100% Attorney’s Fees Win in View Rights Case

The Turner Law Firm was awarded 100% of its attorney’s fees and costs in a view rights dispute.   The case is important because it concerns the reciprocal nature of statutory attorney’s fees provisions, including whether they apply if the defendant prevails in the action on the grounds that the statute is not applicable. Continue reading

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View Rights Dispute in Malibu

It is time to change California law so as to provide property owners with some basic view rights.  English common law long ago recognized the doctrine of “ancient lights,” under which a landowner acquired, by interrupted user, an easement over adjoining property for the passage of light and air.  However, California courts rejected this doctrine during our relative early history. Rather, the only view rights that exist under California law are those provided by deed restrictions, such as CC&Rs, or in a few singular cities, such as Malibu or Tiburon, or if the property falls within the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Act.

The story in the January 29, 2012 Los Angeles Times provides another example of why California law should change.  The incredible drummer Chad Smith (*) (Red Hot Chili Peppers), with the backing of most of his celebrity-neighbors, is trying to save his view that apparently will be unreasonably obstructed by one of those faux Tuscan mansions. Continue reading

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example of preliminary injunction denied (Marquez Knolls)

Many view rights cases are effectively decided at the TRO or preliminary injunction stage, to stop construction of the new or bigger home or structure.   Thus, both sides have to present their best evidence at the beginning of the case.

Tavangarian v. Florman (Jan. 25, 2012, 2d Cir.) 2012WL208061 (B227269) (not reported in Cal. Rptr. 3d) is example of the complex and emotionally charged nature of most neighbor v. neighbor and view rights cases. It also confirms that view right cases require mastering the intricacies and subtle nuances that can make or break your client’s case. Continue reading

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injunction granted – for failure to obtain HOA’s Architectural Committee approval

The recent Tesoro del Valle Master Homeowners Association v. Griffin case provides a good example of power of a well-functioning HOA/ Architectural Control Committee to deny a homeowner’s construction project, and to its right and power to go to court for injunctive relief for removal of a project that it did not approve. Continue reading

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View Rights; Ocean Views; Trees; Spite Fences; and Jury Instructions

On April 15, 2011, the Fourth District of the Court of Appeal issued a decision reversing the San Diego Superior Court in a spite fence case. Vanderpol v. Starr, filed April 15, 2011, Fourth District, Div. One, Cite as D056599. The case involved a classic variation of the neighbor vs. neighbor dispute regarding a row of trees that the downhill neighbor refused to trim, which obstructed the uphill neighbor’s ocean view. Continue reading

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Inverse Condemnation 101; Property Owners Near LAX Lose

On April 12, 2011, the Second District of the Court of Appeal issued its decision in City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Plotkin) (Court of Appeal Case No. B225082).
The case provides a good overview of inverse condemnation law. Continue reading

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New L.A. Ordinance Restricting Size Of Hillside Homes: Baseline Hillside Ordinance

There is another tool in the view rights arsenal: On April 6, 2011, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed new Baseline Hillside Ordinance (“BHO”) (also commonly referred to as the Hillside Mansionization Ordinance), which goes into effect on May 9, 2011. This Ordinance, along with the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (“BMO”) that was adopted in June 2008, are part of the City of Los Angeles’ attempt to regulate “out-of-scale single-family development in the City of Los Angeles.” However, those seeking to build large homes generally dispute whether their home is “out-of-scale.” Continue reading

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Sparkplug Keith Turner Plays a Key July 4 Role

By Sue Pascoe, Palisadian Post

Attorney Keith Turner has won a 2010 Sparkplug Award from the Community Council for organizing the live music concert held at the Palisades High School football stadium before the Fourth of July fireworks show. “I was shocked. I didn’t even know I was nominated,” Turner, 46, said. “The award should have gone to Rob Weber because he’s done so much.” Weber was president of PAPA (Palisades Americanism Parade Association) in 2008 and 2009. The two men grew up in the Chicago area, went to Chicago-Kent College of Law and both worked for a few years at the same Beverly Hills firm after graduation. Weber urged Turner to get involved with PAPA, but Turner put him off, telling him, “Only when you’re president of the organization.” WhenWeber indeed moved up to that  position, Turner attended his first PAPA meeting…. Read the full article

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