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

KATIE O CONNELL MARSH VS GAUMONT TELEVISION USA LLC

On January 17, 2020, Defendants filed their answer to the SAC asserting the following affirmative defenses: (1) failure to state a claim; (2) breach of confidentiality; (3) statute of limitations; (4) unclean hands; (5) estoppel; (6) waiver; (7) failure to mitigate damages; (8) no damages; (9) good faith; (10) consent, authorization or ratification; (11) laches; (12) acquiescence; (13) breach of contract; (14) no proximate cause/intervening and superseding cause; (15) excuse; (16) bad faith; (17) equitable estoppel

  • Hearing

    Jul 10, 2020

BRUCE A ARONSON VS KIA MOTORS AMERICA, INC

Accordingly, the Daugherty court held that the “failure to state a warranty claim under state law necessarily constitute[s] a failure to state a claim under Magnuson-Moss.” (Id.) Here, Kia argues that Plaintiff cannot state a claim under the Song-Beverly Act as a matter of law because Plaintiff did not buy the vehicle at issue in California.[1] (Cummins, Inc. v. Super. Ct. (2005) 36 Cal. 4th 478 (490-91) (a vehicle must be purchased in California for the Song-Beverly Act to apply)).

  • Hearing

    Jul 10, 2020

BRUCE A ARONSON VS KIA MOTORS AMERICA, INC

Accordingly, the Daugherty court held that the “failure to state a warranty claim under state law necessarily constitute[s] a failure to state a claim under Magnuson-Moss.” (Id.) Here, Kia argues that Plaintiff cannot state a claim under the Song-Beverly Act as a matter of law because Plaintiff did not buy the vehicle at issue in California.[1] (Cummins, Inc. v. Super. Ct. (2005) 36 Cal. 4th 478 (490-91) (a vehicle must be purchased in California for the Song-Beverly Act to apply)).

  • Hearing

    Jul 10, 2020

KEENAN VS. LEEDS

The Court should sustain a demurrer for failure to state a claim only if the Court concludes from the face of the complaint, and any matters as to which the Court takes judicial notice, that defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Applying these standards, the Court is not persuaded that the allegations contained in the complaint fail to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. The factual details of plaintiffs' claims may be explored through discovery.

  • Hearing

    Jul 09, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

DOE VS SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

TENTATIVE RULING Defendant San Diego Unified School District's unopposed demurrer to the complaint and each cause of action in plaintiff Jane Doe I's complaint is sustained based upon uncertainty and failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. Any amended complaint must be filed and served within 10 days of service of the final ruling.

  • Hearing

    Jul 09, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

BASKARAN VS COASTAL PULMONARY ASSOCIATES

The Court should sustain a demurrer for failure to state a claim only if the Court concludes from the face of the amended complaint, and any matters as to which the Court takes judicial notice, that defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Applying these standards, the Court is not persuaded that the allegations contained in the complaint fail to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.

  • Hearing

    Jul 09, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Medical Malpractice

PATEL M.D. VS. JELD-WEN, INC.

Co. (1991) 2 Cal.App.4th 153,159) The demurrer is sustained, with leave to amend, based on the grounds of the statute of limitations, 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

    Jul 08, 2020

HESPER NATALE, ET AL V. SKY RIVER, INC., ET AL

Natale argues that all three of Harmon-Perry’s causes of action are insufficiently pleaded and are properly subject to demurrer for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Court notes that Natale’s notice/demurrer states that she is demurring to the entire FACC.3 Because Natale here demurs to the entire FACC, if one cause of action survives demurrer, the entire demurrer must be overruled.4 (Weil & Brown, Cal.

  • Hearing

    Jul 02, 2020

PERFECTED ROSES LLC V. WESTERLAY ORCHIDS LP, ET AL.

Overgaag defendants assert the right to challenge the amended complaint on other grounds, such as choice of law, failure to state a claim, and trade secret act preemption.

  • Hearing

    Jun 30, 2020

JASON POST VS MELISSA SCHWARTZ ET AL

Finally, Post contends that the interference causes of action must fail for failure to state a claim.

  • Hearing

    Jun 30, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

SHELLY HART VS COURTNEY SULLIVAN, ET AL.

Failure to State a Claim Plaintiff argues that each of LaSalle’s affirmative defenses fail to state facts sufficient to establish defenses and do not allege a statement of new matter pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 431.30(b). She contends that each of the affirmative defenses are merely boiler-plate defenses that do not allege any facts specific to the present matter, but rather are legal conclusions.

  • Hearing

    Jun 30, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

STATE OF CALIFORNIA; LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, ET AL. VS NEW FLYER OF AMERICA, INC.

Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief May Be Granted Although it is unnecessary to reach this ground for the demurrer, having sustained the demurrer in its entirety based on the public-disclosure bar, the Court will provide some guidance based on the possibility that the demurrer may be sustained with leave to amend. Plaintiff’s causes of action are all statutory in nature, and statutory causes of action must be pled with particularity. (Lopez v. So. Cal.

  • Hearing

    Jun 29, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

IN RE CLOUDERA, INC. SECURITIES LITIGATION

Demurrers to the Consolidated Complaint The Cloudera Defendants and Intel separately demur to the Consolidated Complaint for failure to state a claim. (Code Civ. Proc., § 430.10, subd. (e).) The Cloudera Defendants contend that plaintiffs fail to allege an actionable misrepresentation or omission that would support of any of their claims under Sections 11, 12, and 15 of the Securities Act.

  • Hearing

    Jun 26, 2020

STATE COMPENSATION INSURANCE FUND, A PUBLIC ENTERPRISE FUND AND INDEPENDENT AGENCY OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS GOLDEN DROP INC., A SUSPENDED CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, ET AL.

Defendants Golden Drop Trucking, Inc (GDT), and Golden Drop, Inc (GDI), now demur to Plaintiff’s complaint, on the grounds of uncertainty and failure to state a claim. (CCP § 430.10, subds. (e), (f).) 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

    Jun 26, 2020

  • Type

    Collections

  • Sub Type

    Promisory Note

DESI VON DE LA CRUZ SUMMERVILLE VS THE LIONS LIMOS INC

The court sustained the demurrers to the above causes of action for failure to state a claim, and therefore, the City’s demurrer is moot with respect to lack of capacity or another action pending between the same parties and on the same cause of action. For the reasons set forth above, Defendant City’s demurrer to the second, third, and fifth causes of action are sustained without leave to amend.

  • Hearing

    Jun 25, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

BERNOLDOR HAIR VS 2MANGAS INC ET AL

The Court’s review of the proposed retaliation cause of action indicates that it is not apparent that a demurrer would be sustained to this cause of action for failure to state a claim. CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s request for leave to amend the complaint is GRANTED. Plaintiff is to file his Third Amended Complaint within 5 days. Defendants are to file a responsive pleading within 30 days of service of the Third Amended Complaint.

  • Hearing

    Jun 25, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

  • Judge Elaine Lu
  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

THE GLOBE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION V. THE GLOBE AT 2ND AND SANTA CLARA L.P., ET AL.

Failure to State a Claim: Fourth Cause of Action for Breach of Construction Contracts 4 5 Swinerton argues that the fourth cause of action cannot be maintained because Plaintiff is 6 neither a party to Swinerton’s contract nor a third-party beneficiary.

  • Hearing

    Jun 19, 2020

OROVILLE DAM CASES

DWR did not include the Butte County DA's action in the initial petition for coordination because it had interposed a procedural defense (demurrer for failure to state a claim) that it believed would dispose of the action. When DWR's demurrer was overruled and review of that ruling denied, DWR then petitioned this court to add Butte County DA's action to the other coordinated cases. (Exh C, Opp to Mot to Transfer, p. 2.)

  • Hearing

    Jun 16, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

AUCK VS ALLEN OLDSMOBILE CADILLAC, INC.

The demurrer based on failure to state a claim and uncertainty is overruled. (2) Motion to Strike: Defendants’ Motion to Strike the prayer for punitive damages in Plaintiff’s Complaint is GRANTED with 15 days leave to amend. A court may strike out any irrelevant, false or improper matter inserted in any pleading or strike out all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule or an order of the court. (CCP § 436.)

  • Hearing

    Jun 15, 2020

SYED ALI VS APPLE, INC.

The demurrer to the fifth cause of action is SUSTAINED WITHOUT LEAVE TO AMEND for failure to state a claim. ___________________________ _____________________________________________ DATED: HON. SOCRATES PETER MANOUKIAN Judge of the Superior Court County of Santa Clara

  • Hearing

    Jun 11, 2020

MICHELE HUGHES VS, JAMES C, TO, ET AL

Defendants demurred to each cause of action in the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Code Civ. Pro: 430.10(e)) and for defect or misjoinder of the parties (Code Civ. Prcc. 430.10(d)).

  • Hearing

    Jun 09, 2020

HARRY H: SHIN, ET AL VS, SPECIALIZED LOAN SERVICING LLC, ET AL

Defendants generally demur to the entire FAC for failure to state a claim on the grounds that l. Plaintiffs' lack standing to challenge Deutsche's authority to foreclose on the loan, and 2. Plaintiffs' lack standing to challenge the manner in which the assignments to Deutsche were executed. This general demurrer to the FAC is OVERRULED : The general demurrers by Defendants to causes of action 1, 2, 3, and 4 individually are SUSTAINED (Code Civ, Proc. § 430.10, subd. (e).)

  • Hearing

    Jun 09, 2020

VLADIMIR GUSINSKY REVOCABLE TRUST V. JOHN R. PEELER, ET AL.

Demand Futility Defendants demur to the entire complaint for failure to state a claim, on the ground that plaintiff fails to allege demand futility. A. Demand Futility and Plaintiff’s Theories Because Veeco is a Delaware corporation, demand futility is addressed under Delaware law. (See Kamen v. Kemper Fin. Services (1991) 500 U.S. 90, 101 [standard for assessing demand futility is established by the law of the state of incorporation].)

  • Hearing

    Jun 05, 2020

PERFECTED ROSES LLC V. WESTERLAY ORCHIDS LP, ET AL.

Overgaag defendants assert the right to challenge the amended complaint on other grounds, such as choice of law, failure to state a claim, and trade secret act preemption.

  • Hearing

    Mar 17, 2020

JOHAN F HANDJANI VS FORD MOTOR COMPANY

Accordingly, the trial court correctly concluded that failure to state a warranty claim under state law necessarily constituted a failure to state a claim under Magnuson–Moss. (Daugherty v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 824, 832-833.) As discussed above, Plaintiff has not shown he can allege a cause of action for breach of express warranty. As for breach of implied warranty, privity of contract is also required.

  • Hearing

    Mar 12, 2020

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