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Plaintiffs claimed that defendant improperly charged them use tax on its lease-end vehicle turn-in fee.  This decision holds that the suit was properly dismissed because plaintiffs did not first submit their claims to respondent California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and obtain its definitive ruling on the taxability question. Plaintiffs' claims were barred by their failure to exhaust administrative… Read More

California recognizes a form of the filed rate doctrine for rates or prices approved by state or municipal regulatory agencies, but the state doctrine is more limited and not as restrictive as its federal counterpart.  The California filed rate doctrine did not bar plaintiff's class action insofar as it sought injunctive relief (against false advertising) and punitive damages under the… Read More

Yee owned a home in LA; Hon owned one in San Francisco.  They were romantically involved and were business partners in a company that ordered $141,000 of goods from Panrox, giving Panrox deeds of trust on both houses.  The business didn't pay Panrox which commenced an action to collect the debt.  Court records reflected it was settled in 1998, and… Read More

The Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not apply to bar this FDCPA claim against the debt collection attorneys who had filed a memorandum of costs after winning judgment in a debt collection suit.  The state court judgment was entered before the cost memo and did not rule on its propriety.  Hence, the federal court was not being asked to review any state… Read More

Plaintiff entered into a license agreement allowing defendant to use part of plaintiff's property to make films.  The license agreement stated expressly that it was not a lease and landlord-tenant laws did not apply.  This decision holds that the advantage of a fast unlawful detainer proceeding is a private right that a landlord can waive and that plaintiff did by… Read More

Before a nonjudicial foreclosure sale, the borrower/owner filed a worngful foreclosure suit against the deed of trust beneficiary and recorded a lis pendens.  This case holds that the purchaser at the nonjudicial foreclosure sale who thereafter brought an unlawful detainer action against the borrower/owner was wrongly awarded judgment because it did not prove it duly perfected title given the lis… Read More

Disagreeing with Torres v. Adventist Health System/West (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 500 and Naranjo v. Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, Inc. (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 1193, this decision holds that a plaintiff cannot state an actionable UCL or CLRA claim based on emergency room management fees charged by hospitals if the hospital complies with state law in posting its fee schedule on… Read More

Borrowers lacked standing to challenge the assignment of their deed of trust from the prior beneficiary to La Salle Bank as Trustee for  WaMu 2006-AR19 when the correct name of the assignee was La Salle Bank as Trustee for WaMu Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-AR19 Trust.  Whether an abbreviation of the full name or a misnomer, the incorrect designation of… Read More

A debt falls within the scope of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act even if the consumer being dunned does not actually owe the debt and did not enter into the consumer credit transaction that the debt collector is attempting to collect.  Under Civ. Code, § 1788.2(f), a consumer debt is money due or owing, or alleged to be… Read More

Here, a lender sued on a HELOC loan which provided for monthly payments, gave the lender the discretion to accelerate the loan on default, and provided for any remaining balance to fall due on a specified date.  This decision holds that the HELOC called for separate, divisible performances by the borrower--namely, the monthly payments.  So that the lender could sue… Read More

This decision holds that separate acts in the course of a collection action may constitute independent violations of the FDCPA and that the FDCPA's one-year limitations period runs separately from each of those violations.  To constitute a separate violation, the litigation conduct must be the last opportunity for the debt collector to comply with the FDCPA and must occur on… Read More

The Rosenthal FDCPA (Civ. Code 1788.15(a))  forbids collecting consumer debt by judicial proceedings when the collector knows that service of process, if necessary to establish personal jurisdiction, was not properly effected.  This decision holds that the absolute litigation privilege does not apply to immunize the debt collector from liability under the cited section, which is more specific that Civ. Code… Read More

This decision holds that usury savings clauses are unenforceable as against public policy except when the loan agreement would otherwise violate usury restrictions only due to some unanticipated post-agreement event.  A usury savings clause is a provision stating that if the loan agreement would otherwise require payment of usurious interest, it is to be construed to charge only the maximum… Read More

Under Civ. Code 1943, an agreement to rent or lease real property is presumed to be month-to-month unless stated otherwise in writing, except that for real property used for agricultural or grazing purposes, the presumed term is year-to-year unless otherwise expressed in the rental agreement or lease.  Here, assuming arguendo that a cannabis grower (of plants in pots set on… Read More

Reversing an Anti-SLAPP order striking plaintiff's complaint, this decision holds that Civ. Code 1788.17 incorporates into the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the strict liability standard of 15 USC 1692(e) for false statements made in collecting a debt or regarding the legal status of the debt.  Thus, the debt collector may be held liable under the Rosenthal Act for… Read More

A plaintiff may state a viable CLRA claim based on the defendant's nondisclosure in any of the four circumstances that Limandri allows a fraud claim based on nondisclosure.  Here, plaintiff states a viable CLRA claim based on the defendant hospital's failure to disclose to emergency room patients that it would charge an evaluation and management services fee that could amount… Read More

The district court correctly dismissed this suit, invoking Younger abstention.  Plaintiff sought to enjoin the defendant district attorney from prosecuting it in state court for employing a vendor to make harassing collection calls in violation of state law.  The four Younger factors all weighed in favor of abstention.  The state action was ongoing as no proceedings of substance had yet… Read More

Under the 2019 Tenant Protection Act (Civ. Code 1946.2), a landlord may not terminate the tenancy of a tenant who has occupied the premises for more than 12 months absent "just cause."  Under section 1946.2(b)(1)(K), "just cause" includes the tenant failing to move out after having given the landlord written notice of the tenant's intention to terminate the tenancy or… Read More

The trial court correctly granted defendant's anti-SLAPP motion to strike plaintiff's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act suit because plaintiff could not show a likelihood of prevailing on the claim.  Civ. Code 1788.17 incorporates provisions of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, including 15 USC 1692e which forbids false statements in attempts to collect debts and misrepresentation of the… Read More

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