VOLUME 13 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2018
dark blue triangle in newsletter heading
Introductory Remarks
Coming Events
CLE Anytime
Recent Cases

The Real Property Section Newsletter is published monthly by the Real Property Law Section.

Teresa Y. Hillery
Vice President and Trial Counsel
Fidelity National Law Group


Real Property Executive Committee:


Caroline Dreyfus

First Vice Chair
Claire Hervey-Collins

Second Vice Chair
Eric Altoon

Misty Sanford

Nedra E. Austin

Immediate Past Chair
Susan J. Booth

Barristers Liaison
Christopher Bordenave

Section Administrator
Fatima Jones



Janna Boelke
James Earle
George Fatheree
Daniel L. Goodkin
Owen P. Gross
Marybeth Heydt
Teresa Y. Hillery
Ben Howell
Laurence L. Hummer
Donna E. Kirkner
Trudi Lesser
Daniel K. Liffmann
Linda E. Spiegel
Kelsey M. Thayer
Loretta Thompson
Seth Weissman



Michael Bayard
Elizabeth Spedding Calciano
Norm Chernin
Brant H. Dveirin
Peter Gelles
Byron Hayes
Gordon Hunt
Bryan Jackson
Michael Klein
Mark Lamken
Gregg Loubier
Victor Marmon
Jerold L. Miles
O'Malley Miller
Donald Nanney
Gytis Nefas
Sarah Spyksma
Theresa Tate
Timothy Truax
Richard Volpert
Ira Waldman
Pamela Westhoff
Norma Williams


Commercial Development and Leasing
Marcia Gordon

L. Adam Winegard
Jane Hinton
General Real Property
Rachel Sanders
Land Use Planning & Environmental Law
Beth Hummer
Title Co-Chairs
Brendan B. Penney
Vanessa A. Widener



Introductory Remarks

20th Annual Real Property Installation and Awards Dinner

Join us for a night of celebration at Millennium Biltmore Hotel on May 30, 2018. To register, call LACBA Member Services at (213) 896-6560 or visit The event code is 053018RPS. More Information


Teresa Y. Hillery
Editor, Real Property Section Newsletter
E-mail address:

Coming Events

May 24

Do Retail Tenants Now Have the Upper Hand?

Do Retail Tenants Now Have the Upper Hand? Negotiating Key Retail Lease Provisions in a Changing Landscape. The speakers will review the current status of retail lease negotiations and key retail lease provisions as they are being drafted in today’s world.

> Click here for more information

May 30

20th Annual Real Property Installation and Awards Dinner

> Click here for more information


LACBA Real Property CLE Anytime

Even if you can't attend our Real Property Section events, you can earn CLE credit by viewing our streaming videos. Here are a few options. Click any link below.

A Practical Guide to the Subdivision Map Act
Annual Construction Law Update and Flaig Award
Arbitration Provisions in Leases and Purchase and Sale Agreements: Considerations and Insights

Recent Cases
- Chain of Title -

A trustee's failure to allege an ownership interest in a property for which he was challenging the chain of title meant he had no standing to pursue his claims, but the trial court abused its discretion in denying his request to amend his claims to present additional allegations that would give rise to a colorable assertion of ownership. An assignment by a party that never possessed legal title to a property is void. An action for fraud accrues when a plaintiff becomes aware of facts that would cause a "reasonably prudent person" to suspect fraud, not when the damage is "complete."

Hacker v. Homeward Residential, Inc. - filed April 10, 2018, publication ordered May 9, 2018, Second District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 2271
Full text click here >

- Inverse Condemnation -

Civil Code Sec. 3482 immunizes liability for the acts that are "done or maintained" pursuant to the express terms of a statute. Although Sec. 3482 speaks in terms of "a statute," that term has been broadly interpreted to include regulations and other express government approvals. Sec. 3482 bars nuisance claims against a water district for including a chemical in the water, in compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates, even though that chemical allegedly damaged copper plumbing belonging to homeowners. A group of homeowners could not assert a viable inverse condemnation claim based on alleged damage to their plumbing as an incidental consequence of the government's provision of safe drinking water.

Williams v. Moulton Niguel Water District - filed May 3, 2018, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 2148
Full text click here >

- Landlord Tenant -

Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 1161(2) leaves it up to a landlord to decide whether to allow personal payment of the outstanding rent, in addition to allowing payment by mail by the tenant. If a landlord serves a 14-day notice and elects to give the tenants an option to pay their delinquent rent personally, then the notice must the amount of rent due, the name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom the rent payment was to be made, and the usual days and hours that the person identified was available to receive the payment. A landlord who elects to receive the delinquent rent by mail only is simply required to include in the notice the amount of rent due, the name and address of the person to whom the rent payment shall be mailed, and a telephone number for that person.

Hsieh v. Pederson; Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles - filed April 10, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 2328
Full text click here >

- Outdoor Advertising Act -

A company's re-erection of a billboard that had blown down in a windstorm was a "placement" under the Outdoor Advertising Act. "Customary maintenance" on a billboard does not encompass alterations to the physical configuration and size dimensions of the display. An "advertising display" is the flat structure displaying an advertisement, not the posts upon which it is mounted. A billboard is "destroyed" for purposes of Los Angeles County Code Sec. 22.56.1510 if it is damaged to the extent that it entirely loses its functionality.

Lamar Advertising Company v. County of Los Angeles - filed May 8, 2018, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 2231
Full text click here >

- Tax Sale -

The purchaser of real property at a tax sale was not entitled to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act's third-party defense to liability for cleanup costs where it had a "contractual relationship" with the pre-tax-sale owner of the property and the previous owner caused contamination "in connection with" the purchaser.

California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Westside Delivery - filed April 27, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 16-56558
Full text click here >

-Trespass -

While growers do not have a general duty to survey or otherwise confirm boundaries before planting, it is negligent to plant permanent crops on a swath of land, knowing that some unspecified part of that land is in need of a lot line adjustment. The purchaser of the property could not be deemed to have acquiesced to a trespass on the property that occurred before the close of escrow. An interest in land that is functionally equivalent to ownership may be acquired by adverse possession, but not as a prescriptive easement.

Hansen v. Sandridge Partners - filed March 6, 2018, publication ordered May 1, 2018, Fifth District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 2098
Full text click here >

-Water Code -

A two-member vote by the State Water Resources Control Board approving a permit fee schedule under Water Code Sec. 13260, effectively adopted the fee schedule. Water Code Sec. 13260(d)(1)(B) does not require fee revenues for each permit category to be less than the expenditures attributable to that individual program area. It requires that the fee revenues for all permit categories not exceed expenditures for all program areas. Water Code Sec. 13260(f)(1) allows the board to adjust its annual fees each fiscal year to compensate for the over and under collection of revenue, but it does not compel the board to adjust either the whole fee schedule or a specific permit fee if past revenues exceeded past expenditures. Given the imprecise nature of projecting future permit fee revenues and expenditures, a three-percentage point difference between the percentage of costs historically attributable to a storm water program area and the percentage of fees to be collected from storm water permit fee payers was reasonable and passed constitutional muster.

California Building Industry Association v. State Water Resources Control Board - filed May 7, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 2173
Full text click here >


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