Property Law

Claiming the court prioritizes non-essential operations over “community safety and human life,” five legal aid organizations on Tuesday sued Los Angeles County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile for holding certain hearings in person during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the organizations claim that by permitting and sometimes mandating in-person appearances for unlawful detainer and traffic hearings, the presiding judge has put attorneys and litigants at high risk of contracting COVID-19 from non-emergency courtroom proceedings — especially as public health experts call Los Angeles “the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.” The…
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill that will extend the state’s moratorium on evictions through June 30 of this year, aiming to protect Californians facing ongoing economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 91 extends a pause on evictions for tenants who declare under penalty of perjury an inability to pay all or part of their rent due to a COVID-related reason. Previously those protections were set to expire on Feb. 1 under AB 3088, which the governor signed last year. “Once again, California is leading the way by enacting the strongest eviction…
California’s First District Court of Appeal held Tuesday that a quiet title action to establish a public easement for coastal access on property owned by a Native American tribe can’t go forward, concluding that the action is barred by the tribe’s sovereign immunity. “Congress has not abrogated tribal immunity for a suit to establish a public easement,” the court held, noting that its deference to Congress is consistent with decades of U.S. Supreme Court precedent in cases involving land acquisition and federal tribal policy. Native American tribes are “separate sovereigns pre-existing the Constitution” and possess the common-law immunity from suit…
As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on California businesses and residents, two waves of rules have guided tenants, landlords, and their counsel through the resulting eviction crisis.The first wave involved moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. On April 6, 2020, two emergency California Rules of Court were adopted. Emergency Rule 1 effectively halted all unlawful detainer lawsuits, except those necessary to protect public health and safety. (Cal. Rules of Court, emergency rule 1.) And Emergency Rule 2 effectively halted all pending judicial foreclosure actions, other than those involving issues of public health and safety. (Cal. Rules of Court, emergency…