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COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT - page 5 / 29

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The court sustained defendant's demurrers to plaintiff's first, second and third causes of action without leave to amend.  It ruled the FAAAA preempted section 22658, subdivision (i)(2) because the section relates to the price, route or service of a motor carrier, and it did not fall within certain exceptions to preemption in the FAAAA.  It further found, for purposes of plaintiff's third cause of action, that defendant's practice in charging for storage per calendar day was not unfair within the meaning of the UCL.  The court overruled defendant's demurrer to plaintiff's fourth cause of action; although the court found section 22851.12 preempted by the FAAAA, it concluded the practice of charging for lien sale preparation fees without first incurring any expense in connection with lien sales was unfair within the meaning of the UCL.  Based on the latter ruling, the court overruled defendant's demurrer to plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief.  Plaintiff dismissed its remaining cause of action, and thereafter entered into a stipulated judgment and order of dismissal of the entire first amended complaint, which was entered by the trial court in July 2004.  This appeal followed.  

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

On appeal from a judgment after a demurrer is sustained without leave to amend, we review the trial court's ruling de novo, exercising our independent judgment on whether the complaint states a cause of action.  (Lazar v. Hertz Corp. (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1494, 1501.)  " 'We treat the demurrer as admitting all material facts properly pleaded, but not contentions, deductions or conclusions of fact or law. [Citation.]

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