Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bolotin v. Rindge case brief

Bolotin v. Rindge case brief summary
41 Cal.Rptr. 376

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant homeowners appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which ruled in favor of plaintiff lot owners in an action for declaratory relief and to quiet title.

FACTS: The lot owners owned a lot in an exclusive neighborhood where the homeowners also owned property. The lots were subject to deed restrictions limiting them to single-family homes. The lot owners an action declaratory relief and to quiet title against the deed restrictions. The trial court ruled in favor of the lot owners, and the court reversed. Deed restrictions were to be declared unenforceable when, by reason of changed conditions, enforcement of the restrictions would be inequitable and oppressive and would harass the plaintiff without benefiting the adjoining owners.

The court determined that the trial court erred by only making implied findings. 

-There was nothing in the record to indicate that the trial court considered or decided whether the purpose of the deed restrictions had become obsolete, or whether the enforcement of the restrictions against the lot owners' lot would benefit the homeowners in any respect other than market value.
-The trial court's finding as to the effect upon the homeowners was limited to a statement that there would be no adverse effect upon market value of their properties. 
-The case was remanded for the trial court to make proper factual findings.

CONCLUSION: The court ruled in favor of the homeowners and against the lot owners and reversed the judgment in the action for declaratory relief and to quiet title.

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