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Lyles v. Sangadeo-Patel

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

April 17, 2014

LAKEESHA LYLES, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
DENISE SANGADEO-PATEL, as Trustee, etc., et al., Defendants and Respondents.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County No. BC487275, Suzanne G. Bruguera, Judge.

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COUNSEL

Law Offices of Morse and Mehrban and Morse Mehrban for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Laurence H. Lishner for Defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

MOSK, J.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff and appellant Lakeesha Lyles, tenant of a rent-controlled apartment, brought an action against her landlords, defendants and respondents Denise Sangadeo-Patel individually and Denise Sangadeo-Patel in her capacity as trustee of the Denise Sangadeo-Patel Trust. Plaintiff alleged various causes of action seeking damages and restitution premised on defendants’ alleged failure to serve her with a copy of a valid rental unit registration statement or annual rental unit registration renewal statement from the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (Department), as

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required by Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) section 151.05, subsection A. That provision is part of a rent control law. The trial court granted defendants’ demurrer to plaintiff’s first amended complaint. Plaintiff elected not to amend the first amended complaint, stipulated that the trial court could enter judgment, and appealed from that judgment. We do not interpret the ordinance on which plaintiff’s claims depend to provide for the remedies sought by plaintiff. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

In her first amended complaint, plaintiff asserted causes of action for violation of the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (LARSO), violation of Civil Code section 1947.11 (section 1947.11), unjust enrichment, and violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200 (section 17200) (the unfair competition law). Lyles based each cause of action on the allegations that from October 1, 2003, she had been the tenant and lessee of, and defendants had been the owners and lessors of, a unit in a four unit building on Garthwaite Avenue in Los Angeles; during the term of her occupancy, defendants failed to serve her with a copy of a valid rental unit registration statement or annual rental unit registration renewal statement from the Department as required by LAMC section 151.05, subsection A.; from October 1, 2003, defendants had collected from her at least $77, 709 in rent; on June 6, 2012, she served defendants with a demand under section 1947.11 for a refund of that $77, 709 in rent; and defendants refused to comply with her demand. Plaintiff sought restitution in the amount of $77, 709, and, as provided by law, treble damages, in the amount of $233, 127.

Defendants demurred to plaintiff’s first amended complaint on the ground that it did not state facts sufficient to state a cause of action.[1] The trial court sustained defendants’ demurrer and granted plaintiff five days to amend her first amended complaint. Plaintiff declined to amend, and she and defendant stipulated, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 581, ...


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