This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 03/27/2020 at 07:26:02 (UTC).

LILLIAN L CARANZA VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Case Summary

On 01/19/2018 LILLIAN L CARANZA filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against CITY OF LOS ANGELES. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DEIRDRE HILL and ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0761

  • Filing Date:

    01/19/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DEIRDRE HILL

ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

CARANZA LILLIAN L.

CARRANZA LILLIAN L.

Plaintiff and Appellant

CARRANZA LILLIAN L.

Defendants and Respondents

LOS ANGELES CITY OF

DOES 1 TO 100

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SMITH GREGORY W. ESQ.

AL FAIZ LEILA K. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

WATERMAN MARK W. ESQ.

KITABAYASHI MARK K. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Order - Dismissal - ORDER - DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE AS TO DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE

2/27/2020: Order - Dismissal - ORDER - DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE AS TO DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER - NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT AND NOTICE OF ENTRY...)

2/27/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER - NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT AND NOTICE OF ENTRY...)

Separate Statement

10/2/2019: Separate Statement

Separate Statement

11/18/2019: Separate Statement

Separate Statement

12/2/2019: Separate Statement

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S LODGING OF DOCUMENTS CONDITIONALLY UNDER SEAL RE: NOTICE OF ERRATA RE: PLAINTIFF'S COMPENDIUM OF DECLARATIONS & EXHIBITS IN OPPOSITION TO MO

12/4/2019: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S LODGING OF DOCUMENTS CONDITIONALLY UNDER SEAL RE: NOTICE OF ERRATA RE: PLAINTIFF'S COMPENDIUM OF DECLARATIONS & EXHIBITS IN OPPOSITION TO MO

Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA RE: PLAINTIFF LILLIAN L. CARRANZA'S COMPENDIUM OF DECLARATIONS AND EXHIBITS IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (PUBLIC VERSION)

12/4/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA RE: PLAINTIFF LILLIAN L. CARRANZA'S COMPENDIUM OF DECLARATIONS AND EXHIBITS IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (PUBLIC VERSION)

Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA RE: PLAINTIFF LILLIAN L. CARRANZA'S COMPENDIUM OF DECLARATIONS AND EXHIBITS IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

12/16/2019: Notice - NOTICE OF ERRATA RE: PLAINTIFF LILLIAN L. CARRANZA'S COMPENDIUM OF DECLARATIONS AND EXHIBITS IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Stipulation and Order - to Permit Plaintiff to File a second Amended Complaint; Order Thereon

10/16/2018: Stipulation and Order - to Permit Plaintiff to File a second Amended Complaint; Order Thereon

Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) Second Amended Complaint for Damages

10/16/2018: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) - Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name) Second Amended Complaint for Damages

Opposition - City of Los Angeles' Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Discovery of Peace Officer Personnel and Other Records of Los Angeles Police Department

11/29/2018: Opposition - City of Los Angeles' Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Discovery of Peace Officer Personnel and Other Records of Los Angeles Police Department

Ex Parte Application - Ex Parte Application joint stipulation to continue trial

12/27/2018: Ex Parte Application - Ex Parte Application joint stipulation to continue trial

Case Management Statement

2/27/2019: Case Management Statement

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER ADVANCING HEARING DATE AND SHORTENING TIME ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AN ORDER DIRECTING THE COURT REPORTER TO PREPARE THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE 04-

5/17/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER ADVANCING HEARING DATE AND SHORTENING TIME ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AN ORDER DIRECTING THE COURT REPORTER TO PREPARE THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE 04-

Minute Order -

5/1/2018: Minute Order -

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

1/31/2018: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

1/31/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION (LABOR CODE 1102.5)

1/19/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION (LABOR CODE 1102.5)

97 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/20/2020
  • DocketAppeal - Ntc Designating Record of Appeal APP-003/010/103; Filed by City of Los Angeles (Respondent)

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  • 03/13/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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  • 03/11/2020
  • DocketAppeal - Ntc Designating Record of Appeal APP-003/010/103; Filed by Lillian L. Carranza (Appellant)

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  • 03/06/2020
  • DocketNotice of Filing of Notice of Appeal (Unlimited Civil) (NOA:3/5/20); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/05/2020
  • DocketAppeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed; Filed by Lillian L. Carranza (Appellant)

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  • 02/27/2020
  • Docketat 4:30 PM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 02/27/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order - Notice of Entry of Judgment and Notice of Entry...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/27/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order - Notice of Entry of Judgment and Notice of Entry...) of 02/27/2020, a copy of "Judgment" is sent along with the minute order dated: February 27, 2020); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/27/2020
  • DocketOrder - Dismissal (without prejudice as to Does 1 through 100, inclusive); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/27/2020
  • DocketJudgment (in favor of Defendant City of Los Angeles and against Plaintiff Lillian L. Carranza); Filed by City of Los Angeles (Defendant)

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130 More Docket Entries
  • 03/08/2018
  • DocketFirst Amended Complaint; Filed by Lillian L. Caranza (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/08/2018
  • DocketFIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

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  • 03/08/2018
  • DocketFirst Amended Complaint for Damages 1. Whistleblower Retaliation (Labor Code 1102.5); Filed by Lillian L. Caranza (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/31/2018
  • DocketORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 01/31/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/31/2018
  • DocketOSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/31/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 01/19/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION (LABOR CODE 1102.5)

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  • 01/19/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Lillian L. Caranza (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/19/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC690761    Hearing Date: December 16, 2019    Dept: 48

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

MOVING PARTY: Defendant City of Los Angeles

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Lillian L. Carranza

PROOF OF SERVICE:

ANALYSIS

Motion for Summary Judgment

Documents Lodged Conditionally Under Seal

The Court previously determined that Defendant’s motion to seal was moot. Defendant’s documents are to be placed in the public record.

As for the documents lodged conditionally under seal by Plaintiff, no timely motion to seal having been filed, those documents are also to be placed in the public record. CRC Rule 2.551(b)(3).

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 matter.

Declaration of Lillian Carranza

No. 8: OVERRULED. Relevant. Sufficient foundation. Hearsay exception—authorized admission of party opponent.

No. 10: OVERRULED. Relevant. Sufficient foundation. Hearsay exception—authorized admission of party opponent.

Nos 19 – 22, 27 – 30: OVERRULED. Relevant. Sufficient foundation.

Discussion

Plaintiff brings a sole cause of action for violation of Labor Code § 1102.5, which provides in pertinent part:

. . .

(b) An employer, or any person acting on behalf of the employer, shall not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information, or because the employer believes that the employee disclosed or may disclose information, to a government or law enforcement agency, to a person with authority over the employee or another employee who has the authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, or for providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a violation of or noncompliance with a local, state, or federal rule or regulation, regardless of whether disclosing the information is part of the employee’s job duties.

. . .

(e) A report made by an employee of a government agency to his or her employer is a disclosure of information to a government or law enforcement agency pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b).

. . .

Lab Code § 1102.5(b) & (e)(bold emphasis added).

Plaintiff alleges that she engaged in whistleblowing activities as to underreporting of aggravated assaults. 2AC, ¶ 14.

The Court finds to be persuasive Defendant’s argument that Plaintiff cannot state a prima face claim for violation of Labor Code § 1102.5(b) because she disclosed to Defendant facts which were already publicly-known. As matter of law, the California whistleblower protection does not protect her disclosure. In Mize-Kurzman v. Marin Community College Dist. (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 832, the lower court entered judgment in favor of defendants against the plaintiff on her whistleblower claim under Labor Code § 1102.5. Id. at 839.

(4) Reporting Publicly Known Facts Is Not a Protected Disclosure.

We are persuaded that this was a proper limitation on what constitutes disclosure protected by California law. We agree with Huffman, supra, 263 F.3d 1341, 1349–1350, and other federal cases that have held that the report of information that was already known did not constitute a protected disclosure. (See, e.g., Meuwissen v. Department of Interior (Fed.Cir. 2000) 234 F.3d 9, 12–13 [report of publicly known information that constituted a decision in the course of adjudication was not the kind of disclosure the federal WPA was intended to protect]; Francisco v. Office of Personnel Management (Fed.Cir. 2002) 295 F.3d 1310, 1314 [report of information already publicly known did not constitute a protected disclosure].) We also read the term “disclosure” consistent with its “ordinarily understood meaning.” (Huffman, at p. 1349.) “[T]he term ‘disclosure’ means to reveal something that was hidden and not known.” (Id. at pp. 1349–1350; see Webster’s 3d New Internat. Dict. (1968) p. 645.) Both Labor Code section 1102.5 and Education Code section 87162, subdivision (e), use variants of the term “disclose” (i.e., “disclosing” and “discloses” in Lab. Code, § 1102.5,  [*859]  subd. (b), and “[p]rotected disclosure” in Ed. Code, § 87162, subd. (e)) and there is no reason to believe the terms were being used in anything other than their ordinary sense.

This conclusion is consistent with those cases holding that the employee’s report to the employee’s supervisor about the supervisor’s own wrongdoing is not a “disclosure” and is not protected whistleblowing activity, because the employer already knows about his or her wrongdoing (Huffman, supra, 263 F.3d at pp. 1349–1350; see, e.g., Reid v. Merit Systems Protection Bd. (Fed.Cir. 2007) 508 F.3d 674, 678 (Reid); Horton, supra, 66 F.3d at p. 282.) Moreover, criticism delivered directly to the wrongdoers does not further the purpose of either the federal WPA or the California whistleblower laws to encourage disclosure of wrongdoing to persons who may be in a position to act to remedy it. (Huffman, supra, 263 F.3d at pp. 1349–1351; Horton, at p. 282; see Colores, supra, 105 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1312–1313.) In California cases holding that a public employee’s report of wrongdoing to his or her own employer is not excluded from qualifying as a disclosure protected under the Labor Code, the superior to whom the report is made is not the person involved in the alleged wrongdoing. (See Colores, supra, 105 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1312–1313; Patten, supra, 134 Cal.App.4th at p. 1386.)

The court did not err in instructing that reporting publicly known facts is not a disclosure protected by the California whistleblower statutes at issue here.

Id. at 858-59 (bold emphasis and underlining added).

Attached as Exhibits B and C to the Declaration of John Neuman are Los Angeles Times articles dated August 9, 2014 and December 16, 2014. These articles publicly discuss the LAPD’s misclassification of violent crimes as minor offenses and discusses the LAPD’s knowledge of this issue.

.

Indeed, Plaintiff admits in her declaration that she was first informed in October 2011 by Deputy Chief McCarthy at the Newton Division that the Department had identified failures of accountability with respect to Detective functions, including crime reporting, and the Department was assigning her there to fix these problem s. Declaration of Lillian Carranza, ¶ 14. Indeed, she was told by the Bureau Chief, Jose Perez, that:

. . . Newton Detective Division had been “underperforming in detective functions, including proper coding and classification of crimes,” or words to that effect. Perez further told me that Newton Detective Division had “failed three accountability audits, which includes proper coding and classification of crime,” or words to that effect.

Id.

As such, it was the LAPD who informed Plaintiff that there was a crime classification problem and the LAPD assigned Plaintiff to deal with this problem.

Significantly, Plaintiff admits at ¶ 16 of her Declaration that the 2014 Los Angeles Times article was the reason she, Deputy Chief McCarthy and Chief of Staff Rick Jacobs determined that aggravated assault had been misclassified:

16. In or around 2014, when the Los Angeles Times brought a number of crime reports to the Department's attention, claiming the crimes in question were aggravated assaults that the Department had misclassified as simple assaults, then-Deputy Chief McCarthy and then-Chief of Staff Rick Jacobs requested my assistance in reviewing the crime reports to determine their proper classification. Specifically, McCarthy requested that I attend a meeting with then-Chief of Staff, Rick Jacobs, to review the crime reports and brief him on the proper classification of the crimes in question. I attended this meeting, along with McCarthy and a Detective III, Sophie Toledo. During the meeting, Jacobs provided us copies of the crime reports at issue and explained that, while COMPSTAT personnel maintained these crimes were properly classified as simple assaults, the LA Times had claimed that the crimes were aggravated assaults. Jacobs requested our assistance in resolving this dispute and determining the proper classification for the crimes at issue. After reviewing the crime reports, all three of us, namely, McCarthy, Toledo, and me, concurred that the crimes in question were aggravated assaults and that they had been misclassified. We briefed Jacobs accordingly.

(Bold emphasis and underlining added.)

Plaintiff indicates in her Declaration that it was not until February 2015 that she even performed her review of simple assault crime information and thereafter began informing her superiors of the misclassification at the Van Nuys Division and other divisions. Carranza Decl., ¶¶ 23 et seq. However, as discussed above this was a problem that was already reported to the public in August and December 2014, which the LAPD acknowledged and was taking steps to redress. The fact that Plaintiff uncovered instances of erroneous crime reporting at other divisions does not come within the meaning of “whistleblowing” because it is merely identifying instances of a department-wide problem of which the LAPD was already aware. As such, there was no “disclosure” for purposes of Labor Code § 1102.5 because Plaintiff did not “reveal something that was hidden and not known.” Mize-Kurzman, supra, 202 Cal.App.4th at 858.

Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claim for violation of Labor Code § 1102.5 fails as a matter of law.

The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

Case Number: BC690761    Hearing Date: November 15, 2019    Dept: 48

MOTION TO SEAL

MOVING PARTY: Defendant City of Los Angeles

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Lillian L. Carranza

PROOF OF SERVICE:

ANALYSIS

Motion to Seal

Defendant City of Los Angeles moves to seal its motion for summary judgment and supporting papers.

According to the reply, Defendant no longer seeks a motion to seal, based upon Plaintiff’s representation in her opposition that she has explicitly waived her right of privacy in her qualifications as it relates to the commander promotions.

Accordingly, the motion to seal is placed OFF-CALENDAR AS MOOT .