(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)
A. LEGAL STANDARD FOR DEMURRER
The function of a demurrer is to test the sufficiency of a Plaintiffs pleadings by raising questions of law, such that the Plaintiff must show that the Complaint alleges facts sufficient to establish every element of each cause of action. Title Ins. Co. v. Commercial Bank-California (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 800, 807. The Court treats the demurrer as admitting all material facts properly pleaded, but not contentions, deductions, or conclusions of law. Rakestraw v. California Physicians’ Service (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 39, 43.
The Court also considers matters that are judicially noticeable under C.C.P. § 430.30(a). The Court must sustain a demurrer only where the Complaint itself is defective, incomplete, or discloses some defense that would bar recovery. C.C.P. §§ 430.10, 430.30, 430.50; Harboring Villas Homeowners Ass’n. v. Superior Court (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 426, 429.
B. FOR THE PURPOSE OF A DEMURRER. ALL MATERIAL ALLEGATIONS OF PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT MUST BE ACCEPTED AS TRUE
The only issue that can be raised by a demurrer is whether the facts pled on the face of the Complaint state a valid cause of action, not whether the allegations are true or whether they can be proven at trial. Serrano v. Priest (1971) 5 Cal.3d 584, 591. Plaintiff’s allegations in the pleadings must be liberally construed with a view to substantial justice between the parties. National Auto & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Payne (1968) 261 Cal.App.2d 403, 408; C.C.P. § 452. This rule applies no matter how unlikely the allegations may be. Dell E. Webb Corp. v. Structural Materials Co. (1981) 123 Cal. App.3d 593, 604; Meyer v. Graphic Arts Int’l. Union Local No. 63-A, 63-B (1979) 88 Cal.App.3d 176.
The court must even assume as true those facts that may be inferred from those expressly alleged. Harvey v. City of Holtville (1969) 271 Cal.2d 816. The question of Plaintiffs ability to prove these allegations or the possible difficulty in making such proof does not concern the reviewing court. Katenkamp v. Union Realty Co. (1936) 6 Cal.2d 765, 769. (See Part 3 of 7.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.