This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/21/2020 at 08:43:32 (UTC).

ELVA CASTORENA VS JOHN VILLALOBOS, ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/21/2017 ELVA CASTORENA filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against JOHN VILLALOBOS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Glendale Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RALPH C. HOFER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7436

  • Filing Date:

    12/21/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Glendale Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RALPH C. HOFER

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

CASTORENA ELVA

Defendants

HERO PROGRAM

VILLALOBOS JOHN

PACIFIC COAST HOME SOLUTIONS INC.

ASO LLC.

1ST POINT LENDING INC.

RENOVATE AMERICA INC. - DOE 1

EXTERIOR SPECIALIST INC. - DOE 2

NELSON ALEX - DOE 3

ASO LLC

PROGRAM HERO

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant and Plaintiff Attorneys

GREENBLATT FREDRIC JAY

MARC GROSSMAN LAW OFFICES OF

WANGLER JOSEPH JACOB

GROSSMAN MARC ELLIOT

REED SMITH LLP

GREENBLATTLOVERIDGE ATTORNEYS AT LAW

ARGENTA JOSEPH PETER

BABICH PHILLIP HOWARD

MILLER JESSE LUKE

NEUDECKER JAMES MARK

GREENBLATT FREDRIC J

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TETRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: HEARING O...)

10/27/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (TETRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE; ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: HEARING O...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS FILED ON BEHA...)

8/14/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS FILED ON BEHA...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (STATUS CONFERENCE RE: MEDIATION AND DISCOVERY) OF 03/10/2020

3/10/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (STATUS CONFERENCE RE: MEDIATION AND DISCOVERY) OF 03/10/2020

Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION RE MOTION ON THE PLEADINGS

3/26/2020: Reply - REPLY TO OPPOSITION RE MOTION ON THE PLEADINGS

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

12/6/2019: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE RE: MEDIATION AND DISCOVERY)

12/10/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (STATUS CONFERENCE RE: MEDIATION AND DISCOVERY)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SERVICE AND SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO RUL...) OF 09/10/2019, TRIAL PREPARATION ORDER

9/10/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SERVICE AND SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO RUL...) OF 09/10/2019, TRIAL PREPARATION ORDER

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SERVICE AND SANCTIONS PURSAUNT TO RUL...)

5/29/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SERVICE AND SANCTIONS PURSAUNT TO RUL...)

Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUED HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

6/3/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUED HEARING ON ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER MINUTE ORDER OF 3/20/2019 FOR DEPARTMENT D)

3/25/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER MINUTE ORDER OF 3/20/2019 FOR DEPARTMENT D)

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

12/21/2017: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

Answer

4/3/2018: Answer

Case Management Statement

4/30/2018: Case Management Statement

Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-21 00:00:00

8/21/2018: Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-21 00:00:00

Minute Order - (Legacy Event Type : Hearing - Other)

10/5/2018: Minute Order - (Legacy Event Type : Hearing - Other)

Request for Judicial Notice -

7/13/2018: Request for Judicial Notice -

Notice -

7/13/2018: Notice -

66 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/25/2021
  • Hearing10/25/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department D at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Jury Trial

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  • 10/14/2021
  • Hearing10/14/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department D at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Final Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/29/2021
  • Hearing09/29/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department D at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Order to Show Cause Re: Mandatory Settlement Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/16/2021
  • Hearing02/16/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department D at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Status Conference

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/11/2020
  • Hearing12/11/2020 at 09:00 AM in Department D at 600 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91206; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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  • 11/17/2020
  • DocketDemurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by ASO, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 11/17/2020
  • DocketDeclaration (of demurring or moving party regarding meet and confer); Filed by ASO, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 10/28/2020
  • DocketNotice (of Errata Regarding First Amended Complaint); Filed by ELVA CASTORENA (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/27/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department D; Trial Setting Conference - Held

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/27/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department D; Order to Show Cause Re: (Hearing on Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Section 581(f)(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure for Failure to Amend Complaint) - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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130 More Docket Entries
  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

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  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

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  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketSummons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketNotice-Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees (ELVA CASTORENA ); Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketOrder-Court Fee Waiver (AS TO: ELVA CASTORENA ); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 12/21/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC067436    Hearing Date: August 14, 2020    Dept: NCD

TENTATIVE RULING

Calendar: 19

Date: 8/14/20

Case No: EC 067436 Trial Date: October 5, 2020

Case Name: Castorena v. Villalobos, et al.

JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

[CCP § 438]

Moving Party: Defendants Alex Nelson, 1st Point Lending, Inc., and ASO, LLC

Responding Party: Plaintiff Elva Castorena

Relief Requested:

Order granting judgment on the pleadings

CAUSES OF ACTION FROM THE (Form) Complaint

1) Breach of Contract

2) Intentional Tort: Fraud

3) Intentional Tort: Financial Elder Abuse

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Plaintiff Elva Castorena alleges that plaintiff entered into a written contract with defendant Pacific Coast Home Solutions, Inc. for significant home remodeling work, and that separate contracts were formed between plaintiff and defendant ASO, LLC and defendant1st Point Lending for a loan to pay for the work. Plaintiff also alleges that a third agreement existed between plaintiff and defendant HERO Program, whereby HERO was to partially subsidize and oversee the performance of the other contracts.

The form complaint alleges that Pacific Coast failed to perform the contracted work in a workmanlike fashion, leaving plaintiff’s house in a state of utter disrepair, and arranged for the home loan with ASO and 1st Point which effectively stripped all the equity from plaintiff’s home and left her in a loan she could not afford, and that HERO failed to oversee the project and protect plaintiff.

Moving defendant Alex Nelson was added to the action by Amendment to Complaint, by which plaintiff substituted Nelson’s name as the true name of Doe 3.

ANALYSIS:

CCP § 438 establishes the procedures for moving for judgment on the pleadings, and provides, in pertinent part:

“(c)(1) The motion provided for in this section may only be made on one of the following

grounds:...

(B) If the moving party is a defendant, that either of the following conditions exist:

(i) The court has no jurisdiction of the subject of the cause of action alleged in the complaint.

(ii) The complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against that defendant.”

Subdivision (d) provides that “The grounds for the motion provided for in this section shall appear on the face of the challenged pleading or from any matter of which the court is required to take judicial notice.”

The motion may be granted with leave to file an amended complaint, or without leave to amend, in which case, judgment may be entered in favor of the moving defendant. CCP § 438 (h).

Defendants ASO, LLC, 1st Point Lending, and Nelson (evidently a principal of 1st Point Lending) (the “Lending Defendants”) argue that the complaint fails to allege any breach of contract pertaining to the alleged contract between plaintiff and the Lending Defendants, fails to allege the terms of that contract, or attach a copy to the pleading, fails to sufficiently allege facts to support a claim that these defendants were involved in a conspiracy to defraud plaintiff, and fails to allege sufficient facts to support a claim of financial elder abuse against the moving defendants.

Plaintiff in opposition does not address the merits of the motion for judgment on the pleadings but concedes that the complaint does not set forth the material terms of the contract or attach the contract as an exhibit to the complaint, fails to plead the fraud cause of action with the requisite specificity, and does not properly state a cause of action for financial elder abuse.

Plaintiff requests leave to amend, indicating that the defects in the causes of action can be cured by plaintiff attaching the operative contracts as exhibits, or fully setting forth the terms, alleging the fraud with particularity, and setting forth more details in support of the elder abuse cause of action.

Defendants in reply object that plaintiff did not agree to amend the pleading during detailed meet and confer discussions, during which these same arguments were raised, but plaintiff insisted the pleading was sufficient. Defendants request that the court grant the motion without leave to amend.

This outcome would be a particularly harsh result, which would not be warranted here, particularly as this is the original pleading. As pointed out in the opposition, in the case of an original complaint, leave to amend must be granted unless the complaint on its face appears incapable of amendment:

“Where a demurrer is sustained or a motion for judgment on the pleadings is granted as to the original complaint, denial of leave to amend constitutes an abuse of discretion if the pleading does not show on its face that it is incapable of amendment.”

Virginia G. v. ABC Unified School District (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1848, 1852.

Here, the complaint does not appear incapable of amendment, and the opposition

explains how the defects can be cured, which are primarily defects of lack of detail. Leave to amend is accordingly granted.

The opposition also requests that if the court grants leave to amend, such leave include permission to add causes of action for Unfair Business Practices, IIED, Civil Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and Civil Conspiracy to Commit Elder Abuse.

This request is denied, and if plaintiff wants to add such causes of action, plaintiff must bring a noticed motion which fully complies with the statutory requirements for such a motion. The court also points out that conspiracy is ordinarily not a stand-alone cause of action, and plaintiff would be within the scope of permitted leave to amend if plaintiff chooses to include conspiracy allegations in the existing fraud and elder abuse claims.

Under CCP section 438 (h)(2), the court must grant 30 days leave to amend: “Where a motion is granted pursuant to this section with leave to file an amended complaint or answer, as the case may be, then the court shall grant 30 days to the party against whom the motion was granted to file an amended complaint or answer, as the case may be.”

RULING:

Defendants Alex Nelson, ASO, LLC and First Point Lending, Inc.’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND at the concession of plaintiff in the opposition that the motion is meritorious, and for the reasons stated in the moving papers.

Thirty days leave to amend to amend the existing causes of action only, if possible.

CCP § 438 (h)(2).

Request for leave to allege additional causes of action is DENIED. Plaintiff may bring a noticed motion for leave to make such amendments, if appropriate. The court notes that conspiracy is ordinarily not a stand-alone cause of action, so that plaintiff is permitted to amend the existing causes of action to include conspiracy allegations, if appropriate. The court further notes that on amendment, plaintiff must plead the fraud and financial elder abuse causes of action with the requisite particularity as to each moving defendant.

GIVEN THE RECENT CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, UNTIL FURTHER ORDERED, DEPARTMENT D WILL ALLOW APPEARANCES ONLY BY COURTCALL.

Please make such arrangements in advance if you wish to appear via CourtCall at (888) 882-6878 (or www.courtcall.com). Counsel and parties (including self-represented litigants) are not to personally appear, absent a compelling emergency reason. If none of the litigants on a matter set up a CourtCall appearance, then the Court will assume the parties are submitting on the tentative.