California Riviera Homeowners Association v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

56 Cal. Rptr. 2d 564 (1996)

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California Riviera Homeowners Association v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

California Court of Appeal
56 Cal. Rptr. 2d 564 (1996)

Facts

Stuart Hackel (plaintiff), a homeowner in California Riviera, a subdivision in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, completed a substantial remodel of his home in 1991. A realtor later informed Hackel that the California Riviera Homeowners Association (the association) (defendant) had recorded a Notice of Violation of Restriction, indicating that Hackel had failed to comply with the set-back provisions in the subdivision’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) when he remodeled his home. Hackel filed suit against the association for slander of title, breach of fiduciary duty, and declaratory and injunctive relief. The association defended its action by alleging that its notice of violation was authorized in the CC&Rs. Hackel argued that, as a matter of law, the notice of violation was not a recordable document. The trial court granted Hackel’s motion to expunge the notice of violation, and the association petitioned the court for a writ of mandate to compel the trial court to reverse its order. The association also sought summary judgment on its affirmative defense that its notice of violation was a publication within the meaning of the litigation privilege. The trial court ultimately denied the association’s motion, finding that because its notice of violation was not authorized by law, it was not privileged. The association appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Masterson, J.)

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