Vol. II, No. 4 Join the Real Property Section Contact Us

February, 2007

Recent Cases

-Eminent Domain-
Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1268.610(a)(1), providing for an award of litigation expenses to the defendant in an eminent domain action "whenever  [t]he proceeding is wholly or partly dismissed for any reason," applies to an action dismissed because the defendant sold the property while the action was pending
     Temple City Redevelopment Agency v. Bayside Drive Limited Partnership - filed January 25, 2007, Second District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 474
     Full text


-Escrow Law-
Plaintiff mobile home purchasers, by sending to escrow company a copy of their letter to seller, detailing their complaints about structural defects in the mobile home, adequately preserved their rights under Health and Safety Code Sec. 18035(f), which requires the escrow agent for a mobile home sale to hold funds in escrow upon receiving written notice of a dispute between the parties to the escrow, even though the escrow instructions provided that escrow shall close when all conditions have been met, unless the escrow company receives written demand not to complete the escrow, and no such written demand was given.
     Castillo v. Express Escrow Co. - filed January 18, 2007, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2007 SOS 271
      Full text


-Land Use-
Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 425.17, which exempts certain actions against business competitors from the application of the anti-SLAPP statute, does not apply to an action accusing competitor of having breached an agreement by making statements during administrative and litigation process designed to forestall environmental approval of plaintiff’s project since such statements were not made for the purpose of "obtaining approval for, promoting, or securing sales or leases of, or commercial transactions in, [defendant’s] goods or services" and were not "made in the course of delivering the [defendant’s] goods or services."
     Sunset Millennium Associates v. LHO Grafton Hotel - filed December 29, 2006, Second District, Div. Five
     Cite as 2007 SOS 31
     Full text 

-Landlord and Tenant-
Where landlord has obtained judgment for, but has not taken, possession of premises, it owes tenant’s guests a duty to inspect for defects at reasonable intervals.
     Stone v. Center Trust Retail Properties, Inc. - filed January 23, 2007, Second District, Div. Eight
     Cite as 2007 SOS 408
     Full text 

-Mobile Homes-
Mobile home Residency Law does not preempt local rent control ordinances permitting mobile home park owners to separately charge park residents for property taxes imposed on park land.
     Cacho v. Boudreau - filed January 11, 2007
     Cite as 2007 SOS 162
     Full text 

-Mobile Homes-
Plaintiff mobile home purchasers, by sending to escrow company a copy of their letter to seller, detailing their complaints about structural defects in the mobile home, adequately preserved their rights under Health and Safety Code Sec. 18035(f), which requires the escrow agent for a mobile home sale to hold funds in escrow upon receiving written notice of a dispute between the parties to the escrow, even though the escrow instructions provided that escrow shall close when all conditions have been met, unless the escrow company receives written demand not to complete the escrow, and no such written demand was given.
     Castillo v. Express Escrow Co. - filed January 18, 2007, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2007 SOS 271
     Full text 

-Purchase and Sale Agreements-
Provision in real estate purchase agreement disallowing attorney fees to a prevailing party who did not first attempt mediation before filing an action did not preclude award to defendants’ attorneys in connection with cross-complaint against plaintiff’s real estate broker for interference with contractual relations.
     Van Slyke v. Gibson - filed January 18, 2007, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2007 SOS 311
     Full text 

-Purchase and Sale Agreements-
Exculpatory clauses in standardized forms used in real estate sales and purchases do not bar, on the ground that buyers cannot show justifiable reliance as a matter of law, a claim for intentional misrepresentation brought by buyers of real property against the sellers' brokers alleging the brokers intentionally misrepresented the property could be subdivided. Any lack of due diligence by buyers in conducting an investigation of the zoning and other laws restricting the development and use of the property also does not preclude as a matter of law the buyers' showing of justifiable reliance as an element of their claim for intentional misrepresentation.
     Manderville v. PCG&S Group, Inc. - filed January 24, 2007, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 401
     Full text 

-Real Estate Litigation-
Cause of action seeking injunction to bar distribution to defendant of proceeds of real estate sale, on ground that state court judgment giving defendant title to the real estate was void, was barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine which precludes lower federal courts from reviewing judgments of state courts of competent jurisdiction.
     Henrichs v. Valley View Development - filed January 16, 2007
     Cite as No. 0456470
     Full text 

-Real Estate Litigation-
Lawsuit challenging federal savings and loan association’s prepayment penalty formula is preempted by Home Owners’ Loan Act and regulations promulgated by Office of Thrift Supervision.
     Weiss v. Washington Mutual Bank - filed January 29, 2007, Second District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 482
     Full text 

-Real Estate Secured Lending-
Rescission under Truth-in-Lending Act is not available on a classwide basis.
     Laliberte v. Pacific Mercantile Bank - filed January 25, 2007, Fourth District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2007 SOS 456
     Full text 

-Real Estate Secured Lending-
Lawsuit challenging federal savings and loan association’s prepayment penalty formula is preempted by Home Owners’ Loan Act and regulations promulgated by Office of Thrift Supervision.
     Weiss v. Washington Mutual Bank - filed January 29, 2007, Second District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 482
     Full text

-Redevelopment Law-
Redevelopment Agency erroneously interpreted Community Redevelopment Law in determining that vacant rectangular lots in project area were of irregular form and shape, and therefore constituted a blighted area, because they lacked legal and physical access to a right-of-way.
     Neilson v. City of California City - filed January 9, 2007, Fifth District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 122
     Full text 

-Rent Control-
Mobile home Residency Law does not preempt local rent control ordinances permitting mobile home park owners to separately charge park residents for property taxes imposed on park land.
     Cacho v. Boudreau - filed January 11, 2007
     Cite as 2007 SOS 162
     Full text


-Subdivisions-
Contracts to sell unsubdivided parcels of real property were void for violating Subdivision Map Act where they were entered into before seller recorded a parcel map, and they expressly permitted seller to waive the condition that a parcel map be recorded prior to the closing date. Where contracts provided that buyer’s earnest money deposit for two parcels of land was nonrefundable, a year after entering into contracts seller recorded parcel map subdividing property into four smaller parcels including the two that buyer agreed to purchase, and buyer subsequently gave notice of termination before closing date on basis that late recordation prevented it from performing due diligence, court properly granted buyer’s summary judgment motion on claim that it was entitled to return of earnest money because contracts were void. Buyer’s act of objecting to certain proposed changes in contracts following seller’s recordation of parcel map did not constitute ratification of the contracts.
     Black Hills Investments, Inc. v. Albertsons, Inc. - filed January 12, 2007, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 220
     Full text


-Water Law-
In action between two water users in which plaintiff sued to establish that defendant had forfeited the portion of its appropriative right that exceeded defendant’s historical use of the water, trial court correctly determined that minimization of the amount of forfeiture was appropriate, and its determination that a daily measurement period would best protect defendant’s entitlement to a volume of water sufficient to meet historical uses was supported by the evidence. In measuring nonuse of water by junior water rights holders, trial court should have considered all water available to each junior appropriator as its "actual entitlement" up to the amount of its paper entitlement. Trial court’s conclusion that release water cannot form the basis for measurement of actual entitlement because the amount of such release cannot be known in advance of the day of use was contrary to mandate of California Constitution and Water Code that forfeiture analysis reflect the actual historical use of water. Because forfeiture is of water rights and not of water itself, it is not necessarily erroneous to determine that the amount of forfeiture exceeds the total amount of water in the relevant body of water, nor would forfeiture necessarily create unappropriated water subject to appropriation through the Water Code permitting process.
     North Kern Water Storage District v. Kern Delta Water District - filed January 2, 2007, Fifth District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 57
     Full text 



Upcoming Events

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


2/27/2007
Annual Construction Law Update and Robert Flaig Award Presentation

Sponsoring Subsection:  Construction Law

Speakers:
Harold E. Hamersmith, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Helen Lauderdale, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Candace Matson, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , Los Angeles
Register Online

3/07/2007
Insurance Provisions in Commercial Leases
  
Sponsoring Subsection:  General Real Property

Speaker:
Alexandra S. Glickman, Gallagher Insurance
LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , Los Angeles
Register Online

3/15/07
CEQA: A Guide for Transactional Attorneys
  
Sponsoring Subsection: Land Use Planning and Environmental Law

Speakers: TBA
LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , Los Angeles
Register Online

3/20/2007
Tax Titles  
Sponsoring Subsection: Title Insurance

Speakers:  TBA
Universal City Hilton, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive , Universal City
Register Online

3/21/07
Loan Workouts-Before & After Bankruptcy
  
Sponsoring Subsection: Real Estate Finance

Speakers:
Steve Fein, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US, LLP
Mike Hamilton, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US, LLP
Randy Orlik, Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , Los Angeles
Register Online

3/27/07
Effective Use of Experts
  
Sponsongin Subsection: Construction Law

Speakers:
George D. Calkins II, Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP
Hon. Victoria G. Chaney, Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court
Gary Halpin
LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , Los Angeles
Register Online


Reader Reactions

So - What do you think of the Real Property News?  Please
 send us your comments and suggestions.  This is your newsletter.


Los Angeles County Bar Association
2007 Real Property Section Newsletter

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

SECTION OFFICERS
Chair
Norma J. Williams

First Vice-Chair
Timothy M. Truax

Second Vice-Chair
Donald C. Nanney

Treasurer
Michael S. Klein

Secretary
Pamela L. Westhoff

Immediate Past-Chair
Paula K. Reddish Zinnemann

Cecilia Gomez
Interim Section Administrator

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Nedra Austin
Norman A. Chernin
Brant Dveirin
David Fu
Daniel L. Goodkin
John E. Hatherley
Trudi J. Lesser
Rebecca H. Lessley
Gregg J. Loubier
Phillip Nichols
Thomas F. Quilling

Patricia Higuera,
Barristers Liaison  

D. Eric Remensperger
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 and
   Donald C. Nanney
State Bar Liaisons

SUB-SECTION CHAIRS
Commercial Development & Leasing, Marcia Z. Gordon
Construction Law, Candace Matson
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law, Peter J. Niemiec
Real Estate Finance, Susan Booth
General Real Estate Law, Eric A. Altoon
Title Insurance, William H. Lynes (Chair) and
   William R. Larr (Co-Chair)