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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/11/2021 at 12:22:49 (UTC).

THE FOLB PARTNERSHIP ET AL VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Case Summary

On 07/09/2015 THE FOLB PARTNERSHIP filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MICHELLE R. ROSENBLATT and TERESA SANCHEZ-GORDON. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7659

  • Filing Date:

    07/09/2015

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MICHELLE R. ROSENBLATT

TERESA SANCHEZ-GORDON

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Appellants

FOLB PARTNERSHIP THE

PARAMOUNT CONTRACTORS AND DEVELOPERS INC

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 THROUGH 100

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

LOEB & LOEB LLP

HARDER MIRELL & ABRAMS LLP

BRODY WILLIAM M.

MIRELL DOUGLAS ELLIOTT

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

FEUER MICHAEL N. CITY ATTORNEY

FONG KENNETH TOM

 

Court Documents

Notice of Remand from Federal Court

1/2/2019: Notice of Remand from Federal Court

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: ORDER AFTER APPEAL;)

9/17/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER RE: ORDER AFTER APPEAL;)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: ORDER AFTER APPEAL;) OF 09/17/2020

9/17/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: ORDER AFTER APPEAL;) OF 09/17/2020

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

10/16/2020: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF KENNETH T. FONG ISO OF DEMURRER TO SAC

11/20/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF KENNETH T. FONG ISO OF DEMURRER TO SAC

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE)

12/4/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE)

Request for Judicial Notice

3/4/2021: Request for Judicial Notice

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITH MOTION TO STRIKE (CCP 430.10); CAS...)

3/11/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITH MOTION TO STRIKE (CCP 430.10); CAS...)

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

3/11/2021: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER)

3/29/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER)

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER OF PARTIES TO AND ORDER OF COURT GRANTING 45-DAY EXTENSION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO ANSWER PLAINTIFF PARAMOUNT CONTRACTORS AND DEVELOPERS, INC.

4/5/2021: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER OF PARTIES TO AND ORDER OF COURT GRANTING 45-DAY EXTENSION TO DEFENDANT CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO ANSWER PLAINTIFF PARAMOUNT CONTRACTORS AND DEVELOPERS, INC.

Answer

5/20/2021: Answer

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

5/24/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

1/18/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER TO CONTINUE STATUS CONFERENCE

4/25/2019: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER TO CONTINUE STATUS CONFERENCE

41 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/24/2023
  • Hearing01/24/2023 at 09:30 AM in Department 40 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 01/05/2023
  • Hearing01/05/2023 at 08:30 AM in Department 40 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 11/04/2022
  • Hearing11/04/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department 40 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Status Conference

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  • 05/24/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 05/24/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order (JOINT STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER ON TOLLING OF FIVE-YEAR RULE PURSUANT TO CODE CIV. PROC. 583.310, 538.330); Filed by Paramount Contractors and Developers, Inc (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/24/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/20/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 04/29/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/16/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Trial Setting Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 04/16/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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67 More Docket Entries
  • 07/24/2015
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 07/24/2015
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/24/2015
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

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  • 07/24/2015
  • DocketPLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE TERESA SANCHEZ-GORDON PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 170.6; DECLARATION OF WILLIAM M. BRODY IN SUPPORT THEREOF

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  • 07/22/2015
  • DocketNotice; Filed by Folb Partnership, The (Plaintiff); Paramount Contractors and Developers, Inc (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/22/2015
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 07/10/2015
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/09/2015
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF, INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, AND DAMAGES

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  • 07/09/2015
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Folb Partnership, The (Plaintiff); Paramount Contractors and Developers, Inc (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/09/2015
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC587659    Hearing Date: March 11, 2021    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Defendant City of Los Angeles

OPPOSITION: Paramount Contractors & Developers, Inc.

Plaintiff Paramount Contractors & Developers, Inc. (“Paramount”) filed a complaint against the City of Los Angeles (“City”), alleging that City refused to accept and process their sign permit applications. The Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) alleges a single cause of action for “Damages, Injunctive Relief and Declaratory Relief.”

Previously this Court sustained City’s demurrer without leave to amend on the ground that the Ninth Circuit had remanded only one claim, which was City’s denial of permits for “wall signs displaying off-site messages.” Our own Court of Appeal remanded the case with an instruction to reverse the previous order on the ground that the Ninth Circuit was only considering “wall signs displaying off-site messages” in its decision, and Paramount could allege claims regarding other types of wall signs. (Remittitur, pp. 7-8.)

Judicial Notice

Paramount requests judicial notice of pleadings in this matter and the municipal code. City requests judicial notice of pleadings in this matter and the municipal code. The Court takes judicial notice of the pleadings and municipal code per Evidence Code 452(d) and 452(b), official court records and legislative enactments.

Special Demurrer claiming the SAC is uncertain: OVERRULED

City argues that Paramount can only challenge its decision via an administrative writ per Code Civil Procedure section 1094.5. “[T]he proper method to challenge the validity of conditions imposed on a building permit is administrative mandamus under Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5.” City of Santee v. Superior Court (1991) 228 Cal.App.3d 713, 718; internal citations omitted. City asserts that Plaintiff’s Complaint must be dismissed because it is not an administrative writ.

Paramount argues that they were not required to file a writ because City did not conduct a hearing, did not issue a written record, and made no adjudicatory decision. “A writ of mandate under section 1094.5 may be issued to review an administrative decision only if that decision is final.” Bollengier v. Doctors Medical Center (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 1115, 1125. “Implicit in section 1094.5 is a requirement that the agency which renders the challenged decision must set forth findings to bridge the analytic gap between the raw evidence and ultimate decision or order.” Topanga Assn. for a Scenic Community v. County of Los Angeles (1974) 11 Cal.3d 506, 515.

Alternatively, Paramount argues that Court can convert this action into a writ proceeding. It does not matter if a plaintiff expressly seeks a writ of mandate “as long as plaintiff state facts entitling him to some type of relief, and if a cause of action for mandamus or certiorari has been stated, the general demurrer should [be] overruled.” Boren v. State Pers. Bd. (1951) 37 Cal.2d 634, 638. Finally, Paramount argues that City should be estopped from now invoking CCP § 1094.5 because they have only now raised the issue after years of challenging Paramount’s claims procedurally and substantively at the District Court and trial court level.

The Court will deny the demurrer on this ground. As far as the Court is aware, City issued “no findings” as Paramount alleges that their permit applications were denied without being properly processed or reviewed. (SAC, ¶ 11.) If necessary, the Court would treat this complaint for declaratory relief as a writ because of City’s delay in raising this issue.

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies; OVERRULED

City argues that the SAC must be dismissed because Paramount has not alleged that it exhausted its administrative remedies. City cites LAMC § 98.0403.1(b)(2), which provides that “[t]he Board shall have the power to hear and determine appeals from orders, interpretations, requirements, determinations, or actions of the Department pertaining to enforcement of specific ordinances, regulations, or laws in site-specific Cases.” (City’s RJN, Ex M.)

Paramount argues that there was no right to appeal and, therefore, no administrative remedy to exhaust. Paramount cites LAMC § 98.0403.1(b)(2), which states “the Board shall have no authority to hear and determine appeals from orders, interpretations, requirements, determinations, or actions of the Department pertaining to enforcement of specific ordinances, regulations, or laws contained in Chapter I of the LAMC.” It is undisputed that LAMC 14.4.10 (Wall Signs) is in Chapter I. Paramount asserts that the application section is LAMC Section 12.26(K), which states:

“The Director of Planning shall have the power and duty to investigate and make a decision upon appeals, from determinations of the Department of Building and Safety where it is alleged there is error or abuse of discretion in any order, interpretation, requirement, determination or action made by the Department of Building and Safety in the enforcement or administration of Chapter I of this Code and other land use ordinances in site-specific cases… An appeal to the Director of Planning may only be made after the Department of Building and Safety has rendered a decision in writing and provided written justification and findings on an appeal made pursuant to Section 98.0403.2(a) of the Code.”

(LAMC § 12.26(K); underscore added.)

Paramount alleges that City issued no written decision when it denied its permits. Alternatively, Paramount states that pursuing an administrative remedy would have been futile. Futility applies when it is certain or nearly certain that the responsible agency will deny the permit. Black v. City of Rancho Palos Verdres (2018) 26 Cal.App.5th 1077, 1089. Paramount alleges that it would have been futile because of City’s animus towards them, their prior attempts to put up signage, and their legal challenges to City’s signage regulations.

The Court finds that Paramount could not exhaust its administrative remedies. It appears that the applicable section is LAMC § 12.26(K), which requires a written decision before an appeal can be made. Paramount alleges that City never issued a written decision, and therefore they could not appeal/exhaust their remedies.

Section 1983: OVERRULED

City argues that Paramount has not alleged sufficient facts to allege a section 1983 claim. To allege a constitutional violation per section 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated; and (2) the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins (1988) 487 U.S. 42, 48. City states that during the proceedings before the Ninth Circuit, Paramount abandoned its constitutional challenge.

City also argues that Paramount has not satisfied the Monell element of the claim, which refers to the fact that “[m]unicipalities may be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 only when a constitutional violation results from the municipality’s official policies or customs” Palm v. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (C.D.Cal. 2015) 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86761, at *5.

Paramount argues that its original complaint contained two causes of action, the first alleging a claim for First Amendment content-based discrimination. Paramount states that it only dismissed its “constitutional claims pursuant to the Supreme Court’s First Amendment decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, 135 S. Ct. 2218 (2015).” Paramount asserts that its current constitutional claim has nothing to do with Reed (content-based discrimination) as the SAC is about City’s refusal to grant permits for wall signs.

The Court finds that Paramount only waived its content-based discrimination claim and can allege its current First Amendment violation claim. Here, Paramount alleges that their First Amendment rights were violated because City had a policy to arbitrarily refuse to grant them signage permits. (SAC, ¶ 8.)

California Tort Claims Act: OVERRULED

City argues that Paramount failed to comply with the California Tort Claims Act (“CTCA”). However, Paramount correctly notes that “no part of the California Tort Claims Act…is applicable when the Federal Civil Rights Act is invoked and so hold. Rossiter v. Benoit (1979) 88 Cal.App.3d 706, 713. Since Section 1983 is part of the Federal Civil Rights Act, Paramount does not have to comply with the CTCA. Accordingly, the demurrer on this ground is OVERRULED.

Gov. Code section 818.4: OVERRULED

City argues that Government Code section 818.4 provides it immunity from Paramount’s claim for damages. Section 818.4 states that a “public entity is not liable for an injury caused by the issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of, or by the failure or refusal to issue, deny, suspend or revoke, any permit, license, certificate, approval, order, or similar authorization…” (Gov. Code § 818.4.) Paramount states that section 818.4 only shields public entities’ discretionary actions and does not shield mandatory duties. Morris v. County of Marin (1977) 18 Cal.3d 901, 913-914. Here, Paramount alleges that City refused to accept and process its permit applications, a mandatory duty for City. Therefore, section 818.4 does not apply.

Conclusion

City’s Demurrer is OVERRULED.

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