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California Case Summaries™ (https://cacasesummaries.com)
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.
CALIFORNIA COURTS OF APPEAL
Public Resources Code
11 Lagunita, LLC v. California Coastal Commission (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 7090845: The Court of Appeal affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the trial court’s order denying a homeowner’s writ petition seeking to overturn respondent’s cease and desist order requiring the removal of a seawall built in violation of a Coastal Development Permit, and granting the petition to reverse a $1 million administrative penalty imposed for the violation. The Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of the writ as to the cease and desist order. It reversed the trial court’s order re the $1 million penalty and reinstated it. There was no indication that the California Coastal Commission acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner. The Commission appeared to have acted in a rational and professional manner. Notably, the $1 million penalty was smaller than the potential penalty that could have been imposed ($8.3 million). The Court of Appeal found no abuse of discretion and affirmed the $1 million penalty under Public Resources Code section 30821. (C.A. 4th, filed December 4, 2020, published December 20, 2020.)
Prang v. Amen (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 7137026: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting a writ of administrative mandate directing the Assessment Appeals Board to reverse its decision reversing petitioner Los Angeles County Assessor’s reassessment of real property from $5 million to $10 million due to the transfer of the real property from a corporation to respondent trust that partially owned the corporation. Under the Revenue and Taxation Code, a transfer of real property between legal entities will trigger a reassessment of the property’s value for tax purposes. However, Revenue and Taxation Code section 62(a)(2) provides an exception to reassessment when the proportional ownership interests in real property of the transferor and transferee—whether represented by stock or another measure—remain the same after the transfer. The Court of Appeal agreed with petitioner that the term “stock” in section 62(a)(2) should be interpreted to mean all corporate stock, whether voting or non-voting. While the trust owned all of the corporations’ voting stock, the corporation also had non-voting shareholders, and because of this, the real property did not qualify for the reassessment exception provided by section 62(a)(2). (C.A. 2nd, December 7, 2020.)
Trenk v. Soheili (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 7487825: The Court of Appeal affirmed, for partially different reasons, the trial court’s judgment for plaintiffs in a quiet title action challenging a non-judicial foreclosure. Plaintiff Joseph Trenk (Joseph) was a lawyer who previously represented defendant Morteza Sohyly (Morteza). Morteza sued Joseph for legal malpractice, and the parties entered into a settlement in 2003 where Joseph agreed to pay $100,000 and he executed a promissory note and a trust deed on his home to secure the obligation. Joseph’s wife did not sign the trust deed. The trust deed named defendant Maryam Soheili, Morteza’s sister, as the beneficiary. After Joseph defaulted on his settlement payments, non-judicial foreclosure procedures were started in January 2018. Joseph and his wife filed an action for quiet title and obtained a preliminary injunction stopping the foreclosure. After a bench trial, the trial court found the note and deed of trust were unenforceable due to the expiration of the four year statute of limitations under Code of Civil Procedure section 337 and the ten year statute of limitations under Civil Code 882.020(a)(1), and they were also unenforceable because the house was owned at all times by Joseph and his wife. The Court of Appeal disagreed regarding the statute of limitations, concluding the statute of limitations under CCP section 337, while it barred a judicial foreclosure, did not bar a non-judicial foreclosure. It also ruled that because the note was not recorded, and the recorded deed of trust did not set forth a final maturity date or date last fixed for payment, the 60-year statute of limitations in Civil Code section 882.020(a)(2) applied. However, because Joseph’s wife never signed the deed of trust, and the presumption of community property ownership was not rebutted by plaintiffs, the trial court properly quieted title in favor of plaintiffs. (C.A. 2nd, December 21, 2020.)