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Page 4
Supreme Court Affirms That Parties That Clean Up Contamination Can Recover Costs From
by Paul S. Weiland, Fred A. Fudacz and Alfred E. Smith II
On June 11, 2007, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision clarifying
that a so-called responsible party that voluntarily takes action to clean up the environment may
bring an action under section 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act (“
CERCLA”).  United States v. Atlantic Research, Sup. Ct.
Case No. 06-562.
Nossaman filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the position adopted by the Court on
behalf of the Association of California Water Agencies, the National Association of Water
Companies, the California Water Association, the California State Association of Counties, the
Castaic Lake Water Agency, the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, and the Main San
Gabriel Basin Watermaster.  The Court’s position confirms the ability of public agencies, water
purveyors, and other parties to utilize CERCLA’s powerful enforcement tools to recover costs
from responsible parties that are incurred cleaning up hazardous contamination

Recent Developments in Stormwater Regulation Pose a Threat to
Development Industry
By Mary Lynn K. Coffee and Melissa A. Poole  Two recent developments in municipal
stormwater regulation in Southern California have the potential to significantly impact the
development industry throughout the State.
(Commercial Appraiser LA)

Global Real Analytics Shows Apartment Prices Appreciated Only 1.4% in 3Q
By Keat Foong, Executive Editor
DECEMBER 27, 2006 -- San Francisco --
Apartment price appreciation in the Class A sector
has slowed markedly since the second half of this year as a result of the pullback of the
condominium conversion market.
According to Global Real Analytics (GRA), the price of Class A apartments rose only 1.4
percent in the third quarter. “The rate of apartment appreciation has definitely slowed. It began
to slow appreciably in the second quarter,” Daniel O’Connor, managing director global
forecasting and research at GRA, told MHN.

Homeowners take issue with road widening
December 27, 2006
LOCKPORT -- City officials say using a more than 2,000-square-foot strip of land to widen
Farrell Road at Seventh Street will be for the
public good.
But two members of the public -- homeowners Michael and Patricia Ricchiuto, whose family
pays taxes on the land -- strongly disagree.
They say they own the land, and that the city is taking it for a road-widening project that will
benefit the future Wal-Mart store across the street, not the general public.
Mayor Tim Murphy says the land is public right of way. He said the city's entitlement to use
such land to make public improvements is well-established legally, and justified in this case.
"This is not a situation unique to the Ricchiutos," Murphy said. "Public right of way exists
everywhere the road exists."
Patricia said a 1992 survey reveals that the Ricchiuto property includes the roughly 2,000-
square-foot strip and actually extends out to the middle of Farrell Road. That survey, she said,
conforms with her title insurance, which means the Ricchiutos pay taxes on the land.

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Investor Quiz: Test Your Money Smarts
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Citizens for Open Gov't v. City of Lodi, No
C051419 (Cal. 3d App. Dist. November 09, 2006)
Dismissal of petition for writ of mandate, challenging defendants' certification of a final
environmental impact report and approval of a use permit for the Lodi Shopping Center, which
has as its proposed anchor tenant a Wal-Mart Supercenter, is reversed as plaintiff's
representatives appeared and objected to the defendant city's proposed actions at each of the
hearings before the Planning Commission and each of the hearings before the City Council
thereby exhausting plaintiff's available administrative remedies even though plaintiff did not
itself file the notice of appeal that brought the decision of the Planning Commission to the City

Wright v. City of Morro Bay, No
B176929 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. November 07, 2006)
Sustaining of demurrer to first amended complaint without leave to amend, in case alleging fee
ownership of a portion of a dedicated street abutting plaintiffs' property where the street was
never opened or used for a public purpose, is affirmed as the face of the complaint shows
defendant city accepted the offer of dedication and that no abandonment occurred.

Western Placer Citizens for an Agric. & Rural Env't v. County of Placer, No
C049364 (Cal. 3d
App. Dist. November 09, 2006)
Determination that a county's environmental impact report analyzing a proposed aggregate
mine violated the California Environmental Quality Act is reversed where: 1) CEQA does not
per se require a revised project description be included in the FEIR itself, and substantial
evidence in the record demonstrated the changed phasing of aggregate mining and
reclamation was not significant new information requiring additional analysis in, or recirculation
of, the FEIR; and 2) the record contains sufficient evidence to support defendant's findings
that there would be sufficient water to supply the project's needs through its mining life and its
reclamation requirements.

Hawkins v. Wilton, No
C049462 (Cal. 3d App. Dist. November 13, 2006)
In case alleging landlord's negligence for hiring an apartment manager known to have violent
propensities, carry guns, use drugs, and threaten tenants, and who shot plaintiff while working
for defendant, summary judgment in favor of defendant is reversed where defendant failed to
meet his burden to show a lack of triable issues, and did not even purport to show that plaintiff
could not prove the manager shot him while working for defendant.

Marriage of Leni, No
C047305 (Cal. 3d App. Dist. November 15, 2006)
Orders holding wife had no fiduciary duty to sell house to husband, and that a notation in
escrow instructions to split the proceeds of a sale of a house owned was not a valid
transmutation of community property to husband's separate party as he spent community
funds to care for his mother, is reversed to the extent husband was ordered to reimburse wife
in payment of her one-half community interest in the sale of one of their homes.

The following market report has just been released for the 'Los Angeles
- Office' area:
Orange County Office, 3Q06
Office vacancy rates fell to 8.8R0in Orange County, and asking rental rates climbed by a very
strong 9.2R0in the 12 months ending Q3 2006.  The return to healthy market conditions
stimulated a wave of new construction, and 4.6 million SF was underway as of the end of the
quarter. link above to view this report on

The following market report has just been released for the 'Los Angeles
Office' area: Tri Cities Office, 3Q06
Despite the delivery of 165,000 SF of space in Burbank, vacancy rates
fell to 5.4Å20from 9.8R0last quarter.  In Pasadena, vacancy rates
remained low, at 5.1å20 These are among the lowest vacancy rates in Southern
CA.  Market conditions are projected to remain very tight in Burbank
and Pasadena.

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Small Prop. Owners of San Francisco v. City and County of San Francisco, No A108924 (Cal.
1st App. Dist. August 09, 2006)
Judgment that an ordinance of defendant, which required landlords to pay tenants interest on
security deposits at a rate of 5 percent, did not effect a taking under state or federal
constitutions, is affirmed over claim that the court erred in: 1) in reaching this conclusion; 2)
taking judicial notice of credit card interest rates; and 3) in requiring plaintiffs to provide notice
of the adverse judgment to class members by mail.

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Hawks v. Hawks, No
B187011 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. August 10, 2006)
Order dismissing complaint concerning title to real property brought against a number of
defendants after the death of plaintiff's father is reversed where a delay of less than two years
in service of the summons and complaint is not a ground for dismissal under the only provision
relied upon by the trial court, thus dismissal under Code of Civil Procedure section 583.410(a)
was improper.

Subject: Automated
Valuation Models (AVMs)
Issue: Automated Valuation Model (AVM) technology can augment and streamline the
appraisal process, but currently lacks standardization which would benefit the industry.
Standardization is needed in terms of investor requirements, interface with fraud detection
systems, data standards, and accuracy measurements.
Background: AVMs are models that calculate a value for a residential real property by
accessing data from commercially available databases of real estate public records. These
databases are typically compiled from county assessor and county recorder sources, but can
also access data from appraisal and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sources. AVMs can provide
instant property valuations, thus speeding one of the slowest steps in the origination cycle.

Colliers International Market Report
office South Bay
Net absorption totaled 71,800 SF during Q2 2006, down from  330,400 SF last quarter, but
bringing the YTD number to a strong 402,100 SF. The market continued to tighten, with the
vacancy rate dropping to 18.1% - still a high number, but down from 20.3% a year ago. Rental
rates have remained flat, and are the lowest in the Los Angeles Basin.
(The Harris Company,
Commercial Appraisers and Real Estate Consultants, Serving Los
Angeles and Southern California.)

August 09, 2006
Housing cycles
Everyone is concerned about the housing market today and whether slowness in the market is
going to hurt household finances and the larger economy. NC State University's Mike Walden
examines new research about the ups and downs in the housing market. Listen
"We have a new study just released by a couple economists who looked at this very question.
They looked across many years and many countries, and they reached several conclusions,"
explains Dr. Walden, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
"They decided that
the housing market goes through two distinct phases: what they call the
calm phase, which is where prices are generally rising but there is little variability. That is,
everyone is pretty well sure the price of their house is going to go up.
"The second phase they call the volatile phase," he adds. "This is where some prices are
falling but some prices are continuing to rise, so there’s a lot of variability and there’s a lot of
"Now these economists argue that each of those phases lasts six years, and they argue that
today we are probably in the volatile phase."

Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Spectrum Cmty. Ass'n, No.
G034668 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. July 31,
2006)When an action is filed, an insurer under an occurrence-based commercial general
liability policy cannot avoid providing a defense to the insured condominium complex developer
by the simple device of claiming that the homeowners association could not have been
damaged during the policy period because the association did not then exist.

HUD's Economic and Market Analysis Division recently
new Comprehensive Market Analysis Reports on
economic and housing market conditions in the
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana and the
Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical
Areas. The reports contain the latest information on the
impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.   
These in-depth analyses of local housing markets provide
an up-to-date profile of the area's economy, population,
households, housing inventory and vacancy rates, sales
and rental market conditions, and forecasts of housing
demand. The data presented allow comparison across three
periods: 1990-2000, 2000-date of analysis, and from the
analysis date to a forecast date. The Comprehensive
Market Analysis Reports provide tools that are especially
useful to anyone concerned with local housing conditions
and trends, but may be of particular interest to builders
and mortgage lenders.

Preservation Action Council v. City of San Jose (Lowe's HIW, Inc.), No
H028201 (Cal. 6th App.
Dist. August 04, 2006)
Writ of mandate requiring defendant city to rescind its decision certifying an Environmental
Impact Report and approving a project is affirmed where the city's analysis of a reduced-size
alternative was inadequate and its rejection of this alternative was unjustified and unsupported.

Regency Outdoor Adver., Inc. v. City of
Los Angeles, No. S132619 (Cal. August 07, 2006)
Owners and occupiers of roadside property do not possess a “right to be seen” that requires
the payment of compensation for municipal landscaping efforts having no injurious effect on
any property rights other than the claimed right to visibility.

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Welcome to the Real Property (LACBA)
Section Homepage
Concerns include substantive law in real property with subsections in commercial development,
construction law, general real estate law, land use planning, real estate finance, litigation, and
title insurance. The section holds monthly dinner meetings and sponsors the annual Crocker
Symposium. Subsections hold periodic luncheon meetings.

Antitrust Quiz: Do You Know the
Even if you inadvertently break the law, you can face serious penalties. Take this month's quiz
at REALTOR® Magazine Online to learn what's OK and what's not when it comes to
cooperation and competition in real estate.

Help Pass Leasehold Depreciation and Brownfields Deduction
BOMA International needs your help to ensure that the Senate votes in favor of legislation that
would extend both the 15 year cost recovery for leasehold depreciation and the immediate
expensing of brownfields clean-up costs through 2007. The Senate is expected to vote on the
bill, H.R. 5970, this Friday, August 4. Therefore, we ask that you
contact your Senators
immediately and ask that they vote in favor of H.R. 5970!

S. B. Beach Props. v. Berti, No.
S127513 (Cal. July 31, 2006)
Defendants who do not file a special motion to strike pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute,
before plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal of their SLAPP suit, may not recover attorney fees and
costs pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, subdivision (c).

Ortega Rock Quarry. v. Golden Eagle Ins. Corp., No. E037906 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. July 27,
2006) Summary judgment in favor of defendant insurers, in case involving claims for defense
and indemnity against an EPA order and corresponding lawsuit, is affirmed over claims that the
trial court erred in determining that: 1) the insurers had no duty to defend plaintiff because the
EPA proceedings were not a "suit" within the scope of the policies; 2) the pollution exclusion
endorsements in the insurance policies excluded coverage for plaintiff's claims; and 3)
plaintiff's acts were willful and therefore uninsurable.

Farber v. Bay View Terrace Homeowners Ass'n, No. G036069 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. June 30,
2006)  Dismissal of complaint and cross-complaint for lack of standing to sue, and post-
judgment order awarding attorney fees to defendant, are affirmed over claims that: 1) plaintiff
has standing because neither the complaint nor the cross-complaint was an action to enforce
the CC&Rs; 2) the trial court improperly relied on res judicata in granting the motion judgment
on the pleadings; and 3) fees were improper because this is not an action to enforce the

Pickern v. Pier 1 Imports (U.S.), Inc., No. 04-
17118 (9th Cir. July 26, 2006)
Summary judgment for defendants, a retail store operator and landlord, on a claim brought by
a visually-impaired and mobility-impaired woman under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) is affirmed where the district court: 1) properly ruled that the defendants were not
required to build an access ramp across a city-owned and operated strip of land; and 2) did
not err in finding that plaintiff failed to provide the defendants with adequate notice of new ADA

Save Our Carmel River v. Monterey Peninsula Water Mgmt. Dist., No
H029242 (Cal. 6th App.
Dist. July 24, 2006) Denial of petition challenging approval of a water credit transfer is
reversed where: 1) section 15302 of the CEQA Guidelines, which provides that the
replacement of an existing structure or facility is exempt from CEQA review, does not apply to
this transfer; and 2) defendant water district's approval of the transfer was not supported by
substantial evidence in the record.

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Marceau v. Blackfeet Hous. Auth., No. 04-
35210 (9th Cir. July 21, 2006)
Dismissal of claims brought by Indian tribe members against a tribal housing authority alleging
statutory and contractual violations involving allegedly improper construction of their homes is
reversed where the tribe waived the immunity of the housing authority when it enacted the
enabling ordinance with its "sue and be sued" clause, subject to limitations contained in the
enabling ordinance.

Abouab v. City and County of. San Francisco , No
A110940 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. July 21, 2006)
Denial of motion for attorneys' fees in connection with reassessment of property and increase
in property tax is affirmed over claims that: 1) petitioners are entitled to attorneys' fees under
the common fund theory; 2) petitioners are entitled to attorneys' fees on the substantial benefit
theory; and 3) the trial court's denial of attorneys' fees has no legal or factual basis.

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Kleveland v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., No
B187427 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. July 24, 2006)
Denial of motion to compel arbitration is affirmed, as an arbitration clause in a title insurance
policy is not binding upon the insured where arbitration was not mentioned in the preliminary
title report and the clause was not incorporated by reference into the preliminary report.

Marceau v. Blackfeet Hous. Auth., No. 04-
35210 (9th Cir. July 21, 2006)
Dismissal of claims brought by Indian tribe members against a tribal housing authority alleging
statutory and contractual violations involving allegedly improper construction of their homes is
reversed where the tribe waived the immunity of the housing authority when it enacted the
enabling ordinance with its "sue and be sued" clause, subject to limitations contained in the
enabling ordinance.

Auerbach v. Assessment Appeals Bd. No. 1 for the County of Los Angeles, No
S134920 (Cal.
July 17, 2006) In a dispute over the determination of certain property taxes, a judgment finding
that both land and improvements were subject to, and included in the calculation of, a
grandparent-to-grandchild reassessment exclusion is affirmed where, for purposes of
Proposition 13, a lessor owned the building as well as the land at issue, and accordingly, a
change in ownership of the land also changed ownership of the building.

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Levin v. Ligon, No
A109477 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. June 30, 2006)
Summary judgment in favor of plaintiff's former wife and grant of a motion for judgment on the
pleadings in an action for civil partition of financial assets held in her name are affirmed over
his claim that the trial court erred in finding that plaintiff's prior legal malpractice action in
England, wherein he had asserted he had lost his right to any interest in certain assets,
estopped him from claiming a community property interest in those assets.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Fritz (06/26/06 - No. 05-
Summary judgment for defendants in a case involving negligent damage to property is affirmed
where the plaintiff produced no evidence of defendants' negligence, but reversed where a
property lease imposed liability on defendants for negligent acts of their guests.

New Laws Passed by the California/Federal Legislature Bankruptcy (2005)
  • Common Interest Developments and Homeowners’ Associations
  • Disclosure Issues
  • Discrimination - Fair Housing
  • Electronic Communications
  • Housing and Landlord/Tenant
  • Licensing Issues
  • Loan Issues
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mobilehomes
  • Privacy Issues
  • Tax Issues

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U.S.P.L. 108-8 Section 311
(Portion of the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" – 11 U.S.C. § 362(b))
The federal legislature passed the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 with most
provisions going into effect on October 17, 2005. One particular change in the bankruptcy law involving the
“automatic stay” and found in 11 U.S.C. § 362(b) will affect residential landlords. The new law permits the
continuation of any eviction, unlawful detainer action, or similar proceeding by a lessor against the
debtor/tenant of residential property so long as the lessor has obtained a judgment for possession of the
property before the date of the filing of the bankruptcy petition.

In addition, the new law also permits an eviction action that seeks possession of the residential property
based on endangerment of the property or the illegal use of controlled substances on the property, but only if
the lessor files with the court a certification under penalty of perjury that such an eviction action has been filed,
or that the debtor, during the 30-day period preceding the date of the filing of the certification, has endangered
the property or illegally used or allowed to be used a controlled substance on the property.

Common Interest Developments and Homeowners’ Associations

AB 1098* (HOA Records - Adds Civil Code Section 1363.07 and Replaces Civil Code Section 1365.2 - Select
provisions effective 1/1/06, 7/1/06 and 1/1/07)

AB 1098 requires an affirmative vote of the owners of at least 67% of the separate interests in the common
interest development--unless the CC&Rs require a different percentage--to grant exclusive use of any portion
of a common area to any member, with exceptions. The law also requires the HOA of a common interest
development to make the accounting books and records, and the minutes of meetings of the association
available for inspection and copying by a member of the association, (or the member's designated
representative) and authorizes a member to bring an action to enforce that right and also authorizes a court to
assess a civil penalty of up to $500 for each violation of that provision. The revised Section 1365.2 now
defines "association records" and also "enhanced association records."

SB 61*
(HOA Elections - eff. 7/1/06)
SB 61 requires homeowners’ associations to use secret ballots for elections regarding assessments,
selection of members of the association board of directors, amendments to the governing documents, or the
grant of exclusive use of common area property. It also requires an independent third party as inspector of

SB 137*
(HOA Assessments - eff. 1/1/06)
SB 137 revises the procedures for collecting delinquent assessments for certain debts that arise on and after
January 1, 2006. The law provides that when an association of a common interest development seeks to
collect delinquent assessments of less than $1,800, not including accelerated assessments and specified
late charges and fees, the association must either file a civil action in small claims court or record a lien but
the association would be prohibited from foreclosing on this lien until the amount equals or exceeds $1,800
or the assessments are more than 12 months delinquent.

SB 853*
(Physical Changes to Unit - eff. 1/1/06)
SB 853 deals with an owner’s request to make physical changes to the owner's separate interest or to the
common area. In responding to such a request, the homeowners’ association must comply with certain
conditions including the requirement that a decision on a proposed change be consistent with the Fair
Employment and Housing Act.
Disclosure Issues
top of page

AB 1078* and SB 536*
(methamphetamine lab clean-up and clean-up standards - eff. 1/1/06 for AB 1078 and 10/1/09 for SB 536)
Civil Code Section 1102.18 requiring disclosure of methamphetamine lab contamination will sunset on
January 1, 2006. The new Government Code Section 25400.28 created by AB 1078--which requires the seller
or landlord to give a written disclosure of the clean-up order to buyers and tenants--is intended to replace the
existing law in Civil Code section 1102.18. The seller/landlord's disclosure obligation under AB 1078 is
somewhat different since it deals with the disclosure of clean-up orders rather than contamination. Another
significant change to the law is that it applies not only to residential one-four unit properties, but all types of
properties since "property" is now defined as "any parcel of land, structure, or part of a structure. . . including
mobilehomes and manufactured housing." However, the law exempts mobilehomes and manufactured
homes if they are located in a "park." The typical TDS exemptions no longer apply (e.g., no exemption for
probate or trusts). However, the law has incorporated the same delivery requirements as for the TDS (3 or 5
day rescission period).

AB 1078 requires a property owner who receives an order that the owner's property was contaminated by a
methamphetamine laboratory activity, and any other person occupying the property, to immediately vacate the
affected unit. The law also requires the property owner to hire an authorized methamphetamine laboratory site
remediation contractor (meeting certain requirements as defined by law) to remediate the contamination
caused by methamphetamine laboratory activity.

Furthermore, AB 1078 requires a local health officer to issue a "no further action determination" if the local
health officer determines that remediation is not required on the property, based either on a "preliminary site
assessment report” (PSA Report) or if the site has been remediated.

The law also requires a property owner who has not received a "no further action determination" to notify the
prospective buyer in writing of the pending order, and provide the prospective buyer with a copy of the pending
order. In addition, the property owner must provide written notice to all prospective tenants that have an
application to rent a dwelling unit ( "or other property") subject to the remediation order, and must provide the
prospective tenant with a copy of the order. The prospective tenant must acknowledge, in writing, the receipt of
the notice and pending order before signing a rental agreement. The notice must be attached to the rental
agreement. If the property owner does not comply with this law, the prospective tenant may void the rental

SB 536 requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control to develop sampling and analytical methods for
the collection of methamphetamine residue, and by October 1, 2009 to establish investigation and cleanup
procedures for use in the remediation of sites contaminated by the illegal manufacturing of

AB 1323* (Megan's Law Revised - 4/1/06)
Information about registered sex offenders is currently available by the Department of Justice through an
internet website. This law requires notice of this website to be included in lease or rental agreements, and
contracts for sale of residential real property.

AB 1323 deletes those provisions of Megan's Law that established the "900" telephone number by which
members of the public could call to inquire whether a named individual was a registered sex offender. The
new law requires the Department of Justice to operate a service permitting the public to make an inquiry,
regarding at least 6 individuals, and to charge a fee for these requests to be deposited into the Sexual
Predator Public Information Account. In addition, this bill makes misuse of this information provided by the
Department of Justice a criminal violation.

Effective April 1, 2006, the revised disclosure language will be mandatory for residential sellers of 1-4 unit
properties, as well as for residential landlords. C.A.R. will be updating the standard form, Data Base
Disclosure (DBD), as well as its purchase and lease agreements to reflect this change in the law. The
updated forms should be available in January 2006.

Discrimination - Fair Housing

AB 394*
(Housing Discrimination - eff. 1/1/06)
AB 394 makes it easier and less expensive for homeowners to remove unlawful and discriminatory language
in the recorded CC&Rs by modifying the procedure. A person who holds an ownership interest of record in
property that he or she believes is the subject of an unlawfully restrictive covenant based on race, color,
religion, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, disability, national origin, source of income, or
ancestry may record a document titled
Restrictive Covenant Modification which would include a copy of the original document with the illegal
language stricken.

AB 1400*
(Unruh Civil Rights Act Revisions - eff. 1/1/06)
The Unruh Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code Section 51) prohibits business establishments from
discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, or medical
condition. AB 1400 adds marital status and sexual orientation to this list. However, AB 1400 states that “it is
the intent of the Legislature that these enumerated bases shall continue to be construed as illustrative rather
than restrictive.” This means that California law continues to prohibit any arbitrary discrimination.  
Electronic Communications
top of page

SB 833* (Unsolicited Faxes - eff. 1/1/06)
Effective January 1, 2003, California repealed its unsolicited fax law, leaving the federal Telephone Consumer
Protection Act of 1991 as the sole regulation of unsolicited faxes. Now California has passed another law
governing junk faxes. Effective January 1, 2006, SB 833 bans the sending of unsolicited advertising faxes from
someone in California to someone in California and provides for damages of at least $500 per violation.  
Housing and Landlord/Tenant
top of page

SB 51 (60-day Notice Extension - Not Passed )
Starting January 1, 2006, landlords may give a 30-day notice—instead of a 60-day notice--to terminate their
month-to-month tenants (unless rent control or subsidized housing rules apply). Existing law requiring a 60-
day notice of termination expired on December 31, 2005 as a result of the defeat of SB 51. C.A.R. Standard
Form “Notice of Termination of Tenancy” (NTT) will be revised to reflect this change in the law.

SB 326* (Rental Housing and Government Control - eff. 1/1/06)
Two years ago, C.A.R. successfully co-sponsored a measure providing that low and moderate rental housing
developments of 100 units or less cannot be denied a permit if they comply with local government
development standards and receive a negative declaration or a mitigated declaration under the California
Environmental Quality Act. SB 326 expands this law to duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, and expands the
state "Anti-Nimby " (see below) to charter cities.

SB 575*  (the "Anti-Nimby " - eff. 1/1/06)
SB 575 ("Anti-Nimby ") contains important limits on the ability of local municipalities to turn down housing by
claiming that there is "no need" or the zoning is "inconsistent." This law, which amends Government Code
Section 65589.5, changes the conditions upon which a disapproval or a conditional approval of the housing
development project is based.  

SB 435*
(Density Bonuses - eff. 1/1/06)
Last year, C.A.R. successfully sponsored a bill to improve the use of the state’s density bonus law. This year
C.A.R. sponsored SB 435 to provide that the law will be more easily understood, implemented and functional
by applying the law to all forms of common interest developments; assuring that units built as a result of a
density bonus may also extend to moderate income ownership housing and states that localities can recover
any initial subsidy for moderate income units upon sale.  
HVAC Changeouts*
(link to California Energy Commission - eff. 10/1/05)

Effective October 1, 2005, Title 24 of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards requires that air conditioning
and heating ducts be tested for leaks when a central air conditioner or furnace is installed or replaced. Ducts
that leak 15 percent or more must be repaired.  
Licensing Issues
top of page

AB 223*
(Risk Management Education Course - eff. 7/1/07)
Prior to license renewal every licensee must take 4 required courses (agency, ethics, fair housing, and trust
fund management) as 12 of their 45 hours of continuing education. C.A.R sponsored AB 223 to designate as
part of that 45 hours, a 3-hour mandatory continuing education course in Risk Management. It also requires
existing licensees to keep current with the increasingly complex demands of documentation, newly required
disclosures and the newest options available to shield themselves from avoidable liability. Having taken Risk
Management training may entitle a licensee to lower cost “E&O” insurance coverage.
Beginning July 1, 2007, the 45-hour continuing education requirement for brokers and salespersons which
must include coursework on risk management, also includes principles, practices, and procedures for
avoiding errors and omissions. For a first-time license renewal, a licensee must complete, among other
things, a 3-hour course in risk management. For subsequent renewals, a licensee must complete, among
other things, an 8-hour update survey course covering ethics, agency, trust funds, fair housing, and risk
management. However, this law goes into effect on January 1, 2006 so the DRE can begin preparing for

Loan Issues
top of page

AB 885*
(Real Property Trustee Sale Foreclosures - eff. 1/1/06)
Civil Code Section 2925b requires a person recording a notice of default or a notice of sale under any deed of
trust or mortgage with power of sale to perform specified actions. These actions include mailing a copy of the
notice with the recording date shown and a copy of the notice of the time and place of sale to each person
requesting a copy and to each trustor or mortgagor at his or her last known address if different than the
address specified in the deed of trust or mortgage with power of sale. AB 885 modifies the definition of "last
known address" for these purposes.
In addition, former Civil Code Section 2925g permitted a maximum of three postponements of the sale
proceedings. AB 885 amends Section 2925g to permit any number of postponements of the sale
proceedings at any time prior to the completion of the sale, for any period of time not to exceed a total of 365
days from the date set forth in the notice of sale, upon the order of any court, where stayed by operation of law,
by mutual agreement of any trustor and any beneficiary (or any mortgagor and any mortgagee) at the
discretion of the trustee, or upon instruction by the beneficiary to the trustee that the sale proceedings be
postponed. Any postponements beyond the 365-day period require a new notice of sale to be given before
any further sale proceedings may be scheduled.

AB 901*
(Predatory Lending - eff. 1/1/06)
Under the state predatory lending law, the term "covered loan" meant a consumer loan in which the original
principal balance of the loan does not exceed $250,000.  Effective January 1, 2006, AB 901 changes this
definition so that a "covered loan" means a consumer loan in which the original principal balance of the loan
does not exceed the most current conforming loan limit for a single-family first mortgage loan established by
the Federal National Mortgage Association.
AB 1419*
(California Finance Lenders Law - eff. 1/1/06)
The California Finance Lenders Law provides for the licensing and regulation of finance lenders by the
Commissioner of Corporations. AB 1419 specifies application requirements for a licensee to operate at an
additional location and authorizes the licensee to operate at that new location 10 days after the date of mailing
of the application. The new law also requires the Commissioner to investigate any person responsible for the
conduct of the lending activities of the applicant and authorizes the Commissioner to deny an application
based on any unlawful activities as indicated in the statute (Financial Code Section 22109).
AB 1729*
(Real Estate Loans and Notes Disclosure - eff. 1/1/06)
AB 1729 amends Business and Professions Code Section 10232.4 dealing with exemptions to the
requirement of providing the mortgage loan disclosure statement. It also amends Business and Professions
Code Section 10233 dealing the requirements of real estate licensees who service promissory notes. AB
1729 also amends Business and Professions Code Section 19238 regarding the form that needs to be filed
with the Real Estate Commissioner.  
top of page

AB 1640*
(Residential Insurance Claims - eff. 7/1/06)
Effective July 1, 2006, AB 1640 requires any insurer who issues a policy of insurance covering residential
property and reports claims history or loss experience to an insurance support organization, to provide the
insured with a specified disclosure regarding contacting the claims information database, and to include the
disclosure in the California Residential Property Insurance Bill of Rights.  
SB 422*
(Small Claims Court Jurisdictional Amount - eff. 1/1/06)
Prior to passage of this law, a small claims court would hear various actions but only up to the jurisdictional
amount of $5,000, with a few specified exceptions. This law increases the small claims court jurisdictional
amount to $7,500—again with a few specified exceptions. Legal entities other than natural persons (e.g.,
corporations, partnerships, or governmental entities) do not qualify for this jurisdictional increase.  
top of page

SB 237*
(Mobilehome Transfers - eff. 1/1/06)
This law adds Civil Code Section 798.19.5 to the Mobilehome Residency Law prohibiting a mobilehome park
rental agreement entered into or renewed on and after January 1, 2006, from including a provision that grants
to management the right of first refusal to purchase a homeowner's mobilehome that is in the park and
offered for sale to a third party. However, SB 237 does permit a separate agreement for separate
consideration between the mobilehome owner and the park owner granting the park owner or management a
right of first refusal to purchase a homeowner's mobilehome that is in the park and offered for sale.  
Privacy Issues
top of page

SB 101*
(Employee – Use of Social Security Number – eff. July 21, 2005 but impact eff. 1/1/08)
This law restates and clarifies existing law which requires every employer—including governmental entities--
by January 1, 2008, to include on the itemized statement provided to an employee only the last 4 digits of the
employee's social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number.  
Tax Issues
top of page

AB 14*
(Property Tax on New Subdivisions - eff. 1/1/06)
AB 14 prohibits a county tax assessor from assigning parcel numbers or preparing a separate assessment
or separate valuation to divide any existing residential structure into a subdivision, until a subdivision final
map or parcel map has been recorded as required by law.  

AB 459
(Disclosure Notice of Supplemental Tax Bill - eff. 1/1/06)
Although change of ownership triggers reassessment of property taxes, buyers may not realize that they may
have to pay supplemental tax bills. Effective January 1, 2006, AB 459--which adds Civil Code Section 1102.6c--
requires sellers of residential properties of 1-4 units, or their agents, to disclose to prospective buyers that
they may owe supplemental taxes. C.A.R. standard form “Notice of Your Supplemental Property Tax Bill” (SPT)
will satisfy this requirement.  

AB 1099*
(Property Tax and Solar Energy - retro. to 1999-2000 fiscal year)
This law excludes property from property tax reassessment for the construction or addition of an active solar
energy system and is applicable from the 1999-2000 fiscal year to the 2008-09 fiscal year.  
SB 565*

Akin v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London,
No E038354 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. June 09, 2006)
Grant of defendants' demurrer in an action for improper rescission arising from defendants' denial plaintiff's
homeowner insurance claims and rescission of her policies is affirmed since plaintiff cannot recover
damages under the policies in an action for rescission under Civil Code section 1692, and plaintiff's claim
was barred under a contractual one-year limitations period.

Jenkins v. City of Corona, No
E036270 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. June 09, 2006)
A judgment in favor of plaintiff-citizen in a challenge to building inspection and safety fees established by
defendant-city under a resolution is reversed where although plaintiff could seek to invalidate the resolution
under the Mitigation Fee Act, the trial court abused its discretion in invalidating the resolution since the city
demonstrated that its actions were neither arbitrary nor capricious when it determined that its fees should be

Supreme Court of Texas
In re Palm Harbor Homes, Inc. (06/09/06 - No. 04-0490)
The purchasers of a manufactured home must arbitrate their claims against both the retailer and
manufacturer of a home pursuant to a written arbitration agreement between the purchasers and the retailer,
and the manufacturer's opt-out right in the agreement did not render the arbitration agreement unenforceable.

Park Apartments v. US (06/06/06 - No. 05-5034, 05-5035)
An award for plaintiffs, owners of rental property, in a takings case is reversed where the trial court erred in
declining to consider the effects of a Los Angeles rent control ordinance in calculating the damages from the
taking, and is remanded pursuant to plaintiffs' cross-appeal for recalculation of damages for plaintiffs that
entered into use agreements before the passage of the
Housing Opportunity Extension Act.

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
In re: Oakwood Homes Corp. (06/09/06 - No. 05-2032 & 05-2033)
The language used in 11 U.S.C. section 502(b) does not clearly and unambiguously require discounting an
interest-bearing obligation to present value in light of the words' plain meanings and the language used
elsewhere in the Bankruptcy Code. Interest-bearing debt should not be discounted to present value after
unmatured interest has been disallowed pursuant to section 502(b)(2).

Viacom Outdoor, Inc. v. City of Arcata, No A110628 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. June 08, 2006)
California's Outdoor Advertising Act, Bus. & Prof. Code section 5200 et seq, does not preempt municipal
ordinances that require a permit for rebuilding outdoor stand-alone billboards destroyed by natural forces.

California Oak Found. v. City of Santa Clarita, No B175580 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. November 02, 2005)
In an action under the California Environmental Quality Act regarding a proposed industrial/business park,
approval of an environmental impact report (EIR) was inappropriate because the EIR did not adequately
discuss the adequacy of water supplies for the project; therefore, the trial court is directed to issue a writ of
mandate vacating the certification until a corrected EIR is submitted and approved.

(Real Estate Contract/FAA)
In re Weekley Homes, L.P. (10/28/05 - No. 04-0119)
Nonparties may be bound to an arbitration clause in a contract when the rules of law or equity would bind
them to the contract generally.

Behniwal v. Super. Ct. of Orange County (Gene C.), No G035299 (Cal. 4thApp. Dist. October 28, 2005)
In a suit to determine whether prospective buyers of a condo obtained a contract for its sale, plaintiffs-buyers
are entitled to maintain a lis pendens on their property where they have at least a "probably valid"

Fishback v. County of Ventura , No B177462 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. October 26, 2005)
Under the Subdivision Map Act, on the creation of a fifth parcel on a tract of land within a one-year period, the
previous four parcels created during that same one-year period become a subdivision.

Miller v. Weitzen , No D044911 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. October 21, 2005)
Plaintiff's payment of trail maintenance fees to her riding club is consideration which triggers the statutory
exception to Civil Code section 846, which immunizes property owners from liability arising from the
recreational use of their property.

County of Alameda v. Super. Ct. of Alameda, No A109576 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. October 18, 2005)
In an inverse condemnation action, defendant-land developer may not proceed with its regulatory taking
action before the County has the opportunity to decide and explain the reach of the land use regulation at

Bohbot v. Santa Monica Rent Control Bd. , No B179921 (Cal. 2d App.Dist. October 13, 2005)
Santa Monica's Rent Control Law provision, which prohibits owner-occupancy evictions in conversions, does
not prohibit owner-occupancy evictions where the condominium was legally converted under the Tenant
Ownership Rights Charter Amendment.

McFarland v. Norton , No. 03-35831 (9th Cir. October 11, 2005)     Dismissal of plaintiff's action to quiet title is
reversed where he properly filed his suit within the 12-year statute of limitations.

Villacreses v. Molinari, No G034719 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. September 26,
2005) In a real estate contract dispute, a judgment confirming an arbitration decision in favor of defendants is
reversed where the contract does not contain language to create a cognizable arbitration agreement.

Underwood v. Corsino , No B175020 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. October 06, 2005) In an unlawful detainer action,
judgment in favor of defendant-tenant  is reversed where the trial court exceeded its authority in ordering
abatement of rent.

Pallco Enter. Inc. v. Beam , No C047314 (Cal. 3d App. Dist. September 29, 2005) The trial court's finding,
that advertising displays erected on defendant's property are not a public nuisance, is affirmed over
plaintiff's claim that the court misapplied the provisions of the state  Outdoor Advertising Act.

Enea v. Super. Ct. of Monterey County, No H027511 (Cal. 6th App. Dist.
September 30, 2005) Fiduciary duties imposed on partners by operation of law unquestionably bar them from
renting partnership property to themselves at less than its fair market value, even in the absence of an
agreement requiring fair market rents.

Creating Vibrant Communities: Redeveloping California's Brownfields
Thursday, September 29, 2005
8:00am - 4:30pm
to be held at the:
The University Club
750 B Street, Suite 750
Downtown San Diego

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Int'l Ins. Co. v. RSR Corp. (09/19/05 - No. 04-10311) Defendant is entitled to coverage from plaintiff-insurance
company for the EPA's costs of environmental remediation since the evidence is sufficient to support the jury's
determination that the EPA made a claim against defendant within its policy coverage period.
[PDF File]

Mirpad v. Cal. Ins. Guarantee Ass'n , No B176080 (Cal. 2d App. Dist.September 20, 2005) Under the terms of
a standard commercial general liability policy, there is no coverage liability for a claim for wrongful eviction of
"organization" since coverage is only extended under the policy to a claim by a natural person. [PDF File]

Prop. Owners of Whispering Palms v. Newport Pacific, Inc. , No D045150 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. September 08,
2005)The requirements of California Code of Regulations section 2792.28, related to a developer's obligation
to turn over control of an architectural committee to subdivision homeowners, are inapplicable in the context of
a standard subdivision. [PDF File]

Fripp v. Walters , No C046733 (Cal. 3d App. Dist. September 07, 2005) In a boundary dispute between
neighbors, a parcel map conducted by a civil engineer was not a government sanctioned survey, and the
boundaries established by the parcel map can therefore be challenged.
[PDF File]

Autery v. US , No. 04-35105 (9th Cir. September 12, 2005) Plaintiffs' claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act
(FTCA), alleging negligence against the US for not maintaining firebreaks to prevent a large wildfire, is barred
by the independent-contractor exception to the FTCA.
[PDF File]

BANKING , CONSTRUCTION, CONTRACTS Dell Merk, Inc. v. Franzia , No C046171 (Cal. 3d App. Dist. August
In a suit arising from a defaulted payment obligation for aconstruction contract, judgment against plaintiff-
bank is affirmed over its claim that defendant breached its obligation to pay by not making the first progress
To read the full text of this opinion, go to:[PDF File]

California’s Petroleum Brownfield Grant Program
A new $30,000,000 Petroleum Contamination Orphan Site Cleanup Fund is coming soon.  The fund will
provide grants of up to $1,000,000 per site for cleanup costs at brownfield sites contaminated by petroleum,
including contamination caused by a refined product of petroleum or a petroleum derivative.  Please feel free
to call us or check our website, for updates on this program and other brownfield funding

Preserving Bond Coverage
Hubert J. Bell & Reginald M. Jones, Smith, Currie, & Hancock LLP
Preserving Bond Coverage Most construction contracts require the general contractor to
obtain a performance bond in order to protect the owner in the event that the contractor
defaults and cannot, or will not, complete its contractual obligation. Many general contractors
obtain performance bonds for some or all of the key subcontractors. Once a claim is made
under the performance bond, it is an unlikely scenario that the surety will immediately take
over the contractor’s responsibilities or pay another replacement contractor to complete the
project. Thus, the question often arises: “What do I, as the claimant, need to know in order to
protect my rights and trigger the surety’s obligations under the performance bond?”
Read More... ]

Kinsman v. Unocal Corp., No. S118561 (Cal. December 19, 2005)
A landowner that hires an independent contractor may be liable to the contractor's employee if: 1) the
landowner knew, or should have known, of a latent or concealed preexisting hazardous condition on its
property; 2) the contractor did not know and could not have reasonably discovered the hazardous condition;
and 3) the landowner failed to warn the contractor about the condition.

Appraiser Los Angeles, Residential Appraiser Los Angeles, Single Family Appraiser Los
Angeles, Commercial appraisal, Appraiser Commercial Los Angeles, LA, L.A., Commercial
Real Estate Appraiser, Commercial Real Estate Appraisal, Residential Appraiser, Apartment
Appraiser, Commercial Appraisal, Special Purpose Property, Office Property, California
Appraiser, Forensic Appraiser, PMI Removal Appraiser, Fee Appraisal.  Certified General
Appraiser, Tax Appraiser

Revisions May Mean More Goes to Your Heirs, Less to Uncle Sam Rea & Associates, Inc.
In terms of changes, the federal estate rules are a complex, moving target that will shift again on January 1,
2006. On that date, the federal estate tax exemption will jump from $1.5 million to $2 million and the
maximum tax rate will drop from 47 percent to 46 percent. (The exemption will then stay at $2 million until
2009, when it is scheduled to increase again to $3.5 million, assuming Congress does not make any
Read More... ]

HUD has recently released a new Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) report,
"Residential Panels Benchmark Requirements." Manufacturers are reinventing the process of home
construction using assembly line automation and prefabricated panels made from a wide variety of materials.
The installed panels form a structural envelope that eliminates the need for conventional framing, provides
integrated insulation, and can be assembled swiftly by less skilled laborers. These advantages have spurred
production and introduced a thermally efficient structural method of light construction to a broad market.
Download your free copy of "Residential Panels Benchmark

California Appellate Districts
Banis Rest. Design, Inc. v. Serrano (12/12/05 - No. C048900)
Dismissal of plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 7031, which precludes
an unlicensed contractor from filing suit for compensation for acts where a license is required, is affirmed
where plaintiff was a contractor and did not meet its burden of proof to demonstrate how its complaint might
be amended.

Zwirn v. Schweizer (12/14/05 - No. B180714)
Trial court order finding that plaintiff's filing of creditor's claims to property in his aunt's trust and estate would
violate no contest clauses in documents signed by his aunt in her trust and will is affirmed since his
proposed actions do not fall within the "creditor's claim" exception of Probate Code section 21305.

Trust One Mortgage Corp. v. Invest Am. Mortgage Corp. (12/15/05 - No. G035111)
Summary judgment for plaintiff on contract claims involving loans made pursuant to a broker agreement
between the parties is affirmed where a contractual indemnification provision in the agreement was an
indemnity, and not a guaranty, and does not violate California's antideficiency laws.

KB Reports Profits Through the Roof
KB Home on Thursday said its fourth-quarter profit soared 66 percent, beating analysts' estimates, as it sold
more homes with higher selling prices.

Associated Press
State energy regulators unveiled one of America's most ambitious programs to expand the market for solar
power, proposing to offer more than $3 billion (€2.52 billion) in consumer rebates over the next decade.

Federal And State
Solar Power Incentives, Rebates, Deductions:
U.S. Department of Energy Million Solar Roofs Initiative

California's Emerging Renewables
Rebate Program (includes solar)

California Solar and Wind Energy
System Credit

Butler-Rupp v. Lourdeaux, No A102706, A103925 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. December 14, 2005)
Judgment and award for plaintiff on a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim in a landlord-tenant
dispute involving contract and tort causes of action is reversed where plaintiff's injury was economic in nature
and resulted from defendants' failure to perform their contractual obligations.

USC Lusk Center Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast Says Southern California Office and Industrial
Markets Poised for Solid Growth in 2006

Press Release
Commercial Real Estate Index Results Announced
Washington, DC—November 29 The Society of Industrial & Office (SIOR)  

Donaldson v. Dep't of Real Estate, No H027112 (Cal. 6th App. Dist. December 09, 2005)
Order revoking petitioner's realtor license is reversed since agency defendant lacked the authority to revoke a
real estate license based on the licensee’s conviction of unlawful intercourse with a minor, where evidence
failed to establish that the minor participated unwillingly in the conduct underlying the conviction.

Slocum v. State Bd. of Equalization, No A107905 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. December 09, 2005)
The California State Board of Equalization's Rule 139, permitting midyear reassessment of property suffering
loss in value because of diminished access in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, is invalid because it is
inconsistent with Tax Code section 170 and the constitution.

Southern California Office Rents to Rise
Southern California office rents will continue to rise next year as steady gains in the economy will cause
employers to expand, further pushing down vacancy rates, according to the Casden Real Estate Economics
Forecast released by the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. Rents are rising in all parts of Southern California
with the San Fernando Valley rates growing at the fastest rate with a 20 percent increase from last year. West
Los Angeles experienced the greatest absorption of space this year and commands the region's highest
monthly rents at $2.79/sf.

Sacramento Can’t Meet Demand for Industrial Land
The demand for warehouses and plants in the Sacramento, CA area has more than tripled since the start of
the year. This speaks well for Sacramento's economy, but without any available industrial land several
companies, including Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Lowe's, have already gone elsewhere to build. The supply of land
will improve when the 1,800-acre Metro Air Park hits the market next year, but there won't be much else
available for quite a while.

Visit Commercial Real Estate Direct at for up-to-the-minute commercial real estate news.

In re: Cooper Commons, No. 03-56818 (9th Cir. December 07, 2005)
A lender to a bankrupt condominium development may specify that post-petition loans it makes are to be
used only for certain purposes. (Amended opinion)

Navarro v. IHOP Props., Inc., No. G034987 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. December 07, 2005)
Order denying defendant's special motion to strike Flora Navarro's complaint for fraud and contract causes of
action pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute is reversed where plaintiff’s claim arose from litigation activity and
she was barred from prevailing on the merits.

It's one of American real estate's seamier practices, and it's almost impossible for consumers to detect -
kickbacks and sweetheart payoffs among realty agents, title and escrow companies, lawyers and lenders for
referrals of home-buyers' mortgage or closing services.

California Appellate Districts
Citizens for Responsible Equitable Envtl. Dev. v. City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency (11/30/05 - No.
D045274) Judgment denying plaintiff's petition for a writ of mandate and dismissing its complaint is affirmed
in an action under the California Environmental Quality Act seeking to require defendants to prepare a specific
environmental impact report (EIR) analyzing a hotel project.

Title Company's Motion to Dismiss Denied In Closing Protection Letter Lawsuit
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., filed a civil lawsuit against Guarantee Title Insurance Co., dba Bar Plan
Title Insurance Company brings seeking to recover amounts it lost as a result of a real estate fraud.

Casa Eva I Homeowners Ass'n v. Ani Constr. & Tile, Inc. , No B176985 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. December 05, 2005)
Denial of a judgment-creditor's motion for an order for satisfaction of its judgment lien is affirmed where there
was no error in finding that judgment-creditor was not entitled to insurance or assignment proceeds relating
to its debtor but from an unrelated construction action.

Recent AG Opinion Makes Clear that an Assessor’s Office Must Provide Public Records at a Reasonable Cost
and in a Timely Manner
On October 3, 2005, the State Attorney General’s Office released a legal opinion concluding that a parcel
boundary map is required to be released to the public for copying and inspection and the assessor must
provide this information as promptly as possible in an electronic format (if the data is held in that matter) and
can charge only a fee that covers the direct cost of producing that copy or a fee set by statute.

Black Historical Soc'y v. City of San Diego, No D045481 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. December 01, 2005)
Dismissal of plaintiff's petition challenging defendant's approval of a low income housing development on a
site with historical significance is affirmed where plaintiff failed to obtain the record, file an opening brief, or
pursue the litigation, and there were time constraints for financing of the housing project.

Advanced Residential Roof Systems (September 2005, 34p)
This Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) report outlines a research agenda for
developing residential roof systems that serve multiple functions and improve performance over current
systems. The scope of this agenda covers residential single-family type buildings, roofs of all ranges of pitch,
and roof systems encompassing all components and subsystems from the top of the wall at the ceiling to the
roof covering. In particular, five sets of strategies are detailed to achieve gains in (1) hazard mitigation, (2)
energy performance of roofs, (3) safety and efficiency in roof system construction, (4) roof functionality, and (5)
improving the environmental impact of roofs.

Northrop Grumman v. County of Los Angeles, No. B172863 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. November 28, 2005)
Overhead property allocated to government contracts as an indirect cost becomes the property of the federal
government and is therefore not taxable.

Frame v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. A106383 (Cal. 1st App. Dist. November 28, 2005)
Summary judgment for defendant, auditor, on a class action claim of aiding and abetting fraud is reversed
where a triable issue of material fact as to appellants’ aiding and abetting claim precludes summary
judgment on that issue.

McElroy v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., No. G034588 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. November 28, 2005)
Judgment of dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint in an action for quiet title, declaratory relief, and fraudulent
foreclosure against their lender and a third party purchaser is affirmed where plaintiffs failed to cure their
default and subsequently had no adverse claim to the property.

Arocho v. California Fair Plan Ins. Co., No. B177188 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. November 28, 2005)
Summary judgment for defendant in an insurance dispute case brought under the Northridge earthquake
revival statute is reversed where the superior court erred in concluding plaintiffs' broker was not a
representative of defendant for purposes of notice under the revival statute.

Funding now available!
California’s Petroleum Brownfield Grant Program: Orphan Site Cleanup Account (OSCA)

The Problem with Conventional Heat-Blocking Window Film
NOVEMBER 28, 2005 -- By Marty Watts, president and CEO, V-Kool Inc.

Shapiro v. Bd. of Dirs., No. D045506 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. November 22, 2005)
Trial court's judgment denying plaintiff injunctive relief is reversed where defendant's practice of meeting in
closed session with legal counsel for the the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego regarding the
Agency's eminent domain litigation is not permitted by the Brown Act since defendant is not a party to that

Davis v. Farmers Ins. Group, No. D044724 (Cal. 4th App. Dist. November 18, 2005) Judgment in favor of
defendant-insurer is affirmed where it had no duty to defend or indemnify plaintiffs in an underlying lawsuit
since a policy exclusion precluded coverage for claims brought against plaintiffs, sellers of certain real
property, by the purchasers of the property.

Santa Anita Cos. v. Westfield, No. B175820 (Cal. 2d App. Dist. November 17, 2005) Judgment reforming grant
deeds and quieting title to a parcel of real property mistakenly conveyed to defendant is affirmed where the
statute of limitations did not begin to run until plaintiff discovered the mistaken conveyance and plaintiff did not
fail to exercise reasonable diligence prior to that discovery.

An Assessment Tool for Residential Construction Planning
The calculator provides a means of calculating a "whole house score." Each characteristic of a
house and each
design and construction process receives a performance score. These scores are then modified by values of
the prospective homebuyer or builder and further modified by the way in which construction materials and
processes interact with one another to produce the "whole house score." Two sample applications of the
calculator are included with this report as Microsoft Excel files.

HR 3405

Neilson v. City of California City, No F046860 (Cal. 5th App. Dist. November 03, 2005) The California
Constitution does not prohibit a tax on the mere ownership of real property if the tax is a special tax and not an
ad valorem tax.

CONTRACTS, LANDLORD TENANT , & REAL ESTATE ASP Properties Group v. Fard, Inc., No D044896 (Cal.
4th App. Dist. November 03, 2005) In a landlord-tenant unlawful detainer action, judgment against plaintiff is
affirmed where the maintenance language in the parties'  lease agreement and amendment thereto did not
require the defendant to replace the roofs of the premises
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PMI Removal
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Commercial Appraiser and Real Estate Consultant, Los Angeles, CA

Commercial Appraiser and Real Estate Consultant, Los Angeles, California

Commercial Appraiser and Residential Appraiser, Los Angeles, California

Commercial Appraiser, Los Angeles, California

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We Make a Simple Pledge to

Communicate, in a timely Fashion, each appraisal, analysis, and opinion without bias or

Abstain from behavior that is deleterious to our clients, the appraisal profession, and the

Hold paramount the confidential nature of the appraiser/consultant - client relationship


Comply with the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
and the
Code of Professional Ethics of the National Society of Real Estate Appraisers
The Harris Company,
Real Estate Appraiser / Consultant
5780 West Centinela Avenue, Building 1, Suite 408
Los Angeles, California 90045