Plaintiff creditor appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County (California), which sustained, without leave to amend, defendant debtor’s demurrers to a complaint seeking to recover a late charge of 10 percent of the final payment on a promissory note and expenses associated with initiating nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings. The trial court also granted costs and attorney fees to the debtor.
The litigants retained California class action attorney in their civil litigation matter. The note provided for monthly interest-only payments and a final balloon payment. If any installment was not paid on time, the note provided for a late charge of 10 percent, described as processing and accounting charges. The debtor made the final payment of principal and interest after the due date. The trial court concluded that the late charge provision did not apply to the final payment. The court applied the ordinary meaning of the word “installment” and considered the provisions together, in accordance with Civ. Code, §§ 1638, 1641, 1643, 1644, and determined that the late charge provision was intended to compensate the creditor for administrative expenses. Because a late charge in excess of actual administrative expenses would be an unenforceable penalty under Civ. Code, § 1671, subd. (b), the late charge provision could apply only to the interest payments. The trial court did not err in taking judicial notice of a recorded assignment of the note. The creditor was entitled to amend the complaint to seek recovery of interest pursuant to Civ. Code, §§ 3300, 3302. A determination of prevailing party status under Civ. Code, § 1717, had to await final resolution of the matter.
The court reversed the judgment of dismissal and remanded with directions to vacate the order that had sustained the demurrers without leave to amend and to enter a new order sustaining those demurrers with leave to amend. The court also reversed the order that granted costs and attorney fees to the debtor.
Plaintiff employee appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County (California), granting summary judgment to defendant employer. Plaintiff alleged he was wrongfully discharged on the theories that defendant violated an implied contract of employment, and plaintiff was constructively discharged when he resigned because of intolerable working conditions.
Plaintiff was employed for almost 20 years and even though he signed an at-will employment contract, his supervisor orally assured him several times that his employment could be terminated only for good cause. Plaintiff resigned and filed a complaint, alleging wrongful discharge and that he was constructively discharged when he resigned because of intolerable working conditions. When summary judgment was granted in favor of defendant, plaintiff appealed. The appellate court agreed with the trial court. The written agreement signed by plaintiff clearly and unambiguously told him that his employment was at-will and that only the board of directors, by “affirmative action,” could change the at-will nature of plaintiff’s employment. Thus, plaintiff’s assertion that his supervisor gave him oral assurances of continued employment did not create an implied contract in the face of the written acknowledgement he signed that his employment was at-will.
Summary judgment was affirmed.