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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/06/2021 at 01:08:40 (UTC).

JOSE SANCHEZ, ET AL VS. NEW RIDGE DEVELOPMENT, LLC, ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/14/2018 JOSE SANCHEZ filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against NEW RIDGE DEVELOPMENT, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are WILLIAM D. STEWART and JAMES R. DUNN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7766

  • Filing Date:

    03/14/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Burbank Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

WILLIAM D. STEWART

JAMES R. DUNN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Not Classified By Court

SANCHEZ CONSTRUCTION 1

SANCHEZ CONSTRUCTION

SANCHEZ JOSE

SANCHEZ JOSE DBA SANCHEZ CONSTRUCTION DBA SANCHEZ CONSTRUCTION 1

Defendants, Cross Plaintiffs and Not Classified By Court

DONG CLAIRE

LAIO LANBO

NEW RIDGE DEVELOPMENT LLC

DONG YANYING

HIGGINS JOSHUA

DONG YANYING AKA CLAIRE DONG

DONG YANING AKA CLAIRE DONG

LIAO YANBO

SANCHEZ CONSTRUCTION

Defendants, Cross Defendants and Not Classified By Court

HIGGINS JOSHUA

CERRONI ANDY

GONZALEZ RUBEN J.

GONZALEZ RUBEN J

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

TURMAN ADINA T. LAW OFFICES OF

TURMAN ADINA TERESA

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

THE LAW OFFICE OF NICHOLAS LONCAR ESQ.

BROWN & BROWN

LONCAR NICHOLAS MILAN

BROWN TYLER HAMNETT

AMBARCHYAN VALENTINA

BELL RODNEY WILLIAM

Defendant and Cross Defendant Attorneys

BROWN & BROWN

BROWN TYLER HAMNETT

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO DEEM REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS ADMITTED FIL...)

6/4/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO DEEM REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS ADMITTED FIL...)

Notice - NOTICE OF NON-RECEIPT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR ORDER DEEMING REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS ADMITTED

5/24/2021: Notice - NOTICE OF NON-RECEIPT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR ORDER DEEMING REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS ADMITTED

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

5/3/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE

10/22/2020: Notice - NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE

Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

2/6/2020: Notice of Rejection - Pleadings

Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (2ND)

6/26/2018: Amended Complaint - AMENDED COMPLAINT (2ND)

Request for Judicial Notice

7/29/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Opposition - OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT/ADJUDICATION

7/10/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT/ADJUDICATION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

5/14/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF JOSE SANCHEZ IN SUPPORT OF MSJ

5/9/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF JOSE SANCHEZ IN SUPPORT OF MSJ

Opposition - Opposition to Motion to Compel Further Responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One

2/25/2019: Opposition - Opposition to Motion to Compel Further Responses to Special Interrogatories, Set One

Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference is continued to and/or)

1/3/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference is continued to and/or)

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Complaint filed-Summons Issued

3/14/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Complaint filed-Summons Issued

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Notice of Hearing on Demurrer

4/20/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Notice of Hearing on Demurrer

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

6/1/2018: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-13 00:00:00

8/13/2018: Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-13 00:00:00

Notice of Continuance - OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

9/21/2018: Notice of Continuance - OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

12/19/2018: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

154 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/17/2021
  • Hearing12/17/2021 at 1:30 PM in Department A at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment

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  • 07/02/2021
  • Hearing07/02/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department A at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted

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  • 06/25/2021
  • Hearing06/25/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department A at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Trial Setting Conference

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  • 06/25/2021
  • Hearing06/25/2021 at 08:30 AM in Department A at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Hearing on Motion to Compel Appearance of Plaintiff for Deposition Filed by Deft Claire Dong

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  • 06/04/2021
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted (Filed by Deft & Cross Comp. Yanying Dong aka Claire Dong) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketOrder (DEEMING REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS ADMITTED AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS); Filed by Claire Dong (Defendant); Yanying Dong (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketMotion to Deem RFA's Admitted; Filed by Lanbo Laio (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (In Support of Motion to Deem Requests for Admission Admitted); Filed by Lanbo Laio (Defendant)

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  • 06/04/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted Fil...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/28/2021
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Deem Request for Admissions Admitted (Filed by Deft & Cross Comp. Yanying Dong aka Claire Dong) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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206 More Docket Entries
  • 04/10/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Sanchez Construction (Plaintiff); Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff); Sanchez Construction 1 (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/10/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Sanchez Construction (Plaintiff); Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff); Sanchez Construction 1 (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/10/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Sanchez Construction (Plaintiff); Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff); Sanchez Construction 1 (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketAmended Complaint ((1)); Filed by Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/05/2018
  • DocketNotice (of Unavailability of Counsel); Filed by Sanchez Construction (Plaintiff); Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff); Sanchez Construction 1 (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by Sanchez Construction (Plaintiff); Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff); Sanchez Construction 1 (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

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  • 03/14/2018
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Sanchez Construction (Plaintiff); Jose Sanchez (Plaintiff); Sanchez Construction 1 (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC067766    Hearing Date: June 4, 2021    Dept: A

DISCOVERY MOTION  (No opposition)GRANT

Case Number: EC067766    Hearing Date: April 23, 2021    Dept: A

Motion to Compel Deposition

Calendar:

08

Case No.:

EC067766

Hearing Date:

April 23, 2021

Action Filed:

March 14, 2018

Trial Date:

Not Set

MP:

Defendant Yanying Dong a.k.a. Claire Dong

RP:

Plaintiff Jose Sanchez d.b.a. Sanchez Construction (no opposition)

ALLEGATIONS:

This action involves the original and corrective interior and exterior construction to be performed by Jose Sanchez dba Sanchez Construction ("Sanchez"), and Sanchez Construction 1 ("Sanchez Construction", and together, “Plaintiffs”) on 6 condominiums. The real properties at issue are known as the New Ridge Condominiums located at 681, 683, and 685 N. First Street, Arcadia, CA 91006. Plaintiff alleges that New Ridge Development, LLC (“New Ridge”), Yanying Dong aka “Claire” Dong (“Dong”), and Yanbo Liao (“Liao” and collectively the “Defendants’) were the beneficial and legal holders of title to the properties. Plaintiffs allege that on March 20, 2017, they entered into a verbal agreement with Defendants to furnish labor on the condominiums. Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant Joshua Higgins (“Higgins”) represented himself as the owner of the properties and the contracting entity, Infinities Group, and that he held a contractor’s license, but Plaintiffs allege that both of these representations were false.

The operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) was filed on June 26, 2018, and alleges causes of action sounding in (1) Breach of Contract; (2) Quantum Meruit; (3) Fraud in the Inducement; (4) Intentional Misrepresentation; (5) Negligent Misrepresentation; (6) Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; (7) Declaratory Relief; and (8) Restitution/Unjust Enrichment.

The Defendants filed a Cross-Complaint (“XC”) as against Cross-Defendants Higgins; Ruben J. Gonzalez (“Gonzalez”); and Andy Cerroni (“Cerroni” and together the “Cross-Defendants”) on July 20, 2018, alleging six causes of action sounding in (1) Breach of Contract, (2) Conspiracy, (3) Fraud, (4) Unlicensed Contracting, (5) Equitable Indemnity, and (6) Declaratory Relief/Apportionment of Fault.

PRESENTATION:

The Court received the instant motion filed by Dong on March 29, 2021. No opposition or reply has been received by the Court.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Dong moves to compel Sanchez to appear for a deposition on May 28, 2021 and to produce documents described in the Notice of Resumption of Deposition of Plaintiff Jose Sanchez.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review – Compel Deposition – CCP § 2025.450 permits a party to seek a motion to compel a deposition where a deponent fails to appear or produce documents at a deposition. The motion is permissible after a party fails to appear without having served a valid objection pursuant to CCP § 2025.410. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (a).) The motion must include specific facts demonstrating good cause for the production of documents or items and must be accompanied by a declaration setting forth facts demonstrating that a good faith and reasonable attempt at informal resolution has been made. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (b).) Monetary sanctions are mandatory against an unsuccessful moving or opposing party unless they acted with substantial justification or imposition of sanctions would be unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.450, subd. (g)(1).)

Meet and Confer – On review of the Declaration of Rodney W. Bell, the Court finds that Defendant has not demonstrated a good faith and reasonable attempt at informal resolution. Mr. Bell attests that he sent notice to Mr. Sanchez, a self-represented litigant, regarding the date and time of the scheduled teleconference deposition, and that at the time of the deposition, when Sanchez did not show, Mr. Bell and Mr. Sanchez had a conversation over the phone whereby Sanchez indicated that he could not appear for the deposition on that day. (Decl. Bell, ¶¶ 5-9.)

Merits – Defendant contends that Sanchez failed to object to, appear at, or produce documents at a deposition noticed on February 22, 2021 and scheduled for March 24, 2021. (Decl. Bell, ¶¶ 3, 5, 6, 8.) In light of Sanchez's non-opposition, the Court will grant the instant motion.

Sanctions – The Court will award sanctions for Defendant against Plaintiffs in the amount of $639.15, representing 1.5 hours of work at $385 per hour, plus $61.65 in filing fees.

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RULING:

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Defendant Yanying Dong aka Claire Dong's Motion to Compel Deposition came on regularly for hearing on April 23, 2021, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION IS GRANTED. PLAINTIFF IS ORDERED TO APPEAR FPOR DEPOSITION AT THE OFFICE OF DEFENSE COUNSEL ON MAY 28, 2021 AT 9:30 am AND TO PRODUCE THE DOCUMENTS AND THINGS DESCRIBED IN THE NOTICE.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE

Case Number: EC067766    Hearing Date: March 12, 2021    Dept: A

The Superior Court is open under “Here for You | Safe for You” Conditions and Orders

Counsel are urged to use remote appearance technology LACourtConnect

If it is indispensable for counsel to be present in court, face masks (without a valve) are mandated (unless a court orders otherwise) and social distancing rules are in force.

 

 

Dept. A Burbank protocol for LACourtConnect Appearances.

Video Appearances: Since these are the functional equivalent of a personal appearance in court, no special protocols are in place at this time.

Audio Only Appearances.

1. Argument is limited to three minutes, unless the court grants a request for additional time.

2. The reading of argument is feckless and nugatory.

3. State your name at the beginning of all statements.

4. Do not speak directly to other counsel without permission of court.

5. Do not interrupt or attempt to speak over another speaker.

6. Do not announce your presence until called by your name or case name.

7. Take a deep breath frequently so that the court may interrupt your presentation, if necessary. (The system does not default to the court unless you are placed on mute by the court or go silent or mute on you own.)

8. Maintain silence in your surroundings – no keyboarding, dogs barking, children crying, etc.

FURTHER, the court makes available its Remote Audio Appearance Program (RAAP) service which enables any person with commonly available devices to listen to court proceedings which are otherwise open to the public. There is no cost for this service and no recording of any kind is permitted – such would be a violation of court rules and punishable as such.

Information is available at: http://www.lacourt.org/newsmedia/ui/CourtroomSeating.aspx

Sanchez v New Ridge Development

Motion to be Quash SDT

Calendar:

09

Case No.:

EC067766

Hearing Date:

March 12, 2021

Action Filed:

March 14, 2018

Trial Date:

Not Set

MP:

Defendant Yanying Dong a.k.a. Claire Dong

RP:

Plaintiff Jose Sanchez d.b.a. Sanchez Construction

ALLEGATIONS:

This action involves the original and corrective interior and exterior construction to be performed by Plaintiff Jose Sanchez dba Sanchez Construction, and Sanchez Construction 1 (“Plaintiffs”) on 6 condominiums. The real properties at issue are known as the New Ridge Condominiums located at 681, 683, and 685 N. First Street, Arcadia, CA 91006. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants New Ridge Development, LLC (“New Ridge”), Yanying Dong aka “Claire” Dong (“Dong”), and Yanbo Liao (“Liao” and collectively the “Defendants’) were the beneficial and legal holders of title to the properties. Plaintiffs allege that on March 20, 2017, they entered into a verbal agreement with Defendants to furnish labor on the condominiums. Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant Joshua Higgins (“Higgins”) represented himself as the owner of the properties and the contracting entity, Infinities Group, and that he held a contractor’s license, but Plaintiffs allege that both of these representations were false.

The operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) was filed on June 26, 2018, and alleges causes of action alleging (1) Breach of Contract; (2) Quantum Meruit; (3) Fraud in the Inducement; (4) Intentional Misrepresentation; (5) Negligent Misrepresentation; (6) Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; (7) Declaratory Relief; and (8) Restitution/Unjust Enrichment.

The Defendants filed a Cross-Complaint (“XC”) as against Cross-Defendants Higgins; Ruben J. Gonzalez (“Gonzalez”); and Andy Cerroni (“Cerroni” and together the “Cross-Defendants”) on July 20, 2018, alleging six causes of action sounding in (1) Breach of Contract, (2) Conspiracy, (3) Fraud, (4) Unlicensed Contracting, (5) Equitable Indemnity, and (6) Declaratory Relief/Apportionment of Fault.

PRESENTATION:

The Court received the instant motion filed by Dong on February 04, 2021; the opposition filed by Plaintiff on February 24, 2021; and the reply filed by Dong on March 04, 2021.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Dong moves for an order quashing the subpoena duces tecum served by Plaintiff upon the Custodian of Records of Perfect Escrow Company located at 77 W. Las Tunas Drive, Arcadia, California.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review – Quash Subpoena – CCP § 1987.1 grants the trial court authority to quash a subpoena when necessary. CCP § 1987.1 provides: “If a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, or other things before a court, or at the trial of an issue therein, or at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by any person described in subdivision (b), or upon the court’s own motion after giving counsel notice and an opportunity to be heard, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders. In addition, the court may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.”

Request for Judicial Notice – Judicial notice may not be taken of any matter, unless authorized or required by law. (Evid. Code, § 450.) Matters that are subject to judicial notice are listed in Evid. Code §§ 451 and 452. Applicable here is Evid. Code §§ 452(c) and (d), which provide that the Court may notice "[o]fficial acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state of the United States" and "[r]ecords of (1) any court of this state or (2) any court of record of the United States or of any state of the United States." The Court cannot take judicial notice of the truth of matters contained in judicially noticeable documents if those matters are reasonably subject to dispute. (Intengan v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP (2013) 214 Cal. App. 4th 1047, 1057.) Although the existence of a document may be judicially noticeable, the truth of statements contained in the document and its proper interpretation are not subject to judicial notice if those matters are reasonably disputable. (StorMedia Inc. v. Superior Court (1999) 20 Cal. 4th 449, 457, fn. 9.) Taking judicial notice of a document is not, therefore, the same as the court accepting the truth of the document’s contents or accepting a particular interpretation of its meaning. (See Middlebrook-Anderson Co. v. Southwest Sav. & Loan Assn. (1971) 18 Cal. App. 3d 1023, 1038.)

The Court will take judicial notice of Dong's Exhibits 3-6.

Merits – Dong argues that (1) Plaintiff's subpoena fails to provide statutory notice to Jingping Chen ("Chen"), who is a co-owner of the property that is the subject of the subpoena, pursuant to CCP § 1985.3 and (2) the subpoena seeks private financial records not relevant to any issue in the instant action.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that the subpoena need not notice Jingping Chen because the instant motion provides no evidence that the escrow company being subpoenaed has any records involving Jingping Chen.

CCP § 1985.3 requires a subpoenaing party to serve a statutory notice to any consumer whose personal records are sought, with specific statutory requirements regarding service of such notice.

On review of the subpoena, the Court finds that the subject subpoena requests all writings, records, and/or documents regarding the real property at issue in the instant action from January 01, 2015 to the date of production. The subpoena makes no distinction between records potentially produced as to Dong, and records produced as to Chen. Although Plaintiff argues that Dong provides no evidence the subpoenaed third party has any information as to Chen, Dong does establish that Chen is a co-owner of the property whose writings, records, and/or documents are at issue in the subpoena.

As to the relevancy argument, the Court finds that the subpoena is relevant to the instant action, as it seeks information concerning the subject property, the valuation of which is relevant to an unjust enrichment claim alleged in the pleading.

As to the financial privacy argument, the California Supreme Court held that, generally, “[t]he party asserting a privacy right must establish a legally protected privacy interest, an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in the given circumstances, and a threatened intrusion that is serious. The party seeking information may raise in response whatever legitimate and important countervailing interests disclosure serves, while the party seeking protection may identify feasible alternatives that serve the same interests or protective measures that would diminish the loss of privacy. A court must then balance these competing considerations.” (Williams v. Superior Court (2017) 3 Cal.5th 531, 553 (citing Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1, 35.))  The Supreme Court rejected the cases which held that the party seeking protected information must always show a compelling need or interest.  (Id. at p. 557.)  Instead, the court held, “[o]nly obvious invasions of interest fundamental to personal autonomy must be supported by a compelling interest.” (Id.) 

Dong makes only general arguments concerning financial privacy and does not specifically making a showing as to how the subpoena would constitute a serious intrusion. The subpoena concerns an escrow company and is temporally limited from January 01, 2015 onward.

Nonetheless, the Court will restrict the subpoena to only produce information on matters relating to Dong and exclude any matters that include Chen's personal information. If Defendant objects to this restriction, Defendant may give notice to Chen pursuant to CCP § 1985.3 and re-notice the subpoena.

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RULING:

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Defendant Yanying Dong aka Claire Dong's Motion to Quash Subpoena came on regularly for hearing on March 12, 2021, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION IS GRANTED IN PART: SDT TO BE LIMITED AS SPECIFIED ABOVE..

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE

Case Number: EC067766    Hearing Date: November 01, 2019    Dept: A

Sanchez v New Ridge Development

Motion for Summary Judgment

Calendar:

12

Case No.:

EC067766

Hearing Date:

November 01, 2019

Action Filed:

March 14, 2018

Trial Date:

Not Set

MP:

Defendants/Cross-Complainants New Ridge Development, LLC; Yanying Dong a/k/a Claire Dong; and Yanbo Liao

RP:

N/A

ALLEGATIONS:

This action involves the original and corrective interior and exterior construction to be performed by Plaintiff Jose Sanchez dba Sanchez Construction, and Sanchez Construction 1 (“Plaintiffs”) on 6 condominiums. The real properties at issue are known as the New Ridge Condominiums located at 681, 683, and 685 N. First Street, Arcadia, CA 91006. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants New Ridge Development, LLC (“New Ridge”), Yanying Dong aka “Claire” Dong (“Dong”), and Yanbo Liao (“Liao” and collectively the “Defendants’) were the beneficial and legal holders of title to the properties. Plaintiffs allege that on March 20, 2017, they entered into a verbal agreement with Defendants to furnish labor on the condominiums. Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant Joshua Higgins (“Higgins”) represented himself as the owner of the properties and the contracting entity, Infinities Group, and that he held a contractor’s license, but Plaintiffs allege that both of these representations were false.

The operative Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) was filed on June 26, 2018, and alleges causes of action sounding in (1) Breach of Contract; (2) Quantum Meruit; (3) Fraud in the Inducement; (4) Intentional Misrepresentation; (5) Negligent Misrepresentation; (6) Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; (7) Declaratory Relief; and (8) Restitution/Unjust Enrichment.

The Defendants filed a Cross-Complaint (“XC”) as against Cross-Defendants Higgins; Ruben J. Gonzalez (“Gonzalez”); and Andy Cerroni (“Cerroni” and together the “Cross-Defendants”) on July 20, 2018, alleging six causes of action sounding in (1) Breach of Contract, (2) Conspiracy, (3) Fraud, (4) Unlicensed Contracting, (5) Equitable Indemnity, and (6) Declaratory Relief/Apportionment of Fault.

PRESENTATION:

The instant motion for summary judgment was filed by Defendants as against Cross-Defendants on the XC on July 29, 2019. No opposition has been received, nor any reply brief.

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Defendants move for judgment or adjudication on the Third and Fourth Causes of Action for Fraud and Unlicensed Contracting.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review – Motion for Summary Judgment – A party may move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is contended the action has no merit or that there is no defense to the action or proceeding. Code Civ. Proc. §437c(a). To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the evidence submitted must show there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Code Civ. Proc. §437c(c). In other words, the opposing party cannot present contrary admissible evidence to raise a triable factual dispute.

“For purposes of motions for summary judgment and summary adjudication: (1) A plaintiff or cross-complainant has met his or her burden of showing that there is no defense to a cause of action if that party has proved each element of the cause of action entitling the party to judgment on that cause of action. Once the plaintiff or cross-complainant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the defendant or cross-defendant to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto. The defendant or cross-defendant may not rely upon the mere allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto.” Code Civ. Proc. §437c(p)(1).

When ruling on a summary judgment motion, the trial court must consider all inferences from the evidence, even those contradicted by the moving party’s evidence. The motion cannot succeed unless the evidence leaves no room for conflicting inferences as to material facts; the court has no power to weigh one inference against another or against other evidence. Murillo v. Rite Stuff Food Inc. (1998) 65 Cal. App. 4th 833, 841. In determining whether the facts give rise to a triable issue of material fact, “‘[a]ll doubts as to whether any material, triable, issues of fact exist are to be resolved in favor of the party opposing summary judgment . . . .’” Gold v. Weissman (2004) 114 Cal. App. 4th 1195, 1198-99. “In other words, the facts alleged in the evidence of the party opposing summary judgment and the reasonable inferences there from must be accepted as true.” Jackson v. County of Los Angeles (1997) 60 Cal. App. 4th 171, 179.

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Third Cause of Action (Fraud)Causes of action for ‘fraud’ ‘concealment’ and ‘intentional misrepresentation’ are all causes of action sounding in “deceit based on intentional misrepresentation.” Manderville v. PCG&S Group (2007) 146 Cal. App. 4th 1486, 1498, fn. 4. As such, “[t]o establish a claim for deceit based on intentional misrepresentation, the plaintiff must prove seven essential elements: (1) the defendant represented to the plaintiff that an important fact was true; (2) that representation was false; (3) the defendant knew that the representation was false when the defendant made it, or the defendant made the representation recklessly and without regard for its truth; (4) the defendant intended that the plaintiff rely on the representation; (5) the plaintiff reasonably relied on the representation; (6) the plaintiff was harmed; and (7) the plaintiff's reliance on the defendant's representation was a substantial factor in causing that harm to the plaintiff.” Id. at 1498. On summary judgment, a plaintiff moving for adjudication must establish a prima facie right to relief by establishing that there is no material dispute as to any element in the instant cause of action.

On the Court’s review of the moving papers, Defendants have failed to establish a prima facie right to relief on the Third Cause of Action for Fraud. The Court notes that Defendants have failed to provide a factual basis for each element of the instant cause of action by failing to specifically identify what statement, made by whom, was false; how such false statement was reasonably relied upon; and how such reasonable reliance caused Defendants’ injury. Absent a clear discussion of the factual and legal basis for Defendants’ putative right to relief, supported with citations to the record, the Court cannot grant the instant motion. See Motion, pp. 6-7 (Defendants’ points and authorities fail to provide any citation to the evidentiary record. Defendants include arguments as to the liability of Cross-Defendants that do not appear to have any evidentiary support in the other documents. Defendants provide a licensing record of Infinity Builder G C, a corporation record of Infinitis Group Inc. as being owned by Higgins, several contracts, invoices, and checks – without explanation or argument as to the relevance of the documents submitted to the elements of fraud.).

Accordingly, the Court will deny the motion as to the Third Cause of Action.

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Fourth Cause of Action (Unlicensed Contractor) – Under Bus. & Prof. Code §7031(b), “a person who utilizes the services of an unlicensed contractor may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state to recover all compensation paid to the unlicensed contractor for performance of any act or contract.” This subsection was specifically added by the Legislature to enhance the available remedies in Bus. & Prof. Code §7031(a), to allow for persons using unlicensed contractors to disgorge any fees obtained by such contractors. Alatriste v. Cesar's Exterior Designs, Inc. (2010) 183 Cal. App. 4th 656, 666 (“‘Section 7031(b) was designed to treat persons who have utilized unlicensed contractors consistently, regardless of whether they have paid the contractor for the unlicensed work. In short, those who have not paid are protected from being sued for payment and those who have paid may recover all compensation delivered. Thus, unlicensed contractors are not able to avoid the full measure of the statutory scheme’s civil penalties by (1) requiring prepayment before undertaking the next increment of unlicensed work or (2) retaining progress payments relating to completed phases of the construction.’ [Citation.]”).

On review, Defendants have failed to identify what services were provided by Cross-Defendants that required licensure, merely asserting that Cross-Defendants services fell under some licensure requirement with anything further. Motion, pp. 9. Absent such information, the Defendants have failed to establish a prima facie right to relief.

Accordingly, the motion will be denied as to the Fourth Cause of Action.

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RULING: DENY

In the event the parties submit on this tentative ruling, or a party requests a signed order or the court in its discretion elects to sign a formal order, the following form will be either electronically signed or signed in hard copy and entered into the court’s records.

ORDER

Defendants/Cross-Complainants New Ridge Development, LLC; Yanying Dong a/k/a Claire Dong; and Yanbo Liao’s Motion for Summary Judgment came on regularly for hearing on November 01, 2019, with appearances/submissions as noted in the minute order for said hearing, and the court, being fully advised in the premises, did then and there rule as follows:

THE MOTION IS DENIED.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE

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