Judge: Gregory Keosian, Case: 20STCV10953, Date: 2022-08-17 Tentative Ruling



Case Number: 20STCV10953    Hearing Date: August 17, 2022    Dept: 61

Defendant City of Palmdale’s Motion for Leave to File Cross-Complaint is GRANTED.

 

Defendant to provide notice.

 

 

I.                Motion for Leave to File Cross-Complaint

“A party shall file a cross-complaint against any of the parties who filed the complaint or cross-complaint against him or her before or at the same time as the answer to the complaint or cross-complaint. Any other cross-complaint may be filed at any time before the court has set a date for trial.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 428.50(a)–(b).) A cross-complaint filed outside either of the aforementioned times requires leave of court, which may be granted “in the interest of justice at any time during the court of the action.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 428.50(c).)

 

A party who fails to plead a cause of action subject to the requirements of this article, whether through oversight, inadvertence, mistake, neglect, or other cause, may apply to the court for leave to amend his pleading, or to file a cross-complaint, to assert such cause at any time during the course of the action. The court, after notice to the adverse party, shall grant, upon such terms as may be just to the parties, leave to amend the pleading, or to file the cross-complaint, to assert such cause if the party who failed to plead the cause acted in good faith. This subdivision shall be liberally construed to avoid forfeiture of causes of action.

 

(Code Civ. Proc., § 426.50.) Leave to file a cross-complaint may also be granted “in the interest of justice at any time during the course of the action.” (Code Civ. Proc. § 428.50, subd. (c).)

 

Defendant City of Palmdale (Palmdale) seeks leave to file a cross-complaint alleging the following causes of action: indemnity from Plaintiff’s filing of this lawsuit; restitution of consideration offered to Plaintiffs and Antelope Valley East Kern Water Agency (AVEK) in the event the contract is rescinded; an injunction against Plaintiffs to prevent them from developing certain property for which the water rights at issue here were obtained; declaratory relief against Plaintiffs based on the parties rights under the agreements at issue; and breach of contract and fraud claims against AVEK based on its sale of San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency. (Motion at pp. 9–10; Exh. A.) As these claims arise from the same transactions and occurences for which Palmdale was joined as a party, the claims are related and compulsory for Palmdale. (Code Civ. Proc. §§ 426.310, subd. (c);  426.30, subd. (a).) 

 

Although it has been more than 18 months since Palmdale filed its answer on December 21, 2020, Palmdale argues that the delay was warranted as Palmdale used the time to conduct discovery, investigate its claims, and obtain approval for same from the relevant government personnel. (Motion at pp. 8–9.) Additionally, Palmdale has participated in settlement and mediation discussions with the other parties in this action. (Motion at p. 8.) And since trial is currently set for August of next year, about a year away, prejudice is unlikely to result from granting leave to file the cross-complaint. (Motion at p. 11.)

 

Palmdale seeks leave to file the cross-complaint in good faith. No prejudice is likely to result from granting leave here, and the other parties have filed notices of non-opposition to the motion.

 

The motion is therefore GRANTED.