On 04/19/2018 JASON THEIS filed a Property - Other Eviction lawsuit against 157TH R E MANAGEMENT, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Compton Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MAURICE A. LEITER. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.
Disposed - Judgment Entered
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Los Angeles, California
MAURICE A. LEITER
157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT LLC
LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT
STEPHEN B. GOLDBERG
GOLDBERG STEPHEN B.
GOLDBERG STEPHEN B
D'ANDREA MICHAEL A JR
9/4/2020: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS', I 57TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC AND LAURENCE ZWIRN, REPLY SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED MATERIAL FACTS IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERN
6/15/2020: Substitution of Attorney
6/26/2020: Motion for Summary Judgment
12/6/2019: Order - ORDER PROPOSED ORDER GRANTING EX PARTE APPLICATION
11/26/2018: Case Management Statement
4/19/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet
5/30/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Declaration
6/26/2018: Request for Judicial Notice
7/2/2018: Request for Judicial Notice
8/2/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Reply
9/18/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Notice
10/9/2018: Request for Judicial Notice -
9/18/2018: Notice -
9/18/2018: Case Management Statement -
9/26/2018: Minute Order -
9/4/2018: Amended Complaint -
8/2/2018: Reply -
7/2/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities -
Docketat 09:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice (OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT); Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:30 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and VacatedRead MoreRead Less
DocketJudgment (- Summary Judgment - Before Trial - 09/10/2020 entered for Defendant 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC; Defendant LAURENCE ZWIRN against Plaintiff JASON THEIS; Plaintiff JESSICA THEIS.); Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder (RE DEFENDANTS?, 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC AND LAURENCE ZWIRN, MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, SUMMARY ADJUDICATION); Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:00 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Case Management Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:00 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal (for Failure to Prosecute) - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Docketat 09:00 AM in Department A, Maurice A. Leiter, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment - Held - Motion GrantedRead MoreRead Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([Notice of Rejection of Electronic Filing]); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketRequest for Judicial NoticeRead MoreRead Less
DocketMotion to Strike; Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDemurrer; Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDeclaration; Filed by 157TH R.E. MANAGEMENT, LLC (Defendant); LAURENCE ZWIRN (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by JASON THEIS (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketSummons; Filed by nullRead MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by JASON THEIS (Plaintiff); JESSICA THEIS (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by JASON THEIS (Plaintiff); JESSICA THEIS (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: TC029126 Hearing Date: September 10, 2020 Dept: A
# 6. Jason Theis, et al. v. 157th R.E. Management, LLC, et al.
Case No.: TC029126
Matter on calendar for: motion for summary judgment
This dispute arises form a commercial lease agreement between plaintiffs Jason Theis and Jessica Theis, and defendants 157th R.E. Management, LLC and Laurence Zwirn. Zwirn is the managing member of R.E. Management and became the acting property manager for the commercial property at issue.
Plaintiffs allege the following causes of action in the First Amended Complaint (“FAC”):
Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Relations.
Defendants now move for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication. Plaintiffs oppose the motion.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.
A “motion for summary judgment shall be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” (C.C.P., § 437c(c).) "A moving party need only show it is entitled to the benefit of a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence in order to shift the burden of proof to the opposing party to show there are triable issues of fact. [Security Pac. Nat. Bank v. Associated Motor Sales (1980) 106 Cal.App.3d 171, 178–179.]" (Alvarez v. Seaside Transportation Services LLC (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 635, 644.) Once the moving party has met its burden of demonstrating that there is no triable issue as to any material fact, the opposing party cannot rest upon the mere allegations of the pleadings but must present admissible evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Company (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 844.) “In ruling on the motion, the court must consider all of the evidence and all of the inferences reasonably drawn therefrom… and must view such evidence… in the light most favorable to the opposing party.” (Id. at 844-845; C.C.P., § 437c(p)(2).) “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (C.C.P., § 437c(f)(1).)
Request for judicial notice and evidentiary objections
Defendants request judicial notice of the documents filed in the underlying unlawful detainer action (17F01713), of documents filed in the instant action, and of Himco National’s 2017 contractor’s license from the State of California Contractors State License Board. These requests are granted. (Evid. Code, § 452(c), (d), (h).)
“In granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the court need rule only on those objections to evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the motion. Objections to evidence that are not ruled on for purposes of the motion shall be preserved for appellate review.” (C.C.P., § 437c(q).) Defendants’ objections 1–19 to the declaration of Jessica Theis are sustained. Defendants’ objections to plaintiffs’ exhibits also are sustained as the exhibits have not been properly authenticated.
“There is no such thing as a cause of action for unlawful or malicious eviction of a tenant. Where the eviction arises from the wrongful use of judicial processes the cause of action is one for malicious prosecution. [Citation.]” (Gause v. McClelland (1951) 102 Cal.App.2d 762, 764.) “To sustain a cause of action for malicious prosecution, one of the essential elements is a finding of fact that there was a want of probable cause. [Citation.]” (Ibid.) Absent proof of fraud, the judgment in the unlawful detainer “gives rise to a conclusive presumption of probable cause for the institution of the unlawful detainer action. [Citation.]” (Id. at 764–765.)
Defendants provide the following evidence:
Documents from the underlying unlawful detainer action including:
The Summons and Complaint
Request for Default Judgment
Default Judgment; and
Writ of Possession. (Decl. Nathan, Exhs. E–I.)
The declaration of Laurence Zwirn wherein he declares plaintiffs were evicted for making alterations to the property. (Decl. Zwirn, ¶ 4, Decl. Nathan, Exh. D.)
Defendants’ evidence shows that they are entitled to the conclusive presumption of probable cause, meaning plaintiffs cannot prove their wrongful eviction cause of action. The burden then shifts to plaintiffs to show a triable issue of material fact.
Plaintiffs’ evidence fails to meet their burden. First, the Court has sustained defendants’ objections to plaintiffs’ evidence because Jessica Theis’s declaration is conclusory and the attached exhibits are not authenticated. Second, even if the exhibits were considered, they fail to raise a triable issue of material fact as to wrongful eviction. The supplied emails show a contentious relationship, but do not provide any material evidence as to the underlying facts; i.e., that defendants used fraud to obtain the unlawful detainer judgment.
Plaintiffs have failed to show a triable issue of material fact as to wrongful eviction.
“The tort of defamation ‘involves (a) a publication that is (b) false, (c) defamatory, and (d) unprivileged, and that (e) has a natural tendency to injure or that causes special damage.’ [Citation.]” (Taus v. Loftus (2007) 40 Cal.4th 683, 720.)
Plaintiffs allege that defendants, via Zwirn, made various statements to the Fire Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, insurance companies, neighbors, and clients. Defendants proffer the declaration of Zwirn wherein he denies he made any false, unprivileged statements to any third parties. (Decl. Zwirn, ¶¶ 10–16.)
This meets defendants’ prima facie burden of showing no triable issue of material fact. The burden shifts to plaintiffs.
Jessica Theis’s declaration is insufficient to prove statements were made because she lacks personal knowledge of any such statements. The attached exhibits do not reveal any statements made by defendants. Plaintiffs have failed to show a triable issue of material fact as to the defamation cause of action.
Intentional interference with prospective economic relations
The elements of this cause of action are: (1) an economic relationship between the Plaintiff and a third party, (2) the probability of future economic benefit to the plaintiff, (3) defendant’s knowledge of the relationship, (4) defendant’s intentional acts designed to disrupt the relationship, (5) defendant engaged in an independently wrongful act in disrupting the relationship beyond just inducing disruption of economic advantage, (6) actual disruption of the relationship, and (7) economic harm to the Plaintiff caused by the acts. (Overstock.com, Inc. v. Gradient Analytics, Inc. (2007) 101 Cal.App.4th 688, 713.)
Plaintiffs allege defendants wrongfully harassed, evicted, defamed, and made false reports to the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments. (FAC, ¶ 48.) Defendants argue, citing the evidence listed above, that no such wrongful conduct took place. Further, Zwirn declares that he had no knowledge of any economic relationship between plaintiffs and a third party. (Decl. Zwirn, ¶ 16.) This evidence shows no independent wrongful act occurred.
Defendants’ proffered evidence meets their prima facie burden of showing no triable issue of material fact. The burden shifts to plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs’ evidence is once again deficient. It fails to identify any third-party economic relationship or any statements or conduct by defendants affecting that relationship. Plaintiffs have failed to show a triable issue of material fact.
Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
The motion for summary judgment is granted.