ZFP clients win in a published appellate decision involving the Ellis Act: Superior Court not required to reclassify the action upon granting summary judgment.

ZFP clients win a published decision involving a reclassification motion in a contested Ellis Act proceeding. Plaintiff landlord terminated the defendants' tenancies pursuant to the Ellis Act. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment, waiving damages for purposes of doing so. The court granted the motion. Tenants then moved to reclassify the action for purposes of their appeal, on grounds that landlord had no damages. The Superior Court denied the motion, and the tenants appealed. The Court of Appeal determined that Code of Civil Procedure section 403.040(e) gave the Superior Court discretion to grant or deny the motion, and found no abuse of that discretion. "The Court's straightforward and common sense interpretation of the reclassification statute will offer clear guidance for future matters, and discourage the attempted forum-shopping displayed by this appeal," said Scott Freedman, of Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC. The tenants' appeal of the summary judgment ruling will now proceed in the Court of Appeal.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION