What is a Motion for Failure to State A Claim?

A “motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted” is a procedural label used in federal court, not California court. The state-court equivalents are a demurrer, or a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Code of Civ. Proc., §§430.10, 438.

The function of a demurrer is to test the legal sufficiency of a pleading. Trs. Of Capital Wholesale Elec. Etc. Fund v. Shearson Lehman Bros. (1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 617, 621. Consequently, “[a] demurrer reaches only to the contents of the pleading and such matters as may be considered under the doctrine of judicial notice.” South Shore Land Co. v. Petersen (1964) 226 Cal.App.2d 725, 732. “It is not the ordinary function of a demurrer to test the truth of the plaintiff’s allegations or the accuracy with which he describes the defendant’s conduct.... [T]he facts alleged in the pleading are deemed to be true, however improbable they may be.” Align Technology, Inc. v. Tran (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 949, 958.

“Judgment on the pleadings is akin to a demurrer and is properly granted only if the complaint does not state facts sufficient to state a cause of action against that defendant. The grounds for the motion must appear on the face of the complaint, and in any matters subject to judicial notice. The court accepts as true all material factual allegations, giving them a liberal construction, but it does not consider conclusions of fact or law, opinions, speculation, or allegations contrary to law or judicially noticed facts.” Shea Homes Limited Partnership v. County of Alameda (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1246, 1254.

It is an abuse of discretion for the court to deny leave to amend where there is any reasonable possibility that plaintiff can state a good cause of action. Goodman v. Kennedy (1976) 18 Cal.3d 335, 349. The burden is on the plaintiff to show in what manner he or she can amend the complaint, and how that amendment will change the legal effect of the pleading. Medina v. Safe-Guard Products (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 105, 112.

For more see Demurrer and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

Useful Rulings on Motion for Failure to State A Claim

Recent Rulings on Motion for Failure to State A Claim

YAN MINKOVITCH VS KENT CASH

Failure to State a Claim Plaintiff argues Defendant’s 21 affirmative defenses fail to plead facts constituting defenses. Review of Defendant’s affirmative defenses show that each is a conclusory statement devoid of any facts pertaining to the alleged incident. Demurrer to each of the 21 affirmative defense is sustained. D. Uncertainty Plaintiff argues page one, paragraph one is uncertain.

  • Hearing

    Oct 22, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

PATEL M.D. VS JELD-WEN, INC

The demurrer to this cause of action is sustained, with leave to amend, on the grounds lack of specificity, and failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted to the extent the claim is based on promise made without intent to perform.

  • Hearing

    Oct 21, 2020

HAMEED VS. SYED

Failure to state a claim of breach of fiduciary duty? Defendants' attack on the remedy of declaratory relief, even if correct, does not vitiate an otherwise valid cause of action. Further, Plaintiffs' also seek damages on all causes of action. Failure to state a claim of conversion? Not only do defendants' fail to argue this point in their points and authorities, as noted above a cause of action does not fail where only a remedy is in question. Failure to state a claim of unjust enrichment?

  • Hearing

    Oct 14, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

DAWN KANE VS NASSAR HEIKALI, ET AL.

Demurrer: Fraud Causes Defendants also demur to the fraud-based causes of action for failure to state a claim. The elements of a claim for fraud are (1) misrepresentation of a material fact; (2) knowledge of falsity or lack of a reasonable ground for belief in the truth of the representation; (3) intent to induce reliance; (4) actual and justifiable reliance by the plaintiff; and (5) resulting damage. (Orient Handel v. United States Fid. & Guar. Co. (1987) 192 Cal.App.3d 684, 693.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 14, 2020

CHERYL MCCALLISTER VS. PAUL HURLEY

The Court intends to rule as follows; To overrule Defendant's demurrer on the ground of uncertainty to the third cause of action, and, sustain Defendant's demurrer on the ground of failure to state a claim to the third cause of action, with leave to amend. A demurrer for uncertainty is strictly construed because ambiguities can be clarified through discovery. (Khoury v. Maly's of California, Inc. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 612, 616.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 08, 2020

P O VS LOS ANGELES ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.

As such, a federal motion to dismiss for a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted necessarily tests the sufficiency of a complaint. (See De La Cruz v. Tormey (1978) 582 F.2d 45, 48.) A demurrer based on a failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action similarly tests the sufficiency of a complaint in the same way as a motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rules of Procedure Rule 12(b)(6). (See Hahn, supra, 147 Cal.App.4th at p. 747.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 06, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

GIOVANNA WILKERSON VS CATHY BOROWIEC

“[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” (Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 [106, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251] (1976) [internal quotations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Oct 05, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

LUXURIOUS PROPERTIES, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS NMA DENTAL MANAGEMENT LLC, AN ILLINOIS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL.

Defendants Peters and Westernhagen Dental now demur to the fifth, sixth, and seventh causes of action for failure to state a claim. Legal Standard A demurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of action.¿ (Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747 (Hahn).) ¿When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context.¿ (Taylor v.

  • Hearing

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

LESLIE GOULD, ET AL VS. JOEL D. KETTLER, ET AL

“An issue may be submitted and determined on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a motion for judgment on the pleadings, a motion for summary judgment . . . [,] a motion for directed verdict, or their equivalents, as well as on a judgment entered on a verdict. A determination may be based on a failure of pleading or of proof as well as on the sustaining of the burden of proof.” (Barker v. Hull (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 221, 226 [citations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

BARBARA DARWISH, AN INDIVIDUAL, ET AL. VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION

Failure to State a Claim (CCP § 430.10(e)) Finally, Defendant argues that the complaint fails to facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. “Any person . . . who desires a declaration of his or her rights or duties with respect to another . . . may, in cases of actual controversy relating to the legal rights and duties of the respective parties, bring an original action . . . for a declaration of his or her rights and duties . . . .” (CCP § 1060.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 30, 2020

LESLIE GOULD, ET AL VS. JOEL D. KETTLER, ET AL

“An issue may be submitted and determined on a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a motion for judgment on the pleadings, a motion for summary judgment . . . [,] a motion for directed verdict, or their equivalents, as well as on a judgment entered on a verdict. A determination may be based on a failure of pleading or of proof as well as on the sustaining of the burden of proof.” (Barker v. Hull (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 221, 226 [citations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Sep 30, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

KALEEM SYED VS. RASHID HAMEED

Defendants' demurrer on the ground of failure to state a claim is DENIED. As alleged, each cause of action is sufficient to withstand demurrer.

  • Hearing

    Sep 29, 2020

  • Type

    Insurance

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

GIOVANNA WILKERSON VS OCEAN PROPERTIES

“[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” (Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 [106, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251] (1976) [internal quotations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

GIOVANNA WILKERSON VS JON LEVIN

“[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” (Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 [106, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251] (1976) [internal quotations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

ALVARO GALLEGOS, ET AL. VS LUCIANO GOMEZ, JR.

Defendants now demur to the first, third, fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, twelfth and thirteenth causes of action for failure to state a claim. Legal Standard A demurrer for sufficiency tests whether the complaint states a cause of action.¿ (Hahn v. Mirda (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 740, 747 (Hahn).) ¿When considering demurrers, courts read the allegations liberally and in context.¿ (Taylor v.

  • Hearing

    Sep 23, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

PEGGY HILL VS UCLA, ET AL.

“[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” (Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 [106, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251] (1976) [internal quotations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Sep 21, 2020

MARINA HABA VS VICINO LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, ET AL.

Vicino claims Haba raises the following “affirmative defenses” – none of which are actually affirmative defenses: (1) Failure to State a Cause of Action; (2) Claim-splitting; (3) Offset; (4) Remote or Speculative Damages; (5) Unjust Enrichment; (6) Legal Fault of Others; (7) Intervening/Superseding Acts of Third Parties; (8) Good Faith Actions; (9) Justification – No Malice, Fraud, or Oppression; (10) Failure to State a Claim for Punitive or Exemplary Damages; and (11) Unintentional [Conduct]/Lack of Knowledge

  • Hearing

    Sep 18, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

  • Judge

    Paul A. Bacigalupo or Virginia Keeny

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

JUNG EUNG KIM VS KWANG SOON LEE

Defendant demurs to the claims on grounds of failure to state a claim and uncertainty. Plaintiff’s allegations are sufficient to state a claim for assault.

  • Hearing

    Sep 18, 2020

GARDEN CITY, INC. V. ERIC SWALLOW, ET AL.

A dismissal for failure to state a claim is ordinarily treated as sufficient to afford preclusive effect. (Franceschi v. Franchise Tax Bd. (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 247, 257–259 [courts apply California law on res judicata while giving full faith and credit to federal judgments].) Even so, Cross-Defendants do not analyze and establish the preclusive effect in light of the particular allegations, primary rights, and parties here.

  • Hearing

    Sep 17, 2020

MELITA STEWARD VS GENERAL MOTORS LLC, ET AL.

Failure to State a Claim: Fraud by Omission (6th COA) The elements of fraud are: “‘(a) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b) knowledge of falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting damage.’ [Citations]” (Charnay v. Cobert (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 170, 184.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 16, 2020

ORNETHA BUTLER VS MANUEL D. TEJEDA TRUCKING INC

For this reason, the Court overrules Plaintiff’s demurrer with respect to the following affirmative defenses: (1) Failure to State a Claim, (4) Lack of Causation, (8) Damages Uncertain, (9) No Causation, (10) Pre-Existing Injuries, (13) Exercise of Reasonable Care, (14) Alleged Injury or Damage Caused by Others, (15) No Injury or Damage, (17) Failure to Mitigate Loss, (18) No Duty or Special Relationship, (22) Beyond Defendant’s Control, and (29) Statute of Limitations.

  • Hearing

    Sep 15, 2020

VELASCO VS. E-TEC

The Demurrer to all causes of action for failure to state a claim against Aceituno is OVERRULED. The SAC alleges Defendant Aceituno is an alter ego of corporate Defendants. (SAC ¶¶ 6, 9.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 14, 2020

DUAL DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT CENTER VS. HEALTH NET, INC., ET AL

Based on the foregoing, Sovereign’s Motion to Seal Documents Filed in Support of Sovereign’s Opposition to Health Net’s Motion for Summary Adjudication of their Affirmative Defense of Failure to State a Claim with Respect to Plaintiffs’ Breach of Contract and Bad Faith Causes of Action ts They Pertain to Oregon And Arizona Health Insurance Policies is GRANTED.

  • Hearing

    Sep 10, 2020

  • Judge

    Paul A. Bacigalupo or Virginia Keeny

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

RANULFO SANTARRIAGA VS MIRNA ALCANTARA

In addition, “a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers and can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.” (Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 [106, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251] (1976) [internal quotations omitted].)

  • Hearing

    Sep 08, 2020

LAURA MEDINA, ET AL. VS 99 CENTS ONLY STORES, LLC

Defendant demurs to the second cause of action alleged by Plaintiff Sepulveda for failure to state a claim. A demurrer reaches defects that appear on the face of the complaint. The court considers the allegations and matters that are subject to judicial notice. All facts are accepted as true. Saunders v. Superior Court (1994) 27 Cal. App. 4th 832, 838. A demurrer tests the legal sufficiency of the allegations.

  • Hearing

    Sep 04, 2020

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