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Neighbor Disputes: Law and Litigation

Handle whatever dispute comes your way. This book lays out issues and provides guidance for resolving common disputes. Includes checklists, tips, and forms to aid in preparing a complaint or response, conducting client interviews, and dealing with emotional clients. Addresses causes of action, remedies, recouping fees, and available defenses.

Handle whatever dispute comes your way. This book lays out issues and provides guidance for resolving common disputes. Includes checklists, tips, and forms to aid in preparing a complaint or response, conducting client interviews, and dealing with emotional clients. Addresses causes of action, remedies, recouping fees, and available defenses.

  • Easements and equitable servitudes
  • Encroachments and boundaries
  • Earth movement: landslide, subsidence, and drainage
  • Tree-related disputes
  • Non-boundary fences
  • Domestic animals
  • Noise, odor, and light
  • Solar and wind energy development and use
  • Vacancy, dangerous conditions, and blight
  • Criminal activities
  • Toxic torts
  • Neighborhood and home businesses
  • Light, air, views, and open space
  • Water rights disputes
  • Adult Use of Marijuana Act—NEW
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Handle whatever dispute comes your way. This book lays out issues and provides guidance for resolving common disputes. Includes checklists, tips, and forms to aid in preparing a complaint or response, conducting client interviews, and dealing with emotional clients. Addresses causes of action, remedies, recouping fees, and available defenses.

  • Easements and equitable servitudes
  • Encroachments and boundaries
  • Earth movement: landslide, subsidence, and drainage
  • Tree-related disputes
  • Non-boundary fences
  • Domestic animals
  • Noise, odor, and light
  • Solar and wind energy development and use
  • Vacancy, dangerous conditions, and blight
  • Criminal activities
  • Toxic torts
  • Neighborhood and home businesses
  • Light, air, views, and open space
  • Water rights disputes
  • Adult Use of Marijuana Act—NEW

1

Easements

David L. Roth

  • I.  INTRODUCTION TO EASEMENTS  1.1
    • A.  Easement Defined  1.2
      • 1.  Interest in Land  1.3
      • 2.  Appurtenant or in Gross
        • a.  Appurtenant Easements  1.4
        • b.  Easements in Gross  1.5
      • 3.  Exclusive or Nonexclusive  1.6
    • B.  Creation of Easements  1.7
    • C.  Governing Law  1.8
  • II.  RELATED OR ALTERNATIVE DOCTRINES  1.9
    • A.  Servitudes  1.10
      • 1.  Equitable Servitudes  1.11
      • 2.  Profits à Prendre  1.12
      • 3.  Licenses  1.13
      • 4.  Leases and Deeds of Trust  1.14
    • B.  Zoning and Land Use Regulations  1.15
  • III.  CREATION OF EASEMENTS AND TYPES OF EASEMENTS
    • A.  Express Easements  1.16
    • B.  Prescriptive Easements  1.17
      • 1.  Necessary Elements  1.18
      • 2.  Scope and Term of Prescriptive Easements  1.19
      • 3.  Preventing Prescriptive Use  1.20
      • 4.  Difficulty of Obtaining Prescriptive Easement  1.21
    • C.  Easements by Estoppel  1.22
    • D.  Implied Easements  1.23
      • 1.  Easements Implied by Prior Use  1.24
      • 2.  Easements Implied by Necessity  1.25
    • E.  Private Eminent Domain  1.26
    • F.  Equitable Easements and the Doctrine of Relative Hardship; Judicially Created Easements  1.27
    • G.  Easements Created by Statute  1.28
    • H.  Additional Types of Easements  1.29
  • IV.  Scope of Easements  1.30
    • A.  Written Easements  1.30A
    • B.  Implied Easements  1.30B
    • C.  Prescriptive Easements  1.30C
  • V.  TERMINATION OF EASEMENTS  1.31
    • A.  Voluntary Termination  1.32
    • B.  Involuntary Termination  1.33
    • C.  Abandonment  1.34
    • D.  Abandonment and Termination by Statutory Provision  1.35
  • VI.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Consider Demand Letter to Motivate Settlement  1.36
        • a.  Obtain a Retainer  1.37
        • b.  Prepare Demand Letter  1.38
        • c.  Include Photos, Maps, and Surveys  1.39
      • 2.  Negotiate With Neighbor or Neighbor’s Attorney  1.40
      • 3.  Make Complaint to Governmental Agency  1.41
      • 4.  Explore Settlement Techniques
        • a.  Express Easement, Covenant, or License  1.42
          • (1)  Prepare the Legal Description  1.43
          • (2)  Contact Senior Lienholders  1.44
          • (3)  Review Title Insurance  1.45
        • b.  Lot Line Adjustment  1.46
    • B.  Mediation  1.47
    • C.  Arbitration  1.48
    • D.  Litigation
      • 1.  Small Claims Court  1.49
      • 2.  Superior Court  1.50
  • VII.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION  1.51
    • A.  Quiet Title  1.52
    • B.  Trespass  1.53
      • 1.  Permanent Trespass  1.54
      • 2.  Continuing Trespass  1.55
    • C.  Nuisance  1.56
    • D.  Breach of Contract  1.57
    • E.  Negligence  1.58
    • F.  Slander of Title  1.59
    • G.  Declaratory Relief  1.59A
  • VIII.  REMEDIES AND DAMAGES  1.60

2

Encroachments and Boundaries

David M. Marcus

  • I.  DEFINITIONS
    • A.  Property Boundaries  2.1
    • B.  Encroachments  2.2
      • 1.  Encroachment as Trespass  2.3
      • 2.  Encroachment as Nuisance  2.4
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  How Issues Arise  2.5
    • B.  Practical Issues  2.6
      • 1.  Before Purchase of Property  2.7
      • 2.  After Purchase of Property  2.8
        • a.  Site Visit  2.9
        • b.  Sharing of Information  2.10
      • 3.  After Encroachment Is Identified  2.11
    • C.  Client Checklist
      • 1.  Checklist: Ownership Documents  2.12
      • 2.  Checklist: Plans and Permits  2.13
      • 3.  Checklist: Other Records and Documents  2.14
    • D.  Experts and Consultants  2.15
    • E.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Encroachment on Public Property  2.16
      • 2.  Encroachment That Interferes With Existing Easement  2.17
      • 3.  Encroachment on Private Property  2.18
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation  2.19
      • 1.  Preexisting Encroachment Agreement  2.20
      • 2.  Implied Right to Continue and Maintain Encroachment  2.21
      • 3.  Settlement Agreement  2.22
      • 4.  Police Complaint  2.23
      • 5.  Complaint to Governmental Agency  2.24
      • 6.  Instruments and Agreements to Implement Encroachments
        • a.  Overview  2.25
        • b.  Negotiated Lot Line Adjustment
          • (1)  Coordination Between Property Owners  2.26
          • (2)  Coordination With Public Entities  2.27
          • (3)  Application of Subdivision Map Act  2.28
          • (4)  Survey; Certificate of Compliance  2.29
          • (5)  Delivery and Recordation of Documents  2.30
        • c.  Easement  2.31
        • d.  Covenant  2.32
        • e.  License  2.33
        • f.  Lease  2.34
    • B.  Mediation  2.35
    • C.  Litigation  2.36
      • 1.  Small Claims Court  2.37
      • 2.  Superior Court  2.38
      • 3.  Civil Harassment Restraining Order  2.39
      • 4.  Lis Pendens  2.40
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION
    • A.  Theories in Support of Encroachment  2.41
      • 1.  Agreed Boundary Doctrine
        • a.  Historical Use of Doctrine  2.42
        • b.  Doctrine May Be Obsolete  2.43
        • c.  Fence as Manifestation of Agreed Boundary  2.44
      • 2.  Adverse Possession  2.45
        • a.  Statute of Limitations on Reclaiming Property From Adverse Possession  2.46
        • b.  Payment of Taxes by Encroacher  2.47
      • 3.  Prescriptive Easement  2.48
        • a.  Similarities to Adverse Possession  2.49
        • b.  Differences From Adverse Possession  2.50
      • 4.  Implied Easement  2.51
      • 5.  Equitable Easements; Protection of Innocent Encroacher’s Interest
        • a.  Historical Context for Development of the Doctrine  2.52
        • b.  Three-Factor Test for Granting Equitable Easement  2.53
        • c.  Crafting Equitable Easement Instead of Injunction  2.54
        • d.  Equitable Easements Versus Prescriptive Easements  2.55
        • e.  Limitations on Court’s Equitable Powers  2.56
      • 6.  Cullen Earthquake Act: Court-Mandated Boundary Revisions  2.56A
      • 7.  Good Faith Improver Statutes  2.57
    • B.  Causes of Action for Encroacher or Encroachee
      • 1.  Action to Quiet Title  2.58
      • 2.  Reformation of Title Documents  2.59
      • 3.  Lot Line Adjustment  2.60
      • 4.  Good Faith Improver Statutes  2.61
      • 5.  Additional Causes of Action  2.62
      • 6.  Action Against Third Parties  2.63
  • V.  DAMAGES AND COSTS
    • A.  Encroachment Damages  2.64
    • B.  Attorney Fees  2.65
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT: STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
    • A.  Three-Year Statute of Limitations Under CCP §338  2.66
    • B.  Five-Year Limitation Under CCP §318  2.67

3

Earth Movement: Landslide, Subsidence, and Drainage

Gina D. Boer

  • I.  SELECTED DEFINITIONS  3.1
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Initial Steps  3.2
        • a.  Review Cost Estimates With Client  3.3
        • b.  Gather Evidence
          • (1)  Site Visit and Photographic Documentation  3.4
          • (2)  Client Notebook  3.5
          • (3)  Site Plans and Other Documentation  3.6
        • c.  Retain Experts  3.7
      • 2.  Checklist: Documents to Collect; Initial Steps  3.8
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Insurance  3.9
      • 2.  Potential Defendants  3.10
      • 3.  Lateral and Subjacent Support: Reasonableness Standard  3.11
        • a.  Common Law  3.12
        • b.  Statutory Law  3.13
          • (1)  Civil Code Section 832 Letter  3.13A
          • (2)  Damages Under CC §832  3.14
          • (3)  Who Can Bring Action Under CC §832  3.15
          • (4)  Natural Versus Artificial Conditions of Land  3.16
          • (5)  Successor in Interest Liability Under CC §832  3.17
        • c.  Upper and Lower Property Owners: Reasonableness Standard  3.18
      • 4.  Ultrahazardous Activities  3.19
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation  3.20
      • 1.  Communication With Neighboring Landowner  3.21
      • 2.  Construction Tieback Agreement  3.22
      • 3.  Settlement and Repair Agreement  3.23
    • B.  Mediation  3.24
    • C.  Mitigation Measures  3.25
    • D.  Civil Actions  3.26
      • 1.  Small Claims Court  3.27
      • 2.  Superior Court  3.28
      • 3.  Appointment of Special Master or Referee  3.29
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION
    • A.  Nuisance  3.30
      • 1.  Sample Cases  3.31
      • 2.  Failure to Remedy Earthquake Damage  3.32
      • 3.  Permanent Nuisance or Continuing Nuisance?  3.33
      • 4.  Public Nuisance  3.34
    • B.  Trespass  3.35
    • C.  Negligence  3.36
      • 1.  Landowner’s Liability for Independent Contractors and Employees  3.37
      • 2.  Negligence Versus Nuisance  3.38
    • D.  Waste  3.39
    • E.  Strict Liability  3.40
    • F.  Quiet Title
      • 1.  To Reestablish Boundaries  3.41
      • 2.  To Establish Easement for Encroachments  3.42
    • G.  Violation of CC&Rs  3.43
    • H.  Inverse Condemnation  3.44
    • I.  Injunctive Relief  3.45
    • J.  Temporary Eminent Domain Right  3.46
    • K.  Remedial Action by Public Entity  3.47
  • V.  DAMAGES AND COSTS
    • A.  Compensatory Damages  3.48
    • B.  Lateral and Subjacent Support Damages  3.49
    • C.  Attorney Fees  3.50
    • D.  Punitive Damages  3.51
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT
    • A.  Available Choices  3.52
    • B.  Possible Defenses
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations
        • a.  Three-Year Statute of Limitations  3.53
        • b.  Two-Year Limitations on Personal Injury Actions  3.54
        • c.  When Cause of Action Accrues  3.55
      • 2.  Prescriptive Rights  3.56
      • 3.  Other Affirmative Defenses  3.57
  • VII.  CROSS-COMPLAINT: CAUSES OF ACTION  3.58
  • VIII.  DISCOVERY  3.59
    • A.  Joint Experts Meeting  3.60
    • B.  Informal Discovery  3.61
    • C.  Formal Discovery  3.62
      • 1.  Subpoenas  3.63
      • 2.  Expanding Discovery to Additional Neighboring Properties or Sources  3.64

4

Tree-Related Disputes

Dennis A. Yniguez

  • I.  BENEFITS AND BURDENS OF TREES  4.1
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Emotional Component  4.2
      • 2.  Legal Component  4.3
      • 3.  Neighborhood Component  4.4
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Ownership  4.5
      • 2.  Branches and Debris  4.6
      • 3.  Roots
        • a.  Encroaching on Neighbor’s Property  4.7
        • b.  Damaging Public Sidewalks  4.8
      • 4.  View Obstruction
        • a.  No Right to View, Light, or Air  4.9
        • b.  Local View Ordinances  4.10
        • c.  Views Versus Trees  4.11
        • d.  Allocating Costs  4.12
      • 5.  Interference With Crops  4.13
      • 6.  Spite Fences  4.14
        • a.  Malicious Intent  4.15
        • b.  Injury to Comfort and Enjoyment of Property  4.16
        • c.  Constructive Fence  4.17
      • 7.  Interference With Solar Access  4.18
        • a.  Tree Exemption  4.19
        • b.  What Is a “Solar Collector”?  4.20
      • 8.  Heritage Trees and Protected Trees
        • a.  Heritage Trees  4.21
        • b.  Protected Trees  4.22
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Early Retention of Experts  4.23
      • 2.  Early Investigation  4.24
    • B.  Insurance Coverage Issues  4.24A
    • C.  Alternative Dispute Resolution  4.25
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION
    • A.  Nuisance or Abatement Action Against Neighboring Tree Owner
      • 1.  Duty of Reasonable Care Owed by Every Landowner  4.26
      • 2.  Nuisance Generally  4.27
      • 3.  Remedies for Private Tree Nuisance  4.28
        • a.  Injunctive Relief  4.29
        • b.  Separate Actions for Each Instance of Nuisance  4.30
      • 4.  Limits on Self-Help  4.31
    • B.  Action Against Neighbor for Damage to Tree  4.32
      • 1.  Restoration Costs  4.33
        • a.  Reasonability of Restoration  4.34
        • b.  Personal Reason for Restoration  4.35
      • 2.  Professional Guidance  4.36
      • 3.  Appraisal of Damage to Trees  4.37
        • a.  Market Approach  4.38
        • b.  Income Approach  4.39
        • c.  Cost Approach  4.40
      • 4.  Criminal Violations  4.41
  • V.  ATTORNEY FEES, DAMAGES, AND COSTS
    • A.  Attorney Fees  4.42
    • B.  Doubling or Trebling of Damages  4.43
      • 1.  Double Damages Are Mandatory  4.44
      • 2.  Treble Damages Are Discretionary  4.45
        • a.  Treble Damages Require Willful and Malicious Action by Defendant  4.46
        • b.  Necessity May Trump Damages  4.47
    • C.  Punitive Damages  4.48

5

Non-Boundary Fences

Lewis J. Soffer

  • I.  BEYOND EASEMENTS AND BOUNDARIES  5.1
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Checklist: Client Documentation  5.2
      • 2.  Checklist: Client Information  5.3
      • 3.  Expert Witnesses  5.4
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Regulations and Oversight of Fences
        • a.  Governmental Regulations  5.5
        • b.  CC&Rs  5.6
          • (1)  Protection of Views in CC&Rs  5.7
          • (2)  Enforcement of CC&Rs  5.8
      • 2.  Easements and Fences
        • a.  Fence Versus Easement for Air, Light, or View  5.9
        • b.  Easement for Construction of Fence
          • (1)  How Easement Dispute May Arise  5.10
          • (2)  Equitable Resolution of Easement Dispute  5.11
      • 3.  Spite Fence  5.12
        • a.  Statutory Definition and Remedies  5.13
        • b.  Malicious Intent  5.14
      • 4.  Fence Versus Easement for Access  5.15
        • a.  Self-Help  5.16
        • b.  Extinguishment of Easement by Adverse Possession  5.17
          • (1)  Partial Extinguishment  5.18
          • (2)  Scruby v Vintage Grapevine, Inc.  5.19
            • (a)  Attempt to Construe Scope and Intent of Easement  5.20
            • (b)  Balancing of Harms  5.21
      • 5.  Grazing Fences
        • a.  Damages Caused by Livestock
          • (1)  Open-Range and Closed-Range Systems  5.22
          • (2)  History of Livestock Fencing Law in California  5.23
          • (3)  Shift Away From Open-Range System in Most California Counties  5.24
          • (4)  Estray Act  5.25
          • (5)  Effect of Estray Act on Trespass Actions  5.26
          • (6)  Herding Onto Another’s Property; Duty of Ordinary Care  5.27
          • (7)  Damages in Trespass Action  5.28
        • b.  Other Issues Related to Fencing for Animal Husbandry  5.29
          • (1)  Adverse Possession  5.30
          • (2)  Prescriptive Easement  5.31
          • (3)  Actions Incurring Criminal Liability  5.32
          • (4)  Electric Fences  5.33
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Provide Self-Help Advice  5.34
      • 2.  Make Complaint to Governmental Agency or HOA  5.35
      • 3.  Seek Civil Harassment Restraining Order  5.36
      • 4.  Visit Site; Take Photos and Video  5.37
    • B.  Mediation  5.38
    • C.  Civil Actions  5.39
      • 1.  Small Claims Court  5.40
      • 2.  Superior Court  5.41
      • 3.  Lis Pendens  5.42
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION  5.43
  • V.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT  5.44

6

Domestic Animals

Mary Catherine Wiederhold

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  6.1
    • A.  Animal Ownership and Injury  6.2
    • B.  Animal Cruelty Laws  6.3
    • C.  Service Animals  6.4
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Injured Client  6.5
      • 2.  Checklist: Gathering Information From Client  6.6
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Duty of Care to Prevent Harm
        • a.  Homeowners  6.7
        • b.  Landlords and HOAs  6.8
        • c.  When Landlord May Be Exculpated  6.9
      • 2.  Dangerous Animals  6.10
      • 3.  Horses  6.11
      • 4.  Dogs
        • a.  Dog Bite Statute: Strict Liability  6.12
          • (1)  Exceptions to Strict Liability Under Dog Bite Statute
            • (a)  Keepers  6.13
            • (b)  Veterinarian’s Rule  6.14
            • (c)  Trespassers  6.15
            • (d)  Police Dogs  6.16
            • (e)  Public Dog Parks  6.16A
          • (2)  Limited Civil Suit Available Under Dog Bite Statute  6.17
        • b.  Vicious and Potentially Dangerous Dogs  6.18
          • (1)  Vicious Dog Defined  6.19
          • (2)  Potentially Dangerous Dog Defined  6.20
          • (3)  Hearing Process  6.21
            • (a)  Administrative Hearing  6.22
            • (b)  Judicial Hearing  6.23
          • (4)  Removal From List of Potentially Dangerous Dogs  6.24
      • 5.  Service Animals and Landlords  6.25
      • 6.  Criminal Liability  6.26
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation  6.27
      • 1.  Site Visit  6.28
      • 2.  Experts  6.29
    • B.  Mediation  6.30
    • C.  Civil Actions
      • 1.  Small Claims Court  6.31
      • 2.  Superior Court  6.32
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION
    • A.  Strict Liability for Dog Bite  6.33
    • B.  Common Law Strict Liability  6.34
    • C.  Negligence  6.35
    • D.  Negligence Per Se  6.36
    • E.  Conversion  6.37
    • F.  Nuisance  6.38
    • G.  Intentional Misrepresentation  6.39
  • V.  DAMAGES AND COSTS  6.40
    • A.  Special Damages
      • 1.  Animal Harms Plaintiff  6.41
      • 2.  Defendant Harms Animal  6.42
    • B.  Bystander’s Emotional Distress Damages  6.43
    • C.  Unusual Damages in Conversion Cases  6.44
    • D.  Punitive Damages  6.45
    • E.  Attorney Fees  6.46
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT  6.47
    • A.  Defenses to Strict Liability Under Dog Bite Statute
      • 1.  Affirmative Defenses  6.48
      • 2.  Denial of Ownership  6.49
    • B.  Comparative Negligence  6.50
    • C.  Reasonable Behavior as Rebuttal to Negligence Per Se  6.51
    • D.  Statutes of Limitation  6.52

7

Noise, Odor, and Light

Carey L. Cooper

Catherine A. Richardson

  • I.  DEFINITIONS UNDERLYING CASES INVOLVING NOISE, ODOR, AND LIGHT  7.1
    • A.  Nuisance  7.2
      • 1.  Public Nuisance  7.3
      • 2.  Private Nuisance  7.4
    • B.  Trespass  7.5
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Initial Steps  7.6
      • 2.  Checklist: Client Information  7.7
      • 3.  Preliminary Investigation  7.8
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Common Law
        • a.  Common Law Nuisance  7.9
        • b.  Common Law Trespass  7.10
        • c.  Nuisance and Trespass Compared  7.11
        • d.  Disclosure to Potential Purchaser  7.12
      • 2.  Statutory Law  7.13
        • a.  Nuisance Statute  7.14
        • b.  Trespass Statutes  7.15
        • c.  Seller’s Transfer Disclosure Obligations  7.16
        • d.  Local Ordinances, Land Use, and Zoning  7.17
        • e.  Public Agency as Defendant—Inverse Condemnation  7.18
          • (1)  Is Damage Compensable?  7.19
          • (2)  Damage to Property Versus Damage to Property Owner  7.20
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Seek State or Local Agency Enforcement  7.21
      • 2.  Offer Prelitigation Letters and Negotiations  7.22
      • 3.  Form: Demand Letter Requesting Abatement of Nuisance  7.22A
      • 4.  Consider Offering Tolling Agreement  7.23
    • B.  Mediation  7.24
    • C.  Civil Actions  7.25
      • 1.  Discovery  7.26
      • 2.  Public Records  7.27
        • a.  Informal Public Record Request  7.28
        • b.  Formal Public Record Request  7.29
      • 3.  Title Searches  7.30
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION  7.31
    • A.  Public Nuisance  7.32
    • B.  Private Nuisance  7.33
    • C.  Negligence Per Se and Nuisance Per Se  7.34
  • V.  REMEDIES, DAMAGES, AND COSTS  7.35
    • A.  Injunctive Relief to Abate Nuisance or Trespass  7.36
    • B.  Monetary Damages  7.37
    • C.  Personal Injury, Emotional Distress, and Exemplary Damages  7.38
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT
    • A.  Available Choices  7.39
    • B.  Affirmative Defenses  7.40
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations  7.41
      • 2.  Balancing Equities  7.42
      • 3.  Lack of Notice or Opportunity to Cure  7.43
      • 4.  Plaintiff’s Failure to Mitigate  7.44
      • 5.  Activity Is Compliant With Zoning Regulations  7.45
      • 6.  Activity Is Expressly Authorized by Law  7.46
      • 7.  Consent  7.47
      • 8.  Activity Is Regulated by Public Utilities Commission  7.48
      • 9.  Free Speech  7.49
    • C.  Due Care Is Not a Defense to Nuisance  7.50
    • D.  “Coming to the Nuisance” Is Typically Not a Defense to Nuisance  7.51
  • VII.  CROSS-COMPLAINTS  7.52
  • VIII.  ISSUES UNIQUE TO RURAL PROPERTIES: RIGHT TO FARM LAWS
    • A.  Civil Code §3482.5  7.53
    • B.  Local Ordinances  7.54
  • IX.  ISSUES UNIQUE TO COMMON AREAS  7.55
  • X.  FORMS
    • A.  Form: Public Records Request  7.56
    • B.  Form: Tolling Agreement  7.57

8

Solar and Wind Energy Development and Use

Jay A. Christofferson

Daniel E. Witte

  • I.  DEFINITIONS
    • A.  Solar Power  8.1
    • B.  Wind Power  8.2
  • II.  POTENTIAL LEGAL ISSUES IN HANDLING DISPUTES CONCERNING SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS  8.3
  • III.  LAWS RELATING TO INSTALLATION OF WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY COLLECTION SYSTEMS
    • A.  Legal Protection for Renewable Energy Systems  8.4
    • B.  Net Metering for Generation of Power  8.5
    • C.  Interference With Solar or Wind Access as Nuisance
      • 1.  Common Law Nuisance Claims  8.6
      • 2.  Elements of Private Nuisance Claim  8.7
    • D.  Solar Power Systems
      • 1.  Solar Shade Control Act (SSCA)  8.8
        • a.  What Constitutes a Protected Solar Energy System?  8.9
        • b.  Notice to Affected Properties  8.10
        • c.  Form: Solar Shade Control Notice  8.10A
        • d.  Who Is Liable Under SSCA?  8.11
      • 2.  Anti-Solar CC&Rs Generally Prohibited  8.12
        • a.  Appropriate CC&Rs  8.13
        • b.  Height and View Restrictions  8.14
      • 3.  Solar Easements  8.15
      • 4.  Use Permits  8.16
      • 5.  Required Disclosures  8.17
    • E.  Wind Energy Systems
      • 1.  Former Regulations  8.18
      • 2.  Small Wind Energy Systems  8.19
  • IV.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Legal Challenges to Maintaining Solar and Wind Collectors
      • 1.  CC&Rs Prohibitions  8.20
      • 2.  Zoning Limitations; Writ of Mandate  8.21
      • 3.  Tenant’s Claim for Failure of Wind or Solar Energy System  8.22
      • 4.  When County Opts Out of Solar Shade Control Act  8.23
      • 5.  Excessive Noise  8.24
      • 6.  Inverse Condemnation  8.25
      • 7.  Constitutionality of Alternative Energy Laws  8.26
      • 8.  Government Delay in Approving Alternative Energy Projects  8.27
      • 9.  Delay in Enforcing Rights as Defense  8.28
    • B.  Civil Actions
      • 1.  Causes of Action and Remedies
        • a.  Enforcement of Alternative Energy Rights  8.29
        • b.  Equitable Actions to Remove or Prevent Installation of Alternative Energy System  8.30
      • 2.  Actions by Common Interest Developments  8.31
      • 3.  Litigation Consideration
        • a.  Answering Complaint  8.32
        • b.  Cross-Complaint  8.33
        • c.  Discovery Strategies  8.34
        • d.  Experts  8.35

9

Vacancy, Dangerous Conditions, and Blight

Teresa Buchheit Klinkner

  • I.  ADDRESSING THE ISSUES
    • A.  Public Concern  9.1
    • B.  Definitions and Concepts
      • 1.  Vacant or Abandoned Property  9.2
      • 2.  Squatters  9.3
      • 3.  Blight
        • a.  Under Local Ordinances  9.4
        • b.  Under State Law  9.5
    • C.  Dangerous Conditions  9.5A
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Identify Potential Conflicts  9.6
      • 2.  Client Guidance  9.7
      • 3.  Defending Against Government Action  9.8
      • 4.  Checklist: Client Information  9.9
    • B.  Legal Issues  9.10
      • 1.  Nuisance Law  9.11
        • a.  Nuisance Under CC §3479  9.12
        • b.  Public Nuisance Under CC §3480  9.13
        • c.  Private Nuisance Under CC §3481  9.14
        • d.  Nuisance Per Se  9.15
        • e.  Attractive Nuisance  9.16
        • f.  Nuisance Abatement  9.17
          • (1)  Administrative Action  9.18
          • (2)  Self-Help  9.19
      • 2.  Vacant Foreclosed Property  9.20
      • 3.  Squatters
        • a.  Trespass  9.21
        • b.  Adverse Possession  9.22
      • 4.  Blight
        • a.  Local Zoning Ordinances  9.23
        • b.  Redevelopment Agencies  9.24
        • c.  Eminent Domain Post-Kelo  9.25
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Evaluate Personal Injury to Client  9.26
      • 2.  Visit Site  9.27
      • 3.  Organize Neighbors  9.28
      • 4.  Make Complaint to Local Authority  9.29
      • 5.  Representing the Property Owner  9.30
    • B.  Mediation  9.31
    • C.  Civil Actions
      • 1.  Administrative Hearing  9.32
        • a.  Communicating With Enforcement Agency  9.33
        • b.  Complying With Abatement Order  9.34
        • c.  Opposing the Abatement Action  9.35
      • 2.  Receivership  9.36
      • 3.  Private Nuisance Action  9.37
      • 4.  Government Code §36900  9.37A
      • 5.  Harassment Action Against Neighborhood Activists  9.38
      • 6.  Injunctive Relief  9.38A
    • D.  Criminal Action  9.38B
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION
    • A.  Trespass and Unlawful Detainer  9.39
    • B.  Quiet Title  9.40
    • C.  Nuisance  9.41
    • D.  Breach of Contract  9.42
    • E.  Writ of Mandamus  9.43
    • F.  Personal Injury
      • 1.  Public Property  9.44
      • 2.  Private Property  9.45
    • G.  Emotional Distress  9.46
    • H.  Receivership  9.47
  • V.  DAMAGES AND COSTS  9.48
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT
    • A.  Available Choices: Comply or Fight?  9.49
    • B.  Possible Defenses to Abatement Order
      • 1.  No Nuisance Per Se  9.50
      • 2.  Denial of Due Process  9.51
      • 3.  Statute of Limitations  9.52
      • 4.  Takings  9.53
      • 5.  Consent  9.54
      • 6.  Recreational Use  9.55
      • 7.  Code Authority  9.56

10

Criminal Activities

Kristine M. Burk

Michael S. Chernis

  • I.  TYPICAL NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVITIES THAT MAY BE CRIMINAL  10.1
    • A.  Criminal Activity
      • 1.  California Penal Code  10.2
      • 2.  Other California Codes With Criminal Penalties  10.3
      • 3.  Jurisdiction  10.4
    • B.  Nuisance Activity  10.5
      • 1.  Civil or Criminal Nuisance  10.6
      • 2.  Unlawful Detainer Action by Prosecuting Attorney  10.7
      • 3.  Nuisance Action by Prosecuting Attorney  10.8
      • 4.  Municipal Nuisance Ordinances  10.9
  • II.  DRUGS
    • A.  Use, Possession, and Sale
      • 1.  Use  10.10
      • 2.  Possession  10.11
      • 3.  Sale  10.12
    • B.  Cannabis  10.13
    • C.  Methamphetamine  10.14
    • D.  Crack Houses  10.15
    • E.  Methamphetamine Labs  10.16
    • F.  Medical Cannabis  10.17
  • III.  VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION
    • A.  Street Gangs  10.18
      • 1.  Who Qualifies?  10.19
      • 2.  Gang-Related Vandalism and Graffiti  10.20
    • B.  Family Violence  10.21
      • 1.  Checklist: Client-Witness Considerations  10.22
      • 2.  Domestic Violence  10.23
      • 3.  Resources  10.24
      • 4.  Child Abuse and Neglect  10.25
        • a.  Criminal Child Abuse and Endangerment  10.26
        • b.  Mental Abuse  10.27
      • 5.  Elder Abuse  10.28
      • 6.  Gun Violence Restraining Orders  10.28A
    • C.  Sex Offenders  10.29
    • D.  Harassment and Threats  10.30
  • IV.  QUALITY OF LIFE
    • A.  Vandalism  10.31
    • B.  Disturbance of the Peace  10.32
    • C.  Traffic and Speeding  10.33
  • V.  PREVENTION AND COMPLAINTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
    • A.  Neighborhood Watch  10.34
    • B.  Citizen’s Arrest  10.35
    • C.  Civil Restraining Orders  10.36
    • D.  Contacting Police  10.37
      • 1.  Whom to Contact
        • a.  City Police Authorities  10.38
        • b.  County Police Authorities  10.39
        • c.  State Police Authorities  10.40
        • d.  Federal Police Authorities  10.41
      • 2.  Checklist: Crime Reporting and Investigation  10.42
      • 3.  Privacy Rights  10.43
      • 4.  Protecting Client’s Identity  10.44
  • VI.  CRIMINAL CASE PROCESS
    • A.  Defendant’s Custodial Status  10.45
    • B.  Criminal Protective Order  10.46
    • C.  Prosecution  10.47
    • D.  Hearings and Trial  10.48
    • E.  Plea Bargaining and Sentencing  10.49
    • F.  Probation and Jail  10.50
    • G.  Prison and Parole  10.51
    • H.  Restitution  10.52
    • I.  Collateral Consequences  10.53
    • J.  Victim’s Rights (Marsy’s Law)
      • 1.  Who Is a “Victim” Under Marsy’s Law  10.54
      • 2.  Rights to Notice and to Be Heard  10.55
      • 3.  Postconviction Notifications  10.56
    • K.  Client’s Self-Help Options
      • 1.  Threats of Civil or Criminal Suit  10.57
      • 2.  Tenants and Crime
        • a.  Evicting Tenant Involved in Criminal Activity  10.58
        • b.  Tenant Versus Tenant  10.59
      • 3.  Vigilantism  10.60
  • VII.  SPECIAL SITUATIONS
    • A.  Regulation of the Use of Cannabis  10.61
      • 1.  Medical Cannabis
        • a.  Compassionate Use Act  10.62
        • b.  Medical Marijuana Program Act  10.63
        • c.  Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act  10.63A
        • d.  Recreational Cannabis  10.63B
        • e.  Merging the MCRSA and the AUMA  10.63C
      • 2.  Cultivation
        • a.  Personal and Collective Gardens  10.64
        • b.  What’s a Neighbor to Do?  10.65
      • 3.  Use  10.66
      • 4.  Retailers, Distributors and Dispensaries  10.67
        • a.  Retailers, Distributors and Dispensaries in Residential Neighborhoods  10.68
        • b.  Dispensaries in Nonresidential Areas  10.69
      • 5.  Minors  10.70
    • B.  Registered Sex Offenders (Megan’s Law)  10.71
      • 1.  Neighbor as Registered Sex Offender: What Can Be Done?  10.72
      • 2.  Where Children Gather (Jessica’s Law)  10.73

11

Toxic Torts

Joseph W. Scalia

  • I.  HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD  11.1
    • A.  Definitions
      • 1.  Toxic Tort  11.2
      • 2.  Hazardous Substances  11.3
      • 3.  Pollution and Nuisance  11.4
    • B.  Sources of Hazardous Substances  11.5
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Checklist: Client Interview  11.6
      • 2.  Hiring Experts  11.7
      • 3.  Importance of Immediately Preserving Evidence  11.8
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Standing  11.9
        • a.  Coastal Act  11.10
        • b.  Safe Drinking Water Act  11.11
        • c.  Resource Conservation and Recovery Act  11.12
        • d.  Lead-Based Paint  11.13
        • e.  CERCLA  11.14
        • f.  Unfair Competition Law  11.15
        • g.  Other Potential Areas of Standing  11.16
      • 2.  Burden of Proof of Causation  11.17
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Claims for Future Physical Injury  11.18
    • B.  Exclusion of Defense Experts  11.19
    • C.  Identifying Potential Defendants  11.20
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION
    • A.  Relevant Statutes  11.21
    • B.  Negligence
      • 1.  Basic Elements  11.22
      • 2.  Negligence Per Se  11.23
      • 3.  Res Ipsa Loquitur  11.24
      • 4.  Conduct Giving Rise to Action for Negligence  11.25
    • C.  Strict Liability
      • 1.  Two Primary Areas  11.26
      • 2.  Ultrahazardous Activity  11.27
      • 3.  Product Liability  11.28
    • D.  Nuisance  11.29
      • 1.  Private Nuisance and Public Nuisance  11.30
      • 2.  Establishing Nuisance  11.31
    • E.  Trespass  11.32
  • V.  DAMAGES AND COSTS  11.33
    • A.  Environmental Cleanup Damages  11.34
    • B.  Medical Monitoring Expenses  11.35
    • C.  Emotional Distress Damages  11.36
    • D.  Economic Damages  11.37
    • E.  Loss of Value  11.38
    • F.  Punitive Damages  11.39
    • G.  Attorney Fees  11.40
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT
    • A.  Affirmative Defenses  11.41
    • B.  Statute of Limitations
      • 1.  Negligence Claims  11.42
      • 2.  CERCLA’s Preemption of State’s Statute of Limitations  11.43
      • 3.  Nuisance and Trespass Claims  11.44
    • C.  Contributory or Comparative Negligence  11.45
    • D.  Compliance With Applicable Law
      • 1.  Negligence and Strict Liability Claims  11.46
      • 2.  Nuisance Claims  11.47
    • E.  Assumption of the Risk  11.48
    • F.  Federal Preemption  11.49
    • G.  State Preemption  11.50
    • H.  State-of-the-Art Product  11.51
    • I.  Coming to the Nuisance  11.52
    • J.  Lack of Foreseeability  11.53
    • K.  Sovereign Immunity
      • 1.  State Immunity  11.54
      • 2.  Federal Immunity  11.55
  • VII.  CROSS-COMPLAINT FOR APPORTIONMENT OF LIABILITY CONTRIBUTION AND INDEMNITY  11.56

12

Neighborhood and Home Businesses

Peter A. Kleinbrodt

  • I.  What Is a Home Business?  12.1
    • A.  Continuity of Service  12.2
    • B.  More Than Incidental Use of Premises  12.3
    • C.  No Interference With Character of Neighborhood  12.4
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues
      • 1.  Checklist: Assessing Impact of Home Business  12.5
      • 2.  Assess Relative Hardships  12.6
      • 3.  Visit Site  12.7
      • 4.  Check for Licenses and Permits  12.8
      • 5.  Review Information From Public Records and Proceedings  12.9
      • 6.  Checklist: Client Information  12.10
    • B.  Legal Issues  12.11
      • 1.  Zoning Ordinances  12.12
        • a.  Zoning as Valid Use of Government Police Powers  12.13
        • b.  Constitutionality of Ordinance  12.14
      • 2.  CC&Rs  12.15
      • 3.  Nuisance  12.16
        • a.  Public Nuisance  12.17
        • b.  Private Nuisance  12.18
          • (1)  Damages and Injunction Available  12.19
          • (2)  Unreasonableness of Use or Activity  12.20
      • 4.  Trespass  12.21
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Consider Informal Resolution and Agreement  12.22
      • 2.  Notify Local Authorities  12.23
      • 3.  Seek Administrative Approval of Nonpermitted Use or Activity  12.24
        • a.  Obtain Variance  12.25
          • (1)  Procedures Required for Consideration of Variance  12.26
          • (2)  Advising the Client  12.27
        • b.  Obtain Conditional Use Permit (CUP)  12.28
          • (1)  Use Must Not Be Prohibited by Zoning Ordinance  12.29
          • (2)  Procedures for Obtaining CUP  12.30
          • (3)  Advising the Client  12.31
        • c.  Establish Legal Nonconforming Use  12.32
          • (1)  Procedures for Establishing Legal Nonconforming Use  12.33
          • (2)  Advising the Client  12.34
          • (3)  Is New Ordinance a Regulatory Taking?  12.35
    • B.  Mediation  12.36
    • C.  Litigation
      • 1.  Preemptive Actions  12.37
      • 2.  Difficulty of Success  12.38
      • 3.  SLAPPs  12.39
      • 4.  Anti-SLAPP Protection  12.40
  • IV.  ISSUES UNIQUE TO CERTAIN BUSINESSES
    • A.  Community Care Facilities  12.41
    • B.  Right-to-Farm Laws  12.42
    • C.  Homemade Food Act  12.43
    • D.  Short-Term Rentals  12.44

13

Light, Air, Views, and Open Space

Alice M. Graham

  • I.  RIGHTS TO LIGHT, AIR, VIEWS, AND OPEN SPACE
    • A.  Light, Air, and Views
      • 1.  Source and Value of View Rights  13.1
      • 2.  Specific Terminology  13.2
    • B.  Open Space  13.3
      • 1.  Conservation Easements  13.4
      • 2.  Open-Space Zoning  13.5
      • 3.  Government’s Right to Airspace  13.5A
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Practical Issues  13.6
      • 1.  Avoiding Litigation  13.7
      • 2.  Factors to Consider When Drafting Easement for Views or Open Space  13.8
      • 3.  Description of Easement for Views or Open Space  13.9
        • a.  Metes and Bounds Property Description  13.10
        • b.  Precision of Description  13.11
      • 4.  Recordation; Title Issues  13.12
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Creation of Easement for View, Light, and Air
        • a.  By Grant  13.13
        • b.  Specific Recitation of Right Not Necessarily Required  13.14
        • c.  By Deed Restriction  13.15
        • d.  By Declaration of CC&Rs  13.16
        • e.  By State and Local Law  13.17
        • f.  Easement in Equity  13.18
      • 2.  Drafting an Easement  13.19
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE
    • A.  Before Litigation
      • 1.  Review Documents  13.20
      • 2.  Review Title Insurance Policy; Tender Dispute to Insurer  13.21
      • 3.  Visit Site  13.22
      • 4.  Checklist: Client Information  13.23
      • 5.  Purchase Dominant Estate  13.24
    • B.  Mediation  13.25
    • C.  Arbitration  13.26
    • D.  Civil Actions
      • 1.  Preliminary Steps  13.27
      • 2.  Use of Lis Pendens  13.28
  • IV.  LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION  13.29
  • V.  REMEDIES, DAMAGES, AND ATTORNEY FEES
    • A.  Remedies  13.30
    • B.  Damages and Attorney Fees  13.31
  • VI.  ANSWERING THE COMPLAINT  13.32
  • VII.  CROSS-COMPLAINT  13.33
  • VIII.  UNIQUE ISSUES
    • A.  Residential Properties  13.34
    • B.  Commercial Properties  13.35
    • C.  Rural Properties  13.36
    • D.  Common Interest Developments  13.37

14

Water Rights Disputes

Andrea P. Clark

Maya Ferry Stafford

  • I.  GETTING STARTED
    • A.  Water Disputes Are Property Disputes  14.1
    • B.  Definitions and Terminology  14.2
      • 1.  Riparian Rights  14.3
      • 2.  Overlying Rights  14.4
      • 3.  Appropriative Rights  14.5
      • 4.  Prescriptive Rights  14.6
      • 5.  Percolating Groundwater  14.7
      • 6.  Adjudication  14.8
  • II.  PRACTICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
    • A.  Checklist: Client Information  14.9
    • B.  Legal Issues
      • 1.  Reasonable and Beneficial Use  14.10
      • 2.  Nature of Water Rights  14.11
      • 3.  Appropriative Rights  14.12
        • a.  Priority of Right  14.13
        • b.  State Oversight of Post-1914 Appropriative Rights  14.14
        • c.  Pre-1914 Appropriative Rights  14.15
      • 4.  Riparian Rights  14.16
        • a.  Riparian Rights Are Correlative Rights  14.17
        • b.  No Loss Through Disuse  14.18
      • 5.  Groundwater Rights  14.19
      • 6.  Contractual Rights to Water  14.20
      • 7.  Prescriptive Easements  14.21
        • a.  Fighting Prescriptive User: Self-Help Doctrine  14.22
        • b.  Legal Owner’s Burden  14.23
    • C.  Typical Water Issues
      • 1.  Flow Issues  14.24
        • a.  Point of Diversion  14.25
        • b.  Priority  14.26
        • c.  Difficulty of Expanding Senior Rights Against Junior Appropriator  14.27
        • d.  Rights to Artificial Flow of Water  14.28
      • 2.  Groundwater Use  14.29
        • a.  Overlying User Versus Overlying User  14.30
        • b.  Overlying User Versus Appropriative User  14.31
        • c.  Appropriative User Versus Appropriative User  14.32
        • d.  Groundwater User Versus Surface Water User  14.33
      • 3.  Well Sharing  14.34
      • 4.  Water Storage  14.35
      • 5.  Drainage and Flow Issues  14.36
        • a.  Seeking Recourse Against Private Entity or Individual
          • (1)  Surface Flows: Civil Law Rule  14.37
          • (2)  Floodwaters: “Common Enemy” Doctrine  14.38
        • b.  Seeking Recourse Against Public Agency  14.39
          • (1)  Inverse Condemnation  14.40
          • (2)  Tort Claims  14.41
            • (a)  Failure to Discharge Mandatory Duty  14.42
            • (b)  Dangerous Condition of Property  14.43
  • III.  HANDLING THE DISPUTE: LEGAL THEORIES AND CAUSES OF ACTION  14.44
    • A.  Interference With Water Rights  14.45
    • B.  Trespass  14.46
    • C.  Nuisance  14.47
    • D.  Negligence  14.48
    • E.  Adjudications
      • 1.  Surface Water Adjudications  14.49
      • 2.  Groundwater Adjudications  14.50
    • F.  Contract Causes of Action  14.51
    • G.  Administrative Actions
      • 1.  State Water Resources Control Board  14.52
      • 2.  Local Water Entities: Public Agencies and Private Companies  14.53
  • IV.  POTENTIAL FORMS OF RELIEF
    • A.  Injunctions and Declaratory Relief  14.54
    • B.  Damages  14.55
    • C.  Physical Solutions  14.56
      • 1.  Vested Water Rights  14.57
      • 2.  Common Physical Solutions  14.58
    • D.  Attorney Fees  14.59
  • V.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Timeliness  14.60
    • B.  Forfeiture and Abandonment  14.61
      • 1.  Forfeiture  14.62
      • 2.  Abandonment  14.63

15

Client Interview

Steven J. Mehlman

  • I.  FIRST CONTACT  15.1
    • A.  Checking for Conflicts  15.2
      • 1.  Conflict With Potential Witnesses and Related Third Parties  15.3
      • 2.  Written Disclosure of Past Relationships  15.4
    • B.  Checklist: Client Documents  15.5
    • C.  Review Prior Litigation  15.6
    • D.  Review CLETS Rulings  15.7
    • E.  Review Damage Repair Estimates  15.8
    • F.  Review Property Sales Disclosures  15.9
    • G.  Review Client’s and Prior Counsel’s Research  15.10
  • II.  INITIAL INTERVIEW  15.11
    • A.  Discuss Attorney Fees and Costs  15.12
      • 1.  Use Written Fee Agreement  15.13
      • 2.  Obtain Deposit for Fees (Retainer)  15.14
      • 3.  When Solely Drafting Client’s Letter to Opponent  15.15
      • 4.  When Representing Group of Neighbors  15.16
      • 5.  Limited Scope Representation  15.17
    • B.  Determine Client’s Motivation and Objectives  15.18
    • C.  Ascertain Relevant Facts and Parties  15.19
      • 1.  Neighbors  15.20
      • 2.  Children  15.21
      • 3.  Homeowners Association (HOA)  15.22
      • 4.  Previous Owners  15.23
      • 5.  Real Estate Brokers and Agents  15.24
      • 6.  Neighbors as Coplaintiffs  15.25
    • D.  Ascertain Client’s Understanding of Law  15.26
    • E.  Advise About Experts  15.27
    • F.  Discuss Alternatives to Litigation  15.28
      • 1.  Alternative Adjudication  15.29
      • 2.  HOA Enforcement Action  15.30
      • 3.  Governmental Enforcement Action  15.31
        • a.  Code and Zoning Enforcement  15.32
        • b.  Animal Control Enforcement  15.33
        • c.  Police Enforcement  15.34
      • 4.  Small Claims Court  15.35
      • 5.  CLETS Injunction  15.36
    • G.  Ask Client to Make Record of Incidents  15.37
      • 1.  Photographs and Video Recordings  15.38
      • 2.  Audio and Surreptitious Recordings  15.39
    • H.  Counsel Client Against Conflict  15.40
    • I.  Conclude Interview  15.41
    • J.  Send Letter When Counsel’s Assistance Is Declined, Counsel Withdraws, or Case Concludes  15.42

16

Common Causes of Action

Todd W. Baxter

  • I.  INTRODUCTION TO CAUSES OF ACTION  16.1
  • II.  NUISANCE
    • A.  Nuisance Defined
      • 1.  Statutory Definition  16.2
      • 2.  Case Law Interpretation  16.3
        • a.  Examples of Nuisance Activities  16.4
        • b.  No Nuisance Found  16.5
    • B.  Continuing Nuisance Versus Permanent Nuisance  16.6
      • 1.  Permanent Nuisance Defined; Recovering Damages  16.7
      • 2.  Continuing Nuisance Defined; Recovering Damages  16.8
      • 3.  Which Type to Claim?  16.9
    • C.  Public Nuisance and Private Nuisance  16.10
    • D.  Attorney Fees  16.11
  • III.  ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE
    • A.  General Rule Regarding Trespassers  16.12
    • B.  Exception to General Rule: Attractive Nuisance  16.13
      • 1.  Attractive Nuisance Defined  16.14
      • 2.  Rowland v Christian: Standard of Ordinary Care  16.15
  • IV.  TRESPASS
    • A.  Trespass Defined  16.16
      • 1.  Continuing Trespass Versus Permanent Trespass  16.17
      • 2.  Physical Entry Not Required  16.18
      • 3.  Intangible Intrusions  16.19
    • B.  Whom to Name in Trespass Action  16.20
    • C.  Recovering Damages  16.21
    • D.  Treble Damages for Unlawfully Cutting or Carrying Away Trees or Timber  16.22
    • E.  Attorney Fees for Trespass on Agricultural Lands  16.23
  • V.  INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS (IIED)
    • A.  Background  16.24
    • B.  IIED Defined  16.25
      • 1.  Outrageous Conduct  16.26
      • 2.  Outrageous Conduct and Neighbor Disputes  16.27
    • C.  Recovering Damages  16.28
      • 1.  Special Damages  16.29
      • 2.  Punitive Damages  16.30
    • D.  Attorney Fees Generally Not Available  16.31
  • VI.  CIVIL HARASSMENT
    • A.  Background  16.32
    • B.  Harassment Defined  16.33
    • C.  Examples of Harassing Conduct  16.34
    • D.  Attorney Fees  16.35
  • VII.  SLANDER OF TITLE
    • A.  Slander of Title Defined  16.36
    • B.  Differences From Defamation  16.37
    • C.  When Act Is Privileged  16.38
    • D.  Recovering Damages  16.39
    • E.  Attorney Fees Not Available  16.40
  • VIII.  NEGLIGENCE
    • A.  Negligence Defined  16.41
      • 1.  Precondition to Finding Negligence: Duty of Care Owed  16.42
      • 2.  Negligence and Neighbor Disputes  16.43
    • B.  Lateral and Subjacent Support  16.44
    • C.  Recovering Damages and Attorney Fees  16.45
  • IX.  QUIET TITLE
    • A.  California Statutes  16.46
      • 1.  Making Quiet Title Claim  16.47
      • 2.  Obtaining Default Judgments  16.48
      • 3.  Prove-Up Hearing  16.49
    • B.  Quiet Title and Probate Actions  16.50
    • C.  Attorney Fees Generally Not Available  16.51
    • D.  Boundaries Involving Water  16.52
    • E.  Federal Quiet Title Act  16.53
  • X.  VIOLATION OF COVENANTS
    • A.  Covenants That Run With the Land  16.54
    • B.  Limits on Who Can Bring Enforcement Action  16.55
    • C.  Additional Actions  16.56
    • D.  Common Interest Communities  16.57
      • 1.  Homeowners Association (HOA)  16.58
      • 2.  Owners  16.59
      • 3.  Attorney Fees  16.60
  • XI.  EASEMENTS AND ADVERSE POSSESSION ACTIONS
    • A.  Prescriptive Easements  16.61
      • 1.  Establishing Prescriptive Easement  16.62
      • 2.  Prescriptive Easement Not Available for Typical Backyard Disputes  16.63
    • B.  Equitable Easements  16.64
      • 1.  Establishing Equitable Easement: Doctrine of Relative Hardship  16.65
      • 2.  When Equitable Easement Is Appropriate  16.66
    • C.  Implied Easements  16.67
      • 1.  Establishing Implied Easement  16.68
      • 2.  When Implied Easement Is Appropriate  16.69
    • D.  Adverse Possession  16.70
      • 1.  Establishing Adverse Possession  16.71
      • 2.  Defeating Adverse Possession  16.72
    • E.  Attorney Fees  16.73
  • XII.  MONUMENTS, FENCES, AND BOUNDARIES
    • A.  The Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013  16.74
    • B.  Notice of Intent to Incur Costs for a Fence  16.74A
    • C.  Agreed Boundary Doctrine  16.75
      • 1.  Legal Description of Boundary Must Be Unclear  16.76
      • 2.  Fence Generally Not Manifestation of Agreed Boundary  16.77
  • XIII.  INVERSE CONDEMNATION
    • A.  Mounting Action for Inverse Condemnation  16.78
    • B.  Partial Interest in Damaged Property Sufficient to Provide Standing  16.79
    • C.  Attorney Fees  16.80
  • XIV.  ZONING AND CODE VIOLATIONS
    • A.  Right to Regulate Found in Government Police Powers  16.81
    • B.  Enforcement Actions  16.82
  • XV.  NONDISCLOSURE AND MISREPRESENTATION  16.83
    • A.  Seller’s Nondisclosure or Misrepresentation of Facts  16.84
    • B.  Broker’s Nondisclosure of Facts  16.85
    • C.  What Should Be Disclosed?  16.86
    • D.  Buyer’s Duties  16.87
    • E.  Attorney Fees  16.88

17

Remedies Commonly Available

Todd W. Baxter

  • I.  INTRODUCTION TO REMEDIES  17.1
  • II.  LIS PENDENS
    • A.  Purpose  17.2
      • 1.  Advantages  17.3
      • 2.  Disadvantages  17.4
    • B.  Additional Remedies  17.5
  • III.  ATTACHMENT  17.6
    • A.  Process to Attain Attachment  17.7
    • B.  Required Contents; Levy  17.8
  • IV.  DECLARATORY RELIEF  17.9
    • A.  Existence of Actual Controversy  17.10
    • B.  Cumulative Remedies Available  17.11
    • C.  When Declaratory Relief Is Appropriate  17.12
  • V.  INJUNCTIVE RELIEF  17.13
    • A.  Mandatory Injunction and Prohibitory Injunction  17.14
      • 1.  Mandatory Injunction  17.15
      • 2.  Prohibitory Injunction  17.16
    • B.  Preliminary Injunction  17.17
      • 1.  Factors Weighed  17.18
      • 2.  When Request Is Likely to Be Denied  17.19
    • C.  Anti-Harassment Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Injunction  17.20
      • 1.  Conduct Constituting Harassment  17.21
        • a.  Unlawful Violence or Credible Threat of Violence  17.22
        • b.  Course of Conduct  17.23
      • 2.  Obtaining TRO and Injunction  17.24
      • 3.  Anti-SLAPP Motions  17.25
      • 4.  Defendant’s Protections  17.26
  • VI.  WRIT OF MANDAMUS
    • A.  Challenging Local Land Use Provisions
      • 1.  General Plan and Zoning  17.27
      • 2.  Types of Mandamus Proceedings  17.28
      • 3.  Administrative Record  17.29
    • B.  Administrative Mandamus
      • 1.  Review of Administrative Decision  17.30
      • 2.  Plaintiff’s Burden  17.31
    • C.  Traditional Mandamus
      • 1.  Appropriate to Compel Action or Correct Abuse of Discretion  17.32
      • 2.  Plaintiff’s Burden  17.33
  • VII.  EJECTMENT  17.34
    • A.  Fighting Claim for Ejectment  17.35
    • B.  Description of Property  17.36
    • C.  Fencing of Pasture Land  17.37
    • D.  Ejectment and Easements  17.38
    • E.  Ejectment and Probate  17.39
  • VIII.  FORCIBLE ENTRY AND FORCIBLE DETAINER  17.40
    • A.  History of Forcible Entry and Detainer  17.41
    • B.  Making the Complaint  17.42
      • 1.  Forcible Detainer  17.43
      • 2.  Forcible Entry  17.44
  • IX.  DAMAGES  17.45
    • A.  Measuring Damages  17.46
    • B.  Emotional Distress Injury  17.47
    • C.  Real Property Injury
      • 1.  Diminution in Value Versus Replacement Costs  17.48
      • 2.  Kelly v CB&I Constructors  17.49
    • D.  Tree Injury  17.50
    • E.  Trespass Damages  17.51
    • F.  Nuisance Damages  17.52
    • G.  Ejectment Damages  17.53
  • X.  ATTORNEY FEES  17.54
    • A.  Civil Code §3496: Government Agency; CCP §1021.5: Private Attorney General  17.55
    • B.  Code of Civil Procedure §1021.9: Trespass on Cultivated Land  17.56
    • C.  Civil Code §1354(c): Enforcement of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)  17.57
      • 1.  Broad Construction by Courts  17.58
      • 2.  Standing to Bring Suit  17.59
    • D.  Civil Code §1717: Reciprocal Contractual Rights  17.60
      • 1.  CC&Rs  17.61
      • 2.  Nonsignatory Parties  17.62

18

Defenses and Cross-Complaints

David M. Majchrzak

  • I.  INTRODUCTION TO DEFENSES AND CROSS-COMPLAINTS
    • A.  Overview  18.1
    • B.  Practical Approaches to Defense  18.2
      • 1.  Battle of the Deeds  18.3
      • 2.  Turning the Tables—Using Affirmative Claims to Negate Attacks  18.4
      • 3.  Negating Elements of Causes of Action  18.5
  • II.  DEFENSES BASED ON EXCESSIVE PASSAGE OF TIME  18.6
    • A.  Statute of Limitations  18.7
      • 1.  Likely Limitation Periods in Neighbor Disputes  18.8
      • 2.  When Is Limitation Period Triggered?  18.9
        • a.  Lack of Knowledge of Identity of Defendants Not Sufficient to Toll Statute  18.10
        • b.  Fictitious Name Statute  18.11
    • B.  Tolling  18.12
    • C.  Laches  18.13
      • 1.  Unreasonable Delay  18.14
      • 2.  Elements of Laches  18.15
      • 3.  Burden of Proof  18.16
  • III.  DEFENSES BASED ON USE OF PROPERTY  18.17
    • A.  Adverse Possession  18.18
      • 1.  Occupancy  18.19
      • 2.  Hostility  18.20
      • 3.  Claim of Title  18.21
        • a.  Color of Title  18.22
        • b.  Claim of Right  18.23
      • 4.  Continuous and Uninterrupted Possession  18.24
      • 5.  Payment of Taxes  18.25
    • B.  Easements  18.26
      • 1.  Prescriptive Easement  18.27
        • a.  Determining Purpose of Easement
          • (1)  Five Years of Use  18.28
          • (2)  Scope of Use  18.29
        • b.  Difficulty of Obtaining Prescriptive Easement  18.30
      • 2.  Implied Easement  18.31
        • a.  Intent of Parties at Time of Transfer  18.32
        • b.  Common Owner’s Prior Use; Reasonable Future Use  18.33
      • 3.  Easement by Necessity  18.34
        • a.  Intent of Parties at Time of Transfer  18.35
        • b.  Strict Necessity; Extinguishment  18.36
      • 4.  Equitable Easement  18.37
        • a.  Doctrine of Relative Hardship  18.38
        • b.  Money Damages Still Available to Plaintiff  18.39
    • C.  Extinguishment of Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement Rights  18.40
    • D.  Good Faith Improver  18.41
      • 1.  Attorney Costs and Fees Available to Plaintiff  18.42
      • 2.  Negligent Defendant  18.43
  • IV.  DEFENSES BASED ON GRANT OF CONSENT  18.44
    • A.  Permissive Use Generally  18.45
    • B.  Civil Code §813: Permission to Use Property  18.46
      • 1.  Effect of Recorded Notice  18.47
      • 2.  Recorded Notice Does Not Defeat Other Vested Rights  18.48
    • C.  Civil Code §1008: Permission to Pass  18.49
  • V.  DEFENSES BASED ON PLAINTIFF’S DECEPTIVE ACTS  18.50
    • A.  Fraud  18.51
      • 1.  Fraud in the Inception  18.52
      • 2.  Fraud in the Inducement  18.53
    • B.  Estoppel  18.54
      • 1.  Judicial Estoppel  18.55
      • 2.  Collateral Estoppel  18.56
  • VI.  DEFENSES BASED ON NECESSITY
    • A.  Applicable in Various Circumstances  18.57
    • B.  Common Enemy Doctrine  18.58
      • 1.  Natural Flow of Surface Water  18.59
      • 2.  Floodwaters  18.60

NEIGHBOR DISPUTES: LAW AND LITIGATION

(1st Edition)

April 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

File Name

Book Section

Title

CH02

Chapter 2

Encroachments and Boundaries

02-012

§2.12

Checklist: Ownership Documents

02-013

§2.13

Checklist: Plans and Permits

02-014

§2.14

Checklist: Other Records and Documents

CH03

Chapter 3

Earth Movement: Landslide, Subsidence, and Drainage

03-008

§3.8

Checklist: Documents to Collect; Initial Steps

03-013A

§3.13A

Civil Code Section 832 Letter

CH05

Chapter 5

Non-Boundary Fences

05-002

§5.2

Checklist: Client Documentation

05-003

§5.3

Checklist: Client Information

CH06

Chapter 6

Domestic Animals

06-006

§6.6

Checklist: Gathering Information From Client

CH07

Chapter 7

Noise, Odor, and Light

07-007

§7.7

Checklist: Client Information

07-022A

§7.22A

Demand Letter Requesting Abatement of Nuisance

07-056

§7.56

Public Records Request

07-057

§7.57

Tolling Agreement

CH08

Chapter 8

Solar and Wind Energy Development and Use

08-010A

§8.10A

Solar Shade Control Notice

CH09

Chapter 9

Vacancy, Dangerous Conditions, and Blight

09-009

§9.9

Checklist: Client Information

CH10

Chapter 10

Criminal Activities

10-022

§10.22

Checklist: Client-Witness Considerations

10-042

§10.42

Checklist: Crime Reporting and Investigation

CH11

Chapter 11

Toxic Torts

11-006

§11.6

Checklist: Client Interview

CH12

Chapter 12

Neighborhood and Home Businesses

12-005

§12.5

Checklist: Assessing Impact of Home Business

12-010

§12.10

Checklist: Client Information

CH13

Chapter 13

Light, Air, Views, and Open Space

13-023

§13.23

Checklist: Client Information

CH14

Chapter 14

Water Rights Disputes

14-009

§14.9

Checklist: Client Information

CH15

Chapter 15

Client Interview

15-005

§15.5

Checklist: Client Documents

CH16

Chapter 16

Common Causes of Action

16-074A

§16.74A

Notice of Intent to Incur Costs for a Fence

 

Selected Developments

April 2018 Update

In Surfrider Found. v Martins Beach 1, LLC (2017) 14 CA5th 238, the court found that the landowner was not allowed to close off public access to a beach without obtaining a permit from the California Coastal Commission. See §§1.7, 1.15, 1.17, 1.27.

In Friends of the Hastain Trail v Coldwater Dev., LLC (2016) 1 CA5th 1013, the trial court declared that a public trail easement was established by implied dedication through defendants’ property for hiking, jogging, and dog-walking, but court of appeal concluded public’s hiking use of fire road was insufficient to place predecessors on notice of risk of implied dedication. See §§1.16–1.17.

In Vieira Enters., Inc. v McCoy (2017) 8 CA5th 1057, the court held that adverse use of easement rights could ripen into prescriptive rights limiting the easement holder’s rights. Plaintiff’s property was subject to a recorded 20-foot-wide easement for road access. Plaintiff proved that some permanent structures had encroached about seven-and-a-half feet into the easement area for more than 5 years. The court held that the road easement was reduced in width to 12.5 feet but not eliminated entirely. See §§1.17–1.18, 1.30A, 1.33, 2.17, 4.43, 5.17, 7.37, 18.40.

In Scher v Burke (2017) 3 C5th 136, the California Supreme Court held that, whether recreational or nonrecreational, the public’s use of noncoastal private property after 1972 may never ripen into an implied public dedication under CC §1009. See §§1.17, 2.48.

In Hinrichs v Melton (2017) 11 CA5th 516, the court held that the easement by necessity doctrine may be applied by courts to create access to a driveway, road, or trail even when there was no prior access. See §§1.27, 2.54, 16.64, 18.34.

A cause of action for declaratory relief is appropriate if the dispute involves the interpretation of an express easement or other written document, or even for a dispute about legal rights based on statutes, common law, or oral agreements. A cause of action for trespass on an easement, however, is not viable. McBride v Smith (2018) 18 CA5th 1160. See §§1.30, 1.53, 1.56, 1.59A.

In Dickinson v Crosby (2017) 17 CA5th 655, a defendant’s attorney who issued both a letter to media outlets demanding that they not disseminate plaintiff’s rape accusations and a press release characterizing plaintiff’s accusation as a lie was not able to use the litigation privilege under CC §47 to defeat an anti-SLAPP motion. See §1.38.

In Scholes v Lambirth Trucking Co. (review granted June 21, 2017, S241825; superseded opinion at 10 CA5th 590), the court held that CC §3346(c) (double and treble damages for injury to trees) does not apply to property damages caused by negligently set fires. See §4.44.

Effective January 1, 2018, CC §714.1(b) is amended to provide that a homeowner’s association cannot establish a policy prohibiting the installation of a rooftop solar energy system for household purposes on the roof a building in which the owner resides or on the roof of a garage or carport adjacent to the building assigned to the owner for the owner’s exclusive use. See §8.13.

In City of Crescent City v Reddy (2017) 9 CA5th 458, the court properly appointed a receiver after a building owner failed to correct regulatory maintenance violations in a substandard motel following notice and a 30-day compliance order and 18 months of noncompliance. See §9.36.

If consideration is paid, then the statutory immunity under Civil Code §846 (limited defense for property owners against claimants who entered the property for recreational purposes) will not apply, even to nonpossessory interest holders. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v Superior Court (2017) 10 CA5th 563 (child injured by falling tree at county campground with entrance fee). See §9.55.

Effective June 27, 2017, California enacted the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) (Bus & P C §§26000–26231.2). See Stats 2017, ch 27. MAUCRSA repealed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) (Bus & P C §19300–19360), and effectively merged into one set of statutes the two separate regulatory frameworks that previously existed under the former MCRSA and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) (adding Health & S C §§11018.1, 11018.2, 11361.1, 11361.8, 11362.1–11362.45, 11362.712–11362.713, 11362.84–11362.85; Bus & P C §§26000–26211; Lab C §147.6; Rev & T C §§34010–34021.5; and amending various other code sections). See §§10.61–10.63C, 12.13.

In City of Vallejo v NCORP4, Inc. (2017) 15 CA5th 1078, the court held that even with the passage of Prop 64 and former Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) (former Bus & P C §19300–19360), which contemplates state and local permitting of cannabis dispensaries, California law does not mandate that local governments authorize or accommodate dispensaries, but rather, delegates local regulation (which may include outright bans) under traditional land use and police powers deferred to local governments. See §10.67.

In Orange County Water Dist. v Sabic Innovative Plastics US, LLC (2017) 14 CA5th 343, the court held that the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substance Account Act (HSAA) (Health & S Code §§25300–25395.45) allows a water district to bring suit against current and former owners and operators of sites in a basin area even without proof of joint liability, when the water district believes those owners are in some way responsible for groundwater contamination. See §11.34.

In Chen v Kraft (2016) 243 CA4th Supp 13, a landlord was granted summary judgment in an action to evict a tenant for engaging in an illegal purpose because the tenant was renting his residential unit as a bed and breakfast on a short-term basis in violation of the city’s zoning law. See §12.44.

In Hensley v San Diego Gas & Elec. Co.(2017) 7 CA5th 1337, the court held that, even though homeowner was not physically present, the emotional distress that a homeowner suffered as a direct and proximate result of wildfire and its attendant damage was recoverable as annoyance and distress damages in a nuisance and trespass action against an electrical utility that allegedly caused the fire. Hensley v San Diego Gas & Elec. Co. (2017) 7 CA5th 1337. See §17.47.

In Mountain Air Enters., LLC v Sundowner Towers, LLC, (2017) 3 C5th 744, the court held that even though the defendant’s assertion of an option agreement as affirmative defense was not an action or proceeding, under language of option agreement pertaining to attorneys’ fees, defendants could recover fees because plaintiffs suit was an action for purposes of attorneys’ fees provision. See §17.60.

About the Authors

TODD W. BAXTER, a partner with McCormick Barstow LLP, Fresno, where he is chairman of the Appellate Law Group, is the author of chapters 16–17. He received his received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. He practices appellate litigation, insurance coverage, and insurance bad faith litigation. Mr. Baxter has been certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in appellate law.

GINA D. BOER, an attorney with Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP, Oakland, is the author of chapter 3. She received her B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. degree, with honors, from the George Washington University School of Law. Ms. Boer’s practice includes complex litigation of earth movement, subsidence, and drainage disputes and easement and neighbor disputes; ADA claims; commercial and residential landlord-tenant disputes; construction defect claims; residential buyer-seller contract disputes; premises liability; and torts claims. She is a certified mediator and sits as Judge Pro Tem for the Contra Costa and Alameda County Superior Courts. Ms. Boer is a member of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court.

KRISTINE M. BURK, a deputy public defender with the Sonoma County Public Defender’s Office, is a coauthor of chapter 10. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D. degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Ms. Burk has practiced exclusively in the area of criminal defense for more than 17 years.

MICHAEL S. CHERNIS, a partner with Abner Chernis LLP, Santa Monica, is a coauthor of chapter 10. He received his B.A. degree from Brandeis University and his J.D. degree from Fordham University School of Law. He represents clients seeking to form medical marijuana collectives and comply with California medical marijuana law; landlords and others seeking to do business with medical marijuana collectives; and individuals and businesses in civil litigation with municipalities arising from such activities. Mr. Chernis also represents individuals and businesses in federal criminal matters and those charged in state court for violating medical marijuana laws. He writes and lectures frequently on matters pertaining to the regulation of medical marijuana.

JAY A. CHRISTOFFERSON, a partner with the firm of McCormick Barstow LLP, Fresno, is a coauthor of chapter 8. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his J.D. degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Mr. Christofferson specializes in insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, ERISA, civil litigation, and subrogation matters.

ANDREA P. CLARK, counsel with Downey Brand LLP, Sacramento, is a coauthor of chapter 14. She received her B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Ms. Clark is a member of the Water Group and the Food and Agriculture practice. Her areas of expertise include public agency law (including the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, public bidding, financing, contracting, joint powers authorities, and elections), flood control liability, financing and strategy for flood control improvements, water transfers, and the California Environmental Quality Act. Ms. Clark writes and lectures regularly on public agency law and water law.

CAREY L. COOPER, a shareholder and the chair of the Environmental Law Group at Klinedinst PC, San Diego, is a coauthor of chapter 7. She received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from California State University, Northridge, and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University School of Law. Ms. Cooper’s practice includes environmental, business, real estate, and professional liability litigation. She writes and speaks regularly on environmental matters and is a member of the Association of Environmental Professionals and the International Erosion Control Association. Ms. Cooper is a past editor of The National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues.

ALICE M. GRAHAM, principal of the Graham Law Corporation, Marina Del Rey, is the author of chapter 13. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D. degree from Loyola Law School. Ms. Graham specializes in the areas of real estate, business law, and mediation.

PETER A. KLEINBRODT, managing partner of Freitas, McCarthy, MacMahon & Keating, LLP, San Rafael, is the author of chapter 12. He received his B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. degree from LaVerne University. Mr. Kleinbrodt represents clients in a broad range of matters with extensive litigation and transactional expertise in real property and business matters. Mr. Kleinbrodt serves as Judge Pro Tem, commissioner, and arbitrator for the Marin County Superior Court.

TERESA BUCHHEIT KLINKNER, principal of Klinkner Law Offices, Redondo Beach, is the author of chapter 9. She received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Centre College of Kentucky and her J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law. Ms. Klinkner practices in the area of real estate and business transactions. She is also a licensed California real estate broker and a member of California Real Estate Women–LA. Ms. Klinkner has served as editor-in-chief of the California Real Property Journal, the official publication of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of California.

DAVID M. MAJCHRZAK, counsel at Klinedinst PC, San Diego, is the author of chapter 18. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Southern California and his J.D. degree, summa cum laude, from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Mr. Majchrzak’s practice incorporates all phases of litigation, appellate work, and mediation. He focuses primarily on professional liability defense, especially legal malpractice, and insurance coverage litigation. Mr. Majchrzak also serves as president of the William L. Todd, Jr., American Inn of Court.

DAVID M. MARCUS, a partner with Marcus, Watanabe & Dave, LLP, Los Angeles, is the author of chapter 2. He received his B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. degree from Loyola Law School. Mr. Marcus’s practice includes real property, escrow, title insurance, and general business transactions. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California. Mr. Marcus is a former co-chair of the Title Insurance Subsection of the Real Estate Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and also serves as a Judge Pro Tem with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He lectures frequently on title insurance and related real estate issues.

STEVEN J. MEHLMAN, a partner with Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP, Walnut Creek, where he is the managing partner of the Northern California Business Real Estate Group, is the author of chapter 15. He received his B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley; his M.P.P. degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Policy; and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Mehlman represents business clients and individuals in a wide variety of civil lawsuits and arbitrations as well as in transactional matters. He is a regular participant in legal advice programs offered by the Contra Costa Bar Association on neighbor disputes and animal law. He is a former member of both the City of Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County planning commissions.

CATHERINE A. RICHARDSON, senior counsel with Klinedinst PC, San Diego, is a coauthor of chapter 7. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego, and her J.D. degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. Ms. Richardson is a litigator specializing in professional negligence defense, wrongful death, medical malpractice, products liability, construction defects, eminent domain, insurance bad faith, and business cases. She has served as a Pro Tem Administrative Law Judge for the State of California, a Judge Pro Tem for the San Diego Small Claims Court, and an arbitrator for a number of local entities.

DAVID L. ROTH, principal of The Real Estate Law Offices of David L. Roth, Oakland, is the author of chapter 1. He received his B.A. degree from Occidental College and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Mr. Roth specializes in real estate litigation and transactions. He is a former executive editor of the California Real Property Journal, the quarterly publication of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of California, and a former chair of the Alameda County Bar Association Real Estate Section. Mr. Roth speaks regularly to lawyer groups on real estate topics.

JOSEPH W. SCALIA, principal of the Law Offices of Joseph W. Scalia, Roseville, is the author of chapter 11. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Mr. Scalia’s litigation practice primarily consists of real estate, construction, and business matters as well as entity formation and dissolution and estate planning. He is a Settlement Judge Pro Tem for the Sacramento County Superior Court and an arbitrator and mediator for several local entities.

LEWIS J. SOFFER, a shareholder with Miller Starr Regalia, Walnut Creek, is the author of chapter 5. He received his B.A. degree from Stanford University and his J.D./M.B.A. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Mr. Soffer’s practice encompasses a wide variety of litigation involving real estate issues, including title insurance cases for both insureds and insurers; contract disputes; entitlements and environmental matters; commercial leasing; easements, boundary, and prescriptive rights disputes; adverse possession; mortgage and financing transactions; and foreclosures.

MAYA FERRY STAFFORD, a staff counsel specialist with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), Sacramento, is a coauthor of chapter 14. She received her B.S. degree from the University of Washington and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Lewis & Clark Law School. Prior to her position at the DWR, Ms. Stafford was in private practice, where she represented clients on issues related to water rights, the Endangered Species Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, public agency laws and in natural resources litigation. Any views expressed in chapter 14 are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the DWR.

MARY CATHERINE WIEDERHOLD practices law in San Francisco and is the author of chapter 6. She received her B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Ms. Wiederhold is a real estate litigator and concentrates in tenant representation, including defending eviction actions and affirmative lawsuits. In 2010, she received the Housing Justice Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco. In 2014, she received the Attorney of the Year Award from the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. She is on the board of directors of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the executive committee of the Lawyers’ Club of San Francisco Inn of Court.

DANIEL E. WITTE, of counsel with the firm of McCormick Barstow LLP, Fresno, is a coauthor of chapter 8. He received his M.O.B. and B.S. degrees, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University and his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the Brigham Young University School of Law. Mr. Witte concentrates in insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, and subrogation. He has been qualified as a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Certified Life Underwriter (CLU). Mr. Witte is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI). His designations include Associate, Insurance Regulatory Compliance (AIRC); Associate, Reinsurance Administration (ARA); and Associate, Customer Service (ACS).

DENNIS A. YNIGUEZ, an International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborist and the principal of Tree Decisions, an arboricultural consulting firm in Berkeley, is the author of chapter 4. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Mr. Yniguez is a past president of the American Society of Consulting Arborists and has served on their national faculty since 2000. His consulting practice includes tree health and risk assessment, forensic examination and case analysis, insurance claim evaluation, expert trial assistance, and alternative dispute resolution for tree-related issues.

About the 2018 Update Authors

TODD W. BAXTER is the update author of chapters 16 and 17. See biography in the About the Authors section.

GINA D. BOER is the update author of chapter 3. See biography in the About the Authors section.

KRISTINE M. BURK is the update coauthor of chapter 10. She is currently the principal at the Law Office of Kristine Burk in Santa Rosa. See biography in the About the Authors section.

MICHAEL S. CHERNIS is the update coauthor of chapter 10. He is currently a principal with the Chernis Law Group in Santa Monica. See biography in the About the Authors section.

JAY A. CHRISTOFFERSON is the update author of chapter 8. See biography in the About the Authors section.

ANDREA P. CLARK is the update coauthor of chapter 14. See biography in the About the Authors section.

CAREY L. COOPER is the update author of chapter 7. See biography in the About the Authors section.

ALICE M. GRAHAM is the update author of chapter 13. See biography in the About the Authors section.

PETER A. KLEINBRODT is the update author of chapter 12. See biography in the About the Authors section.

TERESA BUCHHEIT KLINKNER is the update author of chapter 9. See biography in the About the Authors section.

DAVID M. MAJCHRZAK is the update author of chapter 18. See biography in the About the Authors section.

DAVID M. MARCUS is the update author of chapter 2. See biography in the About the Authors section. Mr. Marcus was assisted in the update of this chapter by his associate, Victoria B. Shapiro.

DAVID L. ROTH is the update author of chapters 1, 5, and 15. See biography in the About the Authors section.

JOSEPH W. SCALIA is the update author of chapter 11. See biography in the About the Authors section.

MAYA FERRY STAFFORD is the update coauthor of chapter 14. See biography in the About the Authors section.

MARY CATHERINE WIEDERHOLD is the update author of chapter 6. See biography in the About the Authors section.

DENNIS A. YNIGUEZ is the update author of chapter 4. See biography in the About the Authors section.

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