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California Unruh act

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2019.08.30 Online purchase 130fa38e

Petitioner designers sought a writ of mandamus to direct respondent court, Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), to vacate an order that denied a motion for summary judgment.

The real party in interest, the underlying plaintiff, created a corporation that produced designer clothing. Plaintiff sued petitioner for recission of an agreement based on fraud. The case was dismissed with prejudice after a release was signed. Plaintiff later filed suit against petitioners for misappropriation of designs. Petitioner's motion for summary judgment was denied. Petitioners sought a writ of mandate to direct respondent court to vacate the order that denied summary judgment. Summary judgment was only proper when there was no genuine issue of fact. The court noted that where dismissal of an earlier action was by consent of both parties after a settlement, it was intended to operate to bar a new action if it was dismissed with prejudice. The California Unruh act doctrine of res judicata did not bar the second suit because res judicata only gave a conclusive effect to a former judgment in subsequent litigation that involved the same controversy. Because the first suit differed from the second suit, the trial court properly denied summary judgment. Res judicata was not to be used to immunize a party in a continuing business relationship from liability for recurrent tortious misconduct.

The court denied petitioner designers' request for a writ of mandate to direct respondent court to vacate an order that denied a motion for summary judgment because there was a genuine issue of material fact. Res judicata did not immunize a party in a continuing business relationship from liability for recurrent tortious misconduct.

The state requested a writ of mandate pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 1538.5 seeking appellate review of an order from respondent Superior Court of Marin County (California) that granted a motion to suppress evidence regarding charges of possession of marijuana and possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor. An alternative writ of mandate was issued commanding respondent to vacate and set aside its order granting the suppression motion.

Plaintiff borrowers filed suit against defendant bank for violations of the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1785.1-1785.36, alleging, inter alia, that their promissory note was an illegal contract as a bank customer fraudulently induced them to take out the loan. The Superior Court of Humboldt County, California, granted the bank summary judgment. The borrowers appealed.

On review, the borrowers, a husband and wife, contended the trial court erred in granting the bank summary judgment on their causes of action under the California Credit Reporting Agencies Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1785.1-1785.36, as the bank improperly accessed the husband's credit file when evaluating the wife's creditworthiness. Based on the signed personal financial statement, the bank established that its request for the husband's credit information was for a purpose authorized under Cal. Civ. Code § 1785.11(a). Further, the husband's credit history had a bearing on the wife's creditworthiness as she relied on community assets to establish her creditworthiness. Thus, husband's credit information effectively constituted a consumer credit report on the wife, who expressly authorized the credit report, and the bank's request for his credit information was authorized under Cal. Civ. Code § 1785.11(a)(3)(A). As the personal financial statement was not a contract between the wife and the alterer, the bank customer, and as the customer was not the bank's agent, the customer's acts could be attributed to the bank. As such, summary judgment in the bank's favor was proper.

The judgment was affirmed.

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