This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 12/08/2019 at 16:16:12 (UTC).

JOHN LEE VS JP MORGAN CHASE BANK NA ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/11/2018 JOHN LEE filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against JP MORGAN CHASE BANK NA. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Torrance Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MARC D. GROSS, WILLIAM FAHEY, WILLIAM F. FAHEY, STUART M. RICE and DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5825

  • Filing Date:

    05/11/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Torrance Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MARC D. GROSS

WILLIAM FAHEY

WILLIAM F. FAHEY

STUART M. RICE

DEIRDRE HILL

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Cross Defendants

LEE JOHN AS TRUSTEE OF THE 3432 PALO

Los Angeles, CA 90005

LEE JOHN

RYU JAMES AKA HUKI RYU

Defendants, Respondents and Not Yet Classified

PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST

DOES 1-20

MTC

QUALITY LOAN SERVICES CORP.

TRUSTEE CORP

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK NA

DAVID A. SPECTOR (CEO) DOE1

PENNYMAC HOLDINGS LLC. DOE2

PENNY MAC CORP DOE3

MTC FINANCIAL INC. DBA TRUSTEE CORPS

DAVID A. SPECTOR CEO DOE1

ALAGRIA ERIC

QUALITY LOAN SERVICES CORP. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

PENNYMAC MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST HOLDINGS 1 LLC

PENNYMAC HOLDINGS LLC A DELAWARE CORPORATION

TRUSTEE CORPS AKA MTC FINANCIAL INC A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

PENNYMAC HOLDINGS LLC. DOE2

ALAGRIA ERIC

Other

MCCARTHY & HOLTHUS LLP

18 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

FICKEL ASHLEY R. ESQ.

GOULDING DANIEL J. ESQ.

Attorney at Quality Loan Service Corporation

2763 Camino Del Rio South

San Diego,, CA 92108

COUTTS MELISSA ROBBINS ESQ.

REYNOLDS RICHARD J. ESQ.

BUBMAN MICHAEL E. ESQ.

COUTTS MELISSA ROBBINS

Attorney at McCarthy & Holthus LLP

1770 Fourth Avenue

San Diego, CA 92101

BUBMAN MICHAEL ELLIOT

Attorney at Mirman, Bubman & Nahmias, LLP

21860 Burbank Blvd., Suite 360

Woodland Hills, CA 91367

REYNOLDS RICHARD JOSEPH

Attorney at Burke, Williams & Sorensen

1851 E 1St St Suite 1550

Santa Ana, CA 92705-4067

FICKEL ASHLEY RICHARD

Attorney at Dykema Gossett LLP

333 South Grand Avenue, Suite 2100

Los Angeles, CA 90071

LEARNED MATTHEW BRYAN

1770 4Th Ave

San Diego, CA 92101

HYATT ROBERT AARON

WILLENS DOUGLAS DAMON

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

BUBMAN MICHAEL ELLIOT

Attorney at Mirman, Bubman & Nahmias, LLP

21860 Burbank Blvd., Suite 360

Woodland Hills, CA 91367

WILLENS DOUGLAS DAMON

 

Court Documents

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE OF JP MORGAN C...) OF 11/20/2019

11/20/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE OF JP MORGAN C...) OF 11/20/2019

Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

11/15/2019: Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

Answer - Answer To Cross-Complaint

1/25/2019: Answer - Answer To Cross-Complaint

NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT

8/17/2018: NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S NON-OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT

DECLARATION OF MICHAEL BUBMAN IN SUPPORT OF PENNYMAC'S MOTION FOR AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE PURSUANT TO CA GOVT. CODE ? 68636 (B) REGARI)ING PLAINTIFF'S ENTITLEMENT TO A FEE WAIVER

9/20/2018: DECLARATION OF MICHAEL BUBMAN IN SUPPORT OF PENNYMAC'S MOTION FOR AN ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE PURSUANT TO CA GOVT. CODE ? 68636 (B) REGARI)ING PLAINTIFF'S ENTITLEMENT TO A FEE WAIVER

Proof of Service - AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING RE: QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORPORATION'S DEMURRER

9/21/2018: Proof of Service - AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING RE: QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORPORATION'S DEMURRER

Certificate of Mailing for - Minute Order (Court Order) of 09/20/2018

9/20/2018: Certificate of Mailing for - Minute Order (Court Order) of 09/20/2018

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for [Minute Order (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)]

12/7/2018: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for [Minute Order (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)]

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information -

10/2/2018: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information -

Declaration - Of Rafael R. Garcia-Salgado in Support of Defendant MTC Financial Inc dba Trustee Corps'

10/5/2018: Declaration - Of Rafael R. Garcia-Salgado in Support of Defendant MTC Financial Inc dba Trustee Corps'

ORDER TRANSFERRING PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT

8/27/2018: ORDER TRANSFERRING PERSONAL INJURY (PI) CASE TO INDEPENDENT CALENDAR (IC) COURT

Minute Order -

8/27/2018: Minute Order -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

6/13/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

FIRST ANDED COMPLAINT

7/3/2018: FIRST ANDED COMPLAINT

Proof of Service -

6/18/2018: Proof of Service -

CIVIL DEPOSIT -

6/18/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT -

NOTICE OF QUALITY'S DECLARATION OF NON-MONETARY STATUS

6/18/2018: NOTICE OF QUALITY'S DECLARATION OF NON-MONETARY STATUS

VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR 1)CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD; ETC

5/11/2018: VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR 1)CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD; ETC

110 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/25/2020
  • Hearing02/25/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion for Reconsideration

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  • 01/31/2020
  • Hearing01/31/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer

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  • 01/31/2020
  • Hearing01/31/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Case Management Conference

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  • 01/31/2020
  • Hearing01/31/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Order to Show Cause Re: proof of service and responsive pleading as to all non-appearing defendants (19TRCV18438)

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  • 12/13/2019
  • Hearing12/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Status Conference

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  • 12/13/2019
  • Hearing12/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Department B at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503; Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketDefendant's Notice of Motion, Application for Reconsideration of Court Ruling and Set Aside Ruling of 11/21/19; Filed by John Lee (Plaintiff); James Ryu (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/05/2019
  • DocketAttachment (to Answer of X-Defendants: Verification on First Amended Answer to X-Complaint of Eric Alagria); Filed by James Ryu (Cross-Defendant); John Lee (Cross-Defendant)

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  • 12/03/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department B; Non-Jury Trial (2 (two) day estimate) - Not Held - Advanced and Vacated

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  • 11/26/2019
  • DocketDefendants/Cross-Complainants Eric Alegria and Christine Alegria?s Opposition to Cross-Defendants? Motion for Judgment on Pleading; Filed by Christina Alegria and her Family Trust (Defendant); Eric Alagria (Defendant)

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205 More Docket Entries
  • 05/18/2018
  • DocketAMENDMENT TO COMPLAINT

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  • 05/18/2018
  • DocketAmendment to Complaint; Filed by Lee, John as Trustee of The 3432 Palo (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR 1)CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD; ETC

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by John Lee (Plaintiff); Lee, John as Trustee of The 3432 Palo (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketComplaint (from Consolidated case 19STCV18438); Filed by James Ryu (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC705825    Hearing Date: December 13, 2019    Dept: SWB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

JOHN LEE AS TRUSTEE OF THE 3432 PALO VISTA DRIVE TRUST,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

BC705825

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK NA, et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: December 13, 2019

Moving Parties: Cross-defendants John Lee as trustee of the 3432 Palo Vista Drive Trust and James Ryu

Responding Party: Defendants and cross-complainants Eric Alegria and Christine Alegria, ind. and as co-trustees of the Alegria Family Trust dated 8/30/12

Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

The court considered the moving and opposition papers.

RULING

The motion DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On May 11, 2018, plaintiff John Lee as trustee of the 3432 Palo Vista Drive Trust (self-represented) filed a complaint against JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Quality Loan Services Corp., Pennymac Mortgage Investment Trust Holdings I LLC, and MTC aka Trustee Corp. for (1) conspiracy to defraud, (2) cancellation of instrument, and (3) cancellation of instrument.

On July 3, 2018, plaintiff filed a FAC.

On December 13, 2018, Pennymac Holdings, LLC filed a cross-complaint against Lee for abuse of process and preliminary and permanent injunction.

On March 14, 2019, this case was deemed related to BC573999, BC592418, BC705825, and 18STCV09145.

On October 15, 2019, defendants Eric Alegria and Christine Alegria, ind. and as co-trustees of the Alegria Family Trust dated 8/30/2012 filed a cross-complaint against James Ryu and John Lee for quiet title and declaratory relief.

On November 20/2019, the court sustained without leave to amend defendants’ demurrers in related and consolidated case 19STCV18438.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

CCP § 438 states, in relevant part: “(b)(1) A party may move for judgment on the pleadings. . . . (c)(1) The motion provided for in this section may only be made on one of the following grounds: (A) If the moving party is a plaintiff, that the complaint states facts sufficient to constitute a cause or causes of action against the defendant and the answer does not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense to the complaint. (B) If the moving party is a defendant, that either of the following conditions exist: . . . . (ii) The complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against that defendant.”

A motion for judgment on the pleadings “has the purpose and effect of a general demurrer.” Smiley v. Citibank (s.D.), N.A. (1995) 11 Cal. 4th 138, 146 (citation omitted). “[T]he trial court generally confines itself to the complaint and accepts as true all material facts alleged therein. As appropriate, however, it may extend its consideration to matters that are subject to judicial notice. In this, it performs essentially the same task that it would undertake in ruling on a general demurrer.” Id. (citations omitted).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiffs and cross-defendants John Lee and James Ryu assert that “there is no triable issue of the action.”

The motion is largely unintelligible. The caption refers to a motion for judgment on the pleadings but moving parties do not cite to CCP §438 or refer to what pleading they are seeking judgment on the pleadings. Moving parties submit “evidence” which is improper on a motion for judgment on the pleadings. They did not request judicial notice of any of the attachments to the motion. The court has already deemed plaintiff Lee’s claims barred by the statute of limitations. See November 20, 2019 ruling sustaining without leave to amend the Alegrias’ demurrer to the complaint in 19STCV18438, which mirrors the allegations in the herein case. If Lee and Ryu are bringing the motion as to the Alegrias’ cross-complaint, they have not met their burden of showing that the cross-complaint does not state facts sufficient to constitute causes of action for quiet title or declaratory relief.

The motion is DENIED.

Cross-complainants Alegria are ordered to give notice of this ruling.

Case Number: BC705825    Hearing Date: November 20, 2019    Dept: SWB

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

JOHN LEE,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

BC705825

r/t and c/w 19STCV18438

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK N.A., et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: November 20, 2019

Moving Parties: Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Responding Party: Plaintiff

Demurrer to Complaint

The court considered the moving papers.

RULING

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

BACKGROUND

On May 29, 2019, in 19STCV18438, plaintiff James Ryu, aka Huki Ryu, (self-represented) filed a complaint against JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, Quality Loan Services Corp., Trustee Corps. Aka MTC Financial Inc, Pennymac Mortgage Investment, Rochellie Matkin, Eric Alagria and Christina Alegria “and her family trust” and others for (1) wrongful foreclosure, (2) mortgage fraud, (3) quiet title and possession of property, and (4) declaratory relief.

This lawsuit is the ninth one filed by, or on behalf of, vexatious litigant John Lee regarding the property at 3432 Palo Vista, Palos Verdes, CA. Plaintiff James Ryu is a grantee of John Lee. This case is related to YC069345, which was dismissed with prejudice on December 14, 2018.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228. “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905. “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

DISCUSSION

Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) demurs to the 1st cause of action for wrongful discharge, 2nd cause of action for mortgage fraud, 3rd cause of action for quiet title, and 4th cause of action for declaratory relief on the grounds that they fail to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and are uncertain.

The complaint alleges that on January 1, 2008, Glenn Song defaulted on the loan secured by the Deed of Trust, and Washington Mutual Bank (“WAMU”) caused a notice of default to be recorded. On August 3, 2008, a notice of trustee’s sale was recorded with a sale date of December 1, 2008. On September 25, 2008, Chase and FDIC, as receiver for WAMU, entered into a purchase and assumption agreement whereby Chase acquired assets of WAMU, including the DOT. On December 2, 2008, a trustee’s deed upon sale issued to Chase, and was later recorded. On September 13, 2013, Chase assigned the deed of trust to PennyMac. On January 5, 2017, defendant Pennymac sold the property to Eric Alagria and Christiana Alegreia and her family trust.

Defendant argues that the complaint is time barred as to Chase. The latest alleged action by Chase is that Chase assigned the deed of trust to PennyMac on September 13, 2013. There is no allegation that Chase had any interest in the property subsequent to September 13, 2013. The complaint was filed on May 29, 2019, more than five years after Chase assigned its interest.

The statute of limitations for wrongful foreclosure and fraud is three years. Civil Code §338. “The duration of the limitations period applicable to a declaratory relief action is determined by the nature of the underlying obligation sought to be adjudicated. ‘Thus, a declaratory judgment action . . . to enforce a statutory liability must be brought within the same three-year period after accrual of the cause of action . . . as an action for damages or injunction on the same liability.’ An action for declaratory relief may be brought before a cause of action on the underlying obligation is breached, but in no event lager than the applicable time period following the breach.” Snyder v. California Ins. Guarantee Assn. (2014) 229 Cal. App. 4th 1196, 1208 (citation omitted). As for quiet title, Chase is asserting no present interest in the property. Further, based on the allegation that on December 2, 2008, a trustee’s deed upon sale issued to Chase and was later recorded, any claim for quiet title as to Chase is time barred.

The court finds that each of the causes of action is time barred as to defendant Chase.

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Defendant Chase is ordered to give notice of the ruling.

*********************************************

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. B

JOHN LEE,

Plaintiff,

Case No.:

BC705825

r/t and c/w 19STCV18438

vs.

[Tentative] RULING

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK N.A., et al.,

Defendants.

Hearing Date: November 20, 2019

Moving Parties: Defendants Eric Alegria and Christine Alegria, ind. and as co-trustees of the Alegria Family Trust dated 8/30/2012

Responding Party: None

(1) Demurrer to Complaint

(2) Motion to Strike the Complaint

The court considered the moving papers.

RULING

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND. The motion to strike is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

BACKGROUND

On May 29, 2019, in 19STCV18438, plaintiff James Ryu, aka Huki Ryu, (self-represented) filed a complaint against JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, Quality Loan Services Corp., Trustee Corps. Aka MTC Financial Inc, Pennymac Mortgage Investment, Rochellie Matkin, Eric Alagria and Christina Alegria “and her family trust” and others for (1) wrongful foreclosure, (2) mortgage fraud, (3) quiet title and possession of property, and (4) declaratory relief.

This lawsuit is the ninth one filed by, or on behalf of, vexatious litigant John Lee regarding the property at 3432 Palo Vista, Palos Verdes, CA. Plaintiff James Ryu is a grantee of John Lee. This case is related to YC069345, which was dismissed with prejudice on December 14, 2018.

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context. Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228. “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.” SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905. “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.” Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

The court may, upon a motion, or at any time in its discretion, and upon terms it deems proper, strike any irrelevant, false, or improper matter inserted in any pleading. CCP § 436(a). The court may also strike all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule, or an order of the court. CCP § 436(b). The grounds for a motion to strike are that the pleading has irrelevant, false or improper matter, or has not been drawn or filed in conformity with laws. CCP § 436. The grounds for moving to strike must appear on the face of the pleading or by way of judicial notice. CCP § 437.

DISCUSSION

Demurrer

Defendants Eric Alegria and Christine Alegria, ind. and as co-trustees of the Alegria Family Trust dated 8/30/2012 (“Alegria”) demur to the 1st cause of action for wrongful discharge, 2nd cause of action for mortgage fraud, 3rd cause of action for quiet title, and 4th cause of action for declaratory relief on the grounds that they fail to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action and are uncertain. Defendants contend that the causes of action are barred by the statute of limitations.

The complaint alleges that on January 1, 2008, Glenn Song defaulted on the loan secured by the Deed of Trust, and Washington Mutual Bank (“WAMU”) caused a notice of default to be recorded. On August 3, 2008, a notice of trustee’s sale was recorded with a sale date of December 1, 2008. On September 25, 2008, Chase and FDIC, as receiver for WAMU, entered into a purchase and assumption agreement whereby Chase acquired assets of WAMU, including the DOT. On December 2, 2008, a trustee’s deed upon sale issued to Chase, and was later recorded. At some time prior to September 13, 2013, Chase assigned its interest in the property to PennyMac.

As argued by defendants, the gravamen of the each of the causes of action is that a non-judicial foreclosure and trustee sale more than ten years ago was improper, should be cancelled, or was the product of some wrongdoing. The statute of limitations for wrongful foreclosure and fraud is three years. Civil Code §338. “The duration of the limitations period applicable to a declaratory relief action is determined by the nature of the underlying obligation sought to be adjudicated. ‘Thus, a declaratory judgment action . . . to enforce a statutory liability must be brought within the same three-year period after accrual of the cause of action . . . as an action for damages or injunction on the same liability.’ An action for declaratory relief may be brought before a cause of action on the underlying obligation is breached, but in no event lager than the applicable time period following the breach.” Snyder v. California Ins. Guarantee Assn. (2014) 229 Cal. App. 4th 1196, 1208 (citation omitted). There is a four-year limitations period for cancelling a written instrument. CCP 343. Quiet title claims are subject to a four-year limitations period for the cancellation of an instrument or a three-year limitations period for claims based on fraud or mistake. See Salazar v. Thomas (2015) 236 Cal. App. 4th 467, 476.

As defendants point out, the allegations relate to actions purportedly taken in 2008 and 2009 and in 2013. There are no allegations of wrongdoing as to the Alegria defendants. The only allegation is that they purchased the property in 2017.

The court finds that the causes of action are time barred.

Further, as there are no allegations of wrongdoing as to the Alegria defendants, plaintiff fails to state sufficient facts to constitute a cause of action against them. Plaintiff has not alleged any allegations that defendants are not bona fide purchasers.

The demurrer is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Motion to Strike

Defendants request that the court strike para. 52 and the prayer at 6. for punitive damages “or 20% of all assets” of each of the defendants.

Civil Code § 3294 authorizes the recovery of punitive damages in non-contract cases where “the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice . . . .” The Court in Taylor v. Superior Court (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 894-95, found:

“Something more than the mere commission of a tort is always required for punitive damages. There must be circumstances of aggravation or outrage, such as spite or ‘malice,’ or a fraudulent or evil motive on the part of the defendant, or such a conscious and deliberate disregard of the interests of others that his conduct may be called willful or wanton.”

Indeed, “malice” is defined in Civil Code § 3294 to mean “conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.” Civil Code § 3294(c)(1). As the Court noted in College Hospital v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704, 713, Section 3294 was amended in 1987 to require that, where malice is based on a defendant’s conscious disregard of a plaintiff’s rights, the conduct must be both despicable and willful. The Court in College Hospital held further that “despicable conduct refers to circumstances that are base, vile, or contemptible.” Id. at 725 (citation omitted).

A claim for punitive damages may not be based on conclusory allegations of oppression, fraud or malice, but instead must be based on factual allegations which support such a conclusion. See Smith v. Superior Court (1992) 10 Cal. App. 4th 1033, 1041-1042 (Court of Appeal issued peremptory writ directing trial court to issue order striking plaintiff’s prayer for punitive damages because “[t]he sole basis for seeking punitive damages are . . . conclusory allegations” which were “devoid of any factual assertions supporting a conclusion [defendants] acted with oppression, fraud or malice”).

The court finds that the allegations are insufficient to support a claim for punitive damages. Plaintiff does not allege any facts to show malice, fraud, or oppression. As stated above, there are no allegations of wrongdoing against the Alegria defendants.

The motion is GRANTED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND.

Moving defendants are ordered to give notice of the ruling.