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underwood-guide-to-appeal-interlocutory-judgement-300x300Does the appeal of an interlocutory judgment automatically stay the partition case?

No. An appeal of an interlocutory judgment in a partition case is not stayed unless the appellant files an undertaking. (CCP §§ 917.4, 917.5.) Normally, appeals of court judgments result in an “automatic” stay that restrains the lower trial court from issuing any more orders until the appeal process is completed. 

There, are however, certain types of orders where this rule is inapplicable. Instead, if the appealing party wants to stay lower court proceedings, they must post a bond to the court called an “undertaking.” Interlocutory judgments of partition fall into this category because they are orders that dispose of real property.

underwood-how-to-dissolve-llc-california-300x300LLC’s are perhaps the most common form of business entity in the country on account of their approachability. But their large number means that plenty will and do fail. When this occurs, members of the LLC can file a lawsuit for “involuntary dissolution.” 

That said, the non-dissolving members have a way of fighting back: the mandatory buyout. Litigation over buyouts can be fierce, as each member attempts to maximize the value of their interest to secure the largest possible payout. In these instances, the right attorney can make all the difference. 

At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are knowledgeable in the fields of pass-through entities and real property. If you’re looking to proceed with dissolution, then we’re here to help. 

underwood-tenant-coowner-squatter-300x300There are many relationships a person can have with real property. The main relationships where a person has some sort of claim to real property are those of a tenant, a co-owner, and a squatter. 

Each of these terms mean something different under California law. As a result, one’s relationship to the real property will affect one’s rights to that property, and what one can do with that property. 

What is a “Tenant”?

underwood-order-determining-succession-real-property-300x300An order determining succession to real property is an alternative petition to get a court order transferring the property. (Prob. Code § 13154.) If the estate is small enough, and a successor to the decedent has proof that they are entitled to a certain piece of property, then they may use this process to become a title owner. 

Naturally, though, the process is much more complicated than it may seem. Only certain individuals may file the petition, and only certain types of estates even qualify. Therefore, in order to ensure compliance, litigants should take care to get themselves the right attorneys for the job. At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are well-read on real property transfers and ready to assist. 

When can an order determining succession to real property be used in Probate Court?

underwood-tenant-in-common-force-sale-300x300Can a Tenant in Common Force a Sale?

Yes. Tenants in common (TIC), as co-owners of real property are entitled to try and force a sale of that property by filing a lawsuit called a partition. Like many other aspects of the law, however, this is easier said than done. Many issues can arise during a partition suit, so having the right attorneys by your side can make all the difference. 

At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are well-versed in all forms of co-tenancy and partitions. The rights and duties that follow each of these ownership schemes are unique, making them a key issue in real estate litigation.

underwood-lis-pendens-constructive-trust-theory-300x300A lis pendens is a notice that a lawsuit has been filed against real property which could affect that property’s title. The lis pendens notifies any potential buyer that there is a lawsuit involving a real property claim. This is important because a potential buyer with knowledge of the lis pendens will be bound by the court’s eventual judgment on the lawsuit.

According to California law, a lis pendens is filed if the party has a real property claim. (Code of Civil Procedure § 405.20.) A real property claim is a cause of action that would affect the title or possession to real property, or easement use. (Code of Civil Procedure § 405.4.) Until recently, one could not file a lis pendens based on a constructive trust theory, since constructive trusts were not considered real property claims. A new California appellate court decision, however, allowed lis pendens to be filed based on a constructive trust theory. 

What is the Constructive Trust Theory?

underwood-sheriff-serve-summons-complaint-300x300Under Government Code section 26665, a sheriff may serve “all writs, notices, or other legal process issued by superior courts in civil actions…” When someone decides they want to file a lawsuit, getting an experienced lawyer to draft the complaint is only half the battle. It still needs to be filed with the correct court and, most importantly, the complaint must be served on the defendant. 

Service, however, can wind up being both stressful and expensive for many litigants. This is particularly the case when the defendant is moving from county to county, or from state to state to avoid being served papers. 

In these instances, some plaintiffs come to believe that the matter would be best left to the Sheriff’s office, as it is often the cheapest option. Unfortunately, the decision isn’t as simple as it may seem, as there are numerous pros and cons that litigants should be weighing when they choose how to serve parties in a lawsuit. The attorneys at the Underwood Law Firm, however, are well-versed in the legal tools involving service of process and are here to help our clients make these difficult decisions.

underwood-quiet-title-action-statute-limitations-300x300The Legislature has not established a specific statute of limitations for actions to quiet title. (Salazar v. Thomas (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 467, 476.) Instead, the statute of limitations is based on the underlying theory of relief for the action. (Id.) For example, if the underlying theory is relief for trespass or injury to real property, then the applicable statute of limitations would be three years. (Code of Civil Procedure § 338.) 

Generally, for most legal claims, there is a time period called the statute of limitations where a plaintiff could sue under that claim. The statute of limitations provides for a certain amount of time, which varies depending on the claim, during which the party must bring forth the lawsuit. If a party sues after the statute of limitations has passed, then the legal claim is barred, and the lawsuit cannot proceed.

Statute of limitations are an essential aspect of litigation that parties must know. One point of contention for any statute of limitations is when the clock starts running for the statute of limitations. This can be difficult to figure out, especially for real property related claims. 

underwood-escape-airbnbust-300x300In recent years, the growth of vacation rentals have driven the rise of purchasing investment properties in highly desirable areas throughout the country. For years, investment rentals were so profitable that many people jumped into the market and purchased properties to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately, in recent years, the sheer number of vacation rentals in these areas diluted the marketplace and made it increasingly more difficult to turn a profit from these investments, and in some cases, have lead to investment losses. 

As many people who previously saw the advantages of these investments have recently seen problems the problems with these properties, they have been looking for legal methods to leave these relationships and receive the return of their capital. Frequently, many people find that getting out of these investments is a lot harder than getting in, if they can even find a legal way out. Many cannot. The attorneys at the Underwood Law Firm, however, are well-versed in the legal tools for helping good people get out of these bad real estate relationships. 

What are the options for leaving a bad real estate relationship?

underwood-liability-of-partition-referee-300x300Generally, when a trial court orders an interlocutory judgment directing a partition by sale, it can appoint a referee to conduct the sale (CCP § 873.010). However, when a party to the partition feels that they have been aggrieved by the actions of this court-appointed referee, they may bring an action against them.

When this occurs, the party may contend that the referee violated some fiduciary duties or committed some torts while performing the role appointed to them by the court. However, when a role is appointed by a court, the person holding that role may be entitled to what is known as quasi-judicial immunity. 

What is Quasi-Judicial Immunity?

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