SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroRaBLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffll NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC. , ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER;
m
(Demurrer to Third Amended Complaint)

This matter is before the court on defendants'
demurrer to plaintiff's third amended complaint
(TAC). The court heard argument on the motion on May
ich
31, 2017 and thereafter took the matter under
submission. Having considered the arguments and
papers further, the court now finds/orders as
follows:

Plaintiff alleges he was sexually abused by
entertainer Michael Jackson. Plaintiff was over the
age of 26 when he filed his complaint on May 9,
2014, almost five years after Michael Jackson's
death. On December 24, 2015, the Probate Court
ae
denied plaintiff's petition to file a late claim in
Michael Jackson's probate estate; that order is
final. Thus, plaintiff is foreclosed from proceeding
against the probate estate for any injury he may
have suffered because of Michael Jackson's actions.

Plaintiff now pursues entities owned by Michael
Jackson. Defendants in this litigation - MJJ
l.c

Productions, Inc. and MJJ Ventures, Inc. -- are
corporate entities. Michael Jackson was the 100
percent shareholder (the "owner") of both corporate
entities. Michael Jackson was also the President of
both corporate entities. (Defendants' Request for

MINUTES ENTERED
om

Page 1 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: O6/2H/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroxaBi,E MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffll NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC. , ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

Judicial Notice, Exhibit A, 4: 12-14.) (TAC para. 3
m
and 4 .)

According to the TAC, defendant MJJ Productions,
Inc. "was a company established by MICHAEL JACKSON
as his primary business entity and the entity that
held most or all of the copyrights to MICHAEL
ich
JACKSON'S music and videos." (TAC para. 3.)
Defendant MJJ Ventures, Inc. "was a company
established by MICHAEL JACKSON in part for the
purpose of employing Plaintiff to work with MICHAEL
JACKSON on various projects ." (TAC para. 4.)

Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1 is the
relevant statute of limitations for this action. As
defendants are entities and not individuals, section
340.1, subdivision (a)(2) and (a)(3) are the
ae
relevant provisions. (These subdivisions are the
only applicable subdivisions at issue here.
Corporations are not direct perpetrators for
purposes of section 340.1, subdivision (a)(1) See
Boy Scouts v. Superior Court (2012) 206 Ca1.App.4th
428, 445.) Actions governed by these subdivisions -
that is, sexual abuse actions brought against
nonperpetrator entity defendants -- generally must
l.c

be brought prior to a plaintiff's 26th birthday.
(Code of Civ. Proc. sec. 340.1, subd. (b)(1).)

There is no dispute plaintiff brought this action
well after his 26th birthday. Today plaintiff is 39

MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 2 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xoNoxnsi,E MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF JUDGE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
~JS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC. , ET AL Counse~
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

years old; he was 36 years old when he filed this
m
action. Thus, pursuant to the general rule,
plaintiff filed his action 10 years too late, and
his action is barred by the statute of limitations.

There is a statutory exception, however, to this
general rule that an action must be brought prior to
ich
a plaintiff's 26th birthday. Section 340.1,
subdivision (b)(2) provides:

"This [26th birthday cut-off rule] does not apply if
the entity knew or had reason to know, or was
otherwise on notice, of any unlawful sexual conduct
by an employee, volunteer, representative, or agent,
and failed to take reasonable steps, and to
implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid acts of
unlawful sexual conduct in the future by that
ae
person, including, but not limited to, preventing or
avoiding placement of that person in a function or
environment in which contact with children is an
inherent part of that function or environment. For
purposes of this subdivision, providing or requiring
counseling is not sufficient, in and of itself, to
constitute a reasonable step or reasonable
safeguard."
l.c

Accordingly, for any of plaintiff's claims to
survive, they must fall within the "special
exception to the age 26 cutoff." (Quarry v. Doe I
(2012) 53 Cal.4th 945, 968.)
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Page 3 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: O6/2H/17 DEPT. 4VEM

HONORABLE MITCHELL L . BECKLOFF JUDGE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
m
Four of the six causes of action alleged against the
defendants are grounded in negligence: Negligence
(second cause of action), negligent supervision
(third cause of action), negligent retention/hiring
(fourth cause of action) and negligent failure to
warn (fifth cause of action). Of course, liability
ich
for these negligence causes of action turns on the
existence of a legal duty. That is, for plaintiff to
state a claim for negligence against these entity
defendants, the entity defendants must owe a legal
duty to plaintiff.

"In general, one owes no duty to control the conduct
of a third person to prevent him from causing
physical harm to another, absent a special
relationship between the defendant and either the
ae
person whose conduct needs to be controlled or the
foreseeable victim of that conduct." (Wise v.
Superior Court (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 1008, 1013.)
"[T]he responsibility for tortious acts should lie
with the individual who commits those acts; absent
facts which clearly give rise to a legal duty, that
responsibility should not be shifted to a third
party." (Todd v. Dow (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 253, 260
l.c

[quoting wise v. Superior Court, supra, 222
Ca1.App.3d at 1015-1016].) "Liability may not be
premised on a defendant's nonfeasance if the
defendant did not create the peril." (Ibid.)

MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 4 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: O 6 ~ 28 ~ 17 ~~ DEPT. WEM

xorroxaBLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF JUDGE D . SALISBURY DEruTY cLERx
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

This general presumption of no duty can be overcome
m
by the "judicially created exceptions which impose a
duty on a defendant to control the conduct of others
. ." (Todd v. Dow, supra, 19 Cal.App.4th at 258
[quoting Jacoves v. United Merchandising Corp.
(1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 88, 114].) A legal duty can be
found where "the defendant stands in some special
ich
relationship either with the person whose conduct
needs to be controlled or with the person who is a
foreseeable victim. [Citations.]." (Ibid.)

A legal duty may also be found where some natural
relationship - such as parent and minor child -
exists such that a "duty to control" arises. In
Megeff v. Doland (1981) 123 Cal.App.3d 251, 261,
Division One of this appellate district discussed an
adult daughter's obligation to control her father.
ae
In that situation, the court reasoned, "the natural
relationship between the parties (that of an adult
child and father) creates no inference of an ability
to control ." Therefore, the adult child had
no legal duty to others to control her father. The
court drew a distinction between that relationship
and "a parent's duty to control his minor child .
." wherein the "natural relationship" supports an
l.c

inference of control. (As a factual matter, however,
actual control might be lacking.) Where the natural
relationship does not support an inference of
control, "the actual custodial ability must
affirmatively appear." (Ibid.)
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Page 5 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

HONORABLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Depu[y Sheriff~l NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
m
Finally, Megeff v. Doland, supra, 123 Cal.App.3d at
259, relying on the Restatement (Second) Torts at
Section 319, recognizes a legal duty to third
parties where one has "voluntarily 'take [n] charge "'
of a third party. [Section 319 of the Restatement
(Second) Torts states: "One who takes charge of a
ich
third person whom he knows or should know to be
likely to cause bodily harm to others if not
controlled is under a duty to exercise reasonable
care to control the third person to prevent him from
doing such harm."]

Thus, the general presumption of no duty to protect
others from conduct of third parties can be overcome
where (1) there is a special relationship between
(a) the defendant and the person who needs to be
ae
controlled or (b) the defendant and the foreseeable
victim; (2) the natural relationship or custodial
arrangement creates control over the person who
needs to be controlled; or (3) the defendant has
"voluntarily 'take [n] charge'" of the person who
needs to be controlled. (Id. at 259, 261. See also
Doe v. United States Youth Soccer Ass n, Inc. (2017)
8 Cal.App.5th 1118, 1128. ["The first element, duty,
l.c

'may be imposed by law, be assumed by the defendant,
or exist by virtue of a special relationship."'
[Citation omitted.])

The analysis of legal duty, however, does not end
MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 6 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: ~6~28~17 DEPT. WEM

xorroxABi.E MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

with an examination of those three categories of
m
exceptions. A legal duty will exist only where a
defendant has an actual ability to control the
person who needs to be controlled. "It is
fundamental that in order to take charge of a person
in such a manner as will create a duty to control
his conduct, one must possess the ability to control
ich
that person's conduct." (Id. at 261 [emphasis on
"ability" in original].) "The absence of an ability
to control is fatal to a claim of legal
responsibility." (Todd v. Dow (1993) 19 Ca1.App.4th
253, 259. See also Smith v. Freund (2011) 192
Ca1.App.4th 466, 473. ["A basic requisite of a duty
based on a special relationship is the defendant's
ability to control the other person's conduct."])

This notion of an ability to control is equally
ae
applicable here to find a legal duty in these
nonperpetrator defendants. Our Supreme Court has
recognized that in the context of section 340.1,
subdivision (b)(2) - "the special exception to the
age 26 cutoff" - the entity defendant must have some
ability to control the sexual abuse perpetrator.
(Doe v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 42 Cal.4th 531,
544. ["The statute's enumeration of the necessary
l.c

relationship between the nonperpetrator defendant
and the perpetrator implies that the former was in a
position to exercise some control over the
latter."]) The "third party must be in such a
relationship with the perpetrator as to have some

MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 7 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: O G ~ 2S ~ 17 ~~ DEPT. WEM

xo[voxasLE MITCHELL L . BECKLOFF JUDGE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY ci,Exx
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

control over the perpetrator." (Aaronoff v.
m
Martinez-Senftner (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 910, 921.
See also Joseph v. Johnson (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th
1404, 1412 [demurrer properly sustained without
leave to amend where plaintiff failed to allege "the
right to control"].)
ich
[Plaintiff argues there is no ability to control
requirement in the legal duty analysis. Plaintiff
claims the notion is a "fabrication, absent from the
statute and case law." (Opposition p. 9.) While it
is true the statute does not use the word "control,"
as noted above, our Supreme Court has recognized
that the section 340.1, subdivision (b)(2) "implies
that the [nonperpetrator] was in a position to
exercise some control over the [perpetrator]." (Doe
v. City of Los Angeles, supra, 42 Cal.5th at 544.
ae
See also Aaronoff v. Martinez-Senftner, supra, 136
Cal.App.4th at 921 and Joseph v. Johnson, supra, 178
Cal.App.4th at 1412.) Moreover, the ability to
control is consistent with the judicial exception to
the general presumption outside of the sexual abuse
context that one owes no duty to control the conduct
of third parties. "The absence of an ability to
control is fatal to a claim of legal
l.c

responsibility." (Todd v. Dow, supra, 19
Cal.App.4th at 259.)]

[Moreover, plaintiff's negligent supervision and
retention/hiring claims necessarily require an

MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 8 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroxaBLE MITCHELL L . BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffll NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

ability to control the perpetrator. "To establish
m
negligent supervision, a plaintiff must show that a
person in a supervisorial position over the actor
had prior knowledge of the actor's propensity to do
the bad act." (Z.V. v. County of Riverside (2015)
238 Cal.App.4th 889, 902.)]
ich
Accepting plaintiff's factual allegations as true
(as the court must on demurrer except to the extent
such factual allegations are contradicted by prior
pleadings or judicially noticeable facts), plaintiff
has alleged a special relationship between the
entity defendants and plaintiff. Plaintiff has
alleged when he was 8 or 9 years old in "late
1986/early 1987," "he was an employee of Defendants
MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures for various work
ae
performed for these entities and Michael Jackson .
. ." (TAC para. 11.) Plaintiff alleges he was
compensated for his work with "travel, lodging,
food, medical care, and clothing." His compensation
was not limited to those items. (TAC para. 11.)

[According to Exhibit C in Defendants' Request for
Judicial Notice, MJJ Ventures, Inc. did not file its
Articles of Incorporation until February 26, 1991.
l.c

Thus, plaintiff could not have been employed by that
entity defendant until after that time.]

Plaintiff alleges he appeared with Michael Jackson
on stage at various times in 1988. (TAC Para. 19,
MINUTES ENTERED
om

Page 9 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroxaBLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffll NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

29.) Plaintiff performed nightly on stage with
m
Michael Jackson on Michael Jackson's Bad tour. (TAC
para. 29.) Plaintiff was not paid for his services,
but Michael Jackson and MJJ Productions "organized
and paid for all hotel and other accommodations;
made and paid for all travel arrangements for
Plaintiff and his mother and paid for all
ich
food, entertainment and shopping sprees for
Plaintiff and his parents." (TAC para. 29.) A
"point person" for MJJ Productions made all the
arrangements. (TAC para. 29.)

The TAC alleges during the Bad tour in 1988, Michael
Jackson began sexually abusing plaintiff. While it
is not entirely clear when the sexual abuse ceased,
it appears the sexual abuse continued until 1992.
The complaint alleges the "sexual abuse stopped"
ae
when plaintiff "reached puberty." (TAC Para. 60, 61
and 64.)

[Later, when plaintiff was 16 and 17 years old in
1994 and 1995, after the sexual abuse had stopped,
plaintiff worked as an "intern/shadow director" for
Michael Jackson and/or MJJ Productions and/or MJJ
Ventures. (TAC 69 and 70.) This employment appears
l.c

to the court to have been a more traditional and
formal employment relationship than the alleged
employment relationship occurring in 1988. The court
has liberally construed the complaint with regard to
plaintiff's "employment" by defendants in 1988.]
MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 10 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroxaBLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffl~ NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
m
The TAC also alleges that employees of the entity
defendants knew children were at risk of harm around
Michael Jackson. (TAC para. 46, 47 and 48.) Norma
Staikos, Executive Director of MJJ Productions, told
an employee who worked at Michael Jackson's home
from 1989 to 1990 not to "leave children alone in a
ich
room with Michael Jackson." (TAC Para. 46.)

Considered liberally and read together, the court
assumes for purposes of this demurrer that these
allegations are sufficient to demonstrate a special
relationship between the then minor plaintiff and
the entity defendants. Defendants employed
plaintiff, compensated him and arranged for his
travel/lodging. Plaintiff has also sufficiently
alleged that a child such as plaintiff was a
ae
foreseeable victim.

[Further complicating the issue is the notion that
(1) defendants never had "custody" of plaintiff; (2)
plaintiff's parents never "placed" plaintiff's care
with defendants; or (3) defendants never acted as
plaintiff's caregiver. As noted by defendants, the
molestation alleged in the TAC took place in Michael
l.c

Jackson's homes or while plaintiff traveled with
him. The alleged abuse did not occur at defendants'
offices or at any time when defendants were
allegedly entrusted with plaintiff's care. There is
no allegation that defendants were plaintiff's
MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 11 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: O 6 ~ 28 ~ 17 DEPT. WEM

HONORABLE MITCHELL L . BECKLOFF JUDGE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC. , ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

caregivers. (Juarez v. Boy Scouts of America, Inc.
m
(2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 377, 410.)]

As noted above, however, a legal duty exists only
where there is a special relationship (as
sufficiently alleged here) AND some ability to
control the perpetrator. "The absence of an ability
ich
to control is fatal to a claim of legal
responsibility." (Todd v. Dow, supra, 19
Cal.App.4th at 259.) In fact, the Court in Joseph
v. Johnson (2009) 178 Ca1.App.4th 1404, 1412 goes
further, describing the requirement as "the right to
control."

[The court accepts plaintiff's argument in
opposition to the demurrer that he has sufficiently
alleged there was a relationship between plaintiff
ae
and defendants. "[T]hey were his employer. They also
undertook his custody and control, and thus were in
a special relationship with him." (Opposition p.
5.) The court also accepts plaintiff has alleged he
was a foreseeable victim to Michael Jackson's abuse.
(Opposition p. 5.) Plaintiff's analysis of the duty
issue, however, stops short. Plaintiff concludes
based on (1) a special relationship and (2) a
l.c

foreseeable victim that defendants owed plaintiff "a
duty to exercise reasonable control over [Jackson's]
actions." (Opposition p. 5.) In order for a legal
duty to "exercise reasonable control" to arise,
however, there must, in fact, be an ability or right
MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 12 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroRaBLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF JUDCE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR'
da
NONE Deputy NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC. , ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

to control. A legal duty to control cannot exist
m
where one has no ability or right to control.
Throughout plaintiff's opposition to the demurrer,
plaintiff asserts a legal duty based on the special
relationship without any acknowledgement that the
third party must have some ability to control the
perpetrator to create a legal duty.]
ich
Here, plaintiff alleges both entity defendants had
the "ability to exercise control over Michael
Jackson's business and personal affairs." (TAC
para. 3 and 4.) Plaintiff also alleges that Michael
Jackson with both entities' "full knowledge,
consent, and assistance, exploited this relationship
with [the entity defendants] to gain access to
plaintiff, and to set up, facilitate and arrange
meetings and encounters between Michael Jackson and
ae
the minor Plaintiff and other children for the
purpose of Michael Jackson's engaging in childhood
sexual abuse of Plaintiff and others." (TAC Para. 3
and 4 .)

Plaintiff alleges defendants were Michael Jackson's
"co-conspirators, collaborators, facilitators and
alter egos for the childhood sexual abuse alleged
l.c

herein." (TAC para. 5.) The entity defendants,
according to the TAC, were "thinly-veiled, covert .
. child sexual abuse operation[s], specifically
designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child
sexual abuse victims." Plaintiff labels the entity

MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 13 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: O6/2H/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroRnar_.E MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy \I\C Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

defendants "the most sophisticated public child
m
sexual abuse procurement and facilitation
organization the world has known." (TAC para. 5.)

Michael Jackson was the sole shareholder - the only
"owner" -- of both corporate entity defendants. (TAC
para. 3 and 4.) As the sole shareholder of the
ich
defendant entities, Michael Jackson had absolute
legal control over the entities and everyone
employed by them. (See Coit Drapery Cleaners, Inc.
v. Sequoia Ins. Co. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 1595,
1605. [". the trial court properly found that
there was no way Coit, the corporate entity, could
have disciplined or supervised its president,
chairman of the board, and major shareholder .
."] See also In re Donahue Securities, Inc.
(Bnkrtcy. SD Ohio 2004) 318 BR 667, 678.)
ae
"[T] he business and affairs of [a] corporation shall
be managed and all corporate powers shall be
exercised by or under the direction of the board."
(Corp. Code sec. 300, subd. (a).) The board of
directors are elected by the shareholders. (Corp.
Code sec. 301, subd. (a).) "Any or all of the
directors may be removed without cause if the
l.c

removal is approved by the outstanding shares .
." (Corp. Code sec. 303, subd. (a).) Corporate
officers are chosen by the board and "serve at the
pleasure of the board." (Corp. Code sec. 312, subd.
l b) • )
MINUTES ENTERED
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Page 14 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Da'rE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

HONORABLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF JUDGE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
m
While plaintiff has alleged the defendant entities
had the ability to control Michael Jackson other
allegations and admissions by plaintiff directly
contradict these allegations, eviscerating that
claim. (The "authority and ability" of the defendant
entities also appears to be mere conclusion. See,
ich
e.g., TAC para. 110.) Michael Jackson was the owner
and sole shareholder of the entity defendants. No
one employed by the entity defendants had control
over their sole shareholder or the right to control
him. As argued by defendants, "A corporate entity
cannot discipline or control its president and sole
shareholder." (Reply p. 5.)

During argument, in response to thislack of or
right to control the entity defendants' sole owner,
ae
plaintiff asserted the employees of the entity
defendants were obligated to take active measures to
protect plaintiff even if such actions were contrary
to instructions from those who supervised their
employment; steps could have been taken to protect
plaintiff. For example, under plaintiff's view of
the law, an employee of the entity defendants was
obligated to refuse to make travel arrangements for
l.c

plaintiff given the risk of sexual abuse to
plaintiff.

While defendants' employees may have been able to
take such action, such action does not establish the
MINUTES ENTERED
om

Page 15 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Da,TE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroRasLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF JUDGE D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8: 30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
US Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

control requirement of the special exception to the
m
age 26 cutoff. (See Joseph v. Johnson, supra, 178
Cal.App.4th at 1412.)

Plaintiff contends there is a distinction "between
what employees of a business entity can subjectively
do under its own rules and what a business entity
ich
must objectively do under California law."
(Opposition p. 1 and 11.) Plaintiff argues the
entity defendants are liable because by putting
himself into a position of power within the entity
defendants, Michael Jackson's acts, "as an agent of
these business entities" "would be negligent acts
imputed to these [defendant] entities." (Opposition
p. 12.)

To impose a legal duty on the entity defendants, in
ae
addition to a special relationship, plaintiff is
required to plead and later establish that the
entity defendants had some ability or right to
control Michael Jackson, the alleged perpetrator. As
a matter of law, as the sole owner of defendant
entities, Michael Jackson had complete legal
authority over both entity defendants. Therefore,
plaintiff has not established the special exception
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to the age 26 cut off contained in Code of Civil
Procedure section 340.1, subdivision (b)(2) As
plaintiff did not bring his claim prior to his 26th
birthday against these entity defendants, his claim
is time barred.
MINUTES ENTERED
om

Page 16 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

D.aTE: 06/28/17 DEPT. WEM

xorroxaBLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffll NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
m
The demurrer as to the negligence based causes of
action (2 through 5) are all sustained without leave
to amend.

As to plaintiff's first cause o,f action for
intentional infliction of emotional distress and
ich
sixth cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty,
the court finds they fail for similar reasons.
Whether liability for the entity defendants is
premised on negligent or intentional conduct,
plaintiff must have brought his action before his
26th birthday, unless he can establish the special
. exception to the age 26 cut off. (Code of Civ. Proc.
' section 340.1, subd. (a)(2), (a)(3), (b)(1) and
(b)(2) • )
ae
As plaintiff cannot plead some ability to control
the 100 percent shareholder and owner of the entity
defendants who perpetrated the abuse under these
circumstances, these causes of action cannot
withstand demurrer.

The demurrer as to the first and sixth causes of
action are sustained without leave to amend.
l.c

Defendants shall prepare an order sustaining the
demurrer without leave to amend as well as a
judgment of dismissal.

MINUTES ENTERED
om

Page 17 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: OF>~25~17 DEPT. WEM

HONORABLE MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF .ruDGEI D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriffll NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:

'i The court sets an OSC re receipt of the order and
m
judgment for July 21, 2017 on its non-appearance
calendar. Counsel are not expected to attend unless
the documents have not been submitted to the court
in advance of the hearing.

The clerk shall give notice.
ich
CLERK'S CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I, the below-named Executive Officer/Clerk of the
above-entitled court, do hereby certify that I am
not a party to the cause herein, and that on this
date I served the minute order and notice of ruling
upon each party or counsel named below by placing
ae
the document for collection and mailing so as to
cause it to be deposited in the United States mail
at the courthouse in Santa Monica,
California, one copy of the original filed/entered
herein in a separate sealed envelope to each address
as shown below with the postage thereon fully prepaid,
in accordance with standard court practices.
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( Dated: June 28, 2017

( Sherri R. Carter, Executive Officer/Clerk

MINUTES ENTERED
om

Page 18 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DATE: ~6~28~17 DEPT. WEM

xoNoxaBi.E MITCHELL L . BECKLOFF D. SALISBURY DEPUTY CLERK
J. MORGAN, C/A
HONORABLE JUDGE PRO TEM ELECTRONIC RECORDING MONITOR
da
NONE Deputy Sheriff NONE Reporter

8:30 am BC545264 Plaintiff
Counsel
JAMES SAFECHUCK NO APPEARANCES
VS Defendant
MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., ET AL Counsel
ily
NATURE OF PROCEEDINGS:
m
By: D. Salisbury

Vince W. Finaldi, Esq.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi
ich
19100 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 800
Irvine, CA 92612

Jonathan Steinsapir, Esq.
Kinsella Weitzman et al.
808 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401
ae
l.c
om

MINUTES ENTERED
Page 19 of 19 DEPT. WEM 06/28/17
COUNTY CLERK