Judge: Deirdre Hill, Case: 22TRCV00147, Date: 2022-07-29 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22TRCV00147    Hearing Date: July 29, 2022    Dept: M

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Southwest District

Torrance Dept. M

 

MARTIN B. CANTER, et al.,

 

 

 

Plaintiffs,

 

Case No.:

 

 

22TRCV00147

 

vs.

 

 

[Tentative] RULING

 

 

KETAL PATEL, et al.,

 

 

 

Defendants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing Date:                          July 29, 2022

 

Moving Parties:                      Plaintiffs Martin B. Canter and Roselle Maria Clark

Responding Party:                  Defendants Ketan Patel, et al.

Demurrer to Answer

 

            The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

RULING

The demurrer to the answer is SUSTAINED WITH 20 DAYS LEAVE TO AMEND as to each of defendants’ affirmative defenses.

BACKGROUND

On March 1, 2022, plaintiffs Martin B. Canter, aka Matador Professional Services and Roselle Maria Clark, aka Rnqueen Nursing Consultants, Inc. (self-represented) filed a complaint against Ketan Patel, Jayshree Patel, aka Purview Hospice & Palliative Care, and aka Total Home Health, Inc. for (1) collection of monies, (2) deceptive business practices, and (3) fraud.

            On May 19, 2022, the court overruled defendants Ketan Patel and Jayshree Patel’s demurrer to the complaint.

            On June 27, 2022, defendants Ketan Patel and Jayshree Patel filed an answer.

 

LEGAL AUTHORITY

When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context.  Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228.  “A demurrer tests the pleadings alone and not the evidence or other extrinsic matters.  Therefore, it lies only where the defects appear on the face of the pleading or are judicially noticed.”  SKF Farms v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 902, 905.  “The only issue involved in a demurrer hearing is whether the complaint, as it stands, unconnected with extraneous matters, states a cause of action.”  Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal. App. 4th 740, 747.

Plaintiff may demur to an answer on the ground of insufficient pleading of defenses.  CCP §430.20.  Under CCP §431.30(g), every affirmative defense “shall be separately stated, and the several defenses shall refer to the causes of action which they are intended to answer, in a manner by which they may be intelligibly distinguished.”  “The same pleading of ‘ultimate facts’ rather than ‘evidentiary’ matter or ‘legal conclusions’ is required as in pleading the complaint.”  Weil and Brown, Civ. Proc. Before Trial, 6:459.  “The answer must aver facts ‘as carefully and with as much detail as the facts which constitute the cause of action and which are alleged in the complaint.’”  Id. (quoting FPI Development, Inc. v. Nakashima (1991) 231 Cal. App. 3d 367, 384).  “In general, whatever defendant bears the burden of proving at trial is ‘new matter,’ and thus must be specially pleaded in the answer.”  Civ. Proc. Before Trial, 6:431.  When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context.  Taylor v. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (2006) 144 Cal. App. 4th 1216, 1228.  

DISCUSSION

            Plaintiffs demur to each of the 28 affirmative defenses asserted in defendants Ketal Patel and Jayshree Patel’s answer on the ground that they fail to state sufficient facts to constitute a defense.

            Plaintiffs argue that the affirmative defenses are unsupported by any facts.

            In opposition, defendants argue that they have sufficiently pled each affirmative defense and that it is “customary” “to plead a long laundry list of affirmative defenses in conclusory terms.”  Defendants also contend that in the demurrer, plaintiffs “make argumentative statements of a conclusory nature.”

            The court finds that the allegations are insufficient as to each of defendants’ affirmative defenses in their answer as defendants have failed to plead the ultimate facts in support.

Accordingly, the demurrer is SUSTAINED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.

            Moving party is ordered to give notice.