At the end of January 2017, Judge Beckloff ruled on Estate’s demurer to Safechuck’s second amended complaint. Judge granted Estate’s demurrer but gave Safechuck another chance to amend his complaint. Although we have been through this successful demurrer by MJ Estate followed by another amendment dance before, this time is significant because this is the first time that the judge evaluated the new claims by the new lawyers. Beckloff’s ruling sounds so promising as he questions almost everything Safechuck and his new lawyers claimed. Simply put, Judge Beckloff isn’t buying any of it.
Judge’s ruling on MJ Estate’s demurrer to Safechuck’s second amended complaint: https://www.scribd.com/document/339174005/Ruling-MJ-Estate-Demurrer-to-Safechuck-2nd-Amended-Complaint
A summary of the judge’s ruling can be found below:
Ruling shows that Judge Beckloff mainly focused on is the issue of control. According to the law, Safechuck is required to show that the MJ Companies had control over Michael and prior knowledge of wrongdoing. MJ Estate demonstrated that Michael was the 100% shareholder/ owner/ president of the MJ Companies. Safechuck admitted this was the case and Michael had control over the companies’ activities.
Judge points out that there were no claims in Safechuck’s complaint that someone controlled the 100% shareholder / owner/ president Michael. Judge states although some of the MJ Companies employees were mentioned, none of them were alleged to have control over Michael. For example Jolie Levine was mentioned as a managing agent of the MJ Companies but there was no allegations that she had the ability to control Michael. Furthermore the complaint did not allege that she had any knowledge of any “abuse”. In his ruling Judge repeatedly brings up the control issue and states as a matter of law the MJ companies did not have the ability to hire, fire or supervise their sole shareholder / owner and president Michael.