Volume I, Number 5 Join the Real Property Section Contact Us

 March, 2006

Recent Cases

-Mechanic’s Liens-
Construction contract was completed within the meaning of Civil Code Sec. 3115 on anticipatory breach of the other contracting party, so plaintiff, who had mechanic’s lien and had no further obligations once anticipatory breach occurred, was not premature in recording lien.
     Howard S. Wright Construction Co. v. BBIC Investors, LLC - filed January 31, 2006, First District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2006 SOS 553
     Click here for full text  

-Land Use-
Equitable doctrine of laches cannot be applied as a defense to an action for enforcement of safety standards for buildings. Under California Building Code provision defining "high-rise" building to include "every building of any type of construction or occupancy having floors used for human occupancy located more than 75 feet above the lowest floor level having building access," other than a hospital, enforcing agency has discretion to reasonably define "building access." Where fire marshal and code enforcement officer testified that they considered a specific entrance to constitute the point of access to a building that also had entrances at a lower point that were not easily accessible, and entrance cited by witnesses was undisputedly less than 75 feet below penthouse, city ordinance requiring high rise buildings to have full sprinkler systems did not apply. State Housing Law provision authorizing recovery of prevailing party attorney fees in receivership cases applies only to cases in which a receiver is actually appointed. State Housing Law provision barring recovery of costs by prevailing defendant in enforcement actions under the law applies to case in which complaint also pleads non-State Housing Law causes of action, so long as they are factually related to the claim for enforcement. Effort to enforce housing and building codes, even if unsuccessful based on legal determination that cited provision does not apply, does not amount to a federal or state civil rights violation. Action for violation of civil rights under Civil Code Sec. 52.1 requires proof that defendant committed or threatened violence in order to prevent plaintiff from exercising rights.
     City and County of San Francisco v. Ballard - filed January 10, 2006; publication ordered February 2, 2006, First District, Div. Two
     Cite as 2006 SOS 590
     Click here for full text

-Federal Lands-
Limited access rights for inholders in the absence of a right-of-way under Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act are subject to reasonable regulation by National Park Service. District court lacked jurisdiction over action alleging that NPS was unreasonable in failing to grant plaintiffs a permit to move heavy equipment along abandoned road within national park where no final decision had been made on whether to grant the permit.
     Hale v. Norton - filed February 9, 2006
     Cite as No. 0336032
     Click here for full text

-Water Law-
Water Quality Control Plan for San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, adopted in 1995 by State Water Resources Control Board, did not allow for staged implementation of minimum monthly average flow rates on the San Joaquin River at Vernalis, and board’s later decision to adopt San Joaquin River Agreement--entered into by some but not all of the interested parties--and its alternate flows during an interim, experimental stage was unauthorized and unreasonable. SWRCB failed to adequately implement salinity objectives of Bay-Delta plan at three locations downstream of Vernalis by delaying implementation of the approved objective at those locations. SWRCB approval of long-term plan changes sought by irrigation districts did not violate Water Code’s "no injury" rule since downstream riparian owners claiming injury had no legal right to water stored to others upstream, and "physical solution doctrine," which gives trial court equitable powers to adjudicate water rights dispute by imposing "a physical solution to achieve a practical allocation of water to competing interests," does not, absent an actual court order, give riparian a right to use of water stored upstream. EPA approval of 1995 Bay-Delta plan supersedes prior EPA water quality standards for waters covered by the plan.
     State Water Resources Control Board Cases - filed February 9, 2006, Third District
     Cite as 2006 SOS 675
     Click here for full text 

-Property Tax-
Quiet title action by prior owners of real property against purchaser at tax auction was barred where action was filed more than one year after sale and defendant was a bona fide purchaser without knowledge of any defects in notice. Limitations period was not subject to equitable tolling or estoppel where plaintiffs, despite county’s prior error in sending tax notices to wrong parties, were notified of their right to redeem but failed to do so within statutory time.
     Mayer v. L & B Real Estate - filed February 14, 2006, Second District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2006 SOS 794
     Click here for full text 

-Premises Liability-
Allegation by plaintiff that he slipped and fell in swimming pool area of health club operated by defendant as a result of defendant’s failure to comply with Health and Safety Code provisions relating to swimming pool conditions created triable issue as to whether defendant was in "violation of law" within meaning of Civil Code Sec. 1668, which precludes enforcement of release of liability under certain conditions.
     Capri v. L. A. Fitness International, LLC - filed February 15, 2006, Second District, Div. Four
     Cite as 2006 SOS 862
     Click here for full text

-Landlord-Tenant-
Where debtor’s lease was secured by security deposit comprised of cash and a letter of credit, and debtor ceased paying rent and filed for bankruptcy, trustee was permitted to recover damages up to the full amount of the security deposit, including the letter of credit.
     In re OneCast Media, Inc. - filed February 23, 2006
     Cite as No. 0435324
     Click here for full text

-Water Law-
Where plaintiffs' predecessors acquired priority water rights prior to adoption of Water Commission Act in 1914, and plaintiffs' extension of pipeline so as to serve a second, noncontiguous parcel caused defendants to claim a right to withdraw their approval for pipeline to cross their property, burden of proof was on defendants to show that they were injured by the extension; under well settled rule of California water law, plaintiffs may use water elsewhere if they can do so without injuring defendants' water rights. Plaintiffs' irrevocable license to transfer water through pipeline across defendants' property was the equivalent of an easement, so defendants could not object to extension where plaintiffs' conveying the same amount of water through the same pipeline, but to a different end location, did not materially increase the burden of the pipeline on the defendants' property.
     Barnes v. Hussa - filed February 24, 2006, Third District
     Cite as 2006 SOS 952
     Click here for full text

-Lien Priority-
Owner of street and sewer improvement bond, whose lien has attached to property sold for back taxes, is a "lienholder[] of record prior to the recordation of the tax deed" with priority over the lender's subsequently recorded deed of trust, even if there was an intervening change in ownership of the bond.
     Marion Drive, LLC v. Saladino - filed February 27, 2006, Second District, Div. One
     Cite as 2006 SOS 1029
     Click here for full text

 

Upcoming Events

No time to drive downtown?
Try attending by audio-conference
Available for all programs meeting at LACBA/LexisNexis Conference Center.


3/15/06
SPONSORING SUBSECTION: Real Estate Finance
Defeasance
SPEAKERS: Susan Booth., Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP; Douglas B. Frank, Mayer, Brown Rowe & Maw
PLACE: LACBA/LexisNexis Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
REGISTRATION: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; LUNCH: 12:00 p.m.; PROGRAM: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
PRICE: FREE CLE+Plus members (meal not included); $25 law students (meal included);
$45 real property section members; $55 other LACBA members; $65 all others ($65 all at door payments)
AUDIO CONFERENCING: 5 business days advance registration required. INDIVIDUALS: $60 LACBA members; $80 all others. GROUP RATE: $120 for 2 participants ($30 per person thereafter for participants requesting MCLE credit; list/provide all participants).
AUDIO CD: Unable to attend by phone or in person? Purchase the audio cd in advance
(un-edited): $25 LACBA members; $45 all others. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
CLE: 1.0 CLE hr CODE #: 009110
Register Online

3/21/06
SPONSORING SUBSECTION: Title Insurance
The Latest and Greatest Fraud Schemes and Scams — Trends in Claims Involving Identity Theft and Other Fraud
SPEAKERS: TBA
PLACE: Universal City Hilton, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive , Universal City
REGISTRATION: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; LUNCH: 12:00 p.m.; PROGRAM: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
PRICE:  FREE CLE+Plus members (meal not included); $35 law students (meal included);
$65 real property section members; $75 other LACBA members; $85 all others
AUDIO CD: Unable to attend in person? Purchase the audio cd in advance
(un-edited): $25 LACBA members; $45 all others. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
CLE: 1.0 CLE hr CODE #: 009111

Register Online

3/23/06
SPONSORING SUBSECTION:  Commercial Development & Leasing and Land Use Planning & Environmental Law
ACTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
This program will review the essential elements of a survey and the types of surveys available as well as survey issues of consequence to real estate practitioners. 
SPEAKER: Jim Brown, Bock & Clark; Ronald P. Jones, Kahn Soares & Conway LLP; Steve Rinehart, Bock & Clark
PLACE: LACBA/LexisNexis Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
REGISTRATION: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; LUNCH: 12:00 p.m.; PROGRAM: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
PRICE: FREE CLE+Plus members (meal not included); $25 law students (meal included);
$45 real property section members; $55 other LACBA members; $65 all others ($65 all at door payments)
AUDIO CONFERENCING: 5 business days advance registration required. INDIVIDUALS: $60 LACBA members; $80 all others. GROUP RATE: $120 for 2 participants ($30 per person thereafter for participants requesting MCLE credit; list/provide all participants).
AUDIO CD: Unable to attend by phone or in person? Purchase the audio cd in advance
(un-edited): $25 LACBA members; $45 all others. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
CLE: 1.0 CLE hr CODE #: 009112
Register Online

3/28/06
SPONSORING SUBSECTION: Construction Law
Update on the Contractors State License Board
The Contractor's Board has recently gone through a number of substantial changes. First, S.B. 30 (enacted Jan. 05) changed the Home Improvement Contract requirements and added a Service & Repair Contract effective July 1, 2005 (effective date may be extended to Jan. 1, 2006) . Because S.B. 30 is so poorly drafted, another bill is pending to "clean it up." Secondly, fingerprinting has been implemented. Every new applicant must be fingerprinted and screened to determine if s/he has been convicted of a crime substantially related to the business of contracting. Many believe the law does not apply to currently licensed contractors; however, a change to an existing license may require all the parties on that license to be fingerprinted. Sometimes referred to as the "Institutional Memory of the Contractors State License Board," Sam Abdulaziz will speak on these and other issues relating to the Board.
SPEAKERS: Sam K. Abdulaziz, Abdulaziz & Grossbart; Steve Sands, Registrar of Contractors  
PLACE: LACBA/LexisNexis Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
REGISTRATION: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; LUNCH: 12:00 p.m.; PROGRAM: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
PRICE: FREE CLE+Plus members (meal not included); $25 law students (meal included);
$45 real property section members; $55 other LACBA members; $65 all others ($65 all at door payments)
AUDIO CONFERENCING: 5 business days advance registration required. INDIVIDUALS: $60 LACBA members; $80 all others. GROUP RATE: $120 for 2 participants ($30 per person thereafter for participants requesting MCLE credit; list/provide all participants).
AUDIO CD: Unable to attend by phone or in person? Purchase the audio cd in advance
(un-edited): $25 LACBA members; $45 all others. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
CLE: 1.0 CLE hr CODE #: 009113
Register Online

4/19/2006: USC GOULD SCHOOL OF LAW LOS ANGELES COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION BENJAMIN S. CROCKER SYMPOSIUM ON REAL ESTATE LAW AND BUSINESS 2006
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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2006 Real Property Section Review

 REAL PROPERTY SECTION REVIEW
 Daniel L. Goodkin, Editor    *   Norman A. Chernin, Co-Editor

SECTION OFFICERS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Chair 
Paula K. Reddish Zinnemann

First Vice-Chair 
Norma J. Williams

Second Vice-Chair 
Timothy M. Truax 

Treasurer
Donald C. Nanney

Secretary
Michael S. Klein

Immediate Past-Chair
Bryan C. Jackson

Hugo Vital,
Section Administrator

Norman A. Chernin
Daniel L. Goodkin
John E. Hatherley
Trudi J. Lesser
Rebecca H. Lessley
Gregg J. Loubier
Thomas F. Quilling
D. Eric Remensperger
Alexander Shipman

Alice Chen,
Barristers Liaison     

Michael G. Smooke
Linda E. Spiegel
Sarah J. Spyksma
Theresa C. Tate
Pamela L. Westhoff
John W. Whitaker
Valerie Wisot
Andrew J. Yamamoto
Sharon Yarber

David Fu,
State Bar Liaison


SUB-SECTION CHAIRS
Commercial Development & Leasing, Marcia Z. Gordon
Construction Law, Candace Matson
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law, Peter J. Niemiec
Real Estate Finance, Bruce Fischer & Diane Hvolka
General Real Estate Law, Eric A. Altoon
Title Insurance, Michael S. Robinson