Falahati v. Kondo – Case Brief Summary (California)

In Falahati v. Kondo (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 823, the plaintiffs filed a notice of errata stating that the omission of defendant Shinji Kondo from the caption of the complaint was a typographical error and "'the pleading should be regarded as if the words had never been left out.'" (Falahati, supra, 127 Cal.App.4th at p. 827.)

However, the plaintiffs "did not amend the complaint to allege Kondo engaged in any conduct causing them damage." (Ibid.)

Kondo's motion to set aside the default judgment entered against him was denied. He appealed and the appellate court ruled that the default judgment must be set aside. (Id. at p. 828.)

The appellate court in Falahati determined that "athough the third amended complaint contains a boilerplate allegation that each defendant was the agent and employee of the others and contains some charging allegations respecting 'defendants and each of them' these allegations do not result in the complaint stating a cause of action against Kondo because he is nowhere mentioned in the body of the complaint. Adding Kondo's name to the caption of the complaint added nothing to plaintiffs' causes of action because 'the caption of the complaint constitutes no part of the statement of the cause of action.'" (Falahati, supra, 127 Cal.App.4th at p. 829.)

The court further determined that "because the third amended complaint alleged no facts with respect to Kondo, there were no facts for Kondo to admit." (Ibid.)