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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/29/2019 at 01:14:32 (UTC).

JOHN P KRAUS VS ULTIMATE CREATIONS INC

Case Summary

On 12/13/2017 JOHN P KRAUS filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against ULTIMATE CREATIONS INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6840

  • Filing Date:

    12/13/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

RANDOLPH M. HAMMOCK

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

KRAUS JOHN P.

Defendants and Respondents

ULTIMATE CREATIONS INC.

DOES 1 THROUGH 30

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

REED DARREN G. ESQ.

REED DARREN GEORGE

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

WILLIAM DICKERMAN ESQ.

DICKERMAN WILLIAM

 

Court Documents

PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., ? 170.6)

2/6/2018: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., ? 170.6)

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

2/23/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

3/1/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., ? 170.6)

3/5/2018: PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., ? 170.6)

Minute Order

3/19/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

4/17/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

4/25/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Unknown

5/9/2018: Unknown

Unknown

5/14/2018: Unknown

Minute Order

5/24/2018: Minute Order

Unknown

5/25/2018: Unknown

Unknown

6/1/2018: Unknown

Stipulation and Order

4/2/2019: Stipulation and Order

ANSWER-CONTRACT

1/22/2018: ANSWER-CONTRACT

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

12/20/2017: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

12/27/2017: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

SUMMONS

12/13/2017: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES; PENALTIES; AND DECLARATORY RELIEF 1. FAILURE TO PAY WAGES PURSUANT TO CONTRACT ;ETC

12/13/2017: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES; PENALTIES; AND DECLARATORY RELIEF 1. FAILURE TO PAY WAGES PURSUANT TO CONTRACT ;ETC

12 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/14/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Adjudication - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 05/10/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Post-Mediation Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 04/02/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARING); Filed by Ultimate Creations, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 02/20/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE AND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARING; MEMORANDUM; DECLARATION OF WILLIAM DICKERMAN) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 02/20/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application to continue trial date and mo...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/20/2019
  • Ex Parte Application ((Joint) to continue trial date and motion for summary judgment); Filed by Ultimate Creations, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/01/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by Ultimate Creations, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 06/01/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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  • 05/25/2018
  • Receipt; Filed by John P. Kraus (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/25/2018
  • CIVIL DEPOSIT

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32 More Docket Entries
  • 12/28/2017
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 12/27/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by John P. Kraus (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/27/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 12/20/2017
  • OSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/20/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 12/20/2017
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 12/20/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 12/13/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 12/13/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES; PENALTIES; AND DECLARATORY RELIEF 1. FAILURE TO PAY WAGES PURSUANT TO CONTRACT ;ETC

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  • 12/13/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by John P. Kraus (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC686840    Hearing Date: October 27, 2020    Dept: 47

John P. Kraus v. Ultimate Creations, Inc., et al.

 

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR, ALTERNATIVELY,

SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Ultimate Creations, Inc.

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff John P. Kraus

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff worked for Defendant Ultimate Creations, a beauty supply company, as a wholesale director/manager. He alleges that he was not paid commissions he was entitled to.

Defendant moves for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Ultimate Creations, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

Defendant’s alternative motion for summary adjudication is DENIED.

DISCUSSION:

Plaintiff’s Evidentiary Objections

Because Plaintiff’s evidentiary objections were made only within his separate statement and not in accordance with the requirements of CRC 3.1354, the Court has not ruled on them. Plaintiff is, of course, free to raise objections at the hearing on this motion.

Defendant’s Evidentiary Objections

Pursuant to CCP § 437c(q), the Court only rules upon objections asserted against evidence which the Court deems to be material to the disposition of this motion, as follows:

Declaration of John P. Kraus

No. 1: OVERRULED. Document is the type that may be authenticated at trial. (Sweetwater Union High School Dist. v. Gilbane Building Co. (2019) 6 Cal.5th 931, 947-49.) Not improper legal conclusion. Its foundation may also be established at trial through direct testimony, eliminating any hearsay objection. (Ibid.)

No. 2: OVERRULED. Sufficient foundation; not inadmissible hearsay; not argumentative or speculative or conclusory.

No. 3: OVERRULED. Sufficient foundation; not inadmissible hearsay; not improper legal conclusion.

Motion for Summary Judgment

As discussed below, Defendant has not demonstrated that it is entitled to prevail as to each cause of action asserted against it. Accordingly, the motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

Motion For Summary Adjudication

Issue No. 1: “The first cause of action for non-payment of wages should be dismissed since, as a matter of law, defendant never had an agreement to pay the demanded wages.”

Defendant argues that it is entitled to summary adjudication of Plaintiff’s first cause of action for nonpayment of wages because it never agreed to pay these wages and because Plaintiff did not bring in the Costco account.

Plaintiff alleges that he entered into a “written agreement” with Defendant “on or about March of 2013,” in which he would “receive commissions for any and all accounts he brought in.” (Complaint ¶ 7.) The commissions allegedly to be paid were “5% of gross wholesale sales, for the first year, and 2% thereafter for every new account brought in.” (Ibid.) He alleges that he secured the rights to demonstrate and sell Defendant’s products in Costco locations in the mainland United States but that he has not been paid any commissions on “the Costco Account.” (¶¶ 8, 9.)

Defendant does not argue that Plaintiff is not an “employee” or that the commissions he claims, if he was entitled to them, would not constitute “wages.” Rather, Defendant argues that it only has one Costco account – not separate accounts for Hawaii and the mainland United States – and that the Costco account originated with another employee, Marie McNeal. (Defendant’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Facts (“UMF”) No. 3; McNeal Decl. ¶¶ 3-6, 8-9, 12; Triplett Decl. ¶ 4.) Defendant also presents evidence of McNeal’s activities that resulted in the Costco account (Ibid.) and evidence that Plaintiff had nothing to do with obtaining Costco’s business in Hawaii, which was a test to see if Costco would expand to the mainland. (Defendant’s UMF Nos. 4, 9; McNeal Decl. ¶¶ 8, 11, 12; Triplett Decl. ¶ 8.) Defendant also presents evidence that it never entered into a written agreement to compensate Plaintiff or an oral agreement to compensate him for the Costco business. (Defendant’s UMF Nos. 15-17; Toms Decl. ¶¶ 2, 3.)

This evidence is sufficient for Defendant to make a prima facie showing that Plaintiff’s first cause of action for nonpayment of wages is without merit. The burden therefore shifts to Plaintiff to cite admissible evidence sufficient to raise a triable issue of material fact as to this cause of action.

Here, Plaintiff has come forward with sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether he was paid the wages he was due. He has presented a paystub from December 2015 that supports his allegation that he was paid 2% or 5% commissions, depending on the circumstances. (Kraus Decl., Exh. 1.) Although Plaintiff has not come forward with an actual written contract between him and Defendant, paychecks can provide evidence of an agreement to pay particular compensation and therefore support a cause of action for breach of an express contract. (Gomez v. Lincare, Inc. (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 508, 520.) “[W]here the existence and not the validity or construction of a contract or the terms thereof is the point in issue, and the evidence is conflicting or admits of more than one inference, it is for the jury or other trier of the facts to determine whether the contract did in fact exist.” (Robinson & Wilson, Inc. v. Stone (1973) 35 Cal.App.3d 396, 407.)

Plaintiff has also presented evidence that he “secured the rest of the United States through his own contacts” at Costco. (Id., Exh. 2.) This raises a triable issue of material fact regarding whether he should have been paid a commission on the mainland United States Costco business. Plaintiff’s declaration that Defendant’s president Jason Toms told him to “go out and get Costco to expand to the USA mainland” (Krause Decl. ¶ 4) raises a triable issue of material fact as to whether Defendant was to compensate Plaintiff for this work.

Accordingly, the motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 1.

Issue No. 2: “The second cause of action, for breach of contract, should be dismissed since, as a matter of law, defendant never had an agreement to pay the demanded commissions.”

Defendant offers no arguments unique to this cause of action and seeks summary adjudication of it on the same bases as Issue No. 1.

Accordingly, for the reasons discussed in connection with Issue No. 1, the motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 2.

Issue No. 3: “The third cause of action, for declaratory relief, should be dismissed since, as a matter of law, defendant never had an agreement to pay the demanded commissions.”

Defendant offers no arguments unique to this cause of action, other than that it is merely “filler,” and seeks summary adjudication of it on the same bases as Issues No. 1 and 2.

Accordingly, for the reasons discussed in connection with Issue No. 1, the motion for summary adjudication is DENIED as to Issue No. 3.

Defendant to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: October 27, 2020 ___________________________________

Randolph M. Hammock

Judge of the Superior Court