(2022) 5th Dist. April 2022 (UNPUBLISHED) Before a party can bring an enforcement action, it must offer ADR. In an enforcement action, the party commencing the action has the duty to file with the initial pleading a certificate attesting to its compliance with the ADR notice requirements of sections 5930, 5935, and 5950. The party commencing the action also has the burden to plead and prove the issue.
(2021) 4th Dist. August 2021 (UNPUBLISHED) A community association, aided by supportive CC&R provisions, may declare a vicious dog with a history of attacks to be a nuisance and require its removal from the community. The board need not consider abatement or the likelihood of future harm in determining whether a breach occurred or in exercising its enforcement discretion. Please note that as this is an unpublished court opinion, under California Rules of Court, Rule 8.115, it cannot be cited or relied on by a court or a party in any other action.
(2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 124 Civil Code §4740 provides that an owner shall not be subject to a governing document provision that prohibits rentals unless that governing document provision was effective prior to the date the owner acquired title to their separate interest. Montage at Mission Hills adopted a short-term rental restriction imposing a 30-day minimum rental period. A homeowner challenged the short-term rental restriction as it applied to her, since she had acquired title to her unit before the short-term rental restriction had been adopted. The association argued that since the short-term rental restriction merely placed a restriction on the duration of rentals without prohibiting rentals, Civil Code §4740 was inapplicable and the provision applied to all owners regardless of when they acquired title. An appellate court disagreed and held that short-term rental restrictions are only enforceable against owners who take title after the effective date of the restriction.
(2021) 66 Cal.App.5th 583 Civil Code Section 5975 allows the prevailing party in an action to enforce the governing documents of a common interest development to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs. This right persists despite the voluntary dismissal of such an action. Prevailing party determination under the Davis-Stirling Act requires the trial court to compare the relief awarded on the claims with the parties' demands on those same claims and their litigation objectives as disclosed by the pleadings, trial briefs, opening statements, and similar sources.
(2018) 31 Cal.App.5th 1 This case involved a vineyard planted on a residential lot in the Los Robles Hills Estates Homeowners Association in Thousand Oaks, CA. The owners regularly harvested the grapes, which were then transported to an offsite processing plant to be made into wine. The wine was then stored at a separate offsite facility. The owners set up a website and social media accounts to advertise and sell the wine. The association's CC&Rs provided, “No lot shall be used for any purpose (including any business or commercial activity) other than for the residence of one family….” The CC&Rs also provided that “[f]or good cause shown … deviations from the applicable restrictions” may be allowed “to avoid unnecessary hardships or expense, but no deviation shall be allowed to authorize a business or commercial use.” The court held that the “operation of the vineyard is not prohibited business or commercial activity because it does not affect the community's residential character.” Accordingly, in order to enforce a restriction against business or commercial uses, simply pointing to an applicable provision of the CC&Rs may not be sufficient. Associations should be prepared to demonstrate how the use affects the residential character of the community.
(2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 933 This case involved vehicle and parking rules adopted by an association. In examining the reasonableness of the rules, the court applied the same “reasonableness” test that had been applied to use restrictions in CC&Rs in the case of Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village Condominium Assn. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 361. Accordingly, whether a rule is reasonable is to be determined not by reference to facts that are specific to the objecting homeowner, but by reference to the common interest development as a whole, and a rule will generally be considered “reasonable” unless it is wholly arbitrary, violates a fundamental public policy, or imposes a burden on the use of the affected property that far outweighs any benefit.
(2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 863 Relying on Lamden v. La Jolla Shores Clubdominium Homeowners Association (1999) 21 Cal.4th 249, the court held that the association had discretion to select among means for remedying violations of the CC&Rs without resorting to expensive and time-consuming litigation, and the courts should defer to that discretion in a case involving homeowners who brought an action against the association and other owners for, among other things, encroachments into the common area. See also, Beehan v. Lido Isle Community Association (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 858.
(2004) 33 Cal.4th 73 According to the California Supreme Court, a use restriction duly adopted by an amendment to the CC&Rs after an owner acquires his unit is enforceable against that owner through an injunctive relief action, even though the owner disagrees with the amendment.
(1994) 8 Cal.4th 361 According to the California Supreme Court, CC&R restrictions are presumed reasonable and will be enforced uniformly against all association members unless the restrictions are arbitrary, impose burdens on the property that substantially outweigh the restriction's benefits to the development's residents, or violate a fundamental public policy.
(1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 766 An association must follow its own internal disciplinary procedures before seeking relief in court.