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Real Property

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In a quiet title action, if summons is served by publication, the published notice must describe the property at issue, giving either or both of its street address or legal description.  (CCP 763.,020.)  Here, the published notice gave only the assessor's parcel number.  As the notice did not comply with the statute, it was insufficient; so the default of the… Read More

Wife executed will that purported to sever joint tenancy ownership of real property held in the name of wife and husband.  The will directed that wife's estate be distributed equally to her five children.  Husband never probated wife's will after her death, and his will and trust distributed his estate to three of wife's five children who were his biological… Read More

Under Civil Code 4740(a), an amendment to CC&Rs prohibiting the leasing or rental of units within a common interest development are not effective against those who acquired  their ownership of property within the development before the amendment was adopted.  This decision holds that the section applies to an amendment banning short-term rentals or leases, not just provisions that ban all… Read More

A party cannot acquire good title by adverse possession against the beneficiary of a deed of trust that was recorded on the property before the alleged adverse possession began.  This is for third reasons.  First, the beneficiary has no right to possession of the property until after foreclosure on the deed of trust.  Since the beneficiary cannot oust the alleged… Read More

As in Branches Neighborhood Corp. v. CalAtlantic Group, Inc. (2018) 26 Cal.App.5th 743, the CC&Rs for a condominium tower required a majority vote of member owners in favor before the association could bring suit against the developer (which of course wrote the CC&Rs).  This decision holds that Civ. Code 5386, which renders such provisions null and void and which expressly… Read More

Plaintiff successfully sued defendant for violating a conservation easement on his property.  The trial court awarded plaintiff $2.9 million in attorney fees for five years of hard-fought litigation and a 19-day trial.  This decision affirms the award.  Plaintiff could recover fees for all hours spent by its attorneys though the first $500,000 in fees was paid for by its insurance. … Read More

Defendant initially violated HBOR by refusing to consider plaintiff's loan modification application because only his deceased wife was the borrower on the loan, but defendant cured its violation after suit was filed by canceling the pending foreclosure, accepting and review plaintiff's loan modification application, and offering him a trial payment plan intended to lead to a loan modification.  Thinking he… Read More

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