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St. Mary v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeal
167 Cal. Rptr. 3d 517 (2014)


Facts

Lisa St. Mary (plaintiff) invested $475,000, her life savings, with Cedar Funding, Inc. (Cedar Funding) (defendant). The entire investment was lost. St. Mary sued Cedar Funding, Thomas Schellenberg, and Katherine Mills (defendants) for fraud. Schellenberg and Mills served requests for admissions, sometimes referred to as RFAs, on St. Mary. St. Mary asked for an extension of her response deadline. However, the day after the deadline, Schellenberg and Mills denied St. Mary’s extension request. St. Mary responded four days after the deadline. The majority of St. Mary’s responses were just the word “admit” or “deny.” After receiving the responses, Schellenberg and Mills filed a motion to deem all the requests admitted, claiming that the responses were legally deficient. The trial court examined each response and determined that 41 responses were not unequivocal admissions or denials. The trial court then partially granted the motion, deeming those 41 RFAs admitted. St. Mary appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Marquez, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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