Judge: Christopher K. Lui, Case: 21STCV28878, Date: 2022-08-03 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 21STCV28878    Hearing Date: August 3, 2022    Dept: 76

Pursuant to California Rule of Court
3.1308(a)(1), the Court does not desire oral argument on the motion addressed
herein.  As required by Rule 3.1308(a)(2), any party seeking oral argument
must notify ALL OTHER PARTIES and the staff of Department 76 of their intent to
appear and argue.  Notice to Department 76 may be sent by email to
smcdept76@lacourt.org or telephonically at 213-830-0776.  If notice of
intention to appear is not given and the parties do not appear, the Court will
adopt the tentative ruling as the final ruling.

IF THE PARTIES DO NOT APPEAR, THE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE SET FOR 8:30 A.M. ON AUGUST 3, 2022 WILL BE CONTINUED TO AUGUST 30, 2022 AT 8:30 A.M.


            Plaintiff 108 Motel Inc. (“Plaintiff”) alleges that it purchased a commercial property insurance policy to protect against losses resulting from catastrophic events, such as the current unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic. (FAC, ¶ 1.) Plaintiff alleges that in breach of the insurance obligations that Defendant General Star Indemnity Company (“Defendant”) undertook in exchange for receipt of Plaintiff s premium payments, Defendant denied Plaintiff’s insurance claims arising from interruptions of Plaintiff’s business caused by the COVID-l9 pandemic and closure orders. (FAC, ¶ 3.)

Defendant demurs to each of the causes of action of the First Amended Complaint.

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant’s demurrer to the First Amended Complaint is continued because Defendant failed to file a meet and confer declaration in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41.

DISCUSSION: 

Meet and Confer

Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41, subdivision (a)(1) provides:  

“(a) Before filing a demurrer pursuant to this chapter, the demurring party shall meet and confer in person or by telephone with the party who filed the pleading that is subject to demurrer for the purpose of determining whether an agreement can be reached that would resolve the objections to be raised in the demurrer. If an amended complaint, cross-complaint, or answer is filed, the responding party shall meet and confer again with the party who filed the amended pleading before filing a demurrer to the amended pleading.

(1) As part of the meet and confer process, the demurring party shall identify all of the specific causes of action that it believes are subject to demurrer and identify with legal support the basis of the deficiencies. The party who filed the complaint, cross-complaint, or answer shall provide legal support for its position that the pleading is legally sufficient or, in the alternative, how the complaint, cross-complaint, or answer could be amended to cure any legal insufficiency.”

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41, subdivision (a)(3), “[t]he demurring party shall file and serve with the demurrer a declaration stating either of the following: (A) The means by which the demurring party met and conferred with the party who filed the pleading subject to demurrer, and that the parties did not reach an agreement resolving the objections raised in the demurrer. (B) That the party who filed the pleading subject to demurrer failed to respond to the meet and confer request of the demurring party or otherwise failed to meet and confer in good faith. 

Here, Defendant failed to file a meet and confer declaration in support of its demurrer in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41, subdivision (a)(3).

The Court notes that Plaintiff’s counsel’s declaration in support of Plaintiff’s opposition to the demurrer indicates, “Defendant’s counsel and I met and conferred via phone call prior to the filing of the Demurrer.” (Keusseyan Decl., ¶ 3.) However, this does not satisfy the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. As set forth above,[t]he demurring party shall file and serve with the demurrer a declaration stating…The means by which the demurring party met and conferred with the party who filed the pleading subject to demurrer, and that the parties did not reach an agreement resolving the objections raised in the demurrer…” (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.41, subd. (a)(3), emphasis added.)

Based on the foregoing, the Court continues the hearing on the demurrer to August 30, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 76.

Defendant is ordered to meet and confer with Plaintiff within 10 days of the date of this order. If the parties are unable to resolve the pleading issues or if the parties are otherwise unable to meet and confer in good faith, Defendant is to thereafter file and serve a declaration setting forth the efforts to meet and confer in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41, subdivision (a)(3) within 15 days of this order.  

Defendant is ordered to give notice of this order.