Decisions in Labor, Tax, Environmental, Contracts, Criminal, Cyberspace & Property Law Matters - California Case Law
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Decisions in Labor, Tax, Environmental, Contracts, Criminal, Cyberspace & Property Law Matters

Vuki v. Superior Court, G043544, concerned plaintiffs' petition for a writ of mandate, challenging an order of the Superior Court denying their request for a restraining order against HSBC Bank USA (HSBC), seeking a stay of eviction following foreclosure sale of plaintiffs' home.

In denying the petition and discharging the stay of eviction, the court held that neither section 2923.52 or section 2923.53 provides any private right of action, even on a very limited one as this court found in Mabry.  Further, plaintiffs' claim that section 2923.54(b) does not apply to lenders who themselves buy the property at foreclosure fails since any claim which the plaintiffs might have to invalidate the foreclosure sale based on section 2923.52 and 2923.53 necessarily entails a private right of action which the statutes do not give them.

Sevidal v. Target Corp., D056206, concerned a plaintiff's class action suit against Target Corporation, claiming fraud and violation of unfair competition and false  advertising laws, and seeking injunctive and restitutionary relief, after purchasing clothing items from the company's website that were misidentified as made in the United States.  In affirming the trial court's denial of plaintiff's motion to certify the class, the court held that the trial court properly refused to certify the class based on its finding the proposed class was not ascertainable, as substantial evidence supports the court's conclusion the absent class members could not be reasonably identified by reference to records or by common characteristics that would allow the class members to identify themselves.  The court also held that the trial court properly found the class was overbroad because the evidence shows the vast majority of absent class members never saw the web page containing the alleged misrepresentation and thus were never exposed to the alleged wrongful conduct.

People v. Long, H033197, concerned a challenge to the trial court's conviction of a Vietnamese defendant for first degree robbery and rape of a Vietnamese prostitute, imposition of a 14-year sentence, and order requiring defendant to register as a sex offender.  In reversing the conviction, the court held that, although there was substantial evidence that the victim, by socializing with a friend and eating meals, used hotel rooms as living quarters, thereby inhabiting the rooms at the time defendant robbed her, there is no evidence in the record substantiating the prosecutor's peremptory challenge against a Vietnamese prospective juror.

McCaskey v. California State Auto. Ass'n, H032186, concerned plaintiffs' suit against California State Automobile Association (CSAA) and California State Automobile Association Inter-Insurance Bureau for breach of contract and age discrimination, claiming that plaintiffs' discharge from employment was a result of defendants' breach of a promise to permit senior sales agents to continue in their employ under relaxed sales quotas.  In reversing the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, the court held that the record raises a triable issue of fact on the contract claim over the question whether defendants honored the policy for an agreed time, or if no agreement as to time can be inferred from the terms and circumstances of the employment contract, for a reasonable time.  Further, the record also presents triable issues of fact concerning the genuineness of defendants' claimed reasons for eliminating the policy.

Equilon Enter. v. State Bd. of Equalization, C059079, concerned a plaintiff's suit seeking a refund of $3,910,359.10 it paid for the year 2002 pursuant to regulations promulgated under the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 1991, claiming that the amount was an unconstitutional tax under section 3 of Proposition 13.  In affirming the trial court's judgment against plaintiff and in favor of defendants State Board of Equalization and State Department of Health Services, the court held that a regulatory fee is not an unconstitutional tax under Proposition 13 if there is a reasonable basis in the record for the manner in which the fee is allocated among those responsible for paying it, and here, there was a reasonable basis for the department to allocate the lead program fee in the manner it did, based on the gasoline industry's responsibility for contaminating the environment with lead.  The court also held that the department was not obligated to allocate the fee based on responsibility only for those specific instances in which exposure to environmental lead contamination has actually resulted in childhood lead poisoning.

California Corr. Peace Officers' Ass'n v. State of California, A126080, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment, in California Correctional Peace Officers' Association's (CCPOA) suit against the State of California, for injunctive relief and backpay for overtime.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that, under the California statutory scheme and in the absence of an operative MOU, section 19851 does not require the payment of overtime compensation anytime a CCPOA employee works more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week.

Burke v. Ipsen, B218286, concerned a union member's petition for a writ of mandate, seeking to compel the union to conduct an election of officers and directors and to set aside the union's recently amended bylaws.  In affirming the trial court's grant of the petition and award of attorney fees to plaintiff, the court held that the plaintiff did not have to exhaust administrative remedies because the court was the proper tribunal to enforce the Corporations Code and the union's original bylaws in a dispute involving internal union affairs.  The court also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney fees under a private attorney general theory.

Affan v. Portofino Cove Homeowners Ass'n, G041379, concerned homeowners' suit against their homeowners association and its managing agent for damages after their condominium unit was flooded with sewage.  In reversing the trial court's entry of judgment against the plaintiffs on all but one cause of action, the court remanded the matter in holding that the trial court erred in applying the Lamden rule of deference as the homeowners association failed to establish the factual prerequisites for applying the judicial deference rule, and the managing agent of the homeowners association has no claim to judicial deference under Lamden.

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