This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/27/2020 at 13:44:08 (UTC).

TERESA FRAME VS LANCE JAY ROBBINS ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/02/2018 TERESA FRAME filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against LANCE JAY ROBBINS. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is TERESA A. BEAUDET. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0537

  • Filing Date:

    04/02/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

TERESA A. BEAUDET

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Cross Defendants

FRAME TERESA

FALOMIR MARISA

Defendants, Respondents and Cross Plaintiffs

DOES 1-20

BRICK RESURRECTION ON CHEROKEE

ROBBINS LANCE JAY

CHEROKEE BRICK RESURRECTION ON

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

HOYNG FRANCISCO

VERDUGO LAW GROUP LLP

LEACH ADAM MICHAEL

Attorney at Verdugo Law Group LLP

1445 Huntington Dr Ste 260

South Pasadena, CA 91030

LEACH ADAM M.

ALDER MICHAEL

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH LLP

HEGEDUS JOSEPH KENNETH

Attorney at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

533 W 5Th St Ste 4000

Los Angeles, CA 90071

APPLEN VI N.

Plaintiff and Cross Plaintiff Attorney

LEACH ADAM M.

Plaintiff and Cross Defendant Attorney

ALDER MICHAEL

 

Court Documents

Notice of Ruling - NOTICE OF RULING RE PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR SANCTIONS; NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND TRIAL

8/4/2020: Notice of Ruling - NOTICE OF RULING RE PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR SANCTIONS; NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND TRIAL

Motion re: - MOTION RE: REQUESTING EVIDENTIARY, ISSUE AND MONETARY SANCTIONS

7/8/2020: Motion re: - MOTION RE: REQUESTING EVIDENTIARY, ISSUE AND MONETARY SANCTIONS

Informal Discovery Conference

6/22/2020: Informal Discovery Conference

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC); HEARING ON MOTION TO COM...)

6/23/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC); HEARING ON MOTION TO COM...)

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

4/13/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Informal Discovery Conference

3/2/2020: Informal Discovery Conference

Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

2/28/2020: Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

12/3/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR: (1) A HEARING DATE FOR A...)

8/9/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR: (1) A HEARING DATE FOR A...)

Motion for Summary Adjudication

9/16/2019: Motion for Summary Adjudication

Order - Order Re: Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Portions of Lance Jay Robbins' Cross-Complaint

2/21/2019: Order - Order Re: Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Portions of Lance Jay Robbins' Cross-Complaint

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurr...)

2/21/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurr...)

Opposition - Cross-Complainant's Opposition to Cross-Defendant Teresa Frame's Unserved Motion to Strike portion of Cross-complaint

10/19/2018: Opposition - Cross-Complainant's Opposition to Cross-Defendant Teresa Frame's Unserved Motion to Strike portion of Cross-complaint

Minute Order -

9/24/2018: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF RULING AT CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

8/17/2018: NOTICE OF RULING AT CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

ANSWER BY DEFENDANTS LANCE JAY ROBBINS AND BRICK RESURRECTION ON CHEROKEE TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

7/20/2018: ANSWER BY DEFENDANTS LANCE JAY ROBBINS AND BRICK RESURRECTION ON CHEROKEE TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

COMPLAINT

4/2/2018: COMPLAINT

72 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/28/2021
  • Hearing07/28/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 07/16/2021
  • Hearing07/16/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 07/09/2021
  • Hearing07/09/2021 at 16:00 PM in Department 50 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Non-Appearance Case Review

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  • 10/29/2020
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by Lance Jay Robbins (Defendant)

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  • 09/22/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Continue Trial - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Party

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  • 08/26/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 08/14/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 08/07/2020
  • Docketat 4:00 PM in Department 50, Teresa A. Beaudet, Presiding; Non-Appearance Case Review (re lodge trial binders) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 08/04/2020
  • DocketOrder (re Motion for Evidentiary, Issue and Monetary Sanctions)

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  • 08/04/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling (RE PLAINTIFF?S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS; NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE AND TRIAL); Filed by Teresa Frame (Plaintiff)

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129 More Docket Entries
  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketCross-Complaint (by Defendant and Cross-Complainant Lance Jay Robbins Against Plaintiff and Cross-Defendant, Teresa Frame, and Cross-Defendant Marisa Falomir for (1) Theft, (2) Conversion, (3) Embezzlement, and (4) Negligence); Filed by Lance Jay Robbins (Cross-Complainant)

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketCross-Complaint; Filed by Lance Jay Robbins (Defendant); Brick Resurrection On Cherokee (Defendant)

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketANSWER BY DEFENDANTS LANCE JAY ROBBINS AND BRICK RESURRECTION ON CHEROKEE TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

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  • 07/20/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Lance Jay Robbins (Defendant); Brick Resurrection On Cherokee (Defendant)

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  • 04/11/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 04/11/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT

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  • 04/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Teresa Frame (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/01/1900
  • Docketat 08:32 AM in Department Legacy; Unknown event

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC700537    Hearing Date: August 03, 2020    Dept: 50

 

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

teresa frame,

Plaintiff,

vs.

lance jay robbins, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC 700537

Hearing Date:

August 3, 2020

Hearing Time:

2:00 p.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PLAINTIFF TERESA FRAME’S MOTION REQUESTING EVIDENTIARY, ISSUE, AND MONETARY SANCTIONS ($21,064)

Background

On April 2, 2018, Plaintiff Teresa Frame (“Frame”) filed this employment action against Defendants Lance Jay Robbins (“Robbins”) and Brick Resurrection on Cherokee (“BROC”) (jointly, “Defendants”). Frame asserts various causes of action for violation of the FEHA and for wrongful termination as well as causes of action for intentional misrepresentation, trespass, and wrongful eviction.

On June 11, 2019, Frame served her first set of Request for Production of Documents and Special Interrogatories to BROC. (Caruso Decl., ¶ 2.) On the same day, Frame served her second set of Request for Production of Documents and Special Interrogatories to Robbins. (Caruso Decl., ¶ 2.) After receiving blanket objections, Frame attempted to meet and confer with Defendants, to no avail. (Caruso Decl., ¶ 3.) On December 10, 2019, the parties participated in a third informal discovery conference (“IDC”) where the parties agreed to a Stipulation and Order re Discovery to Lance Jay Robbins and Brick Resurrection on Cherokee (the “Stipulated Order”). (Caruso Decl., ¶ 4, Ex. 1.) According to the Stipulated Order, Defendants agreed to produce documents responsive to Request for Production Nos. 28, 32, 33-38, and 45-47 to Robbins and Request for Production No. 3 to BROC on or before December 24, 2019.

On December 16, 2019, the Court ordered the parties to file a joint discovery plan after denying Defendants’ ex parte application to continue trial. (Caruso Decl., ¶ 5.) On December 19, 2019, the Parties’ Joint Discovery Plan Pursuant to the Court’s Order of December 16, 2019 and Order to Continue Trial (the “Discovery Plan Order”) was filed. (Caruso Decl., ¶ 6, Ex. 2.) The Discovery Plan Order provides, in pertinent part, that Defendants will produce documents as set forth in the Stipulated Order. Frame asserts that to date, Defendants have not complied with the Stipulated Order or the Discovery Plan Order. (Caruso Decl., ¶ 9.)

Frame now moves for an order to impose issue, evidentiary, and monetary sanctions against Defendants for their failure to comply with the Stipulated Order. The Defendants oppose.

Discussion

Disobeying a court order to provide discovery is a misuse of the discovery process. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (g).) There are a broad range of sanctions available against anyone engaging in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process, including issue, evidence, and monetary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.)

Frame seeks evidentiary sanctions in the form of precluding Defendants from introducing evidence disputing Frame’s causes of action for trespass and wrongful eviction and evidence that work errors or job performance contributed to Frame’s termination. Frame also seeks issue sanctions establishing the facts as to Frame’s trespass and wrongful eviction claims and establishing the fact that work errors and/or performance issues did not contribute to Frame’s termination. In addition, Frame seeks monetary sanctions in the amount of $21,064 for the attorney fees incurred by Frame in drafting four motions to compel (that were never filed), attending three IDC’s, and engaging in 11 months of meeting and conferring. (Caruso Decl.,

¶¶ 10-11.)

Defendants contend that the motion for sanctions is moot because Defendants have since produced the documents at issue. (Hegedus Decl., ¶ 4.) But the Court notes that Frame is not seeking to compel production of documents, she is seeking sanctions for Defendants’ failure to produce those documents pursuant to the Stipulated Order and the Discovery Plan Order.[1] Both orders required Defendants to serve responsive documents by December 24, 2019.[2] The documents were apparently served on July 21, 2020. (Reply, p. 4: 9-12.) Moreover, according to Frame, the documents were not labeled to correspond with the categories in Frame’s demand, nor were they produced as they are kept in the usual course of business. (Code Civ. Proc., §2031.280, subd. (a).)

Next, Defendants argue that there can be no prejudice to Frame for the late production because trial is not likely to occur for at least six months.[3] That point does militate against imposing issue and evidence sanctions, but the question of monetary sanctions remains. Defendants contend that they were unable to comply with the Stipulated Order and the Discovery Plan Order sooner because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Defendants also assert that their lead counsel had significant health issues at some point during the past couple of months and was admitted to the emergency room of a hospital. (Hegedus Decl., ¶ 5.) But as noted by Frame in reply, the documents were due on December 24, 2019, long before any shutdowns were ordered by local or state officials. And although the Court acknowledges and sympathizes with counsel’s health issues, there is no evidence that those health issues are what prevented Defendants from complying with the Stipulated Order and the Joint Discovery Order. And as Frame also points out, it does not appear that Defendants requested additional time to produce documents after December 24, 2019. Therefore, under the circumstances presented, monetary sanctions are the most appropriate remedy for Defendants’ misuse of discovery.

Defendants contend that the monetary sanctions requested by Frame are not allowable as a matter of law and otherwise unreasonable. Defendants point out that Frame did not identify every person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought in the notice of motion. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.040.) The notice of motion provides that Frame is seeking an order “awarding . . . monetary sanctions in the amount of $21,064, based on Defendants[‘] violation of the [Stipulated Order] and the [Joint Discovery Order].” (Not. of Mot., p. 2: 2-6.) The Court finds that this is sufficient to place Defendants on notice that Frame is seeking imposition of monetary sanctions against them. Moreover, the arguments contained in the accompanying memorandum of points and authorities also places Defendants on notice that Frame is seeking monetary sanctions against them. (See Mot., pp. 5:24, 9:18, 10:3-17.)

Defendants also argue that they acted with substantial justification or other circumstances make the imposition of monetary sanctions unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030, subd. (a).) Defendants assert that because they have served the document at issue, because of the ongoing pandemic, because of Defendants’ counsel’s illness, and because trial will not be scheduled until next year, it would be unjust to impose monetary sanctions. The Court does not find that Defendants acted with substantial justification or that imposing monetary sanctions would be unjust. The Court notes that the parties participated in multiple IDCs and that those IDCs resulted in stipulations and agreements to which the parties were expected to abide. That there was a difference of opinion about the scope of the underlying discovery does not detract from the fact that Defendants voluntarily agreed to produce documents by a certain date. Nevertheless, the Court does agree with Defendants that the sanctions requested by Frame should be limited. The Court does not find that imposing sanctions for the time spent attending IDC’s or drafting motions to compel that were never filed is reasonable under the circumstances. Therefore, the Court is inclined to award sanctions solely for the fees incurred in bringing this motion which led to the July 21st production of documents by Defendants. Frame’s counsel has provided evidence of the hours spent in preparing this motion, the reply, and attending the hearing on this matter, and the costs associated therewith. (Caruso Decl., ¶¶ 10-11.) ¶he Court finds that an attorney fees and costs award is substantially justified. Therefore, the Court awards to Frame sanctions in the amount of $500 x 4, $450 x 8 + $94 (CourtCall) + $60 (filing fee), for a total of $5,754.

Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, Frame’s motion is granted in part and denied in part. The Court orders Defendants to pay $5,754 to Frame within 30 days of the date of this Order.

Frame is ordered to provide notice of this Order.

DATED: August 3, 2020 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court\\


[1] The Court notes that there is no requirement to file a separate statement in support of a motion for sanctions under Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.

[2] The Court notes that Defendants dispute that the Stipulated Order and the Discovery Plan Order required them to produce documents. (Opp’n, p. 10:6-15.) But the Stipulated Order, which is signed by the Court, clearly states that “[t]he parties stipulate and agree that: 1. With respect to responses wherein Defendants represent that they ‘will produce’ documents, such documents will be produced by 12/24/19.” (Stipulated Order, p. 1:14-19.) Moreover, the Joint Discovery Order, also signed by the Court, states that “Defendants will produce documents as set forth in the stipulation drafted at the Informal Discovery Conference held on December 10, 2019.” (Joint Discovery Order, p. 2:18-19.) That Frame did not attach the signed version of these orders to her motion is not fatal because the Court can (and does) take judicial notice of its own records in this case which contain the signed versions of the orders.

[3] Although trial is currently scheduled for August 26, 2020, Presiding Judge Brazile’s July 10, 2020 General Order provides that no civil jury trials will commence before January 2021. Therefore, the August 26, 2020 date will be continued.

Case Number: BC700537    Hearing Date: December 03, 2019    Dept: 50

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 50

teresa frame,

Plaintiff,

vs.

lance jay robbins, et al.

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC 700537

Hearing Date:

December 3, 2019

Hearing Time:

8:30 a.m.

[TENTATIVE] ORDER RE:

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION REGARDING CROSS-COMPLAINT

Background

On April 2, 2018, Plaintiff Teresa Frame (“Frame”) filed this employment action against Defendants Lance Jay Robbins (“Robbins”) and Brick Resurrection on Cherokee. Frame alleges that Robbins is in the business of managing and leasing apartment units, and that Frame was hired by Robbins to be Vice President of Operations. (Compl., ¶ 10.) As part of her compensation, Frame was provided a rental unit to live in. (Compl., ¶ 10.) Frame was employed from on or about November 20, 2016 to February 12, 2018. (Compl., ¶ 10.) Frame asserts various causes of action for violation of the FEHA and for wrongful termination as well as causes of action for intentional misrepresentation, trespass, and wrongful eviction.

On July 20, 2018, Robbins filed a Cross-Complaint against Frame and cross-defendant Marisa Falomir (“Falomir”). Robbins asserts causes of action for theft, conversion, embezzlement, and negligence against Frame and Falomir. Robbins alleges that during Frame’s duties as an employee included supervising Falomir, and that Falomir and/or Frame caused monies to be wrongfully withdrawn or paid from Robbins’s bank accounts. (XC, ¶¶ 5-6.)

Frame now moves for summary adjudication as to the first, second, third, and fourth causes of action of Robbins’s Cross-Complaint. Robbins opposes.

Evidence

The Court rules on Robbins’s evidentiary objections to the Declaration of Francisco Hoyng as follows:

Objection 1: overruled

Objection 2: sustained

The Court rules on Robbins’s evidentiary objections to the Declaration of Teresa Frame as follows:

Objection 1: sustained

Because the first objection is to the entirety of the Declaration of Teresa Frame, the Court does not find it necessary to rule on the remaining objections, which are to specific portions of the declaration.

Legal Standard

“A party may move for summary adjudication as to one or more causes of action within an action, one or more affirmative defenses, one or more claims for damages, or one or more issues of duty, if the party contends that the cause of action has no merit, that there is no affirmative defense to the cause of action, that there is no merit to an affirmative defense as to any cause of action, that there is no merit to a claim for damages, as specified in Section 3294 of the Civil Code, or that one or more defendants either owed or did not owe a duty to the plaintiff or plaintiffs.” ((Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(f)(1).) “A motion for summary adjudication shall be granted only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.” (Ibid.) The moving party bears the initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing that there are no triable issues of material fact. ((Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850.) If the moving party carries this burden, the burden shifts to the opposing party to make a prima facie showing that a triable issue of material fact exists. ((Ibid. .) Courts “liberally construe the evidence in support of the party opposing summary judgment and resolve doubts concerning the evidence in favor of that party.” ((Dore v. Arnold Worldwide, Inc. (2006) 39 Cal.4th 384, 389.)

When a defendant seeks summary judgment or summary adjudication, he/she must show either (1) that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established; or (2) that there is a complete defense to that cause of action. ((Code Civ. Proc., § 437c(p)(2).)

Discussion

As a threshold matter, the Court does not find that Frame’s motion should be denied for failure to comply with California Rule of Court 3.1350(d). As acknowledged by Robbins, Frame proffers only 7 facts as undisputed and clearly states that the same 7 facts pertain to each cause of action that is the subject of this motion. (Frame’s Separate Statement at page 2, lines 4-5.) It does not appear that any confusion has resulted. Moreover, requiring reformatting in light of the ruling below would seem to be an unnecessary act that would add needless cost to both sides.

The Court also notes that, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 437c, subdivision (h), Robbins requests a denial of Frame’s motion because Frame has failed to submit to a deposition. This request is supported by a declaration from counsel for Robbins who states that “[a]fter numerous and lengthy efforts to set Frame’s deposition, she finally agreed to submit to deposition to be taken on November 18, 2019.” (Hegedus Decl., ¶ 3.) The Court notes that Frame’s motion was filed on September 16, 2019, and Robbins’s opposition was filed on November 12, 2019. The Court finds that this one sentence in counsel’s declaration fails to set forth a basis for a finding “that facts essential to justify opposition may exist but cannot, for reasons stated, be presented.” ((Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (h).)

As to the substance of Frame’s motion, Frame contends that Robbins does not have standing to pursue any of his causes of action because the money allegedly stolen or mishandled by Frame does not actually belong to Robbins personally. (Frame’s Undisputed Material Fact (“UMF”) 2.) In response to an interrogatory requesting identification of bank accounts from which the subject money originated, Robbins identified bank accounts for various entities but did not identify his own bank account. (Hoyng Decl., ¶ 3, Ex. 2, Response to Special Interrogatory No. 2.)

“Every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest, except as otherwise provided by statute.” ((Code Civ. Proc., § 367.) “A party who is not the real party in interest lacks standing to sue.” ((Redevelopment Agency of San Diego v. San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 912, 920.) “A real party in interest ordinarily is defined as the person possessing the right sued upon by reason of the substantive law.” ((Id. at pp. 920-921.) Frame argues that Robbins has not alleged any form of standing (e.g., assignment of rights) to bring suit on behalf of the nonparty entities to whom he admits the subject money belongs. Robbins counters that all of the entities named in his response to Special Interrogatory No. 2 are owned and controlled by him. (Response to UMF 2.) However, nothing in the evidence cited by Robbins in his response to UMF 2 demonstrates that he owns or controls any of the entities named in Special Interrogatory No. 2. Moreover, Robbins offers no authority for the proposition that property belonging to entities owned or controlled by him constitutes his personal property. Thus, the Court finds that Frame has established that Robbins does not have standing to proceed on the causes of action for theft, conversion, embezzlement, and negligence, and that Robbins has failed to raise a triable issue of fact on the standing issue.

Conclusion

For the reasons set forth above, the Court grants Frame’s motion for summary adjudication as to the first, second, third, and fourth causes of action of Robbins’s Cross-Complaint.

Frame is ordered to give notice of this ruling.

DATED: December 3, 2019 ________________________________

Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court