Real Property Law

Real Property Case Summary Updates

By Monty McIntyre

December 2020

Check out Monty McIntyre’s new FREE feature, Monty’s Case Commentary, where he discusses interesting newly published cases. This is in audio MP3 format, so you can listen to it whenever and wherever they want to. Here is the link.

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 and fight for their clients. Monthly, quarterly and annual single-user and discounted multi-user subscriptions are available. Monty has been a California civil trial lawyer since 1980, a member of ABOTA since 1995. Monty is an expert in using Zoom to conduct mediations, arbitrations and reference matters. He works as a full-time mediator, arbitrator and referee with ADR Services, Inc. (ADR) working with attorneys and their clients throughout California.    



Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 6883165: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order, in a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case, that granted a writ of mandate following the decision of the Court of Appeal in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 704 that was affirmed in part and reversed in part by the California Supreme Court in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (2018) 6 Cal.5th 502 (Sierra Club). The Court of Appeal held the trial court correctly interpreted the opinions of the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal, when it drafted the writ of mandate, the writ properly directed the lead agency to vacate its approvals of the project because, for purposes of Public Resources Code section 21168.9, those approvals were not severable (were not unaffected by CEQA violations). The applicable statutes(Public Resources code sections 21100(a), 21151(a)) require the public agency to certify the completion of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and a partial certification of an EIR is not possible because an EIR is either completed in compliance with CEQA or it is not so completed. Even if CEQA was interpreted to allow for partial certification, it would be inappropriate in this case because the CEQA violations affect the adoption of the statement of overriding considerations and, thus, taint the certification of the EIR as a whole. (C.A. 5th, November 24, 2020.)


Garcia v. D/AQ Corporation (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 6882747: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment in an action by plaintiff, the lessee under a commercial lease, for negligence and premises liability. The trial court properly granted summary judgment because the lease had an exculpatory clause providing that the lessor would not be liable for injury to the person of lessee and others, whether resulting from conditions arising on the premises or from other sources. (C.A. 2nd, November 24, 2020.)

Real Property

Reuter v. Macal (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 6777962: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment, following a bench trial, granting plaintiff quiet title to his condominium. Plaintiff owned a condominium. In May 2005, plaintiff executed a deed granting defendant a joint interest in his condominium. At trial, plaintiff argued, among other things, that the deed should be rescinded under Civil Code section 1590 as a gift made in contemplation of marriage. In January 2018, plaintiff sued defendant seeking to quiet title to the condominium in his favor. The trial court did not err in applying the long-standing Muktarian v. Barmby (1965) 63 Cal.2d 558, 560 tolling rule to defendant’s statute of limitations defense. As long as plaintiff enjoyed possession of the condominium and defendant did not press her adverse claim against him in a manner that threatened or disturbed that possession, no statute of limitations began to run. By the time of trial, plaintiff’s claim to sole ownership was premised on his theory that the grant deed was a gift in contemplation of marriage. That new theory of relief, however, did not affect the tolling of the statute of limitations. Moreover, because a handwritten notation in the grant deed was a recital of consideration (it asserted that nothing of value was promised in exchange for the conveyance of the joint interest), the presumption in Evidence Code section 622 did not apply. Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s ruling in favor of plaintiff. (C.A. 2nd, November 18, 2020).

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