On 03/06/2018 a Property - Other Property Fraud case was filed by PEDRO BALTAZAR DELGADO against BEST AUTO TRADERS LLC in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
HOLLY E. KENDIG
BEST AUTO TRADERS LLC
DOES 1 THROUGH 50
BEST AUTO TRADERS LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
HAGHIGHAT [DOE 1] ALIREZA
10/26/2018: Minute Order
12/4/2018: Substitution of Attorney
12/7/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice
2/8/2019: Minute Order
2/8/2019: Supplemental Declaration
4/3/2019: Minute Order
5/14/2019: Substitution of Attorney
5/14/2019: Case Management Statement
5/15/2019: Minute Order
5/16/2019: Substitution of Attorney
5/17/2019: Substitution of Attorney
7/11/2019: Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name)
7/11/2019: Motion for Leave to Amend
4/5/2018: ANSWER OF DEFENDANTS TO COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF PEDRO BALTAZAR DELGADO
3/6/2018: COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC
at 08:30 AM in Department 26, Elaine Lu, Presiding; Case Management Conference - Held - ContinuedRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Pedro Baltazar-Delgado (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Motion and Motion to Amend the Complaint; Filed by Pedro Baltazar-Delgado (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Amendment to Complaint (Fictitious/Incorrect Name); Filed by Pedro Baltazar-Delgado (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 26, Elaine Lu, Presiding; Order to Show Cause Re: (defendant's filing of substitution of attorney)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Pedro Baltazar-Delgado (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Pedro Baltazar-Delgado (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Order (Re Motion to strike answer as to defendant Best Auto Traders); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Best Auto Traders, LLC, a California limited liability company (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
ANSWER OF DEFENDANTS TO COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF PEDRO BALTAZAR DELGADORead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE & OSC RE PROOF OF SERVICERead MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Request-Waive Court FeesRead MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Request to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/PetitionerRead MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Pedro Baltazar-Delgado (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVERRead MoreRead Less
Request to Waive Court FeesRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC696360 Hearing Date: February 21, 2020 Dept: 26
Pedro baltazar delgado,
best auto traders, llc, et al.,
Case No.: BC696360
Hearing Date: February 21, 2020
[TENTATIVE] order RE:
plaintiff’S motion for leave to amend complaint
On March 6, 2018, plaintiff Pedro Baltazar Delgado (“Plaintiff”) filed the Complaint in this case alleging (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (3) constructive trust, (4) promissory estoppel, (5) negligent misrepresentation, (6) intentional misrepresentation, and (7) fraud against Defendant Best Auto Traders LLC (“Defendant Best Auto”) and Does 1 through 50 relating to a written agreement regarding the purchase of a vehicle.
On August 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for leave to amend the complaint. On February 6, 2020, Defendant Best Auto and proposed defendant Alireza Haghighat (collectively “Defendants”), who was Doe 1 in the original complaint, filed an opposition. No reply has been filed.
Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1) states: “The court may, in furtherance of justice, and on any terms, as may be proper, allow a party to amend any pleading or proceeding by adding or striking out the name of any party, or by correcting a mistake in the name of a party, or a mistake in any other respect; and may, upon like terms, enlarge the time for answer or demurrer. The court may likewise, in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading or proceeding in other particulars; and may upon like terms allow an answer to be made after the time limited by this code.”
Judicial policy favors resolution of all disputed matters between the parties, and therefore, courts have held that “there is a strong policy in favor of liberal allowance of amendments.” (Mesler v. Bragg Management Co. (1985) 39 Cal.3d 290, 296-97; see also Ventura v. ABM Industries, Inc. (2013) 212 Cal.App.4th 258, 268) [“Trial courts are bound to apply a policy of great liberality in permitting amendments to the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, up to and including trial where the adverse party will not be prejudiced.”].)
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1324(a), a motion to amend must: (1) include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered; and (2) state what allegations are proposed to be deleted from or added to the previous pleading and where such allegations are located. Rule 3.1324(b) requires a separate declaration that accompanies the motion, stating: “(1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reason why the request for amendment was not made earlier.”
“Unless otherwise ordered or specifically provided by law, all moving and supporting papers shall be served and filed at least 16 court days before the hearing.” (CCP § 1005(b).) The time is determined by counting backward from the hearing date (plus any additional days required because of mailing or other methods of service), excluding the day of the hearing. (CCP § 12c); (see Stasz v. Eisenberg (2010) 190 CA4th 1032, 1038.)
Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend was filed on August 12, 2019. The Proof of service filed shows service on Defendant Best Auto on November 1, 2019 by mail and service on Defendant Haghighat on January 8, 2020, by mail. Thus, the motion was timely filed and served.
Plaintiff seeks leave to amend the complaint to include the identification of Doe 1 as Alireza Haghighat and as the owner and alter ego of Defendant Best Auto Traders, LLC. Plaintiff, however, has not complied with California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1324. While the notice of the motion mentions a redline copy of the amended complaint as an exhibit B, no such exhibit has been attached. In addition, though noticed in the motion, no declaration has been filed stating (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier. (Rule 3.1324(b).)
While there is a “strong policy in favor of liberal allowance of amendments[,]” (Mesler, supra, 39 Cal.3d at pp.296-97), it has long been held that permitting or refusing amendments to pleadings is within the discretion of the court. (Duffey v. General Petroleum Corp. (1949) 93 Cal.App.2d 757; ¿John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Markowitz (1944) 62 Cal.App.2d 388; ¿Frankish v. Frankish Co. (1930) Cal.App. 93; ¿ Canfield v. Bates (1859) 13 Cal. 606.) Further, an application to amend a pleading may be denied, where no showing is made to justify the court's discretionary power. (Cullinan v. McColgan (1927) 87 Cal.App. 684.)
Here, the lack of declaration is compounded by the memorandum in which the Plaintiff has only provided the legal authority allowing an amendment but has failed to provide any reason to support an amendment. Accordingly, if Plaintiff wishes to amend the complaint Plaintiff is to make an offer of proof at the hearing as to (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.
In its opposition, Defendants do not claim any prejudice but rather claim that the proposed amendment is a mere sham pleading. Defendants contend that the proposed amendment is not made in good faith, and that it contradicts prior admissions made by the prior complaint. Defendants claim that the new proposed complaint contradicts the previous complaint by stating that Defendants Best Auto and Haghighat entered into the written agreement whereas in the original complaint, Plaintiff alleged only that Defendant Best Auto entered into the agreement. However, it is unclear how this is a contradiction. The proposed amended complaint pleads an alter ego theory, and as such, Defendant Haghighat could be liable under an alter ego theory. Further, Defendants’ claims of misrepresentation fail to address the fact that more than two individuals can be parties to a contract.
Accordingly, the Court finds that Defendants’ claims of misrepresentation sham pleading are without merit.
CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER
Plaintiff must make an offer of proof at the hearing as to (1) the effect of the amendment; (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) the reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.
If Plaintiff fails to do so, Plaintiff’s request for leave to amend the complaint will be DENIED without prejudice for Plaintiff to file a renewed motion for leave to amend that complies with California Rules of Court, Rule 3.1324(a).
Moving Party is ordered to provide notice of this order and file proof of service of such.
DATED: February 21, 2020 ___________________________
Judge of the Superior Court