This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/22/2020 at 11:40:02 (UTC).

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. VS. JOSE LUIS TORRES, ET AL

Case Summary

On 01/25/2017 JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N A filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against JOSE LUIS TORRES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Burbank Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is WILLIAM D. STEWART. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6246

  • Filing Date:

    01/25/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Burbank Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

WILLIAM D. STEWART

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK N.A.

MODERN FINANCE CO. INC.

TORRES JOSE LUIS

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK N.A.

Defendants and Cross Defendants

LOS ANGELES COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR

LETICIA TORRES

MODERN FINANCE CO. INC.

TORRES JOSE LUIS

TORRES LETICIA

Defendants, Cross Plaintiffs and Cross Defendants

TORRES JOSE LUIS

TORRES LETICIA

Other

DYKEMA GOSSETT LLP

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorneys

DYKEMA GOSSETT LLP

MCCARTHY & HOLTHUS LLP

FICKEL ASHLEY RICHARD

Defendant, Cross Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

SAYUJ PANICKER DEPUTY COUNTY COUNSEL

LAW OFFICES OF ALFREDO O. ANYIA

MALHOTRA & MALHOTRA

PANICKER SAYUJ

ANYIA ALFRED OSHIOMELE

ORONSAYE CHRISTIAN IGHEGHA

MALHOTRA KRISHNA RAJENDRA

Plaintiff, Cross Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

FICKEL ASHLEY RICHARD

ANYIA ALFRED OSHIOMELE

 

Court Documents

Reply - REPLY TO JOSE LUIS TORRES' OPPOSITION TO ITS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

7/1/2020: Reply - REPLY TO JOSE LUIS TORRES' OPPOSITION TO ITS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE CONTINUANCE OF HEARING SET ON MAY 01, 2020 TO ...) OF 04/02/2020

4/2/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE CONTINUANCE OF HEARING SET ON MAY 01, 2020 TO ...) OF 04/02/2020

Declaration - DECLARATION OF ALFRED ANYIA RE. EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

3/13/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF ALFRED ANYIA RE. EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

1/6/2020: Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT OF UNDISPUTED FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Minute Order - Minute Order (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)

2/4/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Nunc Pro Tunc Order)

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

3/7/2017: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Declaration

1/25/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Declaration

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Statement

1/25/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Statement

Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Declaration

6/13/2018: Legacy Document - LEGACY DOCUMENT TYPE: Declaration

Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-10 00:00:00

8/10/2018: Minute Order - Minute order entered: 2018-08-10 00:00:00

Summons

1/25/2017: Summons

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

2/15/2017: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

2/15/2017: Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint

Summons

3/28/2017: Summons

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/12/2017: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference)

10/26/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (Case Management Conference)

Notice -

8/3/2018: Notice -

151 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/03/2020
  • Hearing08/03/2020 at 13:30 PM in Department A at 300 East Olive, Burbank, CA 91502; Order to Show Cause Re: Submission of (proposed) order and Judgment on Motion for Summary Judgment/Adjudication

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  • 07/06/2020
  • Docketat 10:45 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Trial Setting Conference - Held

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  • 07/06/2020
  • Docketat 10:45 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment (Filed by Pltff JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.) - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 07/06/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Trial Setting Conference; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgm...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketReply (to Jose Luis Torres' Opposition to its Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketEvidentiary Objections to Declaration of Jose Luis Torres in Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketEvidentiary Objections to Declaration of Leticia Torres in Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketDeclaration (of Hakop Stepanyan in Support of Reply to Leticia Torres' Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/01/2020
  • DocketReply (to Leticia Torres' Opposition to its Motion for Summary Judgment); Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/05/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department A, William D. Stewart, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Summary Judgment (Filed by Pltff JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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195 More Docket Entries
  • 02/15/2017
  • DocketProof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/15/2017
  • DocketProof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/15/2017
  • DocketProof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 02/15/2017
  • DocketProof of Service of Summons and Complaint; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/25/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/25/2017
  • DocketOSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Court

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/25/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/25/2017
  • DocketComplaint filed-Summons Issued; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 01/25/2017
  • DocketCivil Deposit; Filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/25/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Court

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: EC066246    Hearing Date: July 06, 2020    Dept: A

The Superior Court is re-opening under "Here for You | Safe for You" Conditions and Orders

Counsel are urged to use remote appearance technology such as Court Call or LACourtConnect )(when it becomes available on August 3 for Branch Civil)

If it is indispensable for counsel to be present in court, face masks are mandated (unless a court orders otherwise) and social distancing rules are in force.

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Motion for Summary Judgment

Calendar:

10

Case No.:

EC066246

Hearing Date:

July 6, 2020

Action Filed:

January 25, 2017

Trial Date:

Not Set

MP:

Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

RP:

Defendant/Cross-Plaintiff Leticia Torres; Defendant/Cross-Plaintiff Jose Luis Torres; Los Angeles County Tax Collector

ALLEGATIONS:

The instant action arises out of a real property dispute involving the property commonly known as 10844 Lull St., Sun Valley, CA 91352 (the "Property"). Plaintiff JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("Plaintiff") alleges that there was a scrivener’s error in the Deed of Trust on the Property, and that Defendant Leticia Torres ("Leticia") should be added as a Trustor under the Deed.

Plaintiff filed its Complaint on January 25, 2017, alleging two causes of action sounding in (1) Declaratory Relief, and (2) Reformation of Instrument.

Following motion practice and discovery, Leticia successfully petitioned for leave to filed a cross-action in this matter, with the operative, August 03, 2017, Second Amended Cross-Complaint ("L2XC") alleging causes of action sounding in (1) Declaratory Relief, (2) Cancellation of Instrument, (3) Reformation, (4) Quiet Title, (5) Fraud and Deceit, (6) Breach of Fiduciary Duty, and (7) Equitable Indemnity, as against Plaintiff and Defendant Jose Luis Torres ("Jose").

Defendant Jose Luis Torres ("Jose") ultimately filed his own cross-action in the instant matter on March 02, 2018, alleging that in August 1998, he and his estranged wife, Leticia, acquired the Property. Further, in July 2007, he applied for a home equity loan in the amount of $250,000 from Washington Mutual Bank and the line of equity application was approved. Finally, Jose alleges that he signed all the documents at the bank and was told he would receive a check for the line of credit in the mail, but that he did not receive the line of credit. His operative First Amended Cross-Complaint ("J1XC") was filed on August 30, 2018, and alleges two causes of action for (1) Quiet Title, and (2) Declaratory Relief.

PRESENTATION:

The instant motion for summary judgment was filed by Plaintiff on January 6, 2020. Defendant Leticia filed an opposition on March 10, 2020, and Defendant Jose filed an opposition on March 13, 2020. Plaintiff filed a reply to each opposition on July 1, 2020. The original hearing date for the motion was on March 27, 2020.

On March 20, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to the March 17, 2020, Administrative Order of the Presiding Judge, the Court continued the instant matter to May 1, 2020. Counsel for Moving Party was informed and directed to give notice.

On April 2, 2020, and in response to the continuing pandemic conditions, the Court continued the matter again, setting the motion for hearing on June 5, 2020. Counsel for Plaintiff was informed and directed to give notice, and a copy of the minute order was mailed to counsel.

On May 4, 2020, with the continuing pandemic conditions, the Court rescheduled the hearing date to July 5, 2020. Counsel for Plaintiff was informed and directed to give notice, and a copy of the minute order

RELIEF REQUESTED:

Plaintiff moves for summary judgment, and, in the alternative, summary adjudication as to:

(1) Chase’s First Cause of Action for Declaratory Relief;

(2) Chase’s Second Cause of Action for Reformation;

(3) Leticia Torres’ First Cause of Action for Declaratory Relief;

(4) Leticia Torres’ Second Cause of Action for Cancellation;

(5) Leticia Torres’ Third Cause of Action for Reformation;

(6) Leticia Torres’ Fourth Cause of Action for Quiet Title;

(7) Jose Luis Torres’ First Cause of Action for Declaratory Relief; and

(8) Jose Luis Torres’ Second Cause of Action for Quiet Title.

DISCUSSION:

Standard of Review

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, subd. (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, subd. (c).) In other words, the opposing party cannot present contrary admissible evidence to raise a triable factual dispute.

"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 the 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 the cause of action or a defense thereto. The defendant or cross-defendant shall not rely upon the 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 the cause of action or a defense thereto." (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (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, "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.)

With a summary judgment motion, a three-step analysis is required of the trial court. (AARTS Productions, Inc. v. Crocker Nat’l Bank (1986) 179 Cal. App. 3d 1061, 1064–65.) First, the trial court must identify the issues framed by the pleadings since it is these allegations to which the motion must respond by establishing a complete defense or otherwise showing there is no factual basis for relief on any theory reasonably contemplated by the opponent’s pleading. (Id.) Secondly, the court must determine whether the moving party’s showing has established facts which negate the opponent’s claim and justify a judgment in movant’s favor. (Id.) When a summary judgment motion prima facie justifies a judgment, the third and final step is to determine whether the opposition demonstrates the existence of a triable, material factual issue. (Id.) On a plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff bears the burden of persuasion that each element of the cause of action in question has been proved, and that there is no defense thereto. (Code of Civ. Proc., §437c, subd. (o)(1); Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 850.)

Requests 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. A matter ordinarily is subject to judicial notice only if the matter is reasonably beyond dispute. (Post v. Prati (1979) 90 Cal. App. 3d 626, 633.) 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.)

Plaintiff requests judicial notice of the following documents:

    1. A true and correct copy of the Grant Deed recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about September 10, 1998. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit A.)
    2. A true and correct copy of a Deed of Trust securing a $345,600 loan from IndyMac Bank, recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about January 9, 2007. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit B.)
    3. A true and correct copy of a Deed of Trust securing a $86,400 loan from IndyMac Bank, recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about January 9, 2007. (Exhibit C.)
    4. A true and correct copy of a Deed of Trust securing a $8,300 loan from Sunbelt Financial Services (the "Sunbelt Deed of Trust"), recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about January 12, 2007. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit D.)
    5. A true and correct copy of a Corporate Assignment of Deed of Trust assigning the Sunbelt Deed of Trust to Key Bank, recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about January 12, 2007. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit E.)
    6. A true and correct copy of a Deed of Trust securing a $250,000 home equity line of credit from Washington Mutual Bank (the "WaMu Deed of Trust"), recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about September 17, 2007. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit F.)
    7. A true and correct copy of the Corporate Assignment of Deed of Trust memorializing the assignment of the WaMu Deed of Trust to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. on or about September 25, 2008, recorded in the Official Records, Recorder’s Office, Los Angeles County, California on or about April 18, 2014. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit G.)
    8. A true and correct copy of a Purchase and Assumption Agreement dated September 25, 2008. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit H.)
    9. A true and correct copy of the bankruptcy petition filed by Jose Luis Torres and Leticia Torres or on or about February 7, 2011 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Case No. 1:11-bk-11610 (the "Bankruptcy Proceeding"). (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit I.)
    10. A true and correct copy of the Schedules filed in the Bankruptcy Proceeding on or about February 22, 2011. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit J.)
    11. A true and correct copy of the opposition to motion for relief from automatic stay filed in the Bankruptcy Proceeding on or about March 21, 2011. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit K.)
    12. A true and correct copy of the order dismissing the Bankruptcy Proceeding, entered on or about April 15, 2011. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit L.)
    13. A true and correct copy of the Petition for Dissolution (Divorce) of Marriage filed by Jose Luis Torres on or about November 23, 2015 in the matter of Jose Luis Torres v. Leticia Velasco Hermosillo, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BD630653 (the "Dissolution Proceeding"). (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit M.)
    14. A true and correct copy of the Separate Property Declaration filed by Leticia Torres in the Dissolution Proceeding on or about December 22, 2015. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit N.)
    15. A true and correct copy of the order dismissing the Dissolution Proceeding, entered on or about February 28, 2017. (Chase Req., 01.06.20, Exhibit O.)

Leticia requests judicial notice of the following documents:

    1. Defendant's copy of the dissolution records for Defendant in the case LASC BD630653. (Leticia Req., 03.10.20, Exhibit 101.)
    2. Defendant's deposition transcript extract for March 11, 2019. (Leticia Req., 03.10.20, Exhibit 102.)

Leticia opposes Plaintiff's request for judicial notice of Exhibits A through J, arguing that Plaintiff has offered no information, legal justification, or certification regarding those documents for judicial notice purposes. (Oppo. to Req., 2:14-17; 3:23-27.) Leticia additionally argues Plaintiff's Exhibits A through J are hearsay and violate the secondary evidentiary rule.

The Court finds that Plaintiff's Exhibits A through J are public records, which are in the category of ""[official] acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state of the United States." (Evid. Code, § 452, subd. (c).) The Court also finds that Leticia's Exhibits 101 and 102 also in the category of ""[official] acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of any state of the United States." (Ibid.) The Court additionally finds that Leticia does not show any evidence of genuine dispute to support her argument that such documents are disputed, and that Plaintiff has adequately shown that such records are reasonably beyond dispute. (Req., p. 1-2; Decl. Moody ¶ 4-18)

Accordingly, the Court thus takes notice of Plaintiff's Exhibits A through O and Leticia's Exhibits 101 and 102.

Merits

    1. Chase's First Cause of Action for Declaratory Relief
    2. The elements of Declaratory Relief are (1) a person interested under a written instrument, (2) actual controversy, and (3) a request for a declaration of rights and duties. (Code of Civ. Proc. §1060; Cardellini v. Casey (1986) 181 Cal.App.3d 389, 395.) The declaratory relief must also concern an actual controversy, which is of a character that admits of specific and conclusive relief by judicial determination, as distinguished from an advisory opinion upon a hypothetical set of facts. (Id. at p. 395.)

      Plaintiff argues it is undisputed there is an actual controversy between Plaintiff, Leticia, and Jose because it contends the Subject Deed of Trust encumbers the entire Property while Leticia and Jose each deny their respective one-half interests should be encumbered by the Subject Deed of Trust. Plaintiff supports its argument with the Declaration of Moody, which states that Jose executed an agreement to obtain a Deed of Trust encumbering the Property on or about July 31, 2007 with Washington Mutual Bank. (MSJ, 12:10-12; Decl. Moody, ¶ 8; Decl. Moody, Exhibit E.) Plaintiff has not, however, shown evidence that it is (1) a person interested under a written instrument or (3) there exists a request for a declaration of rights and duties.

      Plaintiff has thus failed to establish a prima facie right to relief on this basis.

      Accordingly, the Court will deny summary judgment, and summary adjudication as to the First Cause of Action sounding in Declaratory Relief.

    3. Chase’s Second Cause of Action for Reformation

A reformation action lies when a written instrument does not accurately reflect the oral understanding that gave rise to it. (Civ. Code § 3399; Getty v. Getty (1986) 187 Cal. App. 3d 1159, 1178.) That is, the sole purpose of the reformation doctrine is to correct a written instrument in order to effectuate a common intention of the parties which was incorrectly reduced to writing. (Getty, supra, 187 Cal.App.3d at 1178.) Thus, when, through fraud or a mutual mistake of the parties, or a mistake of one party, which the other at the time knew or suspected, a written contract does not truly express the intention of the parties, it may be revised by the court on the application of a party aggrieved, so as to express that intention, so far as it can be done without prejudice to rights acquired by third persons, in good faith and for value. (Civ. Code § 3399; Getty, supra, 187 Cal.App.3d at 1178.) However, the court cannot, under a theory of reformation, create a new agreement for the parties which conforms to circumstances other than those that they had mistakenly assumed were true; if the written instrument accurately reflects the agreement of the parties, albeit an agreement based upon a mistaken assumption of fact, an action for reformation does not lie. (Getty, supra, 187 Cal.App.3d at 1178.) A party seeking relief must prove the true intent by clear and convincing evidence. (Shupe v. Nelson (1967) 254 Cal.App.2d 693, 700.)

Plaintiff argues the Subject Deed of Trust should be reformed on the basis of mutual mistake so that (1) the spelling of Jose Torres' last name should be corrected and (2) Leticia Torres should be included as a party. (MSJ, 16:15-17.) Plaintiff argues the circumstantial evidence surrounding the execution of the Subject Deed of Trust, including the subsequent Subject HELOC disbursement being used to pay off a Key Bank Loan, secured by Leticia's one-half interest in the Property, and the IndyMac Bank Loan, also secured by Leticia's one-half interest in the Property, support that Jose was bound by the Subject Deed of Trust and that there was a mutual mistake as to the spelling of Jose Torres' last name. (MSJ, 17:17-28; Exhibits B; D; F; D; K.) Plaintiff further argues Leticia behaved as if she was subject to the Subject Deed of Trust by admitting Plaintiff had a $250,000 secured note in a bankruptcy filing and referenced the "total outstanding on this equity line of credit" on her declaration in support of opposition to Plaintiff's motion for relief from automatic stay in that filing. (RJN, Exhibit J.) Plaintiff has thus shown evidence that the true intent of the Subject Deed of Trust was to bind both Jose Torres and Leticia Torres as parties. The Court finds that neither Jose nor Leticia show evidence raising a triable issue for this claim.

Plaintiff additionally requests the Court grant an equitable lien over Leticia's one-half interest in the Property. "A court of equity may impress property with an equitable lien to prevent unjust enrichment." (Beckman v. Mayhew (1975) 49 Cal.App.3d 529, 534.) Leticia contends Plaintiff is not entitled to an equitable lien as a matter of law because there was no express intention in writing for the purposes of an equitable lien, or a written instrument produced by Plaintiff, because neither Jose nor Leticia ratified any loan between Plaintiff and Jose. (Leticia Oppo., 21:13-17; Leticia Oppo., Exhibit 102, pp. 27, 32.) The Court finds that the case Leticia cites, Holder v. Williams (1959) 167 Cal.App.2d 313, 316, does not support the contention that an express intention in writing is required for an equitable lien.

The Court will thus reform the Subject Deed of Trust to include both Jose and Leticia as parties, and grant Plaintiff an equitable lien over Leticia's one-half interest in the Property to apply the intent of the reformed Deed of Trust.

Accordingly, the Court will grant summary adjudication as to the Second Cause of Action sounding in Reformation and order an equitable lien for Plaintiff over Leticia's one-half interest in the Property.

    1. Leticia Torres’ First Cause of Action for Declaratory Relief, Second Cause of Action for Cancellation, Third Cause of Action for Reformation, and Fourth Cause of Action for Quiet Title; Jose Luis Torres' First Cause of Action for Declaratory Relief and Second Cause of Action for Quiet Title

"A defendant or cross-defendant has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if the party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action, even if not separately pleaded, cannot be established, or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action. Once the defendant or cross-defendant has met that burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff or cross-complainant to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto. The plaintiff or cross-complainant shall not rely upon the 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 the cause of action or a defense thereto." (Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).)

Plaintiff is a cross-defendant as to Leticia and Jose's claims. Plaintiff argues it is undisputed that all of Leticia's claims are barred by judicial estoppel, as she did not list any asserted claims in the instant action in her previous bankruptcy proceeding. (MSJ, 20:18-19; RJN, Exhibit J.) Leticia argues that there is no automatic application of judicial estoppel to bankruptcy filings but otherwise sets forth no evidence supporting her arguments that her four causes of action have merit. (Leticia Oppo., 17:1-4.)

The doctrine of judicial estoppel serves to protect the integrity of the judicial process by forbidding a litigant to play "’fast and loose with the courts.’" (Jackson v. County of Los Angeles (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 171, 181.) Judicial estoppel applies when, (1) the same party has taken two positions, (2) the positions were taken in judicial or quasi-judicial administrative proceedings, (3) the party was successful in asserting the first position, (4) the two positions are totally inconsistent, and (5) the first position was not taken as a result of ignorance, fraud, or mistake. (Id. at pp. 181, 183.)

The Court finds that the doctrine of judicial estoppel does not apply in the instant case, as Plaintiff's argument rests again on Exhibit J, pages 4-6, of the RJN. Exhibit J consists of bankruptcy forms for Jose only and cannot support an argument regarding judicial estoppel against Leticia. As Plaintiff makes no further arguments for summary judgment against Leticia's claims, the Court finds that Plaintiff fails to meet its burden to show that Leticia's claims cannot be established.

Plaintiff makes similar arguments regarding Jose's claims for declaratory relief and quiet title, arguing that these claims are barred by judicial estoppel. Regarding judicial estoppel, Plaintiff fails to argue the third element, that Jose was successful in asserting his prior position in bankruptcy proceedings. Thus, Plaintiff fails to meet its burden to show that Jose's claims cannot be established.

Accordingly, the Court will deny summary judgment as to Leticia's First, Second, Third, and Fourth Causes of Action, and deny summary judgment as to Jose's First and Second Causes of Action.

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RULING: below,

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

Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment came on regularly for hearing on July 6, 2020, 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 FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS DENIED.

THE MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION IS GRANTED AS TO PLAINTIFF'S SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION, DENIED AS TO PLAINTIFF'S FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION, DENIED AS TO DEFENDANT LETICIA TORRES' FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH CAUSES OF ACTION, AND DENIED AS TO DEFENDANT JOSE TORRES' FIRST AND SECOND CAUSES OF ACTION.

DATE: _______________ _______________________________

JUDGE