Real Estate Litigation

What We Are Expert At

Real Estate Litigation

Quiet Title

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A legal action used to establish clear ownership of real property and remove any claims or disputes that cloud the title.

A legal action used to establish clear ownership of real property and remove any claims or disputes that cloud the title.

Partition Actions

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Resolves disputes between co-owners of property by seeking a court-ordered division or sale of the property and accounting for offsets.

Resolves disputes between co-owners of property by seeking a court-ordered division or sale of the property and accounting for offsets.

Resulting Trust Action

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A resulting trust lawsuit determines rightful ownership of property when it is held by one party but belongs to another.

A resulting trust lawsuit determines rightful ownership of property when it is held by one party but belongs to another.

Constructive Trust Action

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Rectifies unjust enrichment resulting from property disputes, ensuring fair distribution of property rights and obligations among involved parties.

Rectifies unjust enrichment resulting from property disputes, ensuring fair distribution of property rights and obligations among involved parties.

Breach of Contract

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Addresses violations of contractual agreements, ensuring that parties uphold their obligations and seek appropriate remedies for damages or non-performance.

Addresses violations of contractual agreements, ensuring that parties uphold their obligations and seek appropriate remedies for damages or non-performance.

Failure to Disclose

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Deals with non-disclosure of material property information, ensuring transparency and fairness in real estate transactions by holding parties accountable for providing accurate and complete information.

Deals with non-disclosure of material property information, ensuring transparency and fairness in real estate transactions by holding parties accountable for providing accurate and complete information.

Fraud, Misrepresentation

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Addresses intentional deceit in property transactions, providing legal recourse for victims of fraud or misrepresentation to seek compensation and rectify wrongful actions.

Addresses intentional deceit in property transactions, providing legal recourse for victims of fraud or misrepresentation to seek compensation and rectify wrongful actions.

Easements

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Establishes legal rights for property access or use, ensuring clarity and protection of property rights related to access, use, or restrictions on the property.

Establishes legal rights for property access or use, ensuring clarity and protection of property rights related to access, use, or restrictions on the property.

Unlawful Detainer

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Resolves disputes over wrongful occupancy or eviction, providing legal procedures and remedies for landlords and tenants involved in disputes over possession of property.

Resolves disputes over wrongful occupancy or eviction, providing legal procedures and remedies for landlords and tenants involved in disputes over possession of property.

Construction Defect

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Addresses property construction or design issues, ensuring that construction defects are properly identified, addressed, and remedied to protect the integrity and value of the property.

Addresses property construction or design issues, ensuring that construction defects are properly identified, addressed, and remedied to protect the integrity and value of the property.

Quiet Title

A quiet title action is a lawsuit that is brought to establish ownership of real property and to remove any claims or liens that may cloud title to the property. In California, quiet title actions are typically used to clear up disputes over ownership of property, such as disputes over boundary lines or conflicting claims to ownership. To initiate a quiet title action in California, the plaintiff must file a complaint in the appropriate court, naming all parties with an interest in the property as defendants. The complaint must include a description of the property, a statement of the plaintiff’s claim to ownership, and a request for the court to declare the plaintiff the rightful owner of the property.

Once the complaint has been filed, the defendants must be served with notice of the lawsuit, and they have an opportunity to file an answer to the complaint. If the defendants fail to respond or contest the plaintiff’s claim, the court may enter a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
If the defendants do contest the plaintiff’s claim, the court will hold a trial to determine the rightful owner of the property. The trial may involve presentation of evidence, such as title documents or testimony from witnesses, to support each party’s claim to ownership.

If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, it will enter a judgment declaring the plaintiff the rightful owner of the property and removing any claims or liens that may have clouded title to the property.

It’s important to note that quiet title actions can be complex and time-consuming, and may involve legal disputes among the parties. Therefore, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that your client’s rights are protected throughout the process.At our law firm, we have a deep understanding of quiet title actions and can help guide clients through the process to achieve a favorable outcome.

Partition Actions

In California, a partition action is a legal proceeding that can be used to divide or sell real property that is owned jointly by two or more people. This can occur when co-owners of the property disagree on how to use the property, or when one co-owner wants to sell the property but the other co-owners do not. There are two types of partition actions in California: partition in kind and partition by sale.
  • Partition in kind involves physically dividing the property into separate portions, with each co-owner receiving ownership of a specific portion. This type of partition is only possible if the property can be divided into separate portions without significantly reducing its overall value.
  • If the property cannot be divided in kind, or if it is not practical to do so, then partition by sale may be necessary. In a partition by sale, the court orders that the property be sold, and the proceeds from the sale are distributed among the co-owners in proportion to their ownership interest in the property.
To initiate a partition action in California, a co-owner must file a petition with the court, detailing the grounds for the partition and the relief sought. The court will then determine whether a partition is appropriate, and if so, will appoint a referee to oversee the partition process.

It’s important to note that partition actions can be complex and time-consuming, and may involve legal disputes among the co-owners. Therefore, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that your client’s rights are protected throughout the process.

While defending against partition actions used to be difficult, recent reforms to California’s partition laws have made it easier for certain categories of people to do so.

At our law firm, we are well-versed in the latest partition laws and can provide clients with comprehensive legal guidance on this issue.

Resulting Trust Action

Under California law, a resulting trust arises when a person transfers property to another person, but that transfer fails to create an express trust. In this situation, a resulting trust can be imposed on the property, which means that the person who received the property holds it for the benefit of the person who transferred it.

There are two types of resulting trusts in California: (1) a purchase money resulting trust and (2) an automatic resulting trust.

A purchase money resulting trust arises when one person provides the funds for the purchase of property, but title to the property is taken in the name of another person. In this situation, a resulting trust is presumed to exist, and the person who took title to the property holds it in trust for the person who provided the funds.
An automatic resulting trust arises when one person transfers property to another person, but there is no evidence that an express trust was intended. In this situation, a resulting trust is imposed on the property, and the person who received the property holds it in trust for the person who transferred it.

It’s important to note that the burden of proof is on the person claiming that a resulting trust exists, and that person must provide clear and convincing evidence that a trust was intended.

Constructive Trust Action

Under California law, a constructive trust is a legal remedy that can be used to impose a trust on property when it would be unjust for the legal owner to retain the property for his or her own benefit. This can occur, for example, when the property was obtained through fraud, mistake, or undue influence.

With respect to real property, a constructive trust can be imposed when there is evidence that the legal owner obtained the property through some type of wrongdoing or unjust enrichment. For example, if the legal owner obtained title to the property by fraudulently inducing the client to sign over the property, a constructive trust may be imposed to give the property back to the client.

In order to establish a constructive trust over real property, the client must prove the following elements:
  • There was a confidential or fiduciary relationship between the client and the legal owner.
  • The legal owner acquired the property through fraud, mistake, undue influence, or some other wrongful conduct.
  • The client suffered harm as a result of the legal owner’s conduct.
  • The imposition of a constructive trust is necessary to prevent unjust enrichment of the legal owner.
If the client can prove these elements, a court may impose a constructive trust on the property and order that it be transferred to the client. It’s important to note that the burden of proof is on the client to prove each element of the constructive trust claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, it is important to gather all relevant evidence and testimony to support the client’s claim.

Breach of Contract

Real Estate Transactions
  • Real estate transactions can be complex and sometimes result in disputes between buyers and sellers. When a disagreement arises after the sale or purchase of residential real estate, the buyer may bring a breach of contract claim against the seller. This can also happen if a transaction falls through because the seller refused to close escrow or the buyer didn’t complete the transaction after removing contingencies.
Construction
  • If a contractor fails to complete construction of a property as agreed, the owner may have a claim for breach of contract.
Title
  • If a seller promises to transfer clear title to a property but then fails to do so, the buyer may have a claim for breach of contract.

Failure to Disclose

  • If a seller fails to disclose material defects in a property or misrepresents the property’s condition, the buyer may have claims.
  • In real estate transactions (both residential and commercial), there are various types of non-disclosure scenarios that are actionable, such as intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, concealment, constructive fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.
It’s important to note that under California law, sellers, agents, and brokers all have a legal obligation to disclose certain information to buyers. These disclosure duties are designed to protect buyers from unknowingly purchasing a property with defects or issues that could impact its value or safety. At Vokshori Law, we have extensive experience advising clients on their disclosure obligations and helping them navigate real estate transactions with confidence.

Fraud, Misrepresentation

Fraud and misrepresentation claims can arise when a party to a real estate transaction makes a false statement or conceals material information in order to induce another party to enter into the transaction. To establish a claim for fraud or misrepresentation in the real estate context, the client must prove the following elements:
  • The defendant made a false statement or concealed material information.
  • The defendant knew that the statement was false or misleading, or had a duty to disclose the material information.
  • The client reasonably relied on the false statement or omission.
  • The client suffered damages as a result of the reliance on the false statement or omission.
  • The false statement or omission was a substantial factor in causing the client’s damages.
It’s important to note that in the real estate context, fraud and misrepresentation claims can arise in a variety of situations. For example, a seller may make false statements about the condition of the property or the existence of certain features, or a real estate agent may fail to disclose material information about the property or the transaction. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or misrepresentation in a real estate transaction, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney. Your attorney can help you evaluate the strength of your client’s claim, gather evidence to support the claim, and pursue legal remedies to recover any damages suffered as a result of the fraud or misrepresentation.

Easements

An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose. In California, there are two main types of easements: easements appurtenant and easements in gross.

Easements appurtenant: An easement appurtenant is attached to a particular piece of property and is transferred along with that property. This type of easement is typically created when one property owner needs to cross another property owner’s land in order to access their own property.
For example, if your client’s property is landlocked and has no direct access to a public road, they may have an easement appurtenant over a neighboring property to allow them to access the road.

Easements in gross: An easement in gross is a personal right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose, but it is not attached to a particular piece of property. This type of easement is typically created when a utility company needs to run power lines or other infrastructure across someone else’s property.
For example, if your client is a utility company and needs to run power lines across a property owner’s land, they may negotiate an easement in gross with the property owner to allow them to do so.

Easements can be created in a variety of ways, such as by express agreement between the parties, by necessity, or by prescription (through continuous use of the property for a certain period of time). Easements can also be terminated in a variety of ways, such as by agreement between the parties, by abandonment, or by court order.


It’s important to note that easements can be complex and can involve disputes among the parties. Therefore, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that your client’s rights are protected when dealing with easements.

Unlawful Detainer

In California, if a tenant has been served with an unlawful detainer lawsuit, they have five calendar days (not including weekends or court holidays) to file a response. There are several types of responsive pleadings that a defendant can file in an unlawful detainer case:
  • Answer: The defendant can file an answer, which is a written response to the allegations in the unlawful detainer complaint. The answer must be filed with the court and served on the plaintiff.
  • Demurrer: The defendant can file a demurrer, which is a legal pleading that challenges the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff’s complaint. A demurrer argues that even if the plaintiff’s allegations are true, they do not state a valid legal claim.
  • Motion to Quash: The defendant can file a motion to quash, which is a legal pleading that challenges the validity of the summons or service of process. A motion to quash argues that the defendant was not properly served with the summons and complaint, or that the summons is otherwise defective.
  • Motion to Strike: The defendant can file a motion to strike, which is a legal pleading that challenges the legal sufficiency of specific allegations or claims in the plaintiff’s complaint. A motion to strike argues that certain allegations or claims are irrelevant, immaterial, or improper.
It’s important to note that each of these responsive pleadings has specific legal requirements and deadlines, and they should be filed with the court and served on the plaintiff in accordance with the California Code of Civil Procedure. Additionally, defendants should consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action for their specific circumstances.

Construction Defect

A construction defect is a flaw in the design or construction of a building or structure that may cause it to be unsafe or unusable. Construction defects can arise from a variety of issues, such as faulty design, poor workmanship, or the use of defective materials.

Examples of construction defects may include:
  • Foundation or structural issues, such as cracks in the foundation or walls, or sagging or uneven floors
  • Plumbing or electrical problems, such as leaky pipes or faulty wiring
  • Water intrusion, such as leaks in the roof or walls, or problems with the drainage system
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) problems, such as inadequate ventilation or heating or cooling systems that don’t work properly
  • Exterior issues, such as problems with the siding, windows, or doors
  • Landscaping issues, such as drainage problems or the use of inappropriate plants or trees
If you discover a construction defect in your property, you may be able to pursue legal action against the builder, contractor, or other responsible parties. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or other damages.
Steps to take: Investigation: Conduct an investigation of the construction defect and gather evidence, such as photographs, expert opinions, and any relevant documents or contracts. Notice: Give written notice to the parties responsible for the construction defect, including the builder, contractor, and any relevant subcontractors, stating the nature of the defect and the damages sought. Mediation or arbitration: Attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation or arbitration, if possible. California law requires certain parties to participate in mediation or arbitration before filing a lawsuit. Filing the lawsuit: If mediation or arbitration is unsuccessful, file a lawsuit in the appropriate court. The complaint should include the elements of a construction defect claim, including:
  • A description of the property and the construction defect(s)
  • Identification of the parties responsible for the defect(s)
  • A description of the damages suffered by the plaintiff
  • Evidence supporting the plaintiff’s claim, such as expert opinions and photographs
  • A demand for relief, such as damages or specific performance to repair the defect(s)

Other possible causes of action: In addition to a construction defect claim, the complaint may also allege other causes of action, such as breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence, or fraud. Each cause of action requires specific elements to be proven.

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