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Legal Memorandum: Standard for Judgment on Pleadings

Issue: What is the standard for judgment on pleadings in the state of California?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Judgment on pleadings; Sufficiency of facts
Jurisdiction: California
Cited Cases: 7 Cal. 4th 634; 62 Cal. App. 4th 835; 77 Cal. Rptr. 2d 709; 831 P.2d 317; 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 358; 8 Cal. App. 4th 294; 703 P.2d 58; 35 Cal. 3d 197; 9 Cal. Rptr. 2d 92; 871 P.2d 204; 39 Cal. 3d 311; 104 Cal. App. 4th 667; 19 Cal. 4th 26; 10 Cal. Rptr. 2d 293; 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 544; 197 Cal. Rptr. 783; 73 Cal. Rptr. 2d 427
Cited Statutes: Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 438(c)(3)(B)(ii), § 430.10(e), § 452
Date: 01/01/2007

A judgment on the pleadings in favor of the defendant is appropriate only when the complaint fails to allege facts sufficient to state a cause of action.  See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 438(c)(3)(B)(ii).  In considering such a motion, all properly pleaded, material facts are deemed true, and judicially noticeable matters may be considered.  Blank v. Kirwan (1985) 39 Cal. 3d 311, 318, 216 Cal. Rptr. 718, 703 P.2d 58; Kapsimallis v. Allstate Ins. Co. (2002) 104 Cal. App. 4th 667, 672, 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 358.  A motion for judgment on the pleadings performs the same function as a general demurrer.  Cloud v. Northrop Grumman Corp. (1998) 67 Cal. App. 4th 995, 999, 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 544.  A demurrer tests the sufficiency of the plaintiff’s complaint, determining whether it states facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action upon which relief may be granted.  Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 430.10(e); Friedland v. City of Long Beach (1998) 62 Cal. App. 4th 835, 841-842, 73 Cal. Rptr. 2d 427.   In determining whether the complaint states facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, the trial court may consider all material facts pleaded in the complaint and those arising by reasonable implication therefrom.  Moore v. Conliffe (1994) 7 Cal. 4th 634, 638, 29 Cal. Rptr. 2d 152, 871 P.2d 204; Montclair Parkowners […]

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