This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/21/2021 at 08:31:05 (UTC).

MARTHA P VALDEZ VS WILSONA SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 03/19/2021 MARTHA P VALDEZ filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against WILSONA SCHOOL DISTRICT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is STEPHEN MORGAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0177

  • Filing Date:

    03/19/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

STEPHEN MORGAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

VALDEZ MARTHA P

Defendants

CITY OF LANCASTER

WILSONA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

YADEGARI MICHAEL MORDECHAI

Defendant Attorney

BURNS ALLISON

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFFS FAILURE TO A...)

10/13/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFFS FAILURE TO A...)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFFS FAILURE TO A...) OF 10/13/2021

10/13/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SANCTIONS FOR PLAINTIFFS FAILURE TO A...) OF 10/13/2021

Order - ORDER AFTER HEARING/STATEMENT OF DECISON

8/12/2021: Order - ORDER AFTER HEARING/STATEMENT OF DECISON

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE) OF 08/12/2021, ORDER AFTER HEARING/STATEMENT OF DECISION

8/12/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE) OF 08/12/2021, ORDER AFTER HEARING/STATEMENT OF DECISION

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

8/12/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEMURRER - WITHOUT MOTION TO STRIKE)

Notice - NOTICE OF NO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

8/5/2021: Notice - NOTICE OF NO OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER

Request for Judicial Notice - REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF CITY OF LANCASTER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

7/16/2021: Request for Judicial Notice - REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF CITY OF LANCASTER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

7/16/2021: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - MEMORANDUM OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF CITY OF LANCASTER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

7/16/2021: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - MEMORANDUM OF POINTS & AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF CITY OF LANCASTER'S DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

Declaration - DECLARATION OF ALLISON E. BURNS IN SUPPORT OF CITY OF LANCASTER'S DEMURRER

7/16/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION OF ALLISON E. BURNS IN SUPPORT OF CITY OF LANCASTER'S DEMURRER

Proof of Personal Service

7/21/2021: Proof of Personal Service

Substitution of Attorney

6/25/2021: Substitution of Attorney

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INITIAL FEE WAIVER HEARING)

5/7/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INITIAL FEE WAIVER HEARING)

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER AFTER HEARING (SUPERIOR COURT)]

5/7/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR [ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER AFTER HEARING (SUPERIOR COURT)]

Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court)

5/7/2021: Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INITIAL FEE WAIVER HEARING)

4/7/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INITIAL FEE WAIVER HEARING)

Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

3/19/2021: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)

Complaint

3/19/2021: Complaint

8 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/19/2024
  • Hearing03/19/2024 at 08:30 AM in Department A14 at 42011 4th Street West, Lancaster, CA 93534; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal

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  • 02/07/2022
  • Hearing02/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department A14 at 42011 4th Street West, Lancaster, CA 93534; Order to Show Cause Re: Defendant City of Lancaster's Entry of Judgment

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  • 02/07/2022
  • Hearing02/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department A14 at 42011 4th Street West, Lancaster, CA 93534; Order to Show Cause Re: Completion of Service on Defendant Wilsona School District

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  • 10/13/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department A14, Stephen Morgan, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (Sanctions for Plaintiffs Failure to Appear on 08/12/21) - Held

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  • 10/13/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions for Plaintiffs Failure to A...) of 10/13/2021); Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/13/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Order to Show Cause Re: Sanctions for Plaintiffs Failure to A...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/12/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department A14, Stephen Morgan, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Held

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike) of 08/12/2021, Order After Hearing/Statement of Decision); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketOrder (After Hearing/Statement of Decison); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/12/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike)); Filed by Clerk

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6 More Docket Entries
  • 06/25/2021
  • DocketSubstitution of Attorney; Filed by MARTHA P VALDEZ (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/07/2021
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department A14, Stephen Morgan, Presiding; Initial Fee Waiver Hearing - Held - Motion Denied

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  • 05/07/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Initial Fee Waiver Hearing)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/07/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([Order on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court)]); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/07/2021
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver After Hearing (Superior Court); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/07/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department A14, Stephen Morgan, Presiding; Initial Fee Waiver Hearing - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 04/07/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Initial Fee Waiver Hearing)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/23/2021
  • DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/19/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/19/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by MARTHA P VALDEZ (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: 21AVCV00177 Hearing Date: August 12, 2021 Dept: A14

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Background

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This is a personal injury case.\r\nOn February 16, 2020, Plaintiff tripped and fell, sustaining injuries, while in\r\nhallway allegedly owned by Wilsona School District and the City of Lancaster\r\n(collectively “Defendants”). (Complaint, Page 1, ¶2.) Plaintiff alleges that a\r\ndangerous condition of public property existed in the form of an uneven or\r\nunleveled sidewalk. (Complaint, Page 3, ¶15.) Further, Plaintiff alleges that the\r\naforementioned dangerous condition existed due to Defendants’ negligence in\r\nmaintaining, managing, controlling, or operating of the location of incident\r\nand that the dangerous condition is the proximate cause of her injuries.

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On March 19, 2021, Plaintiff\r\nfiled her Complaint alleging Negligence and Dangerous Condition of Public\r\nProperty pursuant to Gov. Code §835 et seq.

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On June 25, 2021, Plaintiff filed\r\na Substitution of Attorney releasing former Attorney Yadegari and continuing pro\r\nper.

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On July 16, 2021, Defendant City\r\nof Lancaster (“Lancaster”) filed this instant demurrer.

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No Opposition has been filed.

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Analysis

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Standard for DemurrerA\r\ndemurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of\r\naction. (Hahn v. Mirda (2007)\r\n147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.) When considering demurrers, courts read the\r\nallegations liberally and in context. (Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006)\r\n144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228.) In a demurrer proceeding, the defects must\r\nbe apparent on the face of the pleading or by proper judicial notice. (CCP § 430.30(a).) A demurrer tests the\r\npleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters. (SKF\r\nFarms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905.) Therefore,\r\nit lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are\r\njudicially noticed. (Id.) The only issue involved in a\r\ndemurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with\r\nextraneous matters, states a cause of action. (Hahn, 147 Cal.App.4th at 747.)

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Meet and Confer Requirement\r\n– Before filing a demurrer or a motion to strike, the demurring or moving party\r\nis required to meet and confer with the party who filed the pleading demurred\r\nto or the pleading that is subject to the motion to strike for the purposes of\r\ndetermining whether an agreement can be reached through a filing of an amended\r\npleading that would resolve the objections to be raised in the demurrer. (Cal.\r\nCode Civ. Proc §430.41 and §435.5.) The\r\nCourt notes that the Moving Party has complied with the meet and confer requirement. (Decl. Allison E. Burns, ¶2-3.)

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Dangerous Condition of\r\nPublic Property – Lancaster argues that Plaintiff’s First Cause of\r\nAction, Dangerous Condition of Public Property, is unintelligible and ambiguous\r\nand fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. Under Cal.\r\nCode Civ. Proc. §430.10, ambiguous and unintelligible are included under the\r\nphrase “uncertain.” (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. §430.10(f).)

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  1. Uncertainty \r\n

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“A demurrer for uncertainty is strictly\r\nconstrued, even where a complaint is in some respects uncertain, because\r\nambiguities can be clarified under modern discovery procedures.” (Khoury\r\nv. Maly’s of California, Inc. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 612, 616\r\n[Questioned in relation to unfair business practice claims; cited by other\r\nsources for demurrer for uncertainty requirements such as Chen v. Berenjian\r\n(2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 811, 822].) “A demurrer for uncertainty will be sustained\r\nonly where the complaint is so bad that defendant cannot reasonably\r\nrespond—i.e., he or she cannot reasonably determine what issues must be\r\nadmitted or denied, or what counts or claims are directed against him\r\nor her.” (Id., See also Weil & Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial\r\n(The Rutter Group) §7:85.) “The objection of uncertainty does not go to the\r\nfailure to allege sufficient facts.” (Brea v. McGlashan (1934)\r\n3 Cal.App.2d 454, 459.) “It goes to the doubt as to what the pleader means by\r\nthe facts alleged.” (Id.) “Such a demurrer should not be sustained where\r\nthe allegations of the complaint are sufficiently clear to apprise the\r\ndefendant of the issues which he is to meet.” (People v. Lim (1941)\r\n18 Cal.2d 872, 882.)

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Here, Lancaster’s argument is that\r\nPlaintiff fails to state facts supporting her claim for dangerous condition of\r\npublic property, including but not limited to the location, date, and time of\r\nthe incident. (Memorandum of Points and Authorities, Page 3-6.) Additionally,\r\nLancaster argues that Plaintiff did not “include any singular and clear\r\nattributions made to the City.” (Id. at Page 5.)

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The Court has looked at the Complaint and\r\ndetermined that Plaintiff did not include a location so Lancaster cannot\r\ndetermine if the location of the incident is on its property or to what extent\r\nthe City owns the location in conjunction with Wilsona School District\r\n(Complaint ¶2). Providing that Lancaster has knowledge of the location due to\r\nthe Tort Claim submitted by Plaintiff to City of Lancaster dated\r\nJuly 31, 2020 (“Tort Claim”), there is still a question as to whether the\r\nincident alleged in the Complaint is that same as the one in the Tort Claim as\r\nthe dates of incident are different. (See Request for Judicial Notice, Tort\r\nClaim and Complaint [date on the Tort Claim is February 13, 2020 while the date\r\nof incident alleged in the Complaint is on February 16, 2020].) It follows that\r\nLancaster “cannot reasonably determine what issues must be admitted or denied,\r\nor what counts or claims are directed against [it].” (Khoury v. Maly’s of Calif., Inc. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 612, 616.)

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  1. Facts Sufficient to Constitute a Cause of\r\nAction

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Lancaster argues that Plaintiff\r\nfails to include the requisite and necessary factual allegations needed to\r\nsupport a cause of action for Dangerous Condition of Public Property.

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To maintain an action for dangerous\r\ncondition on public property, Plaintiff must show “that the property was in a dangerous\r\ncondition at the time of the injury, that the injury was proximately caused by\r\nthe dangerous condition, [and] that the dangerous condition created a reasonably\r\nforeseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred and that either. . .[a]\r\nnegligent or wrongful actor omission of an employee of the public entity within\r\nthe scope of his employment created the dangerous condition; or. . .[t]he\r\npublic entity had . . .notice of the dangerous condition . . . a sufficient\r\ntime prior to the injury to have taken measures to protect against the\r\ndangerous condition.” (Cal. Gov. Code §835, See also Cordova v. City of Los\r\nAngeles (2015) 61 Cal.4th 1099, 1105-1106.) Additionally, Plaintiff must\r\nshow that Lancaster owned or controlled the area of the incident. (See Goddard\r\nv. Department of Fish & Wildlife (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 350, 359 [“A\r\npublic entity may not be held liable under section 835 for a dangerous condition\r\nof property that it does not own or control” and Mamola v. State of\r\nCalifornia ex rel. Dept. of Transportation (1979) 94 Cal.App.3d 781, 788 [“For\r\nliability to be imposed on a public entity for a dangerous condition of property,\r\nthe entity must be in a position to protect against or warn of the hazard.\r\nTherefore, the crucial element is not ownership, but rather control.”].)

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Plaintiff does not allege facts sufficient\r\nto support a cause of action for Dangerous Condition of Public Property against\r\nLancaster because she does not show that Lancaster had ownership or control of\r\nthe property.

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Negligence\r\n– Lancaster argues\r\nthat Plaintiff fails to include the requisite and necessary\r\nfactual allegations needed to support a cause of action for Negligence and that\r\nPlaintiffs Cause of Action is uncertain.

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  1. Uncertainty

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Lancaster’s claim for uncertainty for the negligence claim\r\nis based on the same Complaint in which the facts alleged fail to provide\r\nsufficient information for Lancaster to determine what issues must be\r\nadmitted or denied, or what counts or claims are directed against.\r\nSee above for the Court’s analysis.

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  1. Facts Sufficient to Constitute a Cause of Action

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Lancaster argues that Plaintiff “does not allege ultimate\r\nfacts that, as a whole, apprise the City of the factual basis of the claim” in\r\nher Complaint. (Memorandum and Points of Authorities, Page 6.)

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The elements of a cause of action are: “(1) a legal duty to\r\nuse due care; (2) a breach of such legal duty; and (3) the breach as the\r\nproximate or legal cause of the resulting injury. (Ladd v. County of San\r\nMateo (1996) 12 Cal.4th 913, 917.)

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The California Supreme Court has a duty of care “may arise\r\nthrough statute or by contract [or] be premised upon the general character of\r\nthe activity in which the defendant engaged, the relationship between the\r\nparties or even the interdependent nature of human society.” (J'Aire Corp.\r\nv. Gregory (1979) 24 Cal. 3d 799, 803 [questioned by U.S. 9th Cir. Courts in\r\ncases where the parties have a contractual relationship in regards to contract;\r\nquestioned law not applicable to case at hand].)

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Here, Plaintiff has not established that Lancaster owed her\r\na duty of care at the location of the incident because no facts show that\r\nLancaster owned, maintained, managed, controlled, operated the area.

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Ability to Amend

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Lancaster argues that Plaintiff is unable to plead facts to\r\ncure the defects in her Complaint.

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It is an abuse of discretion to sustain a demurrer without\r\nleave to amend if there is a reasonable probability that the defect can be\r\ncured by amendment. (Schifando v. City of Los Angeles (2003) Cal.4th 1074, 108,\r\nas modified (Dec. 23, 2003).)

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Here, Lancaster has submitted a Request for Judicial Notice.\r\nEvidence Code §452(h) provides that a court may take judicial notice of\r\n“[f]acts and propositions that are not reasonably subject to dispute and are\r\ncapable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of\r\nreasonably indisputable accuracy.” Additionally, “a court may take judicial\r\nnotice of the fact of a document’s recordation, the date the document was\r\nrecorded and executed, the parties to the transaction reflected in a recorded\r\ndocument, and the document’s legally operative language, assuming there is no\r\ngenuine dispute regarding the document’s authenticity.” (Fontenot v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2011)\r\n198 Cal.App.4th 256, 265.) Moreover, “[f]rom this, the court may deduce and\r\nrely upon the legal effect of the recorded document, when that effect is clear\r\nfrom its face.” (Id.)

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The Court takes judicial notice of (1) the Tort Claim, (2)\r\nLancaster’s written response, dated August 4, 2020, denying Plaintiff’s initial\r\nTort Claim (“Response”), and (3) Lancaster’s General Plan Land Use Map Adopted\r\nJuly 14, 2009 by Resolution No. 09-52, showcasing the boundary lines of the\r\nCity of Lancaster (“Boundary Map”). (Request for Judicial Notice.) All are\r\nsubmitted under the concurrently filed declaration of Allison E. Burns.

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The Response informed Plaintiff that Wilsona Elementary\r\nSchool, located at the address given in the Tort Claim, is located in Lake Los\r\nAngeles, outside of Lancaster City Limits. (Exhibit A, Response.) Lancaster’s\r\nboundaries reach at its eastern most limit approximately to Avenue L and 120th\r\nStreet according to the Boundary Map. If the location of the incident is\r\nWilsona Elementary School at 41625 North 170th St., East

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Lancaster, CA 93591 as indicated on the Tort Claim, then it\r\nis outside of Lancaster’s boundaries.

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Plaintiff is not able to recover from Lancaster and this\r\ncannot be cured by amendment; however, she may amend her Complaint to substitute\r\nthe correct party as a Doe.

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Conclusion

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\r\n\r\nLancaster’s demurrer is SUSTAINED, without leave to\r\namend as to Defendant City of Lancaster. The Court allows Plaintiff Martha P.\r\nValdez 30 days to amend the pleadings to one that does not include Lancaster\r\nand can include any new defendants as supported by the facts and allowed by law."
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