This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 07/27/2022 at 02:09:44 (UTC).

PIERRE DEMIAN VS MONTEBELLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, A LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL AGENCY, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 12/20/2021 PIERRE DEMIAN filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against MONTEBELLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, A LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL AGENCY. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******6429

  • Filing Date:

    12/20/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

JON R. TAKASUGI

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

DEMIAN PIERRE

Defendants

CISNEROS EDGAR

FLORES JOANNA

GUTIERREZ JENNIFER

MARTINEZ ANTHONY

MONTEBELLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT A LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL AGENCY

RAMIREZ ALEJANDRO JR.

THE MONTEBELLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION THE GOVERNING BODY OF A LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL AGENCY

URIBE MARISOL MADRIGAL

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

UMHOFER MATTHEW DONALD

Defendant Attorneys

WALSH DENNIS J

KUNS JOSHUA ALAN

 

Court Documents

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

6/29/2022: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Separate Statement

6/29/2022: Separate Statement

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/12/2022: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT ANTHONY MARTINEZ

7/12/2022: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT ANTHONY MARTINEZ

Declaration - DECLARATION OF J. ANTHONY KING IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS GENERAL FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEF

7/12/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF J. ANTHONY KING IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS GENERAL FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEF

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

7/12/2022: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS GENERAL FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT ANTHONY MARTINEZ

7/12/2022: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS GENERAL FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT ANTHONY MARTINEZ

Declaration - DECLARATION OF J. ANTHONY KING IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT

7/12/2022: Declaration - DECLARATION OF J. ANTHONY KING IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

7/14/2022: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

7/20/2022: Reply - REPLY DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

Objection - OBJECTION TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER REPLY MEMORANDUM

7/21/2022: Objection - OBJECTION TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER REPLY MEMORANDUM

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

5/11/2022: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Amended Complaint - FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

3/11/2022: Amended Complaint - FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

3/30/2022: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Answer

4/13/2022: Answer

Case Management Statement

4/25/2022: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

4/26/2022: Case Management Statement

Case Management Statement

4/26/2022: Case Management Statement

28 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/21/2023
  • Hearing08/21/2023 at 10:00 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 08/10/2023
  • Hearing08/10/2023 at 10:00 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 09/30/2022
  • Hearing09/30/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIAN?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFF?S GENERAL FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT ANTHONY MARTINEZ

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  • 09/22/2022
  • Hearing09/22/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

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  • 08/19/2022
  • Hearing08/19/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Compel PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIAN?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFF?S REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION, SET ONE AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST DEFENDANT ANTHONY MARTINEZ

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  • 07/27/2022
  • Hearing07/27/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Case Management Conference

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  • 07/27/2022
  • Hearing07/27/2022 at 09:30 AM in Department 17 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

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  • 07/21/2022
  • DocketObjection (TO DEFENDANTS DEMURRER REPLY MEMORANDUM); Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/20/2022
  • DocketReply (Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Demurrer to First Amended Complaint for Damages); Filed by Montebello Unified School District, a local public educational agency (Defendant); The Montebello Unified School District Board of Education, the governing body of a local public educational agency (Defendant); Marisol Madrigal Uribe (Defendant) et al.

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  • 07/14/2022
  • DocketOpposition (PLAINTIFF PIERRE DEMIANS OPPOSITION TO DEMURRER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT); Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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30 More Docket Entries
  • 01/11/2022
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/11/2022
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/11/2022
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/11/2022
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/11/2022
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/11/2022
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/20/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/20/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/20/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Pierre Demian (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/20/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******6429 Hearing Date: July 27, 2022 Dept: 17

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 17

TENTATIVE RULING

PIERRE DEMIAN

vs.

MONTEBELLO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al.

Case No.: *******6429

Hearing Date: July 27, 2022

Defendants’ demurrer is OVERRULED.

The Court does not consider the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s prayer for punitive damages.

On 12/20/2021, Pierre Demian (Plaintiff) initiated this action. On 3/11/2022, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (FAC) against Montebello Unified School District, the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education, Anthony Martinez, Marisol Madrigal, Joanna Flores, Edgar Cisneros, Alejandro Ramirez, Jr., and Jennifer Gutierrez (collectively, Defendants), alleging violation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act.

Now, Defendants demur to Plaintiff’s first cause of action and the prayer for punitive damages.

Discussion

Defendants argue that they are entitled to immunity under California Government Code sections 815 and 820.2.

Section 820.2 “immunizes a public employee from liability for acts or omissions resulting from the exercise of the discretion vested in the public employee,” despite abuse of discretion. (Scott v. County of Los Angeles (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 125, 140.) “This ‘discretionary act’ immunity extends to ‘basic’ governmental policy decisions entrusted to broad official judgment.” (Caldwell v. Montoya (1995) 10 Cal.4th 972, 976.) Generally, “a discretionary act is one which requires the exercise of judgment or choice.” (Kemmerer v. County of Fresno (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 1426, 1437.)

Here, Plaintiff’s allegations against individual District Board Members involve their actions in a disciplinary proceeding which led to Plaintiff’s termination. Courts have found that the decision of a department head to institute disciplinary proceedings, and what discipline to impose, constitutes policy decisions involving the exercise of discretion. (See Kemmerer, supra, 200 Cal.App.3d at p. 1438; Nicole M. v. Martinez Unified Sch. Dist. (N.D.Cal. 1997) 964 F.Supp. 1369, 1389–90; Caldwell v. Montoya (1995) 10 Cal.4th 972.) Indeed, in Caldwell, the Court specially addressed the “narrow but important issue: are individual members of an elected school board immune from a suit seeking damages against them personally for their successful votes to terminate the employment of the school district's superintendent…?” The Court concluded that the board members were immune even where the dismissed official alleges that the members' votes were cast for reasons that violated FEHA.” (Id. at p. 976.)

However, in opposition, Plaintiff argues that there is an exception to discretionary immunity for whistleblower actions. In support, he cites Defendant’s own case: Caldwell. In Caldwell, the Court distinguished FEHA and whistleblower laws and wrote:

Insofar as such whistle-blower statutes focus in particular on those who act to suppress or punish revelations of fraud, corruption, or illegality in government business, the core statutory objectives might well be obviated by a conclusion that cover-up efforts by a public official are eligible for immunity.

(Caldwell, supra, 10 Cal. 4th at 986 n.7, 988.)

Likewise in Conn v. Western Pacer Unified School District (2010) 186 Cal. App. 4th 1163, 1179, the court refused to apply discretionary act immunity to a whistleblower retaliation claim asserted by a teacher who was denied tenure. The plaintiff in Conn brought suit against the school district and several individual district employees under California Education Code section 44113, which bars employees from “directly or indirectly us[ing] or attempt[ing] to use the official authority or influence of the employee for the purpose of intimidating, coercing, commanding, or attempting to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or command any person for the purpose of interfering with the right of that person to disclose to an official agent matters within the scope of this article.”

In reply, Defendants now concede that discretionary immunity does not apply to claims brought under the California Whistleblower Protection Act (CWPA). Instead, Defendants argue that Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to state a claim under the CWPA, and thus discretionary immunity applies. However, Defendants did not raise this argument in their original motion, and Plaintiff was not provided an opportunity to oppose these arguments. Accordingly, the Court may not properly consider it.

Moreover, a challenge to a prayer for damages is properly raised through a motion to strike, not a demurrer. (See Code Civ Proc., 435-437) Accordingly, the Court cannot properly consider the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s prayer for punitive damages here.

Based on the foregoing, Defendants’ demurrer is overruled. The Court does not consider the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s prayer for punitive damages.

It is so ordered.

Dated: July , 2022

Hon. Jon R. Takasugi Judge of the Superior Court

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at smcdept17@lacourt.org by 4 p.m. the day prior as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If all parties to a motion submit, the court will adopt this tentative as the final order. If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar.

Due to Covid-19, the court is strongly discouraging in-person appearances. Parties, counsel, and court reporters present are subject to temperature checks and health inquiries, and will be denied entry if admission could create a public health risk. The court encourages the parties wishing to argue to appear via L.A. Court Connect. For more information, please contact the court clerk at (213) 633-0517. Your understanding during these difficult times is appreciated.



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