Procedural Posture

Plaintiff partnership appealed an order from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which dismissed its breach of contract action against defendant singer and vacated its motion for leave to file an amended complaint to raise a constitutional issue.

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Overview

Plaintiff partnership entered into a written contract with defendant singer. Pursuant to the contract, plaintiff was to act as defendant’s career consultant in exchange for a percentage of her gross annual earnings. Plaintiff alleged that it performed its contractual obligations. Defendant informed plaintiff that their association was terminated, and defendant refused to make any payments under the contract. Plaintiff sued defendant for breach of contract. The trial court stayed the action because defendant filed a petition to determine controversy with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). The DLSE issued a final determination that the contract was void and unenforceable. While plaintiff had only 15 days to file a notice of appeal to obtain de novo review by the trial court, plaintiff filed an appeal three months later. The trial court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal because the time limit was jurisdictional, and even a constitutionally based attack was subject to the time limit.

Outcome

The court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff partnership’s breach of contract action against defendant singer because the trial court lacked jurisdiction due to the untimeliness of the filing of plaintiff’s appeal of an adverse administrative determination. Also, the court found no error in the trial court’s decision to deny plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint.