This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/09/2019 at 01:35:22 (UTC).

GREGORY WARD VS ISABEL M. COATS

Case Summary

On 01/25/2018 GREGORY WARD filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ISABEL M COATS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Pomona Courthouse South located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DUKES, ROBERT A. and PETER A. HERNANDEZ. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****9975

  • Filing Date:

    01/25/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DUKES, ROBERT A.

PETER A. HERNANDEZ

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

WARD GREGORY

POHL WILLIAM N.

Defendant

COATS ISABEL M.

Not Classified By Court and Cross Plaintiff

NEWMAN ISABELLE COATS

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

POHL WILLIAM N.

Defendant Attorney

CRIPE GARY E.

Cross Plaintiff Attorney

CRIPE GARY EUGENE

 

Court Documents

Motion to Compel

9/14/2009: Motion to Compel

Opposition

1/25/2018: Opposition

Stipulation - No Order

1/25/2018: Stipulation - No Order

Minute Order

1/25/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

1/25/2018: Minute Order

Case Management Statement

1/25/2018: Case Management Statement

Reply

1/25/2018: Reply

Complaint

1/25/2018: Complaint

Cross-Complaint

1/25/2018: Cross-Complaint

Summons

1/25/2018: Summons

Civil Case Cover Sheet

1/25/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

Notice

1/25/2018: Notice

Notice

1/25/2018: Notice

Notice of Motion

1/25/2018: Notice of Motion

Notice of Motion

1/25/2018: Notice of Motion

Notice of Ruling

1/25/2018: Notice of Ruling

Proof of Personal Service

1/25/2018: Proof of Personal Service

Answer

1/25/2018: Answer

76 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/29/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 01/16/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 01/10/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Ex-Parte Proceedings (EXPARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL BASE ON THE STIPULATION OF ATTORNEYS FOR ALL PARTIES; SUPPORTING DECLARATION OF GARY E CRIPE; SUPPORTING DECLARATION OF WILLIAM N. POHL; DECLARATION REEX PARTE NOTICE) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 01/10/2019
  • Order ([PROPOSED] ORDER); Filed by ISABEL M. COATS (Defendant)

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  • 01/10/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Ex-Parte Proceedings EXPARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER CONTINUING...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/09/2019
  • Ex Parte Application (EXPARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER CONTINUING TRIAL BASE ON THE STIPULATION OF ATTORNEYS FOR ALL PARTIES; SUPPORTING DECLARATION OF GARY E CRIPE; SUPPORTING DECLARATION OF WILLIAM N. POHL; DECLARATION RE: EX PARTE NOTICE); Filed by ISABEL M. COATS (Defendant)

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  • 01/09/2019
  • Declaration (DECLARATION OF MARTHA TREJO OF EX PARTE NOTICE); Filed by ISABEL M. COATS (Defendant)

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  • 12/20/2018
  • Summons (on Cross Complaint); Filed by Clerk

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  • 11/28/2018
  • at 11:30 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Ruling on Submitted Matter

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  • 11/28/2018
  • at 08:31 AM in Department O, Peter A. Hernandez, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses - Held - Taken under Submission

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113 More Docket Entries
  • 01/25/2018
  • Proof of Service by Mail; Filed by ISABEL M. COATS (Defendant)

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Notice of Motion (and Motion to Quash Service of Process on Non-Defendant, Non-Party Isabelle Coats Newman); Filed by ISABEL M. COATS (Defendant)

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Notice (of Case Management Conference); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Summons (on Complaint); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by GREGORY WARD (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Minute Order (Hearing date of 12/04/2017 in Merced County); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Minute Order (Hearing date of 11/28/2017 in Merced County); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/25/2018
  • Papers and Documents on Transfer (FROM MERCED COUNTY ); Filed by Court

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  • 02/23/2015
  • Statement-Case Management; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 09/14/2009
  • Motion to Compel

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: KC069975    Hearing Date: July 09, 2020    Dept: O

Defendant Isabel M. Coats’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

Plaintiff Gregory Ward (“Plaintiff”) filed a single-count breach of contract complaint against Isabel Coats (“Defendant”) in Merced County on June 29, 2017 and the mattered was transferred to the Los Angeles County Superior Court on January 25, 2018.  On July 9, 2019 (refiled July 11, 2019 with Table of Contents and Authorities), Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment.  Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion on September 17, 2019 without a separate statement, and Defendant filed her reply on March 4, 2020. 

As an initial matter, Defendant’s objections to Plaintiff’s declaration as set forth in the March 4, 2020 filing are SUSTAINED. 

A defendant moving for summary judgment/adjudication has met his burden of showing a cause of action has no merit if the defendant can show one or more elements of the plaintiff’s cause of action cannot be established.  (CCP § 437c(p)(2).)  “A defendant can satisfy its burden by presenting evidence that negates an element of the cause of action or evidence that the plaintiff does not possess and cannot reasonably expect to obtain evidence needed to support an element of the cause of action.”  (Superior Dispatch, Inc. v. Insurance Corp. of New York (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 175, 186.)  Once the defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action.  (CCP § 437c(p)(2).)  The court must liberally construe evidence in support of the party opposing summary judgment and resolve all doubts concerning the evidence in favor of that party. (Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc. (2006) 39 Cal.4th 384, 389.)

California Rules of Court, rule 3.1350(e) states:

Except as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 437c(r) and rule 3.1351, the opposition to a motion must consist of the following documents, separately stapled and titled as shown: (1) [Opposing party's]  memorandum in opposition to [moving party's] motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication or both;  (2) [Opposing party's]  separate statement of undisputed material facts in opposition to [moving party's] motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication or both; (3) [Opposing party's]  evidence in opposition to [moving party's] motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication or both (if appropriate); and (4) [Opposing party's]  request for judicial notice in opposition to [moving party's] motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication or both (if appropriate). 

(CRC 3.150, subd. (e), emphasis added.)

The Separate Statement in Opposition to Motion must be in the two-column format specified in California Rule of Court 3.1350, subdivision (h).  (CRC 3.1350(f).) 

Rule 3.1350(f) further requires: 

On the right side of the page, directly opposite the recitation of the moving party's statement of material facts and supporting evidence, the response must unequivocally state whether that fact is "disputed" or "undisputed." An opposing party who contends that a fact is disputed must state, on the right side of the page directly opposite the fact in dispute, the nature of the dispute and describe the evidence that supports the position that the fact is controverted. Citation to the evidence in support of the position that a fact is controverted must include reference to the exhibit, title, page, and line numbers.

(CRC 3.1350(f)(2).)

If the opposing party contends that additional material facts are pertinent to the disposition of the motion, those facts must be set forth in the separate statement. The separate statement should include only material facts and not any facts that are not pertinent to the disposition of the motion. Each fact must be followed by the evidence that establishes the fact. Citation to the evidence in support of each material fact must include reference to the exhibit, title, page, and line numbers.

(CRC 3.1350(3).) 

Code of Civil Procedure section 437c also states this requirement and gives the court authority to grant a motion for summary judgment for failing to comply with this requirement:

The opposition papers shall include a separate statement that responds to each of the material facts contended by the moving party to be undisputed, indicating if the opposing party agrees or disagrees that those facts are undisputed. The statement also shall set forth plainly and concisely any other material facts the opposing party contends are disputed. Each material fact contended by the opposing party to be disputed shall be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence. Failure to comply with this requirement of a separate statement may constitute a sufficient ground, in the court's discretion, for granting the motion.

(CCP § 437c, subd. (b)(3).)

Initially, Plaintiff’s Opposition papers failed to comply with these requirements under CRC and CCP.  Without a separate statement of undisputed facts with references to supporting evidence, it is impossible to demonstrate the existence of disputed facts.  (Lewis v. County of Sacramento (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 107, 115.  However, after the Court continued the hearing to July 9, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Plaintiff filed his separate statement on April 10, 2020.  Thus, the Court will address the merits of the motion. 

Merits

Even viewing Plaintiff’s Opposition in the most favorable light, Plaintiff has not demonstrated that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the causes of action in the Complaint.  Plaintiff’s opposition is incomprehensible and merely attempts to attack Defendant’s facts by referencing the Complaint.  This is not in accordance with the standard set forth under CCP § 437c.  (See Frank and Freedus v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 461, 475-76 (“a mere assertion in a complaint that such evidence exists is not sufficient to raise a material issue of fact meriting a trial”).) 

To prevail on a cause of action for breach of contract, plaintiff must establish the following elements: (1) Existence of a contract; (2) Plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance; (3) Defendant’s breach (or anticipatory breach); and (4) resulting damage to plaintiff.  (Hale v. Sharp Healthcare (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 1373, 1387.) 

Defendant has attempted to meet her burden under section 437c by presenting facts showing that Defendant did not breach any obligation to Plaintiff.  Defendant shows facts from Plaintiff’s response to Defendant’s Form Interrogatory that he never made a claim nor provided any facts regarding the Defendant’s obligation to pay the loan nor any breach of such obligation.  (Undisputed DSS 8-9.)  Relatedly, Defendant also shows facts that Plaintiff stated the time/event for the performance of the contract (i.e. repayment on the loan) had not yet occurred because Defendant’s “estate” has not been settled, which was a condition of the agreement.  (Undisputed DSS 10-12.)   Furthermore, Plaintiff cannot show any damages because the credit amounts are larger than the principal amount of unpaid expenses claimed by Plaintiff.  (Undisputed DSS 12.)  Thus, Defendant has met her burden to show that Plaintiff is unable to show that Defendant breached any duty to Plaintiff, and the burden shifts to Plaintiff to show a dispute of fact under section 437c.[1]

Plaintiff failed to meet this burden.  Plaintiff asserts that the doctrine of anticipatory breach applies and therefore there is a dispute of fact.  Plaintiff contends Ms. Newman, the power of attorney for Defendant, stated that she would not honor the agreement.  (Ward Decl., ¶ 8.)  However, Plaintiff shows no facts indicating that Ms. Newman took any acts in furtherance of this alleged statement.  The Court’s review of Plaintiff’s Separate Statement, filed belatedly on April 10, 2020, does not provide clear statements that Plaintiff disputes or does not dispute the statement of facts proffered by Defendant.  Generally, Plaintiff asserts unsubstantiated arguments inappropriate for the Court to consider in his Separate Statement and this is wholly inadequate to meet his burden.  Moreover, the Court has sustained objections to the evidence Plaintiff provides in is declaration.   

Thus, summary judgment is GRANTED.  Defendant’s counsel is to lodge a proposed Judgment within 30 days.


[1] It should be noted that Defendant also discusses her 8th Affirmative Defense regarding statute of limitations, but the Court need not consider that here given Plaintiff’s blatant failure to meet the standard under section 437c to show a dispute of fact.

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