Real Property Law

CALIFORNIA CASE SUMMARY UPDATE: February 2024 Real Property Case Summaries

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By Monty A. McIntyre, Esq.
Helping Attorneys Get Excellent Results

Publisher: California Case Summaries™:

Monty publishes California Case Summaries™, with one-paragraph summaries, organized by legal topic, of every new civil case published each month, quarter and year in California, giving subscribers a competitive advantage and excellent results.

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California Case Summaries™: Unique one-paragraph summaries, organized by legal practice, of every new published civil case each month, every quarter, and in early January each year an annual issue is released. These case summaries, offered throughout the year, give subscribers a competitive advantage to win more cases. To subscribe, click here.

Here are case summaries from last month:


Real Property

Romero v. Shih (2024) _ Cal.5th _ , 2024 WL 374870: The California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision concluding that California law prohibits a court from recognizing an implied easement that precludes the property owners from making all or most practical uses of the easement area, and such an easement can only be created in a written instrument. The California Supreme Court disagreed, concluding that California law does not impose such a limitation on the recognition of implied easements. The evidentiary standard for recognizing an implied easement is a high one, and that standard will naturally be more difficult to meet where the nature of the easement effectively precludes the property owners from making most practical uses of the easement area. But if there is clear evidence that the parties to the 1986 sale intended for the neighboring parcel’s preexisting use of the area to continue after separation of title, the law obligates courts to give effect to that intent. The case was remanded to the Court of Appeal to consider whether substantial evidence supported the trial court’s finding that an implied easement existed under the circumstances of the case. (February 1, 2024.)


Real Property

Riddick v City of Malibu (2024) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2024 WL 376305: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting a petition for writ of administrative mandate directing respondent to process a proposed an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) as exempt from coastal development permit (CDP) requirements. Petitioner filed the action after respondent denied plaintiffs’ permit application to add an ADU to their residence under state ADU standards. The trial court properly concluded that the proposed ADU was exempt from CDP requirements. Under the plain meaning rule, the language of section 13.4.1(A) in respondent’s local coastal program includes attached ADUs in the class of improvements to existing single-family residences that are exempt from the CDP requirement. (C.A. 2nd, February 1, 2024.)

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