The Honorable Tana L. Coates

San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Department 9

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Biography

The Hon. Tana L. Coates is a judge for the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County in California. She was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown on May 22, 2017, filling a vacancy created by the elevation of the Hon. Martin J. Tangeman to the Second District Court of Appeal.

Coates earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She then completed a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Coates was a partner at Coates and Coates from 2009 to 2017. She practiced alongside her husband, specializing in business litigation, personal injury, elder abuse, and construction defect cases. Before that, she was an associate at James R. Murphy, Jr. since 1991. During her fourteen-year tenure with the firm, she rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a named partner in 2005.

She is registered as a Democrat.

Recent Rulings by Hon. Tana L. Coates

  • LOREN NAUTA V. SUSAN MURPHY

    Jul 22, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    On May 29, 2019, Loren Nauta, through his conservator Greg Nauta (“Nauta”), filed this action against his former attorney, Susan Murphy (“Murphy”). The complaint sets forth causes of action for breach of contract and legal malpractice and arises out of Murphy’s representation of Nauta in connection with a ...

  • PAUL COLLAGAN V. ASHLEA BOYER, ET AL.

    Jul 08, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Paul Collagan (“Plaintiff”) filed this personal injury action on January 29, 2019, against Ashlea and Michael Boyer (“Defendants”). The dispute arises out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred on June 28, 2018, on the Halcyon offramp of Highway 101. Defendants filed an answer to the complaint on Octob...

  • NGUYEN V. MAHAFFIE

    Jul 01, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Duc Nguyen (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Mark Mahaffie (“Defendant”) on January 2, 2020.
    On March 2, 2020, Plaintiff filed a proof of service for the summons and complaint, declaring that Defendant was served pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 415.30 (notice of acknowledgment and re...

  • R. MORGAN HOLLAND V. COUNTY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO

    Jul 01, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    The parties should come prepared to address the unusual circumstances exception. In particular under which alternative analysis Petitioners seek review as explained more fully below.
    I. THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES EXCEPTION
    An agency may not apply a categorical exemption without considering whether...

  • CAROLINA RAMIREZ, ET AL. V. CLEARWATER NURSERY, INC., ET AL.

    Jul 01, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    On February 3, 2011, Carolina Ramirez, Luis Angel Colunga Escobar, Nelly Gonzales, Margarita Hernandez, Rigoberto Saavedra, and Liney Silva (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed a class-action complaint, against Clearwater Nursery, Inc. (“Clearwater”), its owner, Mahmood Jafroodi, and farm labor contractor, C...

  • STEPHANIE TEIMOURI V. ORRADRE RANCH

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Background.
    On December 10, 2019, Stephanie Teimouri and Pat McCann, Successor co-trustees of Trust “B” of the Brian K. Koch and Sally C. Koch Revocable Trust dated 9/1/88 (Plaintiffs), filed a lawsuit against Defendants Orradre Ranch (Orradre), Glenn Martin Company (GMC), and Glenn T. Martin1 allegin...

  • STEVEN MYERS V. ARBITER SYSTEMS, INC.

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Steven Myers (“Plaintiff”) filed this employment action against Arbiter Systems, Inc., Craig Armstrong, William Dickerson, and Bruce Roeder (collectively, “Defendants”) on December 24, 2019. Defendants responded to the complaint by filing the current demurrers (one was filed by the corporate Defendant and ...

  • MICHAEL GROTTE V. NORMAL LIFE OF CALIFORNIA, INC., ET AL.

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Michael Grotte (Plaintiff), as the representative Plaintiff, filed this class action lawsuit against Normal Life of California, Inc.; Rescare Behavior Services, Inc.; RSCR California, Inc.; RSCR Inland, Inc.; Res-Care California, Inc. dba RCCA Services; and Rescare, Inc. (collectively Defendants). Defendan...

  • IN RE: JERRY MCKIBBEN AND KAREN TALLENT TRUST

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    This matter was continued from March 4, 2020, to allow the parties the opportunity to meet and confer. Appearances are required to update the Court on the status of the discovery dispute. The Court includes the prior tentative ruling for background.
    I. BACKGROUND
    A. The Trust Litigation
    On J...

  • THOMAS WHITNEY V UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD, ET AL.

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Thomas Whitney (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Union Pacific Railroad Co. (“Union Pacific”) on May 2, 2017. Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint was filed on October 5, 2018 (“FAC”).
    Plaintiff’s FAC alleges that on April 21, 2016, Plaintiff was riding his KTM 250 SXF bike (the “Dirt Bike”) alon...

  • IN RE: LEIN LIVING TRUST

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Motion for Good Faith Settlement
    I. BACKGROUND
    John and Miriam Lein (the “Settlors”)1 executed the Lein Living Trust (the “Trust”) on May 25, 2005. John served as the initial trustee and continued to serve as trustee until May 9, 2007. At that time, Bradley Frigon (“Frigon”), an attorney, and Edw...

  • H. GALE KYLE, INC. DBA KYLE COMPANY ROOFING V. RYAN PERRON

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    H. Gale Kyle, Inc. dba Kyle Company Roofing (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for breach of contract on March 27, 2019, against Ryan Perron (“Defendant”).
    Plaintiff now moves for summary judgment in its favor and against Defendant because the undisputed facts establish that an enforceable contract was e...

  • KEITH GARL V. ROBERT NICHOLSON, BEN FERRARI, ET AL.

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Background.
    On July 19, 2016, Keith Garl (Plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against Ben Ferrari and Robert Nicholson (collectively Defendants), alleging causes of action for (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (3) quantum meruit; and (4) specific performance of memo...

  • LARRY CURLEE V. JOHN E. ODUM

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    (originally April 1, 2020, continued to May 6, 2020)
    No Replies filed as to Motions to Compel
    Background.
    On August 16, 2019, Larry Curlee (Plaintiff) filed a complaint against John E. Odum (Defendant). Plaintiff is currently a patient at Coalinga State Hospital and is a participant in the S...

  • VAROUJAN KURKEYERIAN V. ERIK BENHAM, ET AL.

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Varoujan Kurkeyerian (“Kurkeyerian”) and SLO Cal Investors, LLC (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed this action against Erik Benham (“Benham”), Trincon, Inc., Bening Company, LLC (“Bening”), and Roberta Chavez, on May 14, 2019. On August 30, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint, alleging seve...

  • JOSE GARZA V. LEE PIATEK, M.D.

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Jose Luis Garza (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Lee Joseph Piatek, M.D. (“Defendant”) on August 28, 2019. Plaintiff’s verified complaint for damages alleges six causes of action against Defendant: (1) professional negligence (medical malpractice); (2) battery; (3) lack of consent; (4) reckless infl...

  • IN RE THE FRATELLO FAMILY TRUST DATED JANUARY 21, 1989

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    I. BACKGROUND
    In January 1989, Frank and Florence Fratello (collectively, the “Settlors”)1 created the Fratello Family Trust (the “Fratello Family Trust”). Upon Frank’s death in April 2003, the Trust was divided into Trust A (survivor’s trust), Trust B (a credit shelter trust), and Trust C (marital tr...

  • IN RE THOMSPON FAMILY TRUST

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Melinda Jones (“Petitioner”) is the Successor Trustee of the Thompson Family Trust, dated November 10, 1989 (the “Trust”). Petitioner brought her Petition for Instructions Re the Validity of Trust Documents and Determination of Provisions Re Same on July 26, 2018 (the “Petition”). Among other relief, the P...

  • WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. V. MATTHEW MAXWELL

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (“Wells Fargo”) filed this collection action against Matthew Maxwell (“Maxwell”) on July 25, 2019. The basis of the complaint is a past due credit card balance. The complaint alleges breach of contract and common counts. On November 18, 2019, Maxwell filed a proof of service stating h...

  • PISMO BEACH SELF-STORAGE, L.P. V. CITY OF PISMO BEACH, ET AL.

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    The Court desires further briefing and will discuss the reasons for the additional briefing, and a briefing schedule, at the hearing. The Court intends to reset the hearing on Petitioner’s writ to August 26, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 9, and the parties are encouraged to meet and confer regarding an ...

  • IN RE THE FRATELLO FAMILY TRUST

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Reply Not Yet Filed
    I. BACKGROUND
    In January 1989, Frank and Florence Fratello (collectively, the “Settlors”)1 created the Fratello Family Trust (the “Fratello Family Trust”). Upon Frank’s death in April 2003, the Trust was divided into Trust A (survivor’s trust), Trust B (a credit shelter trust)...

  • KOENIG V. BRIDGET SMITH, FIRESTONE WALKER, LLC

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Kenneth Koenig and Robin Koenig (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed this premises liability action for damages against Firestone Walker LLC (“Firestone”), Firestone Walker Inc., Mathew Smith, and Bridget Smith (collectively “Defendants”), on October 17, 2017. Plaintiffs allege that Kenneth Koenig was injured...

  • SHERI MURRAY V. GERALD HARTZELL

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Sheri Murray (“Sheri”)1, Tom Murray (“Tom”), Eliassa Murray (“Eliassa”), Brian Murray (“Brian”), Matthew Murray (“Matthew”), William Murray (“William”), Sheridyn Murray (“Sheridyn”), and Audrey Murray (“Audrey”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”), filed this action on August 12, 2019 against Gerald Hartzell (“Har...

  • IN RE THE FRATELLO FAMILY TRUST

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    I. BACKGROUND
    In January 1989, Frank and Florence Fratello (collectively, the “Settlors”)1 created the Fratello Family Trust (the “Fratello Family Trust”). Upon Frank’s death in April 2003, the Trust was divided into Trust A (survivor’s trust), Trust B (a credit shelter trust), and Trust C (marital tr...

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Recent Rulings by Hon. Tana L. Coates

  • LOREN NAUTA V. SUSAN MURPHY

    Jul 22, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    On May 29, 2019, Loren Nauta, through his conservator Greg Nauta (“Nauta”), filed this action against his former attorney, Susan Murphy (“Murphy”). The complaint sets forth causes of action for breach of contract and legal malpractice and arises out of Murphy’s representation of Nauta in connection with a ...

  • PAUL COLLAGAN V. ASHLEA BOYER, ET AL.

    Jul 08, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Paul Collagan (“Plaintiff”) filed this personal injury action on January 29, 2019, against Ashlea and Michael Boyer (“Defendants”). The dispute arises out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred on June 28, 2018, on the Halcyon offramp of Highway 101. Defendants filed an answer to the complaint on Octob...

  • NGUYEN V. MAHAFFIE

    Jul 01, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Duc Nguyen (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Mark Mahaffie (“Defendant”) on January 2, 2020.
    On March 2, 2020, Plaintiff filed a proof of service for the summons and complaint, declaring that Defendant was served pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 415.30 (notice of acknowledgment and re...

  • R. MORGAN HOLLAND V. COUNTY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO

    Jul 01, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    The parties should come prepared to address the unusual circumstances exception. In particular under which alternative analysis Petitioners seek review as explained more fully below.
    I. THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES EXCEPTION
    An agency may not apply a categorical exemption without considering whether...

  • CAROLINA RAMIREZ, ET AL. V. CLEARWATER NURSERY, INC., ET AL.

    Jul 01, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    On February 3, 2011, Carolina Ramirez, Luis Angel Colunga Escobar, Nelly Gonzales, Margarita Hernandez, Rigoberto Saavedra, and Liney Silva (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed a class-action complaint, against Clearwater Nursery, Inc. (“Clearwater”), its owner, Mahmood Jafroodi, and farm labor contractor, C...

  • STEPHANIE TEIMOURI V. ORRADRE RANCH

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Background.
    On December 10, 2019, Stephanie Teimouri and Pat McCann, Successor co-trustees of Trust “B” of the Brian K. Koch and Sally C. Koch Revocable Trust dated 9/1/88 (Plaintiffs), filed a lawsuit against Defendants Orradre Ranch (Orradre), Glenn Martin Company (GMC), and Glenn T. Martin1 allegin...

  • STEVEN MYERS V. ARBITER SYSTEMS, INC.

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Steven Myers (“Plaintiff”) filed this employment action against Arbiter Systems, Inc., Craig Armstrong, William Dickerson, and Bruce Roeder (collectively, “Defendants”) on December 24, 2019. Defendants responded to the complaint by filing the current demurrers (one was filed by the corporate Defendant and ...

  • MICHAEL GROTTE V. NORMAL LIFE OF CALIFORNIA, INC., ET AL.

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Michael Grotte (Plaintiff), as the representative Plaintiff, filed this class action lawsuit against Normal Life of California, Inc.; Rescare Behavior Services, Inc.; RSCR California, Inc.; RSCR Inland, Inc.; Res-Care California, Inc. dba RCCA Services; and Rescare, Inc. (collectively Defendants). Defendan...

  • IN RE: JERRY MCKIBBEN AND KAREN TALLENT TRUST

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    This matter was continued from March 4, 2020, to allow the parties the opportunity to meet and confer. Appearances are required to update the Court on the status of the discovery dispute. The Court includes the prior tentative ruling for background.
    I. BACKGROUND
    A. The Trust Litigation
    On J...

  • THOMAS WHITNEY V UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD, ET AL.

    Jun 24, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Thomas Whitney (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Union Pacific Railroad Co. (“Union Pacific”) on May 2, 2017. Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint was filed on October 5, 2018 (“FAC”).
    Plaintiff’s FAC alleges that on April 21, 2016, Plaintiff was riding his KTM 250 SXF bike (the “Dirt Bike”) alon...

  • IN RE: LEIN LIVING TRUST

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Motion for Good Faith Settlement
    I. BACKGROUND
    John and Miriam Lein (the “Settlors”)1 executed the Lein Living Trust (the “Trust”) on May 25, 2005. John served as the initial trustee and continued to serve as trustee until May 9, 2007. At that time, Bradley Frigon (“Frigon”), an attorney, and Edw...

  • H. GALE KYLE, INC. DBA KYLE COMPANY ROOFING V. RYAN PERRON

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    H. Gale Kyle, Inc. dba Kyle Company Roofing (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for breach of contract on March 27, 2019, against Ryan Perron (“Defendant”).
    Plaintiff now moves for summary judgment in its favor and against Defendant because the undisputed facts establish that an enforceable contract was e...

  • KEITH GARL V. ROBERT NICHOLSON, BEN FERRARI, ET AL.

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Background.
    On July 19, 2016, Keith Garl (Plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against Ben Ferrari and Robert Nicholson (collectively Defendants), alleging causes of action for (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (3) quantum meruit; and (4) specific performance of memo...

  • LARRY CURLEE V. JOHN E. ODUM

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    (originally April 1, 2020, continued to May 6, 2020)
    No Replies filed as to Motions to Compel
    Background.
    On August 16, 2019, Larry Curlee (Plaintiff) filed a complaint against John E. Odum (Defendant). Plaintiff is currently a patient at Coalinga State Hospital and is a participant in the S...

  • VAROUJAN KURKEYERIAN V. ERIK BENHAM, ET AL.

    Jun 17, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Varoujan Kurkeyerian (“Kurkeyerian”) and SLO Cal Investors, LLC (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed this action against Erik Benham (“Benham”), Trincon, Inc., Bening Company, LLC (“Bening”), and Roberta Chavez, on May 14, 2019. On August 30, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint, alleging seve...

  • JOSE GARZA V. LEE PIATEK, M.D.

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Jose Luis Garza (“Plaintiff”) filed this action against Lee Joseph Piatek, M.D. (“Defendant”) on August 28, 2019. Plaintiff’s verified complaint for damages alleges six causes of action against Defendant: (1) professional negligence (medical malpractice); (2) battery; (3) lack of consent; (4) reckless infl...

  • IN RE THE FRATELLO FAMILY TRUST DATED JANUARY 21, 1989

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    I. BACKGROUND
    In January 1989, Frank and Florence Fratello (collectively, the “Settlors”)1 created the Fratello Family Trust (the “Fratello Family Trust”). Upon Frank’s death in April 2003, the Trust was divided into Trust A (survivor’s trust), Trust B (a credit shelter trust), and Trust C (marital tr...

  • IN RE THOMSPON FAMILY TRUST

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Melinda Jones (“Petitioner”) is the Successor Trustee of the Thompson Family Trust, dated November 10, 1989 (the “Trust”). Petitioner brought her Petition for Instructions Re the Validity of Trust Documents and Determination of Provisions Re Same on July 26, 2018 (the “Petition”). Among other relief, the P...

  • WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. V. MATTHEW MAXWELL

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (“Wells Fargo”) filed this collection action against Matthew Maxwell (“Maxwell”) on July 25, 2019. The basis of the complaint is a past due credit card balance. The complaint alleges breach of contract and common counts. On November 18, 2019, Maxwell filed a proof of service stating h...

  • PISMO BEACH SELF-STORAGE, L.P. V. CITY OF PISMO BEACH, ET AL.

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    The Court desires further briefing and will discuss the reasons for the additional briefing, and a briefing schedule, at the hearing. The Court intends to reset the hearing on Petitioner’s writ to August 26, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 9, and the parties are encouraged to meet and confer regarding an ...

  • IN RE THE FRATELLO FAMILY TRUST

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Reply Not Yet Filed
    I. BACKGROUND
    In January 1989, Frank and Florence Fratello (collectively, the “Settlors”)1 created the Fratello Family Trust (the “Fratello Family Trust”). Upon Frank’s death in April 2003, the Trust was divided into Trust A (survivor’s trust), Trust B (a credit shelter trust)...

  • KOENIG V. BRIDGET SMITH, FIRESTONE WALKER, LLC

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Kenneth Koenig and Robin Koenig (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed this premises liability action for damages against Firestone Walker LLC (“Firestone”), Firestone Walker Inc., Mathew Smith, and Bridget Smith (collectively “Defendants”), on October 17, 2017. Plaintiffs allege that Kenneth Koenig was injured...

  • SHERI MURRAY V. GERALD HARTZELL

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    Sheri Murray (“Sheri”)1, Tom Murray (“Tom”), Eliassa Murray (“Eliassa”), Brian Murray (“Brian”), Matthew Murray (“Matthew”), William Murray (“William”), Sheridyn Murray (“Sheridyn”), and Audrey Murray (“Audrey”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”), filed this action on August 12, 2019 against Gerald Hartzell (“Har...

  • IN RE THE FRATELLO FAMILY TRUST

    Jun 10, 2020 |  San Luis Obispo County

    I. BACKGROUND
    In January 1989, Frank and Florence Fratello (collectively, the “Settlors”)1 created the Fratello Family Trust (the “Fratello Family Trust”). Upon Frank’s death in April 2003, the Trust was divided into Trust A (survivor’s trust), Trust B (a credit shelter trust), and Trust C (marital tr...

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