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December 2005

Recent Cases

-Purchase and Sale-
Insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify under liability provisions of homeowners policy excluding coverage of claims for bodily injury or property damage resulting from certain known or unknown defects in real property where buyers alleged that insureds, who sold them the property, knew or should have known of certain defects in the property and that buyers suffered damages caused by such defects. Exclusion is not limited to claims directly related to the sales transaction.
     Davis v. Farmers Insurance Group - filed November 18, 2005, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2005 SOS 5133
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-Purchase and Sale-
Three-year statute of limitations applicable to causes of action for mistake--Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 338(d)--did not bar purchaser’s action to reform grant deeds concerning and to quiet title to property mistakenly conveyed to purchaser of another parcel during same time period where action was brought within three years of plaintiff’s discovery of mistake. Three-year period was not triggered at closing where substantial evidence supported trial court’s conclusion that prior to acquiring actual knowledge of the mistake, plaintiff did not have notice or information of circumstances that would have put a reasonable person on inquiry about the mistake nor, with reasonable diligence, would it have discovered the mistake.
     The Santa Anita Companies, Inc. v. Westfield Corporation, Inc. - filed November 17, 2005, Second District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2005 SOS 5136
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-Property Taxation-
California Constitution does not prohibit a tax on the mere ownership of real property if the tax is a special tax and not an ad valorem tax. Equal protection clause does not require that nonresident landowners be given the right to vote on measure imposing a special tax on ownership of property.
     Neilson v. City of California City - filed November 3, 2005, Fifth District
     Cite as 2005 SOS 5013
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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2005 Real Property Section Review

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

SECTION OFFICERS
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
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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