Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Pyle

A void default judgment, obtained without proper service on the defendant, cannot be the foundation of a valid claim of title to property, so the secured lender against whom the default judgment was entered prevails over a bona fide purchaser from the plaintiff.  Following OC Interior Services, LLC v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th…

Cummings v. Dessel

A court may not order sale by appraisal in a partition action without all joint owners’ consent.  When a co-owner of a property sues for partition of the property, the court may divide the property in kind, or if it finds it more equitable to do so, it may order the property sold and the…

Lynch v. California Coastal Commission

A party waives any challenge to permit conditions by building the permitted structure, thus accepting the permit’s benefits and incurring its burdens.  Even though plaintiffs promptly challenged conditions the Coastal Commission imposed on a permit allowing plaintiffs to rebuild a weather-damaged seawall protecting their homes, first by objecting to the conditions before the Commission and…

Scher v. Burke

Post-1972 public use of non-coastal land for any purpose cannot ripen into a prescriptive easement or implied dedication of the property.  Under Civil Code 1009(b) no post-1972 public use of non-coastal land (more than 1,000 feet from the shore) can ripen into an implied dedication of the land or an easement in it.  This case…

People ex rel. Harris v. Aguayo

Trial court properly found defendants liable under the unfair competition law in view of their fraudulent scheme to acquire semi-abandoned properties through a combination of adverse possession and the recordation of wild deeds.  Defendants engaged in a fraudulent scheme to acquire semi-abandoned properties by adverse possession and by a variety of scams such as recording…

Hinrichs v. Melton

The trial court properly exercised its discretion to decree an easement by necessity benefitting a landlocked parcel over a route that caused the least disruption to the adjoining owners’ use of their properties.  A judgment granting a landlocked parcel’s owner an easement by necessity over neighboring properties to a road is affirmed.  For such an…

Vieira Enterprises, Inc. v. McCoy

Substantial evidence supported court’s determination that plaintiff had not obtained sole ownership of the road easement between his property and defendant’s; fence and gate did not constitute adverse possession because they had been erected by defendant’s predecessor to prevent plaintiff’s mobile home park’s tenants from crossing onto defendant’s property.  Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s…

Bank of New York Mellon v. Citibank

A declaratory relief claim based on equitable subrogation in a priority dispute between two home equity lines of credit is not governed by a three-year limitations period and so was wrongly dismissed.  A borrower engaged in a double refinancing of his existing HELOC, secured by a second deed of trust in favor of Citibank.  Countrywide…

Jacobs v. Locatelli

Neither the statute of frauds nor the parol evidence rule precluded a real estate broker’s suit for her commission, as she could rely on extrinsic evidence to show that the one owner who signed her listing agreement did so as agent for the other owners.  The trial court erred in dismissing this suit by a…

Westside Estate Agency, Inc. v. Randall

A broker’s agreement to negotiate the purchase or sale of real property falls within the statute of frauds and must be in writing.  Civ. Code 1624(a)(4) requires a broker’s agreement to buy or sell real property to be in writing.  Here, plaintiff broker did not obtain a written agreement when he negotiated, for a friend,…

Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association v. McMullin

Defendant could not support his adverse possession claim with respect to a retaining wall he built on adjoining property that belonged to plaintiff homeowners’ association.  Neither party requested a statement of decision following a six-day court trial, so the doctrine of implied findings applied.  Though the basic facts may have been undisputed, the implied findings…