Real Property Law

Real Property Case Summary Updates

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April 2020

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Monty McIntyre

By Monty McIntyre

California Case Summaries™ (

Monty A. McIntyre, Esq. is the publisher of California Case Summaries™ which provides short summaries, organized by legal topic, of every new published civil and family law case helping California lawyers easily keep up with the new case law in their practice areas. Monthly, quarterly and annual single-user and discounted multi-user subscriptions are available. Monty hasbeen a California civil trial lawyer since 1980, a member of ABOTA since 1995, and currently works as a full-time mediator, arbitrator and referee with ADR Services, Inc. (ADR) in ADR’s offices in San Diego, Irvine, and Los Angeles.  



County of Humboldt v. App. Div. (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 1164262: The Court of Appeal granted a writ petition directing respondent to vacate its earlier order dismissing petitioner’s appeal and to issue a new order transferring the case to the Court of Appeal for further proceedings. In an enforcement action, petitioner issued a penalty of $88,800 against real party in interest Alejandro Quezada for conditions on his property deemed to be public nuisances in violation of a county ordinance. Quezada filed a de novo appeal to the superior court, which reduced the penalty from $88,800 to $59,200. Petitioner then appealed to the superior court appellate department which dismissed the appeal. The Court of Appeal ruled that, in an unlimited civil action, a final judgment or order from a de novo appeal to the superior court under Government Code section 53069.4 is reviewable on appeal to an intermediate appellate court. (C.A. 1st, March 10, 2020.)

Attorney Fees

Canyon Crest Conservancy v. County of L.A. (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 1182566: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order denying petitioner’s motion for attorney fees[1] under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5. Petitioner filed an action claiming respondents violated CEQA in approving Stephen Kuhn’s (Kuhn) requests for a conditional use permit and an oak tree permit that would allow him to build a single-family residence on his undeveloped property in Los Angeles County, located on a steep hillside, where the construction would require the removal of a protected coastal oak tree. After the trial court granted petitioner’s motion for an administrative stay of the permit approvals, in order to preserve the status quo pending an adjudication on the merits of its claims, Kuhn (appearing in propria persona) requested that the county vacate the permit approvals because he could not afford to continue the litigation, the county complied, and petitioner dismissed the case. The Court of Appeal concluded the trial court properly ruled that  petitioner had failed to satisfy any of the statutory requirements for fees under section 1021.5. (C.A. 2nd, filed February 19, 2020, published March 12, 2020.)

Real Property

Matson v. S.B.S. Trust Deed Network (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 1060245: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment in an action for rescission of a nonjudicial foreclosure sale based upon unilateral mistake of fact and payment of an unconscionable price. Plaintiffs purchased a deed of trust for $502,000 at a foreclosure auction, believing the trust deed was in first position on the property. Plaintiffs later learned that the lien was actually in second position with a much lower fair market value. The trial court properly found no basis for rescission because plaintiffs could not show irregularity, unfairness or fraud in the nonjudicial foreclosure notice or sale process. Plaintiffs made a mistake in failing to adequately investigate before engaging in the foreclosure sale, which was known to be a risky enterprise; while plaintiffs had a property report that contained information on all the deeds of trust on the property they did not fully read it; and plaintiffs took the risk of engaging in a sale without fully investigating the terms of the sale or failing to take the time to understand them. (C.A. 4th, March 5, 2020.)

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