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Suits Re Mobilehome Park Conversion to Residential Ownership, Plus Criminal, Government Contracts, Family Law, Trusts & Arbitration Matters

By FindLaw Staff on September 02, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

People v. Pacheco, H034454, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order placing defendant on formal probation for a period of three years subject to various conditions and imposition of various fees and fines, in a prosecution of defendant for welfare fraud in violation of Welfare and Institutions Code section 10980(c)(2).  The court modified the imposition of fees and remanded where: 1) defendant's claims are not forfeited or waived on appeal; 2) there is no evidence of defendant's ability to pay the $100 in attorney fees, the $259.50 criminal justice administration fee, and the $64 per month probation supervision fee; 3) the order to pay attorney fees and the imposition of the monthly probation supervision fee are improper conditions of probation; 4) trial court's judgment is modified to reflect that the $20 court security fee is deleted as a condition of probation and is instead a separate order; and 5) trial court's judgment is modified to delete an unidentified $30 fee that the court did not impose.


People v. Bradford, A125040, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for second-degree robbery with a knife use enhancement and assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury.  in affirming, the court held that substantial evidence supported the jury's determination that security guards were robbery victims.  The court also held that defendant was not prejudiced by the jury instruction defining the circumstances in which a security guard may be a robbery victim. And lastly, trial court properly denied defendant's motion for self-representation.

Pac. Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates LLC. v. City of Los Angeles, B216515, involved a developer's suit against the City of Los Angeles for rejecting as incomplete an application for conversion of its mobilehome park because the application failed to include an application for clearance under the Mello Act and an application for a coastal development permit under the Coastal Act.  In reversing and vacating the trial court's entry of judgment directing issuance of a peremptory writ of mandamus commanding the city to deem plaintiff's application complete, the court held that, in light of the paramount concern for protecting coastal resources by regulating development as expressed in the Coastal Act, section 66427.5 does not preclude the city from imposing conditions and requirements mandated by the Mello Act and Coastal Act on a subdivider seeking to convert to resident ownership a mobilehome park located in the coastal zone.

In re A.M., D056196, concerned a challenge to an order declaring a father's minor children dependents of the juvenile court under Welfare and Institutions Code section 300(f).  In affirming, the court held that substantial evidence supports the court's section 300(f) jurisdictional finding that the father caused the death of a minor child through neglect.  Also, after considering all of the evidence and having the opportunity to observe the demeanor of witnesses, the juvenile court was in the best position to make the credibility findings concerning the father's statements.

Great W. Contractors, Inc. v. Irvine Unified Sch. Dist., G041688, involved a plaintiff-contractor's suit against a school district (District), challenging the District's rejection of plaintiff's bid to remodel two elementary schools.  In reversing the trial court's judgment in favor of the District, the court held that the trial court was incorrect in rejecting plaintiff's lowest bid as nonresponsive as, under D.H. Williams, 146 Cal.App.4th 757 (2007), a public agency cannot reject the bid of the lowest bidder on a public works project on the theory that the bid is nonresponsive to the agency's request for bids when, in substance, the real reason for the rejection is that the agency thinks the lowest bidder is "not responsible" - at least not without giving the lowest bidder the chance for a hearing on whether the lowest bidder really is "not responsible."  The court also held that the trial court abused its discretion in rejecting plaintiff's admittedly belated request to amend.

Force Framing, Inc. v. Chinatrust Bank, E048688, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment because plaintiff served the statutorily required 20-day preliminary notice on another lender, and not the defendant, in plaintiff's suit against defendant-lender for a bonded stop notice.  In reversing, the court held that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment because there is a triable issue of fact regarding the reasonableness of plaintiff's belief that another lender was the lender for the project.  The court rejected defendant's argument that plaintiff could not have held a good faith belief that the other lender was the actual lender because plaintiff did not check the county records for the deed of trust that the lender recorded in 2005.  Lastly, the court is not persuaded that, as a matter of law, pursuant to Kodiak, plaintiff had constructive notice that defendant was the actual lender and could not have held a good faith belief that the other lender was the actual lender.

Estate of Ziegler, E048555, involved a claimant's petition to transfer property of the estate of a deceased neighbor, seeking an order that the Administrator transfer the house to him.  In reversing the trial court's rejection of an objector's contention that claimant's claims were barred by the statute of limitations, the court held that the claimant's claim to the house is barred by Code of Civil Procedure section 366.3 and his alternative claim that he is entitled to the value of his services on a quantum meruit services basis, for caring for the neighbor, is barred by Code of Civil Procedure section 366.2, which establishes a similar limitations period for claims that could have been brought against the decedent had he lived.

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy v. Universal Paragon Corp., A126149, involved a defendant's suit against a law firm, claiming that an arbitrator's award of $7,554,149.13 in attorney fees and expenses for the law firm, related to its representation of defendant in an underlying complex environmental litigation, is unconscionable and violates public policy.  In affirming the superior court's affirmance of the award, the court held that, assuming that defendant's claim of unconscionability is subject to judicial review as a predicate for determining whether the arbitration award violates public policy, the claim is rejected on the merits as neither the fee agreement nor the award actually issued by the arbitrator is unconscionable under rule 4-200 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Colony Cove Properties, LLC. v. City of Carson, B219352, concerned a challenge to the  trial court's conclusion that the city's responsibilities when faced with a mobilehome park conversion application were essentially ministerial, in issuing a writ directing the city to vacate the ordinance in its entirety and to vacate an ordinance imposing a moratorium on mobilehome park conversions while the city studied the issue,  in a mobilehome park owner's challenge to a city ordinance specifying conditions permitting conversion of a mobilehome park from landlord ownership to resident ownership. The court held that the trial court's conclusion that the city's role under section 66427.5 is purely ministerial is incorrect.  The court also held that the ordinance at issue conflicted with section 66427.5 and is therefore invalid, and the issue of the validity of the moratorium was moot at the time the writ was granted.

Brown v. Superior Court, B221980, concerned a defendant's petition for a writ of mandate challenging the trial court's denial of his double jeopardy motion to preclude retrial after a jury acquitted him of some counts, convicted him of a lesser included offense as to one count and hung on the remaining counts, in a prosecution for commission of various sexual offenses against two minors.  In granting the petition, the court held that double jeopardy bars retrial of all of the charges the trial court permitted to be retried because, in the case of one victim, the jury acquitted defendant of all offenses, all of which were alleged to have been committed within the same five-month interval, and the prosecutor failed to show that none of the acquittals pertained to the offense the court agreed to permit the prosecutor to retry, which was also alleged to have been committed in the same five-month interval.  In the case of the other victim, the jury acquitted defendant of continuous sexual abuse of a minor based upon the same conduct and during the same 22-month interval alleged in four counts the court agreed to permit the prosecutor to retry.

Baca v. Superior Court, C062609, concerned a defendant's petition for a writ of mandate, seeking discovery materials in an attempt to file a third successive habeas petition on issues decided in the previous writ proceedings.  In denying the petition, the court held that, for purposes of section 1054.9, there is no habeas petition either contemplated or pending that would justify the post-conviction discovery defendant seeks because a habeas petition has already been filed and denied on the ground of ineffective assistance of counsel, and given the evidence of defendant's intent to kill the victim, the evidence he seeks would not justify a successive habeas corpus petition on an issue that was actually litigated at trial.

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