Real Property Law

CALIFORNIA CASE SUMMARY UPDATE: January 2024 Real Property Case Summaries

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By: Monty McIntyre, Esq.

Monty McIntyre

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.
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee at ADR Services, Inc.:
Monty handles matters in the areas of business, employment, insurance (bad faith, coverage, UIM), probate (trusts and estates), real property and torts (elder abuse, medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability and wrongful death). To schedule, contact Monty’s case managers Haward Cho, haward@adrservices.com, (213) 683-1600, or Rachael Boughan, rboughan@adrservices.com, (619) 233-1323.  
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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:

CALIFORNIA COURTS OF APPEAL

Real Property

Green Tree Headlands LLC v. Crawford (2023) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2023 WL 8742946: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s orders denying defendants’[1] anti-SLAPP motions to strike (Code of Civil Procedure, section 425.16) plaintiffs’ complaint for malicious prosecution. Plaintiffs malicious prosecution complaint alleged that defendants had lacked probable cause in bringing the underlying quiet title lawsuit regarding a driveway easement. The trial court denied the anti-SLAPP motions concluding that plaintiffs had shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits. The Court of Appeal disagreed, concluding that plaintiffs could not prove that defendants had brought the underlying action without probable cause, primarily because recorded and unrecorded documents memorializing the purchase by plaintiff Steven McArthur of a lot from Alan Patterson (who died after the real sale) were fundamentally in conflict regarding whether the driveway easement would continue or would terminate. (C.A. 1st, December 19, 2023.)

Vulcan Lands, Inc. v. Currie (2023) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2023 WL 8821307: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting defendants and cross-complainants’ (defendants) motion for summary judgment in a quiet title action brought by plaintiffs, the fee simple owners of 19 plots of real property in San Bernadino County. Each parcel was burdened by reservations contained in original grant deeds executed between 1953 and 1964 where the grantors severed the surface estate from the mineral estate, reserving for themselves a one-half interest of “ ‘all oil, gas and other hydrocarbons and minerals now or at any time hereafter situated therein and thereunder or producible therefrom . . . together with the free and unlimited right to mine, drill and bore . . . .’ ” While noting that the record was sparse, the Court of Appeal concluded that defendants (the mineral rights holders) established through evidence that sand and gravel had been mined in the region for decades before the grant deeds. It was undisputed that sand and gravel possessed commercial value. While open-pit mining over the next 30 years would affect usability of the surface estate, it did not render the conveyance a nullity where the surface estate retained and could profit from a 50 percent interest in the extracted minerals. (C.A. 4th, December 21, 2023.)


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