Welcome to Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.’s March Real Estate Law Action News. This summary provides brief updates on recent real estate cases, legislation, and administrative actions in 2021. The case names of the newest decisions start with Section 3 and are denoted by bold italic fonts.


To read the December 2020 Real Estate Action News post, click here:  https://blog.aklandlaw.com/2020/12/articles/ak-news/december-monthly-real-estate-law-action-news/ .


There are no cases pending at the California Supreme Court at this time.



  1.  Kagan v. City of Los Angeles, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27851 (C.D. CA., February 11, 2021).

 Plaintiffs brought suit against the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (“The City”) under alleged Takings and Due Process claims related to the City passing a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (“RSO”) that impacted Plaintiffs’ rental of an owned and operated duplex. The City filed a motion to dismiss in response to Plaintiffs’ claims. The RSO passed by the City was an ordinance intended to safeguard protected tenants from “excessive rental increases.” Protected tenants are those who are at least 62 years old or considered disabled or handicapped as defined under the state and federal code. Plaintiffs attempted to evict a tenant from their duplex who fell into the “protected tenant” classification. Thereafter, Plaintiffs sued the City to recover damages for Takings and Due Process claims. On the Takings claims, the Court held that Plaintiffs were aware of the RSO and had the option to withdraw the Property from rental housing use provided they give the Tenant one year’s notice, but they elected not to do so. As such, the Court granted the City’s motion to dismiss on the Takings claim. The Court then broke down the Due Process claims under both substantive due process and procedural due process analyses. The Court stated that the ordinance was rationally related to a legitimate government interest in protecting vulnerable tenants and therefore Plaintiffs’ substantive due process claims were dismissed. On the procedural due process claim, the Court stated that because Plaintiffs had adequate “post-deprivation remedies available” the motion to dismiss the procedural due process claim was granted.


*There are no new cases in this section at this time.*


*There are no new cases in this section at this time.*


*There are no new cases in this section at this time.*


  1. Village Communities v. County of San Diego, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20794 (S.D. CA., February 3, 2021).

Plaintiff, a real estate development company, filed suit against the County of San Diego (“Defendant or County”) for denying Plaintiff’s modifications to its proposed development project located in an unincorporated area of San Diego County. The County denied Plaintiff’s modified proposal after the County Planning Department determined that the modifications “substantially revised the proposed project and that staff had various concerns about its scope.” The area is in a high wildfire risk area and the modifications to the project proposal were over whether or not the County had legal authority to require fuel modification easement rights to allow for entry onto properties and control vegetation on 50 adjacent lots.

Plaintiff sought an administrative mandamus action against the County alleging four causes of action: (1) Takings; (2) Due Process; (3) Equal Protection; and (4) an Administrative Mandamus claim directing the County to approve the Project. The County moved to dismiss each claim. On the Takings claims, the Court found that Plaintiff’s claims, “plausibly state prima facie inverse condemnation and temporary takings claims based on the unconstitutional conditions doctrine.” As such, the Court denied the County’s attempt to dismiss the Takings Claims. On the Due Process claim, the Court held that Plaintiff had a viable claim for substantive due process because Plaintiff presented a reasonable claim as to whether the easements were “needless and redundant under existing authority.” The Court then held that Plaintiff had a viable Equal Protection claim because Plaintiff provided the Court with a list of other projects the County approved where there were no additional easements requested. On the Administrative Mandamus claim, the Court granted the County’s request for dismissal. The Court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that a plaintiff no longer has an obligation to also seek mandamus relief in order to prosecute its takings claim. The Court further reasoned that because the sought after mandamus would infringe on the separation of powers by directing the County how to exercise its discretion over the Project, the Court must deny the request for an administrative mandamus.

  1. Self v. Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of Trinidad Rancheria, 2021 Cal. App. LEXIS 67 (January 26, 2021).

In a case involving tribal sovereign immunity to establish a public easement for coastal access, The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the tribe’s quiet title action seeking to establish a public easement for coastal access. The question before the Court was whether sovereign immunity barred quiet title actions for public easements pertaining to coastal rights of access on properties owned by Indian tribes. The Court of Appeal held that Congress did not extend the common law exception for state sovereign immunity to tribal immunity for land acquisition. As such, the Court found that tribal sovereign immunity bars quiet title actions such as those found in the facts of this case. The Court held that Plaintiffs’ arguments for a common law exception for “immovable property” was unmoving and unpersuasive. The Court stated that consistent with the decades of Supreme Court precedent before this Court, the Panel would defer to Congress to determine the limits of sovereign immunity. The Court found that Congress did not extend such a limit to tribal communities for the purposes of land acquisition under federal tribal policy. As such, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the tribe’s quiet title action.

William Abbott, Diane Kindermann, Glen Hansen, and Daniel Cucchi are attorneys at Abbott & Kindermann, Inc.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, Inc. at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, Inc., or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.