Vol. II, No. 12 Join the Real Property Section Contact Us
October, 2007


DON’T FORGET TO REVIEW UPCOMING SEMINARS LISTED BELOW—CLICK HERE


Recent Cases


-Bankruptcy-
-CEQA-
-Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions-
-Easements-
-Federally-Insured Housing Projects-
-Inverse Condemnation-

-Landlord and Tenant-
-Manufactured Homes-

-Real Property Taxation-
-Rent Control-
-Trust Deed Foreclosure-
-Unlawful Detainer-

-Bankruptcy-
County holding secured lien violated automatic stay by sending collection notice for unpaid real property taxes to debtors while their Chapter 13 proceeding remained pending and real property had not revested in debtors. Where debtors’ confirmed plan does not contain language affecting county’s tax rights or purport to act as a declaratory judgment on the proper amount of tax assessments, plan does not reduce amount of assessments to arrearage amount and revest real property in debtors free and clear of county’s lien in any greater amount. Such a plan also fails to afford notice and procedural protections required by due process. Where debtors wish to obtain declaratory judgment as to the property amount of tax assessments or partial avoidance of county’s lien, they must file adversary proceeding.
     In re: Brawders - filed September 11, 2007
     Cite as No. 05-55988

     Full text


-CEQA-
Ellis Act, which allows landlord to evict tenants in order to remove housing from the rental market, does not permit landlord to undertake such evictions without complying with mitigation measures imposed pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. Where landlord brought unlawful detainer actions without complying with mitigation measures, availability of defenses to those actions based on the mitigation measures was not a valid ground for denial of writ relief under CEQA.
     Lincoln Place Tenants Association v. City of Los Angeles - filed September 19, 2007, Second District, Div. Seven
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5809
     Full text


-CEQA-
Water services portion of environmental impact report for proposed mixed residential and commercial development satisfied California Environmental Quality Act where it identified specific water sources, including transfer objected to by plaintiffs; analyzed the transfer as part of the permanent supply for the entire project; and supported its conclusion that project would have adequate water supplies regardless of outcome of litigation regarding the transfer. Where EIR adequately discussed chemical contamination of local wells and remediation measures for such contamination, failure to discuss the impact of the lack of funding to implement those measures did not render EIR deficient, particularly since fewer than 10 percent of the wells were contaminated, there was no showing that remediation funding was uncertain, and there is no general requirement that funding for mitigation measures be discussed in an EIR.
     Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment v. County of Los Angeles (Newhall Land and Farming Company) - filed September 25, 2007, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5916
     Full text


-Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions-
Where property was deeded by private owners to county with clear language stating grantors’ intent that property be used for fairgrounds and that property revert to them or their heirs if it was not used for that purpose, triable issues existed with respect to the parties’ interests, rights, and obligations with respect to the property. It was error for trial court to find as a matter of law that recitations of the grantors’ intent were mere private covenants and not binding on county. Under public trust doctrine, deed language specifying a public purpose for property is strictly construed in accordance with grantors’ intent. California law does not limit application of the doctrine to tidelands.
     County of Solano v. Handlery - filed September 21, 2007, First District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5903

     Full text


-Easements-
Holder of valid easement for equine use on undeveloped lot that is accessory to use of dominant tenement may not enforce easement where applicable municipal zoning ordinance prohibits keeping of horses on lot not developed for residential use.
     Baccouche v. Blankenship - filed September 11, 2007, Second District, Div. Four
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5687
     Full text


-Federally-Insured Housing Projects-
Where owner/operator of multi-family housing project insured by Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to file financial statements for five years, and then pre-paid mortgage in full after department initiated administrative complaint but prior to final adjudication, department retained jurisdiction to pursue complaint and impose civil penalties for violations. Decision to impose penalties was not arbitrary and capricious in violation of federal Administrative Procedure Act Sec. 706(2)(a) because, applying relevant factors, totality of circumstances indicated violations were material. Where owner, an attorney, admitted being informed of reporting requirement prior to entering into agreement, owner’s violations were knowing.
     Yetiv v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - filed September 20, 2007
     Cite as No. 04-76044

     Full text


-Inverse Condemnation-
Manufactured home park owner who challenged county municipal rent control ordinance as unconstitutional under due process and equal protection clauses and as a government taking requiring payment of compensation had standing to file suit based on financial interest in park. Where owner had not attempted to obtain relief through state procedure designed to provide compensation for rent control losses, as-applied takings claim was unripe. Owner could not bypass state procedure as unavailable or inadequate where owner was uncertain as to remedies and could not demonstrate futility under procedure. Owner’s claim filed nine years after enactment of ordinance and five years after acquiring property was untimely because personal injury claims under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 use statute of limitations in state in which challenged action occurred, Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 340(3) set one-year limitation period, and statute began to run upon property acquisition. Ordinance did not violate due process clause where it bore rational relationship to legitimate state purpose of consumer welfare protection. In equal protection clause analysis, owners were not a suspect class, and ordinance rationally furthered legitimate state consumer protection interest.
     Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. v. County of San Luis Obispo - filed September 17, 2007
     Cite as No. 05-55406

     Full text


-Landlord and Tenant-
Action by Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging that landlord discriminated against disabled tenant by demanding medical verification of her claim that she was disabled and thus entitled to one year to relocate after property was removed from rental market, did not arise from landlord’s exercise of free speech or petition rights and thus was not subject to a special motion to strike under the anti-SLAPP statute.
     Department of Fair Employment & Housing v. 1105 Alta Loma Road Apartments, LLC - filed September 5, 2007, Second District, Div. Seven
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5607
     Full text


-Manufactured Homes-
Manufactured home park owner who challenged county municipal rent control ordinance as unconstitutional under due process and equal protection clauses and as a government taking requiring payment of compensation had standing to file suit based on financial interest in park. Where owner had not attempted to obtain relief through state procedure designed to provide compensation for rent control losses, as-applied takings claim was unripe. Owner could not bypass state procedure as unavailable or inadequate where owner was uncertain as to remedies and could not demonstrate futility under procedure. Owner’s claim filed nine years after enactment of ordinance and five years after acquiring property was untimely because personal injury claims under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 use statute of limitations in state in which challenged action occurred, Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 340(3) set one-year limitation period, and statute began to run upon property acquisition. Ordinance did not violate due process clause where it bore rational relationship to legitimate state purpose of consumer welfare protection. In equal protection clause analysis, owners were not a suspect class, and ordinance rationally furthered legitimate state consumer protection interest.
     Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. v. County of San Luis Obispo - filed September 17, 2007
     Cite as No. 05-55406

     Full text

-Real Property Taxation-
County holding secured lien violated automatic stay by sending collection notice for unpaid real property taxes to debtors while their Chapter 13 proceeding remained pending and real property had not revested in debtors. Where debtors’ confirmed plan does not contain language affecting county’s tax rights or purport to act as a declaratory judgment on the proper amount of tax assessments, plan does not reduce amount of assessments to arrearage amount and revest real property in debtors free and clear of county’s lien in any greater amount. Such a plan also fails to afford notice and procedural protections required by due process. Where debtors wish to obtain declaratory judgment as to the property amount of tax assessments or partial avoidance of county’s lien, they must file adversary proceeding.
     In re: Brawders - filed September 11, 2007
     Cite as No. 05-55988

     Full text

-Real Property Taxation-
A petition for writ of mandate does not lie under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1085 to prevent or enjoin the collection of a tax; an aggrieved taxpayer’s remedy is to file suit in superior court for a refund. Complaint for tax refund or petition for writ of mandate construed as such a complaint is time-barred where it is filed after the four-year statute of limitations period in Revenue and Taxation Code Sec. 51.5.
     Little v. Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Boards - filed September 27, 2007, Second District, Div. Three
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5993
     Full text

-Rent Control-
Manufactured home park owner who challenged county municipal rent control ordinance as unconstitutional under due process and equal protection clauses and as a government taking requiring payment of compensation had standing to file suit based on financial interest in park. Where owner had not attempted to obtain relief through state procedure designed to provide compensation for rent control losses, as-applied takings claim was unripe. Owner could not bypass state procedure as unavailable or inadequate where owner was uncertain as to remedies and could not demonstrate futility under procedure. Owner’s claim filed nine years after enactment of ordinance and five years after acquiring property was untimely because personal injury claims under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 use statute of limitations in state in which challenged action occurred, Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 340(3) set one-year limitation period, and statute began to run upon property acquisition. Ordinance did not violate due process clause where it bore rational relationship to legitimate state purpose of consumer welfare protection. In equal protection clause analysis, owners were not a suspect class, and ordinance rationally furthered legitimate state consumer protection interest.
     Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. v. County of San Luis Obispo - filed September 17, 2007
     Cite as No. 05-55406

     Full text 

-Trust Deed Foreclosure-
In a non-judicial foreclosure sale, a trustee who allegedly is negligent in believing that it is the trustee of record, and who conveys title to a successful bidder, owes no duty to subsequent purchasers of the property.
     Heritage Oaks Partners v. First American Title Ins. Co. - filed September 19, 2007, Second District, Div. Six
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5837
     Full text

-Unlawful Detainer-
Ellis Act, which allows landlord to evict tenants in order to remove housing from the rental market, does not permit landlord to undertake such evictions without complying with mitigation measures imposed pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. Where landlord brought unlawful detainer actions without complying with mitigation measures, availability of defenses to those actions based on the mitigation measures was not a valid ground for denial of writ relief under CEQA.
     Lincoln Place Tenants Association v. City of Los Angeles - filed September 19, 2007, Second District, Div. Seven
     Cite as 2007 SOS 5809

     Full text 


Upcoming Events

10/17/07
SPONSORING SUBSECTION:
 Real Estate Finance
2006 ALTA Title Insurance Policy Forms - How They Differ From the 1992 Forms
This program will seek to simplify the confusion surrounding the "new" 2006 ALTA Title Insurance Forms by explaining the forms and comparing them to the 1992 forms.
SPEAKERS: Norman A. Chernin, First American Title Insurance Company;
Douglas B. Frank, Proskauer Rose LLP
PLACE: LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street, 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); $15 CLE+Plus members (meal included); $25 law students (meal included); $45 real property section members (meal included); $55 other LACBA members (meal included); $65 all others (meal included)
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
Info / Register Online

10/23/07
SPONSORING SUBSECTION: Construction Law
From Shield to Sword - The False Claims Act Today
The False Claim Act appears to be popping up everywhere in litigation - and not just in construction. Come join us for an informative discussion with Paul Lax who will share his extensive experience litigating the False Claim Act.
SPEAKERS: Paul Lax, Lax & Stevens 
PLACE: LACBA Conference Center, 281 S. Figueroa Street , 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); $15 CLE+Plus members (meal included); $25 law students (meal included); $45 real property section members (meal included); $55 other LACBA members (meal included); $65 all others (meal included)
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
Info/Register Online

Upcoming Programs: November 2007
• 11/7/2007- Basics of 1031 Like Kind Exchanges
Info/Register Online
 
• 11/13/2007 - Transactional Tribulations When the Trustor Gets Strapped for Cash - Short Sales, Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure, TSGs, Litigation Guarantees, Foreclosures Sales and the Aftermath
Info/Register Online
 
• 11/14/2007 - CEQA Today - A New Look at What is a "Project" and How Global Warming Affects Environmental Analysis under CEQA
Info/Register Online
 
• 11/21/2007 - Financing Trends for 2007
Info/Register Online   

• 11/27/2007 - Construction Defect: Finding The Deep Pockets
Info/Register Online

For more information visit the  LACBA Calendar

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


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
Timothy M. Truax

First Vice-Chair
Donald C. Nanney

Second Vice-Chair
Michael S. Klein

Treasurer
Pamela L. Westhoff

Secretary
Gregg J. Loubier

Immediate Past-Chair
Norma J. Williams

Paula Reddish K.
Zinnemann,
Chair Emeritus

Terrina Scott
Section Administrator

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Eric Altoon
Nedra E. Austin
Susan J. Booth
Norman A. Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
Daniel L. Goodkin
Marcia Z. Gordon
John E. Hatherley
William R. Larr
Trudi J. Lesser
Rebecca H. Lessley
Gregg J. Loubier
Phillip G. Nichols
Peter J. Niemiec
Thomas F. Quilling
D. Eric Remensperger
Michael G. Smooke
Linda E. Spiegel
Sarah J. Spyksma
Theresa C. Tate
Valerie Wisot
Andrew J. Yamamoto
Sharon Yarber

David D. Fu
State Bar Liaison

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