The Honorable Donald S. Black

Fresno County Superior Court, Department retired

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Biography

The Hon. Donald S. Black (Ret.) was a judge in the Superior Court of Fresno County in California. He was appointed in 1998 by former California Governor Pete Wilson. He successfully ran for re-election unopposed in 2012. Black retired from the bench in 2019.

He received an A.B. from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1976. He went on to earn a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1980.

Black practiced as a partner at the law firm of McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte, and Carruth from 1980 to 1998. During his tenure there, he specialized in business, real estate, and commercial litigation.

In 2003, he ruled against Clovis Unified School District in a lawsuit filed by parents and advocacy groups dismayed by the district’s inadequate program on sex education. Black stressed that the students' access to medically accurate sex education is “an important public right".

Recent Rulings by Hon. Donald S. Black

  • IN RE STEFEN WATSON

    Jun 21, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Petition: by J.G. Wentworth for approval of transfer of structured settlement payments
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny.
    Explanation:
    The Court incorporates its ruling on June 4, 2019 herein. The hearing was continued from that date to permit the parties to provide further evidence to support ...

  • BOND V. VELASQUEZ.

    Apr 29, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By Defendants to Quash in Part Subpoena to JP Morgan Chase
    By Defendants to Quash in Part Subpoena to BBVA Compass Bank
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant without prejudice to Plaintiffs’ right to either re-subpoena the records after depositions of the deponents’ custodians of records or re-...

  • LEON V. IRIGOYEN FARMS INC.

    Apr 29, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By plaintiff for class certification and preliminary approval of class settlement
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deem the matter complex. To deny without prejudice.
    Explanation:
    1. Complex Designation
    Plaintiff has already designated this as a complex case. Defendant did not file a c...

  • ALLYSON CHARLES V. JACQUELINE GOMEZ

    Apr 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendant Jacqueline Gomez’s Motion to Strike
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny.
    Explanation:
    A motion to strike portions of a complaint must be filed within the time the defendant is given by law to respond to the complaint. (Code Civ. Proc., § 435, subd. (b)(1).) A defendant has 30 da...

  • HETAF AL SABER V. KULDIP BAGRI

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendant Kuldip Bagri’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion for attorney’s fees in the amount of $20,465.05. To award costs and expenses of $965.11.
    Explanation:
    Attorney Fees
    While the fee awards should be fully compensatory, the trial...

  • GUTIERREZ V. CITY OF FRESNO

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Demurrer of City of Fresno and Scott Mozier to First Amended
    Complaint
    Tentative Ruling:
    To order the demurrer off calendar for failure of moving party to properly comply with the meet and confer requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. The court grants defendant twent...

  • BAHRAM SHIRALIAN V. JON TORRENCE

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend to file first amended complaint Tentative Ruling:
    To grant, with plaintiff granted 10 days’ leave to file the first amended complaint. The time in which the complaint can be amended will run from service by the clerk of the minute order. All new allegation...

  • 4308 SLAUSON AVE. V. QC FINANCIAL SVS.

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motions: I. Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment or Adjudication
    II. Defendant QC Financial’s Motion for Summary Judgement or
    Adjudication
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny all motions.
    Explanation:
    The parties agree that the resolution of both motions hinges on the interpretation ...

  • MCMULLIN AREA GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY V. ALL PERSONSINTERESTED

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: OSC by Court as to why default should not be vacated
    Tentative Ruling:
    To vacate default and order immediate mailing of summons with revised
    response date.
    Explanation:
    Code of Civil Procedure section 861 has not been amended since 1961, when it was first added to the statu...

  • LYSTAD V. SUNTRUST MORTGAGE

    Mar 18, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By Demurrer to the Third Amended Complaint.
    Tentative Ruling:
    To sustain with leave to amend. Plaintiff shall have ten (10) court days in which to file a Fourth Amended Complaint which includes factual allegations supporting her claim for delayed discovery of the breach of contract claims...

  • POLARIS CONCRETE, INC. V. SIRA

    Mar 14, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Unopposed Motion to Disqualify Counsel
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion to disqualify Douglas V. Thornton and Thornton Law Group, P.C. as counsel for plaintiff Polaris Concrete, Inc. in this action.
    Explanation:
    Mr. Thornton represents Polaris Concrete, Inc. in this action,...

  • THOMAS MILLER V. MISHELLE FISHER

    Mar 14, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Motion to quash and for sanctions related thereto, by cross-
    complainants: Mishelle Fisher, Michelle Bentley, and Catrina Owens
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. To deny all requests for sanctions.
    Explanation:
    The seminal case on the issue before this court is the California Sup...

  • RODRIGUES V. SAVE MART SUPERMARKETS, ET AL.

    Mar 14, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motions: Demurrer; motion to strike
    Tentative Ruling:
    To sustain Defendant Save Mart’s special demurrer to Plaintiffs first, second, third, and fourth causes of action. Leave to amend is granted, but limited to alleging the four claims that Plaintiff inadvertently omitted from the second amended ...

  • ROSALES V. LIDESTRI FOODS, INC.

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment / Adjudication
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny summary judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(c).) To grant summary adjudication of count 2 only. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(f).)
    Explanation:
    In this action plaintiff Luis Rosales alleges a single cause o...

  • MORA V. VALLEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendants’ Motion for Transfer of Venue
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion to transfer venue to Madera County. (Code Civ. Proc., § 397, subd. (a); Gov. Code § 12965, subd. (b).) Plaintiff is ordered to pay the costs and fees of transferring the action within 30 days after service of n...

  • JARAMILLO V. RAMIEZ

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Default Hearing
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny without prejudice.
    Explanation:
    Before default judgment can be obtained the defendant’s default must be entered. The request for default judgment filed on August 13, 2018 was denied because line #1.a was incorrect.
    Also see Local Ru...

  • BRE SSP PROPERTY OWNER LLC V. DONAGHY, ET AL.

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Cross-Defendant BRE SSP’s special motion to strike
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant Cross-Defendant BRE SSP’s special motion to strike the first and second causes of action in the cross-complaint. (Code of Civ. Proc. §425.16.) Explanation:
    Special motion to strike
    A special motion to ...

  • SIMPSON V. FRESNO WESTWOOD BLUFFS, LLC

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Plaintiff’s Motion for Preference and to Advance Trial Date
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion for preferential trial date. (Code Civ. Proc. § 36.) To vacate the current trial, trial readiness, and mandatory settlement conference dates and to set the matter for trial within 120 days of...

  • OLAM FARMING, INC. V. ARBOR GROVE NURSERY, INC.

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendants’ motion to set aside default entered 6/22/17 and
    default judgment entered 9/22/17
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant plaintiff’s request for a continuance to conduct discovery limited to the issue of whether personal jurisdiction exists over defendants. The hearing on defendants’ ...

  • STEARNS V. CLAWSON MOTORSPORTS, ET AL.

    Feb 27, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By Counsel for Plaintiffs to be Relieved as Counsel.
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny without prejudice.
    Explanation:
    On February 7, 2019, this Court set a hearing on this matter for February 28, 2019, pursuant to an ex parte application filed by counsel for Plaintiff. Notice of the ru...

  • IN RE NATASHA PAIGE HUTSELL

    Feb 27, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Petition to Compromise Minor’s Claim
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. Orders signed. Hearing off calendar.
    Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1312 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1019.5(a), no further written order is necessary. The minute order adopting this tentative ruli...

  • IN RE AARON CUTTLETT HUTSELL, JR.

    Feb 27, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Petition to Compromise Minor’s Claim
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. Orders signed. Hearing off calendar.
    Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1312 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1019.5(a), no further written order is necessary. The minute order adopting this tentative ruli...

  • SANDUSKY V. INTEGRYS RESIDENTIAL SOLAR, LLC, ET AL.

    Feb 26, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Plaintiff’s Motion for Trial Preference
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. If the parties do not call and request a hearing, the trial date shall be June 24, 2019, the Trial Readiness Conference shall be June 21, 2019, and the Mandatory Settlement conference shall be June 6, 2019.
    Explanati...

  • CITY OF FRESNO V. ANGELINA CONSUELO BRADLEY

    Feb 26, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Petitioner City of Fresno’s Motion for Order to Abate
    Substandard Building and Appoint a Receiver
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the City’s motion for an order to abate substandard building and appoint a receiver. (Health & Saf. Code §§ 17980.6, 17980.7.)
    Explanation:
    Under Hea...

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Recent Rulings by Hon. Donald S. Black

  • IN RE STEFEN WATSON

    Jun 21, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Petition: by J.G. Wentworth for approval of transfer of structured settlement payments
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny.
    Explanation:
    The Court incorporates its ruling on June 4, 2019 herein. The hearing was continued from that date to permit the parties to provide further evidence to support ...

  • BOND V. VELASQUEZ.

    Apr 29, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By Defendants to Quash in Part Subpoena to JP Morgan Chase
    By Defendants to Quash in Part Subpoena to BBVA Compass Bank
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant without prejudice to Plaintiffs’ right to either re-subpoena the records after depositions of the deponents’ custodians of records or re-...

  • LEON V. IRIGOYEN FARMS INC.

    Apr 29, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By plaintiff for class certification and preliminary approval of class settlement
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deem the matter complex. To deny without prejudice.
    Explanation:
    1. Complex Designation
    Plaintiff has already designated this as a complex case. Defendant did not file a c...

  • ALLYSON CHARLES V. JACQUELINE GOMEZ

    Apr 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendant Jacqueline Gomez’s Motion to Strike
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny.
    Explanation:
    A motion to strike portions of a complaint must be filed within the time the defendant is given by law to respond to the complaint. (Code Civ. Proc., § 435, subd. (b)(1).) A defendant has 30 da...

  • HETAF AL SABER V. KULDIP BAGRI

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendant Kuldip Bagri’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion for attorney’s fees in the amount of $20,465.05. To award costs and expenses of $965.11.
    Explanation:
    Attorney Fees
    While the fee awards should be fully compensatory, the trial...

  • GUTIERREZ V. CITY OF FRESNO

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Demurrer of City of Fresno and Scott Mozier to First Amended
    Complaint
    Tentative Ruling:
    To order the demurrer off calendar for failure of moving party to properly comply with the meet and confer requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 430.41. The court grants defendant twent...

  • BAHRAM SHIRALIAN V. JON TORRENCE

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend to file first amended complaint Tentative Ruling:
    To grant, with plaintiff granted 10 days’ leave to file the first amended complaint. The time in which the complaint can be amended will run from service by the clerk of the minute order. All new allegation...

  • 4308 SLAUSON AVE. V. QC FINANCIAL SVS.

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motions: I. Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment or Adjudication
    II. Defendant QC Financial’s Motion for Summary Judgement or
    Adjudication
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny all motions.
    Explanation:
    The parties agree that the resolution of both motions hinges on the interpretation ...

  • MCMULLIN AREA GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY V. ALL PERSONSINTERESTED

    Mar 19, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: OSC by Court as to why default should not be vacated
    Tentative Ruling:
    To vacate default and order immediate mailing of summons with revised
    response date.
    Explanation:
    Code of Civil Procedure section 861 has not been amended since 1961, when it was first added to the statu...

  • LYSTAD V. SUNTRUST MORTGAGE

    Mar 18, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By Demurrer to the Third Amended Complaint.
    Tentative Ruling:
    To sustain with leave to amend. Plaintiff shall have ten (10) court days in which to file a Fourth Amended Complaint which includes factual allegations supporting her claim for delayed discovery of the breach of contract claims...

  • POLARIS CONCRETE, INC. V. SIRA

    Mar 14, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Unopposed Motion to Disqualify Counsel
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion to disqualify Douglas V. Thornton and Thornton Law Group, P.C. as counsel for plaintiff Polaris Concrete, Inc. in this action.
    Explanation:
    Mr. Thornton represents Polaris Concrete, Inc. in this action,...

  • THOMAS MILLER V. MISHELLE FISHER

    Mar 14, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Motion to quash and for sanctions related thereto, by cross-
    complainants: Mishelle Fisher, Michelle Bentley, and Catrina Owens
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. To deny all requests for sanctions.
    Explanation:
    The seminal case on the issue before this court is the California Sup...

  • RODRIGUES V. SAVE MART SUPERMARKETS, ET AL.

    Mar 14, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motions: Demurrer; motion to strike
    Tentative Ruling:
    To sustain Defendant Save Mart’s special demurrer to Plaintiffs first, second, third, and fourth causes of action. Leave to amend is granted, but limited to alleging the four claims that Plaintiff inadvertently omitted from the second amended ...

  • ROSALES V. LIDESTRI FOODS, INC.

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment / Adjudication
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny summary judgment. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(c).) To grant summary adjudication of count 2 only. (Code Civ. Proc. § 437c(f).)
    Explanation:
    In this action plaintiff Luis Rosales alleges a single cause o...

  • MORA V. VALLEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendants’ Motion for Transfer of Venue
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion to transfer venue to Madera County. (Code Civ. Proc., § 397, subd. (a); Gov. Code § 12965, subd. (b).) Plaintiff is ordered to pay the costs and fees of transferring the action within 30 days after service of n...

  • JARAMILLO V. RAMIEZ

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Default Hearing
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny without prejudice.
    Explanation:
    Before default judgment can be obtained the defendant’s default must be entered. The request for default judgment filed on August 13, 2018 was denied because line #1.a was incorrect.
    Also see Local Ru...

  • BRE SSP PROPERTY OWNER LLC V. DONAGHY, ET AL.

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Cross-Defendant BRE SSP’s special motion to strike
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant Cross-Defendant BRE SSP’s special motion to strike the first and second causes of action in the cross-complaint. (Code of Civ. Proc. §425.16.) Explanation:
    Special motion to strike
    A special motion to ...

  • SIMPSON V. FRESNO WESTWOOD BLUFFS, LLC

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Plaintiff’s Motion for Preference and to Advance Trial Date
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the motion for preferential trial date. (Code Civ. Proc. § 36.) To vacate the current trial, trial readiness, and mandatory settlement conference dates and to set the matter for trial within 120 days of...

  • OLAM FARMING, INC. V. ARBOR GROVE NURSERY, INC.

    Mar 13, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Defendants’ motion to set aside default entered 6/22/17 and
    default judgment entered 9/22/17
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant plaintiff’s request for a continuance to conduct discovery limited to the issue of whether personal jurisdiction exists over defendants. The hearing on defendants’ ...

  • STEARNS V. CLAWSON MOTORSPORTS, ET AL.

    Feb 27, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: By Counsel for Plaintiffs to be Relieved as Counsel.
    Tentative Ruling:
    To deny without prejudice.
    Explanation:
    On February 7, 2019, this Court set a hearing on this matter for February 28, 2019, pursuant to an ex parte application filed by counsel for Plaintiff. Notice of the ru...

  • IN RE NATASHA PAIGE HUTSELL

    Feb 27, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Petition to Compromise Minor’s Claim
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. Orders signed. Hearing off calendar.
    Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1312 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1019.5(a), no further written order is necessary. The minute order adopting this tentative ruli...

  • IN RE AARON CUTTLETT HUTSELL, JR.

    Feb 27, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Petition to Compromise Minor’s Claim
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. Orders signed. Hearing off calendar.
    Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.1312 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1019.5(a), no further written order is necessary. The minute order adopting this tentative ruli...

  • SANDUSKY V. INTEGRYS RESIDENTIAL SOLAR, LLC, ET AL.

    Feb 26, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Plaintiff’s Motion for Trial Preference
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant. If the parties do not call and request a hearing, the trial date shall be June 24, 2019, the Trial Readiness Conference shall be June 21, 2019, and the Mandatory Settlement conference shall be June 6, 2019.
    Explanati...

  • CITY OF FRESNO V. ANGELINA CONSUELO BRADLEY

    Feb 26, 2019 |  Fresno County

    Motion: Petitioner City of Fresno’s Motion for Order to Abate
    Substandard Building and Appoint a Receiver
    Tentative Ruling:
    To grant the City’s motion for an order to abate substandard building and appoint a receiver. (Health & Saf. Code §§ 17980.6, 17980.7.)
    Explanation:
    Under Hea...

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