This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/09/2021 at 02:07:10 (UTC).

VALUE VENTURES, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS CURTIS MCINTOSH, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 10/15/2019 VALUE VENTURES, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against CURTIS MCINTOSH. 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:

    *******9490

  • Filing Date:

    10/15/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

SERENA R. MURILLO

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

VALUE VENTURES LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

Defendants

MCINTOSH CURTIS

STEPHENS KEVIN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

WHITE JOHNNY

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plainti...)

8/12/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plainti...)

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

4/27/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Defendants Joint Ex Parte App...)

4/28/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Ex Parte Application Defendants Joint Ex Parte App...)

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

6/8/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

3/25/2021: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

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

3/26/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings - Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Defendant Kevin Stephens' Notice of Motion and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

4/1/2021: Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings - Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Defendant Kevin Stephens' Notice of Motion and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice Defendant Kevin Stephens' Request for Judicial Notice

4/1/2021: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice Defendant Kevin Stephens' Request for Judicial Notice

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

4/8/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

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

3/3/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike; Hearing on De...)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Non-Opposition to Plaintiff Value Ventures, LLC's Demurrer to the Answer of Kevin Stephens

2/24/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Non-Opposition to Plaintiff Value Ventures, LLC's Demurrer to the Answer of Kevin Stephens

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

12/27/2019: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Answer - Answer

11/25/2019: Answer - Answer

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

11/22/2019: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration Pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code section 430.41 Re: Good Faith Effort to Meet and Confer

11/22/2019: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration Pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code section 430.41 Re: Good Faith Effort to Meet and Confer

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

11/12/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

10/15/2019: First Amended Standing Order - First Amended Standing Order

Complaint - Complaint

10/15/2019: Complaint - Complaint

35 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/04/2022
  • Hearing01/04/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 26 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Jury Trial

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  • 08/18/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plaintiff's First and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Curtis McIntosh (CCP 438(c)(1(B)(ii): Filed By: CURTIS MCINTOSH (Defendant); Result: Denied; Result Date: 08/12/2021

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plaintiff's First, Second and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Kevin Stephens: Filed By: KEVIN STEPHENS (Defendant); Result: Denied; Result Date: 08/12/2021

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plainti...)

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plaintiff's First and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Curtis McIntosh (CCP 438(c)(1(B)(ii) scheduled for 08/12/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 08/12/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plaintiff's First, Second and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Kevin Stephens scheduled for 08/12/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 26 updated: Result Date to 08/12/2021; Result Type to Held - Motion Denied

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  • 08/09/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plaintiff's First and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Curtis McIntosh (CCP 438(c)(1(B)(ii): Name Extension changed from N FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS; to As to Plaintiff's First and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Curtis McIntosh (CCP 438(c)(1(B)(ii); As To Parties: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/09/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings As to Plaintiff's First, Second and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Kevin Stephens: Name Extension changed from Defendant Kevin Stephens' Notice of Motion and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings to As to Plaintiff's First, Second and Third Causes of Action Against Self-Represented Defendant Kevin Stephens; As To Parties: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/09/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Opposition CONSOLIDATED OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS: As To Parties: KEVIN STEPHENS (Defendant), CURTIS MCINTOSH (Defendant)

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61 More Docket Entries
  • 11/12/2019
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff); As to: KEVIN STEPHENS (Defendant); Service Date: 10/30/2019; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 11/12/2019
  • DocketProof of Service by Substituted Service; Filed by: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff); As to: CURTIS MCINTOSH (Defendant); Proof of Mailing Date: 10/29/2019; Service Cost: 109.17; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff); As to: CURTIS MCINTOSH (Defendant); KEVIN STEPHENS (Defendant)

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff); As to: CURTIS MCINTOSH (Defendant); KEVIN STEPHENS (Defendant)

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: VALUE VENTURES, LLC, a California limited liability company (Plaintiff); As to: CURTIS MCINTOSH (Defendant); KEVIN STEPHENS (Defendant)

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 10/18/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 04/13/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 10/15/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Serena R. Murillo in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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Tentative Rulings

b'

Case Number: 19STLC09490 Hearing Date: August 12, 2021 Dept: 26

Value Ventures, LLC v.\r\nMcIntosh, et al. 19STLC09490

JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

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(Code Civ. Proc., § 438; Smiley v.\r\nCitibank (1995) 11 Cal.4th 138, 145-146)

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TENTATIVE RULING:

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Defendants Kevin\r\nStephens and Curtis McIntosh’s Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings are\r\nDENIED.

ANALYSIS:

On October 15, 2019, Plaintiff Value Ventures, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed\r\nthe instant action for fraud, breach of contract, and conversion against\r\nDefendants Curtis McIntosh and Kevin Stephens (“Defendants”). The Complaint alleges that on or about August 23,\r\n2017, Plaintiff agreed to purchase from Defendants a proof of claim in the\r\nBankruptcy Case In re Jan Moran Fish, Bankruptcy District for the\r\nCentral District of California, Case No. 6:16-bk-13896-WJ (“the Bankruptcy\r\nCase”), and all monies payable pursuant to said proof of claim. (Compl., ¶7.)\r\nIn exchange for the proof of claim, Plaintiff paid Defendants $5,500.00. (Id.\r\nat ¶8.) In breach of the parties’ agreement, Defendants absconded with the\r\nproceeds of the proof of claim. (Id. at ¶9.) The Complaint alleges the\r\nfirst cause of action for fraud and the third cause of action for conversion\r\nagainst both Defendants; the second cause of action for breach of contract is\r\nalleged only against Defendant Stephens.

Defendant filed Answers to the Complaint on November 22 and 25, 2019. On\r\nMarch 3, 2020, the Court sustained Plaintiff’s Demurrers to Defendants’ Answers\r\nwith 20 days leave to amend. Defendants never filed amended Answers. Instead,\r\non March 25, 2021, Defendant McIntosh filed a Motion for Judgment on the\r\nPleadings. Defendant Stephens filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on\r\nApril 1, 2021. On July 30, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Consolidated Opposition to\r\nthe Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings. Defendants filed a Joint Reply on\r\nAugust 4, 2021.

Legal Standard

The\r\nMotions can only be brought under the common law; statutory motions for\r\njudgment on the pleadings must be brought within 30 days of the date initially\r\nset for trial (April 13, 2021 in this case) unless allowed by the Court. (Code\r\nCiv. Proc., § 438, subd. (e).) There is no meet and confer requirement for a\r\ncommon law Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

The standard for ruling on a\r\nmotion for judgment on the pleadings is essentially the same as that applicable\r\nto a general demurrer, that is, under the state of the pleadings, together with\r\nmatters that may be judicially noticed, it appears that a party is entitled to\r\njudgment as a matter of law. (Bezirdjian\r\nv. O’Reilly (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 316, 321-322, citing Schabarum v.\r\nCalifornia Legislature (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1205, 1216.) Matters which are subject to mandatory\r\njudicial notice may be treated as part of the complaint and may be considered\r\nwithout notice to the parties. Matters which are subject to permissive judicial\r\nnotice must be specified in the notice of motion, the supporting points and\r\nauthorities, or as the court otherwise permits. (Id.) The motion may not be supported by extrinsic\r\nevidence. (Barker v. Hull (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 221, 236.)

Discussion

Defendants\r\neach move for judgment on the pleadings as to the causes of action alleged\r\nagainst them. In support of the Motions, Defendants ask that the Court take\r\njudicial notice of proceedings in the Bankruptcy Case. The request is granted\r\npursuant to Cal. Evidence Code section 452, subdivisions (d) and (e).

Defendants move for judgment on the\r\npleadings based on the litigation privilege set forth at Civil Code section 47,\r\nsubdivision (b), which defines a privileged publication as one made: “In any\r\n(1) legislative proceeding, (2) judicial proceeding, (3) in any other official\r\nproceeding authorized by law, or (4) in the initiation or course of any other\r\nproceeding authorized by law and reviewable pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing\r\nwith Section 1084) of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.” (Cal.

Civ. Code, § 47, subd. (b).) “The\r\nprincipal purpose of the litigation privilege is to afford litigants and\r\nwitnesses [citation omitted] the utmost freedom of access to the courts without\r\nfear of being harassed subsequently by derivative tort actions.” (Silberg v.\r\nAnderson (1990) 50 Cal.3d 205, 213.)

“[T]he privilege applies to any communication (1) made in\r\njudicial or quasi-judicial proceedings; (2) by litigants or other participants\r\nauthorized by law; (3) to achieve the objects of the litigation; and (4) that\r\nhave some connection or logical relation to the action.” (Id. at 212.)

The Complaint alleges that on or about August 23, 2017,\r\nPlaintiff agreed to purchase, and Defendants agreed to sell, a proof of claim\r\nin the Bankruptcy Case. (Compl., ¶7.) Despite Plaintiff’s payment as provided\r\nfor in the agreement, Defendants breached the agreement by absconding with the\r\nproceeds of the proof of claim. (Id. at ¶9.)

“The gravamen, or essential nature ... of a cause of action\r\nis determined by the primary right alleged to have been violated. . . .” (Chen\r\nv. Berenjian (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 811, 820.) First, only the fraud cause\r\nof action has a gravamen that pertains to communication based on Defendants’\r\nalleged false statements. (Id. at ¶¶12-13.) The primary right alleged to have\r\nbeen violated in the second and third causes of action was Plaintiff’s right to\r\nthe proceeds of the proof of claim, for which it paid as agreed. (Id. at\r\n¶¶23, 27.) Defendants’ Motions continually refer to “communications” without\r\nexplaining how their alleged taking of the claim money is a communication. A\r\ntaking is “a physical act that is not communicative.” (Chen, supra, 33\r\nCal.App.5th. at 821.)

Second, Defendants have not shown how either their alleged\r\nmisrepresentations or taking of the claim money was within a judicial\r\nproceeding. They simply argue that the agreement was made during the course of\r\nthe Bankruptcy Case, but cite no record of the Bankruptcy Case that refers to\r\nthe agreement. (Motion, pp. 4:22-5:5.) While the Bankruptcy Court ordered money\r\nto be distributed to Defendant Stephens pursuant to the claim (Motion, RJN,\r\nExh. 6, Form 2, p. 2), Defendants’ alleged falsehoods and taking of the claim money\r\ndid not occur within a judicial proceeding. That conduct was simply\r\ncontemporaneous with the Bankruptcy Court proceedings. The only case to which\r\nDefendants cite regarding communications within a judicial proceeding is Albertson\r\nv. Raboff (1956) 46 Cal.2d 375, where the communication at issue was\r\n“recordation of a notice of lis pendens.” (Albertson v. Raboff (1956) 46\r\nCal.2d 375, 380.) Defendants offer no analogy between the recording of a notice\r\nof lis pendens and breach of the agreement to transfer the bankruptcy proof of\r\nclaim. In Albertson, the Court of Appeals explained that recording the\r\nlis pendens was essentially re-publication of allegations in the plaintiff’s\r\ncomplaint. (Id. at 379.) Because the complaint was unquestionably\r\nsubject to the litigation privilege, so too was the notice of lis pendens. (Ibid.)\r\nThe allegedly false statements made by Defendants to induce Plaintiff’s payment\r\nfor the proof of claim was not a reiteration of any part of the Bankruptcy Case,\r\nnor was Defendants’ alleged taking of the claim money.

Finally, Defendants have not shown that their alleged\r\nconduct could be construed to achieve the objects of the litigation or have\r\nsome logical relation to the litigation. Statements made to induce Plaintiff to\r\npurchase the proof of claim had no reasonable relevancy to the Bankruptcy Case,\r\nthe subject matter of which is the disposition of the bankruptcy estate. (See Silberg\r\nv. Anderson (1990) 50 Cal.3d 205, 220 [“statement made in a judicial\r\nproceeding is not privileged unless it has some reasonable relevancy to the\r\nsubject matter of the action.”].)

Finally, Plaintiff points out that breaches of contract are\r\nnot considered logically related to litigation except under specific\r\ncircumstances where application of the privilege furthers its policy of “afford[ing]\r\nlitigants and witnesses [citation omitted] the utmost freedom of access to the\r\ncourts without fear of being harassed subsequently by derivative tort action.”\r\n(Wentland v. Wass (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 1484, 1492 [citing Silberg,\r\nsupra 50 Cal.3d at 213].) Application of the privilege to Defendants’ alleged\r\nbreach of the transfer agreement would not help litigants freely access the\r\ncourts. Nothing about the parties’ agreement helped Defendants have access to\r\nthe Bankruptcy Case, in which they were already involved.

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, Defendants’ Motions for Judgment on\r\nthe Pleadings are DENIED.

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Plaintiff to give notice.

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Case Number: 19STLC09490    Hearing Date: March 03, 2020    Dept: 26

Value Ventures, LLC v. McIntosh, et al.

DEMURRER

(CCP §§ 430.31, et seq.)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Value Ventures, LLC’s Demurrers to the Answers of Defendants Curtis McIntosh and Kevin Stephens are SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

ANALYSIS:

On October 15, 2019, Plaintiff Value Ventures, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for fraud, breach of contract, and conversion against Defendants Curtis McIntosh and Kevin Stephens (“Defendants”). Defendant filed Answers to the Complaint on November 22 and 25, 2019. Plaintiff filed the instant Demurrers to the Answers on December 27, 2019. To date, no oppositions have been filed.

Discussion

Meet and Confer Requirement

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).)

The Court finds that the Demurrers are accompanied by a satisfactory meet and confer declaration as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. (Demurrers, White Decl., ¶¶4-5.)

Demurrer to Affirmative Defenses

Plaintiff demurs to each affirmative defense in the Answers for failure to allege sufficient facts and uncertainty. As an initial matter, demurrers for uncertainty are not permitted in courts of limited jurisdiction. (Code Civ. Proc., § 92, subd. (c).) Therefore, the Court will not rule on the demurrers for uncertainty.

Regarding the allegations necessary to state an affirmative defense 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.)

The Complaint alleges details regarding the parties’ relationship as follows. On or about August 23, 2017, Plaintiff agreed to purchase from Defendants a proof of claim in the Bankruptcy Case In

re Jan Moran Fish, Bankruptcy District for the Central District of California, Case No.

6:16-bk-13896-WJ, and all monies payable pursuant to said proof of claim. (Compl., ¶7.) In exchange for the proof of claim, Plaintiff paid Defendants $5,500.00. (Id. at ¶8.) In breach of the parties’ agreement, Defendants absconded with the proceeds of the proof of claim. (Id. at ¶9.)

Plaintiff demurs to the affirmative defenses on the ground that they fail to allege sufficient facts and do not specify to which cause or causes of action they pertain. As to the second part, Plaintiff is correct. None of the affirmative defenses indicate to which cause of action they respond, as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 430.30, subdivision (g). This alone is reason to sustain the Demurrers. Furthermore, none of the affirmative defenses include factual allegations such as those set forth in the Complaint. Instead, they generically allege the nature of the affirmative defense without supporting details. For example, the first affirmative defense alleges that “the complaint is barred in whole or in part by the litigation privilege.” (Answers, ¶3.) As all the affirmative defenses are inadequately stated in this manner, the Demurrers are also sustained on this basis.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff Value Ventures, LLC’s Demurrers to the Answers of Defendants Curtis McIntosh and Kevin Stephens are SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS’ LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving party to give notice.

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