This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/16/2019 at 19:18:34 (UTC).

CARLTON DOUGLAS EDWARDS ET AL VS MIKE DAVIDYAN

Case Summary

On 03/23/2017 CARLTON DOUGLAS EDWARDS filed a Contract - Business lawsuit against MIKE DAVIDYAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is ROBERT B. BROADBELT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5125

  • Filing Date:

    03/23/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Business

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

ROBERT B. BROADBELT

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

EDWARDS JUANITA DELORES

EDWARDS CARLTON DOUGHLAS

PASADENA COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

EDWARDS CARLTON DOUGLAS

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

DAVIDYAN MIKE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

JOHNSON JULIUS ESQ.

Defendant Attorney

CARPENTER GREGORY JAMES

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

5/17/2019: Minute Order

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

5/17/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Order

5/17/2019: Order

Notice of Ruling

5/21/2019: Notice of Ruling

OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO VACATE DEFAULT JUDGMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF MIKE DAVISYAN; DECLARATION OF GREGORY J. CARPENTER; EXHIBITS

1/26/2018: OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO VACATE DEFAULT JUDGMENT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION OF MIKE DAVISYAN; DECLARATION OF GREGORY J. CARPENTER; EXHIBITS

Minute Order

6/11/2018: Minute Order

REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

6/15/2018: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

6/25/2018: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

6/25/2018: REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT

OBJECTION TO DECLARATION OF JULIUS JOHNSON REGARDING MEET AND CONFER.

6/27/2018: OBJECTION TO DECLARATION OF JULIUS JOHNSON REGARDING MEET AND CONFER.

DECLARATION OF JULIUS JOHNSON REGARDING MEET AND CONFER MEETING BETWEEN MIKE DAVIDYAN AND JULIUS JOHNSON ON BEHALF OF CARLTON AND JUANITA EDWARDS, PASADENA COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP AND AUTOMATIC

6/29/2018: DECLARATION OF JULIUS JOHNSON REGARDING MEET AND CONFER MEETING BETWEEN MIKE DAVIDYAN AND JULIUS JOHNSON ON BEHALF OF CARLTON AND JUANITA EDWARDS, PASADENA COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP AND AUTOMATIC

NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF MIKE DAVIDYAN CROSS-COMPLAINANT IN PRO PER

7/9/2018: NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF MIKE DAVIDYAN CROSS-COMPLAINANT IN PRO PER

NOTICE OF HEARING; DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; ETC

9/7/2018: NOTICE OF HEARING; DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; ETC

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

9/7/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

NOTICE OF HEARING; DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; ETC

9/10/2018: NOTICE OF HEARING; DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; ETC

ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

9/10/2018: ORDER APPOINTING COURT APPROVED REPORTER AS OFFICIAL REPORTER PRO TEMPORE

Minute Order

9/10/2018: Minute Order

CORRECTED NOTICE OF HEARING; DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; ETC.

9/11/2018: CORRECTED NOTICE OF HEARING; DEMURRER TO CROSS-COMPLAINT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; ETC.

120 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/21/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Carlton Doughlas Edwards (Plaintiff); Juanita Delores Edwards (Plaintiff); Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship (Cross-Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/17/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) ((c/f 5-10-19 on court's motion)) - Held

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/17/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 49; Trial Setting Conference ((c/f 5-10-19 on court's motion)) - Held

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketOrder (RULING); Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) (c/f...)); Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/17/2019
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore (CSR: Monica Castaneda/ #10323); Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • Docketat 08:31 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Demurrer - with Motion to Strike (CCP 430.10) ((c/f 5-10-19 on court's motion)) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 49; Trial Setting Conference - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 49; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Compel Deposition of Plaintiff, Carlton Douglas Edwards) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/10/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application to Compel Deposition of Plain...)); Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
245 More Docket Entries
  • 06/06/2017
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by Mike Davidyan (Defendant)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/04/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Carlton Doughlas Edwards (Plaintiff); Juanita Delores Edwards (Plaintiff)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 05/04/2017
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 04/10/2017
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 04/10/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 04/10/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 04/10/2017
  • DocketOSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by Clerk

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 03/23/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 03/23/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Carlton Doughlas Edwards (Plaintiff); Juanita Delores Edwards (Plaintiff)

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less
  • 03/23/2017
  • DocketCOMPLAINT: 1. MALICIOUS PROSECUTION ;ETC

    [+] Read More [-] Read Less

Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: ****5125 Hearing Date: August 25, 2021 Dept: 49

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Carlton Douglas Edwards et al. ) Case No. ****5125

Plaintiffs, )

)

)

)

v. )_______________________________

) [Tentative] Ruling

)

Mike Davidyan )

Defendant. )

AND RELATED CROSS-ACTION )

_______________________________)________________________________

Hearing Date: August 25, 2021

Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice

Moving Parties: Cross-Defendants Carlton D. Edwards, Juanita D. Edwards, Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship Church

Responding Party: Cross-Complainant Mike Davidyan

Ruling: Motion for summary adjudication granted as to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and eighth causes of action. Motion denied as to the sixth and seventh causes of action, and as to summary judgment overall.

Cross-Defendants Carlton D. Edwards, Juanita D. Edwards,[1] and Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship Church (“Fellowship”) (collectively, the “Edwards Parties”) move for summary judgment or summary judication as to the Second Amended Cross Complaint (“SACC”) of cross-complainant Mike Davidyan (“Davidyan”).

Background

In his SACC, Davidyan alleges that he entered a lease with Carlton and Juanita Edwards to rent the property at 162 E. Claremont Ave., Pasadena, California 91103 (the “Property”). Davidyan alleges that thereafter, Carlton and Juanita (together with the Fellowship) began sub-letting rooms in the Property, doing various acts which damaged the Property (such as attracting pests and leaving doors and windows open), and failing to do acts which they had agreed to do (such as hiring a landscaper). Davidyan claims that Carlton and Juanita gave him 11 rent checks in advance, but then had payment stopped on those checks. Davidyan claims that Carlton and Juanita harassed and once physically assaulted him, and after vacating the Property, left trash and damage to the Property behind.

Davidyan’s SACC contains causes of action for 1) intentional misrepresentation against Carlton and Juanita; 2) negligent misrepresentation against Carlton and Juanita; 3) breach of contract against Carlton and Juanita; 4) breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing against Carlton and Juanita; 5) unjust enrichment against the Fellowship; 6) negligence against Carlton and Juanita; 7) Nuisance against Carlton and Juanita; and 8) intentional infliction of emotional distress against Carlton and Juanita.

On July 29, 2021, the Court continued the hearing on the Edwards Parties’ motion for summary judgment and directed the parties to submit further briefing on certain issues (as well as timely re-file any opposition and reply with respect to the original motion). The parties have completed their filings, and the Court now rules as follows.

Legal Standards

The function of a motion for summary judgment or adjudication is to allow a determination as to whether an opposing party cannot show evidentiary support for a claim or defense and to enable an order of summary adjudication without the need for trial. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 843.) Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(c) “requires the trial judge to grant summary judgment if all the evidence submitted, and ‘all inferences reasonably deducible from the evidence’ and uncontradicted by other inferences or evidence, show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Adler v. Manor Healthcare Corp. (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 1110, 1119.) “The function of the

pleadings in a motion for summary judgment is to delimit the scope of the issues; the function of the affidavits or declarations is to disclose whether there is any triable issue of fact within the issues delimited by the pleadings.” (Juge v. County of Sacramento (1993) 12 Cal.App.4th 59, 67, citing FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashima (1991) 231 Cal. App. 3d 367, 381-382.) “Summary judgment cannot be granted on a ground not raised by the pleadings. [Citations.] Conversely, summary judgment cannot be denied on a ground not raised by the pleadings. [Citations.]” (Bostrom v. County of San Bernardino (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 1654, 1663.)

Cross-Complainant’s Opposition Papers

The Edwards Parties contend that Davidyan has yet again filed late papers. However, according to the Court’s records, Davidyan’s papers were filed on August 9, 2021 before 12:00 noon. The papers are therefore timely.

The Edwards Parties have lodged a number of objections to Davidyan’s responsive separate statement. These objections are largely just further argument in support of the motion and in contradiction of Davidyan’s arguments, and they are overruled.

That said, Davidyan has done little to improve the state of his papers. Davidyan’s memorandum of points and authorities, declaration, and separate statement are disorganized and, at times, largely incomprehensible. Many of the contentions Davidyan sets forth are not supported by citations to evidence, in violation of the Rules of Court and this Court’s June 30, 2021 order. The Court will not consider contentions which are not supported by proper citation to admissible evidence.

While the Court is sensitive to the fact that Davidyan is self-represented, Davidyan chose to initiate this cross-action and represent himself, and he must be held to the same standard as an attorney. (See Kobayashi v. Superior Court (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 536, 543 [pro-per litigants held to the same standards as attorneys].) Self-represented litigants receive no “special exemptions” from the Rules of Court or Code of Civil Procedure, but rather, are treated the same as represented parties. (Garnet v. Blanchard (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1276, 1284.) “Procedural law cannot cast a sympathetic eye on the unprepared, or it will soon fragment into a kaleidoscope of shifting rules.” (Rappleyea v. Campbell (1994) 8 Cal.4th 975, 979.)

Request for Judicial Notice

The Edwards Parties’ Request for Judicial Notice is granted. The Court will take judicial notice of the City of Pasadena Municipal Code ; 14.16.030, which provides:

(1) 14.16.030- Required. No person shall occupy, change the use of or sell, exchange, rent, lease or otherwise permit any unit which is hereafter vacated by the occupant thereof to be reoccupied until a certificate of inspection, quadrennial certificate of inspection or temporary certificate of inspection is issued by the administrator, as hereinafter provided.

A. With respect to single-family units and duplexes, such inspection shall occur each time the unit is sold, rented, leased or exchanged.

B.With respect to multifamily residential units and rooming or boarding houses, each unit shall be inspected no less than once every 4 years.

Discussion

The Edwards Parties’ Motion largely revolves around the legality of the lease agreement for the Property. The Court will therefore address that issue first.

1. Legality of the Lease Agreement

A contract is unlawful where it is “[c]ontrary to an express provision of law” or “[c]ontrary to the policy of express law, though not expressly prohibited[.]” Civ. Code ; 1667. “The courts ‘generally will not enforce an illegal bargain or lend their assistance to a party who seeks compensation for an illegal act.’ [Citations.] The reason for judicial refusal to enforce a contract which has an illegal object ‘is not that the courts are unaware of possible injustice between the parties, and that the defendant may be left in possession of some benefit he should in good conscience turn over to the plaintiff, but that this consideration is outweighed by the importance of deterring illegal conduct. Knowing that they will receive no help from the courts and must trust completely to each other's good faith, the parties are less likely to enter an illegal arrangement in the first place.’” (Yoo v. Jho (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 1249, 1255.)

The Pasadena Municipal Code requires that a premises have a Certificate of Inspection to be leased to tenants. (Pasadena Municipal Code, ; 14.16.030.) Edwards Parties have established that at the time they entered the lease agreement with Davidyan on April 25, 2016, the Property had no certificate of inspection. (See Escamilla Decl., ¶ 5-6; Nava Decl., ¶¶ 5-6.) The burden therefore shifts to Davidyan to show a triable issue of fact.

Davidyan’s submissions do not create a triable of fact as to whether the Property had a certificate of inspection when the lease agreement was entered. Davidyan’s contention that the Property had a certificate of occupancy in 2013 does not raise a triable issue. Even assuming that a certificate of occupancy is the equivalent of a certificate of inspection (Davidyan does not establish this), Section 14.16.065(B) of the Pasadena Municipal Code provides that a certificate of inspection for a single-family property or duplex is no longer valid after a prior tenant vacates (as another inspection is required under Section 14.16.030(a)). (See Edwards Parties’ Request for Judicial Notice.) Assuming the Property had a certificate of inspection in 2013, it would have no legal force once the prior tenant vacated. According to Davidyan’s exhibits, the City of Pasadena apparently withdrew its no-certificate citation (while maintaining another citation), but this does not mean the Property had a certificate of inspection at the time of the lease agreement. The only inference that can be drawn from the evidence is that it did not.

Because the Property did not have a certificate of inspection, it was illegal for Davidyan to “occupy, change the use of or sell, exchange, rent, lease or otherwise permit [the Property] to be reoccupied[.]” Because the object of the lease agreement was to permit exactly that, it was illegal. (See Yoo v. Jho, supra, 147 Cal.App.4th 1249, 1255; Yuba Cypress Housing Partners, Ltd. v. Area Developers (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 1077, 1082.)

2. First Cause of Action for Fraud

“The elements of fraud that will give rise to a tort action for deceit are: (a) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b) knowledge of falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e. to induce reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting damage.” (Engalla v. Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 951, 974, internal quotation marks omitted.)

In the Complaint, Davidyan claims that Carlton and Juanita falsely represented to him that they had “sufficient financial means to pay rent on time, and that their personal financial situation was stable and secure, so that they would be able to afford to pay rent on time, and that they would abide by all other terms of the lease agreement, as aforementioned herein” to his injury. (Second Amended Cross-Complaint, ¶¶ 42-50.) As set forth above, the lease agreement was illegal and unenforceable, and it was illegal for Davidyan to rent the Property to the Edwards Parties so long as the Property lacked a certificate of inspection. (See Pasadena Municipal Code, ; 14.16.030.) Any purported false representations concerning the Edwards Parties’ ability to pay rent cannot therefore have damaged Davidyan, as he was forbidden by law from renting the Property to them. The Edwards Parties have therefore shown the failure of an essential element of Davidyan’s case, and the burden shifts to Davidyan to establish a triable issue as to damages.

Davidyan identifies no other way that the Edwards Parties’ purported misrepresentations injured him aside from the supposed lack of rental payments. Because Davidyan has not carried his burden to show a dispute as to damages, the Court will grant summary adjudication of this cause of action.

3. Second Cause of Action for Negligent Misrepresentation

“The elements of negligent misrepresentation are similar to intentional fraud except for the requirement of scienter; in a claim for negligent misrepresentation, the plaintiff need not allege the defendant made an intentionally false statement, but simply one as to which he or she lacked any reasonable ground for believing the statement to be true.” (Charnay v. Cobert (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 170, 184.) Davidyan’s SACC nonetheless charges the Edwards Parties with intentionally false statements, as well as negligent misrepresentation. (See SACC, ¶¶ 56, 57.) Regardless, the claims fail for the same reasons as the fraud claim: Davidyan cannot have suffered damages from the misrepresentations he claims, as he could not legally rent the Property to the Edwards Parties at all. Davidyan has not raised a triable issue of material fact as to this cause of action, and so the Court will summarily adjudicate it in the Edwards Parties’ favor.

4. Third Cause of Action for Breach of Contract

A claim for breach of contract requires the existence of a contract, and a contract requires a lawful object. (Coles v. Glaser (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 384, 391; Civ. Code ; 1550.) As set forth above, the lease agreement did not have a lawful object. Davidyan has failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to this cause of action, and the Court will summarily adjudicate it in favor of the Edwards Parties.

5. Fourth Cause of Action for Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is implied by law in every contract. (Thrifty Payless, Inc. v. The Americana at Brand, LLC (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1230, 1244.) “The covenant is read into contracts and functions ‘as a supplement to the express contractual covenants, to prevent a contracting party from engaging in conduct which (while not technically transgressing the express covenants) frustrates the other party's rights to the benefits of the contract.’” (Ibid.)

This cause of action, like the preceding three, is based on the lease agreement. (SACC, ¶¶ 82-103.) As discussed above, the lease agreement which is the basis of this cause of action is illegal. Davidyan therefore had no rights to the benefits of the agreement which may be vindicated by this Court. (See Yoo v. Jho, supra, 147 Cal.App.4th at 1255.) Davidyan has not raised a triable issue of fact as to the illegality of the contract, and so the Court will summarily adjudicate this cause of action in favor of the Edwards Parties.

6. Fifth Cause of Action for Unjust Enrichment

“The elements for a claim of unjust enrichment are ‘receipt of a benefit and unjust retention of the benefit at the expense of another.’ [Citation.] ‘The theory of unjust enrichment requires one who acquires a benefit which may not justly be retained, to return either the thing or its equivalent to the aggrieved party so as not to be unjustly enriched.’ [Citation.]” (Lyles v. Sangadeo-Patel (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 759, 769.) “While the courts generally will not enforce an illegal contract or one against public policy, ‘the rule is not an inflexible one to be applied in its fullest rigor under any and all circumstances,’ and ‘[a] wide range of exceptions has been recognized’ to enforce contracts ‘to ‘avoid unjust enrichment to a defendant and a disproportionately harsh penalty upon the plaintiff.’’” (Dunkin v. Boskey (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 171, 196.) “In each case, the extent of enforceability and the type of remedy granted depend upon a variety of factors, including the nature of the illegality, the policies to be served by enforcing or denying enforcement of the agreement, and the relative culpability and equities of the parties.” (Ibid.)[2]

Davidyan contends that the Edwards Parties unjustly enriched themselves by subletting and collecting rent from the Property without paying the rent they collected to Davidyan. The Edwards Parties contend that they did not receive a benefit at the expense or detriment of Davidyan, and “[i]n fact, [Davidyan] significantly benefitted from the [Edwards Parties] renting the Property (such as receiving monthly rental payments, and the substantial repairs made to the Property), which he was not entitled to because he was illegally renting the Property without a valid Certificate of Inspection from the City of Pasadena.”

As discussed above, the Court finds the rental agreement to be illegal and unenforceable. However, the Court is not foreclosed from equitably allocating relief based on principles of unjust enrichment, based on the circumstances. (See Dunkin v. Boskey, supra, 82 Cal.App.4th at 196.) It is seemingly undisputed that the Edwards Parties were themselves subletting the same Property to others at a time when it was without a certificate of inspection. (See Davidyan’s Exhibit H [Rent Receipts]; Affirmative Complaint ¶ 16 [“Carlton Edwards is a Pastor of a local church here in Pasadena he and his wife are using the property as a discipleship home for men.”])

That said, any profit the Edwards Parties may have obtained from subletting the Property while it did not have a certificate of inspection cannot be the basis for a claim of unjust enrichment, because that enrichment was not at Davidyan’s expense. Davidyan did not have the legal right to lease the Property due to the lack of a certificate of inspection, whether he leased it to the Edwards Parties or their subtenants directly. Davidyan therefore cannot establish his claim for unjust enrichment, and the Court will summarily adjudicate this cause of action in the Edwards Parties’ favor.

7. Sixth Cause of Action for Negligence

“The elements of any negligence cause of action are duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages.” (Peredia v. HR Mobile Services, Inc. (2018) 25 Cal.App.5th 680, 687.) “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” (Civ. Code ; 1714(a).)

Davidyan contends that the Edwards Parties damaged the Property and did not maintain it as required by the lease agreement, carelessly represented themselves to be financially stable, and intentionally stopped payment on rent checks. (SACC, ¶ 111.) As discussed above, the lease agreement is unenforceable due to illegality, and Davidyan has not shown he was damaged by the Edwards Parties’ purported representations. The Edwards Parties establish that they paid rent every month. (Separate Statement, ¶ 34.) Although Davidyan presents evidence that one of the Edwards Parties’ $3,750 rent checks was charged back in May 2016 (Davidyan’s Exhibit I), the Edwards Parties apparently paid rent that month in cash, for which Davidyan signed a receipt. (Edwards Decl., ¶ 5 and Ex. C.) Davidyan presents no evidence that he was in any way injured by the supposed representations concerning the Edwards Parties’ financial stability.

That said, Davidyan declares that he was cited by the City because the Edwards Parties left carpeting and other garbage outside. (Davidyan Decl., ¶ 9.) Davidyan also contends that the Edwards Parties removed the floors such that it was dangerous to do an inspection. (Davidyan Decl., ¶ 12; Davidyan’s Ex. G.) This is sufficient to raise a triable issue as to whether the Edwards Parties’ negligence caused injury to Davidyan.[3] The Court therefore cannot summarily adjudicate this cause of action and it therefore survives this motion.

8. Seventh Cause of Action for Nuisance

The elements of private nuisance are:

First, the plaintiff must prove an interference with his use and enjoyment of his property. [Citation.] Second, “the invasion of the plaintiff's interest in the use and enjoyment of the land [must be] substantial, i.e., that it cause[s] the plaintiff to suffer ‘substantial actual damage.’ ” [Citation.] Third, “ ‘[t]he interference with the protected interest must not only be substantial, but it must also be unreasonable’ [citation], i.e., it must be ‘of such a nature, duration or amount as to constitute unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the land.’ ” (Mendez v. Rancho Valencia Resort Partners, LLC (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 248, 262-3.)

“Unlike for trespass, …interference with a possessory property interest is not required: “‘[A]ny interest sufficient to be dignified as a property right’ will support an action based on a private nuisance ....” [Citation.] Nor is a connection to land a generally necessary element. [Citation.]” (Orange County Water Dist. v. Sabic Innovative Plastics US, LLC (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 343, 417.)

The SACC provides that “Cross-Defendants were not occupying the PROPERTY as agreed, subleasing the PROPERTY, failing to hire the landscaper, parking their car in the driveway, committing alterations on the PROPERTY, removing the carpet, removing the tree, performing construction remodeling, failing to obtain personal insurance, and leaving trash after vacating the PROPERTY, leaving trash carpet on the balcony, and purposefully damaging the PROPERTY, intentionally leaving the door open, thereby creating potential for accidents to be caused and personal injuries to occur, for the purposes of harming Cross-Complainant.” (SACC, ¶ 115.)

The Edwards Parties contend that they did not interfere with the Property because the Property should have lain vacant due to the lack of a certificate of inspection, and that Davidyan received the benefit of rental payments and repairs to the Property which increased the value of the Property. No valuation is in evidence. As set forth above, Davidyan has established that the Edwards Parties removed the carpets in the Property, leaving the floor exposed, at least temporarily, and that this caused him harm by delaying inspection and causing him to incur citations. (Davidyan Decl., ¶¶ 9, 12, Ex. G.) The Court cannot determine as a matter of law that Davidyan suffered no damages on the record before it, nor that the removal of the floors does not qualify as an unreasonable interference with the Property. The Court therefore cannot summarily adjudicate this cause of action and it therefore survives this motion.

9. Eighth Cause of Action for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

To state a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) a plaintiff must show: (1) outrageous conduct by the defendant; (2) the defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress; (3) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and (4) actual and proximate causation of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct. (Yau v. Santa Margarita Ford, Inc. (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 144, 160 (Yau).) “Outrageous” conduct “must be so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized society.” (Ibid.)

In his complaint, Davidyan contends that “the acts…alleged hereinabove in detail” in his SACC constituted outrageous conduct which caused him emotional distress. The Edwards Parties characterize these allegations as “alleging there was a constant struggle with the Cross-Defendants to pay their rent, to prevent them from damaging the Property, found out that the Cross-Defendants were operating a sober living recovery home without permission of Davidyan, found out that the Cross-Defendants were subletting the Property and not paying the rents they collected to Davidyan, causing a great deal of Emotional Distress.” (Separate Statement, ¶ 40.) Davidyan identifies no other allegations, and his sole response in his separate statement is “Disputed [¶] Failed to provide Complainant. [¶] See Second Cross-Complaint, page 21, paragraph 123, lines 17-21. Not produced. Attached as Exhibit L is the Second Cross-Complaint referring to page 21, paragraph 123, lines 17-21.”

None of the conduct that the Edwards Parties identified as the basis for the IIED claim constitutes conduct “so extreme as to exceed all bounds of that usually tolerated in a civilized society.” (See Yau, supra, 229 Cal.App.4th at 160.) Davidyan identifies no other basis for the IIED claim, and even if he had, the Edwards Parties do not have an obligation to disprove theories not asserted in the SACC. (See Bostrom v. County of San Bernardino, supra, 35 Cal.App.4th at 1663 [summary judgment cannot be denied based on grounds not in the pleadings].) Nonetheless, the claims Davidyan sets forth in his opposition, namely signing a rental agreement (an agreement which turned out to be illegal), refusing to provide insurance required by the rental agreement, and poorly installing carpet in the Property, are not extreme, outrageous conduct.[4] The Court will summarily adjudicate this cause of action in favor of the Edwards Parties.

10. Continuance for Further Discovery

Davidyan’s papers suggest at times that the Edwards Parties have failed to produce certain documents, although it is unclear whether Davidyan means that the Edwards Parties did not produce them in discovery or simply did not include them in support of their motion. Assuming that Davidyan is claiming that the Edwards Parties failed to cooperate in discovery, Davidyan has not made a case for a continuance under Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(h). A party seeking a continuance of a summary judgment motion to seek further fact discovery to oppose the motion “must show: (1) the facts to be obtained are essential to opposing the motion; (2) there is reason to believe such facts may exist; and (3) the reasons why additional time is needed to obtain these facts.” (Frazee v. Seely (2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 627, 633.) Davidyan has not made this showing. The Court will therefore not grant a further continuance.

Conclusion

For the foregoing reasons, the motion for summary adjudication is granted in favor of the Edwards Parties as to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and eighth causes of action, and denied as to the sixth and seventh causes of action. The motion for summary judgment is denied. The Edwards Parties are to submit and serve an appropriate proposed order and give notice.

Date: August 25, 2021

__________________________

Honorable Stuart M. Rice

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] Because Carlton D. Edwards and Juanita D. Edwards have the same last name, they will be referred to individually by their first names for clarity. No disrespect is intended.

[2] See also Norwood v. Judd (1949) 93 Cal.App.2d 276, 288-9 (“The fundamental purpose of the rule [that courts will not enforce illegal agreements] must always be kept in mind, and the realities of the situation must be considered. Where, by applying the rule, the public cannot be protected because the transaction has been completed, where no serious moral turpitude is involved, where the defendant is the one guilty of the greatest moral fault, and where to apply the rule will be to permit the defendant to be unjustly enriched at the expense of the plaintiff, the rule should not be applied.”)

[3] Davidyan also argues that Tony Escamilla testified in deposition that the Property did not pass inspection on July 1 (2016, ostensibly) because of carpet left outside. (Davidyan Decl., ¶ 7.) Davidyan also claims that the Pasadena Code Compliance Division issued an administrative citation on June 6, 2016 “after the Edwards already in possession of the property for more than month, started damaging the property, tearing the carpet and removing floors, leaving the carpet outside the balcony and leaving the door open and floor open for rats to come inside house.” (Davidyan Decl., ¶ 14.) Both of these statements are apparently hearsay and play no part in the Court’s analysis. (See Evid. Code ; 1200.)

[4] Davidyan’s own papers state that “[t]his alleged behavior, does not amount to outrageous or extreme conduct by the Cross-Defendants, as such, Cross-Complainant's cause of action for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress cannot be established and should be dismissed.” Although Davidyan likely meant to refute this argument rather than support it, it rings true here.

"


b'

Case Number: ****5125 Hearing Date: July 30, 2021 Dept: 49

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Carlton Douglas Edwards et al. ) Case No. ****5125

Plaintiffs, )

)

)

)

v. )_______________________________

) [Tentative] Ruling

)

Mike Davidyan )

Defendant. )

AND RELATED CROSS-ACTION )

_______________________________)________________________________

Hearing Date: July 30, 2021

Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice

Moving Parties: Cross-Defendants Carlton D. Edwards, Juanita D. Edwards, and Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship Church

Responding Parties: Cross-Complainant Mike Davidyan

Ruling: Motion continued to August 25, 2021. Parties to submit further briefing as detailed herein.

Cross-Defendants Carlton D. Edwards, Juanita D. Edwards,[1] and Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship Church (“Fellowship”) (“Cross-Defendants”) move for summary judgment or summary judication as to the Second Amended Cross Complaint (“SACC”) of cross-complainant Mike Davidyan (“Cross-Complainant”).

Cross-Defendants raise serious issues with the SACC. However, Cross-Defendants’ submissions do not actually establish that the Property did not have a certificate of inspection at the time that they entered into the lease agreement. It appears undisputed that the Property had no certificate of inspection at the time the inspection was performed and the notice of violation was given. Although this was subsequent to Cross-Defendants’ execution of the lease agreement, the moving party must still establish that there was no certificate of inspection at the time the lease agreement was executed. The existence of a certificate of inspection at the time the lease agreement was executed affects the legality of the lease agreement. This is potentially dispositive of some if not all of Cross-Complainant’s cross-claims. The Court has therefore opted to continue the hearing on its own motion and request further briefing on the issue, and for additional reasons as set forth below. This continuance is not pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(h), as Cross-Defendants have served their discovery responses on Cross-Complainant (as shown in his Exhibit K).

Cross-Complainant’s opposition, separate statement, and supporting papers were due to be served and filed together no later than July 16, 2021, 14 days before the hearing. (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437c(b)(2).) On July 20, 2021, four days late, Cross-Complainant filed an opposition and declaration containing exhibits Z, G, N, B, D, and H (in that order). On July 22, 2021, six days late, Cross-Complainant filed a document consisting of exhibits R, V, O, S, F, and D (different from the other Exhibit D), without a declaration. On July 23, 2021, seven days late, Cross-Complainant filed a responsive separate statement of material facts. Cross-Complainant’s separate statement, though in the two-column format, does not appear to cite to all evidence supporting the particular point, in violation of California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1350(f). Cross-Defendants have objected to all of these late filings. Cross-Complainant did not seek leave to file late papers or move to continue the hearing.

The failure to properly file a separate statement is grounds for granting a motion for summary judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. ; 437(c)(b).) The Court would prefer to decide this motion on its merits, rather than disregarding Cross-Complainant’s opposition entirely which would be within the court’s discretion. Cross-Complainant will therefore be permitted to file a revised opposition addressing the same points in a proper fashion and any argument he has directed to Cross-Defendants’ supplemental brief. No new arguments may be made in the revised opposition except for those concerning the material in Cross-Defendants’ supplemental brief or document filing.

Cross-Complainant must comply with the Code of Civil Procedure, California Rules of Court, and Local Rules of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Cross-Complainant’s opposition must conform to the following requirements:

· The opposition memorandum, and all supporting papers, must be filed and served together by e-mail no later than 12:00 noon on Monday, August 9, 2021.

· All pages of all documents must be legible top-to-bottom (rather than being turned sideways, as some currently are).

· All of Cross-Complainant’s exhibits must be attached consecutively, beginning with Exhibit A (rather than an apparent random order). Each exhibit must have a unique letter (there are currently two Exhibits D).

Cross-Complainant is hereby advised that failure to timely submit papers that the Court can read and navigate in accordance with the law will result in his opposition being disregarded.

The Court sets a briefing schedule as follows:

· Cross-Defendants are to file by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 a supplemental brief and any accompanying documents on the issue of whether the Property had a certificate of inspection at the time they entered into the lease agreement with Cross-Complainant;

· Cross-Complainant may re-file and re-serve his opposition to the motion and the supplemental brief, and any supporting documents, by no later than 12:00 noon on Monday, August 9, 2021.

· Cross-Defendants may file a reply to Cross-Complainant’s revised opposition by no later than 12:00 noon on Monday, August 16, 2021.

For the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby continues the hearing on this motion to August 25, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

Cross-Defendants to give notice.

Date: July 30, 2021

__________________________

Honorable Stuart M. Rice

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] Because Carlton D. Edwards and Juanita D. Edwards have the same last name, they will be referred to individually by their first names for clarity. No disrespect is intended.

'


Case Number: ****5125    Hearing Date: March 30, 2021    Dept: 49

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Carlton Douglas Edwards, et al.,

Plaintiffs,

Case No.

****5125

v.

[Tentative] Ruling

Mike Davidyan, et al.  

Defendants.

Hearing Date: March 30, 2021

Department 49, Judge Stuart M. Rice

Cross-Defendants Carlton Douglas Edwards, Juanita Delores Edwards, and Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship’s Motions to:

(1) Deem Matters Admitted in the Request for Admissions, Set One

(2) Compel Further Responses to the Request for Admissions, Set One

(3) Compel Further Responses to the Form Interrogatories, Set One and Special Interrogatories, Set One

(4) Compel Further Responses to the Request for Production of Documents, Set One

Moving Party:  Cross-Defendants Carlton Douglas Edwards, Juanita Delores Edwards, and Pasadena Community Christian Fellowship

Responding Party:      None [Cross-Complainant Mike Davidyan]

Ruling: The motions are continued because of a service issue. If the service issue is addressed at the hearing, the Court grants the motions to compel further responses, denies the motion to deem matters admitted in the request for admissions, and grants monetary sanctions as modified.

Background

Date Filed

Motion Type

Reservation ID

Monetary Sanctions Requested

1/21/21

Request for admissions – no responses, i.e. deem matters admitted

372991282039

$3,181.65

2/1/21

Request for admissions – further responses

117392350955142395484972

$5,241.65

2/1/21

Form interrogatories and special interrogatories – further responses

506222359528207976631833

$7,061.65

2/1/21

Request for production of documents – further responses

304122388961681822680813

$2,821.65

As of March 24, 2021, Cross-Complainant did not file an opposition, which was due on March 17, 2021, i.e., nine court days before the scheduled hearing date. (Code Civ. Proc., ;1005, subd. (b).)

Procedural Defect

In the interest of justice and out of an abundance of caution since no opposition has been filed,  the Court continues this hearing because of a service concern.

Cross-Defendants filed proofs of service annexed to their motions indicating that they served the motions by first class mail and electronic filing. Service by first class mail provides proper notice.

On February 5, 2021, the Court granted Cross-Defendants’ ex parte application advancing the hearing date for all of the discovery motions. In the Court’s minute order, Cross-Defendants were required to provide notice.

On February 5, 2021, Cross-Defendants filed a notice of ruling, which indicates that service was done via “electronic filing.” “Electronic filing is service by an electronic filing service provider whereby a receiving party receives electronic notification of service of a document. Electronic transmission is service by email, in which the receiving party actually receives the document. Electronic filing” is not the same as “electronic transmission.”

This distinction is critical because Cross-Defendants proffer no proof of an agreement by Cross-Complainant to accept service by electronic filing. Instead, Cross-Complainant agreed to electronic service via a stated email address. (See Paul A. de Lorimer Decl. Ex. B at 9/25/20 email [“Confirming that the email to use for electronic correspondence is mr8185785685@gmail.com. Please let us know if you would accept electronic service via this address as well.”] and 9/26/20 email [“Yes, please proceed.”].) That is not what occurred here and there is no proper proof of service of the shortened hearing dates. Cross-Defendants cannot otherwise rely on electronic transmission as proper service because Cross-Complainant is self- represented. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 2.251(c)(3)(B), 2.523(b)(3).)

Therefore, in the interests of justice, the Court continues this hearing so that Cross-Complainant receives proper notice of the actual hearing date.

To the extent that Cross-Complainant appears at the hearing and waives this issue and/or Cross-Defendants show valid proof of service at the hearing, the Court continues its analysis as follows.

Cross-Defendants Must Pay Additional Filing Fee

The motion to compel further responses to interrogatories involves two different sets of interrogatories, i.e., form interrogatories and special interrogatories. However, Cross-Defendants only paid one filing fee when this application is essentially two separate motions. Multiple motions should not be combined into a single filing. (See Govt. Code, ; 70617, subd. (a)(4) [setting forth the required filing fee for each motion, application, or any other paper or request requiring a hearing].)

The Court orders Cross-Defendants to pay an additional $60 filing fee.

Legal Standard

No Responses to Request for Admissions

Where a party fails to respond to requests for admissions, the propounding party may move for an order that the genuineness of any documents and the truth of any matters specified in the requests be deemed admitted, as well as for a monetary sanction. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2033.280, subd. (b).) The court “shall” grant a motion to deem admitted the matters specified in the requests for admissions, “unless it finds that the party to whom the requests for admission have been directed has served, before the hearing on the motion, a proposed response to the requests for admission that is in substantial compliance with Section 2033.220.” (Id., subd. (c).)

Further Responses to Request for Admissions

On receipt of a response to requests for admission, the party requesting admissions may move for an order compelling a further response if that party deems that either or both of the following apply: (1) an answer to a particular request is evasive or incomplete or (2) an objection to a particular request is without merit or too general. (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2033.290, subd. (a).)

Further Responses to Interrogatories

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300, subdivision (a), a court may order a party to serve a further response to an interrogatory when the court finds that: “(1) An answer to a particular interrogatory is evasive or incomplete[;] (2) An exercise of the option to produce documents under Section 2030.230 is unwarranted or the required specification of those documents is inadequate[; or] (3) An objection to an interrogatory is without merit or too general.”

If a timely motion to compel a further response to an interrogatory has been filed, the burden is on the responding party to justify any objection or failure fully to answer the interrogatories. (Fairmont Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (2000) 22 Cal.4th 245, 255.)

Further Responses to Request for Production of Documents

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 2031.310, subdivision (a), a court may order a party to serve a further response to a demand for inspection when the court finds that: “(1) A statement of compliance with the demand is incomplete[;] (2) A representation of inability to comply is inadequate, incomplete, or evasive[; or] (3) An objection in the response is without merit or too general.”

The burden is on the moving party to “set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the discovery sought by the demand.” (Code Civ. Proc., ; 2031.310, subd. (b)(1).)

This burden “is met simply by a fact-specific showing of relevance.” (TBG Ins. Servs. Corp. v. Superior Court (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 443, 448.)

Discussion

Cross-Complainant filed no opposition to these motions, and there is nothing in the record suggesting Cross-Complainant has complied with his discovery obligations because his responses are unverified. (Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636 [“Unsworn responses are tantamount to no responses at all.”].) Accordingly, the Court grants the motions to compel further responses to the requests for admission, form interrogatories, and special interrogatories, and requests for production of documents. Cross-Complainant is ordered to serve verified further responses without objections within 20 days.

However, the Court denies Cross-Defendants’ motion to deem the matters admitted in the request for admissions. Although the responses are not verified, the Court finds in the interests of justice to order further responses. As the moving party filed two separate motions on this set of discovery, the Court exercises its discretion to choose this path. If the cross-complainant fails to fully follow the terms of this order, the Court will not hesitate to deem the Request for Admissions admitted in a subsequent motion.

Although monetary sanctions are warranted given the misuse of discovery, Cross-Defendants’ seek fees which are not reasonable. The four motions are substantially similar, involving the same facts, the same procedural history, and many of the same exhibits. The only major differences are the separate statements, though they each repeat key arguments.

Date Filed

Motion Type

Reservation ID

Hours Spent Preparing Motion

1/21/21

Request for admissions – no responses, i.e. deem matters admitted

372991282039

11.6

2/1/21

Request for admissions – further responses

117392350955142395484972

23.9

2/1/21

Form interrogatories and special interrogatories – further responses

506222359528207976631833

33.0

2/1/21

Request for production of documents – further responses

304122388961681822680813

11.8

Additionally, the multiple hours for appearance time for each motion is unreasonable because there is one joint hearing and counsel is likely to appear remotely (and should reasonably do so) because of Covid-19. Finally, because Cross-Defendant did not file opposition, the Court awards no fees for reviewing an opposition and preparing a reply.

Accordingly, the Court awards a total of $2,046.60, which includes four $61.65 requested filing fees and $1,800 in attorney fees for 9.0 hours at a $200.00 hourly rate.

Conclusion

To the extent that Cross-Complainant appears at the hearing and waives this issue and/or Cross-Defendants show valid proof of service at the hearing, the Court grants Cross-Defendants’ motions by ordering Cross-Complainant to serve further verified responses without objections within 20 days and pay $2,046.60 in monetary sanctions.

Date: March 30, 2021

Honorable Stuart M. Rice

Judge of the Superior Court



related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases represented by Lawyer CARPENTER GREGORY J.