Vol. II, No. 7 Join the Real Property Section Contact Us
May, 2007
Recent Cases

Land Use

Professional Responsibility and Conduct
Property Tax Sales
Purchase and Sale Agreement
Real Property Litigation
Unlawful Detainer

City violated California Environmental Quality Act in approving a new commercial development on vacant land where it failed to demand any measures to ease project’s impact on an already congested nearby freeway interchange; issued environmental impact report that measured project’s impacts by comparing it to a massive hypothetical office park instead of to the vacant land that actually existed at the project site; and claimed in its statement of overriding considerations that proposed project would have economic benefits superior to those of three alternatives considered in EIR because those alternatives generally propose no development or development to a lesser degree when three alternatives in reality were "as large as or larger than the proposed project" and where there was no evidence that their economic benefits would be smaller.
     Woodward Park Homeowners Association, Inc. v. City of Fresno (Zinkin) - filed April 13, 2007, Fifth District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1835

     Full text  

Agreement obligating city to vacate a portion of a city road to provide access to a proposed casino hotel, to remodel an existing fire station in order to serve the hotel property, and to construct connections to the casino's sewer and water systems and to increase their capacities to meet the needs of the casino development was a "project" within the meaning of CEQA. City's approval of agreement without performing an initial study to determine whether to prepare a negative declaration or an EIR violated CEQA; where agreement was, by its terms, contingent on comprehensive mitigation of negative impacts, severance of provisions violating CEQA, permitting enforcement of remainder of the agreement, would preclude fulfillment of agreement's central objectives and was correctly denied by the court.
     County of Amador v. City of Plymouth (Ione Band of Miwok Indians) - filed April 17, 2007, Third District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1936
     Full text

-Land Use-
Where agreements between city and developer required developer to "defend, indemnify and hold City...harmless" from any claims for damage resulting from project and to "defend" city from any lawsuits based on such claims, city was not required to tender its defense of such claims to developer in order to obtain indemnification. Such language was insufficient to contractually modify statutory provision allowing indemnitee to conduct its own defense.
     City of Watsonville v. Corrigan - filed April 23, 2007, Sixth District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 2051
     Full text

Allegations that city breached a promise to mobilehome owners and tenants by requiring tax-exempt bond financing for purchase of mobile home park--thus excluding owners’ association from purchasing the park since it could not qualify--and that it deprived the association of a true opportunity to purchase the park because it set the selling price above the park's fair market value failed to state a cause of action based on promissory estoppel, since city could not legally be bound by such alleged promises in absence of legal formalities, the existence of which were not alleged. Allegations that city’s notice of intent to sell park violated notice requirements of the Mobilehome Residency Law--because "it was a sham" in that the city had no intent to "sell the park on true, real and non-illusory terms" and that the notice breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the leases between the city and tenants since the leases incorporate the terms of the Mobilehome Residency Law--failed to state a cause of action because city was not required by statute or contract to offer to sell the park to tenants on any particular terms. Summary judgment procedures do not apply to validation actions. Hearing held pursuant to Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 on city’s plan to privatize mobile home park through tax-exempt bond financing was legally inadequate where evidence was not provided at the hearing that IRS requirements had been met, and city did not give the public an adequate opportunity to comment on the matter of low-income housing, the provision of which is the purpose of financing the private project with tax-exempt bonds.
     Poway Royal Mobilehome Owners Association v. City of Poway - filed April 20, 2007, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 2023
     Full text

-Professional Responsibility and Conduct-
Where attorney had advised business owner concerning commercial lease and partnership arrangement with a potential investor whom owner ultimately replaced with new joint venture partners, attorney could not later represent new joint venture partners in dispute involving same business.
     Knight v. Ferguson - filed April 18, 2007, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1994
     Full text

-Property Tax Sales-
Tax deed was void where records showing property to have been owned by a private individual were erroneous, and property was in fact owned by a public entity exempt from taxation. Failure to comply with statutory requirement that notice of acquisition of property by a tax exempt entity be sent to county assessor does not constitute a waiver of the exemption.
     L&B Real Estate v. Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles - filed April 13, 2007, Second District, Div. Eight
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1888
     Full text

-Purchase and Sale Agreement-
In action by real property sellers alleging buyer's agent and others damaged them by not divulging that buyer had planned to assign her interest in the sales contract or what the tax consequences of a seller-financed sale would be, court did not abuse its discretion by granting motions in limine to exclude evidence pertaining to agent's signing of real property sales agreement on behalf of his client where sellers' pleading did not concern agent's signing of agreement for his client and sellers did not even learn of it until well after the pleading was filed.
     Ulloa v. McMillin Real Estate and Mortgage, Inc. - filed March 7, 2007, publication ordered April 4, 2007, Fourth District, Div. One
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1649
     Full text

-Real Property Litigation-
Where a real property claimant appealing from an adverse judgment in trial court files a writ petition asking court of appeal to stay an order expunging lis pendens until appeal is decided, appellate court must assess whether petitioner’s real property claim has probable validity by examining whether petitioner has made out a prima facie case for reversal of judgment based on the record in the trial court and the arguments of the parties. Appellate court’s review in deciding whether to issue a writ of mandate vacating a postjudgment expungement order is not equivalent to a full-scale resolution of underlying appeal. Where judgment creditor had no standing under statutory scheme to set aside a judicial foreclosure on the ground of irregularities in the conduct of the sale--the law provides that only the judgment debtor can set aside the sale for irregularity and only where the purchaser was the judgment creditor--judgment creditor’s claim had no probable validity, and it was not entitled to expungement order.
     Amalgamated Bank v. Superior Court (Corinthian Homes) - filed April 16, 2007, Third District
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1910
     Full text

-Unlawful Detainer-
Motion to quash service of summons is an appropriate vehicle to challenge an unlawful detainer complaint that fails to allege compliance with applicable prefiling notice requirements, such as the requirement of a 60-day notice to terminate a houseboat tenancy.
     Parsons v. Superior Court (The Arques Shipyard Management Co. LLC) - filed January 3, 2007, publication ordered April 11, 2007
     Cite as 2007 SOS 1997
     Full text

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

May 15, 2007
Equity Purchases and Elder Abuse  
Sponsoring Subsection: Title Insurance
Omni Los Angeles Hotel, 251 South Olive Street , Los Angeles
Registration: 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM; Meal/Reception: 12:00 PM; Program: 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Register Online

May 16, 2007
Managing Interest Rate Risk
Sponsoring Subsection: Real Estate Finance
Jason Hoffnagle, Chatham Financial;
Jonathan Sears, Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
LACBA Conference Center
Registration: 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; LUNCH: 12:00 p.m.; PROGRAM: 12:30-1:30 p.m
Register Online

May 22, 2007
Construction Labor & Employment Law: Cutting Edge Issues 
Sponsoring Subsection Construction Law
Speaker:  TBD
LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , Los Angeles
Registration: 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM; Meal/Reception: 12:00 PM; Program: 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Register Online

May 24, 2007

Environmental Indemnities Concerning Lease Transactions  - CANCELED

Save the Date!  June 19, 2007: 
Real Property Section Ninth Annual Installation and Awards Dinner
Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Drive, Pacific Palisades
Presentation of the Outstanding Real Estate Lawyer Award, the Real Estate Industry Outstanding Achievement Award, and the Outstanding Young Lawyers Award.
Register Online

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Los Angeles County Bar Association
2007 Real Property Section Newsletter
Daniel L. Goodkin, Editor    *   Norman A. Chernin, Co-Editor

Norma J. Williams

First Vice-Chair
Timothy M. Truax

Second Vice-Chair
Donald C. Nanney

Michael S. Klein

Pamela L. Westhoff

Immediate Past-Chair
Paula K. Reddish Zinnemann

Cecilia Gomez
Interim Section Administrator

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

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)