a street name or\r\nnumber. (Complaint ¶3.) In addition, the\r\nNotice of Mechanic’s Lien attached to the complaint identifies the Property in\r\nthis same manner—without identifying a street name or address. (Complaint, Exh.\r\n2.)

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Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient\r\nfacts to state a cause of action for foreclosure of mechanic’s lien against\r\nKeck. Based on exhibits attached to the\r\ncomplaint, the lien recorded by Plaintiff fails to provide a sufficient\r\ndescription for identification of the Property subject to the lien as required\r\nby Civil Code §8416(5). (See Complaint,\r\nExh. 2.)

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In addition, Plaintiff has not\r\nalleged facts suggesting it has standing to sue. First, Plaintiff does not allege it was\r\nproperly licensed to perform the work on the Property, rather, it\r\nalleges it was permitted to operate and provide construction services. (See Complaint ¶1.) The documents subject to judicial notice\r\ndemonstrate Plaintiff’s contractor’s license No. 221517 expired on March 3,\r\n2028. (RJN, Exh. C.) Plaintiff alleges it entered into the\r\ncontract with AMF on August 6, 2018, which would have therefore been after\r\nits contractor’s license expired. \r\n(Complaint ¶16.) Moreover, the documents\r\nsubject to judicial notice demonstrate Plaintiff is no longer an active California\r\ncorporation pursuant to an “Agreement of Merger” with a Florida Corporation. (RJN, Exhs. A, B.) The Court notes the complaint only alleges\r\nthat Plaintiff has its principal place of business in the City of Daytona Beach,\r\nFlorida, without alleging where it is incorporated. Plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged it has\r\nstanding to sue.

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Based on the foregoing, Keck’s unopposed\r\ndemurrer to the 5th cause of action is sustained with leave to\r\namend within 10 days.

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Dated: July _____, 2021

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Hon. Monica\r\nBachner

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Judge of the\r\nSuperior Court

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[1] (See Civil Code §8424.)

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