Real Property Law

CALIFORNIA CASE SUMMARY UPDATE: February 2024 Real Property Case Summaries

By: Monty McIntyre, Esq.

Monty McIntyre

Helping Attorneys Get Excellent Results

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California Case Summaries™:

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


Campbell v. FPI Management, Inc. (2024) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2024 WL 194912: The Court of Appeal affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the trial court’s orders denying plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment. One group of plaintiffs, the Home plaintiffs, were federally subsidized pursuant to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12701 et seq.). The other plaintiffs, the Section 8 plaintiffs, lived in housing managed by defendant that was subsidized by section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended (Section 8; 42 U.S.C. § 1437f). Under the Home federal program the landlord was required to give tenants 30-days’ notice before terminating their tenancy. Defendant landlord terminated plaintiffs’ tenancies after providing just three days’ notice. Plaintiffs sued alleging that defendant’s termination of their tenancies with insufficient notice was an unfair business practice actionable under the unfair competition law (UCL Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.). The trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that plaintiffs did not suffer an injury in fact as is required to confer standing under the UCL because they remained in possession of their apartments for more than 30 days after receiving the three-day termination notices. The Court of Appeal disagreed, concluding the HOME plaintiffs were prematurely deprived of property rights and subjected to imminent legal peril when defendant provided legally deficient termination notices, even as they remained in possession of their apartments for more than 30 days, and HOME plaintiffs’ loss of property rights and exposure to legal peril amounted to an injury in fact sufficient to confer standing under the UCL. 8). The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling that defendant was not required to provide 30 days’ notice before terminating a Section 8 tenancy. The Section 8 plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that this was error. (C.A. 2nd, January 18, 2024.)

Epochal Enterprises, Inc. v. LF Encinitas Properties, LLC (2024) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2024 WL 278179: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order granting defendants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict after the jury found defendants liable for premises liability, negligence and concealment and awarded plaintiff damages for lost profits and other past economic loss. Plaintiff sued for defendants’ failure to disclose asbestos and lead paint a greenhouse structure called Range 9. The trial court granted the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the lease contained a limitation of liability clause stating, in relevant part, defendants are not personally liable as to any provision of the lease or the premises and plaintiff waived all claims for consequential damages or loss of business or profits. The Court of Appeal disagreed. The jury necessarily found defendants liable for damages based on their violations of the Health and Safety Code in failing to disclose the existence of asbestos in Range 9 under a negligence per se theory. This finding triggered Civil Code section 1668 which invalidated “contracts which have for their object, directly or indirectly, to exempt anyone from responsibility for his own . . . violation of law, whether willful or negligent. . . .” (Civ. Code, § 1668.) Accordingly, the limitation of liability clause in section 10.6 of the lease was void to the extent it purported to shield defendants from liability for their willful or negligent statutory violations. (C.A. 4th, filed January 12, 2024, published January 25, 2024.)

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